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Fall Home Maintenance How-To

By: Danny Lipford
Allen Lyle and Danny Lipford with homeowners Hunter and Payton Black.

Allen Lyle (left) and Danny Lipford (right) with homeowners Hunter and Payton Black.

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Danny and Allen help new homeowners Payton and Hunter Black perform some much needed maintenance and repair projects on their home, including replacing rotten porch columns and cleaning and repairing neglected gutters.

Check out Fall Home Maintenance To-Do List article for more fall home repair projects.

Porch Column Replacement

Rotten base on old column.

Rotten base on old column.

The old, turned columns on the front porch were in poor condition and didn’t enhance the look of the house, so we decided to replace them with square columns made from pressure treated wood.

The first step in replacing the old columns was to raise the porch beam, using a 4×4 post and hydraulic jack, and remove the old columns.

The new hollow core columns from YellaWood are made of high grade pine lumber which has been pressure treated with a micronized copper preservative then kiln dried. The columns are then assembled using a formaldehyde-free, exterior adhesive.

After the porch beam had been leveled, the new columns were measured and cut to length. Metal plinth blocks were attached to the uncut, sealed bottom end of each column with corrosion resistant deck screws.

The columns were then set in place and plumbed in both directions. As a finishing touch, 1″x 8″ treated lumber was mitered and nailed around the bottom of each column.

Porch column before and after replacement.

Porch column before (left) and after (right) replacement.

Since the wood in the columns had been kiln dried after treating, it could be painted or stained immediately after installation without waiting weeks or months for the wood to dry, as is necessary with pressure treated lumber that hasn’t been dried.

Watch our video on Removing and Replacing a Porch Column to find out more.

After the columns had been primed, the joints between the base and column were caulked. To make smoothing latex caulk easier, dip your finger in water before smoothing out the caulk.

Watch our video on Exterior Painting Prep Tips to find out more.

Gutter with leaking seams and full of leaves before repair.

Gutter with leaking seams and full of leaves before repair.

Gutter Cleaning and Repair

It’s important to keep gutters and downspouts clean and leak free to prevent rainwater from rotting the eaves. After the leaves had been removed, a garden hose was used to clean out any remaining dirt and debris.

New gutter end cap and downspout.

New gutter end cap and downspout.

Loose gutter spikes were removed and replaced with gutter screws to hold the gutters securely in place.

Self-tapping sheet metal screws were used to pull together loose joints in the gutters, and the seams were caulked with gutter sealant.

To seal the open end of the gutter, an end cap, outlet drain, and downspout were installed.

As a final touch, gutter guards were installed over the gutters to help keep leaves out in the future.

Find out more about gutter cleaning and repair:

Other Tips from This Episode

Caulking wide cracks in sidewalk using foam backer rod.

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Caulking Wide Cracks

Caulking alone shouldn’t be used to fill cracks wider than 1/4” or the caulking will fail. Instead, clean out the crack to remove any debris, then insert foam backer rod in the crack and caulk over it for a long lasting repair. Foam backer rods are available at home centers in a range of thicknesses. (Watch Video)

Rubbermaid Roughneck Bag Bone holding open a paper bag.

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Rubbermaid Roughneck Bag Bone

The Rubbermaid Roughneck Bag Bone is the perfect way to hold paper lawn bags open for easy filling with leaves or other lawn and garden debris. Simply flex the frame, insert it in the bag, and release. The Rubbermaid Roughneck Bag Bone is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Chimney roof flashing.

Ask Danny Lipford:
Repairing Chimney Leaks

Leaks around fireplace chimneys are common and can be hard to locate. The culprit is usually the metal flashing that joins the chimney to the roof. Inspect the flashing carefully for gaps or cracks, apply roof cement to any loose flashing, and attach it securely to the chimney with masonry nails. (Watch Video)

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Fall Home Maintenance How-To