All posts for the month November, 2014

Can you tell an Air Leaks from Mold? Below are a few of the most common places you’ll find attic bypasses in just about every home in Toronto built before 1990. In all of the photos below, I’ve pulled the insulation away to reveal the bypasses; you wont find any of these in your attic without moving the insulation around. For the record, home inspection standards of practice don’t require the home inspector to move insulation so don’t be surprised if your home inspector didn’t mention any of this stuff.

Any time small cables or wires pass through the top plates of walls in to the attic, the holes for the wires should be sealed up. Whey they are not sealed, they leak air. Do you see how some of the insulation in the photo below has been darkened? It’s not mold. This is the result of years and years of air leaking through the insulation; the insulation acts like a filler, and traps all the dust in the air, turning black. Even though these tiny holes don’t seem like a big deal, having them all over your attic can have a huge effect. Sealing these gaps can be easy accomplished with a can of foam insulation. Larger penetrations in to the attic, such as plumbing vents, also need to be sealed. Again, foal in can works very well.

The first place to check for attic leaks is around the furnace vent; if there is air leaking into the attic around this chase way, there will surely be air leaking everywhere else. In this photo below, the darkened insulation is a dead giveaway that there is a lot of air leaking through here. Foam insulation wouldn’t be appropriate repair for this location – the vent is supposed to have at least one inch of clearance to anything combustible. In the photo below, installing a small block of wood to fill the gap at the bottom (maintaining a one inch clearance to the vent) and then sealing the entire assembly with high-temperature caulk would be a good fix. (See second row from the bottom vent is missing sheet-metal collar you could see right down to the walls after pulling the insulation away. This is very common in most houses.)


Here is a huge bypass around furnace vent; the chaseway that leads down to the basement was large enough for a person to fit through, and it was basically wide open at the attic; they just had a piece of fiberglass insulation covering the top. You can clearly see the basement ceiling from inside the attic.

The space around masonry chimneys will often a source of air leakage. I the chimney is being used for wood burning fireplace, there needs to be a two-inch gap to combustible materials. Sealing these air leaks will require the use of high temperature caulk and sheet metal. Whole-house attic fans can be a major source of air leaks in to the attics. These are fans that are designed to be run in the summer only. The photo below shows light leaking through the attic fan, which means a lot of air is leaking through as well.

Probably the largest attic bypass that commonly be found is the one above the stairway to the basement on old ramblers. All of the wall cavities are wide open to this space, and nothing is sealed off. This is a bypass that’s large enough to fit a small family into. Other ceilings drop down in older houses will be areas to look for bypasses – especially over bath tubs and kithen soffits. Finally, the space below the knee walls in old one-and -one half story house can be major source of air leakage. The way to repair this is to have solid blocking installed underneath every joist cavity, and have it made completely airtight.


For more information about home inspection QualitySpec Inc. 905-321-9882. Credits to Arshad Khan, Certified Home Inspector – P. Eng.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

FOR RENT: $899/Month

Address: 27 Fern Meadow Dr. Toronto, ON.

Intersection: Lawrence/Morningside

Beautiful Huge Basement Apartment FOR RENT comes with..

  • 2x Large Bedrooms
  • Hydro: Included
  • Water: Included
  • Laundry: Shared Upstairs
  • Parking: 1-2 Car Space
  • Bathroom: 1 Full Bath, 1 Powder
  • Ceramic Tiles Throughout.
  • Storage Area.

Can accommodate 1-2 Car Parking. Convenient access to all amenities McDonalds, Tim Hortons, Grocery, Perfect for Single Family Starter or Young Professional Looking for Complete Privacy.

Vacant Property. Possession Immediate.

For more info or interested in seeing this property please contact (416) 298-6000 to book an appointment

11 Coach LitewayLast Status: *** SOLD ***

Toronto (ON) – My name is Wilbert Francisco. My wife and I have lived in Westminster-Branson for more than 10 years now, and it’s always been our dream to get a new house.  Well, few months ago we decided to try venturing other cities of choice and we found the location of our dreams, and we are willing to pursue it.

Here’s our dilemma: In order for us to secure our new dream home for our growing family with our recent newborn we need to sell our existing lovely home right away!

We have a spacious Townhome fully hardwood throughout and updated kitchen 4 bedroom plus 1 bedroom in the basement + Office/Den space that can be converted to small bedroom with one car garage.

Our lovely home is located in a centralize highly desirable Filipino community area close to public transportation TTC that can easily be rented out to Filipinos. This house is a good potential for first time home buyer or investor looking for a passive income.

My wife is a bit perfectionist, and our home is always kept clean. If we had more time we’d ask for $450,000 as starting point and we know it will sell for more because of the area and updates we put in the house.

Anyway…that’s what we’d do if we had more time. But we don’t! We need to sell our house this weekend, and that’s why we’ve decided to sell it below market value so we can be sure to sell it on time and to focus on raising our children in the place of our dreams.

We’re having an open house on the weekends every Sun. 2-4pm and we are now accepting offers.

Note: New town home development in the area are selling starting from $600K.

So if you know anyone that may want to move to your neighborhood please contact our Realtor at (416) 803-5021 or email:

Our real estate agent has set up an interactive website for our house in order for you to conveniently keep in touch with him. He is standing by so you can chat with him live!

Also, please let us know what you think about our home by clicking on the live chat button below. We appreciate your help and thank you in advance.