If you own a home in Vancouver, you’re one of the lucky ones. Here’s how to protect it from the harsh elements of the Pacific Northwest.
Owning a home in Greater Vancouver is a blessing. There are so many benefits to living in this Pacific Northwest gem that any attempt to name them all requires a whole website (yeah, that’s us!).
For all of the accolades, maintaining your property can be a challenge because of one key culprit – Mother Nature. Sure, she is responsible for Vancouver’s lush green landscape, clean air, and disregard for the winter season but she also throws a tantrum from time to time. She pours torrential rains and blows strong winds, battering our properties as if to demand that we pay a toll for the good fortune of living on her land. Fair enough.
Most of the damage sustained by your home begins from above – on your roof. Your “best practices” in home care starts there. As your guide to all things regarding Vancouver life we thought we’d provide our faithful readers with a few helpful tips to protecting the peak of your palace from weather common to our great city.
1. Monthly Cleaning Schedule
Buy (or borrow) a sturdy ladder and get into the habit of inspecting your roof and its perimeter on a monthly basis. What are you looking for? Start with the obvious, such as leaves and moss on shingles, clogged gutters, and water stains. Clean out debris from your gutters with a bucket of warm water mixed with an eco-friendly cleaning solution appropriate to aluminum or vinyl (whichever your home uses). Get a roof-rake from your local home and garden store and use it to remove leaves and moss from your shingles. If you do this month in-and-out you will be well on your way to keeping your entire home safe from damage.
2. Semi-annual Leak Check
This semi-annual practice begins immediately after your first monthly cleaning. Once clean, climb up your ladder and block (with a thick towel) the downspout entry of your gutters (where the rainwater enters from above). Then, have a helper below pass you a garden hose and release medium-pressure flow to fill your gutter system with water (without letting it overflow). Climb down, and proceed to inspect the undercarriage of the entire system. Any leak, fracture, or sagging section will make itself evident within minutes.
3. Don’t Wait to Replace or Repair
If any one of your monthly cleaning or semi-annual leak inspections have evidenced the need for repair, attend to each immediately. Further wind and rain will worsen conditions and can result in both rainwater-overflow and leaks, both of which will allow water to seep into your home. Tighten loose gutter brackets and replace stripped screws. Small gutter leaks can be repaired with an aluminum or vinyl sealant from your local hardware store but widespread corrosion, fractures, and large holes require replacement. A high-grade gutter system may require a bit of an investment today, but the longterm payoff towards protecting your home for years to come is worth it.
4. Keep Critters Away
Harsh weather can send furry and feathery critters running for the hills. Those “hills” in your neighborhood include your roof. Your chimney, gutters, and cozy spots behind your roof’s fascia-board make a cozy home for birds, mice, rats, squirrels, and raccoons seeking solace from the wind and rain. They will nest, eat, mate, and perform other unmentionable acts at the apex of your home. Overtime these activities will add major wear and tear. Keep critters at bay by installing cruelty-free repellants that emit sound-waves and offensive scents that can only be picked up on by their senses. Also consider installing gutter covers to block their access points and post a decoy predator (fake owls work well with BC birds and rodents) on the ledge. In addition, trim the tree line surrounding the roof of your home to a minimum 8 feet from it’s ledge.