Peace Building Inspection Ltd, is an Alberta registered and accredited home and property inspection company. We have been a trusted name in the business since 1993.
Our services will help give you peace of mind and the confidence you need to make an informed decision regarding your property purchase, lease, or sale. Our general property inspection services are available to residential and commercial clients throughout Grande Prairie and the Peace Country.
Your Inspector will carefully survey the property, and give an objective opinion on its overall condition, identifying potential problems and concerns. During the inspection process the inspector will walk you through the home to ensure you are comfortable with its many systems and components, pointing out any required repairs, and any safety items that should be addressed. All findings will be outlined in a thorough and detailed report, that is clear, and easy to understand. Our inspectors are always available to discuss the inspection findings, and content of your report. We also have a home maintenance guide available for first time homeowners!
Grande Prairie is an amazing place to live and work, and we take pride in being a part of this community. Whether you are new to the area, or relocating within, we look forward to working with you.
Claude P, Normandeau, Owner/Senior Home Inspector
Peace Building Inspection Ltd
Registered & Licensed Inspectors
Peace Building Inspection Ltd (Licence no. 332571) has been serving Grande Prairie and the Peace Country since 1993. We are affiliated with the following professional associations and governing bodies:
International Association Of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)
American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
Alberta Profesional Home Inspectors (APHIS)
Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc. (WETT)
In compliance with Alberta law, we are registered inspectors and fully qualified to provide our services and expertise.
Claude Normandeau, Senior Inspector (Licence #332572)
Nathan Normandeau, Certified Professional Inspector (Licence #345641)
A complete, professional, visual inspection of a property intended to check and evaluate the safety of the structure, roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and many other home systems and components. Comprehensive report included. Learn More
A WETT inspection, which stands for Wood Energy Technology Transfer, includes a thorough inspection of all wood burning appliances such as stoves and open fireplaces, by our certified WETT inspectors. Given the potential threat these technologies pose to the well-being and health of those in the home, a WETT specialty inspection can give you the peace of mind you need when buying or selling a home, living in a home, and can also be a requirement when securing insurance. Includes a WETT inspection report. Learn More
Mobile Home Inspection
A specialized complete, professional, visual inspection of a property intended to check and evaluate the safety of the structure, roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and many other systems and components of a mobile home. Comprehensive report included.
Mould Investigation Inspection
Our certified mold inspector will check for signs of mold in the area you are concerned about by conducting a visual Inspection to detect any moisture intrusion, and sample testing which provides an analysis of the spores through a 3rd party lab. This is to determine whether you actually have mold growing in your home, and if there is, what type of mold is present. Includes a report on findings.
Pest Intrusion Investigation
A pest intrusion investigation involves a visual inspection of your home for any evidence of pest activity and/or evidence of dry rot damage, or moisture conditions that could lead to an atmosphere for wood destroying organisms. Includes a report on findings.
New Home Warranty Inspection
A specialized complete, professional, visual inspection of a home before your one year home warranty deadline. This inspection is intended to check and evaluate the structure, roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and many other systems and components of a home. Comprehensive report included.
A complete, professional, visual inspection of a commercial property, intended to check and evaluate the safety of the structure, roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and many other building systems and components. Comprehensive report included. Learn More
Use of infrared cameras allows the inspector to check for the presence, and effectiveness of insulation in a building’s construction. Thermograms can also detect abnormally hot electrical connections or components, as well as signs of moisture intrusion in the structure. Includes a report on findings. Learn More
Moisture Intrusion Investigation
Our certified inspector will check for signs of moisture in the area(s) you are concerned about by conducting a visual Inspection and using specialized equipment such as a moisture meter, and thermal imaging cameras to detect any signs of moisture intrusion. Includes a report on findings.
Radon is a radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell or taste and can get into your home undetected. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. When radon escapes from the ground into the outdoor air it is diluted to low concentrations and is no cause for concern. However, when radon enters an enclosed space, like a home, it can accumulate to high levels and become a health hazard. Includes a report on findings.
Log Home Inspection
A specialized complete, professional, visual inspection of a log home intended to check and evaluate the safety of the structure, roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and many other systems and components of a log home. Comprehensive report included.
General Home Inspection
Buying a home?
The process can be stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind but, depending on the findings, it may have the opposite effect. You will be asked to absorb a lot of information over a short period of time. Your inspection will entail a written report, including checklists and photos, and what the inspector tells you during the inspection. All of this combined with the seller’s disclosure and what you notice yourself can make the experience overwhelming. What should you do?
Home inspectors are professionals, and you can trust that ours are the most highly trained in the industry. Most of your inspection will be related to maintenance recommendations and minor imperfections. These are good to know about.
However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:
major defects, such as a structural failure;
conditions that can lead to major defects, such as a roof leak;
issues that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home if not rectified immediately; and
safety hazards, such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electrical panel.
Anything in these categories should be addressed as soon as possible. Often, a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property
Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. It’s important to realize that a seller is under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in your inspection report. No house is perfect. Keep things in perspective. And remember that homeownership is both a joyful experience and an important responsibility.
The Home Inspection Process
The home inspector will do a visual inspection by looking at the home’s various systems, including interior and exterior components. The inspector will check exterior components including roofing, flashing, chimneys, gutters, downspouts, wall surfaces, windows, doors, the foundation and the grading around it.
Note that, if the inspection takes place in the winter, the roof and the foundation may not be fully visible for inspection if they are covered with snow and ice. For safety and insurance reasons, the home inspector would not typically climb up on a roof covered with snow or ice. However, the home inspector will inspect the roof from the ground or other vantage point. This also applies to the chimney and downspouts.
If problems beyond the scope of the inspection are found, the home inspector may recommend further evaluation.
The interior systems that the home inspector will check include electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, insulation, flooring, ceiling and walls, windows and doors. Our home inspectors are WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) certified to inspect a wood-burning appliance, such as a fireplace or wood stove, but they will not carry out a WETT inspection as part of the standard home inspection unless it is requested. A WETT inspection will add at time and cost to the inspection (See our WETT Inspection section).
As with the outside of the home, the inspection of the interior systems is visual, meaning that the inspector will not make openings to inspect behind walls or under the floor. It is not a good idea to conduct an inspection at night or dusk, since a number of the very important components of the exterior of the house cannot be seen properly.
Typically, a home inspection does not include appraisals or quotes for repairs and does not determine compliance with regulatory requirements. A home inspection is not intended to provide warranties or guarantees about the condition of the house or how well it works.
Our home inspectors’ associations have a code of ethics that prevents home inspectors from offering services to repair or improve homes they have inspected. While they may provide you with a personal opinion on the repairs and a range of costs involved based on past experience, it is recommended that you obtain three independent quotes from qualified contractors for the repair of any defects or deficiencies identified during the inspection.
Our home inspector will provide a written report that documents the condition of every major system and component of the home within 24 hours of the inspection.
Contact us now for more information, or to book your Home Inspection!
“But I’ve been using this wood stove for 20 years, and I’ve never had a problem.”
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard this statement or something like it. It usually accompanies a conversation which involves telling a homeowner that their wood stove installation needs to be altered or corrected in some way during a WETT inspection. But why is that conversation taking place? Let’s back up. What exactly is a WETT inspection?
First of all, WETT Inc. (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) is a non-profit organization that trains and certifies WETT inspectors/installers and educates the public on proper wood-burning for home heating purposes. Primarily, the intent is to prevent house fires. Read more about WETT Inc. here: https://www.wettinc.ca/about/what.cfm
A WETT inspection is a review of the components of a wood-burning system to ensure that they are installed correctly, are maintained in good working order, and that all parts of the system are compatible with one another. It is also a review of clearances between the components and adjacent combustibles like the walls, floors, and anything else in the area that could catch fire.
Before we continue, let’s define some terms:
Wood-burning appliance – a factory-built device with which one heats their home by burning wood or wood pellets. These include wood-stoves, wood-burning inserts, pellet stoves, and wood furnaces.
CSA Standard B365 – “Installation code for solid-fuel-burning appliances and equipment.”
Certified appliance – any appliance that has a certification sticker, or documentation that clearly applies to the appliance and shows the required clearances and installation standards.
Uncertified appliance – any appliance that does not meet the criteria for a certified appliance. An uncertified appliance must be installed to the standards of B365.
WETT Certified – Inspectors are certified by WETT Inc. We do not certify devices. We inspect and report what elements are or are not in compliance with requirements. It is not a pass/fail situation.
Certification sticker – this sticker is applied to every certified wood-burning appliance by the manufacturer. It shows several pieces of information including the required installation clearances. The listed clearances on a sticker supersede the requirements of B365.
For the purposes of this article, I will be describing a typical inspection for a stand-alone wood stove. The process for other types of appliances will be similar, but will potentially vary in some areas.
When I am inspecting a wood-burning appliance, the first thing I look for is the certification sticker. If one is present, then this is considered a certified appliance. I can then measure the installation against the requirements as listed on the sticker. If there is no sticker, then it is considered an uncertified appliance and I must measure against the requirements in B365, which is much more strict and requires much larger clearances.
Once I determine the standards applicable to the appliance (sticker, B365, or both) I measure all the clearances. I need to know the distances between each face of the device and the closest adjacent combustible surfaces: floors, walls, ceilings, furniture, stored fuel, etc. I then review the floor protection. Not only do we need to consider the heat created by the fireplace, but we have to be prepared for sparks and embers which may fall out when the door is opened. I then inspect the appliance itself to make sure it is in good working condition. I check it’s structural integrity, door glass, fibreglass door seals, etc.
When I am done with the appliance itself, I move on to the flue. Flue pipes have their own clearance and installation requirements which may be more or less stringent than the device to which they are attached. A critical area is the point at which the flue transitions to the chimney at a wall or ceiling.
The chimney will either be factory built (stainless steel, typically) or built on site. A WETT inspection doesn’t technically apply to site-built components, but I will still look at it to see if there are any issues with it. A factory built-chimney will be inspected much like the stove and the flue with regard to adherence to clearance and installation methods.
A critical element of the chimney installation its height above the roof. A chimney that is too short can be subject to down-drafts caused by wind blowing over the roof. We use the 3-2-10 rule to evaluate the height of chimneys. It must extend more than three feet above the roof surface, and it must be two feet higher than any part of the building that is within ten feet of the chimney.
Once the inspection is complete, I create an inspection report which outlines all the critical details about the components, installation, and clearances.
Homeowners often find these requirements frustrating, especially if they are told that the system needs to be altered. Many people simply don’t understand what the big deal is when they’ve never actually noticed a problem. Which brings us back to the quote at the top. Yes, an improperly installed wood stove can be used for many years before a problem arises. As it heats the home, it is also heating up adjacent walls, sometimes more than it can safely endure. Even if the stove isn’t heating the wall hot enough to burn right now, it can be actively lowering the wall’s combustion temperature through a process called pyrolysis. Over time the chemical structure of wood is altered and it’s combustion temperature is lowered. This is why an improperly installed wood stove burning for 20 years could ‘suddenly’ cause an adjacent wall to catch fire. This is one of the things I am trying to prevent with these inspections.
So are WETT inspections mandatory? No. There is nothing requiring a wood-burning appliance to be installed by a WETT certified technician or to be WETT inspected afterward. However, if you have a wood stove in your house, your insurance company will very likely require you to have a WETT inspection to satisfy their underwriting guidelines. If you do not provide a WETT inspection report, they could exclude your wood stove from insurance coverage or even cancel your insurance policy. Most of the time, it is the home insurance company who is asking for the inspection.
Even if an inspection is not required, I would urge you to have your wood stove inspected regularly for the sake of the safety and security of your home and your family. Ultimately, that’s why these inspections are important and why I offer them as a valuable service.
Contact us now for more information, or to book your WETT certified inspection!