Spring Home Maintenance Checklist: Exterior and Eavestroughs
Winters can be harsh on your home’s exterior, so it’s a good idea to inspect for damage after the snow has melted and you can see things clearly. It’s warming up here in Ontario, so it’s a good time now to go through some springtime maintenance so you don’t have to worry about it later during the summertime heatwaves.
Choose a warm and bright day where you can see things clearly, and start a list of things that will need attention or repair. Some important things to check:
- Check the foundation for cracks and leaks. Also check the grading and add soil or gravel as needed to ensure rain water will drain away from the house instead of towards the foundation.
- Check exterior paint for peeling or cracking, and touch up as needed.
- Check siding and/or masonry for damage.
- Check the seals and weatherstripping on windows and doors, and check if any caulking needs to be redone.
- Check the seals on garage doors, and do any maintenance on the tracks that may affect how smoothly the doors roll.
- Check the driveway for damage or cracks, repair depending on the type of driveway you may have.
- Check your deck and fence for splits, cracks or damage.
- Check the roof soffits and fascia for any damage, and if there is any you can also check the attic for critters that may have gotten in.
- Check the roof for damage and/or wear, and plan to repair/replace as needed.
- Now is also a good time to overseed and fertilize the lawn.
- Check the eavestroughs and downspouts, and clean if necessary
Water damage can be a serious problem–given enough even time even small leaks can cause big issues, so it’s important to keep an eye on eavestroughs and downspouts.
This week we’re going to focus on cleaning eavestroughs, which catch the rainwater from the roof and pass it through the downspouts and away from the house. Dirt and leaves can clog the eavestroughs leading to potential water damage issues. You will need the following equipment:
- Rubber gloves or work gloves, preferably waterproof
- Long sleeved shirt and work clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
- Long ladder
- Drop cloths to lay on the ground to catch anything that falls down
- Safety googles
- Bucket and scoop to pick up and hold the debris
- Long hose to rinse it all down afterwards
- A friend to spot you on the ladder
There are fours parts we need to pay attention to:
1) The eavestroughs may be clogged
- Position the ladder and work your way along each eavestrough to evaluate what needs to be done
- Scoop up any debris with a scoop or work gloves and into the bucket
- When you’re ready get your friend to turn on the hose to rinse it down while also checking for any new leaks that may need repairing
2) The downspouts may be clogged
- If your downspouts are clogged you may need to partially disassemble it to access the part that is clogged
3) The eavestroughs or downspouts may be damaged
- You may need to replace some Gutter Spikes, the long nails that hold the eavestroughs in place. These are also important for stability and also angling the eavestroughs so the water drains in the right direction.
- Check any seals and recaulk with silicone if necessary.
- Depending on how the rest of the system is attached, you may need to reattach with new rivets or screws if those have come loose.
4) The downspouts are not pointing water away from the house
- The downspouts carry the water to the ground level, but if they are not pointing away from your house they could potentially cause flooding near your foundation.
- Adjust them as necessary to point away from the house, you can also buy extensions to divert rainwater further away.