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Old 02-10-2021, 05:56 PM   #141
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I still use ladders, at least for a few more years. I check on my roof twice a year. It requires an extension ladder. I also recently replaced a roof penetration with decking and shingles. Yet, I see a time a few years off when I hire a guy.

Ladder safety requires a long checklist. Among them is a firm stance at the proper angle, and no interference from dynamic objects such as people, pets and falling objects. A tree branch is a falling object and acts unexpectedly. A tree trunk does not provide a firm stance. There are many problems with ladders and trees.

Here's a short 19 second accident. Although the branch unexpectedly hits the man directly, it could have just as easily hit the ground and bounced back to the ladder, causing the ladder to go sideways. This unexpected action of the falling branch is the most common way to kill yourself on a ladder while working with trees. Also note the man "holding the ladder for safety" is a do-nothing. He bails, and probably would have bailed if the branch was hitting the ladder directly. Holding a ladder is a warning sign.
I trim trees in one of the 3 way.
1. Stand on a firm ground/roof and use pole chain saw.
2. Stand on a man cage mounted on the tractor loader.
3. Climb the tree and sit firmly behind the branch. I always use trimming chain saw which gives you good grip when cutting from above. Note to self: I should start using harness in case the branch snaps.

Ladder for tree trimming is just not safe.
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Old 02-10-2021, 07:18 PM   #142
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Boho maintenance tip #2: replace Philips head faucet handle screws with slotted or square drive screws and buy a ratchet. Who would use an electric screwdriver for a faucet handle? What's the purpose of a faucet screw that cams out?
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Old 02-10-2021, 07:37 PM   #143
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At age 75, I went up on the roof today to straighten up my TV antenna, and turn it slightly so ABC and TBN stations' signals get picked up. Seems like after a windstorm, that darned antenna gets blown slightly at an angle and loses the signal. I did tighten the bolts down as good as I could to keep it in alignment. Used an extension ladder on my two storey house. This was before I did my five mile walk in the hills today, so I was alert and not all tired out! And I am here to tell you all the tale. I survived.

I had briefly thought about putting my cell phone in my shirt pocket, just in case---but didn't. My bad.
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Old 02-10-2021, 08:16 PM   #144
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Rethinking my posts on page 1, as I was safely climbing my new telescoping ladder to look in the attic and potentially go up in there. I'm fine doing that now (age 59), but some day I won't be. Do I really want to call and pay for someone for every little task that I don't feel safe doing myself? Maybe I would rather live in a place that has an on-site maintenance person. And considering that they'll charge me for their travel time and not just the 5 minutes I might need, it probably would come out better that way.
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Old 02-10-2021, 10:17 PM   #145
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Do I really want to call and pay for someone for every little task that I don't feel safe doing myself? ........And considering that they'll charge me for their travel time and not just the 5 minutes I might need, it probably would come out better that way.
I hired a plumber to replace kitchen faucet. His bill included travel time both ways, both days! Final bill which included an under $300 faucet was almost $1000. Also included the half hour he went out and sat in his van, while ostensibly talking to local plumbing supply houses to find a good faucet.

No, I won't be using that plumber again!
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:51 AM   #146
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They live in an area with really sandy soil so it drains nicely. Still their basement is always a bit damp. In normal situations you could end up with foundation problems, wet crawlspaces, etc.
We live in an area with clay soils, and the back half of our yard has been so wet as to be unwalkable for weeks.
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Old 02-11-2021, 09:10 AM   #147
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We live in an area with clay soils, and the back half of our yard has been so wet as to be unwalkable for weeks.
Ditto. Gutters with good drainage away from the foundation are critical here, especially if you have a daylight basement.

The southeast is going on a 10 year run of above normal precipitation. It has built on each year and we are saturated right now. Any and all water drawn away from the foundation is important.

That's one reason I nearly killed myself with my PVC drainage project. I'm feeling every bit of my age and realize this is the last time I'll ever try to dig anything more than a 2 gallon hole.
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Old 02-11-2021, 10:19 AM   #148
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Home maintenance tip: It may be a good idea to remove and clean faucets every few years to keep them easily removable. I think mine are over 15 years old and the handle removing tool got bent out of shape. I had to re-bend it and use wire and strap for bracing and turn the handle with large pliers. I had my safety glasses on. The pressure required was a little scary. I think normally the pipe under the sink is cut in this situation, instead of trying to rig up some clamping.

It worked but the handle was slightly chipped from the slippage. The handles are from a Gerber 42-426 faucet.
When reinstalling the faucet handles, put a little plumbing grease (or Vaseline or wheel bearing grease should work too) on the serrated valve stem where the handle mounts to slow corrosion.

Interesting, our toilets say "Gerber" on them too. The tank flapper is unique in size (it's smaller) to that brand and was almost impossible to find. No aftermarket ones are made. I had to order them from a plumbing supply house in Chicago at about $15 a piece. The universal flappers do not fit! These are relatively new toilets too, house was built in 2012.
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Old 02-11-2021, 10:36 AM   #149
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When reinstalling the faucet handles, put a little plumbing grease (or Vaseline or wheel bearing grease should work too) on the serrated valve stem where the handle mounts to slow corrosion.

Interesting, our toilets say "Gerber" on them too. The tank flapper is unique in size (it's smaller) to that brand and was a almost impossible to find. No aftermarket ones are made. I had to order them from a plumbing supply house in Chicago at about $15 a piece. The universal flappers do not fit! These are relatively new toilets too, house was built in 2012.
Ugh...I hate non-standard toilets...after many fixes on a relative's decorative toilets (tank same height as bowl) I convinced them to let me replace them all with the Drake model by Toto.

And I like Korky for (standard) replacement flappers...they seem the most resistant to chemicals like chlorine in the water.
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Old 02-12-2021, 10:55 PM   #150
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Two years ago when we bought our 11 year old house, on day one I noticed all 3 of the (Gerber) toilets leaked. So I "clocked" one buy lifting the lid off of the tank and turning off the toilet water valve and then I timed how long it took for the tank to drain. It was about 5 minutes! The other two toilets had the original flappers too, that warped and leaked like amounts of water. I calculated the previous owner was loosing about 550 gallons of water a day from the 3 leaky flappers. It was probably more than that because as a I timed how long it took for the toilet tank to leak down, as the water level fell, so did the pressure on the flapper and correspondingly, the leak slowed. If the toilet valve was on, the tank would remain full as it leaked and he leak would not slow because the tank would remain full.

In my previous reply I noted that Gerber toilet flappers are special order and it took about a week to get them. Looking at a 500 plus gallons loss a day for 7 days, I turned off the toilet water valves until we had to flush. DW was not thrilled about that!

It's amazing what some people never think of. I wonder how much the previous owner spent on water that leaked from her toilets. I noticed it within an hour of being in the house. Just a slight drip sound coming from the toilet.

Found serval other minor neglected items too. Not-so-minor was discovering during cleaning and checking the furnace, that it's secondary heat exchanger was plugged (its a condensing furnace) due to too small a filter installed allowing air to bypass it. It was a dirty and tedious job cleaning that up.

Nope, don't think I can easily give up maintaining my house!
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Old 02-13-2021, 09:11 AM   #151
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Globe Union handles tech services for Gerber and they're great. They sent me a free O-ring set for my spout and gave me the dimensions of the O-rings. It's a discontinued model from 15-20 years ago and they didn't care about whether I registered the product or anything.

I think I once glued a torn flapper and it lasted for months or years longer. I don't think there can be a catastrophic flapper failure that I can't handle while waiting for a replacement.

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When reinstalling the faucet handles, put a little plumbing grease (or Vaseline or wheel bearing grease should work too) on the serrated valve stem where the handle mounts to slow corrosion.
Good idea. I have some silicone grease for the O-rings that I'm afraid to use on them because I don't want the chemicals in my drinking water, but I can use it on the stem. One reason I insisted on getting the O-rings through Gerber is that there are rubber additives that make some O-rings work better when the spout is moved and I figure I'm more likely to get that with a good brand. I don't trust the no-name O-ring kits from Amazon or Ebay. I don't even trust plumber's O-rings. Who knows where they get them.
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Old 02-20-2021, 12:16 PM   #152
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Ditto. Gutters with good drainage away from the foundation are critical here, especially if you have a daylight basement.

The southeast is going on a 10 year run of above normal precipitation. It has built on each year and we are saturated right now. Any and all water drawn away from the foundation is important.
We moved to Virginia in 2019, and it seems like it has been raining more days than not since that fall. My upcoming drainage project is a second downspout on our covered patio to take some water further away from the crawl space.
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Old 02-20-2021, 12:33 PM   #153
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My advice is for the survivor to move to a lower housing maintenance solution. I included similar words in my instructions letter.
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Old 02-20-2021, 02:04 PM   #154
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My advice is for the survivor to move to a lower housing maintenance solution.
With one child, who is not inclined to live near where we live, I feel rather strongly about making the move while I/we can manage the transition ourselves.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:39 PM   #155
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Am I overreacting? How have others managed this transition from DIY to depending on others?
I'm 59. I was a licensed home inspector for 7 years, and for the past 2 years I've been doing some minor handyman work. I used to do nearly all the work on our personal house except a few things that require specialized knowledge or things that were just too big of a job such as a new roof.

The way I've been dealing with it thus far is "tapering". I still do most things, but for example our water heater is in our basement, and it went out. I'm not strong enough to carry the thing upstairs anymore, so I hired a plumber. We had some minor settling cracks in our drywall, and I did the prep work to clean out the cracks, tape them, and first coat of mud...but I know a drywall guy who's good and I let him do the final coat and texturing of the ceiling. I have a very tall skylight in our house that will require some scaffolding to paint...I'm hiring a painter for that even though I'm very good at paint work...just don't have scaffolding and this will require some "agile" person to get up in the "tunnel" of the skylight.

I'd say just do what you can, but start to develop relationships with pros for the things you can't do or don't want to do.

Good luck!
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:49 PM   #156
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<snip> Rethinking my posts on page 1, as I was safely climbing my new telescoping ladder to look in the attic and potentially go up in there. I'm fine doing that now (age 59), but some day I won't be. <snip>
This one I might consider hiring out, even at my current age:
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Old 03-06-2021, 06:46 PM   #157
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This one I might consider hiring out, even at my current age:
Yeah, me, too. But I routinely see people in their 70's climbing a ladder to get on top of their motorhome to wash and check or reseal the roof. It's pretty common, actually, especially for the people who live in a motorhome full-time.

Ray
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:14 PM   #158
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<snip> I feel I can continue for some time using the lawn tractor, felling trees, and so forth, but the end of being able to do such things does worry me. <snip>
Here is a method for removing even very large trees by one person without felling them
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:30 PM   #159
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Yeah, me, too. But I routinely see people in their 70's climbing a ladder to get on top of their motorhome to wash and check or reseal the roof. It's pretty common, actually, especially for the people who live in a motorhome full-time.
Ray
That sounds like a bad idea. It's all a matter of knowing one's limits and when to downsize. This one you can just flip on it's side, no ladder needed to wash the top.
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Felling trees
Old 03-07-2021, 07:39 AM   #160
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Felling trees

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Here is a method for removing even very large trees by one person without felling them
Thank you, sir!
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