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Thu, Sep 15th - 11:53AM

Concrete And Your Home by Barrie Home Inspector

Todays modern concrete is made using Portland cement, coarse and fine aggregates of stone and sand, and water. Admixtures are chemicals added to the concrete mix to control its setting properties and are used primarily when placing concrete during environmental extremes, such as high or low temperatures, windy conditions and are used to control curing conditions. Although rarely used in residential dwellings reinforced concrete is used in condominiums and high rise apartments. Reinforced concrete was invented in 1849 by Joseph Monier. He was a Parisian gardener who made garden pots and tubs of concrete reinforced with an iron mesh. Reinforced concrete combines the tensile (bendable) strength of metal with the compressive strength of concrete to withstand heavy loads.

Whether they think of it as "building green" or "sustainability," today's consumers expect homes and other low-rise structures to have minimal environmental impact, yet meet or exceed their lifestyle needs. They want properties offering comfort and security with low energy bills and low maintenance. They also demand healthy interiors that promote well being. And they want all of this in an attractive package. Contemporary concrete building systems offer features that purchasers and builders value; strong and solid construction that provides comfortable shelter from typical weather, and minimizes property damage while protecting occupants from extreme weather, like natural disasters.

Reinforced concrete is the most common form of concrete. The reinforcement is often steel, rebar. Structural fibers of various materials are available. Concrete can also be prestressed using internal steel cables (tendons), allowing for beams or slabs with a longer span than is practical with reinforced concrete alone.

ICFs are hollow "blocks" or "panels" made of plastic foam that construction crews stack into the shape of the walls of a building. The workers then fill the center with reinforced concrete to create the structure. There are over 20 brands of ICFs in North America, each with some variations in design and materials.

The rigidity of concrete construction reduces the flex in floors and cuts shifting and vibration from the force of the wind or the slamming of a door. Concrete houses survive high-force winds like hurricanes far better than wood homes. And when properly reinforced, they should also withstand earthquakes well.

Most poured concrete basements, by the nature that they are built into the ground, present the possibility that water can intrude, turning what was once a dry basement into a wet basement. This is because water in the soil can put constant pressure on basement walls. Plus, water follows the path of least resistance inside a home and over time can find its way into a basement.

Hiring the Barrie Home Inspector can protect you from discovering un-wanted moisture or water leaks after you have purchased your home. Older homes have no warranties and many sellers may not be upfront about knowledge of previous leaks. Last week I inspected a basement that had 3 injection repairs made and each one was hidden behind tables and boxes leaned up against the foundation. There was also no working light bulbs in the basement.

Learn more about Barrie Home Infrared Cameras and Inspection Tips. Stop by Barrie Home Inspections site where you can find out all about Professional Home Inspectons in Barrie, Canada for all your Real Estate investment needs.


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Thu, Sep 15th - 4:34AM

Inspecting Waterfront Properties

"Cottages" in Eastern Canada are generally located next to lakes, rivers, or the ocean in forested areas. They are used as a place to spend holidays with friends and family; common activities including swimming, canoeing, waterskiing, fishing, hiking, and sailing. There are also many well-known summer colonies.

Some cottages have a Shore Road Allowance registered on title. The local municipality has the final say in closure and title issues of the property and road allowances. The Ministry of Natural Resources has established guidelines affecting closure of some roads for the preservation of wildlife and fish habitat. You will be required to make applications and are responsible for the costs that are determined by the municipality.The purchasing and closing costs will vary, in some areas it may be substantial.

Jet pumps draw water using an impeller which throws the water outwards creating a vacuum which draws the water up behind it, creating pressure. The jet pump will not pump air so if line is not completely sealed will lose its prime. To stop the water from flowing back down into the well a one-way check valve is installed on the feeder line.

Septic tanks are usually the only option for your remote cottage sewage system. They may be constructed of wood, steel or homemade and may need immediate replacing. The size of the septic tank required depends on the size of the cottage determined by the number bedrooms.

The Ontario government says if a septic system is properly built, maintained and treated, it is a perfectly acceptable method of dealing with sewage. But many systems are old, have not been regularly and properly pumped out and maintained, are fitted with illegal connections or discharges, or have had substances injected into them that kill the bacteria needed to keep them functioning properly. Some townships are inspecting older systems and owners are required to correct any deficiencies.

If buying a Cottage in Barrie, Midland, Orillia, Rama, Brechin, Lagoon City, Severn Falls or in this general area contact the Barrie Home Inspector for a Professional Cottage Inspection. With over 4,000 inspections and as a Certified Building Code Official your investment is in good hands.


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Thu, Sep 15th - 4:30AM

Types of Siding for Your Home
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.

Manufactured veneer is cheaper than natural stone, approximately 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of natural stone. Its light weight eliminates the need for wall ties or footings and make it easier and cheaper to build. Furthermore, manufactured stone veneer has a significantly smaller waste factor than natural stone. The variety of designs and colors makes available options which would not be available with natural stone, since natural stone is used in the general area around the locality which it is extracted. There are also disadvantages for stone veneer compared to natural stone: It is not as strong as natural stone; if a piece breaks, or if a piece is removed from the wall, then unless it is replaced, it shows significantly; it is not reusable as natural stones are.

Cement fibre siding:  This type of siding can resemble masonry , wood and even stucco. It is a durable, natural looking product which makes it a good option if you would like the look of wood siding without all the maintenance. Another bonus about cement fiber siding is that it is fireproof, termite proof and may come with a fifty year warranty depending on the product. Some older homes may have " Cement Asbestos Siding" which was made from Portland cement and asbestos fibers. Removing this type of siding may be hazardous to your health so when remodeling, people have been known to attach their new siding directly over top.

A cement board is a combination of cement and reinforcing fibers formed into 4 foot by 8 foot sheets (or 3 foot by 5 foot sheets), 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick that are typically used as a tile backing board. Cement board can be nailed or screwed to wood or steel studs to create a substrate for vertical tile and attached horizontally to plywood for tile floors, kitchen counters and backsplashes. It can be used on the exterior of buildings as a base for exterior plaster (stucco) systems and sometimes as the finish system itself.
Cement board adds impact resistance and strength to the wall surface as compared to water resistant gypsum boards. Cement board is also fabricated in thin sheets with polymer modified cements to allow bending for curved surfaces.

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:  Engineered wood siding is made from wood products and other materials. The panels can be molded to resemble traditional clapboards although it does not exactly look like real wood due to the fact that it's textured grain is uniform. It does however look more natural then vinyl or aluminium siding. The benefit of engineered wood siding is that it offers all the advantages of of regular wood siding but in addition, it's termite resistant and it will not rot,crack or split.

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.


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Wed, Sep 14th - 3:19AM

Moisture and Animals in your Attic

The attic access minimum size is a rough-framed opening at least 22 inches by 30 inches. It should be located in a hallway or other readily accessible location. Attics can also help control temperature in a house by providing a large mass of unmoving air. Hot air rising from lower floors of a building often gets trapped in the attic, further compounding their reputation as inhospitable environments. However, in recent years many attics have been insulated to help decrease heating costs since on average, uninsulated attics account for 15% of the total energy loss in a typical house.

Knee walls are vertical walls with an attic space directly behind them. You'll typically find them in houses with finished attic spaces and dormer windows, as with 1-story houses. There are a couple of ways that you may see a knee wall insulated. The most important areas and most overlooked areas to insulate are the open joist ends below the knee wall. Air sealing reduces heat flow from air movement, or convection. Air sealing prevents water vapor in the air from entering the wall assembly. In a 100-square-foot wall, 1 cup of water can diffuse through drywall without a vapor diffusion retarder in a single year. Fifty cups can enter through a -inch round hole. Air sealing is 10 to 100 times as important as installing a vapor diffusion retarder.

Insulation performance is measured by R-value - its ability to resist heat flow. Higher R-values mean more insulating power. Different R-values are recommended for walls, attics, basements and crawlspaces, depending on your area of the country. Insulation works best when air is not moving through or around it. So it is very important to seal air leaks before installing insulation to ensure that you get the best performance from the insulation.

Attics make a great place to live! They are warm and dry and safe. Eastern Gray Squirrels are highly adaptable animals, and they are very agile. They are arboreal, which means they live in trees. Female squirrels give birth to two litters of young per year, one in summer, and one in winter. The exact time of birth can vary a bit based on several factors, but generally the winter litter is born in early February and the summer litter in early August. Much of the time, the female makes a leaf and twig nest high up in a tree. If she can find a hollow tree, that's even better. If she can find an attic, that's better still. Squirrels are very urbanized animals, as you can see when you look out your window. They are members of the rodent family, and are excellent at gnawing and chewing on wood. Combine these factors, and of course it makes sense that female squirrels chew their way into attics in order to have and raise young. In fact, male squirrels or any squirrel at any time of the year may find that an attic makes a good place to safely spend the night and store nuts. Though the squirrels mostly live in the attic, they'll also live in soffits, squirrels down in walls, between floors in the ceiling, and other areas inside the architecture.

A well-insulated house is a bit like dressing for the weather. A wool sweater will keep you warm if the wind is not blowing and it is not raining. On a windy, rainy day, wearing a nylon shell over your wool sweater helps keep you reasonably dry and warm. A house is similar. On the outside, underneath the brick or siding, there is an air barrier that does the same thing as the nylon - it keeps the wind from blowing through. Then there is the insulation (like your sweater) and a vapour barrier, which helps keep moisture away from the house structure where it can do damage.

R values and their metric equivalent, RSI values, are a way of labelling the effectiveness of insulating materials. The higher the R value or RSI value, the more resistance the material has to the movement of heat. Insulation products sold in Canada are labelled with R and RSI values. Provincial building codes specify minimum R (or RSI) values for new construction, with different values for different applications. It is important to know what your local building code requires when planning new construction.

When your home is inspected by a Professional Home Inspector they are checking for proper ventilation, presence of moisture, proper insulation, mould, proper structural support and signs of rodent or animal entry. Bat feces or vermiculite insulation removal can run into ten thousand dollars or more for removal. Compared to the cost of hiring the Barrie Home Inspector for $200.00 this is a really cost effective way to protect yourself and ensure Peace of Mind on your next Real Estate purchase.


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Wed, Sep 7th - 4:21AM

Wood Energy Technolgy Transfer = WETT

Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc. (WETT Inc.) is a non-profit training and education association managed by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by holders of valid WETT certificates. Through its administrative designate, WETT Inc. functions as the national registrar of the WETT program. Through professional training and public education, WETT Inc. promotes the safe and effective use of wood burning systems in Canada.

A certificate holder will not knowingly sign or issue a false or misleading certificate, report or other document. A certificate holder will not knowingly sign or issue a false or misleading certificate, report or other document. A certificate holder will not make a false or malicious statement or publication that injures the professional reputation of another holder of a valid wett certificate.

There was a tendency during the development of the first round of EPA's wood stove emissions regulations in the 1980s to rely exclusively on science and technology to reduce emissions from wood heaters. This made perfect sense at the time because most wood stoves were crude boxes with virtually no emission control technologies. Unfortunately, a repeat of this approach appears to be reflected in much of the recent commentary surrounding the EPA New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) review process. Unfortunate because this repeat of the reliance entirely on technology can result in appliances that burn cleanly under laboratory conditions through increased technological complexity but which do not meet user needs. This could produce disappointing emission reduction results in actual use.

There are no "new" sources of energy that are likely to prove viable. One of the newest energy sources is nuclear power, which has its own environmental problems and is controversial. Regardless of the energy source we choose for home heating, its use will have environmental impacts. The burning of oil and gas contributes to global warming, and their production is declining in many countries, meaning that their price is likely to go up as demand increases. While oil and gas don't appear to pollute at the point of use, their exploration, production, refining and transportation cause severe environmental damage. Only a relatively small percentage of electricity is from renewables like hydroelectric dams, and even then there are environmental problems due to flooding large areas. Wind turbines will never produce enough electricity to be used widely for home heating.

Firewood, on the other hand, can be produced with slight environmental impact because it needs little processing and most of it is used close to where the trees grew. Wood is the most economical and accessible of all renewable energy resources for many households and it has value beyond the displacement of fossil fuels and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It is practiced on a small scale and the householders that use it gain a better understanding of their impacts on the environment than users of other energy sources. Families who heat their homes with wood responsibly should be recognized for their contribution to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a sustainable energy future. In a modern context, and knowing what we now know about the environmental impacts of all energy use, wood can be thought of as a 'new' energy resource, provided it comes from sustainable sources and is burned in advanced combustion appliances.

Whatever energy source you choose, its use will have an impact on the environment. The best energy sources are renewable and the best of those are solar power and wind power because their environmental impacts tend to be low. As good as they are, though, they do have their problems and limitations. Wood is another renewable energy source with its own problems and limitations, some of which can be managed and minimized, others of which cannot. But when it is used effectively, wood is a fine fuel compared to all the other options we have available.

The Barrie Home Inpector is a Certified WETT Inspector and provides services in Barrie, Alliston, Orillia, Midland, Penetang, Bradford, Newmarket, Innisfil, Tiny Beaches, Oro-Medonte, Springwater, Stayner, Wasaga Beach, Alcona Beach, Lagoon City, Brechin, Angus, New Lowell and many other communities in Simcoe County.


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Tue, Sep 6th - 3:30AM

Inspecting Your Gas Furnace

Inspection of Gas-fired Forced-air Furnaces will prolong your life expectancy. Two Most Common Types of furnaces are the High-efficiency and Standard-efficiency Natural Gas Furnace. They are usually either up-draft or down-draft models. Up-draft is by far the most common.

Over the last 20 years, a new generation of higher efficiency gas furnaces and boilers has come to market. An essential difference in the design of these units is how they are vented, eliminating the need for dilution air. The combustion of gas produces certain by-products, including water vapour and carbon dioxide.

In a conventional gas furnace, such by-products are vented through a chimney, but a considerable amount of heat (both in the combustion products and in heated room air) escapes through the chimney at the same time. Heat is also lost up the chimney when the furnace is off.

AFUE rating of furnace is the estimated energy efficiency rating of the furnace based on one year. The high efficiency furnace will actually produce heat at a cooler temperature than conventional furnace due to the fact that more heat is extracted from combustion which is why the need for a chimney is eliminated.

Natural Gas Furnace Components which are inspected during home inspection or service call. The typical Natural Gas furnaces are comprised of a cabinet, distribution system, heat exchanger, fan and controls and a thermostat. There are many additions that can be added to a gas furnace which include, humidifiers, air cleaners and HRV's.

Standard Inspection Steps performed by a Typical Home Inspector will include these four basic inspection steps:

1. Remove burner and fan cover with power turned off. 2. Check the heat exchanger. 3. Start the furnace and inspecting flame, exhaust system. 4. Check the duct system and air flow through ducts and return air systems.

Life Expectancies of Furnaces

20 to 25 years is the average life expectancy of a furnace. Failure of heat exchanger typically means the furnace will be replaced.

Regular service and maintenance can greatly extend the life of your furnace and some furnaces will last over 35 years.


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Tue, Sep 6th - 3:27AM

Landscaping and Your Home Garden

Landscape planning is a branch of landscape architecture. Urban park systems and greenways of the type planned by Frederick Law Olmsted are key examples of urban landscape planning. Landscape designers tend to work for clients who wish to commission construction work. Landscape planners can look beyond the 'closely drawn technical limits' and 'narrowly drawn territorial boundaries' which constrain design projects. Landscape planners tend to work on projects which: are of broad geographical scope; concern many land uses or many clients; are implemented over a long period of time. In rural areas, the damage caused by unplanned mineral extraction was one of the early reasons for a public demand for landscape planning.

Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor and public spaces to achieve environmental, socio-behavioral, and/or aesthetic outcomes. It involves the systematic investigation of existing social, ecological, and geological conditions and processes in the landscape, and the design of interventions that will produce the desired outcome. The scope of the profession includes: urban design; site planning; town or urban planning; environmental restoration; parks and recreation planning; visual resource management; green infrastructure planning and provision; and private estate and residence landscape master planning and design; all at varying scales of design, planning and management. A practitioner in the profession of landscape architecture is called a landscape architect.

Horticulture is the industry and science of plant cultivation including the process of preparing soil for the planting of seeds, tubers, or cuttings.[1] Horticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of plant propagation and cultivation, crop production, plant breeding and genetic engineering, plant biochemistry, and plant physiology. The work involves fruits, berries, nuts, vegetables, flowers, trees, shrubs, and turf. Horticulturists work to improve crop yield, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to insects, diseases, and environmental stresses. Horticulture usually refers to gardening on a smaller scale, while agriculture refers to the large-scale cultivation of crops.

Floriculture crops include bedding plants, flowering plants, foliage plants or houseplants, cut cultivated greens, and cut flowers. As distinguished from nursery crops, floriculture crops are generally herbaceous. Bedding and garden plants consist of young flowering plants (annuals and perennials) and vegetable plants. They are grown in cell packs (in flats or trays), in pots, or in hanging baskets, usually inside a controlled environment, and sold largely for gardens and landscaping. Geraniums, impatiens, and petunias are the best-selling bedding plants. Chrysanthemums are the major perennial garden plant in the United States.

Most plants thrive in moist, but well drained soil. Sounds contradictory, right? But it simply means soil that retains moisture and doesn't stay too wet. Ideal garden soil has the texture of crumbly chocolate cake and is easy to dig. The way to improve almost any kind of soil - from sticky clay to porous sandy soil - is actually the same. You add hummus (composted manure, compost or leaf mould, or a combination of them).

There really is no final choice, since gardens are never finished, but try to be as realistic as you can. Sketching it out on graph paper first, can help you to visualize how your garden will look. This may be the best route to go, but many gardens would never get planted if we waited until we felt things were perfect and it can be hard for a new gardener to equate what's on paper with reality. Sometimes you just have to get started. You'll learn as you go. Just make sure that most of your plant choices fit of the criteria you've outlined and the growing conditions you have to offer. Try not to squeeze in too many different plants and you're small space garden should look and grow just fine.


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Mon, Sep 5th - 4:02PM

Choosing Doors for Your Home

When selecting doors for energy efficiency, it's important to first consider their energy-performance ratings in relation to the local climate and home's design. This will help narrow the selection. New exterior doors often fit and insulate better than older types. If there are older doors in the home, replacing them might be a good investment for the homeowner, resulting in lower heating and cooling costs. If your client is building a new home, they might consider buying the most energy-efficient doors possible.

One common type of exterior door has a steel skin with a polyurethane foam-insulation core. It usually includes a magnetic strip (similar to a refrigerator door's magnetic seal) as weatherstripping. If installed correctly and if the door is not bent, this type of door needs no further weatherstripping. The R-values of most steel and fiberglass-clad entry doors range from R-5 to R-6 (not including the effects of a window). For example, a 1-inch (3.81 cm) thick door without a window offers more than five times the insulating value of a solid wood door of the same size.

Weatherstripping to seal air leaks around movable joints, such as windows and doors, can be used in an energy-efficient home. To determine how much weatherstripping is needed, add the perimeters of all windows and doors to be weatherstripped, and then add 5% to 10% to accommodate any waste. Also consider that weatherstripping comes in varying depths and widths. Before applying weatherstripping in an existing home, the homeowner will need to do the following (if they haven't already): detect air leaks; and assess the ventilation needs for indoor air quality.

A product for each specific location should be chosen. Felt and open-cell foams tend to be inexpensive, susceptible to weather, visible, and inefficient at blocking air flow. However, the ease of applying these materials may make them valuable in low-traffic areas. Vinyl, which is slightly more expensive, holds up well and resists moisture. Metals (bronze, copper, stainless steel and aluminum) last for years and are affordable. Metal weatherstripping can also provide a nice touch to older homes where vinyl might seem out of place.

"Double-hung" windows are the most common traditional window. They have an upper sash and a lower sash, both of which slide up and down in the window opening. "Single-hung" windows operate the same as "double-hung" windows, but their upper sash is fixed in place. By virtue of being stationary and permanently secured, single-hungs are often more energy efficient that double-hung windows depending on the type and style. Most vertical operators (single- and double-hungs) now feature "tilt-in" sashes for cleaning of the exterior surfaces. The industry moved towards this approach for service and replacement reasons as well as accessibility to the exterior from the inside of the home. Casement windows are hinged on one side and are typically operated using an interior hand crank. Awning and Basement windows hinge on top and bottom respectively. Sliding windows, or "sliders", are sometimes used in openings that are wider than they are tall.

Low-E is a film that is several layers of metal poured microscopically thin over the surface of newly poured glass. This heat reflective film is transparent but can be darker or lighter depending on the type and manufacturer. This data is rated in Visible Light Transmission. Darker glass with heavier Low - E will have less VT. The NFRC rates most energy star rated window manufacturers.

The Barrie Home Inspector offer Free thermal imaging of your home which is included with your home inspection. Thermal Imaging will find any air or moisture leaking around your windows.

Looking to find the best deal on Barrie Home Inspections, then visit Home Maintenance Tips by the Barrie Home Inspector to find the best advice on protecting your home.


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Mon, Sep 5th - 3:59PM

Thermal Imaging and Your Home Inspection
Thermal imaging is the use of light rays that are invisible to the naked eye. There is an infinite range of light that is invisible to the naked eye. The wave lengths of light that are invisible to the naked eye are actually quite small. All light is identified by its wave length, frequency and energy. Humans can only see light in the 400 to 750 nanometer range. Some animals can see light in the infrared spectrum and you can buy infrared film for you regular camera. An example of low-energy light rays is radio waves which are typically described by their frequency. A prism placed into a ray of sunshine in a dark room reflects the colours of the rainbow using a property known as dispersion. This is the method Sir William Herschel utilized in the 1800's in conjunction with thermometers to discern the presence of invisible light rays. He called his discovery the thermometric spectrum later to be known as infrared. Infrared thermography provides the most rapid means by which to identify unintentional air leakage pathways in a building envelope, although it cannot quantify the leakage rate.

The benefits of employing infrared thermography in buildings are:-

1. Testing building envelope for leaks prior to covering thus saving time and money.

2. Finding ares of air or moisture penetration which may cause damage or failure to the building products.

3. By identifying air leakage pathways the potential for these areas to allow in rain water or moisture is also identified and can be protected.

4. Energy audits use a blower door to create under-pressure conditions during the audit. The thermal camera can be used to identify air movement through un-sealed pathways.

The Barrie Home Inspector was the first company to use Thermal Imaging technology in Simcoe County.


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Mon, Sep 5th - 3:53PM

Protect Your Home with Caulking

Caulking has many uses and can also refer to the application of flexible sealing compounds to close up gaps in buildings and other structures against water, air, dust, insects, or as a component in firestopping. In the tunnelling industry, caulking refers to the sealing of joints in segmental precast concrete tunnels, commonly by using concrete.

Although not a high-tech operation, caulking can be tricky. The instructions on the compound cartridge should be followed. The following are a few important tips to provide your client:

Common tools are a pointing tool, shaped wood, wet finger or a spoon. Detergent should not be added to the moisture for tooling, since it may drip onto the bond surface, causing a loss of adhesion. For neat work, the worker may apply painter's masking tape beforehand, taping off the areas on each side of the joint to catch any surplus, and remove the tape again before the tooling time has expired. To prevent three-sided adhesion or to avoid sagging in wide, deep joints, a backer rod made of plastic foam can be pressed into the gap before caulking. After removing old caulking ensure joint is clean and debris free. Allow the cleaned joint to dry for a day or more unless the product is approved for wet applications. Press an open-cell foam backer rod into joints wider than 1/4 inch (6 mm) or deeper than 1/2 inch (12 mm) so the joint is about half as deep as it is wide. Never fill a deep joint. Doing so wastes caulk and makes a good, permanent bond less likely.

Caulking compounds can also be found in aerosol cans, squeeze tubes, and ropes for small jobs or special applications. Water-based caulk can be cleaned with water, while solvent-based compounds require a solvent for cleanup. Caulking compounds also vary in strength, properties, and prices.

Silicone caulk is the type of caulk that people tend to be most familiar with. It is usually clear in color and has a rubbery, flexible texture when dry. For the past 20 years or so, the majority of caulks on the market have been made out of silicone. Because of its durability and effectiveness on a wide variety of surfaces, silicone continues to be a popular choice today. It is especially useful on non-porous surfaces, including metal and plastic. And because it stays flexible after it is dry, silicone caulk rarely breaks or cracks as a result of extreme temperatures or rapid temperature changes. This makes it perfect for filling gaps around windows and doors.

During every home inspection in Barrie, Alliston or Orillia we inspect all exterior caulking to ensure there are no cracks or missing caulking.


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