Jason Shaw
Sales Representative

RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Inc.
Independently owned and operated

1739 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M4G 3C1

Phone: 416-487-5131
Fax: 416-487-1750
Mobile: 647-999-2470

12 Tips to Keep Your House Leak and Allergen-Free this Spring

March 2, 2015 - Updated: March 9, 2015
Finally, long-awaited Spring is just around the corner! Are you as excited as we are?! To celebrate, we've rounded up some easy how-to's on busting annoying allergens right outta your home, so you and your family can breathe happier. And if you're a house owner, check out the 3 things you can do this month to prepare your home for all that snow melt, avoiding the dreaded wet basement. Read on to greet the sunny season in Top Form!

Onto our first topic: Household allergens. They can cause a variety of symptoms in many people, including sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, and shortness of breath. Allergens may also be a contributing cause of asthma, especially in children. However, it is possible to minimize the effects of such allergens by taking steps to control their presence and dispersal in the home.

The most common household allergens include dust mites, mold, mildew, pollen, and pet dander (dried flakes of skin shed by pets, particularly cats and dogs). Effective control relies on a combination of measures that, when used properly, will reduce the levels of allergens. Here are the most effective ways to do so:

1. Increase ventilation to the home. Opening windows whenever possible promotes good air exchange and will reduce the concentration of airborne allergens, especially pet dander.

2. Wash bedding and stuffed toys once a week in hot water to control dust mites and cat allergens in particular.

3. Dust and vacuum regularly, and use microfiltration or HEPA filter vacuum bags. The jury is still out on whether bagless vacuum cleaners are more effective in removing allergens than those that require bags; some studies indicate that many bagless vacuums are not sealed tightly enough and can actually exacerbate the problem. Wearing a dust mask while dusting and vacuuming is also a good idea.

4. Keep pets clean and well groomed to control dander.

5. Use mite-resistant mattress covers and pillow covers and wash these frequently.

6. Consider removing wall-to-wall carpeting and use easily-cleaned area rugs instead, particularly in bedrooms.

7. Make sure bathrooms, especially those with showers, are well ventilated. Open the window and use exhaust fans that vent to the outdoors to prevent a buildup of moisture, which can encourage growth of mold and mildew.

8. If possible, reduce indoor humidity to 50% or less by using room dehumidifiers or the dehumidifier feature available with many central air conditioning systems.

9. Clean or replace furnace and central air conditioner filters on a regular basis. Make sure that air conditioner drain pans are clean and allow the water to drain properly.

Tips To Avoid Wet Basements This Spring
It has been a long, snowy winter with little snow melt between flurries. Once the snow starts to melt quickly around your home’s foundation it may cause water leakage into your basement. Here are some tips in avoiding a flooded basement:
1. Ensure all snow piles are at least 3-5 feet away from the foundation.
2. Ensure all downspouts have extensions that drain well away from the foundation.
3. If you are able to, make sure all gutters are free of ice and debris so the water drains out the downspout instead of spilling over next to your foundation.

Damp Basements
Damp basements are one of the most common problems that effect homes. This includes old houses and new. Many damp basements can be improved simply and inexpensively just by improving the water drainage along the outside. It is worth investigating a little yourself before calling in a water proofing company. Most basement foundation walls are considered damp proof - not waterproof. Only properties wrapped with a plastic-type, PVC or rubber membrane around the outside of the foundation wall will have a reasonable chance of resisting water penetration. Properties built before 1993 had no foundation membranes, unless installed at a later date. It is very important to ensure that rain and snow runoff drains well away from the foundation. Improper grading, prolonged or heavy rainfalls, overflowing gutters and improperly positioned downspout leaders are the most common reasons for basement leaks.

Ice Damming
This year the deep snow cover on our roofs blocked many roof vents, allowing attics to warm up and melt the snow above. Water seeping down the roof under the snow will freeze once it reaches the cold roof overhang known as the eaves. 
Ice dams are the large build-ups of ice found at the edge of the roof. A small amount of ice may not cause an immediate problem, but if the ice continues to build up, it will block the water flow off the roof, causing water to back up under the shingles and leak into the soffit area, or into your house.
Foundation Cracks
Cracks are common in all types of foundation walls, and they can leak if the grading around the foundation is poorly sloped. Old foundations are much more porous than newer concrete ones and can leak even without any cracks.
Interested in Buying or Selling in our great city? I welcome you to:
  • Search for Real-time real estate listings right now!
  • Receive a list by email of any neighbourhood's Homes for sale and be informed as soon as additional homes come on the market that match what you are looking for.
  • To ask any real estate or market-related question, call me directly at 647-999-2470 or email me at shaw.jasonm@gmail.com.  I look forward to chatting with you!
*Content adapted from Pillar to Post Home Inspectors

Tagged with: toronto realtor toronto real estate spring cleaning tips
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Jason Shaw Sales Representative

RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Inc. Brokerage

Independently owned and operated

1739 Bayview Avenue , Toronto Ontario, M4G 3C1

Phone: 416-487-5131

Fax: 416-487-1750

Mobile: 647-999-2470


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