- Home Owner Tips
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Settling sidewalks and sloped uni-stone patios are common causes of water being directed against your foundation. This can allow water or moisture to penetrate you basement wall and even cause potential settling of your foundation. Always ensure your exterior grade will direct water away from your foundations.
Roof shingles come in many colours and patterns. Most typical shingles will have a life expectancy of 18 to 20 years. The shingles installed on the south side roof will normal show signs of deterioration first due to exposure to sunlight. The granular material of the shingle is there to protect your shingle from UV rays of sun. Although there are many shingles which are advertised as 25 or 30 year shingles, it is unusual to see them last more than a couple of extra years when compared to regular shingles.
Electrical wiring issues is by far the most common problem found in most older homes with a renovated basement. The wiring issues are usually un-supported electrical cables, missing junction boxes and adding circuits to existing breakers in main panel. This is always an indication that the home owner has done the work and a licensed electrician should be called in to inspect and repair all the wiring. I will typically recommend that potential buyers ask for an electrical certificate for home which indicates that all wiring has been inspected and passed by licensed electrician.
Any renovation in your home is required to have a building permit. Part of the building permit process is having plumbing, structure, electrical and insulation inspected by your local building officials or electrical authority. When a renovation is done with out taking out a building permit you run the risk of un-seen problems coming back to haunt you and most likely costing a great deal of money to repair.
Annual maintenance and caulking of exterior joints in your home can prevent needless repairs and save you hundreds of dollars. Caulking seams in window sills and ensuring mortar is still in place on brick window sills can save a lot of repairs for a couple of dollars. Just caulking your asphalt driveway at joint where it meets your garage can prevent separation and sinking of driveway.
When installing pot lights in an attic ensure your lights are designed to be installed in insulation. So many home owners just stick a pot light in there attic without checking. This is a huge waste of energy and is also a big fire risk. The insulation in the attic is usually disturbed and not replaced causing more energy loss and increased heating costs.
Siding is the outer covering or cladding of a house meant to shed water and protect from the effects of weather. On a building that uses siding, it may act as a key element in the aesthetic beauty of the structure and directly influence its property value. Siding may be formed of horizontal boards or vertical boards (known as weatherboarding in many countries), shingles, or sheet materials. In all four cases, avoiding wind and rain infiltration through the joints is a major challenge, met by overlapping, by covering or sealing the joint, or by creating an interlocking joint such as a tongue-and-groove or rabbet. Since building materials expand and contract with changing temperature and humidity, it is not practical to make rigid joints between the siding elements. Siding may be made of wood, metal, plastic (vinyl), masonry , or composite materials. It may be attached directly to the building structure (studs in the case of wood construction), or to an intermediate layer of horizontal planks called sheathing.
Natural Stone Veneer is made from real stone that is either collected i.e. Fieldstone, or from quarried stone. The stone is sawn so that it is a consistent thickness and weight for use as a veneer. This stone is often called Thin Stone Veneer. Manufactured Stone Veneer is a decorative building material manufactured to replicate the look of natural stone. The names artificial stones, stacked stone veneer, manufactured stone, flexible stone veneer are also used for stone veneer. Stone veneer is fabricated by pouring a lightweight concrete mix to rubber forms of different style and then painted with a coloring process which makes it resemble real stone. The stone veneer produced is then attached to walls with special mortars. Flexible stone veneer is fabricated by pulling a thin layer of stone from a slab of slate, sandstone, or mica schist. It is backed by a composite material.
As a building material, stucco is a durable, attractive, and weather-resistant wall covering. It was traditionally used as both an interior and exterior finish applied in one or two thin layers directly over a solid masonry, brick or stone surface. The finish coat usually contained an integral color and was typically textured for appearance. Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as a coating for walls and ceilings and for decoration. Stucco may be used to cover less visually appealing construction materials such as concrete, cinder block, or clay brick and adobe.
Fiber cement is a composite material made of sand, cement and cellulose fibers. In appearance fiber cement siding most often consists of overlapping horizontal boards, imitating wooden siding, clapboard and imitation shingles. Fiber cement siding is also manufactured in a sheet form and is used not only as cladding but is also commonly used as a soffit / eave lining and as a tile underlay on decks and in bathrooms. CSR Fiber Cement sheet cladding – dwelling addition, Hardys Bay, NSW, Australia. Fiber cement siding is not only used as an exterior siding, it can also be utilized as a substitute for timber fascias and barge boards in high fire areas.
Vinyl siding was introduced to the exterior cladding market in the late 1950s. It was first produced by an independently-owned manufacturing plant in Columbus, Ohio. The process was originally done through mono-extrusion. At that time, blending of colors was done manually, and the product was little more than a replacement for aluminum siding. This original process made it difficult to produce and install a consistent, quality product. Beginning in the 1970s, a transformation of the product began, with the industry engineering formulation changes. These changes affected the product’s production speed, impact resistance, and range of colors. In the following decade vinyl siding grew steadily in popularity in large part due to its durability, versatility, and ease of maintenance. Today, vinyl siding is the most commonly used siding product in the United States. As the product continues to grow, the Vinyl Siding Institute regulates manufacturers and sponsors installation certification programs for contractors.
Engineered wood siding is easier and less costly to install than real wood siding. It is lighter in weight than wood and features advances that make installation easier, like LP’s SmartLock self-aligning edge design. Engineered wood siding can be purchased pre-primed, ready to paint, or pre-finished in any number of finish options, which reduces the field and labor time once installed. The boards are coated with a moisture-resistant overlay that is embossed with a cedar-grain pattern for an authentic appearance. The process of treating each wood wafer with zinc borate, using a heavy-duty exterior glue, and pressing the product under heat and pressure, results in one solid piece of wood.
Having a Professional Home Inspector inspect your home prior to purchase will allow your new homes cladding to be inspected by a Professional like the Barrie Home Inspector. He will inspect for cladding of siding failure or poor installation techniques. Having all the information available is paramount prior to purchasing real estate, whether for investment or for your new home.
A vent is a pipe or pipes install to provide a flow or air to or from a drainage system to provide a circulation of air within such system to protect trap seals from siphonage and back-pressure. This has a two fold purpose, one to prevent sewer gases from entering home and also to allow air into system for better drainage.
Direct venting of plumbing fixtures is permitted if a plumbing fixture is close enough (eight feet or less) to the main waste stack pipe (vent), the fixture does not usually require its own plumbing vent piping, and it is considered a direct-vented plumbing fixture.
Wet venting is using a drain from another fixture to supply adequate venting to another fixture, usually a toilet. The theory for wet venting is that the flow in the wet vent portion of the piping will be low because there will only be one occupant in the bathroom and only one fixture being used.
Plumbing smells or noises can be caused by improperly installed drains and vents. There a many cases where improper glue and venting has resulted in sewer gas entering an unsuspecting homeowners property. Improper use of glue, loose connections and vents not vented to exterior can all be attributed to work being performed by un-licensed workers. Always used a trained a licensed plumber when renovating or repairing your homes plumbing system.
There are many different types of choices when it comes to plumbing your home. For water supply, there is PVC, CPVC. PEX, Galvanized Pipe, and copper. Copper and CPVC are the most popular. CPVC is the easiest to install. CPVC tubing is ideal for water supply lines. It’s easy to cut and assemble, using compression of cemented fittings. It’s durable too. Harsh water won’t harm the material, unlike copper, which will erode from acidic water.
That “blub blub” or “glug glug” noise you hear from a building drain might mean that there is a problem with the drain system itself, such as a partial drain blockage, a drain venting problem, a drain odor problem, or even a failing septic system. If a gurgling sound is heard at a sink or shower drain only when a nearby toilet is flushed, or at a sink or shower when a nearby tub is draining, we’d suspect that the building drain-vent system is inadequate.