Saturday, 11 April 2015



With the arrival of Spring, it is once again a time for renewal and a time to repair and maintain your property.   In order to keep your home up to date and functioning properly, you need to inspect it and do some upkeeping.  If you neglect to inspect and repair your home on a regular basis, inevitably, you will end up facing expensive repairs in the future. The following checklist is a good place for you to begin:


A visual inspection should be done of the roof either with binoculars or simply with the naked eye. Check for cracked or missing shingles due to the wear and tear of old man winter.  Roof turbines should be spinning freely without obstruction and roof vents should all appear uniform and intact.  Animals such as raccoons are notorious for lifting roof vents and entering from the rooftops into the attic.  Through weathering or critter invasion, roof shingles may be uplifted from the edges causing water to enter and lift the shingles even more.  A handyman or a roofer can easily repair these minor occurrences from getting worse. 


A visual inspection of the chimney should also be done.  If you have a masonry chimney, observe the very top for missing brick pieces or cracked pieces.  If water has been entering the chimney from behind the brickwork, you will observe white-calcium deposit called efflorescence. This is another red flag for you to consider immediate repair before another winter ends up making the situation worse. 


    By taking a quick walk around the house, you should be able to observe any discoloured spots on the brickwork, stucco or siding material.  Tell-tale signs are readily observed under the eavestrough, near gutter downspouts and under the window sills.  Spots around these areas usually suggest that the eavestrough and gutter system is failing. Failure is also caused by debris accumulation in the gutters or by the weathering effects of ice and snow causing the eaves and gutters to become unbalanced and in need of repair. Water tends to accumulate and seep under the window sill. This is easily observed by the water stain left behind.  The good news is that this can be easily fixed by using caulking. Bricks placed sideways to create a sill, expose much of the mortar.  This exposure is the cause of deterioration which will have to be repaired. In some cases, you may consider replacing the brick sill with a natural stone, which also looks quite exquisite.  


    A visual inspection of the foundation wall can be done by simply walking around the perimeter of your house.  Be sure to check for surface cracks and observe the source of origin and where they extend to.  Minor cracks and surface cracks usually don’t pose any concern, especially if the house has a plastic membrane around your foundation wall.  In the event you notice a crack, it is advisable to go to that part of basement and check the wall and the floor for moisture or stains.  Check around the foundation wall for areas that have sunk. The best way to keep water away from your foundation wall and basement is with the grading having a proper slope away from the house. The concrete cement splash blocks at the base of the downspout are placed there to channel the water away from the foundation wall.  The ground tends to settle around the house but be sure to watch for the ground settling.  If this occurs, water may end up seeping down towards the foundation wall. An easy fix would be to add some crushed stone underneath in the back side, so that discharged water from the downspout flows correctly.  Check the window wells and ensure they are clean and free of debris.  Most window wells have drains that can carry water from the well to the drainage tile system and to the storm sewers.  Debris will clog the flow of water, which inevitably may end up in your basement through the window.


A tight seal around the windows is required to avoid water and air penetration. Check caulking and weather stripping to ensure it is intact.


Ensure the surface of your deck/patio is slightly sloped away from the house and is intact.  Check for loose deck boards or weak deck boards that should be replaced.Finally, remember to turn your exterior water on as it has been off due to the long winter months.  You can now clean the windows, rake and fertilize the grass, clean the outdoor furniture, take the cover off the A/C unit and perform the Spring BBQ cleaning ritual.  Spray wash the garage floor to get rid of salt and winter debris.   

How much fun it is to be a home owner!! Enjoy summer as it is around the corner.   

1 comment:

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