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The Best of Bellingham By Shannon Neufeld

End of Summer Home Maintenance Tips

 Protect your deck, patio or porch: Sweep away the summer dust and check the surface of your outdoor spaces for signs of holes, cracks or chipping paint. Use wood putty or stone filler to repair any surface damage. Sand away chipping or cracked paint or stain, then repaint the surface before the wet season starts.

Repair your driveway: Fill any cracks in your paved driveway to prevent winter rain from eroding the surface further. Depending on the type of surface and the desired look, use cement, epoxy filler, liquid cement filler, asphalt filler or concrete crack sealant. Be sure to remove any vegetation growing in the cracks first.

Clean your kitchen sink and garbage disposal: Humidity and sun will increase bacteria population in your kitchen sink. Pour garbage disposal cleaner down the drain to remove small clogs and disinfect the drain. To remove any food stains or rust in your sink, use bleach or calcium, lime and rust cleaner.

Clean or Replace the Air Filter: Summer humidity will add bacteria, mold and mildew to your dusty household air filter. Wash the old filter and leave it to dry in the sun. For disposable filters, buy a replacement at home improvement stores, or order a hypo-allergenic, mildew resistant filter at specialty online stores.

Clean your garbage cans: To counter the effects of summer heat and humidity, wipe your garbage cans and the area around them with anti-bacterial wipes. Then spray the area with disinfectant spray that will kill lingering bacteria. Place a garbage bag in the can immediately after spraying to keep the cleaning agent trapped in the can.

Clean your bathrooms: Mildew, mold and soap scum build up more quickly in the hot summer months, especially in humid bathrooms. Use a strong soap scum cleaner for your tub, tile and shower glass surfaces. Spray mildew or mold with bleach based killer. Leave clean grout to dry, then repair any cracks with fresh grout, or reseal the area with bath silicone sealant.

Clean Gutters: Gutter debris from the previous winter might clog your spouts and cause gutter overflow when the rain starts. To avoid having to repeat the cleaning after the fall foliage, trim any low hanging trees near your gutters.

Vacuum Upholstery: With windows kept open throughout summer and fans circling air, furniture upholstery, pillows and curtains collect more dust than usual. Vacuum pillows and upholstery using the attachments on your vacuum cleaner. according to their type of fabric, by dry cleaning, vacuuming or placing the curtains in your clothes dryer.

Prepare outdoor furniture for winter: Wash the summer dust off your outdoor furniture and leave it to dry in the sun. If you detect signs of rust or paint chips and cracks, spray paint the furniture with outdoor paint for wood, metal or plastic. Buy a cheap painter's tarp at your home improvement store to cover your furniture if you store it outside in winter.

Trim trellis vegetation: If your garden, backyard or porch are shaded with a vine-coated trellis, trim down the vegetation before winter. This will reduce debris in your outdoor space as the rain starts. In addition, wet leaves and branches may begin to rot on the vine and damage the wood surface of your trellis unless you remove them.

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