We Use Infrared (IR) Thermography Technology in Our Home Inspections When you need to hire a home inspector, you want to find a home inspection company that keeps up with the latest technology. At Primus Home Inspections, we use Infrared (IR) Thermography technology, which gives us the ability to see your home in a whole new light! What is IR Thermography? IR Thermography is a newer, non-invasive technology that uses infrared cameras to detect concerns that are not otherwise visible to the naked eye. In many cases an infrared camera has the ability to show exactly where problem areas are quickly and easily. When it comes to issues in your home (or in a home that you want to buy), you don’t want to play a guessing game or have to wonder if something was missed. Imagine all of the thousands of dollars that you could save in repair costs
Alarming Developments That Could Help You Survive a House Fire The tinned food was exploding on the kitchen shelves by the time she got downstairs, baby girl on her hip; the smoke alarm screamed its high decibel warning: “Fire! Fire! Fire!” She didn’t remember this till later as the horrifying details played over and over again in her mind. It had been less than a minute since her son had come up to tell her he saw flames on the back deck. It had spread so fast. Outside watching from the sidewalk, the fire and then the fire-fighters mutually conspired in the destruction of their home, their belongings, their photos, her wedding dress, treasures… But they were safe. She and her children were safe and her son was a hero that day. This happened to family members; the cause, arson. This is not a story about absent fire prevention equipment
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
Vancouver Condo As most people living in the Lower Mainland now know, buying a condominium can be, to put it mildly, “problematic”.  In addition to all the normal considerations taken into account when buying real estate, condos (and some houses) require extra care and attention due to our infamous “leaky condo” problems. The services of an experienced Home Inspector, who’s familiar with construction practices in this region, is your best resource in identifying problem buildings. But before you make an offer to purchase you can prepare yourself with an understanding of the condo basics. What does “leaky condo” really mean? It is a structure in which water has penetrated the outer cladding and become trapped within the building walls, or “envelope”, to such an extent that wood rot, and corrosion have caused significant damage to the walls and structural components as well as, in some cases, to the interior of
Radon Gas Testing in your Home, primus home inspections
Radon Gas Testing in your Home After cigarette smoking, radon gas exposure is now identified as the second biggest cause of lung cancer. Radon is a radioactive gas found in different concentrations almost everywhere on the planet. Health Canada is recommending that indoor air be tested to determine the levels present in your home. Radon originates underground from the radioactive decay of Uranium and Thorium and can enter homes through basements, crawl spaces or floor slabs. It penetrates through cracks in the foundation, floors, or through openings such as piping and ductwork. The greatest risk of Radon exposure arises in buildings that are air tight, have insufficient ventilation, and have foundation leaks that allow air from the soil to enter. Radon is difficult to test because levels fluctuate considerably over short periods of time. Long term testing, such as 3 months or greater, is more accurate. Typically testing equipment is
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PEX class action suit helps Canadian homeowners PEX Water Piping was hailed as the next best thing to flush toilets when it hit Canadian construction markets in the 1980’s. PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) is easy to install and cheaper than copper for hot and cold water piping; it bends around corners, connections are simple to make, and because of its pliable nature many fewer connectors are needed. PEX also handles frost better than other piping and it isn’t affected by the acidic water common in the Lower Mainland. PEX has recently had big problems. The brass connectors that made installation so simple reacted with chemicals in the water. Zinc (a component of brass) in the fittings leached into the pipe in a chemical reaction known as ‘dezincification’. The corrosion this causes on the inside of the pipe creates a blockage of zinc oxide that leads to leaks, restricted water flow and
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