Elementary Property Inspections Blog | Niagara Home inspections
  • SELLING YOUR HOUSE THIS WINTER? TIPS FOR PREVENTING FROZEN PIPES

    Posted by: Elementary Property Inspections |

    Making certain that your pipes do not freeze during winter can save a lot of money and headaches. So, you’ve decided to put your home on the market this winter. The house is staged, you have showings scheduled, and you are sure you’ll close on a deal in time to move into your next home. Everything is going as planned….until.…your real estate agent calls you to let you know that your house is flooded due to burst pipes. UGH! What NOW?!? Unfortunately, this does happen and could happen to you if you don’t take the necessary precautions. One of the biggest issues during…

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  • WHAT SELLERS MUST DISCLOSE ABOUT A HOME: ASK JOE

    Posted by: Joseph Richer |

    Different kinds of defects carry different obligations, but a good sales rep and skilled home inspector can help keep you informed. If I’m interested in purchasing a home, what does the seller have to disclose to me about the property? When you’re in the process of buying a home, it can be very easy to get caught up in the esthetics of the structure — such as the marble countertops and hardwood floors. But elements such as foundations, wiring, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems are just as important, if not more so. We get a lot of questions about what sellers are…

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  • DO YOU HAVE CONDENSATION ON YOUR WINDOWS?

    Posted by: Elementary Property Inspections |

    Condensation on windows tends to increase during the winter. Find out the reasons why, and what you can do in your home. We encourage clients and real estate agents to call us with technical questions. We get lots of them – and it is that time of the year where condensation comes to the forefront. We don’t want to bore you with technical terms like vapour pressure differential. Let’s keep this simple. There are two rules at work here: When warm moist air touches something cool, condensation will form. Warm air can hold a lot of moisture; cold air cannot. (While warm air can hold…

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  • HOME INSPECTIONS ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND: PROPERTY LAW

    Posted by: Bob Aaron |

    When a home inspection is waived prior to purchasing a house, it is very difficult to win a lawsuit down the line. What happens if you discover water flowing below the floor in a newly-purchased house and you have to completely gut the basement to remove toxic mold? Who is responsible? That was the problem facing Eric Brown and his mother, Louise, after they bought a house on MacHenry St. in Forest, Ont., from Gary and Kim Cassidy in October 2011. During his first inspection of the house, Eric asked Gary if he had ever had any water problems in the basement and…

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  • HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM SEVERE COLD

    Posted by: Gwen Moran |

    Besides your fuzzy slippers, do you have what it takes to defend against winter’s chill? Snow and cold sure are a whole lot more tolerable when you’re anticipating a snow day (no need to go the office!) instead of suiting up to catch the bus. The freezing temps seem to seep right into the marrow of your bones. That happens to your home, too. And like you, if you don’t protect it from the elements, the results would be, well, let’s just say, not good. Here’s how to keep your home safe and your bones warm. How to Prepare for Blizzards The Get Prepared…

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  • MAKING SNOW SHOVELING LESS MISERABLE

    Posted by: Elementary Property Inspections |

    Don’t break your back shoveling snow. Try these tips to make winter less of a burden. If you’re a homeowner in Niagara or any snowy climate, chances are good you disdain winter: All that snow has to get shoveled, and it’s not drifting off your driveway itself. Cue the snow shovel. Barring a move to the Carribean or barricading your family inside all winter, there’s no way to avoid the endless task of shoveling snow. There are, however, ways to make the process much easier. Here are three simple hacks to make the morning after a snowfall much less stressful. 1. Spray Your Shovel…

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  • INSPECTING YOUR ROOF

    Posted by: Elementary Property Inspections |

    Your roof is a critical component to keeping your home protected, but gets little love. Here is what an inspection of your roof should include. Some people generally make a habit of taking a good look at their roof in the autumn, before a long winter sets in. Unfortunately, many others do not. Unless you are having trouble with visible leakage, checking the roof a bit more often than once a year is advisable. Roofing material, like anything else, is subject to wear and tear, and is your first line of defense from the elements. Because every region of the country…

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  • RENOVATING A HOME WITH LEAD BASED PAINT

    Posted by: Elementary Property Inspections |

    Many Canadians are looking to renovate older homes that contain lead paint. Here is what you need to know. The risks of lead Some older homes in Canada may have lead-based paint on the walls. Removing, repairing or disturbing this paint through normal wear-and-tear (such as paint on doors, windows, stairs and railings) can expose you and your children to serious health risks: lead poisoning can cause anaemia (a deficiency of red blood cells) as well as brain and nervous system damage. The risk is greatest for children because they are growing and absorb lead easily. Even small amounts of dust with lead…

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  • WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BUYING ENERGY-EFFICIENT WINDOWS

    Posted by: Karin Beuerlein |

    Installing energy-efficient windows is an expensive project that can pay off but may not be necessary. Here’s what you need to know. If your windows are more than 15 years old, you may be putting up with draftiness, windows that stick in their frames, and skyrocketing energy bills. Energy-efficient windows would be a great improvement, but replacement can be very expensive. All-new vinyl windows for an average 2,450-square-foot house run about $15,000, according to the “Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. But that doesn’t mean the numbers can’t make sense for you. For starters, window replacement is one of the…

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  • HEALTH RISKS OF ASBESTOS

    Posted by: Elementary Property Inspections |

    Learn about asbestos and how exposure can be dangerous to your health. Also find out how to properly handle a potential asbestos problem. What is asbestos? There are several minerals commonly known as asbestos. These minerals can be used to make products strong, long-lasting and fire-resistant. Before 1990, asbestos was mainly used for insulating buildings and homes against cold weather and noise. It was also used for fireproofing. Industry, construction and commercial sectors have used, and, in some cases, continue to use, asbestos in products like: Cement and plaster Industrial furnaces and heating systems Building insulation Floor and ceiling tiles House siding Car and truck brake pads Vehicle transmission components, such…

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  • IF YOUR HOUSE SMELLS LIKE THIS...

    Posted by: Elementary Home Inspections |

    A new study has revealed how smells affect the value of a house. A new study has revealed how smells affect the value of a house; citrus in particular can improve sale prices by thousands. The Realestate.com.au survey found buyers were willing to pay more when a home carried particular smells, such as the scent of citrus or freshly baked bread. The survey showed 44 participants through a house that was valued by a real estate agent between $700,000 and $850,000. With this valuation in mind, groups toured through the house after it had been infused with a particular scent. They were then…

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  • 7 MISTAKES THAT COST HOMEOWNERS BIG MONEY DURING COLD WEATHER

    Posted by: Alaina Tweddale |

    Avoid winter’s nastiest tricks. Wintry weather is great at turning up problems you didn’t even know you had. Like that first snowy night in front of your fireplace that you thought was pure bliss — until you noticed a leak in the ceiling corner, which apparently was caused by a lack of insulation. How were you supposed to know that? Many homeowners don’t realize they’re making critical missteps that can cost a ton when winter sets in. Here are seven wintertime mistakes homeowners often make (and what they could cost you!): 1. Not Buying a $2 Protector for Your Outdoor Faucet What It’ll Cost…

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  • 7 SIGNS YOU HAVE A DRAINAGE PROBLEM

    Posted by: Jeanne Huber |

    Finding drainage problems when they’re smaller and easier to fix can save you thousands of dollars and plenty of headaches down the line. You don’t have to be a geophysicist to know that puddles in the basement or a lake on the front lawn are signs of drainage problems. But many drainage problems aren’t so obvious. Here’s how the pros read some of the more subtle signs of bad drainage, and why you’ll save big bucks if you tackle these problems now instead of later. You don’t have to be a geophysicist to know that puddles in the basement or a lake on…

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  • GET OUT THE SPRAY

    Posted by: Elementary Home Inspections |

    Protection against mosquitos and concern about DEET One mosquito bite and it seems we are exposed to an increasing host of bad stuff from malaria, West Nile and now the Zika virus. If that is not enough, Fido can end up with heart worms. Is there any protection? Yes. There is an effective repellent that has worked for 50 years on hundreds of millions of people with few, if any, side effects: DEET. Some still don't trust it. Popular Science calls DEET the most effective mosquito repellent ever invented. But, like many chemical agents, DEET has come under suspicion in recent years, even though it has…

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  • 10 INSIDE TIPS FROM A DESIGNER WHO SPECIALIZES IN SMALL BATHS

    Posted by: Elementary Property Inspections |

    A New York City designer shares secrets to making a small bath both functional and beautiful. Got a small bathroom to renovate? Go wild with texture and colours if it's a rarely used guest bath, but stick to clean and simple in a master bath. That's the word from designer Jamie Gibbs, who transforms incredibly small New York City bathrooms into beautiful spaces. "I like being shocked by details in a little space, especially if it's not going to be used much," Gibb says. His small-bath secrets: Avoid textures in bathrooms that get daily use. In a heavily used bathroom, anything with texture becomes…

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  • DISHWASHER NOT WASHING?

    Posted by: Elementary Home Inspections |

    Common maintenance tips on getting your dishwasher to wash the dishes properly, and reduce the amount of detergent that you need to use. The most common cause of a dishwasher not washing the dishes well is improper loading- so if you're letting the kids load pot on top of pan covered by a bowl, you might experience food and waste stuck on the dishes after the wash. If you load your dishwasher properly, and it still doesn't wash dishes quite the way you would like, read on! (You may even save some money on detergent by following this maintenance tip) Assuming you…

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  • BE AWARE OF GARDEN FRIENDS AND FOE!

    Posted by: Elementary Home Inspections |

    Some plants thrive in each other's company, but some just don't get along. Some plants thrive in each other's company, but some just don't get along. The cabbage family. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale and kohlrabi. The family does well with herbs like sage and mint, which repel the white cabbage butterfly. It also pairs well with the onion family. Potatoes. They are good companions with the cabbage family, but keep the away from tomatoes and cucumbers, which share a common blight. According to harvesttotable.com, cucumbers protect from the Colorado potato beetle. Tomatoes. They help protect asparagus from the asparagus beetle. Some gardeners report that basil…

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  • BYPASSING HOME INSPECTIONS TO WIN BIDDING WARS A GROWING, DANGEROUS PRACTICE

    Posted by: News Staffposted |

    Would you let your kids grow up in grow op? It seems some people are unwittingly doing just that. Home buyers in the current cut-throat market are waving home inspections as a condition of buying a home in an effort win bidding wars. Allan Spisak, chairperson of the Professional home and property inspectors of Canada says a buyer recently bought what appeared to be a beautiful, three-bedroom, two car garage home in the GTA that was once used as a marijuana grow up. “Whoever bought it probably never Would you let your kids grow up in a grow-op? It seems some people…

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  • THE FACTS ABOUT CLOTHES DRYER EXHAUST SYSTEMS

    Posted by: Elementary Home Inspections |

    The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires is failure to clean them. Home Inspectors and Hazards I am confident most home inspectors would put recognizing potential hazards in a house at the top of their list of priorities. Nevertheless, not everyone realizes the hazards presented by the clothes dryer exhaust system. All too often, dryer exhausts ducts are not given due respect. They receive little to no consideration in the design stage, are often installed haphazardly, and are seldom maintained. Once installed, the ducts are rarely given another thought. Current lax attitudes about dryer exhaust ducts need to change! Home…

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  • EARLY SPRING MAINTENANCE TIPS

    Posted by: Elementary Home Inspections |

    Homeowner Maintenance Tips for Early Spring Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make certain downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris. Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it crates a breeding ground for insects, especially mosquitos with west nile virus. Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors,…

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