Weekly Home Help with information on how to clean your gutters safely, how to revive your lawn after drought, a home-selling tip and more.
If more homeowners knew the proper way to clean out their roof gutters, there would be less deaths and injuries.
Fall is the season when gutters are cleaned out in preparation for the rainy season ahead. If the rainwater doesn’t flow properly through the gutter and downspout system, costly home repairs can add up from rainwater damage. It’s time to clean out those clogged gutters, and to do it safely.
Here are some of the safety basics of cleaning your gutters:
Ladder safety: Always let someone know you will be using a ladder to work on your roof or gutters. Use a safe and sturdy ladder, preferably with a small shelf that is strong enough to hold a 5-gallon bucket to collect gutter debris. Make sure to secure the bucket with a lanyard.
Garden hose: Use a garden hose with a pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle. This type of spray nozzle allows you to adjust the water pressure with the use of just one hand. This style of spray nozzle comes with a handy pistol-grip trigger, allowing it to be easily hung over the front edge of the gutter while moving the ladder, or while using a gutter scoop.
Gutter scoop: Stay away from using a metal scooping tool because the bottom of the gutter and seams can be damaged and scratched. Scraping the bottom of a steel gutter can introduce areas to rust, and if the bottom of the gutter is already rusting, the rusting process could speed up.
-- Gutterglove Inc.
Cleaning Tip: Car upholstery
For upholstery, use a mild solution (a couple of drops per gallon) of dishwashing detergent and water to clean seats. Dip a clean towel into the solution and rub gently. For leather upholstery, a leather cleaner is recommended, although the homemade cleaner can be used. After cleaning leather, rub in a conditioner. Use the treatment every six months.
-- HGTV/ Scripps Howard News Service
Home-Selling Tip: Put in some yard work
Before putting a house on the market, put in some outdoor work to make it shine. Get a "home-wash" attachment for the hose to clean the exterior. Clean out the gutters as well as windows and screens. Buy new house numbers that you can see from the curb after installed.
Going Green: Jamba Juice to nix polystyrene cups
Smoothie chain Jamba Juice announced they will phase out its use of polystyrene cups by 2013. A petition was started on change.org by fifth-grader Mia Hansen from California, and it gathered 135,000 signatures after three weeks.
Did You Know …
The median time a home was listed for sale on the market was 69 days in July, down 29.6 percent from 98 days in July 2011. – Realtor.org
New Products: New look for iTunes
Apple says a revamp to its iTunes content-management software is underway to streamline the site's look and make music more accessible on the iCloud service, among other features. Expect the change in October.
-- Consumer Reports Electronics Blog
Garden Guide: Reviving a dormant lawn
If a dormant lawn has received as little as one-quarter to one-half an inch of water a month, the crowns are probably still alive and recovery will be easier. If the lawn has gone without any water, chances are that some areas are completely dead. A strong renovation plan is in order.
-- University of Illinois Extension
GateHouse News Service