It’s Not Important to Clean Your Roof

Does the roof on your house look like this?

Roof with fungi, lichen, and mossAnd so maybe you’re thinking that you need to get it cleaned. You don’t. Seriously dudes, you don’t.

All that stuff on your roof is a mix of moss, lichen, and fungi. You can look up those three things on your own to figure out more of what they are. But for our purposes here, they’re life. They’re lifeforms growing on your roof.

Are they destroying your roof? No. Or at least not on the time scale that we live. If we lived for 500 years, then yeah, maybe it’d be a problem. But not for our short lives.

So they don’t need to be cleaned off? No. They don’t. They don’t do anything bad to your roof. When it comes to home maintenance, put your money towards something that really needs to be done, not roof cleaning.

The only reason to clean your roof is for looks. Purely cosmetic.

What if I want to clean my roof anyways? Waste of money, dudes, but okay, let’s say you want to for cosmetic reasons.

Most companies will pressure wash your roof. This is VERY BAD, especially if your roof is aging. Pressure washing has the tendency to rip shingles off your roof or create leaks where there were none. Do not do pressure washing, even though it’s always the cheapest option.

There’s also “soft washing” which still uses water pressure, but much less. This is okay to use if your roof is newer.

The safest bet is people who use brushes and no water pressure systems. You won’t lose shingles this way, you won’t create leaks, and they tend to do a better job.

Of course, if your roof doesn’t have a crazy pitch to it, then you can get up there yourself with a scrub brush and do the best job of all.

The Best and Worst Places to Get an Oil Change

I’ve talked before about how not to get ripped off while getting an oil change, but haven’t yet said where the best place is to get an oil change.

This is what motor oil looks like. See? Not that scary.

This is what motor oil looks like. See? Not that scary.

Best place?

Your home. If you own a garage, carport, or driveway, then get your car’s manual out, get yourself on Youtube, and figure out how to do it yourself. It saves you money in the long-run, but the real reason I do it isn’t for the money. It’s for the quality of work. When it’s your car, you do a great job. You take your time and make sure it’s done right. There’s no other place that you can change your oil that will do it better than you.

Never done it before and scared that you’ll screw it up because it’s complicated and you’ve never opened a car hood before? It’s not complicated. It’s not hard. And with Youtube, you can watch someone do it before your very eyes and then go do it yourself. So buck up, dudes and dudettes, and do it yourself.

Second Best Place?

Not everyone has a garage, carport, or driveway, and so they don’t have a place to do it themselves. Then I suggest any national oil change chain (except Walmart – never go to Walmart for any automotive work). With a national chain, you have recourse if they do something wrong. You got leverage and that’s awesome. With a little local garage, the dude that did your oil change might actually be the owner, and so if you need to complain, you’ve really got no one to go to, because he’s the head honcho.

Seriously, how easy is it to pour in your own oil? So easy it should be illegal to charge people!

Seriously, how easy is it to pour in your own oil? So easy it should be illegal to charge people!

Whether or not their actual work is good, any oil change place might try to rip you off with services that you don’t need, so be sure to not get ripped off!

Worst Place?

Your neighbor’s garage. Maybe you’ve got a buddy or a neighbor that does car stuff or is generally handy, and they say, “Hey, come on by and I’ll change that oil for you.” Don’t do it. If he screws up, there’s 100% nothing that can be done. He might end up expecting a favor in return and now you’re on the hook when you really don’t want to be. Neighbor feuds are started over less than this.

Second Worst Place?

Walmart. Don’t get automotive work done at Walmart. Trust me, they do poor quality work and they cut corners.


Here are some links to articles on changing your own oil:

Art of Manliness tells you how to change your own oil. If you’re a chick, don’t let the website name deter you, chicks can do it too. And they’ll look hotter while they do.

Get Rich Slowly discusses changing your oil every 3,000 miles (SCAM!) and how to do it yourself.

Long Term Mindset lets you in on a little trick to lower your oil change cost if you do decide to go to a national chain.

Image Credits: Motor oil, motor oil refill

Can I Cut Down a Tree by Myself?

Cut TreeQuestion: I’ve got a couple dead trees in my backyard that need to be cut down before they fall down on their own. My wife had some friends over one day and they all ganged up on me saying that I need to “call in the professionals.” But I think that I can do it myself with a couple buddies. I’ve got a chainsaw, know to wear goggles, and understand that you’ve got to rope off the tree so that you pull it down in the direction that you want it to go. Can I do this without professionals?

Answer: Maybe, dude.

First, check out these tree removal regulations and make sure that what you plan to do is cool with the government.

Second, tell your wife’s expensive friends to can it — their opinion doesn’t matter and they don’t have to pay for the expensive thing they’re suggesting. The cost of hiring professionals to cut down a single tree can range from $100-2000 depending on how big it is, where it is, whether you want it hauled away, and whether you want the stump removed, too. That’s a lotta money. If you cut it down yourself, your cost is $0 and you’ve got firewood that you can use or sell. So you might actually make money from the whole thing.

How tall is the tree that you're thinking about cutting down?

How tall is the tree that you’re thinking about cutting down?

Things to consider on whether you can do it yourself is how big the trees are — the smaller they are, the easier they’ll be to chop down on your own (no duh).

Also, how dead are they? Are there some live branches left, or are the trees like 50-foot hollow stakes coming from the ground because they’ve got zero branches? Trees that are newly dead and still have branches are more likely to fall how you’d expect than long-dead trees. The top of a long-dead tree might crack off unexpectedly and in an unexpected direction as you’re in the process of chainsawing or as the tree is falling. That can be dangerous!

I see that you know to rope off a tree and pull it tight in the direction that you want it to fall. Be sure that your buddies holding the rope are far enough away that the tree doesn’t land on them. Trees are taller and heavier than you think!

Do you also know about cutting a wedge into the tree? Do you know what that means? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, call a professional. If you do, then my confidence in your ability is growing.

Here’s a pretty good tutorial on how to cut down a tree on your own.

Cut Down TreeYou could always test out your ability on a smaller tree and see how it goes. There’s no rule saying that if you chop down one, you’ve got to do them all.

You might consider calling professionals to get several estimates on cost. When they’re giving you the estimate, you can ask questions about the trees and see what the dudes say. You might be able to learn more about the process that they suggest doing for your particular situation, and then just do it yourself anyway.

If in the end, you decide to have professionals do it for you, be sure to pit them against each other to avoid getting ripped off and remember that the cheapest bid isn’t always the best.

Good luck!

Other ways to save money on home Improvements and Repairs: