Prepare for Cooling Season!

Cooling season is right around the corner.  Check out this list of things you should be doing to get your AC system and home ready!

Copy of MULTIPLE OFFER INSPECTION (5).png

 

1. Clean up Around Outside Unit.

If you have an outdoor unit, make sure the area around it is cleaned up.  Air flow through the outdoor unit is important in running an efficient unit.  Clear away branches and leaves.  Cut down overgrown grass or plants.    Throughout the season, periodically check to make sure the area is still clear of debris.

2. Change Filters.

Clean filters are important for efficiency and good indoor air quality (IAQ).  Start out the cooling season with a clean filter.  The EPA suggests checking your filter every month and changing it when it is dirty, at least every 3 months.

3. Change Batteries.

Change the batteries in your thermostat to ensure it is and will work properly.  If you didn’t change the batteries in your smoke detector and carbon dioxide detector when you changed your clocks this past month, change them now.

4. Schedule Pre-season Check-up.

Your system should be checked by a professional at the beginning of cooling season to make sure it’s ready for operation.

5. Install A Programmable Thermostat.

If your building or home is unoccupied for a portion of the day, install a programmable thermostat.  Set it a few degrees higher during the hours no one is home so you do not waste energy cooling an empty building.

6. Seal and Insulate Ducts.

According to the EPA, the deficiency in your duct system can cause a loss of 20 percent of the air in your system.  When air leaks out of the ducts, it causes the system to work harder, wasting energy.  Check connections on all accessible ducts, like in attics and unfinished basements, and at vents and registers.  Make sure they are sealed with mastic sealant or metal tape and well insulated.

7. Seal and Insulate your Building’s Envelope.

Cool air can escape and hot air can enter through leaks in your buildings or home’s envelope.  By sealing these leaks and insulating your building or home, you can save up to 20% on your heating and cooling energy bill.

The Importance of Roof Maintenance

The Importance of Roof Maintenance

Your roof is your home’s main protection against the elements. So, when was the last time that you have given thought to the state of your roof? The general case for most people is that they clean their gutters annually. The problem arises with the fact that they don’t pay attention to their roof until it starts to look so bad that they can no longer ignore it, or it’s leaking so much that it’s becoming a serious issue.  Your roof ensures the safety and comfort of your home, so it is essential that you keep an eye on it. So, what should you look out for, and what can you do?

MULTIPLE OFFER INSPECTION (18)

Curling shingles

There are two ways that your shingles can curl. The first one is cupping, which occurs when the edges begin to turn upward. The other one is clawing, which means that the edges remain flat but the middle comes upward. Both cases are the effect of weathering, and mean that there will soon be problems that you need to take care of, such as leaking. Depending on how much the shingles have curled, the time you have until your roof is truly in need of a replacement is from a year to five years.

Granules in the gutter

If you’ve recently acquired an asphalt shingle roof, and there is a whole lot of granules in the gutters, then there is no reason to get worried. This are just the extra ones that are loose. However, if this happens after about 10 to 15 years, then it’s an indication of a larger issue. Granules are what protects the asphalt from the sun. As soon as they fall off and the shingles begin to take a lot of sunlight, their quality will worsen real soon. So, if it isn’t a new roof you are dealing with, then it means that your shingles have aged halfway through their lifespan.

Cracked shingles

If you come across cracked shingles, it means that they have taken damage from the wind. In the case that only a few of the shingles are cracked, then you don’t have to worry much and you can simply replace them. However, in the case that the cracking isn’t taking part in just one area, but a whole bunch of random places across the roof, then this is a big indication that you need to start thinking about a whole new roof. The time you have left is probably from three to five years.

Roof sagging

When your roof begins to sag, you really need to get seriously worried. This is the indication that your roof is suffering from a bigger structural issue. The decking in the attic could be worn out, or even worse, the foundation supports could have a problem. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you’re in danger, but this kind of situation is much better to take care of right away instead of allowing it to develop further. If you don’t do anything about it, you roof doesn’t have much time left. If you notice a depression in your roof, it’s time to call a professional.

What to do?

Is it necessary to completely replace the roof, or will single repairs be enough? This isn’t a question that you can easily answer unless you call in a professional roofer or contractor. Roof maintenance experts from Sydney suggest that if your roof looks old, has chronic leaks, and your home has insulation and heating issues, then it’s time to take some serious steps.

Before renovating the roof, you should probably decide on what materials do you want to be used. These could be:

  • Clay or concrete tile (stylish and with a long lifespan.)
  • Wood shingles or shake (high quality and beautiful, but also expensive)
  • Asphalt shingles (generally the least expensive solution)
  • Metal roofing (durable, relatively maintenance-free, but expensive and may dent)
  • Slate roofing (natural waterproofing, fireproofing and insulation)

While hiring a professional to do your roof installation is an additional cost, it’s worth paying because you can be certain that the job is done properly and quickly. This also makes sure that parts of the job don’t remain on halt for weeks. A professional roofer usually finishes their job in just a couple of days. Their work consists of removing old shingles, repairing or replacing the wood, and installing flashing, insulation and new shingles or shake.

In summary

Keeping an eye on your roof is essential, in order for you to track its state during its lifespan, stay ahead of any necessary renovations, and the possibility that you may need to replace it altogether. While roof replacement isn’t something as exciting as giving your living room a new shine, it is crucial to the well-being of your home’s inhabitants.

This article is from Vector Central and can be viewed here.

Our Latest Reviews!

We really appreciate our Clients taking time out to provide us with a review.  It helps us make sure that we continue to provide the high level of service that we strive to provide to each and every person who uses County Home Inspection!

These are our latest reviews:

Latest Reviews - 3 April 2017

You can see more here and here!

Home Insurance and What You Need to Know When Buying a New Home.

When you are purchasing a new home, one of the most important things to arrange before closing is Home Insurance.  But just what information do you need to know about your new home before calling your Insurance Agent?

Cameron Head, Insurance Agent with Allstate Insurance, Peterborough was kind enough to share with us some of the major items he looks at when someone is looking to put Home Insurance in place.

MULTIPLE OFFER INSPECTION (7).jpg

Cameron says “These are some of the major questions we need to know when insuring a house, which could lead to different pricing and/or not being able to insure it. It’s helpful to know these things before purchasing the home“.

Woodstoves

We require a copy of the W.E.T.T certificate with confirmation of who inspected it and on what date.

The W.E.T.T certificate must be dated within the past 5yrs.

Oil Tanks

Inside Oil Tanks – must be 20yrs or newer;  

Outside Oil Tanks – must be 15yrs or newer;

We need to know:

  • What type of tank it is i.e – Granby; double wall, single wall, gage type;
  • Who filled it last and when;
  • Who inspected it last and when.

Roof Condition

If at all possible, try and find out the year the roof was installed and what type of shape it is in.

Past Claims

Have there been any claims on the house within the past 6yrs such as:

  • Water damage?
  • Wind damage?
  • Any other property damage?

Sump Pump

Does the home have:

  • A sump pump?
  • Back flow valve?  
  • A battery power back up?

Electrical

How new is the electrical and when was it updated last?

Most homes are circuit breakers and 100 or 200 amp – we do not insure Knob and Tube or 60 amp service.

Plumbing

How new is the plumbing?

We do not insure galvanized plumbing. Most homes have copper plumbing and have been updated.

You can contact Cameron directly at by telephone on 705-304-1571 or by e-mail at chead@allstate.ca and his office is located at 815 High St. Unit 8 Peterborough ON K9J8J9.

 

 

 

Plumbing Maintenance Tasks

Even though it may be hard to imagine at the moment, Spring really will be here soon and it will be time to start getting on top of your Spring home maintnenace tasks!

MULTIPLE OFFER INSPECTION (4)

As you begin the yearly task of deep cleaning, we encourage you to remember your plumbing. After a long winter’s use, it could use a little TLC and tuning as much as the rest of your home. Making this type of annual plumbing maintenance a habit will help your plumbing fixtures and systems to perform better and last longer.

To help you out, we have a handy checklist that we’ve broken out into manageable chunks, in order to help you give your plumbing a thorough spring cleaning this year!

Week 1 – Pipes, valves & more!

  1. Clear your gutters, downspouts, and vent pipes on the roof.
  2. Inspect your pipes (or have your plumber inspect them) for leaks, damage, or anything unusual.
  3. Check your hose bibbs for leaks or damage and replace them if needed. If dripping continues after the spout is replaced, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked and needs repairing.
  4. Install backwater valves on all floor drains to prevent sewer backups.
  5. Snake any slow floor drains to remove clogs, and pour a gallon of water into infrequently used floor drains. This fills the trap and will prevent odors and sewer gases from coming in the house

Week 2 – Clean those sinks!

  1. Use a bacterial drain cleaner to clear debris and build-up from all the drains in your home. If you have a “frequent clogger”, take the time now to snake it and get rid of the problem.
  2. Clean the traps beneath your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry sinks.
  3. Clean mineral build-up from your shower heads and faucets.
  4. Clean out and replace faucet aerators if needed.
  5. Clean out your washing/dryer machine lint trap.
  6. Give your garbage disposal a thorough cleaning and repair it if needed.

Week 3 – Preventative measures to keep plumbing in working order!

  1. Put mesh strainers over all of your drains to help prevent hair and other clogging debris from going down the drain.
  2. Check the water supply lines to your washing machine, faucets, toilets, and other water-using appliances or fixtures. If you see bulges, tears, or leaks, replace the lines.
  3. Test your sump pump. Pour water into the basin and trip the lever to ensure it is still working properly and the on/off mechanism isn’t corroded.
  4. Do an all-around maintenance check on your water heater.
  5. Do a thorough leak check in and around your home, remembering to do a water meter reading.

You can view the original article here.

Peterborough Homeowner Ownership Assistance Program – 2017

The City of Peterborough have confirmed that they are planning on offering the Homeownership Assistance Loan Program again this year – it is set to open in April.

MULTIPLE OFFER INSPECTION (15).png

If you wish to apply, you should look to get things in place now.  The information below is taken directly from the City of Peterborough website.

Homeownership Assistance Loan Program

This program aims to help eligible renters buy a home in the City or County of Peterborough. The application process for the Homeownership Assistance Loan Program is currently closed. We plan on offering the program again in April 2017. Applications will be made available at that time.

If you are thinking of applying in April, you can do a few things to prepare:

  • Get written mortgage pre-approval from a CMHC approved lender;
  • File your 2016 income tax return (make copies of 2016 T1 General or 2016 Notice of Assessment);
  • Make copies of two pieces of government issued identification (to verify your status in Canada and that you are at least 18 years old) – one piece must be photo ID;
  • Get written verification that you are currently renting;
  • Review the information at CMHC’s Home Buyer education website; and 
  • Keep checking this website or call 705-742-7777 extension 4663 (HOME) for updates.

If there are multiple adults in your household, please prepare copies of their identification and 2016 T1 General/Notice of Assessment to verify status in Canada, age, and total household income.

There is no waiting list for this program. Subject to availability, loans are offered on a first-come, first serve basis. The Program ends when funding has been allocated, or December 1. Program updates for 2017 will be uploaded when available.

Note: Funds have been provided by the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario. 

One of the previous requirements for this program was that the home you wished to purchase had to be inspected by a professional home inspector.  

If you do apply and are accepted under this program, be sure to contact us to book your County Home Inspection.  

You can contact us at 705 957 3642 or david@countyhomeinspection.ca

Home Staging for Spring Selling!

 As winter has taken its cold and snow away, it’s time to make your home’s curb appeal a welcoming place for the visitors. Very often the first impression is the last impression, and very often buyers judge the home right from the curb.
MULTIPLE OFFER INSPECTION (14).png
Spring is the best season to impress buyers with your homes’ curb appeal with its all fascination. Put much effort for the great curb appeal, because if a home has curb appeal that means it is attractive to the eye. Besides, thanks to its positive effect, a great curb appeal helps to sell a home faster. Follow the Curb Appeal tips and add dollars to your house’s final selling price.

Tip #1- Make a list: 

Examine the outside of your home from a street perspective. What do you notice first? First of all you need to list everything you see that could have a negative effect on a potential buyer. Is your front door colorless and unappealing? Do large overgrown shrubs hide your beautiful house? Are there fallen leaves and debris on your lawn? Does your porch need to be decorated with plants and flowers? Is your room in a good condition?

Tip #2-A welcoming door: 

Your front door can make a big impact on the beauty and curb appeal of your home. After a long winter bright front door color can refresh and beautify even an old house exterior and add charm to the house design and front yard landscaping. In spring colorful elements create spectacular contrasts with green colors of leaves and grass. Choose the best spring color for your front door which fits your house exterior and design. Don’t forget about accessories. New locks, door handles and new house numbers are pleasant to the eye, improving curb appeal. Hanging metal or wood door signs and flower baskets are easy and inexpensive, as well as very effective ways to give a style to your front door decoration.

Tip #3- Porch decorations: 

If you have a porch, you can decorate it, turning a porch into an attractive outdoor room that feels like a peaceful retreat and creates a nice space to relax. Since it is one of the first areas seen, it sets the tone and establishes the atmosphere for the visitors. The simpler and more relaxing it is, the more welcoming your porch will be. Everyone thinks of flowers when they think of spring. So lining your front porch steps with some colorful flowers is a lovely idea. Transform your front porch into a warm and inviting entryway by hanging a beautiful spring wreath on your door, or you can hang a bucket with flowers instead of wreath. Use an old tool box and turn it into a planer. Celebrate the return of warm weather with beautiful arrangements of spring flowers and make an unforgettable impression on the visitors.Decorate your porch with green plants, with nice benches or chairs, with small tables. Bring the season of spring into the porch by placing flowers in containers, which would bring a new life and energy to any space. If you have a small porch you can use vertical planters.

Tip #4- Time to landscape and decorate your yard: 

Give your yard a fresh look. Rake up the leaves you missed from fall. Clean up debris such as fallen trees, branches, etc. Check the bushes and trees if they need pruning. Trim low hanging branches so they do not get on the way for the view. Neatly edge your lawn as it fits your home style. Upgrade your flower beds, make them clear of weeds. Put in some perennial flowers which will make the yard more inviting and more alive. Planting a tree is a great idea to add curb appeal to the house. If you have enough space, you can plant two trees to frame your house or your entryway. It would be great if you plant a flowering tree for the spring color. The blossoms from flowering trees offer a colorful and post- winter display. Don’t forget to accessorize the other areas in your yard that could impress buyers. Consider updating an outdoor living or dining area with new pillows, cushions or a rug. Think about adding more light to define and enhance thee space or even add a fireplace to set the mood that buyers can enjoy this area under the stars even on cool nights. 

Tip # 5- De-clutter your living area: 

De-cluttering is an important step when staging a home for sale. You should remove anything that gets in the way a beneficial first impression for the potential buyer. When the space is clutter-free, everything is more inviting and more relaxing. If you have children or dogs, it is likely that you have some extra clutter to deal with when trying to clear up the yard. Hide children’s toys, dogs’ toys and dogs’ supplies in a storage boxes. Store garbage cans in the garage or hide them with some decorations. Organize what you can, throw everything that you don’t need to keep – broken pots, one left garden glove, steel claws without handles, broken trellis, a collection  of shoes near the front door,- all of those should be cleared away. Leave only a few things which are aesthetically pleasing and which would give buyers ideas for how the space could be used.

Tip # 6- Check the house from the roof line down: 

Inspect the roof as best as you can. If it looks to be in a poor condition, replace it. If
it is just needs repair, have any broken or missing shingles replaced. Repair all flashing. It’s best to hire a professional roofing company to inspect and do all repairs. Check all windows from outside. Look for cracked or broken glass, chipped paint. Repair and replace as needed. Clean all the windows as the
y sparkle. Make them free from obstructions such as overgrown bushes or trees. Pay attention to your driveway and sidewalk, if they are soiled or are grimy, power wash them.

The original article can be viewed here.