About Superior Inspections Inc.

Superior Inspections Inc. provides prompt and professional home and commercial inspection services for Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. Every inspection is thorough and includes a full, detailed report on the condition of all the components of the home or commercial building. For further inspection details and pricing call or text 807-620-3886 or email larry@superiorinspections.ca.

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About Our Inspector

Larry Hogard is an Ontario college Certified Home Inspector and a Natural Resources Canada Certified Home Energy Advisor. Larry is an Associate Member of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (www.oahi.com) and the Ontario branch of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (www.cahpi.ca). Membership into these associations is earned by rigorous professional and educational training. Larry is also a sponsor member of the Thunder Bay Real Estate Board (www.thunderbay-mls.on.ca).

Larry commits a minimum of 2-3 hours for every residential home inspection, where he thoroughly examines the building’s construction, and tests its operating systems. He encourages his clients to attend the inspection so he can point out and discuss any defects he discovers. He guarantees a detailed, written report that includes photographs and illustrations within 24 hours, or less, if requested. Larry prides himself in being thorough and taking his time to explain the conditions and issues relevant to the inspection, and answering any of his client’s questions and concerns. Call or text Larry at 807-620-3886 or email him at larry@superiorinspections.ca.

Basement Water Problems

Water is a home’s worst enemy and water damage can happen very quickly or over several years, and it’s usually very expensive to repair. Preventing a problem before it occurs is the best solution to potential water damage to your home.

            Almost all basements experience a water problem at one time or another. It can happen from heavy rain, a high water table, a plumbing leak or sewer backup, causing damage to walls, insulation, interior finishes and personal items. Cracks in basement walls can also cause water to enter into the home and, in extreme cases, affect the foundation structure. Signs of moisture in basements are staining, dampness, peeling paint, an odour, mould, loose tiles or efflorescence (a white, powdery salt deposit from concrete).

To help prevent water from collecting around the exterior of your home, all downspouts from eavestroughs should discharge water at least six feet away from the foundation. As well, the ground should slope away from the perimeter of the home at one inch per foot, for at least six feet. This will help direct surface water away from the building. Walks and driveways should also slope away from the home. Basement window wells should have drains or gravel filled columns that carry water to the drainage tile, or plastic covers that prevent rain from collecting in the well. Protecting foundation walls below grade with an exterior, damp-proof membrane is highly recommended where ground water is frequently present.

To protect the inside of your home, inspect all plumbing pipes and fixtures for signs of leaks, rust, corrosion or damage. Sump pumps and pits should be tested and inspected regularly to ensure ground water is redirected outdoors and away from the home. A battery-powered, back-up sump pump system can save you thousands of dollars in potential water damage during a power outage, or if the main pump fails.

Hot water tanks commonly leak. A floor drain should be located nearby, or else a drain pan is recommended under the tank, with pan walls at least two inches high and the pan volume larger than the tank. A backwater valve is designed to protect the home against storm sewer back-ups. It is a type of one-way check valve installed downstream of the floor drain trap.

Be sure to ask your insurance agent to clarify the types of water damage losses that will or will not be covered under your home policy. An ounce of prevention is a pound of cure when it means saving your home from water damage.

by Larry Hogard

Excerpts of this article originally published in The WallEye Magazine, Thunder Bay’s Arts and Culture Alternative, May 2012.