152 Colbeck Street, Toronto

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1 152 Colbeck Street, Toronto Inspection Report July 30, 2014

2 152 Colbeck Street, Toronto Inspection Report Overall Condition: This is a typically constructed solid masonry home for the area. It has had a number of updates and has been well maintained. Overall, it is in aboveaverage condition compared to similar homes in the neighbourhood. Roofing, Flashings and Chimneys: The roof is surfaced with premium-quality asphalt shingles. The shingles were replaced last fall and were found to be in good condition. Despite some masonry deterioration near the top, the chimney is serviceable condition. -Roof inspected with binoculars. Exterior: The exterior brickwork is in good overall repair despite some slight localized spalling/flaking. The aluminum eavestroughs and downspouts are also in good overall condition. Most downspouts discharge above grade as required by City bylaws. While the rear extension downspout discharges below grade, it is still in compliance with the bylaw because it doesn't discharge into the house waste/city sewer system - it discharges into a French drain (gravelfilled pit) in the middle of the backyard. If there are every any issues with the below-grade pipe freezing up in winter, a temporary above-grade extension can be added during cold weather. The owner reports that this has not been a problem to date. The front porch is in generally good condition for its age. Some deterioration of the floor boards was noted, but can likely be repaired on an on-going maintenance-related basis as necessary. The carpeting on the front porch steps is good from an anti-slip viewpoint, but can trap water next to the wood and eventually lead to rotting. It would ideally be removed. The middle front brick column has eroded below the porch the damaged area should be repaired or reinforced with additional brick and mortar. -The slight crack over the dining room window arch is very typical and not a structural concern. -Exterior inspection from ground level. -Sheds are not inspected. -Sprinkler/irrigation systems are not inspected. Structure: The brick foundations support solid masonry exterior walls. The exterior walls are well supported with minimal settlement cracking noted. The roof has sagged noticeably over the years. This is fairly common in houses of this design and is partly due to the relatively low slope being more prone to sagging and the fact that the roof rafters and ceiling joists run in perpendicular directions the bottom ends of the roof rafters are therefore not constrained from moving outwards. The two neighbours to the west have exactly the same construction and sag issues. Fortunately, the rafters are stronger than those typically used. The same can be

3 152 Colbeck Street, Toronto Page 2 said for the ridge beam. For this reason, it is our opinion that improvement is not a high priority. It has, after all, been like this for close to a century so far. Tying the bottoms of the rafters back to several of the ceiling joists to prevent outward movement could be done relatively inexpensively if necessary at a later date. -The attic was inspected from the access hatch. -Inspection limited by the raised basement floor and 90% drywalled basement walls. Electrical: The house has a 200-amp service with a breaker panel. This service size is more than adequate. The house has been rewired. While its complete absence cannot be guaranteed, no active knoband-tube wiring was visible or found during spotchecks of various electrical, outlet and switch boxes. -The GFCI outlet in the 2 nd floor bathroom is miswired (and not providing the necessary protection as a result) this is a simple repair for an electrician. -A few breakers have more than one wire attached at the terminal screws. While very commonly found, these double-taps are frowned on by electricians as the can adversely affect the quality of the mechanical connection. In the long term the extra wires would ideally be relocated to mini-breakers or would be "Y"-ed together downstream of the breakers. -Concealed electrical components cannot be inspected. Heating: The house has a hot water heating system powered by a 125,000 BTU/hr mid-efficiency gasfired hot water boiler. The unit is 8 years old and was found to be operable when run through a brief summer test procedure. Copper tube boilers like this typically last 20 to 25 years. The chimney has a metal liner as required. The basement bathroom has electric radiant floor heat. Due to the long warm-up time, it cannot be effectively tested this time of year, but the owners indicate that it is functional. Since there is some question as to just how much floor insulation has been provided below the radiant heat layer, you may want to use this heat sparingly as there could be significant heat leakage into the ground. -The electric heater in the rear extension has a broken thermostat knob (couldn t be tested). It has also been turned off at the breaker, but the owners report that it is operable. -Heat exchanger not visible. -Safety devices not tested. -Radiator valves were not operated. Try not to operate them if at all possible as this can cause them to leak at the stems. Air Conditioning: Cooling is provided by a 7-year-old independent, attic-mounted central A/C system rated at 24,000 BTU/hr. The unit was found to be operable at the time of the inspection. Air conditioners have a typical life expectancy of about 15 years (statistically).

4 152 Colbeck Street, Toronto Page 3 Insulation: Cellulose and fibreglass insulation with R-values ranging from 6 to 22 was found in the attic. This should be upgraded to a level of R-40 to R-50. A ballpark estimate would be $1,400 to $1,800. The solid masonry walls were built without insulation and with no space to add more insulation. This is typical for the era. Since adding more insulation is not easily done, it is best to concentrate on reducing air infiltration through caulking/sealing and weatherstripping as much as possible. -The attic was inspected from the access hatch. -Walls were spotchecked only. -Continuity of air/vapour barrier not verified. -Although checking for asbestos (which may be present in many products and materials) is not included in the inspection or the Standards of Practice, it is quite likely that the radiator pipe wrapping in the basement has an asbestos component. This is very common in older houses. This old pipe insulation is not considered to be a hazard in the home (if left undisturbed) and there is no requirement to remove it. In this case, the insulation has mostly been covered over (encapsulated) or is located behind finished ceilings. If asbestos removal is desired at some point in the future, the work needs to be professionally done consult contractors for quotes. More information can be found at the Health Canada website Plumbing: The incoming City supply pipe is ¾ copper. The visible supply piping within the house is also copper. Water pressure is considered to be good for the area. The waste plumbing is a combination of cast iron, copper, galvanized steel (venting) and ABS plastic. Cast iron waste plumbing is currently an issue for some insurance companies (although their prejudice is not considered to be warranted in our opinion) replace cast iron stack sections found during any potential renovations with plastic. There are still a number of insurance companies without this particular bias. The 12-year-old gas-fired water heater is a 150-litre rental unit. Typical life expectancy is about 15 years (statistically speaking). Call the Gas Company around that time for a replacement unit as water heater failures can happen with no notice and involve a lot of water leakage. The basement floor drain was not located, but it is suspected to be beneath the raised floor somewhere near the entrance to the southwest storage room or the nearby basement closet. The newer PVC drain cleanouts in the front yard suggest that some drainage pipe replacement has already been undertaken. An exploratory hole could be cut in the floor of the closet mentioned above in an attempt to find the basement floor drain. The basement Jacuzzi was operable at the time of the inspection. -The kitchen waste plumbing does not appear to be properly vented (this could affect how well the pipes drain). A mechanical vent could be added fairly easily if there were any problems with gurgling or siphoning of the trap (causing sewer odours). -Monitor the temperature in the rear basement room to ensure that freezing of the laundry pipes is not a potential issue. -Concealed plumbing cannot be inspected. -Tub/sink overflows not tested. -Isolating/relief valves and main shut-off valve not tested.

5 152 Colbeck Street, Toronto Page 4 Interior: -Interior finishes are in good overall condition. Some wall/ceiling surfaces have been redone, while others show imperfections typical of older plaster. -Many of the windows have been updated, but there are still a few older windows in place (e.g. dining room). In the longer term, non-architecturally significant windows should be replaced. The stair landing windows have no storm. An exterior storm window layer could be added relatively inexpensively. -The gas fireplace needs repair as the pilot light won't stay lit. It is suspected that the thermocouple sensor needs to be replaced (common ailment). Consult a specialist. -The basement was dry at the time of the inspection and it is suspected to be generally dry overall. Some peeling paint and efflorescence was noted on the foundation wall in the furnace room. This is common in older homes and it should be realized that the house was built long before the invention of modern waterproofing and perimeter drainage systems, so it is very important to prevent surface water accumulations near the house by keeping eavestroughs and downspouts well maintained and by promoting good drainage next to the foundations through good grading. The owners have done a good job of attending to these issues (including installing a below-grade drainage pipe along the west side of the house that discharges to a front French drain). In all homes, we also recommend using a basement dehumidifier during the summer months. -No comment made on cosmetic aspects of interior finishes. -CO/smoke detectors, alarm systems and appliances not inspected. One CO detector and one smoke detector are required by law to be located on each floor of a home. -Drainage tile (if any) not visible. -Inspection limited by the raised basement floor, 90% drywalled basement walls and new paint in some areas. -In all houses, moisture problems may result in visible or concealed mold growth. Environmental Consultants can assist if this is a concern as a mold inspection is a specialized environmental assessment beyond the scope of the inspection standards. Notes: This is the inspection report for 152 Colbeck Street, Toronto performed on July 30, For the purposes of this report, the front of the house is considered to be facing south. The inspection was performed according to the standards of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors see Limitations and Conditions at Telephone consultation regarding this report is available free of charge call Walkthroughs with the inspector can also be arranged at a typical cost of $150.

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