Friends in High Places….

Ray Flynn, a resident of New Hampshire, blogger and co-author of How to DIY Damn Near Everything, found our website and reached out in the interest of submitting some basic homeowner DIY maintenance tips, compliments of he and his old buddy Bret Engel who pal around on home projects. BRING IT ON! We welcome these DIY guys to the fold, and like having a few KNU friends from the Granite State. New Hampshire also claims the fragrant purple lilac, white birch and the capitol city of Concord.

Excerpts below:


Snow, rain and winds bring down an awful lot of debris onto your house over the winter months. Much of it ends up in your gutters and downspouts, where clogging prevents the free flow of rainwater that’s so important to preventing roof and foundation damage and keeping the wood trim along the eaves from rotting. You’ll need a step or extension ladder depending on the height and accessibility of your gutters, a tool for loosening up and clearing out debris, and a length of hose so you can run water to make sure everything’s working properly. It’s an ideal DIY job because it doesn’t require a lot of technical ability or tools but be very careful while using the ladder and especially if you need to get up on the roof. Don’t wait long to take care of your gutters.

Protect outside woodwork

If you have a wooden fence, deck, railing or trellis, it’s taken quite a beating during the winter. Protect them from the sun, rain and termites with a good coating of stain or sealant. Your woodwork will last longer and look better if you do this on a regular basis. While you’re at it, check for any structural damage that may require repairs. This is another good DIY task, since all you really need is a few cans of sealant and some good brushes. You can also apply it as a spray.

Check out the roof

Your roof can sustain damage during the winter, so give it a good look before spring storms roll in and confirm it for you. Look for any missing or damaged shingles and check for discoloration on walls and ceilings that might indicate a leak. Look carefully, because water damage can take place on the inside of your walls and may not immediately be apparent. If you find any structural damage that requires more extensive work, you’ll need to contact a professional roofer.

Driveways & walkways

If you have cracks in your driveway or walkways, water that gets into them freezes during the winter and expands as it turns to ice, enlarging the crack. Left unattended, it can eventually turn into your own private pothole. Asphalt and simple concrete damage can often be filled and repaired, though more extensive damage is probably more than the average weekend DIYer is able, or willing, to handle.

Tool safety

Even the simplest tools, from a hammer to a screwdriver, can cause an injury if used improperly. Take careful note of how to use tools correctly if you’re going to do any DIY work on your home, especially if that means using power tools. If you’re using hedge trimmers or some other tool that has to be plugged in, be very careful not to cut through the cord.

Home maintenance is very important and, unless you find structural damage, can usually be done without paying for professional help. Make sure you have the right tools, and always take safety precautions.

For more information on everything DIY, green projects, eco-friendly materials, more ideas and How to DIY Damn Near Everything, visit

Thanks Ray for your submission!


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