Apr 142014

Although Spring officially began March 20, 2014 we still had a few mini blizzards and ice storms to contend with in the GTA. March winds did not start blowing in until the first week of April. Blue skies, sunny days and  welcome warm wind storms along with evening showers of week 2, bathed away lingering patches of ice and snow hidden in the shadows. Temperatures in the 20-24 degree Celsius range this weekend makes it official  – Spring indeed is finally here.

The energy of Spring motivates us to begin the process of evaluating what we want to keep around and what we want to discard. You were probably cleaning closets and files the last few weeks of March in anticipation of outdoor activities. This was a great time to take stock of maintenance issues in and around our homes and businesses. Rising electric and gas prices  may also motivate us to secure minimal expenses in energy consumption, where we can.

It’s time to clean, repair and re-caulk roof vents and any other roof penetrations. Replace curled, missing or torn shingles. Clean gutters and downspouts replacing those that may have been damaged by the hardest hitting ice storm in GTA history. Pay attention to caulking around windows, window sills and door ways too. Check your dryer vents and fan exhaust vents for possible rodent, insect and feathered friend intrusions. We recently heard of birds finding their way into bathroom fan ventilation system and building their nests in cavities under a second story en-suite tub. Love waking up to birds singing in the trees outside however having them chirp right under your bottom while you are bathing?

Move inside to clean forced air heating duct work, arrange servicing for optimum operation of your A/C unit. Change burnt out bulbs now with energy efficient bulbs, while checking your batteries and operation of smoke alarms. Do the same for CO detectors. If you do not have these detectors get them now.  A law to make these detectors mandatory in all residences in Ontario passed November 2013. http://www.citynews.ca/2013/11/27/ontario-passes-mandatory-carbon-monoxide-detector-bill/. I think it is safe to consider that we all heard the news of those who lost their lives during the ice storm trying to stay warm. CO is deadly undetectable with out these devices. Make sure that you seal any penetrations from attached garages into your living environment to deter infiltration of vehicle CO fumes.

Only 70 days until summer officially arrives. It may seem a long way off yet it really isn’t. Finding a few hours to take a solid look at attending to these maintenance issues, during your time off regular work hours, this Easter weekend and next few will ensure your peace of mind allowing you to enjoy the outdoors without worry come the May long weekend.  Examine your environment, Execute necessary tasks, Ease into summer.

~Be As Informed As You Can Be~

May 052013

Spring came late to the GTA and with it came unusually humid weather following an unusually moist and precipitous winter. Along with this weather and influx of home sales, already reaching multiple bid proportions, came the unusually high call for Air Quality, Asbestos and Mold Inspections. Home sellers and buyers inspectors were making note of  particular concern in basements, walls and attics alerting realtors and clients to costly remediation. Better to catch the issue with sampling and testing, before an Inspector does, during a Pre-purchase buyers condition. The dealings get tricky as to who pays for what and some in order to save a few dollars will compromise due dilligence,  sometimes costing more in the long run.

Some buyers inspectors  note possible mold or asbestos but they do not perform testing. Iron View Inspections has recently been called in to perform a second  inspection  for mold or asbestos. We have had  verbal reports from clients and realtors that the first visual inspection indicated possible mold or asbestos. Some inspectors have made a claim that there is a definite presence so clients have called in remediation. We at Iron View recommend testing before any definitive conclusions or costly remediation or renovations be performed.

If a seller suspects mold or asbestos it is recommended they have Pre-listing  inspection and testing performed before a prospective buyer has their inspector detect possible mold or asbestos, putting into motion delays in the selling process and possibly reaching costly and unnecessary conclusions for remediation and replacement of structural areas in the home. The last few weeks of April and May  have drawn our attention to  the importance of doing things correctly so all parties have Peace of Mind and deals are made in ethical fashion with out compromise.

We have worked with very understanding realtors, sellers and buyers wanting to be educated about the need for proper testing and identification and possible abatement and remediation that may be required. We have also encountered some clients and realtors willing  to compromise proper testing to save a few  dollars and still others who jump to demands for remediation and abatement without having all the necessary information to make informed decisions.  In the scheme of things spending early on  in the buying/selling process for proper identification  by testing methods is worth the minimal expense to do things correctly.

Iron View  Mold and Asbestos Inspections include a full home inspection that involves testing via; A. air sampling (taking 2-3 air tests) and B. lift or bulk sampling. Once the samples make it to an independent lab the real testing begins.

Mold or Spore Trap Analysis  testing results indicate airborne spores that are present per m3 and identify what types of mold are airborne in the living environment. Be aware that mold is every where and is present in all environments. The levels of spores present  in air are indicators of problems or not. But the air samples do not indicate whether the mold is active or not. The lift sample results come from a Direct Microscopic Exam and determine the types of mold present that are active or not and  cause for concern for future mold growth and whether the mold contains types of spores that are considered a risk for health issues.

Asbestos  air sample  testing results indicate particles or fibers that are presently airborne in the living environment and are measured by their Level of Quantification (LOQ) via visually estimating asbestos/non-asbestos fibers under a microscope as well as identifying non-fibrous materials and other building material particles that may be present. Lift or bulk samples of building materials like insulation, pipe wrap or tiles etc. are also tested under a microscope to determine the Level of Dispersion (LOD)  using a staining method.

Any client or realtor who is asking for only one of the above tests, to save costs, is compromising testing and conclusive results. Anyone recommending abatement  or remediation without proper testing and results may also be compromising and possibly costing the buyer or seller more than  necessary.

Be Aware that mold and asbestos cannot be properly identified by visual inspection. An inspector who is making a definitive claim visually, without proper testing or recommending proper testing, is doing an injustice to all involved. Iron View has encountered blackened attic sheathing, once tested proved not to be mold at all but did prove to be  a discolouration due to aging.  Had the buyer followed the claims made by the first inspector with out testing, huge expenses to replace roofing would have been incurred.  Iron View has encountered situations where a white film of insulation dust on sheathing has been misidentified as mold or asbestos. Iron View has also encountered situations where the mold is not easily identified visually because it is so deep in the material the material is rotting from the inside out, usually called dry rot or the area is so wet mold cannot be determined without a test and the entire attic needs remediation and  the roof replaced. In the case of Asbestos. A home owner had grave concern learning that the insulation put into his home before he purchased it  a year prior, was possibly Asbestos. He learned that the previous owner was in a court battle due to an inspector that definitively claimed it was asbestos insulation without proper testing. Iron View tested the material and air with results showing the material had no asbestos fibers present. If an inspector is noting in reports that there is possible mold or asbestos and recommends further investigation, he/she has done due diligence … You’ve got a good one.

Iron View Inspections can offer one better… we can also send in some samples for  independent lab testing at the same time as  performing a regular Pre-Delivery, Pre-Listing, Pre-Purchase or Maintenance Inspection.

~Be As Informed As You Can Be~

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 152012

Shorter days, cooler evenings, less sunlight all make for a beautiful transition from summer into fall. The brilliance has just begun. Take advantage of the next few weeks where enough sunshine and warm afternoons still allow you to perform all those maintenance tasks in preparation for winter.

Clean, re-caulk and weatherproof doors, windows, gutters and around exterior venting to minimize condensation accumulation when warm indoor air hits cold outdoor air; helps to minimize rot and to keep out the insects from moving indoors to hibernate too. Take care of any unwanted drafts now.

Keep landscaping free of falling leaves that will rot and breed mildew and mold. Cut back perennials and pull out the annuals for the same purpose. Make sure paving stones are level before the snow and ice arrive to minimize tripping hazards. Take advantage of the landscaping specials and re-seed lawns with winter fertilizer and weed and feed products to thicken sod and minimize spring weed growth. Keep watering if precipitation is low before the freeze comes to be sure plant roots do not freeze dry.

Clean or replace furnace filters and have the heating mechanisms serviced for optimum efficiency. Don’t forget to continue ventilating the air during these cooler months by running kitchen and bath fans for up to an hour daily as indoor hot water use during bathing and cooking will cause condensation issues.

 Visit www.ivinspect.com or e-mail or call Iron View Inspections Inc. for maintenance check lists to ensure your home will be care free and cozy for the coming winter season.

Happy Thanksgiving

From Jim, Cathy, Nelson

The Iron View Team taking a Solid Look at your Home

Mar 262012

An Iron View Inspection Blog Post by Jim Bodnarchuk

On Your Mark…Get Set…Get Ready….GET Your Fans Going!!!

Whoa! We’ve experienced and welcomed the record warm temperatures for five days longer than expected. Where are those so called Thunder Storms? Had a taste on Thursday evening, March 22 with 2 large rumbles in as clouds darkened the sky around dinner- time bringing a half hour of spitting, couldn’t even call it a sprinkle, in the Mississauga region. A balmy breezy evening continued into the night.

Apparently the Jet Stream has split. That is the reason for the unseasonably high temperatures we have been experiencing. Yet just an hour north of us and much closer to the lakes the weather has been beating down   the rain, wind and lightning storms, hail and sleet. This has increased the humidity in our GTA, 83% last night and climbing. 

This kind of weather also increases the “Nasty’s” that come with high humidity; fungi, mold, bugs, the wood boring types. We’ve seen an increase in carpenter ants this week. Last year was considered an epidemic year by pest controllers. This year they have a head start.

Reduce humidity in your home by running kitchen and bathroom fans, opening windows when the breezes are blowing, keeping windows closed during high fog and smog days and staying on top of any leaky situations.  Replace damp or rotting wood on decks or any entrances into your home like doorways, windows, soffits and fascia too. 

~ Be As Informed As You Can Be~

Mar 152012

A post by Jim Bodnarchuk, Iron View Inspections

AAHHH New Life, Colour, Sound…and a few things we don’t want around. We really have had a pleasant winter here in the GTA 2011-2012, even though there have been more grey days than sunny ones. Spring is only a few weeks away. However, it looks like it is going to come in and go out like a Lion.  Both environment Canada and the Farmer’s Almanac are calling for squally, stormy, weather the next few months, bringing strong winds and heavy thunder showers and a few more snow flurries at the end of March. We will experience storms from the east, from the west and across the Great Lakes. This means a lot of moisture along with driving winds is going to hit our properties and homes in these next two months.

According to the forecast we are not going to dip to the freezing point during this time but we will have only a few weeks, March 12-15 and April 4-7, where fair weather makes a pit stop. You might want to consider cleaning out the gutters and eves troughs on those fair weather days, as well as make sure extensions on downspouts are intact to allow good flow of water away from the foundations of your home. Gather up and discard of any rotting leaf debris away from your home too.

Be sure any wood surfaces have good ventilation around them.  And get rid of any rotting shrubs and trees too. Damp wood attracts pesky boring insects. You may have already experienced those tiny non-boring ants and spiders that are creeping in to visit in search of food, with the ensuing warming temperatures. The boring species will not be far behind. The damage they do can be very costly.

Spring storms give you a chance to observe whether your property grades are away from the buildings you inhabit and flowing toward the roads and streets. Watch for water pooling or for any leaks in foundations, roofs, doors or windows. These are the things you want to be aware of and remedy ASAP because this is the season when mold spores flourish, along with those little critters and you don’t want to be spending any fine weather to follow, making major repairs when you could be tending to the minor ones now. You also don’t want the head ache of compromising your health due to poor air quality in your living environment. This is the time of year that mold allergies increase because the spores “wake up”.

Spring heralds in signs of new life, evident everywhere in nature and our living and working environments. Watch for insect, rodent, fungal and mold infestations. Be watchful for the signs of rising damp, structural damp, as well as small leaks in the envelop of your environment, so you can remedy them before summer  so you can “sing a song of cheer”  as you “roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.”                      

~Be As Informed As You Can Be~

Links to more Information:

http://toxicmoldsolutions.posterous.com/?tag=springtime

http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/insectid/wood-attk.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_rot

http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/biol_hazards/iaq_mold.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damp_%28structural%29

Mar 292011

Warmer temperatures, a little rain, balmy breezes during the day and a few evening winds to dry it all up. Crocus and Hyacinth graced us some bloom. First signs of spring are all but buried now a few weeks later, colder temperatures, blizzard conditions that left the GTA wondering if we should have called another snow day shut down. Let’s hope it is the last and not a prequel to Ice storms.

While we have that light blanket of snow, take advantage. The upside of this weather phenomenon is that we will have one last chance to observe what is happening on the exterior of our homes and buildings. Get your maintenance list ready. CMHC provides a great check list of things to do for seasonal maintenance of your home. Check out the CMHC Home Maintenance Schedule now.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the things that you can do for the exterior of your home:

  • Look for those places where melting snow is dripping through eves trough seams that need sealing or replacing
  • Check those shingles for wet spots where snow has melted, indicating heat loss
  • Look for areas around the foundation where melting snow or rain is pooling and make a note to fill and grade soil slopping away from the foundation
  • Watch for those plantings that are sprouting and spreading too close to the foundations and make accommodation to trim them or transplant them at least two feet away from the foundation to allow for proper air flow and reduce humidity and moisture build up which can lead to mildew growth  compromising concrete
  • Watch for pavement that has lifted due to frost and make a note to reset and level walking paths.

Inside make it a point to check:

  • The attic for ventilation leaks or ice dams
  • Dryer vents should be cleaned from lint build up
  • If it is taking longer to dry your laundry that is evidence of lint build up in your venting tubes, lint build up can cause combustion fires
  • Your furnace filters and hot water tank valves should be checked too

Regular maintenance will improve the Air quality in your home. Consider the non-chemical way to freshen your space from odours trapped in fabrics and venting systems before summer arrives, the windows are closed tight for optimum A/C. You will be too busy enjoying the outdoors come mid-April if this year is anything like last. Once you are spending your days outside, consider Ozone Shock treatments to purify the air and dissipate odour build up in your living environment. It only takes a leisurely day away to perform this service for improved Air Quality.

HAPPY SPRING TIME

From the team at Iron View Inspections

Oct 272010

As Canadians, we are concerned about the quality of the air we breathe outdoors, but what about the air inside our homes? A study from the Government of Canada states on average, we spend 88.6% of our time indoors and 5.3% of our time in vehicles. With the winter months, we tend to shut our doors and windows, reducing the amount of fresh air and ventilation, while increasing the amount of dust, dust mites, dust mite feces, spores and bacteria in the air we breathe. There is a solution to this concern … Ozonation.

Ozone generators are patented, high tech machines that are used as air purifiers for cleaning and killing mould, spores, unwanted odours (smoke, pets, cooking), bacteria, fungus, and pests.

Ozonation works for:
• Homes
• Businesses
• Vehicles
• Used sporting equipment (you know, that smelly
hockey bag!)

During the ozonation process, all living things, including plants, must be removed. Ozonation is a safe, natural and chemical-free process!

For more information call Iron View Inspections today at 1-888-449-4324.

Sep 232010

It’s that time of year again, registration, equipment drives. We’re buying equipment  for our children and ourselves that is permeated with another person’s bacteria. No matter how much you wash it it smells. That is because the bacteria from that other persons sweat has just dried up in the equipment. Iron View Inspections has a way to rid not just the odour but zap that old dry bacteria, any viruses or mildew out of the equipment. We use an ozone shock UV simulator. It will not only freshen up the equipment but it will sanitize it. This method is used in water treatment plants, the food industry, as well as hospital operating rooms to sanitize air and equipment and kill bacteria, viruses and vermin.

Don’t discard it. Rejuvenate it. Start your sports season Fresh.
You can recycle one individuals equipment for another season and save hundreds of dollars.

Call JIM Your OZONATOR for more details. 1-416-241-4324 or toll free 1-888-449-4324.

Iron View also sanitizes the air in sports complex dressing rooms. Call us today for more details.

Copyright © 2011. All Rights Reserved. Testimonials | Privacy Policy A division of The Bodnarchuk Group Inc.