The Blog



Three Common Power Washing Problems To Watch For

Shotgun & Artillery Fungus You may have noticed tiny black specks on your siding, that are nearly impossible to remove. Frequently mistaken for insect excrement, these black spots are the mature spore bodies of Shotgun fungus.  Shotgun fungus (Sphaerobolus Stellatus) gets its name by firing spore masses in the air. The spores fired into the air can reach heights of …

Spring Exterior and Gutter Cleaning

Spring cleaning has a broad and impactful role in home and property maintenance, especially in Vancouver. There are several essential actions that homeowners should take to preserve the value of their home and to boost curb appeal. Two important exterior areas that should be regularly cleaned are the gutters and exterior surfaces. Gutter Cleaning – February Gutter cleaning may seem …

Why Should I Use An Exterior Cleaning Concierge?

Does the idea of having a stranger come into your home make you feel uncomfortable? It should. While it can be infrequent, at some point we’ve all heard horror stories regarding trades or delivery people in the home of friends or family members. You’ll hear stories conveying the minor things (leaving muddy footprints on the floor) to the major (stolen …

8 Benefits of Gutter Cleaning

You know as well as the Umbrella Property Service team does that Vancouver is a rainy city. Currently, it receives the fourth-largest amount of precipitation (falling as rain or snow) in Canada on an annual basis. While many of us have come to accept the rainy days in exchange for the beautiful mountainside location – it, unfortunately, doesn’t fare well …

Umbrella’s Commitment To Sustainability Through Climate Smart

Umbrella’s Commitment to Sustainability through Climate Smart So why the Climate Smart choice? At Umbrella Property Services and our sister company Light Knights Lighting, we have always been conscious of the environmental impact our business has, and its overall contribution to sustainability. As of 2015, we made our company completely carbon neutral and integrated the use of 100% renewable gas. Light Knights Lighting …

3 Tips on How to Use a Pressure Washer

3 Tips on How to Use a Pressure Washer Summer is a lovely time to sit out on the back patio and have friends and family over for a nice BBQ. You will probably want to have your deck nice and clean to start your summer off! Pressure washing is an excellent way to clean off the dirt and grime. …

10 Easy Ways to Improve Curb Appeal

10 Easy Ways to Improve Curb Appeal It’s always a good idea to improve the curb appeal of your home. Luckily this can be done with small improvements that make your home look refreshed. Here are 10 ways to instantly improve your home’s curb appeal: 1. Change your house numbers. Switch out your old and rusty numbers to ones that match …

The Importance of Cleaning Window Tracks

The Importance of Cleaning Window Tracks Dirty window tracks can easily go unnoticed and are often low on the list of cleaning priorities. But having window tracks spic-and-span is actually very important to creating an energy efficient and healthy home. Neglecting window tracks can create a perfect environment for dirt and grime to build up. This dirt and grime can …

How Gutters Protect Your Home

How Gutters Protect Your Home Water is life – it is essential for all humans, plants, and animals. It keeps us hydrated and is fun to play with and swim in when it’s hot out. But water can also rust metal, cause wood to swell and split, and suck the minerals out of concrete. All of which is bad news …

Going Green At Home

Going Green At Home Here at Umbrella Property Services we are always making a conscious effort to improve our environmental impact in a positive way. We’ve made a number of changes to help us reduce, reuse and conserve and want to share what we’ve been up to with you! Water Conservation We know the nature of our work requires the …

Window Cleaning: How NOT To Do It

How NOT To Clean Your Windows If not done properly or safely, window cleaning can be a dangerous job. Here at Umbrella Property Services, we put our employees through a rigorous training program so they are prepared for all situations. As you can see in the pictures below, these people have not gone through any sort of training. Please do …

Home Maintenance: Taking Care of Your House

Home Maintenance: Taking Care of Your House Owning a home not only brings a sense of pride and peace of mind, it also means that you now have to protect your most valuable investment. Regular home maintenance is one of the most important things that you can do to extend your home’s longevity and ensure that you will continue having …

5 Signs That It’s Time To Clean Your Gutters

5 Key Signs That It’s Time To Clean Your Gutters We know that life can get busy – juggling your time between work, PTA meetings, and everything else that fills our days – things such as gutter cleaning can easily take the back burner. Ideally, gutters should be cleaned annually, or better yet, bi-annually (fall and spring), to keep them …

The Importance of Home Maintenance: Fall & Spring Cleaning Checklists

Home maintenance is essential for your home’s upkeep and longevity. Regular inspection of your property’s exterior, appliances, heating and cooling, plumbing, security, and electrical systems will help prevent breakdowns, save money, and keep your home looking its best. On top of a monthly inspection of your home, it is a good idea to have a fall and spring specific checklist. …

Moss & Algae: How to Protect Your Home

Vancouver has an average of 166 rainy days per year, allowing moss and algae to thrive in our beautiful (but wet) city. While rain is great for our lush environment, it’s not so great for our homes because it causes moss and algae to build up. The main factors of moss and algae growth are moisture, shade, and close proximity to …

Pressure Washing – Do It Yourself vs. Professional Service

Pressure washing your home is an important part of keeping your home well maintained and now that summer is here and patio time is in full swing, you may be thinking of doing some pressure washing around the house. A question you may ask yourself is whether you should do the pressure washing yourself, or hire a professional. The equipment …

Rain Barrels Help Reduce Water Usage

There are many ways to reduce your water usage. Rain barrels are a simple, cost-effective and stylish way to do so. Read on to find out how you can set up and use a rain barrel system at home to conserve water. Reduce your Water Usage With Rain Barrels We are no strangers to water. Many of our services require …

Metro Vancouver Returns to Stage 1 Water Restrictions (Pressure Washing is Back)

Metro Vancouver just announced in a Press Release that water restrictions will return to Stage One, effective immediately and ending October 15. The recent rain has helped to restore the water levels in the reservoirs back to 50% of their storage capacity and the cooler temperatures have led to reduced water consumption. Stage 3 water restrictions were implemented from July 20 …

Metro Vancouver’s Pressure Washing Ban

If you’re wanting pressure washing for your house, walkway, driveway, or paths, you’re out of luck. As you may have heard, Metro Vancouver implemented Stage 2 Restrictions for their Water Shortage Response Plan on July 3. Due to ongoing hot and dry weather, the water supply is decreasing. Stage 2 Restrictions mean that pressure washing for the purpose of aesthetic …

3 Things to Look For When Hiring A Pressure Washing Company

When going about the process of hiring a pressure washing company to clean your home or business, there are 3 very important aspects to consider. Integrity Integrity in any business is very important. It counts especially in the service industry. When trying to choose between different companies in your area, look for the one with the most integrity. Do your …

Use Your Squeegie Like A Pro

Most of us would confess that washing our windows is one of those big chores that seem to take a ton of time and even more motivation to get started. But whether we like the job or not, we have to admit that nothing brightens a living space as well as crystal clear, streak free windows. Part of what makes …

Washing Windows in the Rain: Exposing the Myth

Thinking to have your windows cleaned but you hear that there is rain in the forecast?  Well here in Vancouver, you might wait a long time if you believe that rain will undo the time and effort, not to mention the expense of having your windows properly cleaned.  You can quickly tell the professional window cleaners from the amateurs by …

Overlooked Home Maintenance Tasks

Here is a list of things around the home that are often overlooked, leading to greater expense and headache.  Taking the time to tackle these items can save you in a huge way in the long run.  Check for Roof Damage By the time you notice a problem, it’s already too late. Get up onto your roof at least twice …

What To Do With Your Old Windows

We are in the business of cleaning your windows.  But just as an aside, let’s talk about something completely different while still keeping with the “window” theme.  I have seen a lot of DIY ideas lately when it comes to taking something old and turning it into a very unique treasure. Do you have some windows that are just too old …

How To Effectively Wash Your Window Screens

Throughout the year, dirt and grime can coat your window screens. Exposure to the weather elements can leave your screens looking dingy. When you’re ready to wash your windows, consider washing window screens, as well. Then, when you’re ready to open up your windows and let in the fresh air, you won’t have to deal with dirt and debris blowing …

Fall Into Winter Check List For Your Home

With the arrival of fall, it’s a good idea to get started on those things that need doing around your home before the much cooler (not to mention wetter) months of winter are upon us.   Here is a list to get you started. Check and install weather-strip.  Homeowners who have poor or insufficient weather stripping waste hundreds of dollars …

Making The Switch To Green Cleaning Products

You care about the environment, but you also want clean counters, sanitized bathrooms and have a spotless kitchen. There are many “green” cleaning products in today’s market.  While there are no specific criteria that qualify a product as green, most claim that they are biodegradable, phosphate and chlorine free and their ingredients are derived from plants rather than petrochemicals.  It’s …

Pressure Washing Benefits For Your Business

When it comes to bringing in new business, hiring someone to pressure wash your building may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But the truth is that a clean and well cared for business exterior will draw in those much desired new customers.  People take note of a business owner who takes care of such things, concluding …

September Newsletter

September was a great month here at Umbrella Property Services.  If you have not yet had an opportunity to ready our September newsletter, simply click on the link provided below. In this month’s edition you will find: Exceptionally Boring Accounting Tips Healthy School Lunches blueberry Basil Smoothies And So Much More….. UP_Newsletter_Sep14_web

How To Clean Your Outside Windows Like A Pro

Ideally, windows should be washed twice a year.  It’s not something that most of us look forward to but the reward can definitely make it worth the effort.   Part of what makes window washing such a chore is using improper tools and methods, making an already challenging task more difficult. Simply spraying with a window cleaner and working it …

Effectively Clean Your Inside Windows

Simple Tips To Effectively Clean Your Inside Windows You just had your outside windows cleaned and are left with some not so clear areas on your windows. Chances are, it’s a simple matter of cleaning the insides.  Here are a few ways to guarantee a satisfactory outcome. Clean the screens. If you leave yours in year-round, make sure to give …

How To Pressure Wash Commercial Awnings

Does your business boast beautiful awnings?  While they can improve the look of your business and be great for advertising, they tend to be home to accumulated dirt and debris.  Here are a few tips on how to effectively clean those awnings: Regularity:  Pressure washing your awnings at least twice a year can extend their life cycle while ensuring that …

Gutter Shining

Here at Umbrella Property Services, we not only clean the inside of your gutters, we leave the outside clean and looking new!   When it comes to removing those nasty black streaks that gutters get over time, we have a special  cleaning agent that does a wonderful job at restoring the original appearance of the gutters. Regular house wash solution …

How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

If you haven’t had your gutter system cleaned and checked in the past 6 – 12 months, now is the time to get that looked after! When it’s one of those rainy days Vancouver is famous for, you should be able to spot some of the more obvious gutter problems such as leaks which can be repaired by professionals. It …

Cost Effective Ways to Add Curb Appeal

Remember all those outdoor fix-up projects you put off last winter, waiting for the warm summer months? Well, summer is passing us by so now is the time to think about getting some repairs in while the temperatures are still agreeable. Keeping your home in tip-top shape not only adds to its curb appeal but it saves you money as …

Moss On Your Roof?

Algae and lichen are much less destructive to roofs than moss and for the most part, it is usually unnecessary to remove them other than for cosmetic reasons. Moss is the real enemy. Moss holds moisture and roofs with moss on them dry out slower which in turn speeds up the wear and tear effect on the roof. Another reason …

Importance Of Repairing Leaking Gutter Corners

The easiest way to tell is you have any leaks in your gutter corners is to take a look at them shortly after a good rain shower.  This way you won’t confuse the dripping with rain drops coming down the outside of the corner. If the corner sealant has failed, you will see dripping from the faulty corner. Some other …

What To Look For When Hiring A Window Cleaner

Here are five questions you are going to want to ask before choosing a professional contractor to clean your windows: 1. Are they reliable? Will the workers show up when they are scheduled to? We can assure you that our workers will arrive on time unless unforeseen circumstances do not allow them to. And in that case, you will know …

The Umbrella Property Service’s July 2014 Newsletter

Always a great read, this edition of Umbrella Property Service’s Newsletter features ways to reduce your home heating bill, life hacks for planning a family trip and much more! In this edition of our newsletter, you’ll find the following topics: Ways to reduce your home heating bill by 25% Life hacks on family trip planning Amazing day trips around Vancouver …

Tips For Cleaning Your Driveway

Why should you clean your driveway regularly? Because paved driveways become a magnet for oil stains, mud and thick layers of grime. 1. Sprinkle a thick layer of sawdust or kitty litter on any grease or oil stains. Leave the sawdust in place for 12 to 24 hours to absorb as much grease as possible. Sweep it up and dispose …

Steps For Cleaning Your Blinds

If you’re like me, vacuuming, dusting and washing floors are done on a fairly regular basis. But what about the blinds? Dust settles and builds on them just as it does on other surfaces in our home. When the window is open, the dirt and grime from the outdoors just adds to this unwanted accumulation. Here are some simple steps …

How to Save Birds From Crashing Into Your Windows

In today’s post, we give you tips on how to save our aviary friends from crashing into your windows. I must admit that at least once in my lifetime, I have walked full force into a glass partition of some kind. My only defence…it was so clean that it appeared to be an open doorway! I think my ego was …

Water Fed Pole Window Cleaning

We are using a revolutionary method of cleaning windows, which is safer, long lasting, and produces better results!  Water Fed pole systems allow us to continue guaranteeing one-of-a-kind results, while eliminating hazardous chemicals and unsafe factors. How Does It Work? Water fed pole window cleaning is a soapless method of cleaning windows. Tap water is filtered through a pure water …

Should I Pressure Wash My Deck?

It’s that time of year again when we pull out the garden house, squeegees, rakes, etc. and begin to tackle all the debris and dirt accumulated over the winter months.  As you make your way around the house with your pressure washer, a question may come to mind….should I pressure wash my deck? It seems harmless enough. Just point and …

What’s That Growing On My Roof

Got something growing on your roof and not quite sure what to make of it? Here are a few of the would be culprits: Moss – This is a more common type of growth on roofs. Moss is darker green, thick, holds more water, and grips into the surface of the shingles. Lichen – Lichen is a combination of algae …

How To Effectively Clean Your Patio Furniture

When the sun comes out in Vancouver, you want to be out enjoying it if at all possible! Now a days, outdoor patios can be just as warm and cozy as indoor seating areas. With that being said, it’s really quite easy to keep your outdoor patio furniture clean and free from debris. Just follow these simple steps to get optimum …

Simple Green Changes

Living green is simply adopting habits that positively affect the environment. It starts with just small steps like using reusable bags instead of plastic or switching to a reusable to go cup for your coffee runs. Here are a few other simple changes you can make around your home that will positively impact your family, community, and ultimately the planet. …

Are Gutter Guards Worth The Investment?

Gutter guards sound like the perfect solution to the dreaded job of cleaning out your gutters. They are advertised as being able to prevent your gutters from clogging with leaves and debris. Many of the companies that sell them boast that you will never have to clean your gutters again. When it sounds too good to be true, chances are …

Steps To Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

With rising costs of heating and electricity bills, more homeowners are looking for ways to make their dollar go a little further. The following are some simple yet effective ways to make your home energy efficient, saving you money in the long run. Turn the heat down: Turning your thermostat down even slightly can make a difference. Every degree of …

Umbrella Property Services May 2014 Newsletter

Incredibly, the end of May is just around the corner!  If you haven’t had a chance to read our May Newsletter don’t delay, read it now! Check it out here —> UPS_Newsletter_May With love, Your customer care whizz PS. No mention of window cleaning, pressure washing, or gutter cleaning in our newsletters.  Just fun!

4 Pitfalls of DYI Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is easy enough that we can just do it ourselves, right? This may be true to some extent but you can easily cause damage to yourself and to your home if you are not careful. Consider the following 4 examples of possible pitfalls of pressure washing yourself. Washing your vinyl siding from the ground at an upward angle will force …

Top Benefits Of Having Your Home Pressure Washed

When people consider giving their homes a thorough cleaning, they often overlook some of the most visible areas. Sidewalks, porches, decks and siding can reflect the wear and tear on a home. Here is a look at just some of the benefits you can expect from from having your home pressure washed. Electrical Efficiency Several environmental factors can prevent your …

Safety Tip #3 : How to Clean Gutters Safely

It’s spring (finally) and time to get all those household chores done that you have been putting off….like cleaning those gutters! In this third and final article regarding safety tips, lets take a look at how you can clean your gutters safely. At its best, gutter cleaning is a tedious and unpleasant task. Getting dental work done comes to mind as a …

Safety Tip #2: 7 Tips Before Using Your Pressure Washer

Always have a complete understanding of the task at hand and be completely familiar with the tools you will be using. For this article, I am going to take a look at the pressure washer and give you tips before tackling the cleaning of your home’s exterior. Do not be one of the thousands of individuals each year that underestimate the …

5 Smart Tips For Your First Home Cleaning Visit

Now that you have done your homework and settled on the best professional cleaning company for all those chores around your home, there are things you will need to consider in order to get the most out of your investment. This can include anything from the right timing to any special requests you may need to communicate before the work …

Safety Tip #1: How to Safely Use a Ladder

Safety first! Sound familiar? This is something we are repeatedly saying to our children, but it is imperative that we keep this in mind when working around the home with the help of a ladder. Ladders have been around a long time, and are common to almost every home and workplace. This, and their simplicity, gives the false impression that …

Top 11 Things You Should Know Before Choosing Your Family’s Home Care Specialist

I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to hiring someone to look after the cleaning of your most prized possession, your home, it is imperative that you do your homework! Here are the top 11 things you should consider before choosing a professional contractor to clean your gutters, wash your windows and paint your home. Do not underestimate …

Home Maintenance Safety Tips: Introduction

Just the other week I was at my son’s apartment here in Vancouver along with my daughter and her family who were visiting from Alberta. My son had prepared breakfast and after everything was cleaned up, we decided that the window which had been propped up to provide some air flow, could now be closed. My son lives in an …

April Newsletter

Check out our latest newsletter featuring Release The Hounds, tips on improving your running, an amazing soup recipe and so much more. Click here–> UPS.Newsletter.14.04 With love, Your customer care whizz PS. No mention of window cleaning, pressure washing, or gutter cleaning in our newsletters.  Just fun!

Insider’s Method to Streak-Free Clean Windows

Are you frustrated with your windows not being as clean as you’d like? By following our insider’s method to streak free windows, you will be one happy person! Have your exterior windows been cleaned recently making your interior windows dirtiness jump out at you? Or are you simply tired with trying to clean your homes interior windows and having streaks …

Top Reasons to Clean Gutters Properly

Clogged gutters in British Columbia’s wet climate can wreak havoc on your home, not to mention your pocketbook! Are you among the many people who neglect cleaning their gutters properly for several years at a time? It might even seem that this is without any consequence to you. However, this neglect will come back to bite you. You may ask, …

5 Reasons You Should Hire a Professional Window Cleaner

In today’s post, we share with you 5 reasons to hire a professional to clean your windows. Of course you can do it yourself, but we wanted to outline some great benefits to giving it to a professional to handle. Everyone appreciates clean windows for enhancing the aesthetics of a home. Last week we discussed 5 easy steps to cleaning …

Umbrella Property Services Newsletter Issue #2

We realize we forgot to post our February newsletter! Oops. For a fun read check it out. UPS.Newsletter.14.02 No window cleaning, pressure washing, or gutter cleaning talk.  Pinky swear!

How to Clean Your Interior Windows by Hand

Window washing is one of those jobs that takes time and devotion. By choosing the right tools and techniques, the task can go much more quickly and produce better results. Gather all of your tools and supplies before you begin. You will need a sponge, bucket, chamois or dry rag and a squeegee. Put a little detergent in a bucket …

5 Reasons to Have Your Gutters Cleaned

Gutter and downspout systems are an often-overlooked part of home maintenance. However, it is vitally important to clean and maintain your gutters. Overflowing gutters can cause a variety of problems with the most damaging being leaks within your home and basement. By following a twice-yearly cleaning schedule, fall and spring, you will significantly reduce the chances of having costly problems. …

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