To all of those contemplating a move to Florida but still living in the North…Is your home winter proof? Here are some great tips on how to winterize your home before those cold winter months set in.
Protect Your Home from Cold Weather Threats
By: Gwen Moran
Published: September 24, 2009
The right tools and pre-winter maintenance will ensure that your home and your family are safe and from cold-weather threats.
First, understand the threats
Blizzards. Storms with heavy winds and large amounts of snow accumulation can cause roof or other structural damage and leave you isolated.
Ice storms and ice dams. Ice storms coat structures, trees, power lines, cars, roads—and virtually everything else—with ice. As the ice melts, large chunks can fall and cause injury to anyone below. When ice melts during the day and then re-freezes at night, ice dams, which block water from flowing in the gutter, may form. This condition can force water back under the roof line and cause leaks.
Sleet or freezing rain. Combinations of snow and freezing rain may cause slippery conditions and coat roads, sidewalks, and driveways with ice when temperatures drop.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that home owners have shovels on hand, as well as melting agents, such as rock salt. Some of the new, more environmentally friendly deicers include calcium magnesium acetate and sand to improve traction. Be sure to stock up early in the season, as these agents tend to be in short supply during periods before a well-publicized storm.
FEMA also advises you have enough fuel to maintain heat in your home, as well as a backup heating source: firewood if the home has a working fireplace, or a generator to power heaters in case of power failure. However, use caution as these can represent fire hazards when not used correctly. Be sure to follow directions explicitly and keep a fire extinguisher. Some generators and fireplaces also require proper ventilation, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, so follow directions carefully and keep them away from curtains or other flammable items.
Stock up on extra blankets, warm clothing, and enough food and water to sustain your family in case of a few days of isolation. And a transistor radio with fresh batteries can help keep you updated on news and information in case of a power outage.
Protect your home
Before winter, there are some precautions you can take to protect your home from the ravages of cold weather storms:
Winterize your home. Check shutters, siding, and other exterior materials to ensure they’re secure, says retired contractor and home improvement expert and writer John Wilder of Jacksonville, Fla. High winds, ice, and moisture from winter storms can easily strip off such outside elements if they’re loose.
Be sure that gutters are clear of debris and that walkways are even and don’t represent tripping hazards that can be exacerbated with snow or ice. Caulk drafty windows and apply weather stripping to doors—both inexpensive strategies that can keep heat in your home. Air sealing can help you save about $350 in energy costs or one-third of your average annual heating and cooling costs. The average annual home energy bill is about $2,200, according to Energy Star, of which about $1,000 represents heating and cooling. An assortment of air sealing materials and tools, including silicone foam, caulk, aluminum flashing for flues, and additional insulation, will run roughly $100-$350.
Watch your roof. Consider roof heating cables to prevent ice dams on roofs and in gutters, Wilder recommends. They emit a low level of electric-powered heat and prevent ice from blocking gutters and downspouts. These cables can also help melt snow as it falls and help prevent it from accumulating on your roof, where its weight may cause damage.
The cable costs approximately $50-$100 for a 65 to 100 ft. package and can be purchased online or at home improvement retailers. Well-ventilated attics, which release warm air and melt ice, can reduce the risk of ice dams as well, according to the Institute.
Winterize pipes. Be sure your pipes, especially those exposed or in unheated areas like crawl spaces, are wrapped in insulation to prevent freezing and bursting. Also, learn where your water shut-off valves are so you can turn off the water supply in case of a leak. Six feet of insulation can cost anywhere from $7 to $17; it’s available at most home improvement stores.
Trim tree branches. Branches that overhang roofs or areas where you park your car—or which are simply overgrown—represent a risk to structures, vehicles, and people. Keep trees trimmed and remove those that are weak or sickly to prevent them from falling on or near your home. Tree trimming and removal pricing varies greatly, and you may have additional restrictions if you live in an historic community or if the trees are close to power lines.
Check with your municipality about any regulations and contact your local Chamber of Commerce, municipal offices, or contractor rating sites like MerchantCircle.com or AngiesList.com to get the names of reputable pros. Tree trimming and removal can be dangerous, so don’t attempt it on your own unless you’re experienced.
By keeping your home in good repair and stocking up on the supplies you’ll need before the rush for rock salt and shovels begins, you’ll be as ready as possible to tough out the storm.
Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.”
As thousands of people from across the world prepare to embark on Amelia Island, FL, March 11-13, for the 2011 Concours D’Elégance, one of the world’s largest classic and antique car shows, many are also preparing to look or purchase a vacation or second home.
Amelia Island, FL is one of Florida’s (some say the east coast’s) best kept secrets with nationally recognized, remarkable natural beauty, glistening sea shores and soft sandy beaches. For those who love golf, tennis, art, festivals, and all water sports, Amelia Island is the place to live. I am already scheduling Concours D’Elegance visitors for private home showings. Please contact me to schedule your home visits.
Note: Time slots are still available for Home Showings this weekend during Concours D’Elegance (March 11-13, 2011). Take note, showings are booked on a first come, first serve basis!
Contact Lila Keim now to reserve your Private Home Showing:
- Click here and fill out the form
- Email me at LilaKeim@BellSouth.net
- Call me on my personal cell @ (904) 753-3944
I look forward to answering any questions you might have about our local real estate.
Update! As my readers know, I have a big heart for charities. So, to my surprise and delight, I was just informed that the Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance is a 501(c)3 charity, with Community Hospice of Northeast Florida and the Spina Bifida Association of Florida at Jacksonville (SBFJ) as the two main beneficiaries! Go here for the full list of affiliated charities. I thought you’d like to hear news about how this luxurious event is actually helping those in need.
Update: This article now features photos of actual paintings made during the Amelia Island Plen-Air excursion. I would like to give a special thanks to my friend, Anne, for taking the time to take and send me the beautiful pictures. Though, I have a feeling they in no way compare to the actual pieces of art!
Original Post Date: Feb 10, 2011
Yesterday, in Downtown Fernandina Beach, something very interesting was happening that got very little local attention.
Since last week’s fun happenings, I’ve been on the look out for new and interesting things happening around the island. Well, as I drove to the Prudential Chaplin Williams office in Downtown Fernandina Beach, I couldn’t help but notice a slew of artists, painters it looked like, under the shady oak trees, scattered across the back streets of Ash and 8th, aiming their canvasses at unsuspecting, Victorian-style homes in the historic district.
I hadn’t read or heard about this event in any local papers or news establishments. (I was sure The Bicentennial was the next exciting thing going on around here!). So, naturally, I stopped by for a bit to satisfy my curiosity. The ladies I happened across were so friendly and even agreed to answer the few questions I had about their event!
As it turns out, this event was not an event. Make no mistake. I was informed by a very friendly Sandra Harris, the first lucky artist I interviewed. She explained that their ‘gathering’ consisted of about twelve artists, all women (by coincidence), and each of whom identifies herself as an artist, a “Plein-Air Painter” to be exact. Sandra added, the two-word phrase “translates to ‘fresh air’ in French.” Without skipping a beat with her brush and palette, she went on to explain that Plein-Air Painter is also a “title an artist gives him or herself if they paint on location, from real life.”
The gathering of these dozen or so artists, painting the streets of Historical Downtown Fernandina Beach, was the result of a workshop entitled Painting Coastal Light, a collaboration effort of professional artists Anne Blair Brown and Diane May with Rachel Brown as workshop coordinator. Sandra went on to say, (surprisingly, with ease rather than excitement) that the group of ladies were indeed not local, but rather they were all from out-of-state, from several different states even. “Some from Tennessee, Wisconsin…” Sandra briefly stopped painting for the first time during our Q&A, “…and West Virginia.”
I couldn’t believe it. All these gifted artists traveled from other states to come to Amelia Island to paint our “real life” scenery? Why – I mean, besides our rich history, sunny beaches and wholesome community? What connection did this group have to the area? How did they find out about us? What drew them here? I had to know.
After asking Sandra a few questions, it was obvious I was barking up the wrong tree. She gladly pointed me in the direction of Anne Blair Brown, the said instructor. As I began to walk toward the instructor, Sandra continued her painting of an old downtown home, stroking ever so carefully and purposefully with different shades of brown, gray and white. She obviously knew what she was doing, and I was impressed to say the least!
Anne (“that’s Anne with an ‘e’” she instructed me) is a life-long artist, having been a professional painter for over twelve years.
She has this great website that showcases recent paintings and workshops. I asked her why her class was in Fernandina Beach, and why she chose this place over all other places in the world. She quickly informed me that an artist friend of hers, Brenda, who happened to be among this workshop’s students, had a condo on the island that the class could use for the trip, to cut costs, I’m assuming.
Anne went on, “And the weather where we all came from is terrible. It’s cold and snowy.” (As a side note, I’d like to point out that our weather in the past few weeks hasn’t exactly been ideal, but everyone I spoke with did say it was better than back home.) “Also,” Anne continued, “I’m very familiar with this area. I come here with my friend Diane May several times a year. I love the history of Fernandina Beach and the scenery.”
She wanted me to emphasize, her travel buddy, Diane C. May, is also a professional artist and actually the president of Pap-Se.com – the Southeastern ‘Plenair Painters group’ through which she was instructing this week’s workshop – an interesting story in and of itself. If you’d like to read more about that fascet of this story, visit Diane’s website here.
So, Anne Blair Brown, from Nashville led her class to Amelia Island, FL. The group’s venture is to be about five days and set in different locations around the area. They arrived on Tuesday; their workshop that day took place at Tiger’s Pointe, to work on painting nautical scenes, namely boats. Then yesterday, Wednesday, when I saw and met the group, they were downtown for a ‘lesson’ on historical homes and street views. Today, they were scheduled to paint at one of the Talbot State Parks to practice marsh scenes, weather permitting (I’d like to hear back from Anne about how that went). Tomorrow, they are supposed to be back at Tiger Point to paint boating scenes, and Saturday they will be back on the streets of Downtown.
According to Anne, each student has a level of mastery ranging between intermediate and advanced. “No beginners at this workshop,” she made clear.
As I ran out of questions, I asked Anne if there was anything else she’d like to add. She did, but asked that I not write it down. Later, I asked if I could paraphrase her kind words, and she gladly gave me permission to do so.
Here’s what Anne Blair Brown (the instructor) had to say: Before executing this fantastic workshop, she made certain to get approval from the city. The city acknowledged her level of respect (for our Historic District) and gave her permission to set up painting stations in and around the downtown area. Once on the streets and all set up, she noted how friendly the actual residents downtown were. Yesterday, for instance, a lady from one of the homes in front of which they were painting offered the artists her restroom. Anne really felt the friendliness of our community shines through our residents.
I just want to remind our readers, local or not, that that is what really makes Amelia Island special. We are a small town with a big heart. We have history. We have culture. We welcome visitors with open arms – especially our out-of-state Plenair Painters! – and hope to make our home a regular destination. Who knows, maybe this beautiful island can become your next permanent destination.
For more information about our community and to inquire about homes for sale in our area (Fernandina Beach/ Amelia Island, FL), please contact Lila Keim here or write her an mail at LilaKeim@bellsouth.net. We look forward to hearing from you!
Last year, I wrote about why Amelia Park is such a great neighborhood. Well, a lot of buying and selling has happened in the past six months and we’ve since welcomed quite a few more readers. So, I decided I would re-post the article, so no one has to miss out.
(Note: If you’re currently thinking about buying a home in the Amelia Island area, we have some great resources to help you along with your preliminary search. For instance, just last month I posted this breakdown of everything you need to consider when buying a home. Additionally, you might find helpful our homemade Featured Listings section complete with updated pictures, information and videos of homes currently on the market, and our MLS Search feature which allows you to search properties several ways, by price for example. As always, it is my pleasure to assist you in buying and selling real estate in any way I can!)
Why Amelia Park is So Wonderful
From a heavily treed pasture in the center of Amelia Island came a breathtaking sub-division known as Amelia Park. Amelia Park was named after the Island and the daughter of one of the first explorers to discover the beautiful NE Florida Barrier Island. Amelia Park is truly a park like setting within the city limits of Fernandina Beach, and boasts timeless coastal architecture of days gone by.
The values of the area are built on neighbors and community. The lifestyle is quiet while vibrant. [Read more...]
In this Southern resort community, over 100 ladies dressed in their finest, with hats and gloves ventured out for an afternoon of food, fun, conversation, music, and fellowship. Each table was decorated uniquely by a member of the Partin Circle of the Memorial United Methodist Church in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach, FL.
The table decorations were as original and unique as you could possibly imagine. The food was out of this world and hand made by the Partin Angels. Various teas, scones, sandwiches, and a variety of homemade sweets filled the room with scents of cookies baking in your kitchen.
Keep your eyes open for the next English Tea. You will not want to miss it. To read more about English Teas enjoyed in many different countries you visit Wikipedia’s interesting entry about the topic.
Cute cottage with white picket fence. Interior and exterior recently painted. Beautiful hardwood floors and tile thoughout. Attached garage. Fence back yard with mature shade. Within walking distance to Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach. Close to pristine Amelia Island beaches, golf, tennis, boating, fishing, Jacksonville and JAX International Airport, Mayport, and Kings Bay, Georgia. [Read more...]