Jun 042012

Got a call the other day from a potential client concerning ozone treatments. He was considering putting an offer in on a million dollar home in the east end of Toronto.  He loved the layout, size and location. The home was well maintained. The deterrent to offer was the cooking odour that caused him to cringe as he entered the home. The odour lingered through the rooms as he walked through the home. I answered all his questions about the process. His final question was;

“Would you guarantee 100% that the odour would be eliminated?”

 We know remediation companies that do only this kind of work, who would not give 100% guarantee that odour would be eliminated. We know homes where extensive ozone shock treatments were performed however the building materials had been saturated with bodily fluids, cooking and smoke odours. As fresh as the first few weeks were after the treatment, the odours returned. They could only be fully eliminated when the affected building materials were thoroughly cleaned or replaced.

I asked if the home had multiple offers and if he was considering entering a bidding war.  He laughed and answered with frustration and sarcasm;

“Is there any other kind of offer on the market today?  I lost the bids on six homes prior to this one in the last few months. I waived all conditions including inspections.”

He really liked this home but the pungent cooking odour was so offensive to him. I asked how long the owner had lived there. He told me they were the original owners for 30 + years. I sadly informed him that those odours have most likely saturated some of the building materials in that home and if he were to bid and win, waiving an inspection, he would be fully responsible for the cost of cleaning the air and eliminating the odours.  In all probability he would not be able to go back to the realtor or seller for any compensation.

Iron View Inspections recommended he have a Pre-offer inspection. We would be able to identify if any carpets and draperies needed to be cleaned or removed all together. We would suggest he ask that walls and cabinets were cleaned with liquid ozone as well ask for the ducts to be professionally cleaned as part of the bid. Only then would the ozone shock guarantee the best possible outcome.

 

Ozone treatments kill bacteria, viruses and some moulds that linger in the air not the ones embedded in layers of dust in ventilation systems or organic or synthetic materials that have been saturated with the odours over a long period of time. Ozone shock will kill plants and small pests as well. However, if the source of the odour is not eliminated first, it may creep back into the air you breathe and smell.

A Pre-offer or Pre-Listing Inspection on any properties, especially in this current market, is a benefit to the buyer and the seller. Either of theses inspections from Iron View Inspections would give a better idea of what they are dealing with prior to an offer. A Pre-Listing Inspection would help the seller make their home much more marketable as well.

~Be As Informed As You Can Be~

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

Jan 302012

A post by Jim Bodnarchuk, Iron View Inspections

With the rain, sleet, snow and wind, hitting us these last few weeks and about to continue for the next month, those of us in the GTA are seeking the heat in more ways than one.

For those who will not be traveling to drier, warmer climates, we will be using our hot water heater to the max. It is a good time to be checking out our hot water heaters that are functioning to capacity during this season. We are taking those extra-long hot showers and baths as well as doing more laundry due to soiled snow pants, jackets, mitts and towels. If we are traveling we want to make sure our tanks are in optimum condition so as not to return to leaky connections.

Look for corrosion, rust, loose fittings. If any of these are present with your appliance call a heating technician to inspect and remedy the issues. Consult the owner manual for your hot water tank then carefully drain off a dishpan full of water from the clean-out valve at the bottom of your tank to control sediment and maintain efficiency.

You can also checkout the  CMHC website for more tips on home maintenance during the winter months.

~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

Jul 212011

Tips for Home Owners by Jim Bodnarchuk

Your Fire Alarm is suddenly chirping but there is no fire, no smoke?

You notice the towel you used is still damp in the evening? The dishcloth doesn’t dry between uses. Your drier is not drying clothes at regular time? Your skin feels clammy and your clothes are limp, not crisp, when pulled from the drawer or closet.

All are signs and symptoms of an increase in humidity in your environment. We are experiencing a Heat Wave with raised humidity levels. It is during this weather that you want to make sure your home is properly ventilated.

It is too hot and humid to open the windows during the day but that shouldn’t deter from keeping your home cool and dry. Practicing a few simple steps will aid in improving your air quality and reducing the humidity in your home.

  • Run your ceiling fan in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room during and for a few hours after showers, washing and cooking to draw out and eliminate unwanted humidity.
  • Make sure the drier vents are clear of lint that will build up during these humid days.
  • Open windows at night only when there is a cool breeze. Close them before the sun can heat up the air.
  • Keep fans and A/C running throughout the day even at a minimum to keep the air at a healthy comfort level.
  • Take a few minutes to dry sinks, dishes and freshly washed floors. Do not let them air dry at these times

If none of the above are helpful in reducing humidity and heat, you may need to invest in a dehumidifier.

Your apartment, condo or house is an investment. More importantly and ultimately it is your home, your hearth, the healthy place to find comfort and refuge from the rest of the world. Take care be well.

~Be As Informed As You Can Be~

Jul 042011

Iron View Inspections has been a reliable source for many of my clients and I will continue to refer them to future home buyers and investors. Jim is readily available and I have been able to count on him to perform numerous inspections for my clients, including myself. Jim is thorough in his inspections and provides advice on property maintenance along with simple tips to help “regular/everyday” people understand complex issues.

William Dos Santos, MBA
Sales Representative

www.willdossantos.com

Royal LePage Supreme Realty, Brokerage

1245 Dupont St. Mezzanine. Toronto, ON. M6H2A6

May 162011

Air Conditioning (A/C) Efficiency Tips for Home Owners by Jim Bodnarchuk

Now that you have you’re A/C unit up and running for the first time this year, you may have noticed
the unit is not functioning well. It may be making a strange noise or not emitting the cool air it did
last year. Consider the age of the unit before calling for a technician. It may cost more to repair a unit
than to purchase a new, more energy efficient one. It may be in your best interest to upgrade, as per
government regulations.

Most units built before 2006 are not energy efficient and have a rating of 10 SEER (Seasonal Energy
Efficient Rate). Government regulations mandate manufactures to produce a more efficient unit due
to the high cost and consumption of electricity. If your unit is rating 10 SEER or lower you really should
consider a new one. As of January 2011, and up until December 2011, Ontario is offering rebates up to
$650.00 as incentive to install an energy efficient – Energy Star A/C unit.

The next generation of A/C units is 13 – 17 SEER. If your unit meets these standards and you are still
not satisfied with the performance of your unit, then definitely call the heating/cooling company.
Whether buying new or calling for repair and maintenance make sure to:

  • Call 3 to 4 different companies to compare unit as well as pricing
  • Ask which manufactures model they supply and the pricing of each. Sometimes the cheaper price is not always the best price.
  • Consider the noise level of the unit asking for the report on the noise output. The higher the dBA (decibel) rating the louder it will be. The higher the RPM (revolutions per minute) rating the higher the pitch will be.
  • Ask if the same coil in your furnace and supply lines can be reused. This depends on the manufacture specification.
  • Ask the various companies if they have a maintenance or warranty program. This will help prolong the life of your A/C Unit. Most companies will back up the purchase with their warranty to service and protect your unit and make sure it is running at optimum efficiency.

Remember to Be cool this summer.

You can also do some more research at:

~Be as informed as you can be~

May 162011

Air Conditioning (A/C) Tips for Home Owners by Jim Bodnarchuk

Now that you have you’re A/C unit up and running for the first time this year, you may have noticed
the unit is not functioning well. It may be making a strange noise or not emitting the cool air it did
last year. Consider the age of the unit before calling for a technician. It may cost more to repair a unit
than to purchase a new, more energy efficient one. It may be in your best interest to upgrade, as per
government regulations.

Most units built before 2006 are not energy efficient and have a rating of 10 SEER (Seasonal Energy
Efficient Rate). Government regulations mandate manufactures to produce a more efficient unit due
to the high cost and consumption of electricity. If your unit is rating 10 SEER or lower you really should
consider a new one. As of January 2011, and up until December 2011, Ontario is offering rebates up to
$650.00 as incentive to install an energy efficient – Energy Star A/C unit.

The next generation of A/C units is 13 – 17 SEER. If your unit meets these standards and you are still
not satisfied with the performance of your unit, then definitely call the heating/cooling company.
Whether buying new or calling for repair and maintenance make sure to:

  • Call 3 to 4 different companies to compare unit as well as pricing
  • Ask which manufactures model they supply and the pricing of each. Sometimes the cheaper price is not always the best price.
  • Consider the noise level of the unit asking for the report on the noise output. The higher the dBA (decibel) rating the louder it will be. The higher the RPM (revolutions per minute) rating the higher the pitch will be.
  • Ask if the same coil in your furnace and supply lines can be reused. This depends on the manufacture specification.
  • Ask the various companies if they have a maintenance or warranty program. This will help prolong the life of your A/C Unit. Most companies will back up the purchase with their warranty to service and protect your unit and make sure it is running at optimum efficiency.

Remember to Be cool this summer.
~Be as informed as you can be~

You can also do some more research at:

May 112011

Air Conditioning (A/C) Tips for Home Owners by Jim Bodnarchuk

It’s that time of year again. Time to take a look at starting your A/C Unit. After this year’s long winter in the GTA, the summer season is finally here. You need to be ready to cool down during the hot, humid months ahead when the breezes won’t be so cool and a fan just won’t do.

Clean or Change Your Filter: First thing you should do is check your filter on the furnace. You may need to replace the filter. If it is re-usable wash it with dish liquid and water. Make sure to rinse well.  If the fan is constantly in use, you may need to clean the filter once or twice a month.Air Conditioner

Inspect the Power Supply: Before you power up the unit check the power supply to be sure that the source has been on for more than 12 hours. This will allow the compressor oil to warm allowing an easier start up. If you do not allow this time period the compressor could burn out and be very costly to repair or replace.

Timing is everything: Be sure that the temperature outside is at 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius) or higher otherwise the unit may burn out from being overworked. Your best setting indoors is at 1 degree lower than comfortable room temperature which is usually 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Avoid Mold: Make sure all drainage from your unit is moving away from the building or into a waste pipe to eliminate unwanted humidity that can cause water damage or mold problems.

Be cool this summer and keep your A/C in good condition.

Jim from Iron View Inspections

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