Gutter Guards – Are They Worth It?

Gutter guards Vancouver WA

Gutter guards Vancouver WAGutter Guards – Are They Worth It?

You’re worried about your gutters clogging up and for good reason. If you’ve seen our post on the consequences of not cleaning your gutters you sure know how important it is to keep them clean. Installing gutter guards may be one way for you to do this.

While clogged gutters can cause many different problems they’re also costly to replace. Replacing your gutters can cost anywhere from $4 to $30 per foot depending on severity and the type of gutters you want installed. Most projects range from $1,500 to $2,200.

To mitigate this costly risk you’re probably considering gutter guards to protect against buildup of large debris. Are gutter guards worth it? Find out more below…

The Cost

Similar to replacement, gutter guards can be expensive too. The cost per linear foot of a professional gutter guard installation can range from $7.50 to $10 depending on where you are and the size of your home. That cost can go up depending on the type of guards you get.

Are They Worth The Price?

Despite what you may have heard, gutter guards aren’t the end-all solution to keeping your gutters clean. They may protect against larger debris like leaves and branches but they often let in smaller debris like flower petals, moss, small leaves and buds.

This will still require you to get your gutters cleaned at least every one to two years, which can be a struggle if you’re doing it alone. However, they do mitigate the risk of your gutters clogging up.

Should You Get Gutter Guards?

The investment is significant but can be worth it if you’d like to hire professionals less or clean your gutters less. You can expect to spend less time scooping the nasty stuff out of your gutters and less time worrying about it.

The Bottom Line

Gutter guards can be a great investment from your home but it doesn’t mean you’ll avoid gutter cleaning. It’s also important to make sure you invest in quality gutter guards and have them professionally installed.

Gutter Cleaning & Consequences Of Not Getting It Done

Roof not taken care of Vancouver WA

Roof not taken care of Vancouver WAGutter Cleaning & Consequences Of Not Getting It Done

Gutters are often misrepresented and undervalued features of a home and so is gutter cleaning.

While they primarily serve as a way to safely direct and distribute water flowing off of your roof. And most of the time your gutters are doing a good job but it can get messy if they’re left uncared for.

Here are some consequences to highlight why gutter cleaning is so important. Keep these in mind whether you clean your own gutters or hire professionals.

The Foundation of Your Home May Be Harmed

When gutters are clogged and dirty it can cause water to overflow and spill alongside your home. When this happens, the water is no longer directed to safe drainage zones and can cause the ground to soften, weakening your homes foundation.

This is a problem because the soil around your home becomes softened, which can lead to foundation cracks, movement and in extreme cases structural failure. This is an even bigger risk during the colder months when water freezes.

The risk heightens even more if you have a basement. If enough water finds its way to your basement walls it can cause black mold, flooding and water damage.

All Your Landscaping Efforts Can be Wasted

When excess water falls from your roof due to your gutters being clogged, it can kill plants and grass directly beneath your roof. When these plants and grass die so do there roots that hold the soil together. After that it’s only a mater of time until the soil is washed away and unpleasant ditches start to form.

Gutter cleaning not only protects your house but your lawn and garden too!

Rotted Wood and Pests

As your gutters stay clogged and overflow more water stays stagnant in your gutters after the rain stops. The longer this water stays pooled up the higher the chance of wood rotting around it (gutters are normally attached to soft woods that rot easily.

When this wood begins to rot it makes it easier for other wood around it to rot as well. This starts to break down your homes exterior walls and leaves openings for pests like rodents and insects.

Insects like termites are especially attracted to rotting wood and decomposing plants making clogged gutters ideal nesting place for them. When the weather changes these insects will find a way into your home and start infesting.

The Bottom Line

It’s very important to stay up to date on gutter cleaning and not to overlook it. If you see any build up, take the time to clean it or call a professional to do it for you. Gutter cleaning is a necessary tasks to upkeep the longevity of your home.

Landscaping For Beginners – Best 3 Tips

Landscaping in Vancouver WA

Landscaping in Vancouver WALandscaping For Beginners Best 3 Tips

Landscaping for beginners can be a challenge. There are so many things to do and so many options to choose from. Without the right guidance it a may be difficult to make the right choices. As a beginner it’s best to go for low maintenance and simplicity.

Below you will find 3 tips to get you started on your landscaping journey…

Tip 1) Go Native

Gardening with plants native to your area is the best way to get started. These plants will adapt easily, are less likely to wither away and will flourish to make your lawn look great!

For the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington areas you’ll want to go with plants native to the Pacific Northwest. This includes plants like pearly everlasting, tufted hair grass, yellow marsh marigold and many more! Take a look here for a complete list.

Tip 2) Use Mulch

Mulch is a great way to prevent weeds, retain soil moisture for plants, and releases nutrients in the soil as it breaks down. Plus it makes your garden look neat and tidy, which is great for curb appeal.

Mulch is also a way to keep your yard smelling great. If you have little family members you won’t have to worry as much about them getting dirt on their clothes and making a mess.

Tip 3) Take Your Time and Be Patient

If you’re looking for advice on landscaping for beginners you may not be aware that patience is key with this activity.

It’s easy to get discouraged and give up when you don’t see your plants growing. This process often takes some time and is rewarding when you’re patient. While your plants are growing, develop other features of your landscape like sidewalks, gates, stepping-stones and furniture. Before you know it, you’ll have a blooming and enchanting lawn.

The Bottom Line

Getting started with landscaping is fun and doesn’t take much. If you’re a beginner, remember to start off simple, care for your garden and be patient. Everyone has to start somewhere!

5 Ideas to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Curb appeal in Vancouver WA

Curb appeal in Vancouver WA5 Ideas to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

We’ve all had the experience of passing a home that looks gorgeous and has great curb appeal. There was just something or many things about it that struck you and now every time you’re in the area you can’t help but to look at it.

What’s even better than admiring a well decorated home? Making your home look even better. If you’re into the DIY side of life, here are 5 things you can do to boost your home’s curb appeal…

1) Take Care of your Landscaping

This may seem obvious but mowing your lawn and planting can go a long way to making your home look spectacular. Often people think that landscaping can be expensive but if you’re creative, thoughtful and consistent it doesn’t have to be!

When landscaping, make sure to pick a theme or style like evergreen, Mediterranean or tropical. A personal favorite of the author’s is Zen garden!

2) Upgrade your Front Door

This isn’t emphasized enough when it comes to curb appeal. Think of your home as your kingdom and the front door its gates. Whenever someone is walking by or enters your home, your front door is often the first thing to be noticed.

Not only does it make your home look great and attractive but having a nice front door can also increase its value. A recent study has shown that upgrading the front door to a house increased its value by $8,000! So if you’re thinking it may be expensive you can expect to get your money back.

3) Organize and Hide Unsightly Objects

If you have items like hoses, garden pots and tires (hopefully not) lying around your yard clean them up and put them in their rightful places. You can also hide other things in your yard like A/C units, trashcans and recycling bins with surrounding them with wooden screens or panels.

You should try to make everything blend together and leave nothing sticking out like a sore thumb.

4) Update your Windows

Make your windows pop by adding shutters, window boxes for plants and trim. These things are easy to build or buy from the store and install. All can be designed to your liking and provide a finished look to your home.

5) Update Your Mailbox

This tip is simple but can make a lot of difference. If you have an old and warn out mailbox then it’s time for an upgrade. Go for something that really matches your home and its style.

The Bottom Line

Taking care of the little things can go a long way for your home’s exterior and curb appeal. Start today by following the tips laid out above and make your home the one you admire.

Proper Roof Care – 3 Things To Keep In Mind

Roof cleaning Vancouver WA

Roof cleaning Vancouver WAProper Roof Care – 3 Things To Keep In Mind

Roof care can be rewarding but also challenging and risky if the right approaches aren’t taken. You risk injury, damage, and other mistakes whenever you get on your rooftop to clean.

To help you avoid these things we have come up with a list of instructions for you to follow. Please use this list as a general guide and take any other precautions you feel are necessary.

1) Start by Choosing the Right Day

The good old weather forecast on your phone app or on the news can help with this. It’s best to check the weather before every getting on your roof, especially in place like Portland and Vancouver where weather can change quickly.

Ideally, you’d want to clean your roof on a sunny day with partially cloudy skies and little wind. You don’t want it to wet or too hot. Feeling comfortable while on your roof is one of the best ways to avoid injury. It’ll allow you to focus on your safety and doing a good job.

These conditions also allow your cleaning solutions to work without evaporating or washing away too quickly.

2) Move Surrounding Lawn Furniture and Items Out of the Way

Roof care can be both messy and toxic. It’s not uncommon for lawns to get littered with debris during a roof cleaning process. It’s also not uncommon for cleaning solutions to have chemicals in them that stain and corrode fabric.

It’s important to move any lawn furniture or items out of harms way to keep them looking nice. The last thing you want is to have a shiny roof but dirty furniture. Items also include cars in your driveway, garden gnomes, and swimming pools (of course you can’t move a swimming pool but covering it up would help).

3) Roof Care Safety

If you are at all skeptical about your ability to be on your roof make sure you have the proper safety equipment. This includes having a sturdy ladder, shoes with a good grip, soft kneepads and gloves.

A quick tip with your ladder: always make sure your ladder is on steady ground like a concrete sidewalk or wooden platform. Never lean your ladder against gutters.

The Bottom Line

You want to make sure the conditions are ideal for roof care. Make sure to do all the organization beforehand and buy all necessary equipment. No expense is too much to ensure the safety of your home, your family and yourself.

Why we don’t Recommend Pressure Washing Your Roof

symmetrical suburbs birds eye view

symmetrical suburbs birds eye viewWhy we don’t Recommend Pressure Washing Your Roof

Pressure washers are glorious tools that get the job done effectively and efficiently. But if pressure washing isn’t done right it can lead to some serious damages, especially for your roof.

While professionals use pressure washers for all sorts of things, you’ll most likely never see it used for cleaning roofs. Here’s why…

1) Damage to Shingles by Uplifting Them

Pressure washers are powerful machines and your roof’s shingles are really no match. While not noticeable right away, when shingles are pressure washed water gets into the cracks and strips away the adhesive material that keeps your roof together.

This is what keeps your roof together and protects your home from the elements. It’s just a matter of time until your roof starts taking a beating from the weather. Pressure washing your roof may make it look nice but it’ll shave years off its life.

2) Gouged and Damaged Wood

Pressure washing can also cause damage to your home exterior if not done carefully. When used to their full extent, pressure washers have been known to crack driveways so there’s no question that they can break wood.

Not only is this unsightly but water getting into wood is probably the worst home damage you can ask for. This can caused your wood to expand and bubble up. It can even cause wood rot from the inside out, which is very hard to take care of.

3) Spread of Moss and Fungus Across Your Roof

You also run the risk of spreading moss and fungus to other places on your roof, or even onto a neighbor’s roof. It doesn’t take much from pressure washing to send things in the air.

This is mostly because of the lack of control someone can have while pressure washing. Although it’ll look nice when the job is done, moss will come back quickly and in higher amounts.

The Bottom Line

Pressure washing your roof will do more harm than good. This is why professionals use soft washing and wire brush methods. They’re safe, controlled, and most importantly don’t damage to your roof. Forcewashing uses the wire brush method along with a gentle rinse and treatment.

Moss Removal Matters – Eliminate Moss Growth on Your Roof

Mossy Birdhouse Vancouver WA

Mossy Birdhouse Vancouver WAMoss Removal Matters – Eliminate Moss Growth on Your Roof

While sometimes it may look pretty, moss has the potential to cause severe damages on your roof. Mosses are small, green, flowerless plants that lack roots and seeds. Because moss lacks roots, they generally grow best in shady and wet areas. Moss removal is important for saving you time, money and stress.

Common signs of moss growth on your roof are black streaks and grass-like substances growing in the cracks of shingles. Since moss doesn’t have a root system, it grows by collecting and holding water in its leaves. This collection of water is what ultimately damages your roof and calls for moss removal services.

Now, if you aren’t afraid of being on your roof, there are a few things that you can do to prevent moss growth. Here are the 3 that Forcewashing recommends…

1) Remove Shady Areas on Your Roof

Moss loves the shade. It thrives in dark and cool areas. While there are some cases where you simply cannot help but to have shady areas on your roof, we would recommend doing your best to eliminate it.

Common cases where something can be done are trimming any nearby trees, taking down tenting near your home, and removing any unnecessary add-ons to your roof like overcompensating window shades or satellite dishes in darker areas.

A plus side to trimming trees that are near your home is that you’ll also avoid leafy debris falling on your roof – taking care of two things at once!

2) Use Store Bought Roof Cleaners to Impede & Eliminate Moss Growth

There are also several store bought solutions out there that can prevent moss growth! These work best for moss removal in areas of your home that are always shady and damp. Take a look at the list below…

Spray and forget outdoor cleanersSpray & Forget

This is a solution for removing, moss, mold and mildew off roofs and other surfaces as well. The name really says it all you simply spray and forget. No rinsing or pressure washing is required. It’s eco-friendly, biodegradable and is safe on all exterior surfaces.

 

Wash safeWash Safe Industries – Roof Wash

A professional roof cleaner specifically designed this product for cleaning roofs. To use, you simply mix it with water and spray it on your roof then you use a wire brush to gently scrape the moss away. This product does require some work to use it, but it’ll be worth seeing your roof shine.

3) Ensure Your Roof is Always Cleaned of Debris

Another leading cause of moss growth is debris on your roof. In order to further prevent moss growth you should keep it clean on a regular basis. This does mean going on your roof and inspecting regularly (maybe every 1-2 months) but it’s worth not having the headaches of a mossy or damaged roof later.

The Bottom Line

There are many ways to take care of moss growth on your roof. However, it can be unsafe and Forcewashing would not recommend going on your roof if you are uncomfortable or afraid to do so. It is best to contact a professional who specializes in moss removal and can get the job done safely.

Top 3 Reasons for Treating Your Home With Roof Cleaning

Well treated homes in Vancouver WA

Well treated homes in Vancouver WATop 3 Reasons for Treating Your Home With Roof Cleaning

A dirty roof is an eye sore and can mean unwanted damages with severe replacement costs. Upon costing a lot, roof damages and moss can be harmful to you and your family, making roof cleaning essential.

For those living in the Portland and Vancouver areas in the Pacific Northwest, mossy roofs filled with debris are no uncommon occurrences. But that doesn’t mean you should blend in with the crowd.

There’s no dispute on whether or not you should avoid costly roof repairs. Below you will find the top 3 reasons to keep your roof clean.

1) Freshen Up Your house and Make it Shine

Roof cleaning is hands down one of the best ways to boost your homes curb appeal. Think about houses that are for sale. Would you rather choose one with a mossy and debris filled roof or one that has been freshly cleaned and polished to perfection?

Also, those unappealing black stains, caused by moss growth, on your roof would be stripped away by a professional cleaner. Roof cleaners like Forcewashing uses a zinc sulfate solution after cleaning your roof, which keeps it safe from moss growth and black stains for at least a year.

2) Roof Cleaning is Much Cheaper Than Repairs

Of course, this is an obvious statement but it can’t be emphasized enough! Roof cleaning costs typically range from $200 to $550 while roof replacement can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

Of course this depends on the size of your roof and house but it would take about 20 roof cleanings to meet the cost of one roof replacement. To put this into perspective, a 900 square foot roof can cost $5,500 while a roof cleaning can cost $260.

3) Protect Your Family From Getting Sick

You may not know this but moss and debris on your roof can cause unwanted mold and bacteria to enter your home. When your roof is left untreated for long periods of time, moss and algae start to form under your roof’s shingles and in cracks.

When this happens, the inside of your roof becomes damp and starts to mold. This bacteria spreads through your house and can cause sickness. Plus no one likes the bitter smell of mold.

The Bottom Line

There are many reasons to keep your roof clean but here is the top 3. It’ll make your home stand out, especially in places like Portland and Vancouver where mossy roofs are found frequently. It’ll also keep your wallet happy and your family safe!