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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.


Barrie Home Inspector

Orillia Home Inspector

Alliston Home Inspector

Barrie Home Inspections

Barrie Hair Salon

Barrie Thermal Imaging and Infrared Scans

Barrie Real Estate Agents

Brookfield Dnd Irp Relocation Info

Midland Home Inspector

Midland Cottage Inspector

Bon Meditation Center

Toronto Commercial & Industrial Building Inspections

Toronto - Barrie Commercial Property Inspector

Barrie Home Inspections

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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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