Sep 212011

Fall seems to be a popular time to decorate and renovate our homes. Spruce ’em up in time for the upcoming Festive seasons. Sales on Reno material is proof, especially for the DIY’s at this time of year. Before tackling any home improvement, especially in closed quarters, you may want to be cautious.

Check your Home Inspection reports for any mention of possible materials that may become hazardous to your healthy environment. Although the inspector cannot say for sure from a visual perspective, he is bound, by ethics, to record the possibility of such materials. A good inspector will be aware of what materials may be hazardous if disturbed.

For example;… When purchasing a home, apartment building or business property that was built before 1970 it is important to note the possibility of materials that may contain Asbestos. It is a well-known fact, documented by Toronto Public Health and the Canadian Centre or Occupational Health and Safety, that there is a good chance that asbestos was used in adhesives, plasters, some insulators and outside wall tiles and most often in darker vinyl flooring, especially in buildings over 50 years old.

If the flooring and walls have been well maintained there is little issue or risk for being exposed to Asbestos contamination. But if these materials are in need of repair or replacement it is best to have them tested for a minimal fee of $50-100 dollars at local labs and take the proper precautions before renovating to ensure health and safety regulations are adhered too and to minimize exposure to Asbestos dust. There are regulations for hired contractors that must be

followed if renovations need to take place in commercial or industrial buildings and apartments with 4 or more units. These abatements could be costly. Any company or contractor hired to renovate or perform work in a building must ensure that they take all of the legislated safety precautions required if asbestos has been found or is even suspected in the work area. The legislation applies to building owners with more than four units and those individuals who work for them.

Building owners, and those contracted by them, must determine whether or not the material they will be working on, material that will be damaged during a renovation, contains asbestos. Working in an environment where asbestos is present without an asbestos management program or the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is illegal and puts workers and passers-by in danger. Employers and owners who fail to take the appropriate safety measures can face significant penalties. Even more importantly, when working without these abatements or precautions, exposure to friable asbestos can lead to Asbestos disease that won’t manifest until many years have passed.

As a private home owner these legislations are not enforced. However, we at Iron View Inspections petition you to be just as precautionary in your living environment and consider the risks to you, your family and the surrounding neighbours. Check out the following sites for further information.

~Be As informed as you can be~

Sep 142011

We first contacted Iron View Inspections prior to the purchase of our new home as we were concerned about the air quality and thought the house may have smelled like cigarette smoke. From the first time we contacted Iron View Inspections we were very impressed and happy with the level of customer service and general concern of our inquiry and were explained to, in great detail, about their Ozonation process and it’s method for removing such odors from the house, if that was in fact what was required.

We were told that Jim could come out to the property first and inspect it to see if the ozonation machines were required if we decided to purchase the house and upon further conversation we found out that Jim also performed Home Inspections so we decide to have Jim perform the home inspection and also check if the odor was cigarette smoke. Jim was very friendly and professional and took the time to inspect the house thoroughly and also notify us that the odor was not cigarette smoke but since the house had been closed up for some time it just needed fresh air and so the ozonation machines were not required.

At the time of the inspection Jim went over, in detail, some of his findings and also gave us some helpful hints regarding the house and how to best care for it. Later, Jim sent us the full report including pictures and reminders of his hints so we can refer back to them in the future. We did, in fact, purchase the house.

We were very impressed with Iron View Inspections, very happy with our decision to have them perform the home inspection and we would readily recommend Iron View Inspections to anyone in the future.

~Angela, Toronto

Sep 122011

As we’ve been experiencing this past week in the GTA, these months can be very harsh with unpredictable weather changes from heavy rains to gale force winds and some very humid days in between. At this time you will probably discover issues like leaky roofs or windows, dampness in the basement, gutters that need repair. You will want to get on top of these issues before the colder winter months. Check the following to be sure your home will be the warm, safe haven you return to after a day at work.

  • Service your heating system -every two years for gas – every year for oil. Your GAS co. can set up a heating protection plan with you.
  • Clean furnace humidifiers or disconnect and use a portable room humidifier to add years to the life of your furnace
  • Check the circulating pump for rust, clean and lubricate, on your Hydronic heating system
  • Bleed air and sludge from Hot water radiators using installed bleed valves
  • Disconnect electrical to Forced Air furnaces and clean fan blades. Check fan belt or blower drum for wear and correct any loose parts.
  • Check and clean or replace filters every month
  • Disconnect electrical feed to baseboard heaters before removing the covers and vacuuming. Check for damaged fins or electrical connections.
  • Remove floor or wall grills of Forced Air systems and vacuum. If dirt is heavy consider calling in a professional duct cleaning co.
  • Clean filters and cores of heat recovery ventilators then pour water down the condensate drain to test it if it has been off for the summer.
  • Clean any portable humidifiers.
  • If you are on Well water have it tested for bacteria every six months.

As with all mechanicals follow your manufacturers guide lines for all maintenance requirements.

Get ready to enjoy the indoors this coming season as much as you have the outdoors this summer.

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