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~

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 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

Feb 042010

A client should be aware of what an inspector is required to do and not required to do. It is important to keep in mind that the inspector will not move furnishings, draperies or window coverings, or push plant materials aside. Nor will the inspector move obstructions to windows, doors, electrical or mechanical elements. The inspector respects the property and so leaves all belongings and obstructions where they are placed. Moving such could result in damage to flooring, coverings  and personal belongings on the property. A thorough and impeccable inspector will  adequately make note  of obstructions to  observations. Those notes will be disclosed in the clients report.

This post is the first in a series of  The Do’s and The Dont’s. What are the requirements of a property inspector? Iron View Inspections  Inc. is confident these publications will be an aid to the client’s understanding  of what an inspection entails.

~Be As Fully Informed As You Can Be~

An Inspection Report shall describe and identify, in written format, the inspected systems, structures, and components of the dwelling, and shall identify material defects observed. Inspection reports may contain recommendations regarding conditions reported or recommendations for correction; monitoring or further evaluation by professionals.

An inspector is required to: *Observe and Report (O&R) **Perform Task (PT)

  • Exterior wall covering/surfaces, eaves and trim *(O&R)
  • Doors, windows, and flashing *(O&R)
  • Garages and carports that are attached to the main building *(O&R)
  • All exterior doors, decks, stoops, steps, stairs, porches, railings, eaves, soffits and fascias *(O&R)
  • Observe and report impact of lot grading and vegetation *(O&R)
  • Retaining walls when these are likely to adversely affect the structure *(O&R)
  • Walkways and driveways on the building *(O&R)
  • Test the operation of power operated garage door openers, including the stop and automatic reverse functions **(PT)
  • Balconies including stairs, guards and railings **(PT)

An inspector is not required to: *Observe and Report (O&R)

  • Geological, hydrological and/or ground and soil conditions *(O&R)
  • Yard fencing *(O&R)
  • Seasonal accessories such as removable storm windows, storm doors, screens and shutters *(O&R)
  • Storage sheds and other structures not part of the building *(O&R)
  • Any items or facilities not directly related to the building structure, such as swimming pools, saunas, hot tubs, tennis courts, etc. *(O&R)
  • Seawalls, break-walls, and docks *(O&R)
  • Playground equipment or recreation facilities *(O&R)
  • Erosion control and earth stabilization measures *(O&R)
  • Drain fields or dry-wells, septic systems or cesspools *(O&R)
  • Determine the integrity of the thermal windows seals or damaged glass *(O&R)
  • Verify or certify safe operation of any auto reverse or safety function of a garage door *(O&R)

Sources: Inter-NACHI and Inspect 4U.

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