Archive | Exterior

Big tree? Big Problems. Clay Drain to Blame.

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. –Aristotle Buying that old pre-1970’s house with the beautiful big tree in the front yard? Idyllic, isn’t it? Add a beautiful stone path, some shrubs, perhaps a screen porch, some flowerbeds and a fountain. But what lies beneath? What might you find in the […]

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Posted in Exterior, Plumbing518 Comments

Increased VOC Emissions from Attached Garage in Summer

We have a summer project for you: remove gasoline, solvents, pesticides and toxic cleaning products from your indoor garage (or worse, basement) and put them in a shed away from the building. Chemical emissions from your attached garage could be harming your health. A scientific study published in the Environmental Research Journal showed that nearly all […]

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Posted in Basement, Garage715 Comments

Costly Contamination: When Rusty Pipes and Oil Tanks Leak

On a recent home inspection, we smelled oil in the home. Inhabited by an elderly person who spent most of her time alone, she didn’t know where the smell came from. We investigated. Then, when we went around outdoors, and saw the oil pipe. It looked almost like a tree trunk! This pipe, which supplied oil to the […]

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Posted in Exterior, Heating-Cooling, Specialized Inspections508 Comments

Water-Cooled Air Conditioner: Illegal in Montreal as of 2018

(Plus a Montreal water usage primer!) Watering your lawn at 7am? First offence: $200 to $500, and up to $1000 for a second offence. -And as of January 2018, running an air-conditioner connected to the aqueduct that does not have a water recycling system will be prohibited and fined, according to  Montreal By-law 13-023. The […]

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Posted in Heating-Cooling, Seasonal685 Comments

Spring Cleaning Time! Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Correctly

Pesticides, Coolant, paint thinners, chlorine, used oil, bleach, propane tanks, oven cleaners and aerosol cans are all hazardous waste that don’t belong in your home; and they need to be disposed of properly. There are corrosive, flammable, explosive and poisonous substances contained in many household products. They are dangerous to you, your family, the garbage […]

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Posted in Garage, Indoor Air Quality, Seasonal669 Comments

Simple Solutions to a Leaky Basement

Smell something mouldy, mildew-y or sour coming from your basement or crawl space? Make no mistake: you’ve got a leaky basement. Spring is a likely time of year for moisture problems to rise up in your basement, and a good time to pay attention to how your home is weathering the spring. As snow melts, air […]

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Posted in Basement, Indoor Air Quality, Seasonal677 Comments

Effective Ventilation System Maintenance Stops Ice Damming

Without a working ventilation system on your roof, your home could thaw out snow and ice on the roof, turning it to water. The water pools, then freezes and melts again causing roof damage and leaks. – And for home owners who haven’t done regular maintenance on their roof, that means water damage from ice damming! After […]

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Posted in Chimney and vent, Heating-Cooling, Insulation-Ventilation, Roofing516 Comments

Crack, Snap, Boom! House Noises in the Night

Snap Crackle Boom! Why is my house making cracking sounds in the night? We got a call a couple of weeks ago from a man in a panic because he’d heard his home making a huge boom sound in the night. “My house made a huge big bang sound in the middle of the night! Something must have […]

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Posted in Heating-Cooling, Structure697 Comments

A Cinderblock Story – the tale of a crumbling cement wall (Part 3/3)

(…continued from A Cinderblock Story part 2/3)  Now I just had to ask the neighbour if it would be okay because (as you might recall) according to the city I needed permission occupy even a couple of inches of “air” beyond my property to the neighbour’s house with aluminium. I talked to the neighbour, and after […]

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Posted in Exterior456 Comments

Half a million holiday lights, oh my!

Light up the night for the holidays, it makes everybody feel the holiday cheer! Some folks take outdoor holiday decorating very seriously: take the Forrest couple and their kids. David and Janean Richards  and their 3 kids have strung up enough lights to break the Guiness book of world records clocking in at 502,165 flashing […]

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Posted in Electrical, Exterior451 Comments

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