NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor contributes to the community conversation on housing issues through a weekly column in the Daily World titled "Nailing it Down."


 Since 1999, the "Nailing it Down"articles have been published in the Daily World and other countywide weekly newspapers. NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County has collaborated with local newspapers, elected officials and local experts to publish articles covering hundreds of topics.



Nailing It Down

the blog

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October 8, 2019

Well, here we are already into October! The bite in the air – not to mention the mercury in the thermometer – lets us know that winter is on its way.

We’ve been talking recently about various kinds of heating appliances. Last week we gave a plug for ductless heat pumps – a newer kind of heating unit that has so many benefits. It is our most recommended heating unit.

Regardless of what type of primary heating you have in your home, most houses around here have at least one fireplace. Typically fireplaces are used most often for ambiance, a secondary heat source or as back up when the power goes out. Regardless how often you use yours, it’s prudent to ensure that it’s ready for the cold weather coming.

In fact, giving the entire roof a once-over soon is a great idea. So, examine your roof for lose or missing shingles as well as moss or other vegetation. In addition, look closely at the metal flashings and fascia and barge boards to make sure they are intact and secure.

Remember, as important...

September 23, 2019

The experts are predicting a wet and cold winter this year. So, we thought this was the perfect time to remind you of what kinds of maintenance your heating system might need. For some, what follows are easy checks, for others it may involve calling a handy man. Either way, ensuring a safely heated house for the winter is a good idea!


Various aspects of heating a home are some of the leading causes of home fire deaths, but a few simple safety tips can make all the difference.

Half of home heating fires occur during the months of December, January and February. So, now is an especially good time to address any concerns. Here are some heating safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment such as a fireplace, furnace, wood stove or portable space heater.

  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

  • Have a qualified professional install s...

September 9, 2019

Have you ever wondered how to really get your sliding window tracks clean?  Even with their dirt and dead flies, they are often one of the most overlooked areas inside our homes. Well, this is a great time of year to clean them – and we’ll tell you exactly what to do, later in the column.

But before we get to that, let’s review our last blog’s End of Summer To Do list. (It’s a little like school, even if you missed last week’s blog you’re not off the hook for the assignment.)


Last week we mentioned once again how a good paint job is important for your house’s siding and keeping the water, mold and mildew out! Also, we reiterated that even if you don’t paint your house this year, a scrub with 30 Second cleaner and a good rinse will get the grime off and actually help your current paint job last.

We also stressed ladder safety in the same breath as what to do if you don’t have gutter guards to keep out debris or your gutters themselves need to be secured tightly to your h...

We love it that in Grays Harbor County our city cores are being spruced up by volunteers. Their efforts to seasonally decorate, plant flowers, weed and just in general help us put on our best face, not only helps attract business, it also makes it more pleasant for all of us to live here.

If you haven’t had a chance, take a drive to Hoquiam to see what that bevy of volunteers have done to the downtown core. (We wrote all about it last week.)

Aberdeen and Montesano also have active volunteer groups, plus city-sponsored projects such as new sidewalks and signage that truly make a difference.

However, it’s not just the public spaces that give people an impression of a city, each individual house and yard combine to influence how a community presents itself.

Therefore, showing the lovely place we live in the best light is up to all of us.

Today we will give some tips for you to do just that.



One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, and we know that dealing with various “proje...

It’s amazing what a little inspiration and perspiration can do! Take a drive to downtown Hoquiam to see how volunteer efforts have beautified this city.

Thanks to some community-minded volunteers, the core of Hoquiam is getting spruced up with tidied parks, repainted signs and lots of planters full of bright flowers. And, the newly formed Hoquiam Beautification Committee says there’s more to come!

“We saw good things happening in Aberdeen with their committee and thought it would be nice to work the same sort of magic and spruce up things in Hoquiam,” said Sue Varland, one of the Hoquiam Beautification Committee’s many volunteers.

After Hoquiam City Council member Mary Stinchfield planted the idea of a volunteer group similar to the effort led through the Aberdeen Revitalization Movement’s Bloom Team --  organized by volunteers Bette Worth and Bobbi McCracken – a call went out to form a similar group in Hoquiam.  

In fact, the group consulted with McCracken. “She told us not to reinve...

With summer nearly upon us, this is a great time to make sure your deck is both safe and beautiful.


The first point of inspection should be the way the deck is fastened to the house. What you want to see is the hex-heads of bolts staggered along the deck’s rim joist, which is attached through the siding into the rim joist or framing of the house. If you only see nail heads, you will want to consult with your contractor or building official for a complete deck inspection. The installation of lags or bolts doesn’t have to be expensive, but there may be other things that need to be done.

For example, decks built closer to saltwater tend to have more problems and sooner. That salty air makes anything made of metal deteriorate more quickly. These can be metal saddles imbedded in the concrete pier blocks holding the support posts; joist clips holding each joist end and of course, nails. Even treated wood can fail, especially where the deck boards are nailed into each joist. T...

As we’re edging ever closer toward summer, we want to give you a down and dirty list of spring cleaning tasks that will give your house a good once over. We have organized them into inside and outside chores, so no matter the weather, you can knock out a few of these soon!

We think you should start by opening the windows and doors for a few hours -- pick your day well. This will take the stale smell away and also let out trapped moisture. In addition the extra light and fresh air help kill spores. Here are more chores to get your house clean!



  • Wash the inside of the windows.

  • Dust around the window frame and the blinds. Clean out the window tracks where mold, dust and dead bugs accumulate.

  • Test your smoke detectors. If you missed doing this at the switch to Daylight Savings Time, take a moment now to test your smoke detectors. Make sure they have fresh batteries.

  • Pull all appliances away from their footprint. Move your stove, refrigerator, freezer,...

The calendar says summer is around the corner. And some days the weather even agrees!

While we talked a lot this spring about the various spring cleanup days – the free days to dump your unwanted junk at the LeMay Landfill – we haven’t said too much about what other chores you ought to do to get your home ready for the summer! So, here we go!


The seasonal cold, rain and wind of winter, along with the associated mold and mildew can take their toll on your home. So, take one of these bright spring days to assess the damage of winter.

Homes in this climate need to be repainted about every four to seven years depending on the type of paint used, the quality of the prep work, the type and condition of your siding and trim, and how close you live to the salt water, among other things. 

We recommend annually treating the whole house with 30 Second Cleaner from a garden-type pump sprayer, a light scrubbing with soft brush on a pole and a good hose rinse. Be sure to follow dir...

As much as we enjoy the variety of birds that arrive each spring, their arrival means that they will also be on the lookout to find a cozy place to build their nests. So, as a homeowner, you need to stay alert so that birds making their tidy homes don’t disrupt your tidy home.

Most people would be horrified to learn of a family of rats living in their basement. However, many don’t think twice about birds nesting in their eaves. Some birds, such as starlings, English sparrows and pigeons are exceptional opportunists and should be discouraged from living anywhere in your house or garage.

At best, they might only roost on all the roofs in sight of somebody’s regular handout, all the while depositing prolific amounts of acidic droppings on each roof nearby the food. This poopy environment creates ideal conditions for supporting a healthy crop of roof moss. And worse than that, they can spread harmful diseases and create expensive structural damage to your home.


In this...

Every so often we like to pause and try to give an overview of all the various aspects of what we do here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County. (With the idea that maybe you will find something we can help you with!)

In 1981, we became officially affiliated with a nationwide organization originally known as Neighborhood Reinvestment, an organization created by Congress to address Lenders not loaning on houses in certain areas called “Red lining.” There were also so many more needs of low income, blighted communities suffering from the effects of deteriorating housing.

Now it is called NeighborWorks America and NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County is one of the oldest chartered organizations of nearly 250 located in every state and possession.

In a nutshell, our volunteer board and our staff are very committed to providing decent, safe and affordable housing opportunities for the Grays Harbor community. We want you to know about all the different programs and areas of expertise we can p...

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710 E. Market Street 
Aberdeen, WA 98520

1-866-533-7828 toll-free
360-533-7828 phone 
360-533-7851 fax

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