Chores You Can’t Ignore

Chuck and Allison Kelley with their children.

Chuck and Allison Kelley with their children.

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Chelsea and Allison power wash the house.

Chelsea and Allison power wash the house.

Young families like Chuck and Allison Kelley’s have plenty of things vying for their time, energy and money, so I love it when we can help them maintain their homes without a lot of sacrifice.

Here’s what we did to catch them up on some chores that shouldn’t be ignored:

  • Cleaned the gutters, roof valleys and skylights
  • Repaired damaged shingles and replaced the roof jacks
  • Trimmed low-hanging branches
  • Built a new no-sag gate
  • Pressure washed the home exterior
  • Fixed a dripping tub faucet
  • Added insulation to the attic

Maintaining the Roof

The Kelleys’ roof had seen better days, but with some maintenance, they can probably get a few more years out of it.

Chuck and Danny clean the roof and gutters.

Chuck and Danny clean the roof and gutters.

We started by removing loads of pine straw from the valleys and gutters. While we were up there, we cleaned the dirt and grime off the skylights with soap and water; harsh cleaners would have scratched the acrylic. For an extra measure of protection we applied some sealant to the joint where the shingles met the skylight flashing. Watch How to Clean and Inspect Your Roof for details.

Squirrels had chewed through the roof jacks, which fit over plumbing vent pipes that protrude through the roof to keep them from leaking. Squirrels often damage the jacks by chewing on the soft lead covering to sharpen their teeth. We replaced them with rubber and plastic jacks, so hopefully they will be less attractive to the squirrels. Watch How to Replace a Roof Vent Jack for more info.

At the other end of the roof we replaced some torn shingle tabs. Once we removed the damaged shingles, we cut new tabs from brand new shingles and arranged them along the ridge. We used roofing tacks in the concealed portion of the tabs to secure them and plenty of roofing cement to ensure they were sealed tight. Watch How to Replace a Damaged Asphalt Roof Shingle.

Our last chore on the roof was trimming back some low-hanging limbs. In addition to providing squirrels easy roof access, low branches can can rub the roof as they sway with the breeze. This motion can rub the granules off the shingles, shortening their lifespan and allowing moisture to get through.

Allen and Chuck work on the new gate.

Allen and Chuck work on the new gate.

Fixing a Sagging Gate


The gate on the Kelleys’ wood fence was sagging, so we used Homax EasyGate kit to build a new gate frame. Since no Z-bracing or angled cuts are required, these no-sag gates are easy to build and install.

Watch How to Build a Sag-Free Gate With a Gate Kit for detailed instructions.

Further Information

Other Tips from This Episode


Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Tip for Making a Portable Workbench

To make a simple portable workbench, all you need are two sawhorses and a pair bifold closet doors. Watch the video.


Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Ryobi Garage Door Opener

The Ryobi Ultra Quiet Garage Opener has a powerful 2 HP motor will quietly open and close large doors, and it features lots of cool accessories that set it apart. It is available at The Home Depot. Watch the video.


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Chores You Can’t Ignore