Q: DEAR TIM: Money is really scarce now, and the exterior of my painted home looks dingy. Is it possible to wash the outside of my home like one might wash a car? Are there house-cleaning supplies that will get off years of dirt, mildew and spider droppings? Should I pressure wash my house instead? -- Meganne W., Gilmore City, Iowa
A: DEAR MEGANNE: Money is very tight for all of us. Painting the exterior of a home can be very expensive, and sometimes it's not necessary. I believe I'm one of the few in my city who washes the exterior of my home much like I wash the car. When I do this, my clean house looks brand new. It might save you thousands of dollars.
My house is in a large city and sits just miles from two major interstates. There are many trees surrounding my home. The house gets covered with soot from the diesel exhaust of tens of thousands of trucks and organic debris generated by vegetation and tiny insects that crawl all over my home. Thousands of people suffer the same problem -- I get their e-mails each week.