Winter has come, now what?

Winter Roof Maintanenance by Forcewashing Vancouver WA

Winter has come, now what?

Winter Roof Maintanenance by Forcewashing Vancouver WAThere are a lot of things that we do to prepare for winter, and the checklist that we provided to you in one of our earlier posts is a great reminder and in printable form. But what about the things that we need to know about once winter has come?  Here are some fun and interesting pieces of information when winter hits your home.

  1. Being in the Pacific Northwest we are all very familiar with moss due to our moist environment (rainy is probably a better term) moss grows rapidly. Did you know that moss doesn’t die during the winter months in the Pacific Northwest? That’s because it doesn’t get cold enough. In fact, moss grows more rapidly! YIKES!
    • Fun Fact: Moss is a plant that grows naturally on just about any surface, including the ground, trees, sidewalks, patios, sides of homes, trailers, and of course roofs. Moss produces tiny spores that become air-borne and land on roofs with just a simple gust of wind. During the moist, cooler months, these spores grow into moss. Moss can be a very expensive thing to remove if you let it get out of hand, that’s why at Forcewashing we recommend that you keep on top of your annual moss removal with us. Did you know that you can setup an annual appointment and leave it to us to contact you and schedule your moss removal and moss treatment to keep that pesky moss away!
  2. DO NOT get on your roof to remove unwanted snow.
    • While it could be dangerous to let a large accumulation of snow sit on your roof due to its weight, it should be left to professionals to remove. Roof anchors can be installed and used to secure professionals to the roof enabling a safer and secure method to be on a frozen slippery roof while removing snow.
    • Roof anchors can be permanently installed to assure that any work on your roof by professionals is done safely. Forcewashing can install those for you when we are cleaning your roof.
  3. Frozen Downspouts, what do you do? The good news is we live in an area that doesn’t stay cold for long which means, simply leaving your frozen downspouts alone is the best option because the snow and or ice will melt.
    • If you have snow buildup around the bottom of the downspout, clear it of snow to allow the melt off to freely leave the downspout.
    • Consistently frozen solid downspouts not cleared away may require immediate attention, especially if the weather report says longer periods of colder weather is ahead because over time the ice can back up into your gutters which creates extra weight on your gutter system. This weight may increase the odds of your gutters and downspouts tearing away from your roof or siding, which can lead to bigger problems involving water leaks and improper drainage.
  4. Icicles and Ice Dams – huh?
    • An icicle forms when the sun is shining during subfreezing weather snow or ice melts by the sunlight but refreezes as it drips away. As this happens, the run off will continue to cause the icicle to grow.
    • An Ice Dam are ridges of ice that form at the edge of a roof and prevent melting snow from draining.  It occurs when you have ineffective insulation allowing the home to lose heat. The heat escapes through the roof and that causes the bottom of the snow accumulation to melt. The melted snow slowly trickles down the roof and refreezes when it reaches unheated eaves causing a blockage. Melted snow starts to backup and can seep under your shingles and drip down into the attic and that can increase your chances for the water to seep further into your home.
    • Ice Dams should be looked at by a professional to be removed and consideration should be made to the home owner of insulating the home further to prevent this problem in the future.
  5. So, how do you remove icicles or do you?
    • Let’s talk about preventing icicles first…the best way to prevent icicles from forming in the first place is to clean out gutters before freezing temps hit. This will help to keep items like leaves from clogging the downspouts and allowing water to build up.  Here is where Forcewashing can help you again, cleaning gutters is one of many specialties that we have and we are VERY good at it, just look at the reviews that we have gotten from our customers as proof!
    • But let’s say you didn’t have a chance to schedule that appointment to clean your gutters and the inevitable happens, cold temperatures followed by some NW sun; ICICLES!
    • The number one thing for you to remember here is DO NOT KNOCK DOWN THE ICICLES YOURSELF!  Falling ice is unpredictable and you could run the risk of hurting yourself or someone nearby. The other thing that knocking them down yourself could do is bring the gutter system with it which can be a costly expense. The best thing to do is call a professional who more than likely will get on the roof and use a tool to knock the icicles down safely with no people or animals around.
  6. Hanging lights on your home. While we know many of you are very happy to do this yourselves, we would like to offer a little advice that will make this a painless and fun experience.
    • Check your ladder. Each year before you use your ladder, we recommend checking it thoroughly for safety. Is it still in good working order? Is it rusted; if so think twice before using it.
    • Never hang lights on your home alone, get a partner to be there with you during the process. A partner can spot you on the ladder, can hand you the light strings so they don’t get tangled on the ground, and its always fun to hang lights with someone so you both can say “ooh” when the lights work!
    • Make sure your ladder is firmly planted on the most level ground you can find and lock it in place. Follow the National Safety Council’s advice, “Always keep three points of contact with a ladder – two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand. When using a ladder, use one with slip-resistant feet and wear clean, dry and slip-resistant shoes.”
    • Make sure to use a surge protector if you can, and make sure electrical connections are clear, clean and dry.

We hope you found this information helpful. To all of you, from all of us we wish you a very joyous holiday and a happy new year!

The Gutters Story – Facts & Fun

Forcewashing - Gutter Season in Vancouver WA

The Gutters Story – Facts & Fun

Forcewashing - Gutter Season in Vancouver WAYou know how you can tell if someone is from the Pacific Northwest?  They walk in the rain with a hooded jacket and there are few umbrellas in sight.  That’s because we know the rain will eventually stop and its usually a gentle rain that waters the grounds and trees. In heavy rain we stay indoors.

The Pacific Northwest has its season for rains, and that season is starting.  This means two things, finding the right amount of clothes layering to keep you dry and time to clean the gutters! But what if you don’t know anything about gutters? Let’s discover more about gutters together with a bit of fun thrown in, because we can all use a giggle every now and then.

Where did gutters come from?

A gutter is simply a trough that collects rain runoff and channels the water toward your downspouts which carries it to the ground away from your home and foundation. In earlier times, rain water was collected in barrels which was used to water crops, drink from and sometimes even bathe with. Cedar wooden gutters and downspouts were created to make this process of gathering the water more efficient. They soon found out that they had to line the wood with zinc to help it last longer as the wood would get waterlogged and begin to break down.

As we progressed in the years, steel entered the scene for gutters because it was not only resistant to rotting, it was strong, but it was heavy and expensive – enter in the aluminum stage. A lightweight material that offered similar durability. In fact, a machine was developed to be able to generate an aluminum gutter in a matter of minutes to any length and all this without seams!  A product that is lighter, resistant to rotting, sturdy, but we can now add seamless which means it was even stronger and leak proof.

Most gutters today are the seamless aluminum type and come in a wide variety of colors to match your homes aesthetic. They connect to downspouts which carries the water either to a source that retains it and reuses it or distributes it safely away from your home.  Gutters and downspouts combined are an essential component to your home and should always be kept in good working order.

The Gutter Dilemma

Steel and aluminum gutters have an average lifespan of 20 years where as copper gutters have a 50-year average. This is determined by weather conditions, and proper routine maintenance.  Gathering the water from roofs and depositing it into a barrel or away from your home works only IF your gutters and downspouts are in good working order. What causes it from doing its job?  CLOGS! Any loose debris that is on your roof will flow with the rain into your gutters.  Debris such as dried leaves, acorns, and pine needles which we have a lot of in the Northwest can accumulate, decompose and compress inside your gutters.  If your gutters are not cleaned, debris can pile up and redirect the water from going through your gutter to a stream of water overflowing your gutters onto your home and foundation.  This can lead to serious damage such as siding damage, soil erosion, foundation cracking, basement flooding, dry rot of your fascia boards, roofs or soffits, water damage can also bring about mold that can quickly become a health hazard.  Dried debris in gutters are also considered a fire hazard and should be removed.

Close up view on clogged Rain Gutter in the rain.

Is this picture familiar?   Gutters can be sensitive if we aren’t careful and can easily get damaged from things like leaning ladders against gutters, overflowing gutters that haven’t been cleaned, collected water can freeze and expand breaking the gutter, and overflowing gutters can stain your gutter permanently making it look less appealing.  These are just to name a few, but all these challenges can be overcome and your gutters can be in excellent working order by following a few simple steps:

  • Get your gutters cleaned at minimum in the Fall every year. If you have trees surrounding your home, you may want to consider twice a year at minimum depending upon the debris that accumulates.
  • Use guards and screens that can be added to your gutters to keep debris out and can reduce or eliminate problems thereby lengthening the life of your gutters.
  • Keep the gutter cleaning to the professionals. At Forcewashing we do several things to make sure your gutters are in top working order.We are careful not to disturb the gutter by not leaning against it.
    1. We make sure to clean them thoroughly removing all debris in buckets so that your grounds are kept clear and clean.
    2. We can treat your gutters to assure that any mildew or mold is removed maintaining a healthy gutter and the water that goes through your gutter to your downspouts will also get this treatment.
    3. We assure that your gutters are secure and can fix them if they are not.
    4. We can replace existing gutters with brand new ones that are custom fitted to your home.
    5. We make sure your downspout is working appropriately carrying water away from you home and onto the ground.We offer a variety of solutions to reduce debris in your gutters like gutter screens and guards to name a few. Some of these solutions are more permanent which means a reduction in how often you have to clean your gutter – now that’s a solution worth hearing about!

The main point here is cleaning your gutters elongates the life of the gutter which in turn extends the life of your roof, which protects your home and keeps your family safe from the elements outside.

A funny thing happened when we clean gutters…

Plant debris, moss, water, even mold is a normal occurrence when we are cleaning gutters.  But there have been a few times when even we are surprised at what we found.  Please enjoy some of the ones that left an impression on us.

Fireworks in October?


“Where’s a frog to live?”


Thirsty anyone?


Jimmy got an A for his terrarium experiment. Dad didn’t laugh about it, instead he called Forcewashing for help!


Can we say, frozen tundra gutter? 


Miss Barbie fashioning her new moss hairdo.


Call Forcewashing today and let us help keep your gutters clean and in good working condition.

Let’s get ready for winter!

Removing Fall Leaves from Gutter Forcewashing Vancouver WA

Removing Fall Leaves from Gutter Forcewashing Vancouver WAAt Forcewashing we want our customers to be ready for winter with a list of key tasks that you can start doing now. So while you’re enjoying the leaves falling, take your time through the list and let’s get prepared for winter together!

Interior Winter Checklist

  1. Check your heating and air conditioning system in your home
    • Have a professional come out and check the system to make sure you are ready for winter. Make sure that you have a spare filter on hand.
  2. Clean your chimney and order firewood
    • Have your fireplace cleaned and inspected by a professional chimney sweep.
    • Order your firewood.
    • Review old wood left over from last season, if it’s rotten you will need to remove it; if it is still in good condition, move it to the top of the pile so it is used first.
  3. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
    • Because we tend to close up our homes pretty tight during the winter and use our fireplaces or wood stoves more it’s important to make sure that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.
    • Change your batteries to new ones if you haven’t done that in a while and use the old batteries on other battery operated items in your home that are less important.
  4. Time to switch from cooling to heating on your thermostat
    • A livable temperature for the home should be set, but remember that between 50-55 degrees will help to prevent pipes from freezing when the weather drops.
    • If you are able to schedule your temperature, consider shifting to a lower temp when you are not home and a higher one when you are.
  5. The Attic Check
    • We have something in common with critters of all kinds and that is when it’s cold we seek warmth and an attic is very attractive to critters. Because of this, it’s important to do a few extra steps in making sure your attic remains critter-free.
    • Walk around the outside of your home and check your gable vents and make sure they are intact. Having a screen placed behind your gable vent could help to prevent critters from entering.
    • Make sure that there are no holes in your soffit and fascia. This can be a critter doorway.
  6. Get an energy check of your home
    • Hire a professional person to come in and perform an energy audit of your home. This will identify areas in your home that need some TLC to keep your home comfortable and utilizing the energy to its best performance.
  7. Check the seals around your windows and doors
    • For your exterior doors, make sure you can’t see daylight around your exterior doors, if you can, consider hiring someone like a handyman to apply foam insulation around the doors.
  8. Get your winter gear out!
    • Air out or dry clean your winter coats and gear.
    • Restock any salt or deicer.

Exterior Winter Checklist

  1. Check the exterior wood of your home
    • All of the wood trim on the exterior of your home needs to be protected from the elements such as trim around your windows or exterior doors. If you find trim that is rotted, it will need to be replaced by a professional; staying on top of things by keeping your wood painted and caulked is a good idea. If you find cracking caulk or paint that is chipping away, scrape it away and redo it.
    • Check your deck by pouring water on it to see if the water beads up and your deck seal is good. If the water is absorbed into the wood, it’s time to clean and seal your deck.
  2. Clean your gutters & Downspouts
    • When gutters get backed up they can overflow and the water can run down your home which can cause the deterioration of your exterior to speed up.
    • Forcewashing can help here by cleaning out your gutters and removing all the debris. At the same time, we can make sure your gutters are in good working order!
    • Make sure that downspouts are emptying away from your home, if needed add downspout extenders.
  3. Concrete or Asphalt Driveways and Patios
    • Time to get the moss out of those driveways and patios – nothing is worse than having a moss covered driveway or patio and then it snows or worse ices….that makes for one very slippery surface. Call Forcewashing and we will remove that moss on those surfaces.
    • Inspect your concrete or asphalt driveways and patios for cracks. Filling any cracks before you apply a sealer is key. A mason worker could assist with filling the cracks, and they will use the best approach and product to limit further cracking.
    • While you’re looking at your patio, cover the patio furniture; just make sure that they are nice and dry so that you won’t develop moisture when it is covered.
  4. Pool and Sprinkler Shutdown
    • If you have a pool, this is the perfect time for repairs if they are needed. We suggest hiring a pool contractor to inspect and shut down your pool system for the season.
    • Sprinklers or drip irrigation systems should be shut down for the winter. As part of this you will want the lines to be blown out – hire a professional for this, it’s worth the extra money and will prevent broken lines when you turn it on in the spring.
    • Outdoor water faucets are usually unprotected which means if we don’t drain them the water can expand and that could cause all sorts of problems. Shut off the water valve to your outside spigot, open the exterior spigot valve and let the water drain out.  You won’t get every drop, but what’s left if it freezes will be able to expand without breaking any pipes or seals. Leave the water shut off to that faucet until you need it again in the spring and don’t forget to empty and store your garden hoses!
  5. Check your trees and bushes
    • Check for any branches that are dying and have them removed. While you should not trim your tree during the fall, if there are branches that are brown and dying or that are too close to your home or on your home you need to have these removed. Weakened or dying branches when frozen can easily fall causing damage to your home.
  6. Reverse your ceiling fans
    • If you have a reverse switch on your fan, after turning on your heat consider reversing your ceiling fan to force that warm air down. Remember, warm air rises!
  7. Check your roof!
    • It’s the best time to get your roof ready for the winter by removing all the moss and debris that it has on it. This helps to maintain a healthy roof and expands the life of it.
    • At Forcewashing when we clean your roof we are also looking for loose or missing shingles and can fix those for you.
  8. Garden tools and Mower
    • Clean and sharpen the gardening tools before putting them away, this will ready them for spring when you pull them out.
    • Your lawn mower should have an empty fuel tank if possible, check your lawn mower’s manual for cold-weather storage steps.

We hope that you find these lists helpful, we recommend printing them and saving them as a good reminder for every fall season.  We hope you enjoy the fall season and look forward to working for you.

Close Encounters of the Roof & Gutter Kind

Frog Statue in Vancouver WA

Frog Statue in Vancouver WA

We strive to gain your business and your satisfaction with our work here at Forcewashing by cleaning your roofs, gutters, and driveways to perfection.  Every inch of detail is important to us; we maintain the highest quality of work and focus on making our customers happy; our reviews reflect that – thank you again to all of our wonderful customers.

Our work sometimes is a bit more challenging when we find things one wouldn’t expect to see on a roof, in a gutter, or on a driveway. But that doesn’t stop us from making sure that the work gets done right, the first time.

Please enjoy some of the more memorable moments in:

Close Encounters of the Roof and Gutter Kind


Driveway Brick Moss in Vancouver WAThe most common site is that of moss growing, but who knew Mother Nature could be as artistic with a driveway. This geometric pattern was so delicately placed around each brick it was hard to clean it…but duty calls and we erased Mother Nature’s palette. I’m sure she’s going to challenge us next year!


Plants growing in gutter in Vancouver WAPlants in solar gutter Vancouver WA Another interesting part of our job is finding hidden gardens in your gutters. We appreciate the gardening done by Mother Nature, using every aspect of every crevice to create new plants and moss.


Tiny Gutter Oasis in Vancouver WAIn these gutters is a garden oasis!


Frozen Gutters in Vancouver WAThis was one of our simplest jobs, a frozen block with debris popped out of the gutters with ease, sometimes Mother Nature can work with us in cleaning your gutters!


Animals living in gutter - Forcewashing Roof Cleaners in Vancouver WAThis friendly gentleman had a gorgeous home for a while, but wasn’t able to find his true love up there.  So we carefully took him to a nearby pond where he can enjoy searching for his one and only. We are happy to announce that the wedding will be in April of 2020 – the rainy season.


Objects in gutter removal - Forcewashing Roof Cleaners in Vancouver WAMiss Barbie is sporting a new hairstyle, it’s called Moss Brown. Notice how it gently flows on her head creating a beautiful moss like bob. Miss Barbie and her new doo was carefully brought back down, bob and all.


Tool lost on roof in Vancouver WA

Husband: “Honey, have you seen my tin snips? I was looking for them and couldn’t find them anywhere.”

Wife saying innocently: “Um, no dear I have no idea where they are”

Wife thinking to herself: All I wanted was to cut the rose bush and the thorns nicked my hand causing me to throw my hand up. But where did that silly tool go?


Shoe on roof in Vancouver WA

Mom: “Billy, get your shoes and let’s go to school, we’re late!”
Billy: “I don’t know where they are mom.”
Mom: “I put them somewhere to air out, check the roof!”


Animal waste on roof in Vancouver WAMary: “How’s your new Basenji dog doing? I hear they are real jumpers.”

June: “We love our dog; we’ve been training him to go potty in one specific area. The odd thing is, we haven’t found where he goes poo. But yes, he’s quite the jumper!”


There are also very beautiful things that we find that we are very careful with.

We hope you enjoyed our memorable moments of Close Encounters of the Roof and Gutter Kind.  As always, it is our pleasure to serve you and Mother Nature in finding safe places for all of our finds!

Roof Inspections: What you need to know

Roof Inspection in Vancouver WA

Roof Inspections: What you need to knowRoof Inspection in Vancouver WA

Did you know that over 30% of homeowner’s insurance claims have to do with roofs? Imagine if your roof is leaking water, this can cause problems such as damaged walls, furniture, electrical systems which could end up causing power outages or fires. A healthy roof protects you and your family from the elements outside and being in the Northwest we get our fair share of rain, snow, ice.

We all know that when we are purchasing a home, the roof inspection is key; having a secure roof is one of the most important parts of a home, it can also be a very expensive investment, especially if you bought a home under the pretext that everything was okay. But that’s not the only time that roof inspections should be considered.

A standard rule of thumb for roof inspections is twice a year in the spring and fall this is to prepare your roof for the following extreme season. Although that can sometimes be a challenge to get the inspection done as often as it is recommended, you will help to prevent damage to your roof and also get on top of any issues that may be developing.

It is also important to do some DIY work on your roof. We recommend taking a picture of it and put a date on the photo so you can see changes more easily when comparing photos together. These noticeable changes can be given to your roof inspector to address during your inspection.

A roof inspection will determine the reliability of your roof and how long it could last. Roof inspectors have very specific procedures that they follow to identify the life of your roof without having to remove shingles or tiles. For example, a qualified roof inspector has equipment and techniques that enable them to see if your roof has “hot spots”; areas on the roof where heat is escaping. Infrared tools are used for this purpose and can show hot and cold temperatures on a roof without disturbing the roof.

Schedule your roof inspections now, and prepare your roof for the upcoming season, it could end up saving you money and saving your roof.

Custom Roof Cleaning

Custom roof cleaning in Vancouver WA

Custom Roof Cleaning

Custom roof cleaning in Vancouver WA

Your roof and its environment are unique. Cleaning your roof requires a custom approach each time. 

Portland, Oregon offers lots of ways to damage your roof. The rainy climate creates a damp growth environment for moss, mold, lichen, and algae. Our beautiful trees create shade for the moss and algae to continue to thrive. These trees shed leaves, needles, and debris that is carried by the wind and land in your gutters and on your roof. In the summer, add in UV sun damage and your roof is in need of care.

Moss, debris, and Portland elements all shorten the life expectancy of your roof. 

While you can’t control what happens on your roof, you can schedule an annual roof cleaning to prevent further damage. The reason? All the living plant materials on your roof build up over months. If the growing conditions are prime, and they are in the Pacific Northwest, then that moss thickens and spreads quickly. Rainwater, plus the moisture from the moss, absorb and hold the water on your roof, resulting in leaks and water damage inside your home. This is true for all roofing material: cedar shake, composition, and tile roofing.

Are you seeing black stains on your roof?

In addition to the green plants on a roof, you may notice black stains and streaks running down your shingles. Angie’s List identifies those as, “gloeocapsa magma, or GM, more commonly called mold or fungus.” This form of plant life is only found on the north and east sides of a roof due to less sun exposure. “GM has the ability to form an outer coating, protecting it from UV rays. When there is no light or low light, GM has a blue-green color. GM’s other self-protective factor is that it enjoys the cooler, shady areas of the roof where moisture is usually present.” Fascinating, right?

These black streaks aren’t just stains. They may also deteriorate asphalt shingles, by eating away at them as a food source, leading to water damage and roof rot.

Eco-friendly roof care is essential in the Portland and Vancouver metro areas.

Everyone has a story as to why they moved to the Portland-area or why they never left. One of the common reasons is that we simply love the beauty that the Pacific Northwest provides. That’s why we use eco-friendly cleaning methods on roofs. Hand-brushing, instead of using machines, not only benefits the life of your roof, but it is also an environmentally friendly method of roof cleaning to remove all that plant life on your roof.

When you work with us, we will clean and maintain your roof like the unique space that it truly is. Give us a call or send us an email and tell us what your roof needs. And if you’re up for it, share your Portland story with us as well.

Is Your Roof Ready for Fireworks Season?

Is Your Roof Ready for Fireworks Season?

Sometimes the best view of the Portland and Vancouver fireworks is from your own roof. Watch safely and prevent accidental roof fires with these tips.

Clean your roof to prevent an accidental fire
Now is the time to schedule your professional roof and gutter cleaning to remove moss, dry leaves, pine cones, and small branches. This kind of debris on your roof, even if it’s just a small amount, can catch stray sparks from neighborhood fireworks. Most roofing materials are treated to be fire resistant, but there are still over 15,000 structure fires in the United States that are attributed to fireworks.

During a professional roof cleaning, your roof will also be inspected for missing and cracked shingles or any other hazards that can lead to fire vulnerability. Not only will this protect your home, but it will also make for a more comfortable and clean seat if you decide to watch the fireworks from your roof.

Trim your trees
Even if you aren’t ascending a ladder on the 4th to watch the fireworks display, any overhanging tree branches can catch firework sparks that can quickly jump to your roof. These branches can also brush against your roof, causing damage to shingles with every gust of wind.

Trimming branches near your roof line is a task that requires the proper safety equipment and skills. Also, consider that a falling tree branch can cause property damage as well. Hiring a professional is your safest bet when it comes to tree trimming, but if you want to go the DIY route, be sure to read up on how to do the job.

Keep fireworks away from your home
This seems like a no-brainer, but there are so many accidents attributed to fireworks that it bears repeating. Don’t point fireworks toward your home and be sure there is a safe distance between the fireworks and any structures and trees. Remember, most fireworks are often still burning as they fall from the sky. If you are putting together a fireworks display, read up on safety measures.

Watch the weather
If it’s hot and dry in the Portland-metro area at the beginning of July, avoid personal firework displays. Even if you won’t be lighting fireworks, your neighbors might. Start watering your landscape a few days prior to the 4th so your property isn’t a tinderbox waiting for a stray spark.

Fireworks and the 4th of July go hand-in-hand. With these tips, you and your family will be safe. Now, enjoy our beautiful waterfront fireworks display, and maybe a homegrown show as well.

Preparing to Sell Your Home

Home sale prep in Vancouver WA

Home sale prep in Vancouver WAPreparing to Sell Your Home

One-tenth of a second is all it takes for a first impression to be cemented in our brains. That first impression makes a lasting mental image from which all other thoughts and feelings are born.

When you’re preparing your home for the market, curb appeal is vital. You want prospective buyers to see themselves living there as soon as they pull up to the house. Last year we wrote about ways to boost your curb appeal. Now let’s dig deeper into preparing the exterior of your home.

The Portland and Vancouver real estate market
Is the Portland real estate market slowing down? Are we following the national trends? If you’re thinking about creating curb appeal, then you’re probably also researching the Portland real estate market.

Portland is a city of change and adaptability. Home buyers of all types are fulfilled by the Portland real estate market. They want sweeping mountain views, artist studios, urban farmland, spacious floor plans, and ADUs. The property want list can be endless. And Portland provides.

Preparing your home’s exterior
While people living in Portland, or moving to Rip City, might appreciate a certain collective appeal when it comes to lifestyle, people want clean sight lines around the home. Everything from your roof to your driveway influences curb appeal, so let’s take a top-down approach to preparing your home for the Portland and Vancouver home shoppers.

Clean your roof and gutters
No one wants to worry about a roof when they’re going through the home-buying process. Put prospective buyers at ease by clearing debris, moss, and stains from your roof. Your roof cleaner will also be able to notify you of any roof repairs that may be needed, possibly saving you when it comes to the official home roof inspection.

Roof cleaning goes hand-in-hand with gutter cleaning. Even if you don’t have tall trees near your gutters, leaves, dirt, and other debris find their way into your gutters. Cleaning the gutters will not only improve property value, but it will also alert you to any blockages and leaks.

Refresh your home’s exterior
Repainting a home is a big deal, so refreshing the exterior may be a more reasonable approach. Hire a professional, or DIY. Bob Vila, an American home hero, shares some great tips on how to maintain and clean your siding. While you’re working on the siding, wash those windows inside and out.

Declutter the outside your home
Gnomes are cool and shoes hanging from trees hold memories, but prospective buyers don’t want to connect with your oddities. Stash the recycling bins, store the bikes, pack away your gardening supplies, and pick up small bits of litter.

Make your front door sparkle
If your home doesn’t need a new front door, then it most definitely needs to be washed. If your front door is painted, mix dish soap and warm water to scrub the door, then dry with a rag towel. If you have a stained door, use wax or polish to make it shine. Inspect your screen door to see if it needs to be replaced before you wipe it down.

Add color to your porch or stoop
Lush greens, pops of in-season flowers, and complementing containers can make any home feel lively and well-loved. Search websites for ideas that fit the style of your home and landscape.

Mow the lawn and lay fresh mulch
If it’s summer, consider watering your lawn so it turns green. If it’s winter, you’ll probably need to get out there when the grass isn’t too wet and give it a trim. Shape your shrubs, pull weeds, and add some mulch to make everything look maintained and fresh.

Remember the deck, driveway, and sidewalk
Pressure washing is what will get everything looking fresh. A pressure washer removes moss, debris, old paint, stains, and graffiti. It’s a finishing touch to your property and is worth the investment.

Sound like a lot? Don’t worry, make a list of your specific tasks and start working. Call for estimates from professionals and tackle the rest yourself. With this guide, the exterior of your home will be ready for the next Portland homebuyer.

Clean the Slate – Tile Roof Maintenance

Tile Roofing in Vancouver WA

Tile Roofing in Vancouver WA

Clean the Slate – Tile Roof Maintenance in Portland

A brief history of tile roofs

Tile roofs became popular in 16th century America as part of fire code safety in densely populated cities. By the 1900s we saw a decline in tile roofing, as lighter materials that were faster to produce took over.

Tile roofs today

Modern roof tiles are sometimes made of Portland cement (plus sand and water), while other tiles can also be made from sand (these do require an asphalt roof underneath).

Out here in the Pacific Northwest, we see plenty of homes with the distinct terra-cotta orange clay tile roofs. They always catch the eye and stand out in any neighborhood, whether the sky is overcast or blue. Other tile roofs in the Portland and Vancouver metro areas are the cement variety and come in an array of colors and styles.

Besides curb appeal and fire safety, clay and concrete tile roofs are made to last.

In the Portland, Oregon area, roof tiles can last over 50 years as long as moss, mildew, and lichen prevention is in place.

When tile roofs become brittle due to age and weather, they can break easily. Roof tiles also break when fallen tree branches hit the roof and with sharp temperature changes, especially if the tile was already cracked. Replacing broken tiles is necessary since water can seep through the cracks, causing damage.

Replacement tiles can be costly and if the roof is very old, tiles may no longer be mass produced. This requires a special tile order that is expensive and takes time.

What about tile roof maintenance in Portland?

Safety, first.
Anyone walking on a tile roof needs to be a professional — trained and skilled in how to maneuver on fragile tiles. That includes people who will be up there to clean windows, trim trees, and especially roof cleaners.

Gutters and downspouts.
Gutters and downspouts that are filled with moss and debris can cause water overflow to move under the tiles, resulting in mold, rot, and deterioration. A tile roof requires a reinforced roof deck, and replacing or repairing this because of water damage is costly.

Roof valleys.
And remember tile roof valleys. This is where roof planes meet to form a valley that allows rain to wash down the roof. When the roof valleys are filled with debris and moss, water dams build up causing water to spread under the tiles resulting in water damage.

HOA regulations.
If your tile roof is in an HOA development then you are required to maintain your roof on an annual basis. When it comes to tile roofs, DIY is not recommended. Hiring a professional who is trained and experienced with the intricacies of tile roofing is a must.

Homeowners insurance.
Your homeowner’s insurance will not renew your policy if there is too much moss on your roof. If your tile roof has damage due to moss, homeowners insurance will not cover these damages. Moss is considered an avoidable event due to improper maintenance or negligence, something that is prevented with annual maintenance, and therefore insurance companies leave it up to you to pay for the damage.

How we handle tile roof cleaning

  • We ensure all workers, plus their equipment, are under the weight limit for a tile roof edge. This prevents breakage when we are cleaning tile roof tiles.
  • Mildew, lichen, and moss can live on tile roofing materials. To remove these unwanted visitors, we use low psi (around 2,000) with a turbo nozzle tip.
  • Gutter cleaning is usually needed to prevent water damage underneath the tiles, and we always include this service in our estimate.
  • Ground cleanup is often the most overlooked, yet vital, aspect of tile roof cleaning. That’s because of the amount of debris and dirt that washes down the house to the ground. We ensure your home’s walls and the landscape looks just like it did when we arrived.
  • Most tile roofs in the Portland-metro area average 3-5 broken tiles. We can replace those tiles if you have them on hand.

A tile roof is a lifetime investment and can be a pretty spectacular aspect of any home in the Pacific Northwest. When it’s time to clean your tile roof the right way, trust professional roof cleaners to do the job with care and attention.

Roof Maintenance – How to Make Your Roof Last

Roof Care Building Blocks Vancouver WA

Roof Care Building Blocks Vancouver WARoof Maintenance – How to Make Your Roof Last

If you read our post on the top 3 reasons why you should clean your roof you’ll know that replacing your roof is expensive. Not only is it expensive but it can also be a headache and a long process depending on the weather. Proper roof maintenance is the key to keep leaky and damaged roofs out of the picture.

If you’re like most people, you probably want to avoid getting your roof replaced for as long as possible. Look below to find some ways to take care of your roof and keep that replacement out of sight and out of mind for years to come.

Inspect Your Roof Regularly

See a patch of green stuff or unusual black streaks on your roof? Maybe it’s time for an inspection. In fact, you should be inspecting your roof on a regular basis, which includes checking your ceiling from inside the house to make sure everything is intact.

These inspections don’t necessarily have to be extensive. Just enough to see that there’s no build up of debris on your roof or parts of it wearing and tearing. You especially want to keep an eye out for rust, leaks and buildup of moss when examining your roof.

Regular inspections is great because it keeps damages from getting worse and you always know what to expect. If you think a more thorough inspection is needed, have a professional come in to take a look and address any issues.

Keep Gutters Cleaned and Up to Date

Making sure your gutters are cleaned avoids severe damages to your roof. If you decide to clean gutters on your own, make sure you aren’t cleaning from your roof. It’s dangerous and less practical.

It’s best to use a firm ladder, a bucket for debris and scooping tools like small handheld shovels (make sure you’re wearing gloves too). You can also use a hose to rinse everything out once the bulk of cleaning has been done.

Although a simple task, there is a risk of injury when cleaning gutters so consult with a professional if you feel uncomfortable.

It’s also best to make repairs to your gutters before damages get worse. This’ll improve the longevity of your roof and keep high gutter replacement costs away.

Don’t Let Snow Build Up On Your Roof

Roof maintenance also includes inspecting and caring for your roof in harsh weather conditions!

If you live in a place that snows during the winter, like the Portland and Vancouver areas, it’s best to keep snow from building up on your roof. The weight, moisture and cold temperatures of the snow can damage both the inside and outside of your roof. It can also damage your gutters when weight gets too heavy to hold.

If you decide to clear snow off your roof, do so carefully. It’s very easy to slip and fall. Also, don’t use sharp objects like ice picks to clear the snow. Instead use a snow shovel and slowly scrape away. To melt the snow use calcium chloride.

The Bottom Line

Your roof can last much longer than you think if you put in the effort to take care of it or hire someone to do regular inspections and roof maintenance. Don’t let the elements chip away at your roof.