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~

Aug 172010

The GTA is one of those areas were moisture can and at some point will become a problem in
living environments if not kept under control. Our city and surrounding area radiates above the
lake and is inundated by rivers and creeks and surrounded by farmland, orchards and vineyard
of the Green Belt. All these environments create for a lot of moisture in the air. Our exceptionally
hot, humid summers where a continual flow of air-conditioned interiors pitted against the heated
exteriors lend to a saturation of moisture in interior air, in homes and places of business.

Older homes built in these regions without proper vapour barriers, thermal insulation and newer
air exchange systems and may have earthen floors and crawl spaces, will find sweating of the
envelope to be a problem. More often than not however, moisture issues develop from within
the home than from the exterior. Newer built homes may find they have even more moisture
problems due to moisture evaporation of the newer building materials including the everyday
use of convenience appliances. If moisture is not controlled, insulation may become damp and
effectiveness will be compromised. If you find wooden floors buckling, gypsum clammy to the
touch, paint peeling, you probably have too much moisture in your environment.

Having your home inspected on a regular basis and budgeting in maintenance checks on HVAC
and air quality is the best way to protect your biggest investment from moisture problems. A
knowledgeable Inspector can offer solutions to your particular living and working environment,
eliminating headaches that may creep up during winter months. A time of year you do not want to
be dealing with messy repairs.

www.home-smart.org/how_your_house_works

www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

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