After a long snowy winter, most Canadians welcome the arrival of spring with open arms. But while balmy weather and budding trees are a wonderful sight, spring often brings with it unpleasant surprises for homeowners.
Heavy precipitation, saturated ground, and snowmelt from further north in the province can combine to cause serious flooding, and Toronto’s high population density and aging sewer system are often not up to the task of channelling that excess water away from the city.
The heavy flooding that struck Toronto in 2018 and rendered the Toronto Islands uninhabitable for large stretches of the high tourist season have left many Torontonians worried about whether 2019 will see similar problems. Many are also wondering what they can do to decrease the likelihood that they will become the victims of flooding.
Flooding has been a perennial problem in Toronto, and while the individual homeowner cannot do much to fix the problems with the city’s sewer systems, they can take action to reduce the chances that flooding will impact their own house.
In this post, we will explain how a good roof system can dramatically reduce the risk of basement flooding, and some of the ways Professional Roofers can help when it comes to preventing water damage to your home in a holistic way.
Eavestroughs and Downspouts: Essential Components of an Effective Roof
When most people think about flooding, they think about the earth — about the plumbing systems in their own homes, about where their house is situated and how water flows around it. These are important things to consider, but in practical terms, the thing homeowners have the most control over is not their foundation, but their roof.
One of the biggest dangers facing houses in Toronto is a build-up of water in the soil around their foundations. If water has nowhere to go, it will seep into the ground and find its way through any cracks or weaknesses in the foundation, eventually ending up in your basement. Over time, water will also freeze and thaw in the concrete itself, slowly causing it to crumble.
For this reason, all homeowners should take steps to ensure that when it rains, the water falling on their roof is being efficiently channelled away from the foundation of their building and toward the sewer system. Even if the city as a whole is struggling with floodwater management, ensuring that your house’s roof and drainage system are operating efficiently is an important way to reduce the water saturation of the soil around your home, and is a concrete action all Toronto homeowners can take in helping to reduce their risk of basement flooding.
This means having eavestroughs and downspouts that can handle large volumes of water, and which won’t leak or get clogged in the middle of a rainstorm. Unfortunately, in cities like Toronto and Mississauga that are covered by a beautiful canopy of shade trees, leaves can easily gather in troughs and plug up spouts, causing water to back up and overflow the gutters and pool beside the walls of the house.
One of the best steps you can take toward flood prevention is to have damaged eavestrough and downspouts repaired and to clear away debris regularly to prevent clogging. At Professional Roofers, we are proud to offer a variety of eavestrough cleaning and repair solutions that are suited to the particular needs of your house. We can also help you install leaf guards and other preventive features that will help you ensure that when flooding season comes, overflow from your eavestroughs does not add to the problem.
Repair Your Soffit and Fascia This Spring
Eavestroughs and downspouts aren’t the only parts of your roof system that need to be taken care of this spring, however. Alongside eavestrough repair, Professional Roofers recommends inspecting soffit boards and fascia for water damage every spring.
There is a common misconception that soffits and fascia primarily exist to improve a house’s curb appeal, but the truth is that these supposedly cosmetic features also play a vital role in keeping the water out.
Rain does not only fall vertically — high winds can cause rain to splatter up underneath the eaves of your house, and without protection, this can quickly cause serious problems. Moisture build-up can cause your roof deck to start rotting from below and can even compromise the beams of your house, leading to major expenses down the road.
Because of the vital role they play in protecting your eaves, soffits and fascia are subject to a lot of wear and tear from the elements. Ice damming can wreak havoc on your fascia, and in Toronto’s older neighbourhoods tree branches and falling debris can cause serious problems.
But soffits and fascia aren’t just at risk from bad weather: animal damage is becoming a major issue when it comes to maintenance across Toronto. Birds, raccoons, and even opossums have all been known to make nests for themselves under the eaves of houses, and while building their homes these critters can cause serious damage (if you suspect that you may have animals nesting above your soffits, make sure you call Toronto municipal animal control before trying to deal with these pests yourself).
Soffits and fascia have traditionally be made using durable materials like wood and aluminum, but it has become increasingly common for manufacturers to offer synthetic or composite materials specifically designed to improve waterproofing and extend the life of your roof.
If you are planning on having a Toronto roofing company install new eavestroughs and downspouts, it is a good idea to replace your soffits and fascia as well. Eavestroughs need to be removed before soffits and fascia can be replaced, so doing both at the same time will save you time and money. Perhaps more importantly, it will ensure that your roof system is protected for years to come.
If you want to know more about how Professional Roofers can provide a Toronto roofing solution that takes care of your whole roof, click here to learn more about how soffit and fascia repair can help make your roof more resilient to water damage this summer.
Want Your Roof to Last? Regular Maintenance is the Key
In this article, we have focussed on the importance of eavestroughs, downspouts, soffit, and fascia because these are features that homeowners often overlook when trying to ensure that their home is waterproof and flood proof. But replacing these elements of your roof system will do little if the roof itself is not operating as well as it should.
For this reason, it’s generally a good idea to start every spring by making a thorough inspection of your roof (many homeowners undertake these inspections themselves, but for those who are not comfortable getting up on the roof itself, it is a good idea to get help from Toronto roofing experts). This inspection should cover the state of the shingles themselves, but you should also pay attention to the flashing alongside dormer windows, chimneys, and plumbing stacks.
If your roof has suffered damage of any kind, make sure to call roof repair services in Toronto as soon as possible. At Professional Roofing, we have extensive experience working with all kinds of Toronto roofs — from conventional asphalt shingle roofs and metal roofs to membrane-covered flat roofs.
Our roofing experts can handle everything from minor patching jobs to a full re-roofing, so if you have any questions at all about what kind of roofing solution is best for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch. As you can see from the many positive reviews from past customers that we have received over the years, we take care and pride in our work, and our deep roots in the Greater Toronto Area mean that we have an intimate knowledge of the unique challenges the climate in this part of Canada poses to houses of all kinds.
The roof over your house is one of the most essential components in keeping you safe and dry through every season, and many water-damage problems in other parts of the house can often be traced back to issues with roofs.
This spring, don’t take any chances with your roof: undertake a thorough inspection as soon as it is safe to do so, and make sure that everything from the plumbing flashing to the eaves, the fascia to the downspouts is doing its part to keep water flowing away from your house. And if you notice any problems at all with your roof or eaves, call Professional Roofers to get the expert help you need to get your roof back in shape as soon as possible!