Exterior

All the squirrels and chipmunks are running around, busy collecting nuts, making sure their homes are well stocked… and you? What exactly are you doing to get ready for winter? Before settling into hibernation mode, it’s a good idea to do a thorough walk around your home and see what may benefit from a little TLC before winter hits.  You may have already made it an annual ritual to turn off your outdoor plumbing and check your gutters, but there are...

This year’s Montreal and area Shakespeare in the park series featured Shakespeare’s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. The meaning of the title to this play, often misinterpreted, is about making a big fuss when there is nothing to fuss about. They play attempts to show that deceit is not inherently evil, but can be used as a means to both good and bad ends and that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between good and bad deception. Vines / Ivy on Brick:...

Sure, as carpenter ants burrow into wood to create their nests, your home is slowly getting destroyed from the inside out. But carpenter ants don't generally nest in nice dry areas free of food stuffs. They prefer moist, rotting wood. Carpenter ants indicate a bigger problem in the home. Carpenter Ants Like High Moisture Carpenter ants like areas with high moisture, especially wood that is in contact with the soil. Soft moist wood is easy to burrow into. They prefer areas where ventilation is poor, and...

While a ship’s captain may have a little time to batten down the hatch and get all hands on deck when he smells a storm, your deck may not give you the chance before it collapses. Your deck is where you relax, toast your daughter’s graduation, and celebrate summer. But a deck can also be one of the most dangerous areas of your home. According to the North American Deck and Railing Association, at least 30 deaths were reported between 2000...

Deep freeze at -26 Celcius. Next day, a balmy 2 degrees and everything melts. Then it rains. Then freezes again. Then snow. What's a homeowner to do? Be prepared. Freezing and melting water can be your home's biggest enemy. Ice, especially, can cause a lot of damage. But the fact is, removing thick ice from a roof is difficult - at best. Montreal's 1998 Ice Storm is testament to that. You have to make a decision as to what will be most...

While on an inspection, many of our clients ask: "How old is the roof?" If the owner doesn’t have a receipt on file, it’s impossible to know, but it’s pretty fair to say, we don’t see a lot of roofs more than 20 years old that don’t need to be replaced –sometimes 10-year old roofs are in terrible shape. It all depends on how they were installed, if the roof was done someone who knew what they were doing, and if...

It’s that time of year. The leaves will soon turn red and gold, and the cottage will need to be properly closed up for winter. It’s always good to have a checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything. We’ve compiled a list of what we consider the most important cottage closing tasks, organized by area. Please leave us a comment if you have any cottage closing tips to add! KITCHEN Glass bottles – take home all glass bottles. The contents of freezing bottles...

7 per cent of Montrealers move on July 1st, according to 2013 estimates - that's about 116,000 people.  Moving Day causes stress, blocks up streets, and a lot of sweaty people drinking beer and eating pizza with a sore back and a wet paint roller in their hands. Keep in mind, if you're not moving -- be patient with those that are! After all, it's Canada Day, a good day to practise good old fashioned Canadian manners. Are you wondering why so...

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 purpose of the law is to get devices used for cooling (air conditioners) and watering the ground (sprinkler systems) off the drinking water circuit at a time when the population needs the water most. If you have an air conditioner installed that uses water from the aqueduct, it will have to be...

Smell something mouldy, mildew-y or sour coming from your basement or crawl space? Make no mistake: you've likely sprung a leak in the basement. Spring is a likely time of year for moisture problems to arise, and a good time to pay attention to how your basement is weathering the thaw. As snow melts, air temperatures change, ground and surface water collection increases, and so does the likelihood that moisture could be gathering, causing a leak in the basement. This can lead...