Water & your home….

by | Oct 19, 2017 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes:

Saturday, October 21st, from 11am – 2pm (ish)
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave)

Monday, October 23rd, from 5pm-8pm (ish)
      Marshall Community Center, conference room

       1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
Saturday, November 4th, from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Thursday, November 9th, from 5pm-8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
If these class dates and/or times don’t work for you, please let us know.  We understand that you have lives, and families, and work.  We will work something out that works better with your schedule.  Just let us know….
….we also have home seller classes available too…link on left on website
Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner!  😀
Another quick reminder that we have our Winter Client Appreciation coming up!  Chris Berg and I are honored to invite you to Star Wars: The LAST JEDI on Saturday, 12/16 from 3:30pm-6:30pm 
 Please let either me (traciedemars@aol.com) or Chris Berg (cberg@pcmloan.com), know that you would like to attend and how many adults/kids will be in your party.  We will send you the link to get your tickets, and make sure you are on the ‘list’.  😀   They are first come, first served…and no assigned seating.  Because Disney is anticipating a huge showing for this they upped some things on us, so this is the only movie event we will be hosting this winter.  In the spring we are anticipating hosting The new INCREDIBLES movie (FINALLY!!!), and hopefully the Han Solo movie as well.  Chris and I want you to know that we appreciate you!  We appreciate your trust, your friendship, and your referrals!  Thank YOU so much for trusting us with your Home Adventure….whether you are Buying, Selling, or Refinancing…  we appreciate you.  So…come watch a movie with us!!  😀 

…..and here comes the rain….

Actually, I may be in the minority here, but I love the rain.  Deep down I’m really a homebody.  When it’s nice out we feel guilty if we are not out ‘enjoying’ it.  Nice weather is for doing ‘stuff’….for working in the yard, for hiking, for going places, for exploring….for doing everything except what homebodies really love doing.  Homebodies….we love doing things like: snuggling on the couch, or blanket burrito ourselves next to a nice, cozy fire (inside), or wearing fuzzy socks & cozy pjs…maybe we’re reading, or crocheting, or binging on Netflix…homebodies like to hole up inside our homes and bunker down…and the best part about fall & winter is that we don’t have to feel guilty for doing so!  Yay!!!    I LOVE this time of year… October through December is my absolute favorite.  In fact I think we need to start talking Christmas soon…   Bring on the ‘bad’ weather because it’s all good to me!!  LOL We are supposed to get a LOT of rain though this weekend so be prepared.  🙂

This week I do want to talk a bit about rain, and water in our area because it is something we deal with here.  Every area has their ‘things’, but for us…it is water.  I had something else typed up regarding contractors and home repairs & upgrades that I was going to send out, but I think I will wait on that one just a bit.

The fall and winter months are excellent for rain, snow (in the mountains), for holidays, for snuggling on the couch (see a trend here?), and for a lot of things, but they’re also good for home buyers and sellers.  We do live in an area with a considerable amount of rain, so doing a home inspection during the time of year when we do see the most moisture is actually a good thing for buyers (and home owners) so you can actually ‘see’ how the home does in time of rain.

During a home inspection, one of the things an inspector does is crawl in the crawlspace (better him than me!).  When the weather is wet, s/he is going to see things that they might not see during the dry weather.  Many areas where we live have a high water table so water in the crawlspace really isn’t that uncommon, but it can be an issue.  Is it small amounts…soggy ground….under the visquean? Is it draining under the home from dirt at ground level ventilation areas that will need some correction?   Is there water actually sitting in the crawlspace that needs to properly drained to the low point drain under the home?  Does it need a sump pump put in to properly dispose of?  These are all pretty common things we see during a home inspection and most of it is pretty quick and easy to remedy.  I was helping some clients sell their home about this time last year and during the home inspection their buyers inspector noted water in the crawlspace.  This particular home backed to a swampy area, and while my clients swore they had never had water under there before, they did this year.  We had a drainage expert come in to put in proper drains and a sump pump under the home to prevent it happening again.  This is always the worse case scenario…but not unexpected.  It’s funny….I lived in Woodland for 20 years with a totally dry crawlspace even though my neighbor behind me had a sump pump, and the neighbor next to me had some extra drainage in their crawlspace.  This shows that even though one home might be dry…their neighbors might not be.  We recently moved to a hill in the Battle Ground area and guess what?  Yep…. I have a moist crawlspace!  LOL  Ok….I’m laughing because 1)  I felt someone cringe when they read ‘moist’ (even though I love that word), but 2) because Woodland, a flood zone, we had a totally dry crawlspace, and we live on a hill now, not in a flood zone, with a moist crawlspace!  It cracks me up…  It’s just a little ground moisture so nothing sitting on top of the visquean (the plastic barrier under your home).  There isn’t really anything we can do about this except keep an eye on it to see if we need additional drainage put under our home at some point.

Rain can also do a number on your siding…  if you have vinyl siding make sure that the pieces are all snug and overlap, you don’t want water to get behind that.  Look for holes or penetration in your siding and seal those up.  If you have T-111, Wood, Wood composite, Shingle, or LP (a LOT of homes have these types of siding)…water is not your friend.  Look for areas of swelling where water may be getting soaked up.  This will occur on lower leading edges like the bottom of the siding around your foundation, or where the top gable /\ meets the side.  This is actually a pretty easy fix and is quite common.  One of the things you can do to make sure that water doesn’t affect your siding is to keep it sealed with paint.  Siding like this really does need a good coat of paint every 5 years, but on those lower leading edges, keep them sealed with primer and paint.  If you have fiber cement, or hardiplank siding then you’re still not in the clear.  This is a great siding, but again…keep an eye out for anywhere that water can leak in, and yes, you still need to paint this type of siding for protection too.  Your home inspector will be walking around and checking the siding out, along with other things.  Most inspectors start outside the home, looking at most of the things that I am going to be writing about here….

Gutters….let’s keep those gutters cleaned out.  There are quite a bit of falling leaves and tree needles right now that can, and will get in there.  Those first good rains are going to show you which gutters need cleaned out.  As I type this I am noticing that the gutter end by my daughters rooms is overflowing.  I just texted my husband that it is going to need cleaned out.  Did you know that if your gutters get plugged and are overflowing it can do damage to the roof overhang wood…it can cause wood rot to the wood right there, it can also get plugged at the downspout and overflow into your crawlspace.  Yep, sometimes the water in the crawlspace doesn’t come from the ground at all, but from a plugged downspout.

Do you have skylights?  My house has two small ones.  This is a good time to make sure that the flashing around those is sealed tight… water leaking around skylights won’t be noticeable for quite some time….and after it has done a bunch of damage to the roof plywood around those lights, and to the insulation in the attic, before you even see it in your ceiling or the ceiling openings for those skylights.

What about the roof?  When it is raining is an excellent time for the inspector to be looking inside your atticspace for any signs of moisture coming through the roof.  He will see signs of moisture on the roof plywood decking that might need addressed by a licensed roofer.  Don’t forget that any wet insulation will be needing replaced too.  Another thing the inspector will be looking at is to make sure that the ventilation in the attic is open, and not blocked.  Is there moss on the roof?  This is pretty common to happen here….I mean, we have moss EVERYWHERE, but you don’t want to see it on a roof.  There’s a powder that can be sprinkled on the roof to help with that, a zinc strip that can be placed on the roof to help prevent the growth of moss, but one thing we don’t  want is moss.  If, and when, you own your home, do NOT pressure wash your roof!  Oh my goodness…  don’t pressure wash moss off your roof!   Use the zinc strip, or the powder, and then get up there with a stiff broom and brush off the dead moss if need be.  Pressure washing your roof actually shortens the life span of your roof by washing off the granules that protect it from the elements….and for heavens sakes, do NOT use TIDE on your roof!!  Tide gets oils, and dirts out of your clothes, right?  What do you think your roof is made of???  I still see, and hear, about people using laundry detergent on their roof, and it just slays me….

How about stairs or decking?  During the rain is a good time to see how slick those might be….I don’t know about you, but I can’t even count how many times I’ve slipped on decking in the rain while out showing homes.  I know that grace isn’t my strong suit, but they can be slick.

Other things that can be noted about a home during the fall/winter months…  Are there any areas of water pooling around the home?  How does the home hold heat?  Wood framing around windows are caulked and sealed, or is there wood rot?  Does the nearby water run off run towards the home, or towards the street?

We live in the land of liquid sunshine, and there is no reason to fear it…. let’s embrace it!  Our homes are built to protect and shield us…from the world, and from the elements.  We need to help it do it’s job by taking care of it.  Most items that come up during a home inspection are pretty simple repairs, and there aren’t too many that are very expensive, but over my years of helping people buy and sell homes I have noticed that it gets more expensive to fix the longer you wait to do it.  Little things can, and do, often tsunami into BIG things.  As a home owner, it isn’t a bad thing to occasionally have a home inspected.  Call your inspector (or call me…I have some numbers), and ask them to come out to look at your home.  You don’t have to be buying, or selling, a home to have it inspected.  Some times it is nice to have a fresh pair of eyes come through to catch those ‘little’ things before they become ‘big’ things.

Some other things that are good to do to a home during this time of year:  change out batteries in your smoke detector, caulk around windows (inside & out), put some Moss B Gone (or similar product) on your roof to prevent moss growth, clean out those gutters, clean & vacuum out your wall heaters, have your furnace serviced, have your chimney swept, make sure you have a chimney cap on your fireplace chimney, check the screens on all your crawlspace vents so that you don’t get animals underneath your home (please make sure you don’t already have animals underneath there first!) check the screens on all your house vents so that you don’t have birds getting in there during the spring (unless you want to be a birdies godmother/father?), check your atticspace for signs of wetness & to make sure all your vents are properly venting outside, check your crawlspace for water either ground or leaks (a good idea is to run all your water in your home first…like the sinks, tubs, and flush the toilets) & to make sure that your under the home insulation isn’t torn down because of animals, go around your home and pull back any dirt or bark dust that is sitting up against your siding or your crawlspace vents….. prepare your home for the upcoming fall/winter.  One thing about crawlspace vents…  a lot of times I will see homes with those Styrofoam blocks in the vents… this is not necessarily a good thing.  If we have times of extreme, prolonged cold then those blocks can be helpful (think December 2008), but our area is pretty temperate and they’re really not needed…and especially not year around.  My favorite home inspector likes to tell people that, “a home is a living, breathing organism.  Just like you and me, it needs to breathe.”  The vents around your home allow it to ‘breathe’.  Because we do get so much moisture around here, allowing your home to ‘breathe’ can help prevent the dreaded ‘M’ word…..no, not Moist…..MOLD.  Mold occurs mainly in moist, stagnant, humid areas.  If you are going to use the Styrofoam blocks then remember to, ‘install in fall, remove in spring’.

Don’t fear the weather, and the time of year, when buying a home… every year, the best time of year to be a buyer is always going to be October-February…before the spring crush. As always, I hope this helps!  Please feel free to call, email, text, or facebook with any questions.  I think I covered everything…but I’m sure there are things I forgot.  I’ve been down with that sickness all week so I’ve been dating Nyquil & Dayquil.  I think I’m on the road to feeling better though…or at least I hope I am!  What can I do to help you today???

Information is power, and I hope that I am able to help you.  Good luck, and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there….  AND If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.  
As always….this is just a quick overview…. again…and I can’t say this enough…please remember that your agent is NOT a salesperson, and should not be acting like one.  Real Estate is not really about houses, it is about relationships.  Your agent, and your lender work for YOU.  You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals.  Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure.  The goal is to be informative and non-promotional.  🙂  We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.

If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your home adventure, please call, email,  text, or facebook me anytime.  I am, as always, happy to help!

Thank you again for your business and your referrals!!  …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.

.   ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…

Upcoming Topics: 
Flash vs Bones…what should a buyer be looking for in homes? 
Last Week:  Home Buying Down Payment information

Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,

Tracie DeMars / Realtor

ReMax Equity Group
License# 81289
Vancouver, WA

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