Has spring actually arrived? Well it seems that it has. The rain is warmer and seems to be falling a little less frequently and the other day I actually inspected a house in a polo shirt for the first time this year. The grass is growing, flowers blooming and our friends the Humming birds are back visiting us daily. It is my favorite time of the year. It is also the best time of the year to take care of some maintenance items around your number one investment. I meet great people every day who are really excited to invest in a new home which means they are really excited to plunk down several hundred thousand dollars. They ask pretty much the same questions day in and day out as we look at their potential new house and I tell them what needs to be done to keep it in shape. Why, how and what does it cost? This week I think we will talk about the three most common issues that we talk about and also the easiest and cheapest.
The three most common issues that show up on almost every house we look at are vegetation contact, cleaning roof and gutters and evidence of rodents. These three items show up on almost every inspection that we write. They are very easy to take care of and can save you a ton of money in the long run. Let’s look at them one at a time. “Trim all plants away from the house at least a foot.” This is the easiest one to handle and lots of people don’t get. Yes I agree that those plants and vines look great up against your house but they also trap moisture and lead to rot and infestation. It seems silly I know but you really need to keep that clear space between the house and your plants. Cleaning your roof and gutters is the next most common issue and literally everyone wants to know how to clean their roof. The gutters are easy but the moss on the roof seems to stump most folks. We are talking about a composition roof by the way. The key is to actually prevent the moss from growing in the first place and for this I like Moss Out which is a great product and I apply it every June. My roof is now eight years old and looks brand new. For those of us who already have the moss issue, I recommend the same product. Put the Moss Out on your roof now and once the moss is dead it will come off quite easily. If you try to remove the moss while it is alive, it will pull the covering with it shortening the roofs life. If you try to pressure wash the roof clean, you will definitely pull the covering as well and will greatly shorten its life. Never let anyone up on your roof with a pressure washer unless you are ready to replace it.
The third issue is rodents. I have to say that almost nine out of ten houses that I look at have some kind of pests (usually in the crawlspace or attic). Don’t want rodents in your house? It’s really quite simple, don’t let them in. Check all of the crawlspace vents and soffit vents and make sure the screens are intact. Make sure the access cover to the crawlspace fits tightly and is secured and make sure there are no openings at the eaves or siding. Keep trees away from the roof as well. It really is that simple, if you don’t let them in they won’t be there. If you already have them, call a pest control company and get rid of them. The sooner the better as they make a huge mess in a short amount of time. Take a look around your place this weekend and check these items. You will thank me in the long run. Have a great week!