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Inspection FAQ's

Frequently asked Housing Questions;


Many of our clients have had similar concerns about items or conditions in their home that where uncovered during the course of our inspection.

While many of these subjects may also be listed in our library or found in the CMHC links below, we felt it would facilitate matters if we made a "hot topic list" of the most common ones.

Here they are;

 

Aluminium Wiring

 

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)
these may save your life someday
and an important safety feature in all
"wet" areas of your home.

Knob and Tube Wiring
 

Radon Gas
a problem that few consumers know
anything about and yet many
may be exposed to.

 

Please Note:The information found in this FAQ section is provided as a service to our web site visitors.  While we attempt to ensure that all information is accurate and a fair depiction of real circumstances, it is to be used solely for information purposes. Home Inspectors® may not be held responsible for the accuracy of any of the above information. Re- production of any of this information is strictly prohibited without written permission of  Home Inspectors®.

 

 

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Bar Divider r-ed faded 

CMHC has a wonderful series of articles on it's website entitled;

ABOUT YOUR HOUSE

General Series

For your convenience, we have the most popular titles and links listed below -
We regret that not all the links are active at this time;

CMHC
About Your House Series

 
General Information

Home Buying Step By Step

A comprehensive description of each step in the home buying process.


Condominium Buyers' Guide

This Guide provides a general overview of the purchase of condominiums and identifies important questions to ask and the people you should be asking.


Hiring a Home Inspector

It's a wise choice to hire a professional home inspector to identify problems and potential problems in a home before making the decision to purchase. This valuable guide for home purchasers explains the role of home inspectors in the home buying process and provides advice on how to hire an inspector. You'll discover what's
involved in an inspection, how long they typically take and cost, where to find an inspector and what questions to ask when interviewing candidates. (© 2001 CMHC, Revised 2012)

Buying Your First Home in Canada: What newcomers Need to Know
Available in several languages

If you are new to Canada and are interested in buying your first home, CMHC has a guide, available in English, French, Mandarin, Tagalog, Urdu, Punjabi, Spanish and Arabic, that covers the important things you need to consider. Get information about financing, types of Canadian homes available, how to determine affordability, where and how to look, what to look for, how to make an offer to purchase, where to find assistance and support, and more.
 

Home Buyers Checklist - A newcomers Guide

A one-stop online source for housing-related information for newcomers to Canada, covering home purchase and maintenance. Available in English, French, Mandarin/Simplified Chinese, Punjabi, Tagalog, Urdu, Arabic and Spanish, this online guide provides useful worksheets for each step in the process of buying and maintaining a
home, including estimating costs, budgeting, choosing a homebuying professional, planning a move and creating a maintenance calendar


Maintaining a Home

For most Canadians, their home is their most important investment. It's where your family spends a lot of time, so keeping it healthy, well tended and safe is important. A regular schedule of seasonal maintenance and repairs can help you protect your investment by putting a stop to the most common and costly problems before they occur.

General Maintenance and Repair
A regular schedule of seasonal maintenance and repairs can help you protect your investment by putting a stop to the most common and costly problems before they occur.
--
  • Avoiding Basement Flooding
    Basement flooding leads to damage of the finishing material and possible growth of mold. This document reviews why basements flood and how to prevent floods from occurring.

     
  • Home Maintenance Schedule
    This factsheet provides a listing of the regular home maintenance tasks which should be done at various times throughout the year to protect the condition of your house.
     
  • Maintaining Your Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV)
    For a clean and healthy living environment, review the seven steps to maintaining the Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV).
     
  • Removing Ice on Roofs
    Whether you have a sloped or flat roof, learn techniques that will help you deal with extensive roof icing or ice dam problems

Your Home and Your Health top

Moisture and Mold
Useful information about humidity and moisture problems and outlines a number of different solutions to ensure satisfactory humidity levels in the home.
  • Moisture and Air: Householder's Guide Problems and Remedies

    This section is intended to help you find some of the typical signs of moisture and air quality problems in your house, to identify the probable causes and to propose practical solutions.
     
  • Choosing a Dehumidifier

    Air that is too damp can cause condensation on windows, water damage to materials, mold and even wood rot. Choose the right dehumidifier to regulate the humidity in your home.
     
  • Measuring Humidity in Your Home
    We need humidity for our comfort and health. But too much or too little humidity can produce a host of difficulties for householders.
     
  • The Importance of Bathroom and Kitchen Fans
    Choosing the proper kitchen and bathroom fans is important for improving indoor air quality and maintaining ideal humidity levels.

Indoor Air Quality
It is important to be aware of how air contaminants can affect our health and to adopt corrective measures that will improve indoor air quality in our homes.

  • Attached Garages and Indoor Air Quality
    Attached garages, while convenient, can move vehicle-based pollutants into houses. The document shows how to avoid this source of pollution.
     
  • Asbestos
    What is asbestos? What problems can asbestos cause and what options does the homeowner have in dealing with them? Some vermiculite insulation has been identified by Health Canada to contain asbestos. Contact Health Canada for further information.
     
  • Carbon Monoxide
    A list of questions and answers dealing with keeping Carbon Monoxide out of your home and to help you choose the right CO detector.
     
  • CMHC Garbage Bag Airflow Test
    This simple test uses an ordinary garbage bag to help you estimate airflow from your furnace registers, bathroom exhaust fan or clothes dryer exhaust.
     
  • Combustion Gases in Your Home
    Important information on ombustion gases
     
  • Fighting Asthma in Your House
    Practical tips to help people with asthma improve the indoor air quality of their home.
     
  • How to Get the Ventilation That You Need in Your House
    This document provides a guide to using the ventilation systems in your house to provide adequate fresh air to residents.



Healthy Housing™

Healthy Housing™ is a CMHC vision of housing that promotes the health of its occupants while considering the environment and preserving our natural resources.



Housing for Seniors

As we age, most of us would prefer to live in our own homes for as long as possible. CMHC can help make that possible by showing you ways to adapt your home to meet your changing needs. Find out home adaptation types, modification strategies, and the financial assistance that's available to help low-income households undertake home adaptation projects.

Financial Assistance Programs :



Renovations and Adaptations :

  • At Home With Alzheimer's Disease
    Tips for adapting a home to enhance the safety and security of someone living with Alzheimer's disease.
     
  • Accessible Housing by Design
    Learn about the range of renovations and additions that can make homes more accessible, from automation systems to accessible bathrooms.
     
  • Preventing Falls on Stairs
    Strategies for reducing the risk of falls and injuries on stairs, including improved lighting, handrail additions, and behaviour modifications.
     
  • Maintaining Seniors' Independence Through Home Adaptations A Self-Assessment Guide
    A simple guide to assessing the daily-living difficulties seniors experience and determining the types of home adaptations that can help.
     
  • Accessible Housing By Design Ramps
    Information and advice about improving a home's accessibility by adding a ramp. Includes ramp design, types, measurements and more.
     
  • Housing for Older Canadians
    CMHC's series "Housing for Older Canadians The Definitive Guide to the Over-55 Market" was developed to address the housing needs of Canadians aged 55 and older and is intended for those developing seniors' housing, including both for-profit developers and organizations interested in sponsoring housing projects for seniors. Find out more about this active and mobile demographic, a group that is demanding in their expectations, looking to live independently and interested in 'aging in place'.

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Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings

Find out how to make your home more energy-efficient and learn about alternate sources of home energy.

  • Efficient, Convenient Wood Heating
    This is a short guide to the proper use of woodburning appliances in homes: what appliances to choose, how to operate them efficiently, what wood to burn, how to cut and store it, etc.
     
  • Insulating Your House
    Choose the right insulation to reduce the amount of energy you use and to make your home more comfortable.
     
  • Photovoltaic (PV) Systems
    Consumer information piece presenting information on solar electric (photovoltaic) systems for housing.
     
  • Setback Thermostats
    There are many claims about the energy savings due to setback thermostats. This document quantifies the savings but also describes houses or conditions where setback thermostats are not
    recommended
     
  • Energy Efficient Upgrade Mechanical Systems
    One of the best ways to make your home more comfortable, healthier and less expensive to operate is to upgrade the heating, cooling and ventilation systems. Energy-efficient equipment can be expensive, but can be offset by lower operating costs
     
  • Energy Efficient Upgrade The Building Envelope
    Before You Start an Energy - Efficient Retrofit The Building
    Envelope The building envelope is the outer layer of the building that separates the living space from the outdoor environment, both above and below grade. Many older homes have high heating requirements because of high rates of air leakage and building envelope areas that are not well insulated.


Emergencies
Learn how to keep you and your family safe during and after power outages and floods.
When You Must Leave Your House Due to a Prolonged Winter

  • Power Outage
    http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/em/em_004.cfm
    A series of practical tips to protect your home in case you are required to evacuate for more than 24 hours because of power failure.
     
  • Creating a Healthy Home: A Field Guide for Clean-Up of Flooded Homes
    PDF Link to articles


--------------------
Landscaping
Maintaining your property is just as important as maintaining your home. Learn more about your soil, garden and lawn.

  • Low-Maintenance Lawns
    Low-maintenance lawns help to reduce the time, costs, water,pesticides, fertilizer and energy used to maintain lawns. This fact sheet describes the benefits and provides practical tips on how to
    install and maintain low maintenance lawns, including species selection.
     
  • Rain Gardens: Improve Stormwater Management in Your Yard
    Rain gardens are landscaped areas designed to receive stormwater and allow it to infiltrate into the soil. This fact sheet describes the benefits and provides practical tips on how to install and maintain
    gardens.
     
  • Water-Saving Tips for Your Lawn and Garden
    Often water is applied inefficiently, resulting in significant waste due to over watering, evaporation or run-off. Here are some general watering tips to avoid such waste.

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A Guide to Residential Wood Heating
This is a consumer's guide to the selection of a wood burning device, and how to operate it safely and efficiently

 
Renovating a Home

Planning is the key to a successful renovation. To help you plan your renovation project, CMHC has information and easy-to-understand tips that can help you assess your requirements and learn the key
questions before you get started.
 

Renovation Fact Sheets
A series of fact sheets on different renovation topics to help you in planning and assessing your renovation project.

Renovation Fact Sheets
Advance planning is the key to successful renovations. These fact sheets help you plan, assess, and avoid surprises. Achieve the results you want by doing your renovation right the first time.
 
------------
Interior Renovations

  • Secondary Suites
    Secondary suites can provide affordable living space and intensify urban development without adding new buildings. This article explains what the homeowner should consider before building or renovating a secondary suite.
     
  • Renovating your Basement for Livability
    Find out about common problems that can be fixed, as part of the renovations, to make your basement a healthy living space.
     
  • Buying a Water-Efficient Toilet
    Tips and advice on buying a water-efficient toilet using current toilet rating programs.
     
  • Replacing Your Furnace
    This fact sheet provides you with information on replacing your existing furnace with a new one.


-----------

Exterior Renovations

  • Garden Suites
    Introductory information on garden suites for seniors or persons with disabilities.


  
-----------
General Renovations


--------------
Energy-Efficiency Renovations


 
--------------
Accessible Housing by Design

  • Exterior Spaces
    Learn how to successfully design a universally accessible exterior space by assessing the space and identifying how you, your family and friends will use it.
     
  • Living Spaces
    This fact sheet provides an overview of planning and design. guidelines to consider when creating, renovating or redecorating the living spaces in your home.
     
  • Fire Safety for You and Your Home
    How to prevent fires in your home and ensure the safety of people of all ages and abilities.
     
  • House Designs and Floor Plans
    This fact sheet provides design guidelines for the most common types of accessible house designs including: visitable housing, adaptable and accessible housing and housing built using the
    concepts of universal design.
     
  • Home Automation
    Home automation systems, or smart home technologies can control elements of your home environment, such as lighting, appliances, telephones, and home security.
     
  • Lifts and Residential Elevators
    This fact sheet tells you about the types of residential lifts and elevators that are commonly available in Canada.
     
  • Residential Hoists and Ceiling Lifts
    This fact sheet tells you about the types of residential hoists and ceiling lifts that are commonly available in Canada.
     
  • Ramps
    Learn about ramp design, and other issues to consider before building a ramp for your home.
     
  • Kitchens
    Function, usability and flexibility are some of the latest trends in kitchen design that people are demanding so that kitchens work for themselves and their families as people's needs change .
     
  • Bathrooms
    This fact sheet provides the detail on how to successfully design a universally accessible bathroom.
     
  • Appliances
    Learn how to select appliances which can be easily used by people of differing ages and abilities.

------------------------------------------
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About your House series

Articles About Your House

General Series

  • Measuring Humidity in Your Home
    Is there condensation on the windows? Are there wet stains on the walls or ceilings? Is there static or sparks whenever you touch something? Diagnose humidity problems in your home.

     
  • Combustion Gases in Your Home
    Do you have a gas or oil fired furnace, boiler or water heater? What about a woodstove or fireplace? Take the necessary steps to keep combustion gases out of your home.

     
  • Asbestos
    What is asbestos? Why is it so useful? What problems can asbestos cause and what options does the homeowner have in dealing with them? Some vermiculite insulation has been identified by Health
    Canada to contain asbestos. Contact Health Canada for further information.

     
  • Maintaining Your Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV)
    For a clean and healthy living environment, review the seven steps to maintaining the Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV).

     
  • When You Must Leave Your House Due to a Prolonged Winter Power Outage
    A series of practical tips to protect your home in case you are required to evacuate for more than 24 hours because of power failure.

     
  • Removing Ice on Roofs
    Whether you have a sloped or flat roof, learn techniques that will help you deal with extensive roof icing or ice dam problems.

     
  • The Importance of Bathroom and Kitchen Fans
    Choosing the proper kitchen and bathroom fans is important for improving indoor air quality and maintaining ideal humidity levels.

     
  • Insulating Your House
    Choose the right insulation to reduce the amount of energy you use and to make your home more comfortable.

     
  • Water-Saving Tips for Your Lawn And Garden
    Often water is applied inefficiently, resulting in significant waste due to over watering, evaporation or run-off. Here are some general watering tips to avoid such waste.

     
  • Carbon Monoxide
    A list of questions and answers dealing with keeping Carbon Monoxide out of your home and to help you choose the right CO detector.

     
  • Choosing a Dehumidifier
    Air that is too damp can cause condensation on windows, water damage to materials, mold and even wood rot. Choose the right dehumidifier to regulate the humidity in your home.


 

Before You Start Your Renovation
This series will assist you in making informed decisions before you renovate. Each easy-to-read fact sheet helps you ask the key questions, reviews the available options and discusses the consequences if certain aspects of the renovation are overlooked.Advance planning is the key to successful renovations. These fact sheets help you plan, assess, and avoid surprises. Achieve the results you want by doing your renovation right the first time

  • Energy Efficient Upgrade Mechanical Systems
    Upgrading the heating, cooling and ventilation (HVAC) equipment is the best way to create a healthy, comfortable and less expensive home to operate. Before altering these, it is important to understand how the overall performance of the house will be affected.

     
  • Energy Efficient Upgrade The Building Envelope
    The envelope, or outer layer, of your house separates living space from the outdoor elements. Improving it can result in a better insulated, more airtight home that is easier to heat.

     
  • Testing Airflow
    This simple test uses an ordinary garbage bag to help you estimate airflow from your furnace registers, bathroom exhaust fan or clothes dryer exhaust.

     
  • Replacing Your Furnace
    This fact sheetprovides information for consumers who are replacing their existing furnace with a new one. It deals with fuel choice, furnace selection, and furnace sizing.

     
  • Hiring a Home Inspector
    One of the best ways to understand about a home's condition, habitability and safety is to hire a professional home inspector.

     
  • Buying a Water-Efficient Toilet
    Tips and advice on buying a water-efficient toilet using current toilet rating programs.

     
  • Canada's Housing Construction System
    The purpose of this document is to foster understanding of the elements of the system of construction and operation of buildings and houses in Canada.

    top of page

     
  • Home Maintenance Schedule
    This factsheet provides a listing of the regular home maintenance tasks which should be done at various times throughout the year to protect the condition of your house.

     
  • Low-Maintenance Lawns
    Low-maintenance lawns help to reduce the time, costs, water, pesticides, fertilizer and energy used to maintain lawns. This fact sheet describes the benefits and provides practical tips on how to
    install and maintain low maintenance lawns, including species selection.

     
  • Rain Gardens: Improve Stormwater Management in Your Yard
    Rain gardens are landscaped areas designed to receive stormwater and allow it to infiltrate into the soil. This fact sheet describes the benefits and provides practical tips on how to install and maintain
    gardens.

     
  • Avoiding Basement Flooding
    Basement flooding leads to damage of the finishing material and possible growth of mold. This document reviews why basements flood and how to prevent floods from occurring.

     
  • Fighting Asthma in Your Home
    This fact sheet contains dozens of practical suggestions to help rid your house of contributors to this very common chronic condition affecting millions of Canadians.

     
  • Preventing Falls on Stairs
    This fact sheet tells you about some of the ways you can reduce the risk of falling on or from residential stairs.

     
  • Efficient, Convenient Wood Heating
    This is a short guide to the proper use of woodburning appliances in homes: what appliances to choose, how to operate them efficiently, what wood to burn, how to cut and store it, etc.

     
  • Photovoltaic (PV) Systems
    Consumer information piece presenting information on solar electric (photovoltaic) systems for housing.

     
  • Renovating Your Basement for Livability
    Planning on renovating your basement to add living space to your house? Find out about common problems that can be fixed, as part of the renovations, to make your basement a healthy living space.

     
  • Accessible Housing by Design Exterior Spaces
    Learn how to successfully design a universally accessible exterior space by assessing the space and identifying how you, your family and friends will use it.

     
  • Accessible Housing by Design Living Spaces
    This fact sheet provides an overview of planning and design. guidelines to consider when creating, renovating or redecorating the living spaces in your home.

     
  • Accessible Housing by Design Fire Safety for You and Your Home
    How to prevent fires in your home and ensure the safety of people of all ages and abilities.
    n
     
  • Accessible Housing by Design House Designs and Floor Plans
    This fact sheet provides design guidelines for the most common types of accessible house designs including: visitable housing, adaptable and accessible housing and housing built using the
    concepts of universal design.

     
  • Accessible Housing by Design Home Automation
    Home automation systems, or smart home technologies can control elements of your home
    environment, such as lighting, appliances, telephones, and home security.

     
  • Accessible Housing by Design Ramps
    Learn about ramp design, and other issues to consider before building a ramp for your home.

     
  • Accessible Housing by Design Appliances
    Learn how to select appliances which can be easily used by people of differing ages and abilities.

     
  • Accessible Housing by Design Lifts and Residential Elevators
    This fact sheet tells you about the types of residential lifts and elevators that are commonly available in Canada.

     
  • Accessible Housing by Design Residential Hoists and Ceiling Lifts
    This fact sheet tells you about the types of residential hoists and ceiling lifts that are commonly available in Canada.

     
  • Accessible Housing by Design Kitchens
    Function, usability and flexibility are some of the latest trends in kitchen design that people are demanding so that kitchens work for themselves and their families as people's needs change.

     
  • Accessible Housing by Design Bathrooms
    This fact sheet provides the detail on how to successfully design a universally accessible bathroom.

     
  • Garden Suites
    With municipal approval, a garden suite is a self-contained unit, set on relative's property with an existing single family house. This publication provides introductory information on garden suites for
    seniors or persons with disabilities.

     
  • Setback Thermostats
    There are many claims about the energy savings due to setback hermostats. This document quantifies the savings but also describes houses or conditions where setback thermostats are not
    recommended.

     
  • How to Get the Ventilation That You Need in Your House
    This document provides a guide to using the ventilation systems in your house to provide adequate fresh air to residents.

     
  • Attached Garages and Indoor Air Quality
    Attached garages, while convenient, can move vehicle-based pollutants into houses. The document shows how to avoid this source of pollution.

     
  • Secondary Suites
    Secondary suites can provide affordable living space and intensify urban development without adding new buildings. This article explains what the homeowner should consider before building or renovating a secondary suite.
     



 --------------------------------
Apartment Living

  • About Your Apartment: Dealing with Pests (65297 )
    Most people can relate to the surprise, shock and revulsion of coming across pests in their homes. This fact sheet, intended specifically for occupants of multi-unit residential buildings, will help you prevent and reduce infestations in your apartment by describing how insects enter homes and what they need to survive. Topics include pest proofing your apartment, Integrated Pest Management
    (IPM), and health concerns associated with pests and pesticides. (© 2006, Revised 2012 CMHC


     
  • About Your Apartment: Energy and Water-Saving Tips for Your Apartment (65975)
    Apartment dwellers are as concerned as all Canadians are about rising energy costs, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, air pollution and the security of natural gas and electricity supplies. This is the case regardless of whether you rent or own your unit or whether or not you pay your utilities directly. Now CMHC has energy- and water-saving tips that can save you money and make your apartment more comfortable things you can do yourself or in cooperation with your building's management. (© 2009 CMHC)
     

     

 

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