Kitec Plumbing and the Windsor Home

http://www.kitecsettlement.com/kitecphotos.cfm http://www.kitecsettlement.com/index.cfm http://www.kitecsettlement.com/completingform.cfm Source: The Windsor Star – June 29, 2011 A family rocked by a $13,000 plumbing bill is warning people to beware of potentially faulty plumbing lurking behind the walls of homes built or renovated in the last two decades. Frank and Annette Cappellino built their dream home in LaSalle, near Windsor, Ont., about 10 years ago. Last fall, the Cappellinos came home to a flood in their basement. “Water was just spewing out like a waterfall,” said Frank Cappellino. “A pipe had totally burst.” Cappellino said after a home inspection by a plumbing distributor and a representative of the Canadian manufacturer IPEX, the rep told him the cause of the leak was defective pipes branded under the name Kitec — pipes that were running throughout the house. “He said he had to take a part of it back to his company to get it tested but indicated that if it was his pipe, basically he would have it replaced,” Cappellino said. The Cappellinos contacted the company to find out the testing results, but said they were told they couldn’t have a copy of the report because a class action lawsuit was underway. IPEX provided the Cappellinos with the name of the Windsor law firm leading the suit. Cappellino said they joined the legal fight shortly thereafter. On Tuesday, lawyers for IPEX Inc. and IPEX USA LLC announced they had reached an agreement in the lawsuit, and that a $125-million US settlement fund has been proposed. Product used extensively Another family, whose home was built the same year as the Cappellinos, also ended up replacing all the pipes in their home at their own expense, after finding issues with their Kitec pipes, manufactured by IPEX. Plumbers in the region have been getting more and more calls about the Kitec brand of pipe, also known as PEX. According to Kyle Fowler, co-owner of Fowler Plumbing in Windsor, if you built or remodelled your home in the last decade or so, it’s likely Kitec pipes were used. He said he gets at least one call a week that turns out to be Kitec-related, and he said the plumbing system was used in most of the newer subdivisions. “I even have some in my house,” Fowler said. “Because we didn’t know. We thought it was good.” Cappellino shows the Kitec hot water pipe that burst last fall. Karen Brady/CBCThe Kitec plumbing system consists of blue and orange flexible piping and brass fittings, used to carry cold and hot water through a home. Kitec products were also used in radiant heating systems. The pipes were made from polyethylene and a thin inner layer of aluminum, and plumbers considered them to be...

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Carbon Monoxide – CMHC

Carbon Monoxide The presence of carbon monoxide (CO) in our homes is dangerous. So, how can you protect your family from carbon monoxide? How do you choose the right CO detector for your home? The first step is to make sure that carbon monoxide never enters your home. The second step is to install at least one CO detector in your home. This About Your House answers often-asked questions about carbon monoxide to help you make the right decision to make your home safe. What Is Carbon Monoxide? Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless and odourless gas. Because you can’t see, taste or smell it, it can affect you or your family before you even know it’s there. Even at low levels of exposure, carbon monoxide can cause serious health problems. CO is harmful because it will rapidly accumulate in the blood, depleting the ability of blood to carry oxygen.1 Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From? Carbon monoxide is a common byproduct of the combustion (burning) of fossil fuels. Most fuel-burning equipment (natural gas, propane and oil), if properly installed and maintained, produces little CO. The byproducts of combustion are usually safely vented to the outside. However, if anything disrupts the venting process (such as a bird’s nest in the chimney) or results in a shortage of oxygen to the burner, CO production can quickly rise to dangerous levels. The burning of wood, kerosene, coal and charcoal produces CO. Gasoline engines produce CO. CO production is at a maximum during the startup of a cold engine. Starting, then idling, your car or gas mower in the garage can be dangerous. The fumes that contain CO can enter a home through connecting walls or doorways and can quickly rise to dangerous levels. How Can I Eliminate Sources of Carbon Monoxide in My Home? The most important step you can take to eliminate the possibility of CO poisoning is to ensure that CO never has an opportunity to enter your home. This is your first line of defence. Review this list to minimize the risk of CO in your home. Have a qualified technician inspect and clean fuel-burning appliances yearly, before the cold weather sets in, to ensure they are in good working order. Have a qualified technician inspect chimneys and vents yearly for cracks, blockages (e.g., bird’s nests, twigs, old mortar), corrosion or holes. Check fireplaces for closed or blocked flues. Check with a qualified technician before enclosing heating and hot water equipment in a smaller room, to ensure there is adequate air for proper combustion. If you have a powerful kitchen exhaust fan or downdraft cooktop, have a qualified technician check that its operation does not pull fumes back...

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Painting: Walls, Ceilings and Floors Windsor Real Estate

Painting: Walls, Ceilings and Floors Painting is not the chore it used to be. A professional look is now easier to achieve. Whatever your project, talk to the paint experts where you purchase your paint. They are a valuable resource. If you are having a hard time visualizing the colour, inexpensive computer software programs can allow you to try out different colours. Or, there may be a decorating service where you buy your paint. Selecting paints There are two main types of paint depending on the thinners and binders used; water-based (or latex) and oil-based (or alkyd). Water-based paints use water as a thinner. They are often called latex paints even though they don’t use real latex, since rubber is not used as a binder any more. Today synthetic latexes are used, most commonly acrylic or polyvinyl acetate. Paints with a high acrylic content tend to have a tougher skin and can perform almost as well as oil-based paints. Latex paints can be easily cleaned up with soap and water. Oil-based paints use a solvent thinner. Despite the name, oil-based paints are usually not made with oil. Instead, most use polyester resins, called alkyds. Although alkyds may be more durable and achieve a higher gloss finish, they are usually a less healthy choice than latex. Alkyd paints require mineral spirits for cleaning up. Because paints are applied wet, and because they cover such a large area, paints can create a significant health problem during a renovation project. The problem is mainly caused by alkyd or solvent-based paints. They give off a number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as the solvent evaporates after painting. These VOCs can be a strong irritant and can add to air pollution. Once the paint has completely dried and formed a tough skin, the emission levels drop. However, some paints can emit odours at low levels for a long time. Exposure to VOCs varies from person to person. Effects include coughing, headaches, dizziness, or more serious conditions. It is especially important for respiratory sufferers, those with allergies, asthma, and households with young children or pregnant women to avoid paints with VOCs. Comparing the VOCs of one paint to another is not an easy task. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are helpful, but manufacturers don’t have to list components which make up one per cent or less of their product’s weight. This means that some toxic components may not show up on the MSDS. The only sure way to know what the paint contains is by asking the manufacturer to list trace compounds. There are some paints on the market that are solvent and VOC free. Look for the key words: Low VOC, or better yet....

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What to do about a wet attic Windsor Real Estate

Attic Venting, Attic Moisture and Ice Dams It is rare for Canadians to visit their attics. For many years building codes have required high levels of attic insulation, making attics less-than-hospitable places. People usually go into their attics for one of two reasons: animal intruders, such as bats or squirrels, or water leaking through the top floor ceiling. This guide deals with water entry, such as roof leaks, ice dams, and attic condensation. Consult your local pest control expert to rid the attic of creatures. What to Do If Water Comes Through Your Ceiling Find out where the leak is in your ceiling by measuring its location from the nearest outside walls. Then, go into the attic through the attic hatch. It is often hidden in the ceiling of a closet or in the wall of an attached garage. If it is in a closet, move the clothes out of the closet so loose insulation won’t stick to them. Take a good flashlight and a tape measure. When walking in the attic in older houses, step only on the wooden joists that cover the floor. The joists are usually spaced every 16 inches. They are often hidden under a pile of insulation. If you step off the joists, you will probably put your foot through the plaster or drywall ceiling below. Many houses, especially in warmer climates, have some type of floorboard over the joists. This makes walking easier but can make air sealing and insulating more complicated. Most houses built since the 1970s do not have attic rafters and joists, but trusses – usually at 24 inch centres – with the ceiling below attached to the lower chords. Walking in trussed attics is trickier than walking in older attics. If you find vermiculite insulation in your attic, do not disturb it. Loose-fill vermiculite insulation may contain small amounts of asbestos, and you should consult a professional if it is going to be disturbed. CMHC’s information piece Asbestos provides additional guidance. One further caution: if you find a significant amount of animal droppings from bats or birds, do not disturb them. They can grow molds that can cause several illnesses. To clean up droppings, you need good respiratory protection (masks) and clothing that can be bleached or discarded. Find the water leak. Use the tape measure to roughly locate where the water is dripping through the ceiling below. Lift the insulation in this area to find the pooling water. Sometimes the water runs along the attic floor for quite a distance before coming through the ceiling. Trace the water to its source. Look for leaks in the roof, especially around chimneys, plumbing vents, and attic vents – anything that...

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