Homes and cottages in Ontario constructed from the 1950s until the 1990s all have one thing in common: they are at risk for containing asbestos.
The fibrous material was enormously popular at the time, because it was durable and fire-resistant.
Unfortunately, asbestos’ negative impact on human health far outweighs its benefits, explains Curtis Hinksman of Soundseals Insulation.
“Asbestos is known for causing cancer and harmful lung conditions, including scarring of the tissues,” warns Hinksman. “Those living in older homes could be at risk for exposure if the asbestos is disturbed and the tiny fibres become airborne. This is most likely to happen when renovating. Before tearing anything out, it’s best to have your building inspected.”
With certified asbestos removal experts on staff, the team at Soundseals can do a thorough inspection to identify any areas of concern and then plan to safely remove any asbestos if needed. Curtis explains that asbestos can be found in any room in a home or cottage as it was used in a variety of building materials, including drywall, roof shingles, ceiling tiles, windows, doors and much more.
If an area of concern is found, the Soundseals team will first have the area properly tested; if asbestos is present Soundseals will provide a quote and timeline on removal/remediation. Homeowners can make an informed decision on when and how to deal with any asbestos in their home.
“Once approval is given, the asbestos is removed and disposed of safely,” says Curtis.
Greener Homes Grant
Once the asbestos is removed and your home is safe, Soundseals Insulation will provide recommendations regarding insulation and how much is needed for each part of your structure.
This is the perfect time to take advantage of the federal government’s Canada Greener Homes Grant, which is offering rebates to property owners who go through the program and meet their requirements.
Curtis explains that there are up to $5,000 in rebates available to upgrade or replace insulation in every part of your home. However, there are eligibility requirements which include meeting the appropriate R-values. The higher the R-value, the slower the rate of heat transfer through the insulating material.
For instance, in an attic or ceiling, the government is looking for an improvement which brings the R-value up to R-50 or greater; for a flat roof or cathedral ceiling, the minimum is R-28.
Exterior wall and exposed floor insulation need to be improved to at least R-20 and up; while basement, foundation and crawlspace insulation must be increased to R-10 and up.
“We can help guide you through the process and make informed choices,” says Curtis. “Even without the grant, there are many reasons to bring your insulation up to current building code standards, including increased savings on your energy bills.”
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDY HANSEN