It is important to pay close attention to your body to maintain your health. When something changes or just doesn’t feel right, you should make an appointment with your doctor to have them examine the area or order additional tests. The same should be said for your vision. Many people take their eyesight for granted and forgo regular eye exams. If you do not have your eyes tested regularly by an optometrist, you may miss the early signs related to some of the most common vision problems

Constant Headaches

If you suffer from consistent headaches, don’t just shrug it off and take two pills. Your headaches may be caused by potential vision issues. As your eyes strain to focus on blurred or distorted objects both near and far this additional strain can lead to headaches as well as other symptoms such as eye strain.

Strained or Fatigued Eyes

Having tired eyes is a symptom of several potential issues with your eyes. Eye strain and fatigue happen when your eyes are constantly working to keep objects in focus. It is most evident when working on a task for an extended period of time, such as reading or working on a computer. However, having fatigue or strain on a regular basis should be taken as a sign to visit your optometrist. 

Blurry Vision

Having a blurred vision is usually one of the symptoms that people will seek the expertise of an optometrist. However, the blurred vision does not need to be constant for there to be a potential issue. If you are noticing somewhat blurred vision showing up every now and then, it should still be taken as a sign to get your eyes checked out.

Trouble Seeing at Night

If you are finding it difficult to clearly see at night, it could be an indication that you require glasses. Not being able to clearly make out road signs while driving at night also means that you may not see another car or a pedestrian in time to react, do not wait to have a professional examine your eyes.

Reading at Different Distances

We have all been with someone at a restaurant the needs to hold the menu as far from them as possible or right up against their nose. This is a clear sign that there is an underlying vision issue. Sometimes, non-prescription reading glasses can help with this situation, but if that doesn’t, prescription glasses should do the trick.

No matter if the cause of the symptoms above is due to Astigmatism, nearsightedness or Myopia, and farsightedness or Hyperopia, most of the time they can be corrected with a new pair of prescription glasses or contacts. However, if these signs are ignored you can be sure that the issue will worsen to a point where corrective lenses may not be able to help. 

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a home, starting with the property itself, location, mortgage, etc… Before venturing into a purchase you need to get a commitment letter from a lender in order to know that you will be able to secure funding for the home you want to purchase. The government has introduced regulation that helps first time home buyers. The first helpful regulation is that as a first time home buyer you avoid paying the land-transfer tax. The second piece of regulation is the RRSP Home buyers plan. This regulation helps alleviate some of the stress involved in saving for a downpayment. So, what is the RRSP home buyers plan?

The RRSP Home buyers plan allows Canadaisns to borrow funds from their RRSP account for the purpose of using it towards a down payment when buying their first property. The details of the plan are as follows:
Buyers can withdraw a maximum of $35,000 to use towards a downpayment. If a couple is buying a property then they can each withdraw $35,000.
There is no penalty or tax disadvantages when withdrawing the funds.
The Funds have to be repaid back into the RRSP account within 10 years.

The Home buyers plan has allowed many Canadians to fast-track the process of buying their first home. If you don’t have these funds in an RRSP account, consider taking out an RRSP loan 6-9 months before purchasing your home. The year you take out the loan, your RRSP contribution will help you on your tax returns as well as every year you payback the loan, the interest on that loan is tax deductible. In conclusion, when considering a home purchase, you should not only speak with a realtor or a mortgage broker, but you should also speak with a financial planner.

It is not unusual to see condensation on the inside of your glass, especially if you have newer, energy-efficient windows and doors. This condensation is caused by moisture in warm air, once this warm air hits a colder surface like your windowpane the moisture is deposited on the cooler surface. Think cold drink on a hot summer’s day. This process is more evident in winter months when the air in your home is significantly warmer than the temperature outside.

Unfortunately, there is no way to fully eliminate this process from occurring, but there are ways to help reduce window condensation.

A dehumidifier will make a visible difference in the amount of condensation found on your windows. A dehumidifier pulls the moisture from the air, considering the condensation on your windows is caused by moisture in the air, it makes sense that less moisture in the air means less condensation on your windows. Just make sure to empty the reservoir in a timely manner, as that collected water can vaporize, adding moisture to the air once again.

Utilizing your kitchen and bathroom fans will also help keep moisture out of the air. When we cook or take warm showers steam is released, this steam adds moisture to the air in your home. If you turn on your fan prior to cooking or showering and allow for the fan to continue to run 10-15 minutes after you are finished, you will maximize the amount of steam and moisture being pulled out of your home. 

Hang drying clothes indoors can help reduce your utility bills, but the water that dries from your clothing will add moisture to the air in your home. Hang dry your clothes outdoors in the warmer months, and avoiding hang drying your clothes indoors will help reduce the amount of moisture in your home.

Opening your windows and doors to allow for fresh air to enter your home and moisture-rich air to exit your home is another great way to reduce the condensation on your windows. Again, by reducing the amount of moisture in the air you are able to reduce the amount of moisture being deposited on your glass.

If you are finding condensation on your glass, don’t be worried as this means your windows are doing their job well, as there are no drafts cooling down the inside glass. Even though you can’t eliminate condensation from building up on your windows, you can reduce the amount of condensation. Make sure to clean up any condensation from your windows as soon as you see it build-up, as the water can cause damage to your window frames and walls if not looked after.

The roof of your commercial building is exposed to a wide range of abuse, from the sun’s harmful rays, to heavy snowfalls and blistering thunderstorms. Your commercial roof stands up to all of this, keeping your team and work protected underneath. A commercial roof can withstand this beating for 20+ years, and with proper maintenance your roof can last even longer.

Here are 5 commercial roof maintenance tips to ensure you get the most out of your roof:

1. Inspect Your Roof Often

Inspecting your roof often will help you catch any potential issues before they become a big problem. Look for any missing or loose material, any bubbling or peeling and any signs of damage such as cracks. Soft areas and areas where there is pooling water should also get some extra attention. Don’t forget to inspect the flashing to ensure it is also in good shape.

2. Clean Your Roof

Cleaning your roof and removing any debris means that your roof can complete its job as intended. Loose materials and debris can get clogged in the drains or even cause damage to your roof. Ensuring your roof is cleaned at least every season will ensure foreign objects to not affect your roof and its performance.

3. Have Snow Removed

Clearing the snow from your parking lot in the winter is a must and something pretty much every commercial property owner thinks about. However, clearing the snow off your commercial roof is also important, as all the snow that accumulates on your roof can cause some serious damage under the weight of the snow. If your roof suffers serious damage from the pressure and weight of the snow, that large accumulation of snow may end up in your office instead of on top.

4. Proper Drainage

Ensuring water can drain from your roof properly is vital to your roof’s health. Clear and inspect drains as well as note any areas that have water pooling and not flowing to a drain. If these pools of water are very large, you may need to call a professional commercial roofing repair company or adjust the roof’s slight slopes for proper water flow.

5. Limit Walking on Your Roof

Avoid walking on your commercial roof as much as possible. You will need to go up on your roof to inspect it, and some professionals maintenance workers will need access depending on what work they are completing. Other than that, your roof shouldn’t be seeing any additional foot traffic as it can cause lasting damage and affect the life expectancy of your roof.

I’m sure it is no surprise when we say your windows are an integral part of your home’s structure. They need to be tough enough to stand up to anything mother nature throws at them, including rain, strong winds, hail, and even ice storms. Yet we rely on our windows to brighten up our home by allowing natural light in as well as allowing fresh air in and stale air out of your home when opened. Like most items that are exposed to the elements and suffer wear and tear, eventually you will need to look into window replacement options.

How to tell if you need new windows? A simple inspection of your windows may be all you need.

When examining your windows there are three things to look for Damage, Drafts, and Condensation.

1. Damage

Some damage is much easier to notice than others. For instance, if your window pane is broken or cracked you should be able to see that fairly easily. In these situations, you may be able to just replace the glass itself and keep the frame as is. Looking for frame damage may not be as easy to spot. Look for any warping or distortions in the frame. If your window frames are damaged, you will more than likely require a full window replacement.

2. Drafts

Because your windows have both external and internal exposure to your home, there is a possibility for air transfer or drafts. If this is true in your home, you are probably paying 10%-20% more on your energy bills due to heat escaping in the winter and entering in the summer. Sealing up these drafts can be as simple as having new caulking applied to the outside of your windows. However, many cases will require the finished moulding to be removed and additional expanding foam insulation applied around the windows to fully eliminate the draft. Damaged frames are another reason for drafts, in these cases you will need to look at replacement options.

3. Condensation

With most energy efficient windows, some condensation on either the inside or outside of your windows is to be expected. Air holds moisture, and when moisture rich warm air hits the cooler surface of your window, it deposits this moisture on the glass in the form of condensation. This is the same process that happens with your cold drinks on a hot summer’s day. In these scenarios, make sure to clean up any pooling water, as it can cause damage to your sills, frames, casings, and dry wall. If you notice condensation between your window panes (double or triple paned windows), this is a sign of a real issue. This means that the seal between the window panes has been compromised, drastically reducing the efficiency of your window.

Most windows have a life expectancy of 15-25 years, a quick inspection for damage, drafts, and condensation can help you decide if it is time to replace your windows. The wear and tear will differ from one window to another on your home. A window that has full sun exposure will break down quicker than one that is in the shade, so make sure to inspect each window separately. If you find a damaged window or are in need of replacement windows, call Southfield Windows and Doors at 519-699-3872 for a no-obligation estimate.

Finding signs of water damage in your home and dealing with the aftermath can be a time consuming, frustrating, and costly endeavour. In most cases the damage was unexpected, and went unnoticed for some time, and perhaps could have even lead to potential health issues for yourself or loved ones. To prevent water damage from occurring, you must first understand how it can occur. Here are 6 common causes of water damage in your home:

1. Floods

A flood could happen at any time, but they are most common when the snow and ice is melting coupled with heavy rainfalls. The ground becomes saturated with water and perhaps is still frozen, waterways are getting clogged up with large chunks of ice and the municipal sewer system begins to overload. The water has nowhere to go but up. Even if you are in an area that is not used to flooding, you should never rule it out as a possibility.

2. Plumbing Mishaps

Accidents happen, and sometimes they lead to mini-floods. Overflowing bathtubs, sinks, and toilets can cause extensive water damage to your home, especially if they are not caught early. As the water begins to seep over the edge of the sink, toilet or tub it will pool and run to the lowest point of your home. If a tub over flows on the 2nd floor of your house, that means the water will travel down two stories before it begins to pool or exit via the drains in your basement. This running water can cause damage to walls, floors, furniture and even your electrical system.

3. Broken Pipes

Extremely cold weather is normally the cause of burst pipes in a home. As the temperature drops, the water in the pipes begin to freeze, as they freeze they expand. With nowhere to go, the pipe cracks under pressure. It is important that you shut off the water leading to any external hose bibs, as these are the most susceptible to cold weather damage. Internal pipes can burst as well, but this is normally due to a heating issue that has led to your home’s internal temperature to drastically drop.

4. Sewer Backups

Excessive rain may not cause flood waters to enter your home, but it can cause the municipal sewer lines to backup. When the municipal systems are overloaded, there is nowhere left for water to go, this can cause the water to back up into your home. Water damage from sewer backup is extremely risky as it can not only create water damage, there are also potential health risk. Installing a backwater valve will eliminate the risk from sewer backups.

5. Broken Appliances

When you think of an appliance breaking down, you normally think about the cost of replacing or repairing it. However, the cost can be much worse if there is water damage due to the malfunction. Most homes have at least 3-4 appliances that have direct waterlines connected to them, dish washer, clothes washing machine and fridge are the most popular. If these appliances break down and the water in the lines begin to leak, it could lead to a significant issue. With dishwashers and laundry machines, all it takes is for a gasket to wear out and the water associated to one full cycle can end up outside of the machine. It is recommended to inspect the water lines and gaskets for your large appliance on a regular basis, to help prevent these large mishaps.

6. Clogged Gutters and Downspouts

What do the gutters and downspouts located on the outside of my home have to do with internal water damage, you ask? If your gutters and downspouts are clogged with leaves, branches and other debris the water they catch is unable to flow away and ends up spilling over the side of your gutters. This water then runs down the side of your home and can get into your basement by seeping in from your foundation. Once the water is in your home, water damage is inevitable. Have your gutters cleaned annually or install some form of gutter protection that blocks debris from entering.

If you notice signs of water damage in your home, call a professional water damage restoration specialist right away. Not only will they help you detect and eliminate the cause of the damage, they will clean up and haul away all of the damaged materials and furniture, returning your home to its original, healthy state.

If your home has an unfinished basement or a basement that is need of a serious remodel, you probably have already spent quite a bit of time contemplating what your ideal use for your basement will be. Perhaps you are planning on building your dream games room decked out with a pool table and a fully functional wet bar, maybe a playroom for the kids to keep all their toys and fully explore their imagination, or possibly you are looking to build an in-law suite for any out of town guests to have their own private space. We have put together a list of 5 things to consider when finishing your basement, no matter the use of your newly purposed space.


  • Not Having a Thorough Plan


Having a rough idea for your basement is not the same as having a plan. A common mistake by many DIYers is to get started without having a firm design. Having a plan that you can refer back to will help you in any tough decisions or unexpected surprises. Incorporate the number of rooms, the intended use for each room, any electrical and plumbing that is needed, and where they will be installed. A plan will ensure you don’t miss anything as you move through the project. A professional renovation company will always provide you with a plan before they start the project, so why wouldn’t you have one prior to beginning?


  • Ignoring Potential Water Concerns 


Basements are prone to flooding, it’s just the nature of their design, they are essentially a concrete box buried in the ground. Water can get into your basement in multiple ways. Above ground flooding, through cracks in your foundations, from backed up water lines, from broken plumbing lines in your home, even accidental water emergencies such as a broken toilet or laundry machine will lead to water getting into your basement. Not having a proper basement waterproofing strategy in place prior to finishing your basement, will not only cost more money in the future. That finished work will need to be ripped out to access the concrete floor and get under your foundation.


  • Using Wooden Studs


Even though wood studs are a reliable material for framing a home, in the basement it could lead to major issues. Basements are humid and the wood absorbs moisture, this can lead to a potential mold issue. Metal framing studs should be used for your basement renovation project, not only do they not absorb humidity, in the case of a flood, metal studs will remain fairly unharmed.  


  • Foregoing a Subfloor


Installing a subfloor will help keep your basement warm and more comfortable for day-to-day use. Installing tile or laminate directly on top of your concrete basement floor will allow for the cold to be transferred through the material, leaving your basement feeling much colder than you would like, especially on areas that have harsh winters. Your subfloor also plays an important role with minor water issues, as it allows for leaks to flow under your finished floor to the drains.


  • Insufficient Lighting  


Being located below the ground does not allow for much natural light to enter your basement to begin with. Skimping out on lighting can leave your new space feeling dark, shadowy, and uncomfortable. Installing pot-lights (recessed lighting) everywhere in your basement will help brighten up the area. You can always install a dimmer switch to control the amount of light based on your mood.