Wanna get your hands dirty, eh?
Well, you've got all our respect and support.
Here you'll find unbiased, unpaid, random tips and product recommendations from our personal experience.
• Buy a bucket with a squared handle. Take one end of a bungee cord and, just below the hook, tie a tight knot around the bucket handle corner. Do the same with the other end at the other corner. It should look like this. Now the bungee hooks can hold the bucket onto the gutter while you work. Keep an eye on bucket weight.
Here's the idea. Suit it to your needs and be sure it feels secure before beginning work. Click pictures to enlarge.
Covers and Strainers
Most 1 and 2 story homes have roofs that a homeowner can maintain without calling a company like us. Here's how:
If you already clean your own gutters, you're the perfect candidate to treat and control moss on your own roof. Many roofs can even be treated by someone who's standing on the ground. Try this:
Grab your garden hose and attach a jet or stream nozzle to it. From the ground or from a ladder height you're comfy with, see how much of your roof you can get wet. Don't shoot water under the shingles, just act like you're watering the roof.
The area you can water represents the area you can apply moss treatment to. Ace, Home Depot and Lowe's all carry moss killers that come in a premixing bottle that attaches to your hose. They shoot about as far as your jet nozzle.
Treat the roof about as often as your gutters need cleaning. Pay more than the usual attention to areas with branches that block the sun and areas that face the north. These often need more frequent treatment. Always stay a step ahead of the moss as the goal is to prevent growth.
Does this look a little more familiar? Don't let the height at the peak intimidate you. If this homeowner can clean their gutter, treating this house can be done easily at the same time. Notice the areas he could spray from just two ladder positions. Click for larger image.
Window cleaning doesn't have to be complicated or streaky. Try these options:
For Exterior Windows - For less than $20, purchase the pad and holder shown to the left. This pad is window-safe and can scrub a good 90% of your dirt and grime off. Apply a dab of mild dish soap directly or dip the pad in a mixed solution of water/dish soap or water/vinegar. 1) Wet the window with your hose, 2) scrub it with the pad, (keep the window wet while scrubbing, always). 3) rinse it well and walk away.
The method above is also excellent for cleaning exterior skylights. Keep the window wet while scrubbing, always.
For Interior Windows - Try out the Mystic Maid Microfiber cloth shown. It sounds weird, I know. BUT these guys are very handy and, when used with clean warm/hot water and vinegar, they deliver an excellent clean without streaks. Dip, wring out very well, fold and wipe the whole window. Flip to a clean side and wipe evenly from side to side as a final sweep. Run the rag along the outer inch of the pane all the way around and let dry. We've done entire houses with tiny little panes using just these. Give them a try.
Never use a dish sponge scrubber on any window or glass that isn't a dish. They are known to leave permanent scratches.
Never use a razor blade on tempered glass. How do you know if a window is tempered? Check for the label subtly etched into the corner of the glass. It should say "TEMPERED" in all caps. If you still aren't sure, here are the prime suspects:
•Panes in or immediately surrounding any door
•Larger windows that extend down closer to the floor than your average window