Real estate in Montreal has been heating up with some districts experiencing hot market conditions and a shortage of property listings. Stories of tight closing dates and bidding wars are very common. In normal markets, the potential buyers have more control over the transaction. However, in a hot market, home sellers are dictating the conditions, often having one open house and instructing interested parties that they have a limited number of days to make an offer....

It’s still hard to believe that after our brutal winter, spring is really around the corner. Yes, we see the snow and ice are finally melting and we will need to prepare our annual spring-cleaning to-do list. Spring is obviously not the time of year you want to think about furnace maintenance, but as a homeowner, you should include your furnace on your list of things to take care of. In a typical Canadian home,...

Unless you live in an older home, you may not know about vermiculite. Vermiculite is a natural mineral that was used as insulation in homes from the 1920’s to the 1970’s, and is often found in attics. It is silver-gold or gray-brown in colour and when it’s in its natural state, it is shiny and flat. If vermiculite becomes heated, it puffs up and creates pockets of air making it a great material for insulation. Also...

Carpenter ants are small insects that can cause big problems. As home inspectors, we often come across the signs of carpenter ants in a home and we need to let homeowners know why this could be important. Carpenter ants can damage wooden structures in a home, and their presence usually means you have a problem with water leaking into your home. We’ve noticed that there is a lot of misunderstanding about these insects, so here are...

The last few weeks have brought the bitter cold, blowing winds and snow we all dread. Winter in these parts is not for the weak. One thing you really want to avoid at any time of the year, but particularly in winter, is problems with your hot water tank. When you’ve been stuck outside shovelling and come in looking for a hot shower or bath, you want to make sure...

A few weeks ago, a school in LaSalle had to be evacuated due to carbon monoxide poisoning. 43 people, adults and children, were taken to hospital for treatment. It appears unclear whether the school had a carbon monoxide alarm or whether it was functioning. What is clear in either case is that the threat of carbon monoxide, known as the silent killer, is still very much a concern. The good...