Author Archives: Victoriano Saldi

About Victoriano Saldi

Hi! My names Victoriano and I write about issues related to the construction industry and SEO related topics. Email me at: victoriano@moxieseoseattle.com

Common Gutter Problems

 

gutter-cleaning-before-and-after

Below is a list of common gutter problems we see everyday. The list includes some quick fixes and some cost analysis on repairing this vital part of your home. Some common issues found with a gutter system are:

  • Leaks at Seams
  • Sagging Gutters
  • Detached Downspouts
  • Downspouts not Properly Spaced
  • Excess Roof Shingle Overhang

GUTTER LEAKS AT SEAMS | IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS

Gutter leaks at seams contribute to water intrusion at homes. Hf-law  lists  water intrusion, as a very common insurance claim on a homeowners insurance policy.

gutter-leak-seamsIf the leak is documented on a residential sale , such as a home inspectors report or an Appraisal URAR , the policy will not cover any water damage that occurs once the leak has been brought to the attention of the homeowner.

While each policy contains different policy language and varying degrees of coverage for water damage, most insurance policies cover damage where the cause of loss was “sudden and accidental.”

The safest best is to have the leak repaired as soon as it comes to your attention. For an explanation on how to repair a gutter leak at a seam see our post here .

SAGGING GUTTERS | DETACHED GUTTERS 

Gutters sag for a few reasons :

  • They have not been cleaned and the debris/water has piled up which made the gutters too heavy for the gutter screws to hold or
  • The screws/nails attaching them to the fascia have rusted or pulled out due to the above listed conditions, or because of age.

Once gutters begin to sag and they are not quickly and properly repaired water intrusion begins to happen quite rapidly. As discussed by the HF-Law article, avoiding litigation and whether you have properly done due diligence in a claim; is something you want to avoid. Don’t put this task off . 

failed-gutter-screw

This gutter has become detached from the home due to excess water weight .

Downspouts detach themselves from the gutter system. It happens due to the above listed gutter problems or because the rivet or screw simply failed. Reattaching a gutter downspout is a maintenance issue, just like changing the oil in your car, sometimes it just has to be done.

DOWNSPOUTS NOT PROPERLY SPACED | EXCESSIVE WATER WEIGHT 

 gutter downspout placement

Gutter downspouts should be placed every 20 feet and no greater than 35 feet from each end.

Gutter downspouts should be placed at intervals not greater than 35’ feet. When they are placed too far apart the water slopes to one side and begins causing:

A. The gutter to sag due to the weight of the water held up on one side.

B. Rust at the bottom of gutters since water is sitting for extended periods of time.

EXCESS ROOFING OVERHANG | OVER SHOOTING GUTTERS 

carson Dunlop Photo | Excess Shingle Overhang Diagram

(c) Carson Dunlop Home Inspectors

Gutters are meant to accept the water flow from a  roof. If the roofing shingles are too long the water overshoots the gutter line. Typically a roof shingle should not extend past the gutter line more than 1″ inch .

The list of problems this begins to cause is a post in and of itself. We listed some costs associated with not properly maintaining your gutters here. 

 

Tennis Court Cleaning Seattle

Tennis Court Photo 

Tennis_Ball-1Tennis is a popular sport enjoyed by countless people all across the Pacific Northwest. If you are lucky enough to have your own tennis court on your property, you already understand just how much of a challenge it can be to keep the court clean.

In order to enjoy your court all year long, you will need to keep the playing surface clean and free of debris like leaves and needles from surrounding trees.

PWNG Services is proud to offer tennis court cleaning from Seattle to Bellevue to help you keep your court looking and playing great throughout the year. Our experienced team understands the specific needs of a tennis court, as we have completed this kind of work for many of our existing clients.

 

 

DON’T LET YOUR COURT GO TO WASTE

Many homeowners who have a tennis count on their property don’t use the court very often – in large part because the court is often messy and unplayable. With just a single visit from PWNG Services, your court will be in great shape and ready for all of the serves and volleys you can hit. If you are going to dedicate such a large portion of your property to having a tennis court, it only makes sense to get as much use from that space as possible. There is no need to spend hours of your valuable time bringing the court into playable condition when the team at PWNG Services can get the job done for you.

SPECIALIZED EQUIPMENT | DONT LET A BARGAIN TURN INTO A HEADACHE! 

surface cleaner-bg-removedIf anyone offers to clean your court using a pressure washer RUN AWAY! Sport court are marked with a special paint blend that is very delicate using pressure at more than 70 PSI will ruin you courts design. The typical design cost of a regulation court is $5000. You do the math! Hiring someone with a lack of experience will cost you dearly! 

We use specialized pressure washers with a low pressure application and no more than 65 PSI of pressure. We also use specialized soaps that do not damage the markings found on sport courts. Our surface cleaners cost $1800 a piece and we own 2 of them for large sport court surfaces! The surface pro cleaners are made to gently scrub a sports courts surface. If they are not used correctly they too, can cause irreparable damage to the design on a court! 

The Cost of Graffiti Vandalism to Business

seattle-public-utilities-city-of-seattle-operating-budget

THE TRUE COST IS MUCH LARGER THAN THOUGHT ! 

According to the Seattle Public Utilities graffiti vandalism cost the city of Seattle $ 1 million dollars last year alone. The battle to keep Seattle vandalism free is one that never ends. In many locations throughout the city, almost as soon as graffiti is removed, new graffiti takes its place.Although not a huge factor in the Public Utilities District annual budget the costs of combating graffiti begin truly showing themselves once the its realized that the costs and the service is dispersed through multiple agencies. 

Seattle Public Utilities spent about $1 million last year for graffiti enforcement, removal, education and outreach, while King County Metro Transit spent $734,000 last year to rid buses, tunnels, park and rides and bus shelters of graffiti.

The cost of the damage is a drain on taxpayers. But there is a lot more going on with graffiti that most of us don’t have any idea about? Graffiti in many instances are done by taggers pledging allegiance to a “crew” or group of people. These crews are farming grounds for gangs and the markings these crews leave are what gain them their notoriety and fame in the underworld.

Stopping graffiti from becoming a walk of stars is as valuable as keeping the city blight free. The amount of hassle graffiti removal provides is not without the benefits of deliberately letting criminals know that they are not welcome in our communities.

SEATTLE’S GRAFFITI NUISANCE ORDINANCE 

pdf-flatIn 1996 the city of Seattle adopted the graffiti nuisance ordinance. The ordinance is managed by the director of Seattle Engineering Department Solid Waste Utility whom sends out a letter letting the property owner know that their property has become a graffiti nuisance property.

The ordinance states that a building owner has 10 days to comply with an order for graffiti removal or face penalties of $100 per day. This ordinance was adopted by Seattle after seeing the success of cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix and Portland and San Francisco in combating graffiti through similar programs.

Although this ordinance may seem harsh to a business owner, it’s been well proven that timely removing graffiti, prevents graffiti vandalism from happening. A building that doesn’t remove graffiti quickly becomes a magnet for vandals to not only continue defacing that property, but the surrounding properties as well.

CONTRACT PRICING FOR GRAFFITI REMOVAL 

click here for our price listGraffiti removal is based on two factors, the first being the material it was applied to and the second being the size of the tag. Materials such as brick, metal and concrete all have very different methods involved in removing graffiti. Time and materials is normally how these graffiti tags are estimated for removal.

Typically the cost for graffiti removal is based on a 4 hour least for most companies. The cost can quickly add up when the graffiti is done on historic brick or landmarks that must be given great care in preserving during the process. In these situations a chemical agent is applied over and over till the markings of graffiti are removed. Effective graffiti removal products are not cheap and repeated applications drive the price up.

According to howmuchisit.org the typical graffiti removal will cost $100-$300 per call out. The link above has  our deeply discounted pricing for graffiti removal contracts.

 

 

Why You Should Never Pressure Wash a Home

 

 

FULL HOME POWERWASHING COUPON

WHY SOFT WASHING IS THE ONLY METHOD FOR HOUSE WASHING


Pressure washing has caused countless leaks, probably millions in damage and major headaches for homeowners looking to keep up the appearance of their home. Pressure washing a home, is the process of using water at 2500-4500 pounds per square inch to remove algae, mold, dirt and black streaks from a home’s siding and gutter line. If you think your insurance will cover damage of this sort your wrong!

Gradual water damage is an example of something that is not covered under a homeowners insurance policy. Many homeowners don’t realize this before it is too late.

This method has been used for decades by inexperienced homeowners and faulty contractors to give the home a quick inexpensive makeover, without the added expense of repainting the surface. Although pressure washing a home can in many instances completely rejuvenate a home’s appearance, the method of pressure washing is far more important than the actual finished product for several reasons. In the post we discuss our method for softwashing houses in Renton, Seattle and Shoreline, Washington. 

 

DAMAGE TO WOOD: FURRING AND SCARS

WOOD FURRING-1A pound per square inch is the amount of force water is delivered to a surface. Typically to be effective a pressure washer must deliver between 2500-4500 PSI to remove dirt and algae from wood and other structures.

The force of 4500 PSI is enough to tear and rip human skin and it does equally as bad against wood. Most woods used in exterior surfaces are porous woods such as Douglas fir and cedar. Cedar is moderate softwood and one of the most popular woods used in the Pacific Northwest.

Cedar is used in countless homes siding, decking and roofing in the greater Seattle area. Cedar cleans up beautifully when maintenance is done; correctly. However what cedar and most woods can’t stand is pressure blasting away its fibers and creating furring. Check out our blog post on wood restoration here. 

Furring is the lifting of wood fibers, typically caused by excessive pressure. Furring exposes and damages a wood surface and causes irreparable damage to a wood structure. The only option once furring has set in is to either sand the surface or steel wool it, causing even more damage and material removal to the wood structure!

EXCESSIVE WATER PRESSURE EQUALS WATER DAMAGE

high-pressure-siding-damageOnce again, 2500-4500 PSI blasting away at any surface is not good. It is an extremely bad idea to use that much pressure on materials that overlap such as siding and roofing. The overlap of siding is designed to stop water from ever getting behind the siding and destroying the paper, wood and insulation behind it.

Water always travels down siding and roofing. Using a pressure washer at excessive strength pushes water up siding and roofing. The initial design of the material was made to prevent that from ever happening and for good reason.

Once water gets behind siding the amount of damage to the structure starts to add up rapidly. The paper behind the siding is now wet, without being able to dry , it begins to create mold, the mold then rots the wood behind the paper, once that happens the insulation begins to carry the mold and create moisture. After repeatedly taking on moisture from a failed building envelope, the insulation passes on the mold to the drywall, floors and structure. What is left is, tens of thousands of dollars in damage when a water intrusion is not caught in a timely fashion. 

DETERGENTS AND SOFT-WASHING | THE ALTERNATIVE TO PRESSURE WASHING

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A technician performing the soft wash method on a roof.

You would never wash clothes or dishes without soap. Why would you wash a house without it? Although this sounds pretty simple, we at PWNG have seen the disastrous effects of the use of a pressure washer in the wrong hands. Not only can a pressure washer destroy a home, but incorrectly mixing chemicals or not rinsing properly can as well.

Most times the issue of chemicals not performing is user error. However after personally having tried dozens of chemicals on the market sold at Home Depot and Lowes, I have come to the conclusion that most of the products on the market today are not effective for properly cleaning a home. 

The Western Washington areas including Renton, Shoreline, Seattle are new to this method of power washing homes but it is not a new method. This method of soft washing has been a standard practice all along the East Coast , where the founders of PWNG are from. We have been strong advocates and pioneers in the chemical method of correctly cleaning a home’s siding to this area .  We take great pride in having changed the culture of this areas method of house pressure washing. 

chemical icon

click for the chemical list

After scanning through several of these products MSDS and ingredient sheets, what became obvious is that in most commercial house wash mixtures the ratio of water to the actual cleaning product approached 85% and as high as 96% water with only 4-15% of the product containing the actual cleaning agent! In short: a watered down ineffective cleaning solution.

In summary, pressure washing can be a blessing or a curse. The experience of the user is the key component in either cleaning a home or destroying it. Store bought chemicals and user error are contributors to a lack of experience but they are not the sole cause of water damage and chemical damage to a home.

 

SERVING THE FOLLOWING CITIES: 


 

Algona, Auburn, Beaux Arts Village, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bothell, Burien, Carnation, Clyde Hill, Covington, Des Moines, Duvall, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Maple Valley, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Newcastle,Normandy Park, North Bend, Pacific, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Seatac, Seattle, Shoreline, Skykomish, Tukwila, Woodinville, Yarrow Point

Chimney Cleaning Seattle

Chimney FireWhile fire experts warn that dirty or blocked chimneys are among the leading causes of death and property damage worth millions of dollars in the United States of America (USA), chimney cleaning remains an overlooked service by hundreds of homeowners in Seattle.

The process, involving scrubbing of wall liners, mortar joints, and protective caps to remove soot and harmful debris that accumulate over time, can help improve the efficiency of a chimney’s system, flush out animal intruders, and boost the safety level of your fireplace and house.

Benefits of Cleaning Chimneys Regularly

During cold winter months or rainy spring ones, the warmth in chimneys creates a suitable breeding environment for birds, squirrels, and other four-legged crawlies. With twigs, leaves, and several other nesting materials, they create bulky homes in chimneys, choking the system, and lowering the efficiency of the fireplace significantly. Worse, when sparks of fire travel up the chimney and land on dry nesting material, it can set them alight, costing the homeowner thousands in repairs. Chimney induced fires can also spread uncontrollably to other parts of the home, putting the lives of residents at risk. Cleaning the chimney occasionally can help flush out such intruders enhancing the efficiency of fireplaces, and lowering the risk of fires.

Chimney DiagramTraditional fireplaces in homes in Seattle use wood and other flammable debris as their heat source. While these materials are affordable and readily available in stores and timber yards all over the state, they release soot and other toxic by products such as carbon monoxide, when used to fuel fireplaces. These emissions can be harmful to health and can even cause death, if inhaled in copious amounts.

Another benefit of cleaning chimney systems regularly therefore, is that it will enhance circulation of air in the home and the chimney system. Your chimney will release toxic emissions such as soot in the environment, where they will cause less harm.

Did you know that soot and other emissions from fireplaces are corrosive, and can lower the value of your chimney’s system if left unattended? Soot and toxic emissions such as nitrogen oxide are acidic in nature. When they coat chimney lining and react with water or moisture from the environment, they release hydrogen ions that corrode, and cause irreparable damage to costly chimney parts such as liners, dampers, and even mortar. You can easily avoid or lower such negative effects by cleaning the chimney system installed in your home regularly.


 

How Failing to Clean Chimneys in Seattle can Cause Issues

Racoon inside Chimney without capIf you fail to clean the chimney in your home regularly, you will contend with the following issues at some point: first, birds and rodents such as raccoon’s or squirrels will nest in your chimney, especially during cold winter months, lowering the efficiency of your fireplaces.

When they excrete and die on their nests, a pungent odor will fill your home, which can be embarrassing if you have regular guests. Their nests can also catch fire, burning your home to the ground, or creating significant damage to your chimney’s system.

When you fail to clean your chimney regularly leading to a blockage, soot, and emissions such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide can accumulate to toxic levels in your home, causing health problems and even death. These emissions are also acidic, and will corrode your chimney’s wall over time.

Summary

Cleaning a chimney regularly is beneficial in many ways. Your fireplace will work well. Air will also circulate freely through the system, limiting the accumulation of toxic emissions in the home. If you lack the requisite skills however, hire the services of an expert for best results.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

Dont_Let_a_Dirty_Dryer_Ruin_your_Day

Dryer vents have to be cleaned occasionally in order to function properly. The cleaning involves removing any blockages that may be inhibiting the free flow of air inside the vent. Lint may built up inside the vent and this is very risky to safety in the building. This is quite important as we will see in the next section and should always be taken very seriously.

Benefits of cleaning out your dryer vent

For a start, cleaning the dryer vent ensures that the vent works properly without having to waste a lot of energy in the process. Since there is little blockage in the vent after cleaning, hot air will flow freely hence making the process easier. Dryer vents with lint build up often exhibit symptoms such as clothes taking longer to dry, clothes not drying fully, clothes getting hotter than usual at the end of the drying cycle. In some cases, the laundry room may become more humid than usual.

However, with a clean dryer vent, the clothes will dry in no time at all and still be at a normal temperature after drying. You also get to avoid the burnt smell in the laundry room and it is not as humid meaning that you can do your laundry in comfort.

How not cleaning the Dryer vent can cause issues

A dryer vent that is plugged may lead to the dryer getting hotter than usual and increase the risks of a fire starting. A dirty vent is actually a fire hazard in your house and this should be taken very serious. A humid laundry room can also be a cause of infections that are airborne and this poses a huge risk to your health. High temperatures on the outside of the vent can also cause injuries in case one gets into contact with it.

There will be higher energy bills as more energy is wasted on drying the clothes. A dirty dryer vent is less efficient hence using up more energy in order to do the same amount of work. Though the build-up of lint inside the vent is gradual, it will accumulate to a point where it poses a dangerous health and safety risk. As a matter of fact, a dirty dryer vent can be the main risk of fire inside your house.

Conclusion

Safety in the house is a very critical issue and should always be taken very seriously. The health and safety risk posed by a dirty dryer vent should be kept in mind at all times and mitigated with routine cleaning. This will not only save you a lot of money in energy bills, but will also make sure that you are safe at all times. It is said that prevention is better than cure and you should always make sure that your household is safe at all times. Do not risk a fire in your house by leaving your dryer vent unattended and unchecked as it may turn out to harm you later on. So get that dryer vent cleaned today and stay assured that you are safe.

Roof Cleaning Safety

ROOF CLEANING SAFETY | THE BASICS OF FALL HAZARD

safety-iconSafety is a serious concern when cleaning roofs. Seattle is home to some of the steepest pitch roofs in the nation. When we are doing homes that have heavy moss growth like in the video above , we take every precaution to safely perform the task.In this post we are going to be discussing some of our methods and the tools we use.

Cleaning steep roofs accounts for about 50% of all the jobs PWNG does. We take great pride in having been in business the last 4 years without any safety issues arising. A lot of these techniques were brought into the company by my brother and partner Anthony Saldi.

2015workrelatedfatalitieswastate_waface-pdf

COMMON SAFETY TOOLS OF THE ROOF CLEANER 

checklistAnthonys earlier work experience consisted of bridge building and tower installation. Anthony came to PWNG with 15 years experience working safely from heights that at times were 100 feet in the air. He is our lead safety director and our weekly safety meeting coordinator.

The right tools of the trade are indispensable to correctly and safely cleaning steep roofs, never attempt to use a safety device you haven’t been properly trained on. Here are some devices we keep in our arsenal:

 

  • LADDER HOOKS: These hang over the peak of a roof and allow close up cleaning.
  • TOWER HOOKS: When cleaning steep roofs you must have 2 points of attachment. These tower hooks when connected to your Safety Harness help stabilize the user. They also stop the user from accidentally falling anymore than the length of the tower hooks which is typically 18 inches.
  • HARNESSES: Obviously you can’t work that high off the ground without having some sort of fall protection. When considering what brand or style of harness to buy , always think about how the harness is going to be used. All our harnesses come with D-ring hooks installed in the back,front and around the belt loop area. We have many places to attach ourselves to when working high off the ground.
  • CARABINERS AND ROPE GRABS: We have found it quite difficult to clean roofs facing down. The method we developed is to use approved D-ring hooks mounted to 5/8 rope grabs to repel downwards as we are cleaning. 
  • LADDER LEVELERS: A must have tool of the trade for dealing with uneven surfaces. 

 There are many other tools available for working off heights. We have found a method that works for us. Never attempt to learn how to use your safety devices before being properly trained on their setup and usage. The simple mistake of attaching a rope grab incorrectly can cause a very serious injury.

 

Roof Maintenance Tips

 

Dead Moss On Roof Seattle

MOSS IS A SERIOUS ROOF KILLER 

pdf iconOver 10,000 roofs are replaced per year due to water intrusion, in the Seattle area.Lack of Seattle Roof Moss Removal is a major contributing factor to the number of roof replacements.Homes with infrequent sunlight or under foliage are the most prone to moss growth.

Moss is very destructive to roofing. Large patches of moss trapping moisture in 1-3 inch mats create water dams.Those dams then begin pushing water underneath roofing substrate. The roofing material is never left to dry out.

 

 METHODS OF MOSS CONTROL | THE DEBATE 

You can speak to any 2 roof cleaners in the country and the proper method for roof cleaning and moss control is always up for debate. There are standard methods of moss control practiced around the country these methods are:

  • Power washing to remove moss.
  • The use of zinc strips.
  • Chemical treatment.

OUR METHOD OF MOSS CONTROL 

click here for our price listChemical treatment, also called soft wash roof cleaning, in our opinion, is the most effective means of moss control. Using the right chemicals, completely kills all moss spores and prevents new moss from rebuilding. Most soft wash roof cleaner’s offer warranties of 1-5 years.

Soft wash roof cleaners are secure in offering these warranties because they know that it took years for this moss to grow on your roof and it will take years for it to grow back, provided the right chemicals are used in strong enough doses. We make Seattle Roof Moss Removal Last!

The decision on what method is the right method for Seattle Roof Moss Removal is always up for debate. PWNG uses the chemical soft washing method to soundly control moss. We stand by our service and offer a 1-year warranty with every Seattle Roof Moss Removal. We look forward to any comments or questions our readers might have and we welcome an open discussion on roof cleaning.

 

How to Seal Coat a Driveway

seal coating driveway seattle

STEP 1 : POWER WASH THE SURFACE 

21 inch surface cleanerApply a power washing soap and then pressure wash the  entire surface, be very meticulous. Any debris left over will be sealed in. We like to use a surface cleaner to make the job go faster. The soap helps you know which areas are clean. If the soap is still turning black during your cleaning, its a good bet you have some more power washing to do.

 

STEP 2: FINAL RINSE 

power-washing-a-drivewayAs mentioned in step 1, any debris not removed from the surface will be sealed in. We always provide a final rinse to make sure that everything is off the surface .

A great method to limit the amount of time spent prepping the surface is to use an edge trimmer around landscaping before starting your project.

 

STEP 3: PREPARE THE SEAL COAT 

concrete-sealer-prevents-water-penetrationEach product comes with its own method of application or mixture. Make sure to mix your product well and to follow the manufacturers recommendation on when to apply. Some sealcoat products can only be applied with another chemical mixture or during certain temperature ranges.

 

STEP 4: APPLY THE COATING 

how-to-seal-a-drivewayDependent on the manufacturer’s recommendation, either brush, spray or use a pump up back pack sprayer to apply the chemical. Make sure to wait till the driveway is dry so you know which areas you’ve missed! Apply the chemical uniformly and as thick as the manufacturer recommends.

 

Seal coating a driveway is a good way to prevent water intrusion into the substrate that causes microcracks to occur, if your using a tinted sealer it also provides a great and fresh appearance to your entire home. If you’re seeking professional help for the task give us a call!

Cedar Roof Cleaning Mill Creek, WA

cedar_roof_cleaning_mill creek before and after

We recently completed a cedar roof cleaning Mill Creek, Washington that offered us some unique challenges such as:

  • Safety Issues
  • Large quantities of revitalizer usage
  • Large quantities of UV inhibitor to be applied on steep roof.

In the picture above we are using a repelling system and roof hooks to soft wash the steepest peaks on this roof. The roof was a challenge due to the shear numbers of roof hooks we were forced to install. Cedar roof restoration is a dangerous task and only someone with experience in safely cleaning should even consider trying their hand at this task.

As you can plainly see the end result of experience and safety combined gave us an amazing finished product. If you’re seeking a cedar roof cleaning Mill Creek, WA or surrounding , give us a call.PW&G provides soft wash roof cleaning to Mill Creek and all areas of Snohomish County