When it comes to maintaining your home, there are many things to take care of, however we're going to cover five major areas that will serve to prolong the life of your home for many decades. For our purposes on this post, we're going to focus on exterior property care (which also affects the interior).
1) Your Rooftop - Starting from top to bottom, first on the list is your roof. Many roofs have expected lifespans of 25+ years, and if cared of and maintained properly will easily meet that expectation. In Western Oregon, especially the Portland Metro region (Portland, Beaverton, Fairview, Tigard, Lake Oswego, Gresham, Tigard, West Linn, Hillsboro, Happy Valley), we get lots of moisture. Pretty obvious, right? However people underestimate the toll rainfall has on your roof. The constant beating of water droplets wears on your shingles, eventually separating the granules from the shingles and depositing them into your gutters. Not only that, the moisture, combined with shading is a ripe place for mildew, mold spores, and moss to begin taking root on your roof. If left untreated, this green (sometimes silvery or brown) entity starts to grow under the edge of your roofing shingles, deteriorating the waterproofing protection they have on your property. If you have a home or commercial building that has partial shading from trees or other objects, those areas are most susceptible to moss growth, and should have any moss removed and treated at least once annually. Two to three years of moss growth can reduce the lifespan of your by up to 5% - 10%. Considering the cost of replacing your roof can run from $7,000 to $50,000, it's probably a wise investment to make sure you have the moss removed from your roof and treated (killed off) before it causes any unnecessary damage.
2) Your Gutters & Foundation - Gutters and foundation you say? Yes, like the moss on your roof can deteriorate your water integrity of your rooftop, clogged gutters can lead to deterioration of your foundation, and possibly siding, leading to water intrusion. Gutters are a critical component in making sure water drains away from your property's foundation and clogged gutters can lead to erosion of your siding, window frames, and yes, your foundation because water movement will always flow to the lowest point. The best and easiest solution is to make sure your gutters are kept free of debris that clog your downspouts and the potential water intrusion issues that could lead to very expensive repairs. Foundation repairs can start at $5,000 and go up from there so doesn't it make sense to make sure and have your gutters cleaned on a regular basis (annually or semi-annually)?
3) Your Property's Siding - Okay, so this one is just as much about appearance as it is about preservation, but here goes... Let's face it, when you first moved into your home and everything was shiny and clean, you loved driving up to your house and enjoying it's natural curb appeal. Then, over time, the Northwest Oregon moisture began to gradually provide more sustenance for mildew to accumulate on your siding. Not only that, but your walkways and driveways also start to accumulate not only mildew but moss as well (there's that pesky moss again!), creating a slipping hazard on your walkways and stairs. This is where you can be proactive and use a thorough pressure washing treatment to clean the siding of your house, fence, walkways, driveways, any surface that needs the grime blasted away. Whether you decide to do the pressure washing on your own or hire it out to a professional is up to you, but this should be done annually as well to keep both your property and people safe (from slipping hazards) during the frequent rainy seasons we get in Oregon.
4) Your Windows - This is an area where most people believe that keeping your windows clean is purely about appearances; the enjoyment of looking through shiny, clear glass. This is partially true, but did you know that if windows are left dirty for extended periods of time, they can deteriorate just like any other physical item left out in the elements to deal with Mother Nature. Most windows have drainage channels built into the exterior of the frame that function very much like how gutters function to drain water away from accumulating in areas that deteriorate the surfaces. If the window frame drainage channels get clogged from dirt and debris, the water will pool in the channel instead of draining away from the window frame. This can, and will, lead to the seals around the windows failing over time as the pooling water erodes the caulking underneath and around the window frames. A thorough window cleaning will not only clean the glass, but both the interior window tracks and exterior window channels. This will insure not only clean glass, it will maintain the integrity of the window frames as well.