b'hard truths ladder safety Use the right ladder for the job. Plenty of accidents are caused by someone using a ladder thats too short. Place the ladder on firm, level ground and ensure that the safety locks are engaged,so the ladder doesnt slide out of position.Keep your weight evenly distributed. Climbin the centre of the ladder, hold the side rails with both hands and keep your belt buckle within the sides of the ladder. You should have three contact points at any onetime, which allows you one free hand.ReseneDouble Grey Olive maintain your home. Home exteriors should be washed annually with an appropriate cleaning product, such as Resene Paint Prep and Housewash. Some colours are naturally more durable than others and will retain their colour longer. Even when the colour has faded or lightly chalked, the paint system may still be sound even though the colour has changed.Do not use water blasters on weatherboard houses as water can be driven under the boards and into the insulation or wall linings. There are many specialist firms who can wash the house for you.Scrape off flaking paint and sand until smooth using increasingly fine grades of sand paper. If you are repainting an older home, the previous paint finish may contain lead. Until around 1965, many paints had high lead levels. Even if a building has been recently painted, it may have been painted with lead based paints or have layers of old paint covered by modern paint. If you suspect the paint on your home may be lead based, get it tested before you start working on it. Lead based test kits are available from Resene ColorShops. If you find the paint is lead based, see the Resene Putting your safety first brochure for advice. Lead based paint can result in harm to the people doing the job, the people who live or work nearby and the environment.When it comes to repainting, you will need to treat any moss, mould and algae with Resene Moss & Mould Killer, clean down thesurface,sandandprime/undercoatwhereneeded.Fillany little holes or cracks that have been exposed by the undercoat. Apply two coats of exterior paint in the sheen level desired, such as Resene Sonyx 101 semi-gloss or Resene Lumbersider low sheen then sit back, relax and enjoy your well maintained home. wordsCate Foster'