Is That Moss Up On My Roof?

Green roofs are trending these days. However, there is one thing worth noting: green roofs should be designed that way. If you’re waxing poetic as you gaze up at your own green roof, one that has become green over time as the result of moss and algae growth, it’s time to halt the Irish soundtrack and check back into reality.

Yes, That Probably IS Moss Up On Your Roof

Moss and algae may lend a lovely green hue to your roof, and give your home a romantic, cottage-like look but, in fact, they’re bad news. Moss is a sign that:

  • The roof is laden with moisture.
  • Organic materials are being consumed for its growing pleasure.
  • Significant structural damage might be taking place right under (or over) your nose.

Contrary to what you may have learned, moss doesn’t just grow on the “northern” side of things. In fact, moss grows:

  • Where it’s wet. Moss likes a wet and shady environment. If things get too dry, moss will go dormant or die off. However, moss also helps to keep things wet, so where moss grows, moisture damage or rot can ensue. In the case of your roof, this can lead to moisture penetration that seeps into your attic and interior wall spaces.

    Is That Moss Up On My Roof?
    Remove Moss From Your Roof as Soon as Possible
  • Where it’s shady. Moss isn’t a huge fan of direct sunlight. A little light is fine but it prefers more dappled or diffused light. This is why it tends to grow on areas of your roof that are shadowed by a mature tree or neighboring buildings.
  • Where it’s cool. We all have our “preferred” temperatures, and moss is no exception. Typically, moss likes to grow in temperatures between about 20° F (although they prefer it a little warmer) and 70° F. This is why moss growth on roofs tends to peak during later winter and spring months, or into a cooler summer.

Remove Moss From Your Roof as Soon as Possible

Moss removal is key to protecting the health of your roof and your home. It’s feeding on the organic matter found on your roof, namely your shingles. Thus, over time, the moss can actually rot away your roofing materials, which leads to expensive roof repairs and replacement.

You can remove moss on your own, by climbing on the roof and scraping it away. Then, you can spray a 50:50 mix of water and bleach to keep the spores from growing back. Don’t use a pressure washer for this as it can damage the shingles and/or spray water in between roofing materials, which can also result in water damage.

Keep in mind that a roof with moss will be wet and slick. There’s a good chance algae and mold are also present, which makes for even more slippery conditions. Always make safety your first priority.

If mold growth seems excessive, it may be worth it to hire a professional. Proman WC has provided professional roof moss removal services to our bay area clients for 10-years and counting. We’re happy to come out and take a look and will provide a free, onsite quote. Contact us today by calling 425-908-9121 or 510-478-4880. You can also email us at promanwindowcleaning6@gmail.com.

Post Storm Gutter Cleaning Tips

Inspecting and cleaning the gutters is an essential part of maintaining your home’s roof system. If you skip this important step, the accumulated debris can lead to undesirable scenarios:

  1. Gutters can overflow before water has a chance to make it to the downspout.
  2. Pooled water can seep over the edge and make its way into your interior roof and wall spaces.
  3. The reaction between rotting organic materials and water can lead to corrosion of the gutter and downspout materials.
  4. Water can collect and pool near your foundation, causing long-term foundation damage.

After winter storms, it’s a good idea to take peek around the gutters – or hire a professional to do it for you – to make sure they are free of debris and to clear them of any twigs, leaves, or dirt that can compromise the gutter system’s function.

What to Look For When Inspecting Gutters and Downspouts

Here are the tools required for inspecting and cleaning gutters and downspouts:

  • A safe, secure ladder that extends well above the edge of your roof
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Latex or latex-free gloves
  • A trowel
  • Two buckets with wire hooks
  • Garden hose with nozzle or gutter cleaning attachment

Now it’s time to get started.

  1. Check the weather. Ideally, you want to clean your gutters when it’s dry. If possible, choose a day when you’ve had dry weather for two to three days before so accumulated debris has time to dry out. This makes the removal of debris much easier.

    Post Storm Gutter Cleaning Tips
    What should you do with your gutter following a storm?
  2. Set up your ladder. Make sure all four legs of the ladder (or two if you’re using an extension latter) are planted firmly on the ground. Hook the buckets securely to the top of the ladder. Use one to carry your tools and the other to empty the debris into. Never step higher than the second-to-the-last stair on the ladder. If you feel uncomfortable or unsteady on a ladder, hire professionals to clean the gutters for you.
  3. Remove the debris. Don your latex gloves, work gloves and safety glasses. The latex gloves will protect your hands from wet, rotting refuse that accumulates at the bottom of the gutters. Use your hands to remove the larger debris, like twigs and larger leaves. Then, use the trowel to shovel out the smaller debris. Dump it all into the bucket. If it’s been a while, you may need to head down to dump a bucket load multiple times before the job is done. Remove and clean any downspout strainers (the wire traps that lead to the downspouts).
  4. Hose them down. Now that the gutters are clean, wash any remaining, smaller debris through the gutters and downspouts using your garden hose with an attached nozzle or gutter cleaning attachment. Begin hosing the gutters at the end that is opposite the downspout.
  5. Check the downspouts. Make sure the water is moving swiftly through the downspouts. If it’s not, run the garden hose up the spout to unclog the debris, using a strong stream of water to help loosen the clog. Once the debris is free, spray the gutters again to make sure the water is running freely. If it’s still clogged or slow, work on the downspout again until it’s clear there is no block left.

Is gutter cleaning one of those “to-dos” you just can’t get around to? Have a multi-story home that makes gutter and downspout cleaning more difficult? Contact ProMan WC and we’ll be happy to help. We can also repair any minor damage that may be compromising the efficiency of your gutter system. Give us a call at 425-908-9121 or 510-478-4880.

How to Check a House Cleaners References

When most people hire a house cleaner, they focus on two things:

  1. What do they cost?
  2. Will they do the job right?

However, there is a third element that is much more important than either of those two: Are the house cleaners trustworthy?

Checking a House Cleaner’s References is an Important Part of the Hiring Process

Here are some of the things you can do to make sure you hire a house cleaner that gets the job done to your standards and can be 100% trusted to have up-close and personal access to your home or business’s contents.

Contact the references they provide. Yes, taking the time to call or email references can be inconvenient, but it’s a lot less inconvenient than paying for cleaning services that aren’t up to part or – in worst case scenarios –pressing charges when valuables are stolen or sensitive personal information is compromised.

How to Check a House Cleaners References
How do you properly check for a house cleaners references?

DO ask the cleaning service’s owner for at least three to five references, and then DO take the time to contact each and every one of them to ask the right questions (more on that below).

Ask for current references. Often, cleaning companies throw together a list of references and then never update it. Since the turnover rate for cleaning employees is relatively high, the quality of the services they provided three years ago, a year ago or even two months ago may be a far cry from what they provide now based on who comprises the employee roster. Make sure all of the references you speak to are currently using their service or else the references are completely pointless.

Ask the right questions. Don’t just ask, “Are you happy with Company XYZ’s cleaning services?” Get down to the nitty-gritty. The answers to some questions may be more important to you than others, but things to consider include:

  • Are they timely?
  • How often do they cancel and/or have to re-schedule?
  • Do the cleaners follow instructions?
  • Do they do deep-cleans or only surface cleans?
  • Does it ever seem like they cut corners?
  • Is laundry, linens, dishware, etc., cleaned and handled respectfully?
  • Are they honest when something is accidentally broken?
  • Do they bring their own cleaning products?
  • Are they committed to eco-friendly products?
  • What’s the most unusual request you’ve had for them, and did they come through for you?
  • What other services have you used the company for (many house cleaning companies offer additional services such as window cleaning, roof cleaning, pressure washing, light moving, holiday decorating, etc. so it’s good to compare these “extras” between potential companies)?

If one company charges a little more than another, but their references seem to be more positive – the extra expense is probably worth it.

Does the company run criminal background checks? The idea of a criminal background check is great, and many cleaning companies run a standard background check on their employees in order to make sure they don’t hire anyone with a criminal record. However, not all background check services are created equal so a “clean” check doesn’t necessarily mean the employee is honest. On the other hand, if a company doesn’t run one, and you are concerned about your family’s valuables or personal information, it is worth it to speak to the owner about running checks on any cleaners who have access to your home, security codes, etc.

Looking to use a Seattle-area cleaning service that is trustworthy, responsible and has a decade-long track record of satisfied customers? Schedule a consultation with Proman WC and we’ll be happy to give you a long list of current references. Give us a call at 425-908-9121 or 510-478-4880, or email us: promanwindowcleaning6@gmail.com.

5 No-Fail Decluttering Tips for the New Year

There’s nothing like taking out the holiday decorations, finding places for them and then boxing them all up again to remind you that there’s some de-cluttering work to be done! The New Year (and the cold, grey, rainy days that accompany it) is a perfect time to go through the house –top to bottom – getting rid of what you no longer need.

In addition to clearing things out, making your home look more spacious and clean, de-cluttering is also good for the soul. Clutter on the outside is a source of stress – but it can also be a sign of stress or chaos within. So, the simple act of clearing out what you don’t need can help to clear mental and emotional space as well. Plus, at the very least, it minimizes the amount of “stuff” you’re required to maintain.

5 Simple Steps for Decluttering Your Home

  1. Use the Year Test. Every professional organizer and cleaner agrees: if you haven’t used it in a year, you don’t need it enough to make space for it. Go through storage closets and cabinets, analyzing their contents. Those fancy boots you like but never wear? The ski gear you bought two years ago but have never used again? The boxes of “scrapbooking” supplies that haven’t been cracked open in a half-decade? All of that is exemplary of things that can be donated or moved on to someone who will use them.
  2. Use the Hanger Test. If using The Year Test stresses you out, especially when it comes to clothes, use The Hanger Test instead. Reverse the direction of all of the hangers in your closet so they face backwards. When you wear something, it can go back in the closet with the hanger facing the right way. Next holiday season, take all of the clothes that are still facing backwards and donate them. It’s a great way to get a real grasp on which clothes are completely unnecessary.

    5 No-Fail Decluttering Tips for the New Year
    Need to Declutter Your Home? Use these 5 Tips.
  3. Evaluate why you’re attached. Some things (many things) simply aren’t useful at all, nor do they really deserve a space in the attic or a “kid stuff” box. The cast that came off your sweet six-year old when she broke her arm in soccer may represent struggle and strife, but it really isn’t worth hanging on to. Take a picture if you need to (or put a picture of your six-year old in the cast in a collage) and then trash the cast. Odds are, you have more of these unnecessarily-sentimental-attachments laying around than you’d like to admit; the more you can clear, the easier it will become to clear the rest.
  4. Let your kids choose – and honor their choices. Okay, if they want to get rid of a 14-karat gold heirloom ring, we see your point. However, so often the sentimental attachments described in #3 wind up spilling over onto your kids. If they are willing to part with something that used to mean everything to them, let them choose when it’s time to move on. You can keep a small box from each year of their life (a digital scrapbook with photos of memorable items is even better) to save the things you can’t bear to part with. Then, teach children a valuable, lifelong lesson about how important it is to declutter and organize your space, and that letting go means clearing space for new opportunities and adventures.
  5. Invite an outsider in. Have an objective friend whose home you admire? Have a straightforward neighbor or relative whose opinion you can trust? Invite them over and let them peruse your home, making suggestions about what’s working and what’s not. Then, after they leave, you can decide how much you want to take their words to heart – and benefit from a more organized home.

Not sure you want someone from the inner-circle deciding what should stay and what should go? Contact us here at Pro Man WC. Our cleaning professionals have an expert and 100% objective eye. They’re happy to help you declutter your home so your beautiful home design shines through. And they’ll be happy to take all of your donations and trashed items away for you.

We’ve worked to help our Seattle, Bellevue and other area clients maintain clean, organized and de-cluttered homes for more than a decade. Give us a call at 425-908-9121 or 510-478-4880.