Minimize Earthquake Damage to your Home Residents of coastal British Columbia will probably experience a moderate-to-strong earthquake at some point during their lifetime; a scary thought, indeed! We often think of ground shaking as the major source of earthquake damage, but the secondary effects, such as landslides, liquefaction, flooding and fire also cause significant damage to property. How will your home withstand an earthquake? Three simple steps to prepare now can significantly minimize earthquake damage to your home if and when The Big One hits so that you can take shelter there until services are restored. 1. The house foundation is properly secured. Since 1973 builders have been required to bolt the house to its concrete foundation and to ensure that exterior walls are properly braced to prevent racking (twisting) of the house during an earthquake. In some older homes there is a short stud wall, also called a cripple wall,
Controlling the flow of water drainage around and away from buildings is important in any location but even more so when living in a rain forest such as the wet West Coast of British Columbia.  When drainage systems aren’t doing their job properly moisture problems, musty smells and mold can all start to show up in the lower floors of the home. Ideally all buildings should have a six foot area around the immediate outside wall that slopes away from the building and prevents water accumulation at the foundation wall. The lay of the land will determine the complexity of the drainage system. Steeply sloped lots on hillsides such as Vancouver’s North Shore and TriCities areas require special attention on the high end of the property so that water flowing downhill at grade and underground is  intercepted before it can reach the house. Deep basements which can be found throughout
Water and Moisture Damage – Common Sources As home inspectors we know that water and moisture related damage are some of the most common and costly repairs that home-owners will come across. Indoor plumbing and water related moisture problems can lead to very costly repairs and are of high importance on any inspection checklist. The consequences of a leaking toilet or sink are only limited by the extent of the problem and the number of living spaces below. For occupants in a condominium or commercial high-rise, water can travel down through multiple suites causing damage at every step of the way. Ceiling stains are invariably the sign of a water leak in the room above – typically a bathroom or a kitchen. Bathrooms have a number of areas where water commonly causes problems but unfortunately not all of them are clearly visible. The most common areas are tiled shower stalls
Amateur Renovations Could Spell Disaster if Left Unchecked Some of the most common problems a building inspector might find are the result of amateur renovations. When buying a property that has been renovated the first thing to determine is whether the renovations were done professionally or by an amateur. If the work was done with permits the vendor will likely provide proof by presenting the building permit or certificate of completion. City Hall also keeps records of all renovation or building permits and copies of these can be obtained. Are all non-permitted renovations problematic? Very often home renovations have been done by the home owner or an amateur contractor without a building permit. Non-permitted renovations mean that no municipal building code inspectors checked the work and some potential, and possibly significant, problems may exist. On the other hand, not all non-permitted renovations are sub-standard. Very often it is the same builders
Home inspection vancouver, home inspections vancouver, by Primus Home Inspections, house, condo and building inspectors for Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond.
Zero-energy Homes: Tips to improve energy efficiency in the home An entire zero-energy home consumes as much energy as is needed to run a hair dryer! Super insulated, energy efficient, zero-energy homes produce at least as much energy as they consume, on an annual basis. As Building Sciences evolve, the principles used in zero-energy homes are commonly being incorporated into new and existing structures and there are many simple and significant changes that can reduce the energy bill while building equity in the home. Take advantage of natural energy sources: Producing energy can be as simple as orienting one’s house in order to gather as much sunlight as possible. Properly oriented (south facing) windows will help heat the interior. Solar panels (photovoltaic’s) on the roof generate electricity to power the home. Hot water heating can be assisted by solar panels on the roof and, in BC’s lower mainland, can supply
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