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Wed, Dec 31st - 5:26AM

Eave Trough - Winter Maintenance
Eave Troughs – Care and Maintenance

Winter and eave troughs – This is where most home designers fail to take winter into consideration when designing homes. Most home owners buy homes in the Spring, Summer and Fall, and never think about their homes eave troughs and downspouts. As a home inspector in the Barrie, Alliston, Orillia and Innisfil area it amazes me how many homes have downspouts that discharge water directly onto sidewalks and driveways. This leaves the home owner scrambling to keep ice from accumulating on these high traffic areas.

Most new homes have weeping tile that their downspouts discharge into, which working well in warm weather. As the cold weather sets in these usually freeze up and can cause damage to your downspout as the ice can build up enough pressure to split the aluminum seam. I usually recommend that the home owner install a Tee at the junction of the downspout and weeping tile. This allows the water to run off from downspout when the weeping tile is frozen. The weeping tile will always remain frozen long after the eave trough and downspout have started moving water. This simple tip will aid in preventing ice dams and those annoying drips from your eave trough.

Fall Clean-up

Always ensure your eave troughs are clean and leak free prior to winter. You can manually clean your gutters or use a leaf blower to blow away the loose debris. Always place your ladder in a secure area, tied off to secure object is recommended, and do not support on gutters or downspouts. Make sure your roof is not slippery if climbing onto for cleaning. After removing all debris, soften any solidified debris with water, flush with water. This is when any leaks should be noted and repaired with caulking or recommended gutter sealing product. If water is not freely flowing from downspouts you may have to take them apart to removed stuck debris, this is easier to do in nice weather rather than waiting for winter weather to perform any maintenance.

Adding downspouts is a quick fix for some eave trough problems that occur in winter. Some designers will run a single gutter around front or rear of house and if located in an area susceptible to collecting snow, can lead to ice build up.

Eave Trough: Slope is Essential

When eaves trough are installed by a contractor, they are positioned in such a way that they are slightly sloped towards the downspout. This allows water to be expelled efficiently. An important part of regular gutter maintenance is checking the slope of rain gutters. An easy way to do this is to climb up on a ladder and spray water into the gutters with a hose. The water should flow smoothly towards the downspout. If it simply sits there, the slope probably has to be adjusted. There are different opinions about the ideal slope of rain gutters, but a one inch slope for every 20 feet of gutter is a common suggestion.

Using a line level, locate and mark the high point and low point for your gutter. Then, readjust your eaves trough by repositioning the hangers. Replace any rusted or damaged hangers and screws.

Eave Trough Maintenance: When to Consult a Professional

Most homeowners can take care of basic rain eaves maintenance on their own. Adjusting the slope, repairing leaks and holes, and replacing fascia boards are manageable tasks. However, for significant structural problems and repairs, it is best to call a professional. The same is true if you are thinking about having new eaves trough installed.

This article is for advice only, and authors expertise is concentrated in the Barrie Real Estate market, may not apply to your area of residence.

When Only the Best Will Do



Barrie Home Inspector
Orillia Home Inspector
Alliston Home Inspector
Barrie Home Inspections
Real Estate Inspector
Barrie Real Estate


Comment (1)


Wed, Dec 10th - 5:52AM

Holiday Safety Tips
Open Flames and Candles – Always ensure your candles cannot accidently ignite decorations or other combustible materials. If you have or are entertaining small children ensure all candles are safely out of reach. Keep candles, matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
Xmas Decorations - When using lights, make sure they are certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriters Laboratory Canada (ULC) if decorating an outside tree, use only those lights labeled for outdoor use. Don't overload electrical outlets, and always unplug all interior and exterior lights before going to bed.

Choking Hazard- For children, small toys and special foods can be an incident waiting to happen. Ensure toys are appropriate for the age of the child, and won't create a danger for younger children in the household. Take a quick look around your home if expecting small visitors and remove all potential choking hazards prior to their arrival.
Christmas Trees - Choose a fresh Christmas tree, one with shiny needles, and secure it in a sturdy stand. Avoid placing your tree near a heat source (sunny windows, radiators, heating vents, and fireplaces). Try to keep the tree out of high traffic areas where it might be bumped or overturned, or where someone might trip on light cords. Avoid any spot that might be dangerous, such as next to a fire in the fireplace or up on a wobbly table.
Prepare for holiday parties - Decorate only with flame-retardant or noncombustible materials. If guests will be smoking, provide them with large, deep ashtrays and check them frequently. After the party, check under sofa cushions and in trash cans for cigarette butts that may be smoldering.

Drinking and Driving - When attending a party, designate a non-drinking driver. If you are hosting a holiday gathering, be sure there are non-alcoholic beverages for guests who are driving and arrange for alternate transportation for guests who drink. Remember if someone leaves your home and has too much to drink you could be held partially responsible if tragedy occurs.
Inspect fireplaces and wood stoves - Have your chimney connections and flues inspected by a professional and cleaned if necessary. Use a sturdy screen when burning fires. Burn only wood—never burn paper or pine boughs. If purchasing a factory-built fireplace or wood stove, select one listed by a testing laboratory, and have it installed according to local codes. If you plan to hang stockings on your fireplace, do not use the fireplace for fires. Most insurance companies now require a WETT inspection prior to insuring your home if you have a wood burning appliance.

Enjoy the Holidays – Tis the season to enjoy friends and family, take time from your busy schedules to savour the spirit of giving and sharing with those you love. Remember that sharing with those less fortunate can be a very rewarding experience, and your time and effort can be just as valuable and appreciated as financial contributions. Have a safe and merry holiday season.

Barrie Home Inspector
Orillia Home Inspector
Alliston Home Inspector
Barrie Home Inspections
Real Estate Inspector
Barrie Real Estate

Comment (5)


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