Our friends at Clean Air Professionals

The Clean air Pro’s
Mold testing, investigation and remediation is the heart of our business.
If you have a current or previous moisture issue, we will find the source. Correct the root issue and remediate/ mitigate any moisture damage.
Our team of specialists have the equipment and the know how to correct any moisture or ventilation issue no matter how big or how small. We follow remediation protocol to ensure that mold spores are localized and removed. We use non – toxic natural products to ensure your families safety.

Getting ready for the winter

Do it yourself home energy assessment………….
If you want to get an accurate energy score and or to qualify for the incentive programs offered by Enbridge, OPA or any other programs, you should consult a certified energy advisor.
If you are more interested in putting in a little time and effort yourself you can do a less detailed assessment of your own home that can be informative and help you save both money and energy.
To test for air leakage at key areas, you can close all windows and doors, put on all your fans that vent to the exterior and a use an incense stick (to create smoke to see if you have leakage). Putting the fans on creates a vacume and should bring air into the house through minute openings in the the house envelope. An energy advisor will use a blower door to create a larger vacume. You will want to check areas noted on the home energy assessment form while keeping the fans on .
You can check your insulation values at the attic and at areas where the insulation is exposed or visible. Insulation is rated for R value or thermal resistence. Measure the insulation against the chart in our home energy assessment form. You can estimate your homes hidden wall insulation by measuring the wall and subtracting the known building materials. Note that even concrete and brick have some thermal resistence. Many masonry homes have little or no insulation in outside walls.
You can estimate your appliance energy useage and see the difference switching to LED or CFL light bulbs makes using the formulas and data on our home energy assessment form.
The free Canspec do it yourself energy assessment system can be ordered by calling 1877Canspec or email Belinda at canspecbuildingservices@rogers.com
We can take care of a professional home energy audit if you require it.
We are also proud to announce the first total home audit that can be done with a home inspection. That’s a home inspection, energy audit, Thermographic scan, and Indoor air quality test starting at $999.00 That represents a $600 savings from the individual services.
If you or someone you know would like Canspecs Home Audit. Please call to make an appointment. Note that Home audit on average will require 5 – 6 Hours.
Our next blog will be how to perform a garbage bag flow test.

Wood burners

How much work is there to maintaining a fireplace?
One of natures gifts is the warm glow of a fire to take the chill off of fall or winter night, but there are some guidelines for safety and maintenance I would like to share with you.
Other than the strict building code compliance of a wood burning appliance there are things you can do to maintain your stove or fireplace in good order through the burning season.
One of the most important things to schedule is a regular cleaning of the chimney. This should be done every year or every 30 to 60 fires. Failure to keep the chimney clean of creosote can result in a chimney fire, which may cause serious damage. You should use a WETT cerified chimney sweep when having it cleaned so that the overall safety of the chimney and appliance can be assessed at the same time.
A few rules of thumb for safe and pleasant wood burning are:
1. Use seasoned hardwood to burn cleaner and keep smoke down. Store firewood outside off the ground, with good circulation.
2. When burning in a fireplace, use an ember screen when burning – don’t close the glass doors – To save fire brick.
3. Leave a one inch base of ash at the bottom of your fireplace to insulate the base fire brick. Otherwise ash should be removed regularly and stored in a metal container away from combustibles until final disposal.
4. Add a cap with a screen at the top of the flue to keep animals out of the chimney.
5. Make sure you have working smoke and CO detectors.
6. Keep the damper open during burning.
7. If the fireplace or stove smokes excessively, the chimney should be checked for obstruction.
8. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby …… just in case.
If you or anyone you know needs a WETT inspection, please feel free to give Canspec a call 1877CANSPEC
Heres wishing you a warm and wonderful fall and winter.
James Watters RHI, WETT certified

A fly on the wall

As a veteran home inspector, with over 15 years in the business, I have seen alot of different market conditions. This is the longest and deepest sellers market I have ever experienced.

Alot of people assume that this is a good thing for real estate professionals and people who are supporting the real estate profession.

I can assure you that this is not the case for the home inspection profession. Many prospective buyers are finding themselves in bidding wars for most houses. As a result, they have to go in firm with no conditions (Home inspection and financing) and over asking price. It is now becoming  more comon for buyers not to do a home inspection than to insist on an inspection.

It is said that the market is driving this behaviour, but I would say that this behaviour is being driven by greed, desperation and in some cases a lower standard of care for real estate clients best interests.

I recently saw a post on a social media site, which had the realtor boasting of getting the vendor top dollar while talking the buyer out of any conditions on the offer. This is exactly how it was stated. We owe our clients, as real estate professionals a standard of care. It is my opinion that we should all be making it possible for a real estate buyer to be properly informed before making such a large decision. An inspection can be done pre-list, pre-offer or to fullfill conditions on the transaction.

The absence of home inspections in real estate deals may be costing realtors money in the long run, through law suits or through lost referals, when the new homers move in and find that there is a leak, or the furnace is unsafe, etc…etc.

My advice is to strongly recommend that an inspection be a part of the real estate buying and selling process.

Home chek – up

Realtors and home owners have asked me to do maintenance inspections in the past. Sometimes people just want to know how things are in their home and they need some advice on how to repair or maintain a specific area. There has been an expectation of a lower fee than a home inspection.
We have developed CANSPEC’s ABOUT YOUR HOUSE – Home Check-up. This is a short report that gives the homeowner the basic information they need to develop a comprehensive maintenance program for their home.
This includes a professional review of all major mechanical and structural areas and our maintenance tracking tool with schedule.
Home Check-up is based on 1.5 hours working through the home and reports will be delivered on site.
The fees start at $275.00 plus HST.
Home Check-up is perfect for anyone from the longtime homeowner to the recent buyer, who need some guidance when it comes to maintaining their home and/or prioritizing repairs.
 You don’t wait for a major health issue to see the doctor
 You don’t wait until your car breaks down to have it serviced
Why not get a home checkup before the winter weather sets in? It just makes sense to be proactive!
James Watters RHI

Winter maintenance


What home maintenance should be done in the winter?

There are a few things……

That you can do to help ensure that your home fairs well during the cold winter months.

  • Make sure the hoses are shut off from the inside, if they are not frost free.
  • Check exterior drainage to ensure that water is getting away from the house through sloping of the grade and gutter systems. Review the system during or after a substancial rain. Water staying close to the foundation can find its way through cracks and into the basement.
  • Check and if necessary clean or change your furnace filter monthly during the heavy part of the heating season.
  • Don’t pile snow against the home.
  • Review/ test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It is mandatory to have a functional smoke detector on every level of the home. I recommend a smoke and CO combination unit on every floor and close to all sleeping areas.
  • If your furnace has not been serviced, you should schedule it. A breakdown in the cold winter months can be very unconfortable.

This is a great time to check for drafts and seal areas that need attention. On a cold day the air infiltration should show itself very quickly. If you want visual evidence use an incence stick and go from opening to opening (windows and doors) checking to see flow in the smoke stream.

There are all kinds of things to keep you busy About Your House, but try these few things to keep you warm and dry during the cold winter months.

Canspec has a free home efficiency evaluation form. Please call or  email and we will send it out to you!

Wishing you a warm and comfortable winter!

Keep you plumbing from freezing

What can I do about making sure my pipes don’t freeze with the harsh winters we hve been having?

With the record  cold temperatures and more snow than usual, over the last couple of winters –  I wanted to pass on a few things to do to make sure you don’t run into water damage issues in your home.

Damage from flooding or water intrusion is the leading cause of property damage in North America. The problem is that when a pipe bursts and no one is at home to at least turn the water off, it keeps going like the energizer bunny.

The following are some simple steps you can take to keep your home high and dry

  • Check any pipes near or against outside walls to ensure they are insulated. Pipe insulation can be purchased for very little and can be easily installed by anyone.
  • Make sure your hose bibs are turned off on the inside of the house and drained from the outside. If you forgot to do this, take care of it on the next day above freezing. Don’t forget to unhook the hose.
  • If your pipes freeze, don’t use a blow torch or any open flame on your pipes. This is an obvious potential fire hazard. Instead use a hair dryer or paint stripping gun. You have to watch for breaks in the pipe that have already occurred and be prepared to turn the water off at the main.
  • If you think your pipes are in danger of freezing, due to low temperatures in the house, you can run your water at a trickle at sinks or bath areas and the running water should not freeze.
  • Don’t leave your heat too low when you are away from the home. Keep it at 15C or higher. The house as a system does not benefit when extreme temperature changes take place in the home, and your furnace plays a part in your homes ventilation. Building components can move subtly and changes in humidity can create moisture issues such as mildew.

So keep an eye on these areas to ensure that you are warm dry and comfortable in your home!

James Watters RHI

New home inspections

Q: Should I have an inspection done on my new home? There is a TARION warranty isn’t there?

A: The TARION warranty does apply to most new homes, but you have to be able to identify defects to report them.

Most home buyers are not equipped with the tools and know how to identify warrantable issues. At the pre-delivery inspection buyers are hurried through the house and encouraged by the builder’s representative to focus on cosmetic issues. Worse still there are areas of the house that are never looked at by the construction supervisor or the city building inspector IE Roof surfaces and attics . Other issues that arise are caused by one tradesman compromising the work of another ………. After the inspection has already been completed on a crucial component – Example The framer completes installing the floor joists and passes a framing inspection and shortly after the heating specialist comes in and cuts framing to install heat ducting. Who is going to catch that?

We as new home specialists with years of new home construction experience will do a thorough evaluation of your home, with a full report including pictures and illustrations, and we will review your rights under the TARION warranty.

It just makes good sense to have your most valuable asset reviewed by a professional who is on your side.

James Watters RHI

Turn-key Premarket Inspections

If this market was a carnival ride, I bet that a lot of buyers would like to get off.

I predict that, like in the Toronto core, other areas will see the benefit  to  doing premarket inspections to optimize the transaction value and to ensure due diligence. An added benefit is that the vendor may only have one inspection company in their house rather than one for each prospective buyer.

Buyers who are also vendors sometimes ask me, does it make sense to do an inspection before listing it?        

There are a lot of reasons why it makes good sense to do an inspection before taking your house to market.

You will get an idea of what overall condition your house is in from an objective perspective.  You will receive  a detailed report, listing maintenance priorities and what,  if any major issues may be arise during the sales process. It is possible to correct important issues before going to market. You may just get some peace of mind going forward.

In over  80 percent of cases where there is a recent  inspection available for the home, done by a reputable company, the buyers will accept the premarket home inspection as their own.

You get to choose the inspection company !

A Canspec  premarket home inspection includes:

  1. Our cloud based digital report – About your house. This report has balanced language, digital images, Illustrations, hyperlinks for more detail where needed and a full Executive summary page. In addition there is an on line homeowners manual and costing guide. This PDF type report can be easily accessed through a separate link for every inspection.
  2. We support our inspections by being available for a 1 hour walk thru with a potential buyer at a reduced inspection
  3. We provide a free 120 day transferable warranty on major mechanical and structure.
  4. We will do basic thermography at a reduced rate with a full home inspection.
  5. We offer a reduced rate on WETT inspections with a full home inspection.
  6. We supply a colorful binder to display the home inspection.


It just makes sense to know where you stand before you go to Market!cropped-home-inspection-service.png