28
Aug
2015

Mould Myths Exposed

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The Internet has provided us with large amounts of information on the health effects of mould inhalation. Unfortunately, this means some of the information provided may not be accurate. Below are the top 5 common myths regarding mould and your family.     Mould Myth #1:  Black mould is the only toxic mould. The first issue with this statement is the fact that the term black mould is ambiguous. The term black mould usually refers to a specific mould spore (mould looks black in colour) called Stachybotrys, which does has toxic health effects. However, there are other species of mould…

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21
Aug
2015

When to Use an Industrial Hygienist

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When renovations or maintenance is performed on a building, a designated substance survey should be performed. This assessment will inspect all suspected hazardous substances within the property including lead, asbestos, silica and mercury. When a building is occupied with workers, the property manager must take specific measures to ensure the health and safety of his or her employees. In Ontario, Regulation 490/09 outlines the requirements to control exposure of workers to these substances. Regardless of the building’s age, it is beneficial to perform a survey. Most contractors will not begin a renovation/demo project without a designated substance survey completed. If…

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14
Aug
2015

Take Action Against Radon Gas

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No matter if your home is 50 years old or brand new, your property may emit high levels of radon gas. According to the World Health Organization, radon is the second most prominent cause of cancer. Homeowners can find research online that outlines through maps where radon emissions are higher. Although this is a good tool for researchers, this is not an accurate way to tell if radon is a problem in your home. In fact, home inspectors have found entirely different levels between homes on the same street. If you’re purchasing a home, it is best to seek a…

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Most prospective homeowners already have a plan or a rough idea of their perfectly designed basement. From children’s play areas to elaborate media rooms; basements have become one of the most highly demanded renovations.  This is evident through numerous renovation shows on HGTV geared towards dream basements. Yet due to its high investment, basement renovations can become a financial burden, especially when purchasing a home with an unfinished one. Most unfinished basements are made of up wide-open areas. Usually, there is access to the mechanical systems, such as furnaces, boilers and piping. Before starting a renovation, there are numerous elements…

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Whether purchasing a new home or an older home, roof repairs or replacement can be a costly addition to a budget. There are three common roofing materials used: composition/asphalt shingles, wood and metal. Out of these, asphalt shingles is the most popular due to its durability, easy installation and economical advantage. Asphalt shingles on a roof. When inspecting an asphalt roof, you want to search for broken, damaged or missing shingles. You also want to check to make sure the flashing is in good condition. Typically, flashing that has loosened or deteriorated from weather can lead…

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While looking for a place to live, it’s generally common that you will invest some time and money into numerous renovations, repairs and replacements. Most new homeowners desire to replace or repair old flooring due to previous wear or may wish to restyle. The majority of flooring renovations are not labour intensive and can be cost effective, dependent on the style of flooring desired. Before purchasing a home, a prospective homeowner should take the time to inspect the current flooring situation. Each type of flooring comes with various potential issues to be made aware. Vinyl tile flooring is used in…

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Despite providing easy access to pipes and substructures, crawlspaces are often a concern to home inspectors as severe damage can occur without proper maintenance as well as improper installation. There are several ways that extensive damage can transpire and affect your potential home. Crawlspaces are difficult to enter due to height restrictions so homeowners may never check them, thus the reasoning for potential long-term mould issues. Water from an exposed ground floor, water vapour from vents, cracks in foundation, underground springs and moisture from concrete can create an inevitable mould infestation. Mould thrives on surfaces like drywall, insulation and wood…

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Another component to consider when purchasing a home is a detailed inspection of the property’s bathroom(s). Unless you plan to renovate the bathroom right away, it is important to look for evidence concerning issues that could diminish the value of a home. Bathrooms require proper ventilation due to high humidity levels. When inspecting a washroom, check the exhaust fan to make sure it does not terminate into the attic. If you’re unsure, get a qualified home inspector to oversee this. There should be adequate airflow and pressure throughout the room. Issues could lead to moisture penetration into drywall, insulation, and…

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As a potential homebuyer, you have researched and sought out extensive advice on finances, suitable locations, work commute and other important factors concerning your needs. It is equally important and beneficial to understand the top ten factors that could affect your new home. Before purchasing a home, it is necessary to hire a professional to perform a home inspection. It is also important to develop a good relationship with your inspector by playing an active role in the inspection process (for example, accompanying the inspector, keeping up-to-date with information). Most houses contain at least one attic, sometimes two. Attics fill…

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Contamination of hazardous substances into an otherwise healthy environment can occur whether it is from renovations, building maintenance or accidental causes. Hazardous materials include asbestos fibres, bacteria, lead or volatile organic compounds. Once a hazardous substance has been exposed to an occupied area, there are certain issues to consider. The first issue is health of the frequent occupants. Although health risks can occur, it is important to state that the health risks related to asbestos exposure are typically due to long-term exposure. Despite the fact, liability is a major concern when employees are involved. It is within a property owner/manager’s…

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