When Things Go Wrong

January 10th, 2016

Expect The Unexpected

When Things Go Wrong

There may come a time that you discover something wrong with the house, and you may be upset or disappointed with your home inspection.


Intermittent Or Concealed Problems

 Some problems can only be discovered by living in a house. They cannot be discovered during the few hours of a home inspection. For example, some shower stalls leak when people are in the shower, but do not leak when you simply turn on the tap. Some roofs and basements only leak when specific conditions exist. Some problems will only be discovered when carpets were lifted, furniture is moved or finishes are removed.


No Clues

 These problems may have existed at the time of the inspection but there were no clues as to their existence. Our inspections are based on the past performance of the house. If there are no clues of a past problem, it is unfair to assume we should foresee a future problem.


We Always Miss Some Minor Things

Some say we are inconsistent because our reports identify some minor problems but not others. The minor problems that are identified were discovered while looking for more significant problems. We note them simply as a courtesy. The intent of the inspection is not to find the $200 problems; it is to find the $2,000 problems. These are the things that affect people’s decisions to purchase.


Contractors’ Advice

The main source of dissatisfaction with home inspectors comes from comments made by contractors. Contractors’ opinions often differ from ours. Don’t be surprised when three roofers all say the roof needs replacement when we said that, with some minor repairs, the roof will last a few more years.


Last Man In Theory

While our advice represents the most prudent thing to do, many contractors are reluctant to undertake these repairs. This is because of the “Last Man In Theory”. The contractor fears that if he is the last person to work on the roof, he will get blamed if the roof leaks, regardless of whether the roof leak is his fault or not. Consequently, he won’t want to do a minor repair with high liability when he could re-roof the entire house for more money and reduce the likelihood of a callback. This is understandable.


Most Recent Advice Is Best

There is more to the “Last Man In Theory”. It suggests that it is human nature for homeowners to believe the last bit of “expert” advice they receive, even if it is contrary to previous advice. As home inspectors, we unfortunately find ourselves in the position of “First Man In” and consequently it is our advice that is often disbelieved.


Why Didn’t We See It

Contractors may say “I can’t believe you had this house inspected, and they didn’t find this problem”. There are several reasons for these apparent oversights:

  1. Conditions During Inspection It is difficult for homeowners to remember the circumstances in the house, at the time of the inspection. Homeowners seldom remember that it was snowing, there was storage everywhere in the basement or that the furnace could not be turned on because the air conditioning was operating, et cetera. It’s impossible for contractors to know what the circumstances were when the inspection was performed.
  1. The Wisdom Of Hindsight When the problem manifests itself, it is very easy to have 20/20 hindsight. Anybody can say that the basement is wet when there is 2 inches of water on the floor. Predicting the problem is a different story.
  1. A Long Look If we spent 1/2 an hour under the kitchen sink or 45 minutes disassembling the furnace, we’d find more problems too. Unfortunately, the inspection would take several days and would cost considerably more.
  1. We’re Generalists We are generalists; we are not specialists. The heating contractor may indeed have more heating expertise than we do.
  1. An Invasive Look Problems often become apparent when carpets or plaster are removed, when fixtures or cabinets are pulled out, and so on. A home inspection is a visual examination. We don’t perform any invasive or destructive tests.


Not Insurance

In conclusion, a home inspection is designed to better your odds. It is not designed to eliminate all risk. For that reason, a home inspection should not be considered an insurance policy. The premium that an insurance company would have to charge for a policy with no deductible, no limit and an indefinite policy period would be considerably more than the fee we charge. It would also not include the value added by the inspection.


Copyright 2015/2016 Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd.

YG Video: Home Inspections You Can Rely On

September 27th, 2013

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Are There Rodents In Your Home?

August 15th, 2013

Home Inspection Rodents

Do you have unwanted rodents in your home? Mice and rats are warm blooded rodents who seek shelter during cold months. This should alarm some of you now that Autumn and Winter are just around the corner. Here are some tips on how to tell if they are living in your home, how to prevent rodents from entering your home, and what to do if you suspect them.

Rodent Suspicion

If you notice rodent feces “droppings” in or around your home, you may have rodents inhabiting in your home. Inspect your home for gnaw marks. If you see gnaw marks on packaged foods or sealed garbage bags, it may indicate that rodents may be in your home. Hearing “scratching or squeaking” noises within your walls or ceiling may be another indicator that you might have rodents living in your home.

Rodent Prevention

Assess for any openings, cracks, crevices, or any other entry points that may give rodents access to your home. Interior and exterior examinations should be carried out. If there are openings, seal them properly. Use a water resistant barrier covered with steel so that rodents won’t be able to gnaw through the sealant. Store food in containers properly, rodents harvest and collect food that are not put away correctly. Clean, sweep, vacuum and mop your home since crumbs of food attract these rodents. Dispose of garbage regularly and ensure trash cans are sealed tight.

Rodent Intervention

If you suspect or have seen rodents in your home, contact a pest control and management company in your city. YG Home Inspection Services provides high quality Montreal home inspections. Our goal is to help owners become more aware and knowledgeable about their property. If you need a home inspection, trust our Montreal home inspectors to facilitate the process.

Top 10 Montreal Home Inspection Problems

July 3rd, 2013

Top 10 Home Inspection Montreal Problems

Hiring an inspector for a Montreal home inspection will reveal a lot about the home you’re about to purchase that isn’t noticeable to the average joe. After years of Montreal home inspections, we’ve noticed quiet a bit of problems with houses and condos in the Montreal region. Here are the Top 10 Home Inspection Problems YG Home Inspection Services have noticed:

Problem 1 – Grading and drainage

Grading and drainage problems were found to be the most common issue we have noticed. Cracked slabs in the foundation have resulted in water penetration in basements. The best way to prevent this is hire a certified contractor to redo the grading around your home. Another way is to redo your down sprout system directing water away from your foundation and house.

Problem 2 – Plumbing

We’ve notice a lot of plumbing problems, especially in older Montreal homes. This is most likely due to “wear and tear” and the age of installation. Common plumbing issues usually happen where we consume water everyday including faucets, below the sink, showers, and bathtubs. Other notable findings happen in piping, drains, toilets, water heaters, and water tanks.

Problem 3 – Ventilation

Many homes do not have proper ventilation systems. During our harsh Montreal winters, we tend to over insulate our home in order to keep the heat in. People do this in efforts to save money on expensive electrical bills. The problem with over insulating is that it causes poor ventilation which results in excessive moisture in your home. Excessive moisture causes mold which is hazardous to you and your family.

Problem 4 – Structure

Structural issues are most common in older homes. This includes damages in components such as your foundation walls, windows and door headers, and floor joists. These problems are usually minor ones, it’s best to hire a certified home inspector to assess and evaluate the damages.

Problem 5 – Roofs

Since we have all 4 seasons in Montreal, your roofing endures heavy rain falls, harsh winters, and strong winds. After about 15 to 20 years, your roof’s shingles need to be changed. If not changed, you risk your home experiencing water damage by leaky roofs caused by old damaged shingles and/or improper flashing. Redoing your roofing after 15 to 20 years is a good investment, since the expense of repairing a leaky roof is far greater.

Problem 6 – Exterior

The exterior portion of homes are often neglected by home owners. Common problems include drainage systems, exterior walls, decks, railings, and the exterior aspects of windows and doors. These issues are mostly caused by poor overall maintenance.

Problem 7 – Electrical

Another common problem we find are undersized and or improper electrical wiring. During an electrical inspection, we find problems of all nature such as the use of aluminum wiring, insufficient electricity servicing your home, unsuitable grounding, bad wiring connections, and not enough overload protection. The electrical aspect of your home should not be disregarded, since electrical problems are a serious safety hazard.

Problem 8 – Heating Systems

Each heating system requires different heat distributions and energy sources, requiring an inspection. Our findings include blocked chimneys, damaged heat exchangers and exhausts. The reality is that regularly evaluating your heating systems will save you money in the long run by reducing heating and cooling electricity bills.

Problem 9 – Environmental Hazards

A lot of older homes have hazardous environmental issues including lead paint, mold, asbestos, radon, indoor air quality, and the water quality of your home. Fixing and repairing these problems can be costly, but if neglected can cause hazardous to your family. It’s best to hire a professional home inspector to perform a thorough Montreal home inspection.

Problem 10 – Cosmetic

Cosmetic issues include cracks in your walls, ceiling, sidewalks and driveway. Unsafe stairs and handrails. Broken or faulty fixtures and faucets in your bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen. Poorly installed cupboards secured to walls. Although these issues may only appear be cosmetic, it still reflects the condition and safety of your home.

7% Of Homes Have Radon

June 18th, 2013

According to a study done by Health Canada, approximately 7% of Canadians live in a home that contains radon levels above safety guidelines. They estimate about 2000 people die every year due to radon. This should be alarming for homeowners, but the reality is that most people are unaware of what radon actually is.

What is Radon?

It’s is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless radioactive gas which is very harmful for people. It is a major carcinogenic gas which poses a high risk for lung cancer. Breathing in high levels this type of radioactive gas can cause lung cancer to the homeowners. It’s actually the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada, which accounts for about 10% of cases. Radon levels are unpredictable and can be found depending on the location of your home, the age, and condition of the house. We have noticed this in several areas around Montreal, especially in Oka, Saint-André-d’Argenteuil, and Mont-Saint-Hilaire.

When Is Radon Most Dangerous?

Gas levels change depending on the time of year. During winter, we tend to keep the heat indoors by closing our windows and doors. This ultimately retains radon, increasing gas levels inside your home. It’s less potent during summer since we open our windows and doors to let fresh air inside.

How To Test For Radon?

If you suspect this type of gas in your home, please do not neglect the potential threat of radon. There are a wide variety of DIY “Do it yourself” tests available on the market so that you can determine the radon level in your home. Short term radon tests can last 2 to 7 days, while long term tests can take up to 1 to 12 months. If you do this test yourself and find high levels of radon, call a professional to perform the test to confirm the levels.

How To Prevent Radon Levels Rising?

There are certain elements in your home which can prevent the radon levels rising to alarming levels. If there are cracks, or gaps in your floorings, using a gas permeable layer beneath the flooring can minimize radon penetration. Also, sealing sump pumps using the correct caps reduces levels rising. It’s best to consult and hire trained professionals who deals with radon mitigation in homes.

YG Home Inspection Services In Montreal

Unfortunately, we do not provide a radon test because the short term test is unreliable and the long term test is too long to conduct. If radon levels are found to be too high, YG Home Inspection Services can guide you on the measures of how to reduce it to acceptable levels and to prevent it further.