- Home Owner Tips
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- Inspection Guide
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Shortly after aluminum wiring became common place, some overheating problems started to appear. These included flickering lights, warm cover plates on switches and receptacles, and burned insulation on wiring. Any kind of overheating condition can lead to the possibility of fires.
1. Softness: Aluminum is a much softer metal than copper. Electricians who had always worked with copper found that it was very easy to nick, cut, or crush the aluminum wiring when removing insulation or making connections. They had to be gentler. Damaged wire creates local hot spots and results in overheating.
2. Creeping: When electricity flows through wire, the wire heats up. Aluminum wire expands more than copper when it heats up. The repeated expansion and contraction as the wire heated up and cooled down caused to the wire to creep out from under the terminal screws that held the wire in place. This wire creeping resulted in loose connections and overheating.
3. Rusting: When metals rust, they form an oxide on the surface. Rust on steel is red, rust on copper is green, and rust on aluminum is white. It’s not a big problem when copper wiring rusts, since the copper oxide that forms is electrically conductive. It doesn’t interfere with the wire’s ability to do its job. When aluminum wiring rusts, the white oxide is not a very good electrical conductor. It does interfere with the flow of electricity, and again, can cause overheating.
Most insurance companies will not insure a home with galvanized plumbing because it is well past its predicted life span. Galvanized steel pipes, commonly installed in homes prior to 1950, have an average life expectancy of 40–50 years. Over time, the galvanized steel pipes begin to rust or corrode from the inside out, resulting in reduced water pressure and restricted water flow. This presents an increased risk of leaks or ruptures occurring in the pipes and the potential for flood damage. Your insurance company will probably require you to replace galvanized plumbing with copper and plastic piping before providing you with insurance coverage.
Asbestos in your HOME
Older homes will typically have some asbestos as it was used in drywall, floor tile, ceiling tile and in many types of insulation. Removing asbestos can be expensive and involves setting up decontamination and clean zones in the home. Recommend obtaining multiple quotes for any removal. All asbestos removed has to be tagged and disposed of at an approved waste site. If you are thinking about removing the asbestos yourself buy the proper protective equipment and follow accepted guidelines for removal process. Your health could be at stake if you ignore the hazards involved in asbestos removal. Asbestos, as a product, was removed from acceptable housing materials around the mid-1970’s, so if the home is older than 1970, chances are high that somewhere within the home, there is asbestos.
Knob and Tube Wiring, also called Open Wiring, was a common wiring method used in the 1900’s to the late 1940’s.. While not illegal, it can be in poor condition with failing insulation and cracked tubes and insulators. Most home insurance companies will not insure a home with knob and tube wiring installed. Many times an older home will have most of the knob and tube wiring removed but often there may be a circuit or two that is overlooked or ignored due to shoddy workmanship. Never install insulation over exposed knob and tube wiring as it requires an open air space to dissipate any heat build up.
A water potability test will check the water for the presence of the most common, dangerous bacteria such as Coliform, E-coli, and Fecal coliform. Testing can be performed on well water or tap water. In addition to checking for harmful bacterium, a chemical test can be conducted to check for magnesium, iron, lead, fluoride, chlorine, and other chemical compound levels in your water. Most home buyers do not know that if you are buying a home with a well that a typical water potability test done by your Realtor at your kitchen or bathroom sink will not detect feces in the water if there is a UV light and Cartridge Filter installed. The water must be collected prior to any water treatment devices such as softeners, carbon filters, reverse osmosis units and ceramic filters. Bypass, remove or disconnect these devices to ensure that the sample is taken before the water enters these treatment devices.
If you use a wood burning appliance in your home, such as a wood stove, wood-fired furnace, pellet stove or wood-burning fireplace, and never had it WETT inspected, you should arrange for a WETT inspection for the safety of you and your family. Most insurance companies will also require you to obtain a WETT inspection on a new installation, on an existing installation that has undergone a modification, or when you purchase a home equipped with a wood burning appliance.
Building permits are required for just about any renovation project. When you buy a home which has had work done without a building permit you are assuming responsibility for any deficiencies that may exist. Plumbing and electrical systems were installed without proper inspection prior to enclosing work. Any structural change requires a design and a building permit. Protect yourself and your investment by having a professional home inspection prior to purchasing property.
The steel beam supported on concrete column is improperly installed. This should have been observed prior to occupancy permit being issued by City Building Department. This unsafe condition would have continued until possible failure of support except for detection during home inspection.
Protect your family and home from Property Defects by calling the Alliston Home Inspector.
Barrie, ON is consistently being noticed as a “investment opportunity” city with buyers that are flocking to the city to invest in Real Estate. Recently Barrie was ranked only behind Waterloo, Kitchener and Hamilton by the Real Estate investment Network. The “REIN” cites the annexation of Innisfil as a future engine that will drive development in the area.
Barrie has the following amenities to offer new families:
Waterfront Parks – Barrie abounds with parks spread throughout the city. Numerous parks have beaches and picnic areas for residents.
400 Hwy Access – Most of Barrie’s traffic moves across the city via 400 hwy. Commuters also benefit by having access to major cities south of Barrie
Hospital – Royal Victoria Hospital is continually growing to meet the needs of the community
Recreation – Every section of the city has a Recreation complex with swimming, hockey, figure skating, gyms and sports fields
Schools – Barrie has a multitude of schools spread across the city. New high school is currently being planned for near future
Expansion – Barrie has recently acquired land from Innisfil which will be developed in near future.
Buses – Although slow, Barrie’s buses have lots of room for riders who don’t want to drive their cars.
Libraries – Two large libraries provide book lending, research books and video loans to residents.
Many out of town property investors are buying townhouses and “rent to own properties” in Barrie, due to its close proximity to Toronto and the affordable prices that make properties attractive to purchasers.
Barrie currently has a population of over 143,000 and has grown 5.7% since 2006. The City takes in over 100 sq km of land and has a large networks of parks, many of which are on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay. Barrie is currently in the process of extending it park land along Lakeshore Drive which hopefully will improve the enjoyment of the water by its citizens. The Barrie waterfront is the City’s greatest asset and attraction, characterized by outstanding natural features, vibrant and diverse public spaces and high-quality recreational facilities. It is a prized and shared resource for recreation, economic development, events and programming on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay.
Currently Barrie’s inventory of homes available for sale is low compared to previous years creating a “sellers market” which has resulted in many properties being sold above their asking price. Some Realtor’s estimate that the average home price in Barrie has already risen over 9% in 2015. Many seniors in Toronto have chosen Barrie as their retirement location, cashing in on a hot real estate market in Toronto and purchasing property in the Barrie and surrounding areas.
Mortgage rates are also part of the reason that Real Estate is experiencing substantial growth. Low rates are allowing people, such as first time home buyers, to invest in their first home at an affordable cost. One thing that has been consistent over the years, the increasing value of Real Estate, even when there has been downward dips in housing prices, they have alway rebounded regaining and surpassing previous highs. Many people are investing in property as a hedge against inflation. They realize that just leaving money in a bank will eventually deteriorate the value of their investment’ as inflation steadily eats away at its value.
When purchasing an investment property you need the services of a Professional Home Inspector. The Barrie Home Inspector, has been inspecting homes for over 10 years and is a Certified Building Code Official with the Ontario Building Officials Association. Roger is also a Real Estate investor with both Commercial and Residential investments, which allows you to benefit from his experience and expertise. Free Thermal Imaging scan of your home is also included with every property inspection. The Barrie Home inspector can give you “Peace of Mind” when making your next purchase.
Do I Have to waste money on having a Home Inspection? This question crosses the mind of many home buyers. When making the largest investment in your future, knowing what your buying can never be a bad thing. A Professional Home inspection will identify issues and deficiencies with a home that may otherwise go unnoticed. Small items on a home that are ignored can often become a very expensive repair and project.
Do I Have to Attend the Home Inspection? Yes, if at all possible attend the home inspection. This will be opportunity to become educated about your home and its major systems. With over 10 years of home inspection experience and 40 years of building inspection experience the Barrie Home Inspector can provide valuable advice and point out deficiencies, explaining their importance and any recommendations for repair.
Is There a Pass or Fail of a Home Inspection? No, there is no such “bench mark”which can be given to any home. A home inspection points out existing deficiencies and any potential expenses, such as roof life expectancy or remaining life for your gas furnace for example. Every person has a different view point on each and every item covered by a home inspection. For a professional inspector to impose his point of view to a client would be very unprofessional. The home inspection identifies the major and minor deficiencies in a home, the inspector will provide professional information about the issues but in the end it is the buyer’s choice whether to buy the property after being informed about the overall condition of the home.
Home Inspection Waiver – Typically home owners will have from 5 to 10 days to have a home inspection on the home they are purchasing. This contingency provides that if conditions are found during the home inspection that are significant, you can back out of your offer free of any penalties. In a Seller’s Market sometimes conditions are waived by buyers when facing a “bidding war” on a property they want to purchase.
Importance of Building Permits – If a renovation was completed on your home and no building permit was taken out you will be assuming responsibility for all the deficiencies that may be present. When a building permit is issued the builder or contractor will submit plans for approval to the local building department. Inspections are then carried out prior to any electrical, plumbing, structural or heating systems are covered in. A final inspection is completed and if there are no problems the Permit is closed with the Final Inspection.
Barrie Home Inspections is an inspection company that focuses on one individual home at a time, ensuring each customer receives a thorough building inspection, undivided attention and a caliber of customer service which is second to none. Our personalized home inspections start on the exterior of your home and entail the through examination of your potential new home from basement to attic. Our training, education and experience brings to the building industry a wealth of experience from many disciplines including building, design, construction and structural engineering. Performing home inspections in Barrie for over 10 years.
Major Areas Covered in our Inspection:
Exterior: siding, flashing and trim, doors and windows, garage door operation, decks, balconies, steps, eaves, soffits, fascia, grading and drainage, driveways, walks and patios
Structure: foundation, floors, walls, columns, ceilings, beams
Plumbing: piping materials and fixtures, waste drains and vent systems, sump pumps, sinks, toilets
Heating & Cooling: furnace, air conditioning, hot water heater, automatic safety controls, pipes, fans and duct systems, insulation and ventilation
Interiors: walls, ceilings, floors, doors, stairways, balconies, railings, counters and cabinets, appliances
Electrical: proper wiring, grounding, polarity, main panel inspection, service entrance, breakers and fusing
With over 10 years of actual home inspection experience we offer a wealth of knowledge for our clients to draw on when purchasing a new home. Roger Frost is a Certified Building Code Official and also a Certified Master Inspector, exceeding all requirements required for your typical home inspector. When combined with over 7 years of experience in Project Reviews for DND and being a former registered builder with HUDAC, you are hiring one of the premier inspectors in Simcoe County.
FREE Thermal imaging is offered with every home inspection. Infrared (thermal imaging) is an advanced, non-invasive technology that allows the inspector to show clients things about their homes or buildings that can’t be revealed using conventional inspection methods. Some of the items a thermal imaging scan can uncover include:
If your new home has a wood burning appliance, such as a fireplace, wood stove or pellet stove, your insurance company will most likely require it to be inspected by a WETT Certified Inspector. The Barrie Home Inspector has been WETT Certified for over 10 years and offers a WETT Inspection for only $50.00 when included as part of home inspection. The Level I inspection is essentially a general overview of the readily accessible parts, clearances, chimney heights, stove location with respect to combustible materials and visual signs to determine if the system meets the CSA Standard B365 (Installation Code for Solid-Fuel-Burning Appliances and Equipment).