At Meredith Home Inspections, we have a large network of professionals and contractors who can work as a team for you on any residential project in Québec. You can be confident that our professionals and entrepreneurs provide fast, efficient and reliable service.
- Structural Analysis Engineer
- Infrared Thermal Imaging
- Drain Camera Inspections
- Inspection Report
- Fireplace and Wood Stove Inspection
- Pool and Spa Inspection
- Mold and Air Quality Inspection
- Asbestos-Vermiculite Testing- Zonolite® Attic Insulation
- Foundation Inspections
- Pyrite Inspections
- Radon Inspection
Structural Analysis Engineer
Our structural engineers are members in good standing with the OIQ (Order of Engineers of Quebec). He or she performs an analysis on specific structural issues in the home. This can be done alongside of the generalist inspection or as a follow-up inspection. Remember, to secure an appointment with an engineer requires 2 weeks’ advance notice.
Tasks of a Structural Engineer
- Conducting inspections on construction sites
- Making structural calculations (concrete, steel etc.)
- Creating plans and specifications to acquire licensing and construction permits
- Writing reports to obtain permits
- Offering recommendations for technical innovations
- Selecting contractors
- Monitoring progress on the construction site
Infrared Thermal Imaging
If you want a non-invasive means of diagnosing possible conditions of a building, this type of specialty inspection will give you the information that you need to make educated decisions. For instance, if you are concerned about high energy costs, by detecting moisture infiltration around windows or the roof, this specialty inspection can save you thousands of dollars by revealing these sorts of issues in advance. You as a client will specify which deficiencies to look for. To investigate for all these deficiencies is not always possible and can be expensive.
Pinpointing Defects According to Your Needs
Infrared thermography allows our specialty inspector to find any hidden defects in your new home without the need to interfere with any portion of the existing structures.
Using an Infrared thermography inspection can pick up the following deficiencies in a building:
- Air infiltration
- Missing or deteriorated insulation
- Moisture intrusion and accumulation
- Potential mold in walls and ceilings
- Overloaded electrical circuits
- Loose electrical connections
- HVAC blockages
- Furnace heat exchanger
- Inadequate or improperly applied flashing or sealants
- Structural problems
Drain Camera Inspections
New homeowners need to be aware of Montreal bylaws, when it comes to their piping systems connected to the city’s structures. Drain and sewer camera inspection technology have made it much easier to diagnose sewer and drainage problems. With this new drain and sewer camera technology, we can now accesspipes directly. If these deficiencies are discovered in advance, it can save a lot of time and money for the homeowner.
Common Drain and Sewer Problems are:
- Fractured, or cracked pipes
- Collapsed sewer or drain pipes
- Root infestation
- Bellied or settled pipes
Our reports are completed in a timely manner and identified issues are addressed. The report is thorough and concise, with photos and references added for clarity. Locations are described to make sure they are easy to referencing in the report. Findings are discussed with you personally. David Meredith of Meredith Inspections is available to advise and guide you for as long as you own your property. You may Contact Us for more information.
Fireplace and Wood Stove Inspection
A thorough and visual inspection is conducted on all open fireplaces and wood stoves, as well as oil and propane tanks. For home buyers, this complementary inspection conforms to the codes used by most insurance companies and municipalities. A concise summary report in PDF format is provided that addresses all the important findings along with photos containing all the relevant problems observed.
This is a non-invasive visual examination according to the guidelines of A.P.C (Association of Heating Professionals) in Quebec. These inspections are similar to WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) inspections done in the rest of Canada. It is possible to have a through inspection by an A.P.C engineer. However, it can only be conducted once you are a homeowner. This would be a more exhaustive inspection that includes:
1. Condensation leakage
2. Chimney structure disintegration
3. Improper chimney draft
4. Improper clearance
5. Cracked or missing flue tiles
6. Unlined or damaged chimney structure
7. Down-drafting or smoking chimney
Pool and Spa Inspection
Pools and spas are luxury items that can bring joy and pleasure to your home, but many homeowners neglect their systems, creating costly repairs for the future owner. Our inspectors identify potential risks and recommend solutions. Our reports will provide you a clear understanding of visible and foreseeable problems that need to be addressed immediately and a clear understanding of the safety and mechanical conditions of your system.
Safety is always our number one issue. Our team inspects your spa, above ground pools and well as in ground pools. We identify any risks of electrocution, accidental drowning or entrapment. Everything is inspected from your liner to decking and coping to the plumbing, electrical, mechanical and heating systems.
Our pool and spa inspectors offer years of experience for any repairs or inspections needed. If you are buying a new home, we provide top-notch inspection services. For sellers as well, inspecting your pool or spa prior to selling your property ensures your potential buyer has the highest confidence in their purchase.
We provide clear and concise reports summarizing a professional opinion on the state of your pool or spa, the structure, equipment and all other components.
Mold and Air Quality Inspection
Poor air quality can poison both you and your family. However, the evaluation process is often done poorly. The first step should not be to have a simple air quality test. Excessive mold in a home is not healthy. It is not necessary to know what type of mold your house has. Health Canada and the CHMC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) recommend calling in building professionals to inspect the building envelope, plumbing and interior signs of water infiltration, leaks and mold. If these deficiencies are found, the inspector will recommend the appropriate remediation procedures.
There are a number of reasons to test the air quality in your home. Chemical contaminants can affect the health and well-being of your family. Babies and children, as well as the elderly are susceptible to indoor pollution. Contaminated indoor air can cause allergies and asthma, including other health issues. Meredith inspectors are equipped with advanced devices to detect and determine levels of air quality in your home, or in a home you are about to purchase. We test for pollutants such as mold, but also other types of chemicals that are suspended as particulates in the air. VOCs (Volatile Organic Chemicals) are harmful chemicals; many of them cannot be detected by smell. They are emitted as gases from solids or liquids and are easily evaporated into air at room temperatures.
Types of VOC’s include: alcohol, aldehydes, aromatics, esters, ethers, freons, ketones and hydrocarbons. Possible sources of VOC’s: gasoline.
Concentrations of these chemicals can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. Thousands of products, many that we use or are exposed to every day, emit VOC’s into the air while they are being used, and, to some degree, even when they are stored.
The Institut national de Santé publique du Québec (INSPQ, a provincial health watchdog, is reporting that a third of the homes are contaminated with mold in the air, with levels ranging from weak to very high. Mold needs moisture to grow, which is why it’s important to maintain the proper humidity levels in the home, along with ensuring there is no water infiltration or leakage. Stagnant water when in contact with construction materials can produce areas of concentrated mold. The risk of contamination increases, while reducing the air quality throughout the home.
David Meredith of Meredith Inspections is proud to have completed a 2-day CMHC workshop on the Assessment and Remediation of Houses for Mold. The course is a comprehensive investigation based on building science principles. The information provided in this course goes much more in-depth than a simple air quality analysis based on air sampling. Not only is Meredith Inspections providing you with a certified and qualified mold and air quality inspection, but David is a home inspector with over 20 years of experience in the construction industry.
A Mold and Air Quality Inspection provided at Meredith Inspections consists of the following:
Step 1. Mold and Air Quality Assessment begins by:
- Gathering information about the history of building from the homeowner or tenant
- Conducting a complete visual inspection to determine if there are signs for mold, odors, water
- infiltration, excessive humidity or any other indicators of moisture infiltration
- Defining the source or sources of damage
Step 2. A complete report is written including:
Making recommendations for eliminating the cause or causes
- Cleaning of any contaminated areas
- Replacing moldy construction materials
Under certain conditions, the tenant or owner could clean and repair the contaminated areas.
Step 3. Testing the air quality of the home for mold and chemical pollutants. There are clients that naturally could benefit from a mold analysis particularly if certain factors may affect the health of the occupants. Recommendations for test results can be requested from doctors, jurists or the family.
The analysis of an air sample is the last step in the process, as part the evaluation procedure An interior air sample in the home is accompanied by an exterior air sample, they both are analyzed in a specialized laboratory that follows the industry standards of AIHA (American Industrial Hygiene Association).
Asbestos-Vermiculite Testing- Zonolite® Attic Insulation
In 2004, Health Canada issued an advisory about the insulation called Zonolite® used in primarily in attics. The main area of concern is loose-fill or blow-in attic insulation. Homes built between the 1940’s and 1990’s have a higher risk of having asbestos contaminated insulation. Before 1990, the world’s supply of vermiculite was extracted out from Libby Mine in Montana and sold under the brand name of Zonolite®. To guarantee the health and safety of your home, our qualified and experienced inspectors will take the required number of samples to provide accurate results. The laboratory is accredited ISO 17025 and specializes in the domain of asbestos testing with industry standard quality control assurances. We wear protective gear to insure our safety during sampling. To ensure your safety during the removal of vermiculite, our specialists set up a proper containment system.
Whether you are buying or selling a home, there can be certain situations where you need to know more about foundation deficiencies. Be aware that only a licensed structural engineer or specialist contractor has the expertise and certification to provide a proper inspection.
To justify this additional expense of this specialty inspection the following conditions could be found:
1. Inward bowing and mechanical damage due to inadequate lateral support
2. Top of foundation too close to ground level
3. Horizontal cracks due to ad freezing
4. Mortar deterioration due to water penetration
5. Crumbling or spalling concrete, as a result of poor concrete
6. Frost heave as a result of foundations being too short
A foundation inspection could include the following:
- Gathering the required information from the client as part of the primary assessment
- Conducting a site inspection of all discrepancies in the foundation. Collection of all necessary data that includes: the soils, the state of the foundation, the basement, exterior and interior walls, drainage and the structure of building
- Writing a report with a technical evaluation
Recommending solutions for corrective measures and cost estimates.
You can be guaranteed our inspectors are well qualified and are experts in their field.
Pyrite is a widespread and abundant iron sulphide mineral (FeS2). It is found in traces in sedimentary rocks to make backfill that is used under concrete slabs in homes and garages. With time, Pyrite oxidizes and produces acid whereby a chemical reaction occurs and produces a sulfate, gypsum. This chemical reaction causes the pyritic backfill to swell and the concrete itself begins to crack and crumble. The sulphation of concrete is a slow process and can take around ten years for any damage to be produced. The pyrite problem has led to much questioning with regards to scientific, technical, and legal issues. Since the fall of 1998, ACQC (Association des consommateurs pour la qualité dans la construction or the association of consumers for quality construction) has received thousands of calls from citizens concerned by some aspect of the problem.
This specialty inspection works with industry standards according to CMHC and SHQ and follows the CTQ-M200 protocol for the testing of pyrite.
The pyrite inspection includes the following:
1. A visual inspection of damages in the interior and exterior of the building
2. Concrete slab is cored to a 250 mm (6 inch) diameter; the concrete samples are taken along with samples of the backfill under the slab. The hole is repaired back to normal after samples are taken.
3. A laboratory analysis is performed verifying by a geologist the condition of the concrete. The backfill is tested according to an indicator of swelling (indice de gonflement), called Indice Pétrographique du Potentiel de Gonflement (IPPG).
4. A report is written up with the geologist’s visual inspections, the IPPG analysis and recommendations for corrective measures.
Professionals and experts in their field carry out our pyrite inspections.
Radon is a radioactive gas that is odorless and colorless. Occurring naturally in the environment, it is produced by the breakdown of uranium commonly found in rocks and soils. Radon gas moves easily into the atmosphere where it is diluted to lower concentrations. However, if it gets trapped inside buildings where ventilation is poor, concentrations can rise to dangerous levels and pose a health risk for you and your family. In 2007, Health Canada set new guidelines to protect citizens from health risks associated with Radon. They recommend that if the level of Radon is above 200 Bq/m3, action must be taken to reduce the levels in your home.
In general, radon enters into the home through the foundation and crawl spaces.
The potential entry points are:
1. Cavities inside walls
2. Cracks in solid floors
3. Construction joints
4. Cracks in walls
5. The water supply
6. Gaps in suspended floors
7. Gaps around service pipes
Health Canada has done extensive surveys and research on radon. They found that more than 10% of Quebec homes have excessively high levels (200 Bequerels or more). Radon levels can be highly variable and they are difficult to predict in any one home. The consequence of Radon exposure is lung cancer. Each year approximately 3,200 people die from radon-associated lung cancer in Canada. The good news is that testing for Radon is not particularly expensive.
Meredith Home Inspections can provide Radon testing using detectors from specialized contractors. These devices are positioned in your home where they are open to indoor air for a set period of time and then sent to a laboratory for testing. If you do have high levels of Radon in your home, we can offer a number of methods and solutions to reduce your radon levels are carried out by trained contractors.