Leaf blower uses: Home Zone

INDIANAPOLIS — There are so many projects that people want to do around their house, yard or apartment, but they don’t know where to start.  

You can always pay someone else to do it, but there’s something much more satisfying to say you did that!  

Home Zone

That’s why we are starting a new segment on FOX59’s morning news called Home Zone.  

Normally you can see me, Scott Jones co-anchoring the morning show.  But now, I will also be walking you through some fun projects and give you tips and tricks on doing things fast, fun and easy. 

I also want YOUR ideas on projects so we can show our viewers what you’ve done and how you did it.  You can send those to my Facebook page or Twitter and we can chat there.  I’m looking for YOU to help me walk people through your project or how-to video.  

This segment is about cool ideas to spruce up where you live.  Some are basic and others are more detailed.  There will be something for everyone, with a lot of the ideas that are unique.  

I’m sharing some of the many projects I’ve done around my house.  Some have taken WAY too long.  But my mistakes will be your gain as you’ll learn what not to do as well, and how to to do it faster and with the least amount of money.

These projects will include basement remodeling, putting in a home gym, plumbing, simple electrical work, drywalling, painting, lighting, landscaping, arts and crafts, and ideas you may not have thought about, including making your own drop ceiling or lighting grid.  

We are also talking to some experts in their fields to show you step by step ways to get your project done without making mistakes.  

Bonus way to use leaf blower: Snow removal

In the very first Home Zone, I’m showing you three ways to use your leaf blower that you probably haven’t thought about.

Scott vs. Snow

The first idea for a leaf blower is not using it on leaves at all.  With Indiana’s ever changing weather, this idea can be used probably four months out of the year.  The first idea is good for whenever snow decides to hit.  Don’t forget, just last year, we had snow in April!  

With that in mind, use a leaf blower to clear snow off your walkways, around your garage doors, and your entire driveway.  

After about three inches of snow recently, I used a leaf blower to clear off a driveway that was about 70 feet long and 15 feet wide in under 10 minutes.  You can make quick work of the entire driveway, especially if the snow isn’t sopping wet. 

The best tip is to use a gas powered blower or a strong battery operated one.  I have a battery operated snow blower that blasts 650 cubic feet of air per minute, and lasts at full blast for about 15 minutes.  There are a variety on the market, but if you’re curious, here’s the one I have.  Shop around and make sure it includes the battery!  There is no gas and no extension cord, but keep in mind most rechargeable batteries at full speed don’t last much longer than 15 minutes.  I found it worked well, unless you let more than several inches accumulate. 

I also used a plug-in leaf blower with a long extension cord for most of the gutter work because it has a more narrow nozzle that fits nicely into the gutter.  Plug-in models are also much cheaper than gas powered models or big battery models.

Bonus way to use leaf blower: Removing leaves from gutters

Of course leaf blowers are meant for leaves that are on the ground.  But what about the second idea for using leaf blowers: Clean out those gutters!  After all, cleaning gutters is no fun and not always easy.  

If your roof isn’t very high up, you can use a ladder and have someone hold it to be more safe.  Video shows I’m standing about seven feet off the ground on the ladder blowing the leaves out of the gutter on a ranch house.  Just make sure to blow the leaves that aren’t right next to your body, so they don’t go up into your face.  

It works especially great for a single story house with a low angled roof, where it’s easy to walk on.  You can also use a harness for extra safety.  

Here’s a key to make it work as a gutter cleaner:  Use the blower attachment that aims the air right into the gutter for best results.  That means use the pointy one, which is probably not the technical term.  I cleaned one side of a house’s gutters in about five minutes.   

It’s best to do this when it’s been dry a few days so the leaves come out easier as they won’t be heavy and wet.  By the way, If it’s a steep roof or a tall roof, don’t try it, call a pro.  

Bonus way to use leaf blower: Clear snow from vehicle

The third and final idea for your leaf blower is another snowy day usage.  You can clean off your vehicle and everybody else’s.  When it’s supposed to snow, I often keep my battery- powered blower it in my car, charged and ready to go.

Recently, I took the blower out and cleared off my car and a dozen others in about 3 minutes.  

One more bonus idea you will see when you watch the main video: blow drying your coworkers even if they don’t really need it.