Exterior

by Paul Yaedon I went to visit my mother last week. We sipped tea and talked about the latest news and events. My mom likes to express her opinions by using proverbs. Her inventory is quite astounding. If people are not barking up the wrong tree or making mountains out of molehills, they are putting carts before horses or all their eggs in one basket. If my mother were a home inspector, here is what she would tell all her clients: A...

Serious structural problems in houses are not very common, but when they occur they are never cheap to fix. Some can't be fixed at all. This report won't turn you into an seasoned home inspector, but it will give you some of the common indicators. Uneven Floors Uneven floors are typical, particularly in older homes. Here is a trick to help distinguish between a typical home with character and a structural problem.If the floor sags to the middle of the home, it's...

A few weeks ago a friend called me to say he had some pictures I should take a look at. He told me that a relative of his living in Vaudreuil, (west of Montreal) was hosting a few friends on his back deck one evening when a cigarette was apparently stubbed out in a planter around 9pm, (there were no ashtrays as the hosts did not smoke).   The planter contained peat moss which smoldered slowly until midnight, when it burst into...

The three pigs proved that brick was the best building material – it certainly is. But brick has its natural enemies (and the big bad wolf is definitely not one of them.) Water and paint are at the top the list of materials that can do damage to brick. Don’t be fooled: looks can be deceiving. “There are some houses on the plateau for example, that have an impeccable brick façade, but you go around back it’s a disaster,” says home inspector...

Montreal is a city with a great many balconies, porches and back decks; and Montrealers make good use of them during the summers. Playwright David Fennario even referred to the city as "Balconville" in his play of the same name, alluding to the balcony's central place in the city's culture, where thousands of Montrealers retreat to escape the heat of their sun-baked homes - and often get to know their neighbours better at the same time. But when homeowners make the...

Tulips still underground? Can’t smell the crocuses yet? Good! Because you want to make sure your sump pump works before spring showers are in full flood! This is a good week to check your sump pump. It’ll only take 5 minutes, and if there’s any problem, you’ll prevent water damage or flooding during the rainy spring season. STEP 1 Fill a bucket with water or run a garden hose to your sump pit. Fill up the pit until the float level is reached. STEP...

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 every winter, we visit many homeowners have to repair water damage caused by ice damming by snow on roofs and in gutters because they...

Today, central air conditioning is common in most modern homes. - But in urban centres, we often still see the drippy window units. Why do they drip? Why are they so noisy? They are supposed to drip as humidity leaves the building! The reason air conditioners drip is because they work in part by extracting moisture from the home through a process of compression and condensation. However, it's important to be aware of the damage dripping water can do to your building. Damage...

Spring has arrived in Montreal—for real this time, we hope! And that means it's time to get the patio decked out. Last year's metal chairs rusted? Wicker torn apart? Plastic discolored? Ever wondered what patio furniture is best for this climate? What's best for your particular patio? Consult this handy list of the pros and cons of all the usual suspects to help you make the right choice: [caption id="attachment_1417" align="alignnone" width="650"] Decked out in plastic! We found these on Green Frog Recycled Plastic...