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Free Book: Guide to Exterior Home Repairs


Guide to Exterior Home Repairs

80 Great Exterior Home Maintenance Tips and Ideas

Guide to Exterior Home RepairsWith this book you will learn how to tackle must do exterior repairs for your home, You'll find dozens of helpful tips and ideas covering the following:
* Roof Repairs
* Gutters and Downspouts
* Concrete Work
* Siding Repairs and Maintenance
* Chimney Repairs
* Tools and Ladders
* Water System
* and more
Here's just a small sample of the tips included:

Outside Projects
If you plan to install a skylight, position it on the northern slope of your roof. Because a skylight can really heat up a room on a sunny day, make sure the attic is well ventilated.
If you camouflage telephone poles or clothes lines with black paint, they seem to disappear.
When installing an antenna, position it where it cannot fall across a power line.
If water is seeping into your basement, inspect to see if water collects on the ground near the foundation of the house. Soil should slope away from a house, so if the ground is level or slopes in toward the foundation, you may be able to solve your seepage problem by regarding the soil so it slopes properly.
To keep water from collecting where a paved area meets the foundation of your home, undercut the joint, fill it with mortar, and then shape the mortar into a smooth curve with the back of a spoon.
Help prevent ice dams by installing insulation between the rafters in your attic. Use insulation with a vapor barrier and leave air

space between the vapor barrier and roof boards under an un-derhang. The insulation should be 6 inches deep.
You can also prevent ice dams by providing ventilation for the attic through the soffit vent between lookout beams, which can be located by nail heads in the soffit.

Chimney Repairs
The chimney in your home should be inspected each year just before the cold season to reduce the chance of fire and to increase efficiency.

You'll see more if you inspect the chimney from the top. On a bright day use a mirror to reflect sunlight down into the chimney. If you can't look down a chimney, inspect it with a strong flashlight and mirror from a fireplace or from the flue opening for a stove pipe.
If the chimney has crumbling mortar, be careful as you chip away cracked, loose mortar in preparation for tuck pointing or remortaring. A chimney in poor condition could topple at any time.

Tools and Ladders
To keep your hands free while you're making repairs, make a holster for the nails and screws you'll need. Take a paper cup and make 2 vertical slits in it about an inch apart; the slits should be wide enough to let you slip your belt through them.
When working on a steeply sloped roof, keep your tools on a sheet of plastic foam. That way they won't slide off.
Need a place to hold your hammer when you're on the roof? Attach a shower curtain ring to your belt and slip the hammer through it.

When using an aluminum ladder, watch out for power lines: aluminum conducts electricity.
If you're planning to work on a ladder extended to its full height, gain stability by lashing the bottom rung to 2 stakes driven into the ground under and to the sides of the ladder.
Before climbing up a ladder test the bottom rung to make sure the ladder is solidly footed.
The best way for a lone worker to raise a ladder is to pin its feet against the base of the house and push the ladder up from the other end, hand over hand, until it is upright. Keep your hips within the ladder's rails.

Extend the top 2 rungs higher than the place where you're working. The ladder should always extend up above the roof.
Make sure your ladder has firm support at the top. Placing it against a window sash or close to an edge means a slight shift could cause you to fall.

Water System
If you're shutting down your house for the winter, turn off the house water supply at the underground street valve.
Here's a fast way to clean the house water pipes of water when shutting down a house. After the water heater has been drained and everything else is empty, there may be water left in low spots
in the horizontal mains. Just stick the end of a running air compressor hose into an opened outdoor hose faucet. The air pressure will shoot the water out wherever there is an opening. When only air comes out, you're done. This beats crawling under the house to drain the pipes.
When shutting down your water system, open all the faucets and outdoor hose spigots to drain. Flush the toilet and sponge out remaining water from tank. Drain or blow water out of fixture
traps, including the toilet. After removing all the tap water from the sink and lavatory traps, fill the traps with a mixture of a little kerosene and a lot of denatured alcohol. Kerosene will keep the alcohol from evaporating.

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