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  • Writer's pictureLisa Bea Smith

It's Time for "End of Summer" Home Maintenance

· Clean the Gutters. Cleaning the gutters on your home should be done at least twice a year. The end of summer is a great time to do this. Clogged gutters can lead to spillovers, which could cause damage the exterior covering on the home, as well as erode the foundation. Clean the gutters and repair any cracks. Remove anything blocking the gutters. Once the gutters are clear, use a garden hose to run water through them and test for blockage, leaks, and proper flow to downspouts.

· Inspect the Roof. While you’re cleaning the gutters, take a look at the condition of the roof. Check for any soft spots, loose shingles, and warped or damaged shingles. Damage to the roof covering increases the likelihood that water could be entering your home and causing structural damage.

· Seal Windows and Doors. Caulk around windows using a high quality exterior grade caulking and check the weather stripping around doors. This is an easy fix that can avoid significant energy loss and unnecessarily high fuel bills.

· Change the Air Filter. Hot humid Louisiana weather has a tendency to really dirty an air filter with bacteria and debris. The end of the summer season is a good time to install a new air filter in your HVAC. Most filters are disposable, inexpensive, and available for purchase at any hardware or home supply store.

· Store Outdoor Furniture. Cold, wet weather can wreak havoc on outdoor furniture, especially if it’s made from wood or wicker. Clean your outdoor furniture and put it away for the winter. Vinegar and warm water is an effective way to clean outdoor furniture that’s safe for the environment! After cleaning, check to see if there are any noticeable cracks or paint chips. If so, spray paint, as necessary, with outdoor paint.

· Clean Garbage Bins. Don’t overlook the importance of cleaning outdoor garbage bins. When colder weather arrives, small critters look for cozy places! Smelly, nasty garbage cans often become that place. Use a little dishwashing liquid inside the can and then spray with your outdoor hose to wash it down. Let it dry in the sun.

· Seal the deck, porch, patio wood. Late summer is a fine time to clean and seal you’re the wood. Most sealers and stains are available by the gallon, costing no more than $30 each. There are lots of choices: clear sealer, toner, semi-transparent stain or solid stain. Each comes with a different reapplication technique. Check for missing nails, screws or screws that need tightening

· Clean the windows. Muggy humid Louisiana summer weather may have your windows looking streaky and grimy. Clean all your window panes. Clean the frame of the window first, and then clean the glass immediately after. For a great streak-free look, use vinegar or a multipurpose cleaner on the glass and wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth or rolled up newspaper.

· Inspect the attic. Check your insulation for gaps and have them filled as needed. Look for any water damage on roof sheathing, rafter, or trusses.

· Seal cracks in the driveway and walkways. Over time, weather and vegetation will cause cracks and depressions in your driveway or walkways that you will want to fix before winter. If you have a propane tank, be sure to clear a pathway for the delivery drivers to access your tank easily.

· Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make any necessary replacements. Don’t forget about the batteries in your thermostat!

· Check your hot water heater. You should set your hot water heater to 120F or below to avoid potential burns. To help your hot water heater maintain the temperature more cost-effectively, consider wrapping it with an insulated wrap.

· Clean the stove. Remove the stove grates, burners and coils and wash with warm water and soap. The build-up of grease can increase the chances of a fire. Also, vacuum behind the stove to remove any dirt and dust build-up. If you use propane, now’s a great time to fill up!

· Have your wood stove or fireplace cleaned and inspected. Have a professional clean your wood stove and chimney before using each year. If you don’t have a chimney cap, consider installing one to discourage birds from nesting in the chimney.

Don’t forget that Busy Bea Home Inspection LLC offers “Home Maintenance Inspections”!

Call Lisa Bea at 318-419-3108

Check out my website at

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