Sound advice from the Experts

What is Vermiculite Insulation?

Vermiculite is a granular insulation that has been associated with asbestos. Not all vermiculite has asbestos, and, even if yours does, that does not necessarily mean it needs to be removed. Visit: for the Environmental Protection Agency's input on this issue.

What is Radon Gas?

Radon is a natural gas that rises up thru the ground and is safely disbursed into the atmosphere when it is in an open environment. With the improvements in home construction where natural air movement is constricted in these areas that gas expels from the earth, it is concentrated and can become a serious health issue. Visit: for the Environmental Protection Agency's input on this issue.

What is Mold?

There are over 100 known genuses of mold with the majority of them not being dangerous. Visit: for the Environmental Protection Agency's input on this issue.


Articles, Presentations and Advice from Carson Dunlop
The documents below are provided for the exclusive use of active HORIZON users. You are welcome to copy or modify these and use them on your website, in your reports, or as articles linked from your reports. You can also modify them for your own use.



Home Maintenance Improvement

  • Priority Items for New Homeowners
    – There are so many home maintenance and repair items that are important; it can be confusing trying to establish which are the most critical.
  • Home Improvement Costs
    – (Life Cycles and Costs)
  • Home Repair Guide
    – This report will deal with the simpler topic of home repair--basically replacing things that are worn out or fixing things that are broken.
  • Your New Home
    – It makes sense for you to learn about the qualities of your investment before putting your money on the line.
  • Inspect Before You Renovate
    – A professional building inspection by a qualified engineer can help you separate the NEEDS from the WANTS.

Technical - Structures

  • Structures
    – Serious structural problems in houses are not very common, but when they occur they are never cheap to fix. Some can’t be fixed at all. This report won’t turn you into a home inspector, but it will give you some of the common indicators.
  • Truss Uplift
    – Truss uplift has nothing to do with plastic surgery or under- garments. It is a phenomenon common in homes built with roof trusses as opposed to rafters.
  • Grow Houses
    – With an estimated 50,000 grow houses in Canada, there is growing concern about health, fire, safety, and structural implications for home buyers. But what risk is there in owning a grow home? 

Technical - Insulation and Ventilation

  • Vermiculite
    – Our informative article on Vermiculite, a naturally occurring mineral worldwide.
  • Condensation
    – A brief, non technical article about controlling Condensation in the home.

Technical - Heating

  • Air Filters
    – While you’re in the basement unpacking the Halloween costumes, take a moment to consider your furnace.
  • Humidifiers
    – While an ideal humidity for homes can be as low as 5%, people prefer about 60% humidity. And because people are more powerful than homes, we add humidifiers to have it our way.
  • Carbon Monoxide
    – Low concentrations of CO can go undetected and can contribute to ongoing, unidentified illnesses. At high concentrations, it can be deadly.
  • Heating Efficiency
    – High efficiency heating systems have become popular because they save fuel and, one would suppose, save money. But what do they mean when they talk about efficiency? What is furnace efficiency?
  • Fireplaces
    – Fireplaces are no longer used as the primary source for heating homes, but the magic of a fire stills makes a fireplace a valued part of any home.

Technical - Exterior

  • Synthetic Stucco
    – EIFS stands for Exterior Insulating and Finishing Systems. It is sometimes referred to as Synthetic Stucco.
  • Brick Houses
    – What most people in Ontario don't realize is that there are two very different types of brick houses, brick veneer and solid masonry.

Technical - Electrical

  • 60 Amp Services
    – Many homebuyers are discovering that insurance companies are not only concerned about knob and tube wiring; they are also worried about 60 amp services.
  • Knob Tube Wiring
    – A significant number of insurance companies now consider knob and tube wiring unsafe or a significantly higher risk. We disagree.
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
    – The outlets with the colored "Test" and "Reset" buttons are specially designed to better protect people than ordinary outlets. GFCI's have been used in houses since the 1970's. 

Technical - General

  • The Perfect House
    – The engineers of Carson Dunlop & Associates Ltd. have conducted over 80, 000 home inspections and we haven’t found a perfect house yet. Since perfection is not an option, what should you expect? 
  • Household Glossary
    – Common Building Technical Terms Explained
  • Dating Houses
    – As home inspectors, we have some tricks for figuring out the age of a house.
  • Vague Real Estate Terms
    – Here are a collection of vague real estate terms that can get real estate salespeople into trouble.


  • Pre-Inspected Listings
    – Home inspections have traditionally been for the benefit of the purchaser. Pre-inspected listings benefit all parties - purchasers, vendors and Realtors.

Consumer Advice Re: Inspectors

  • No Guarantees
    – Over the last few years, we have seen a steady shift in clients' expectations. Their demands are higher, which is fine, but the number of clients with unrealistic expectations has grown from maybe one in a thousand to one in fifty.
  • Fifteen Questions to Ask
    – When shopping for a Home Inspector 

Spending a little now could save you a lot later!!"