What an amazing summer we have had here in the great Pacific Northwest. The weather has been great, real estate has been moving and the Seahawks are playing! Next comes school, fishing, the fair and oh ya, some maintenance on that biggest investment you likely own… your house. It’s easy to ignore the place you come home to ever day after work, have dinner in and go to bed every night in when the weather is great and we have so many better things to do, but some simple upkeep will save us all a lot of money in the long run.
At this point in the year our inspectors including myself have looked at over 300 homes and the most common repairs we come across throughout the year are actually pretty easily prevented. Those that know me and see me often know that I harp on these simple measures every day at inspections but I’m going to share here again anyway. Here goes…….
1. Clean those gutters! More damage is caused by faulty gutters around these parts than almost anything else we see. Cleaning includes the downspouts by the way and making sure all joints and corners are sealed at the inside to prevent leaks. Also make sure they are directed at least five feet from the house. You can clean them this time of year with a leaf blower by the way.
2. Clean your roof while you are at it. Moss comes off your roof pretty easily once it’s dead so get some moss killer on it. I use Moss-Out but there are plenty of choices out there. Do not and I repeat Do Not let anyone (including yourself) pressure wash your composition roof. All this does is shorten its life despite what some folks with pressure washers in their trucks will try to convince you.
3. Trim your plants and trees off your house. We always recommend at least a foot of clearance between your house and any vegetation to prevent damage and keep bugs from infesting.
4. While walking around the perimeter of your house trimming plants notice any missing caulking at windows, doors and joints and come back and fill them. Also touch up any missing paint to prevent moisture damage over the winter. Touch up any missing paint or stain at decks and porches as well and make sure to eliminate any wood/ soil contact. Don’t stack anything against your house either.
5. Lastly you must check for any openings to the crawlspace or attic. Grab a good flashlight and look at the vent screens not only at the foundation but at the soffits and gables as well. Check the crawlspace access cover as well. It may look like it fits tightly but make sure you look at it from ground level. That’s where the pests are looking at it from by the way. Take the time to look under your house at the same time to make sure no one has moved in this year. Keeping pests out is cheap while cleaning up after them is not. The average bid we saw so far this year for rodent clean up in crawlspaces has been over $4,000 dollars. Yep you read that right I said four grand!
I hope this advice finds you all well and that you find it helpful. I did all of this myself just this last weekend and it hardly took anytime at all (I swear it didn’t). Have a great holiday weekend and remember as always that is you just can’t force yourself to crawl under your house with all the spiders and such you can always call us. We have plenty of people who will gladly do it for you!!!
Sincerely, Matt Sorensen…..
WestCoast Home Inspection Phone: 253-380-2922
903 291st Street Scheduling: 253-380-5949
Roy, WA98580 Fax: 253-843-1807