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Super Handyman: Use your hose when cleaning gutters

Before I put in the gutter guards, I had to clean out my gutters several times a year. I remember that one was always really bad, as it was at the corner of my house where the elm trees were really overhanging them. These leaves are small and can clog up a gutter in no time at all. I did find a pretty successful way to clean them out and without having to climb up a ladder. I would just stick the hose up the downspout as far as I could and turn it on full blast. Yes, I usually did get splashed a little bit, but the leaves would come flying out the top freeing it up pretty quickly. I kind of miss it, as it was sort of fun!

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Q: My string trimmer has a rechargeable battery. For some reason it won’t run very long anymore. What causes this? Is there any way to prevent it or make the battery last longer? – R.H.

A: Make sure that there isn’t grass or weeds or any other material that has gotten wrapped around the shaft. Also check your owner’s manual. In many cases, storing your battery in excessive heat or cold can prevent proper charging. And, keep in mind, if it’s a couple of years old, it’s typical that they will stop charging fully.

Tips from readers

I know we have all had more than our fair share of snow to shovel this season. I can’t believe how much we’ve had this year. I have become quite the expert and even help some of my neighbors do their driveways. My secret weapon is nonstick cooking spray. I spray my shovel with the spray before I use it. The snow slides right off when you do this and that does cut way down on the time it takes to clear a driveway. I’ve tried oil but the spray is so much easier to use. Try it and see if it does a good job for you, too. – P.A.

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I have a new sliding glass patio door, but it’s starting to glide less smoothly than it did when I got it. I wasn’t sure what to try, but I greased the track with petroleum jelly. That worked great! I think it is smoother now than it ever was. I just thought I’d pass this info on to you and your readers. Maybe someone else can try it, too. – F.G.

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I have always loved the look of a door with a rounded top. One of my neighbors has one, and I covet it every time I see it. I got a great idea and tried it out, and it looks amazing. I bought some wooden corner brackets, stained them to match the door-frame trim that I have, and installed them in the top corners of the door frame, in front of the door. From the street, it looks like the door is round at the top. It doesn’t interfere with the way it opens and closes, but it really looks neat. – H.T.

Super HandyMom tip

I usually carry a small tape measure with me, but when I needed one the last time I was at the hardware store, I couldn’t find it. I did, however, have a dollar bill, which just happens to be 6 inches long. That was all I needed to measure the wall hanging I was looking at.

Got a question or a handy tip? Visit www.thesuperhandyman.com.