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~

Jun 132013

As Winter and Spring blossom into Summer, Iron View Inspections infuses new life into our Good Will Offers  as gratitude for our working relationships with clients and Realtors.  We’ve replaced our 10 % off discount with a more valuable service for all our clients and referring Realtors. As of June 1st we now perform ReCallChek and  include 90 Day Warranties at no extra charge for all full home inspections (specialty services and inspections: asbestos, mold, radon sampling and ozone treatments are exempt due to lab fees). We include Thermal Imaging for all full home inspections at no extra charge as well.

Paying It Forward

~ Continuing In the Spirit of Giving to all our referring Agents and Clients who cultivate our Growth~

*** New Agents – 1st Referred Pre-Delivery, Pre-Lisiting, Pre-Purchase or Maintenance Inspection booked will receive 1/2 OFF ***
*** All clients – Receive Thermal Imaging + ReCallChek + 90 Day Warranty with full Home Inspections – Free***
*** All Agents – For every 10 clients referred and booked the 11th inspection is free. ***

Along with the ReCallChek service, Clients will receive a monthly ReCallTrak e-newsletter informing them of important home ownership tips and allowing clients to update new  and smaller appliances for safety checks at no extra charge.

All Realtors benefit from Free ReCall Trak e-newsletters e-mailed monthly to the realtor and their clients through Iron View. The bonus is your ability to set up marketing for your business at no charge, at the top of the newsletter. Iron View will contact you on how to do this to increase your exposure.

 We will be updating our site soon to allow you easy access to RecallChek and 90 Day Warranty Info. www.ivinspect.com.  Call Iron View Inspections for more INFO. 1-888-449-4324  to  be able to offer these services  without inspection, for your friends and families at a minimal fee.

Wishing All  A Gloriously Colourful and Safe Summer.

The Iron View Team
Jim, Nelson, Cathy
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~

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 012012

October 2012 has been one of the coldest and rainiest since our move to the GTA three years ago.  We learned all about Hurricane Hazel this past weekend as the media recounted that 1950’s storm, while reporting that Hurricane Sandy blew torrential winds and rain through the GTA.  Power for thousands was cut as fallen trees, hydro lines and minimal flooding wreaked destruction on many homes and properties. The storm also took 2 lives in the GTA due to flying debris. Our hearts go out to all who have suffered.

As an Inspection company Iron View seeks positive ways to get around the limitations imposed by weather conditions or lack of access in order to offer the most thorough observations for our clients. Such conditions can occur at any time hindering safe access for observation reporting, even when there is no destructive storm.

We recently inspected a tiny 40+ aged bungalow in the centre of Toronto on a Monday in mid- October of this year. It was well before Hurricane Sandy whirled through. There had been a steady light rain with fog and drizzle causing high humidity ranging from 88% to 98% a few days prior to as well as on the day of Inspection. The saturation of the structure and surrounding landscape presented safety issues for setting ladders and walking roofs. However the wet conditions afforded positive benefits for the inspector when checking for leaks and humidity issues, of which he found none in the home on that day. The home was dry and cozy.

Our Inspector did note to the seller who was present during the Pre-Listing service being performed, that the roof was very old and probably in need of replacement soon. The seller agreed. The Inspector noted this information on the report and specified there was a missing shingle that should be attended soon to deter rotting of the sheathing. The inspector asked where the attic hatch might be since he had not observed one during the inspection. He wanted to see if there was any leaking present or signs of rot on the roof sheathing beneath the shingles. There was no access to the attic available.

Although the slope and pitch of the roof did not pose a problem for the Inspector to walk it; the age, slippery condition, loose shingles and potential to cause damage to the roof and injury to him cautioned him to safe practice. He opted to climb his ladder in the drizzle only to the roof edge, used his high powered binoculars and photographed the missing shingle which was easily visible from the ground without visual aids. He also did a moisture check on the interior ceiling area near where the shingle was missing. He found no signs of deterioration on the ceiling and no moisture registered in that area of the ceiling.

After the observations were made and the inspector consulted with the seller concerning his findings, the seller admitted knowing about the missing shingle for quite a while adding plans to have it repaired before listing the home. The seller also mentioned during the review of findings, that the neighbours were going to have their roof replaced in a few weeks. The seller was going to ask those roofers to look at the loose and missing shingles. The seller also informed the inspector that the siding was new because the insurance company would not insure the home when it was bought since it was originally covered by asbestos shingles. The inspector informed the seller that this information could not be documented in his report since he did not observe the asbestos shingles  under the siding nor could he report what the seller was intending to do with roof repairs. Rather our inspector suggested the seller have their Realtor disclose that information to prospective buyers.

The home was listed with an open house viewing just 5 days following the inspection. Rain and wind continued throughout that week and weekend. The seller made copies and sent e-mails for prospective buyers during the open house. The seller told the inspector during a follow up call  that the Open House was a success with 5 offers being made. The house was sold within ten days. Then…the seller’s satisfied tone changed admonishing our inspector;

”The roofers replacing the neighbours roof told us that you missed the hole in my roof where the missing shingle was and insulation was sticking out of that hole. This could have been a deal breaker.”

Our Inspector reminder the seller about the consultation they had on the day of inspection when the seller informed him about knowing about the missing shingle for quite some time before the inspection took place. He reminded the seller that the roof was inaccessible for safe observation on the day of inspection and that he noted those findings in the report along with up close and very clear photos showing no signs of a hole or insulation protruding where the shingle was missing on the day of inspection. He had done his due diligence within the parameters of safety with regard to weather conditions and lack of access. Then he asked;

“Did you disclose this information and your intentions for repair to the buyer?”

 The seller thanked the inspector for his report and hung up. We encourage all parties, sellers, buyers, realtors and inspectors to due diligence. Ask as many questions of the realtors and inspectors that you can, keep a record of the answers and educate yourselves to the limitations that conditions affecting safety dictates.  Although limitations present challenges they also present opportunity to find positive solutions. Iron View Inspections is dedicated to taking a Solid Look for clients and backing it with Honesty, Openness and Willing to report findings as thoroughly as possible.

~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

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~

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

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