It's cold and rainy here on the West Coast (often referred to as the Wet Coast in winter!) and the idea of cleaning gutters is less than appealing.  However, unless they're properly cleaned and maintained, clogged gutters can cause damage to your home.  You're likely up there on a ladder hanging Christmas lights anyway, so take a look at the gutters and do the needful to avoid problems like the following:

Damage to Building's Foundation

Gutters are meant to help keep water away from the foundation of your house.  If water doesn't follow the right path, it could end up pooling close to walls and travel down into your crawlspace or through basement walls.  And that's never a good scenario.                                                                                          .                                                                                                        

Unwanted Guests

Debris in clogged gutters attracts birds, insects and rodents.  Wood fascia boards and roof materials will rot if left sitting in pooled water.  Birds like woodpeckers love to eat insects in rotted wood and will make holes in walls and the roof to get at them   


Seeds from plants and nearby trees will sprout in the accumulated dirt and debris in gutters.  The extra weight

will further weaken and damage your gutters and roofing system.


Ice Out

Ice damming is the back-up of water against the roof, lifting shingles and other roofing materials, damaging both the roof and interior ceilings and walls by pushing up inside.  In most cases this occurs during cold weather where pooled water in gutters is further blocked by partially freezing.  The worst case scenario is peeling paint, rotting insulation and wood and possibly the growth of mold inside your building.


So, by all means, clean those gutters.  Once they're cleaned of debris, flush them with water from the hose to make sure they're flowing freely and working properly.  If you don't already have them in place, install splash pads where downspouts meet the ground to keep water away from your foundation.                                                                                                                                                 


If you don't want to clean those gutters yourself, there are lots of companies who can do the job for you.  Just make sure they have insurance for both their Worker's Compensation and Liability.  Call me if you'd like some names of reputable firms to chose from.


 When you purchase a home, there are many additional costs over and above the price of that property.  See the selection below and be sure you've taken them into consideration to avoid any nasty surprises at completion time! This informative graphic and follow up list was supplied by one of the best mortgage brokers I know and one I often recommend for my clients, Lynn McLellan at Dreyer Group Mortgage Brokers.



Winter Listings - Christmas Decorating - Yes or No?

Do Christmas decorations help or hinder your sale?  It's always a good idea to think about their effect on potential buyers.  In most cases, less is more.  

While your home is for sale, keep the decorations relatively simple and blending well with your current decor so buyers can see your home's best features instead of being distracted by that 100 piece Christmas Village on your mantle. 

If you decide to do your usual full-tilt decor to keep the family happy, be sure to have your photos done before you decorate.  That way buyers can see what the home looks like under regular conditions and, if the listing doesn't sell quickly, you're not stuck with pictures of Christmas trees in your living room in March!

Outdoor lighting definitely makes your home appear brighter, warmer and more inviting -- particularly if all your neighbours have bright lighting.  You don't want your house to the only "dark" one on the street.  However, if you plan on using inflatables in your display, ensure they stay inflated.  There's nothing attractive about a wilted, deflated pile of nylon on your front lawn for a buyer's first impression.
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