Up-to 20% recession discounts. Will match the price of any "approved" competitor.
Up-to 20% recession discounts. Will match the price of any "approved" competitor.
To deliver and model top class professionals, translating education and research into excellent client satisfaction in the services we provide.
Mr. Seymour Harley, president of Structures & Fabrics Home & Building Inspection Inc, is a Certified Home Inspector and Building/Civil Technician.
His more than 20 years in the construction industry includes: architectural drafting, estimating, site surveying, contract administration and certification of works. He has extensive knowledge in construction technology and has investigated building failures (building science) and made recommendations for remedial repairs.
The company specializes in providing Quality Assurance Services for Custom Built homes, ensuring compliance to specifications, designs, conformance's to OBC requirements, methodology and the applications of materials.
Mr. Seymour D. Harley, has been involved in the community and was a volunteer in the geriatric visiting program with Community Care East York for 5 years, and was also a board member of Doorsteps Neighborhood Services of North York assisting new immigrants in housing and other needs.
He is currently mentoring and re-directing youths in North York, Scarborough and Durharm Regions.
The company adheres to its "Inspect Before You Invest" common sense thinking approach, and offers fully trained and experienced inspectors, on-site written reports, customized, competitive and affordable pricing and flexible hours.
There are many established reasons why our basements are wet and murky even when the other areas in the house are perfectly dry. Water can leak in through cracks in the basement floor or foundation walls. Exterior grading that slopes towards the foundation wall can cause rainwater or melting snow to flow towards the foundation, penetrate the cracks in the concrete into the basement or crawl space.
There are also several less well known reasons why basements are irritantly humid . These have to do with vapour diffusion,condensation,capillary suction and leaking water
The movement of water vapour depends on scientific processes such as vapour defrential. Water in vapour form,exists in all air and in the soil around your home.Water vapour migrates from more to less,meaning the moisture in air will move towards air with less moisture. Since the soil is almost always moist,in a basement,water vapour will tend to diffuse from outside the basement wall into and through the dryer concrete walls and floors and into the even more dryer basement interior. The bitumen or tar-based damp proofing painted on foundation walls should eliminate this vapour diffusion,but is not always effective in doing so.
Basement walls and floors are usually cooler than the rest of the house, especially during summer. The moisture in humid air condenses when it collides with the cool surfaces, in this case the walls or floors. Moisture can also condense on sinks,toilets,cool pipes and ceramics. The resulting damp walls combined with poor ventillation can add to that murky or musty smell. Basement windows are sometimes opened during summer time to bring in outdoor air. If the outdoor air is warm and humid it will inevitably condense on the cool basement surfaces.
Capillary suction moves moisture through microscopic holes in porous materials. Water can be drawn upwards through the small pores in the concrete floors,walls and footings. This action exhibits itself as visible dampness.
The bitumen (tar) damp proofing painted on the foundation walls stops this capilliary suction,but if not appropriately applied the wicking action of this process can bring moisture into your house. Modern homes have polyethylene sheathing and gravel underneath to prevent this wicking.
Solid concrete and concrete block foundations inevitably cracks. This happens because the concrete shrinks as it cures and dries. Soil settling can also cause cracking. Cracks are usually popular where walls meets rigid structures like the fireplace,often times the largest cracks are found in this location.Usually the drainage layer on the outside of the wall directs water away from the cracks. Repair of these cracks becomes necessary if a leak develops.
When the interior of the home is significantly warmer than the outside air,the warm air inside the home rises and escapes through openings such as those around fixtures and into the attic.New air rushes in to replace it.This pattern of air flow known as the stack effect, draws air into the house, often through cracks in the foundation. Air coming in from the soil carries moisture, thus you have humid air entering the basement. A sum pump is oftenly used to remove moisture from the soil to prevent wetting of the basement floor but if an air tight cover is absent from the sump pit, air may come in through the wet sump pit.
Moisture is generated inside of houses from normal human activities. Some of the sources are unvented clothes dryers,cooking, humidifiers, showering and storing firewood. These activities increases in finished basements especially when used as an apartment.
Typically in a new house construction, the concrete is made with a great volume of water, and the water will inevitably evaporate into the basement. The water on average can amount to 0.2 per square foot of wall, and 0.1 gallons per square foot of floor. The concrete will take a while to dry out (many months) and approximately three years for the concrete to have about the same moisture content as the surrounding air.
In one inch (1") of rain,1,250 gallons of water fall on the roof of a 2,000 square foot house. If the gutters and or downspouts are missing or defective, a great amount of this water will fall close to the foundation walls. If the grading around your house is not adequately sloped (gentle) away from the house , some of this water will flow into the basement through cracks. If there are no cracks, the wet soil around the house may cause moisture to enter your basement through vapour difussion or capillary suction as mentioned above.
Some window wells are built so that collected water streams towards the foundation.
Some older homes and new homes in certain locations have basements with open dirt floors. The dirt can be a major source of water since water wicks from the surrounding soil by capillary suction, then evaporates into the basement. This evaporation is often significant even when the soil feels like its dry.
A significant number of older houses have no drainage system at the footing to lead water away from the house. This is because years ago basements were not used as living space. In some cases the drainage system was installed but the drain tiles have clogged over time. Today these are usually perforated plastic drain pipes. To properly lead water away from the foundation wall, tiles should be installed around the footing of the home and connected to a municipal water system, or dry well, which is a hole filled with crushed stone or sump pump.Houses with sump pumps sometimes have a broken connection between the pit and the sump pump. Sometimes even the the sump pump itself fails.
1. Correct grading, gutters and down spout system - Use gutter downspouts with extenders or cement splash blocks to carry water away from the house or foundation.Sloping the grade from the house is very important. The ground should be sloped down one inch (1") per foot for at least six feet (6'-0"). Ideally this should be done before any drainage system below grade is installed,since the above grade corrections may be the solution for the problem. The aim is to remove water at the source.
2. Dehumidifier - A dehumidifier can significantly reduce the symptoms of humidity and musty odor. However the de-humidifier doesn't get to the source of the humidity. Relative humidity should be kept below 40% in the winter and below 60% in the summer.
3. Control interior moisture sources - A healthy level indoor humidity is less than 40% in winter and 40% to 60% in summer. An hygrometer can be used to determine the level of humidity in your basement. Moisture sources include humidifiers,storing firewood indoors,showering,indoor dryer venting and cooking.
4. Do not ventilate with outside air- If condensation is a problem in the summer, do not ventilate the basement with warm, humid air. It is recommended that you ventilate through an air conditioning system or with an heat exchanger.
5. Exterior drainage system correction - To correct the exterior drainage system, it requires digging up the area around the perimeter of the house and rebuilding it similar to a new house installation. All visible cracks and other damages to the foundation should be properly patched and filled. The foundation is to be damp-proofed. Usually a petroleum based substance is applied by painting on the the foundation wall. A drainage layer of aggregates, gravel and small stones is installed against the exterior of the foundation wall. Another corrective method, a dimpled plastic sheet laid loosely against the side of the concrete foundation can be used as a drainage layer. The drainage layer is then connected to a drainage system at the footings called the perimeter drainage. The drain tile of the perimeter drainage is typically covered by a minimum of six inches (6") of coarse aggregate so the tiles will not get clogged with silt.
6. Fix window wells-Window wells should be filled from the footing to the window sill with 3/8-inch to 3/4 inch coarse aggregate. A supplemental drain tile extension should extend from the footing to the base of the window well.
7. Fix cracks that are leaking water from the inside - If water is entering the basement through cracks, injecting them with epoxy will some time solve the problem. There are several brands of epoxy available, adhere to the manufacture's instructions, or hire a professional.
8. Install an interior drainage system -If water is entering the basement, an interior drainage system can be installed. A cost effective and simple approach is a drainage channel at the base of the wall and the floor slab. Water is collected and drained into a sump pit. The sump pit should have an airtight and child proof cover for safety reasons. With this approach the water is not totally removed from the area so humidity,mildew and mold can still be a problem. An enhancement is to install a dimpled plastic drainage layer to the interior, this will eliminate the evaporation of drain water in the surrounding area. Neither of the two system can drain groundwater foam under the floor slab.
9. Insulate cool surfaces - Proper application of insulation will stop condensation on cool surfaces. Exposed ductwork and pipes can be wrapped with an insulator. A cool wall can be covered with rigid foam insulation,preferable to batt insulation for these purposes.
10. Cover open dirt - If you have an open dirt basement, the ground should be covered with a 6 millimeter thick polyethylene sheet and sealed.
11. Run furnace fan continuously - This will mix the cool basement air with the warmer air upstairs. Raising the temperature of the basement air increases its capacity to hold more moisture, resulting with considerable reduced condensation. Note this approach increases electricity consumption.
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