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~

Aug 122010

Don’t panic if your house or the house you are planning to buy has aluminum wiring. Aluminum
wiring began to be used residentially in the early 1970’s. It has been implicated in a number of
house fires. Even though most jurisdictions no longer permit it in new installations, it has never
been banned. However, it received so much bad press, that aluminum wiring stopped going into
houses by the late 1970’s.

Aluminum wiring has a higher resistance than copper and builds up heat, expanding when used,
then contracts when cooling and at times oxidizes. All of this activity stretches the wires and may
cause loose connections. It is usually a thicker wire than copper wiring. Aluminum wiring is used
today to bring power into the house from the street.

Aluminum wire in your home is not a problem but other factors about its connections and
condition are. You may see “ALUMINUM” or “AL” printed on the cable, if it is still legible. To be
sure have an inspector check the wiring to be safe. If your inspector detects issues he should
make written recommendation for you to have a licensed electrician check the wiring, on his
report. A home inspector is not licensed to tighten, change or perform work on the wiring.

View the following sites for more important details:

www.faqs.org/faqs/electrical-wiring/part2/section-16

www.media.reliancenetwork.com/media/downloads/RemaxIL/200614473328.pdf

www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminum_wire

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