Almost Deck Weather!

Is your deck in good shape?

It is always a good idea to check your deck, railings and steps before using it.  Making time to repair the deck is difficult when you are in the middle of enjoying it.  You also don’t want to lose the use of it right when you want it the most.

There are a few things to check that don’t take long but can make a big difference down the road.  Monitoring the health of the deck can reduce large expenses in the future.

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Posted by Jeremy Scratch in Exterior, 0 comments

Insulation. How much does your house have?

Insulation Basics

The purpose of insulation is to slow the rate of heat transfer.  Insulation does not stop heat from moving out of your home in the winter or into your home in the summer.  Insulation traps air pockets within itself and it is this that insulates.  We measure insulation value with the concept of thermal resistance or R value. The higher the R value the greater the thermal resistance.

All building materials have insulating value:  plaster, drywall, vapour barrier, wood sheathing or boards and siding.  These just don’t trap as much air as fibre-glass insulation.  For example, a 2 x 4 exterior wall with wood sheathing, vapour barrier and drywall may have a R value of 2 – 3.  So if you add fibre-glass batts with a value of R 12, your total wall insulation is actually at R 14 or 15.

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Posted by Jeremy Scratch in Insulation, 0 comments

Aluminium Wire

Do you have Aluminium wire in your house?

This is a good question and one that comes up fairly often with home buyers and owners.  Aluminium wire was used in homes between the late 1960’s and 1978 (roughly).  There were almost 150 000 homes built in that time in Ottawa (according to the 2016 Census).  This is the most prolific home building period in Ottawa with nothing even coming close before or since.  Chances are if your home was built in that almost 20 year period, it was wired with Aluminium.

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Posted by Jeremy Scratch in Electrical, 0 comments

How does your roof look after this winter?

Evaluating your sloped roof.

Roofing Basics

Most sloped roofs in Ottawa and surrounding areas have Asphalt Shingles.  These are easily identifiable by the 3 tabs visible on the shingle.  Becoming more popular are Composite Shingles or as they are sometimes called, Architectural Shingles.  This type of shingle employs the same principle as “organic” asphalt shingles in that they have a granular shell.  The shell protects the substrate of the shingle, be it felt paper or fibre-glass from the suns destructive UV rays.

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Posted by Jeremy Scratch in Exterior, Roof, 0 comments

Outdoor Electrical

Outdoor Plugs.  Do you have the right kind?

Getting ready for spring you will likely want to have power supply outside.  You may want it for a power-washer, electric lawn equipment (weed trimmer, lawn mower), a vacuum for cleaning your car or even some music.  Because exterior outlets are exposed to the elements they should be GFI outlets.

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Posted by Jeremy Scratch in Electrical, Exterior, 0 comments

Moving water away from your home. From your roof to your lawn.

Gutters and Downspouts. Are they a good idea?

There are two functions of gutters and downspouts.  One, they protect the walls of your home from water that would run off your roof.  Water running off the roof will damage the wall surfaces and cause local erosion at the ground level.  Two, and most importantly, they contribute to keeping your basement dry.  Let’s look at the two components, Gutters and Downspouts.

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Posted by Jeremy Scratch in Exterior, 0 comments

Spring is here! Do you have a Sump Pump?

What is a Sump Pump?

Sump pumps are designed to handle rain water and melting snow that accumulate in your building.  They consist of a tank that is usually buried below the basement floor, sometimes with a side inlet into the tank.  The tank is the “Sump” and the “Pump” removes water from the tank.

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Posted by Jeremy Scratch in Plumbing, 0 comments