This wall looks pretty good, no problems here, right?

side wall

This wall looks pretty good, no problems here, right?

Well maybe.

But look up at the second story level.

Look where the decorative front type brick meets the planer single colour side brick.

You can see the joint between the two, right?

The light whitish colour of the mortar, yes.

Why is it like that, we don’t see any others like it do we.

So lets go over and take a closer look at it.

Now you can see it ;

wall detail

Now you CAN see it!

There’s a bulge!

What does that mean?

That means that the ties that joined this masonry to the wall framing behind have let go, at least in some areas.

Why? The metal strips have rusted and broken. This is from water that has gotten in behind the wall bricks over the years.

This can be from just the weather exposure of the brick, but usually it indicates a weakness in the parapet wall flashing or leaking roof conditions.

 I suspect I already know what I’m going to see when I get on the roof of this property.

To fix this a mason has to remove the bricks down from the top until he reaches solid wall areas and then rebuild the wall back up to the top.

The bricks all have to be cleaned of the old mortar in the process or be replaced with new. The parapet wall flashing has to be taken off and then reinstalled in process of rebuilding this wall. So even without paying for new bricks this will be a labour intensive repair.

So before you finalize the purchase price of this property you need a masonry contractor to provide the pricing for this repair. It will definitely be a factor in the financing of this property.


So if you are in the Montreal area, and are planning to buy or sell property, you need these costly repairs identified. You can contact me for a full inspection or an issue specific consultation.

Not even two weeks ago there was an incident reported on the news here in Montreal where a section of wall masonry fell off a high story building and damaged a neighbouring property about 10 storeys lower. The bricks broke through the roof and ceiling of the upper floor. Fortunately no one was in those rooms at the time.

View news report images:

So even when you are not preparing to sell or buy property, don’t neglect the maintenance inspections. Oh, and by the way this is also a service that I provide.


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post


This is a blog written by an experience realtor posting to her clientele. I couldn’t say any more that would add anything significant. Comment directly on Lenn Harley’s article.

Except to say call me for these services for here in the greater Montreal area.



An informative post by our own James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector, offers goodHome Inspectors advice for home owners everywhere.

This article points to:

1.  The necessity of regular inspections of our homes (even when it’s not for sale).

2.  The inevitable wear and tear of aging on our homes (not unlike ourselves).

3.  The cumulative damage done to our homes by weather and normal movement of the earth.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD A HOME INSPECTION??  When you purchased your present home?  Never?  You might be very surprised to find that, although you are a conscientious home owner and preform regular maintenance, a TRAINED EYE will find items of deferred maintenance that you probably never considered.

HOW MUCH DOES A WHOLE HOUSE INSPECTION COST?  Few home owners will pay to have a home inspection on a home they already own.  However, while homeowners may understand the importance of service contracts or at least regular inspections of visible systems, how many will have an inspection of their roof, inside and out??  How many home owners drain their water tank on a regular basis (you’d be surprised at the gunk that is sitting in the bottom of the tank).  How many have an inspection for termites or other wood destroying insects??  Most WHOLE HOUSE INSPECTIONS are performed only when a property is for sale and there is a buyer who wants to know the true condition of the property for which they are going to invest many thousands of dollars.

MAINTENANCE IS MORE THAN JUST FIXING WHAT YOU CAN SEE.  Most of us understand that a regular cleaning and inspection of the heating system is important to the life of your systems.   But how many of us can identify the defects in an exhisting roofing system as shown in Mr. Quarello’s excellent post?


STRUCTURE:  How many home owners understand the mechanics of construction and how natural movement may cause serious damage to the structure, foundation, roof, windows, etc., of your home?? 

EXTERIOR:  We may walk around the house but will we really know what we are seeing? 

INTERIOR:  Natural movement, water intrusion are matters that can cause cracking, separating, shifting in a home.  Is the insulation in your home adequate?  Or, are we just complaining about the utility costs?

MECHANICALS:  An inspection and maintenance on a heating or cooling system is far less expensive than replacement costs.

APPLIANCES:  When was the last time you vacuumed the dust out of the cooling area of the frig??  Can you determine the performance efficiency of your appliances?

PLUMBING:  Water, water, water is the most destructive force in any home.  Home inspectors can locate small problems before they turn into major problems.  (Shhhh, don’t say the word mold.)

ELECTRICAL:  How competent are we home owners to determine the efficiency AND SAFETY of electrical systems??

ADVICE TO HOME BUYERS:  Get a home inspection so you can discover the many items of deferred maintenance or simple wear and tear on the property you plan to buy and own for many years.

ADVICE TO HOME OWNERS:  Get a home inspection every 5 years or so to make sure there are no items of maintenance or wear and tear on the property that can usually only be found by an experienced home inspector.

Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker,, 800-711-7988.  Representing home buyers in Maryland and Northern Virginia.



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Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post