Articles

Early failure of cabinetry: Is it always the user's fault?

Whether it is kitchens or bathrooms, we have all experienced or heard of damages to cabinets linked to humidity. As an example, let's just consider cabinet panels that swell or coating shell (veneer or thermoplastic) that delaminates. This type of degradation usually occurs as a result of long term usage, when the cabinetry components "get old". However, there are many cases where this type of millwork suffers from premature degradation. For instance, when similar damages are visible over multiple units of a building/condominium, it seems obvious that they are not independent and isolated cases.

Are de-icers safe for concrete?

Canadian winters are harsh. As temperatures dip below freezing, ice can form on roads and walkways and make them hazardous. One method of keeping ice away is the use of de-icing agents. The oldest and most commonly used compound is salt. However, the use of salt needs to be controlled as it can sometimes be more hurtful than helpful.

Oil Heating Systems

An estimated 1.2 million households in Canada are heated by fuel oil. These households are predominantly located in rural areas. Though a functional and efficient heat source, these systems pose various risks to the homeowner. Their failures can result in the escape of hundreds of liters of oil into the surrounding environment - below foundations, and into wells, sumps, weeping tile, and groundwater. The associated remediation work is costly and can easily exceed the property value.

Struck by Lightning

Lightning can be considered as the mother of all electric arcs; a tremendously powerful electric discharge between two environments with opposite electrostatic charges. It is a spontaneous event, aiming to restore the equilibrium between the earth and sky.

 

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