Maintaining good indoor air quality for your employees is important not only to their health, but also affects productivity and even sick days. According to Environment Canada, Environment and Workplace Health Indoor Air Quality, Canadians spend close to 90% of their time inside; at home, at work and in recreational environments. Most people, however, are unaware of the effects that poor indoor air quality can have on their health; often more toxic than outdoor air pollution. These are some of the top indoor air...

The North Pole is all a bustle this time of year. The reindeer are in boot camp for the big event, while the North Pole (NP) kitchen is quickly churning out high carb and protein-rich meals for them. The toy-making elves are pulling all-nighters, and the marketing team is busy deciding on the final 2015 gift-wrapping motif. But there is one issue that is becoming a worry. The North Pole Logistics Team, specifically the Chimney Inspection Unit, are having trouble updating...

Welcome home! Yes, the welcome mat is definitely at the top of every new homeowner’s wish list, and maybe a plunger and a keychain, but wait! Have you considered you might need to maintain that home? A little DIY is always in the cards when you own your own home – not to mention, hanging some pictures, setting some curtains rods, tightening up that shower head and doing a little restoration. It’s all going to require tools! We love tools, and...

PRE-LISTING INSPECTIONS Many real estate brokers are recommending pre-listing inspections to their clients, here are some of the reasons: Your home may sell faster. Your home may sell for more money. No more buyers walking away because of a problem with the house. No more 11th-hour re-negotiations based on an inspector's findings. No more helpless feelings that an inspector has raised an issue that is not a big problem. No more buyers getting cold feet when they find out the home is not perfect. No more buyers walking away because they don't...

Every house has a signature smell, a certain “Eau de Family Home”. Some are stronger than others; is a strong smell an indication of poor indoor air quality? There’s the smelly socks in the living room, the hair spray and aftershave in the bathroom, cooking smells from the kitchen, the moth balls in the closet, the wet dog in the hallway and that musky smell of sheets and clothes waiting to be laundered in the bedroom. These are the (usually) harmless...

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...

Sound crazy? It’s not. It’s unbelievable how often we see homes with flammable dryer vents installed, filled with lint, all ready to catch a spark. It’s winter. Not a lot of clothes hanging out on the ‘cord-a-linge’ this time of year. Most of us are using our dryers, and we’re putting a lot of wooly sweaters and fleece in there, all clothing that shed a whole lot of lint. In the US, there are 17,000 fires related to clothes dryer vents every...