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Let us be the neighbor you borrow from this summer

Would you like to borrow some tools to help you wash or paint your house in this perfect summer weather? Do we have a deal for you!

Thanks to a generous donation by COSMO Manufacturing in Cosmopolis, we have plenty of equipment we loan out for free. All we require is a modest deposit, which is returned when the tools are.

So, if you are planning to wash or paint your house and would like to borrow our pump sprayers and long-handled brushes for the job, give us a call. We also have tools such as rollers and roller racks, caulk guns, putty knives, scrapers, wire brushes, drop clothes, buckets and ladder stand-off attachments for safety.

In this climate, most houses need to be painted every five to seven years, especially on the south and west faces. Those homes near the salty beaches typically need more care and painting more frequently than those inland.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – a good paint job not only approves the appearance of your home and your neighborhood, it also protects your house from mold, rot and bug infestations, lengthening the life of your major investment!

What many folks don’t know is that even washing your house can make a huge difference! A good annual scrub can save years on your paint job, plus noticeably improving the appearance of your house.

We recommend you buy some 30 Second Cleaner and use a little elbow grease and your tools or ours to at least give your house a good bath, even if you’re not going to paint this year. At the very least, you might consider washing the north side – you’ll recognize it by the green moss.

Just call us here at NeighhborWorks of Grays Harbor from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday at (360) 533-7828 to reserve the equipment.


Even though painting can be one of the most inexpensive ways to spruce up – and protect – your house, the price of paint isn’t as low as it used to be, but it is a much better product.

So, before heading to the paint store, take a closer look at your paint job. If the surfaces are intact, maybe a good scrub and a little touch up here and there will buy you another year or two.

That’s right, not only will a good scrub cost much less than paint and make your house look bright, it actually lengthens the life of your paint job! That’s because with the dirt and grim gone, moss and mildew don’t have a good place to grow and slowly eat away at your house paint.

We actually recommend washing your exterior every year. Sure, it takes a little while, but it’s much faster and far less expensive than repainting.

To wash the house, just get a bucket of water with a light dishwashing soap like Dawn and apply it using a soft boat type scrub brush on a broom stick and extension pole. As we said, we like “30 Second Cleaner” for siding with mold-mildew on it. It’s great for vinyl-siding, too. Follow the directions carefully. Remember to rinse each section and any plants in the overspray zone. You will be happy and surprised how quickly this cleaning chore can be accomplished!

We do not recommend the use of a pressure washer for this job. Over the years, we’ve just seen too much bubbled paint from saturated siding damaged by overzealous owners who ended up doing more harm than good. A soapy boat brush and a hose are your friends!


If you have cracked and peeling paint, a simple wash will not suffice this time. Summer is the time to think about painting and with this great weather you’re right on time to start the prep.

Not everyone is a DIY-person, so you may need to hire-out the job. If that’s the case, we suggest getting two or three bids.

Once you’ve settled on your contractor, make sure to have a short written contract addressing such issues as total cost and tax for prep, colors and trim, type of paint sheen, (satin, flat, etc.) when payment is made, who is buying the supplies and paint, and when the job is to be started and finished.

Ask around and see which professional painters your friends and neighbors have been happy with and invite those companies to bid.

Whoever you ask to give you a bid, you’ll want to get going on it soon. This, of course, is the busy season for painters, and you want to get on their schedule before the weather turns into our typical rain.


For DIYers, before you begin the tedious prepping of your siding, first take a look at other things that might affect your new paint job if done out of order. For instance, do you have a mossy roof or plugged gutters?

If you have a mossy roof, take a stiff broom and remove as much as possible. To kill the roots, use the powdered or liquid variety of Moss Off. If you use the liquid hose-end sprayer application, you may want to cover plants below roof edge with plastic tarps. Then, simply follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Once that’s done, clean the gutters, downspouts and fascia with soapy water and a soft brush. Don’t forget to rinse thoroughly. Does the siding or trim need repairs, too? First things first, prep is 90 percent of the job.


Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. This is a non-profit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County.

Do you have questions about home repair, renting, remodeling or becoming a homeowner or one of our contractors? We have rehab loan funds at tailored rates! Call us at 533-7828, write us or visit us at 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen. Our office is ADA compliant, complete with a designated disabled parking spot, ramp and ADA compliant restroom.

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