Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mike Holmes' Appearance on This Hour Has 22 Minutes - 3/31/2015

Mike Holmes made an appearance on a segment of the CBC political satire show This Hour Has 22 Minutes, in which he and the host bantered back and forth about the very expensive Parliament building renovation project. The segment aired tonight at 8:30 PM Eastern time on the CBC.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mike Holmes in Brantford with Empire Communities

Earlier this month, Mike Holmes announced his partnership with Ontario home builder Empire Communities (for more information, see Empire Communities Partners with Mike Holmes for HOLMES Approved Homes Program). Today, Mike did a meet and greet with fans at the Empire/Holmes Partnership Event in Brantford.

From the Empire Communities Facebook page:
"Great turnout today at our ‪#‎EMPIREHOLMES‬ Partnership Event at Wyndfield by Empire Communities in Brantford. Paul Golini, Mike Holmes and local dignitaries spoke about their passion and dedication towards building higher quality homes for our our kids and future generations. Followed by a Mike Holmes photo frenzy which included kids and folks who came out from all over the GTA and Southwestern Ontario to celebrate and learn more about this new partnership."

You can view the Empire Communities event photo album here. Here are some of my favorite pics from the album:

Check out these videos featuring some very bold kids asking Mike some very poignant questions and Mike responding back with some very frank answers!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mike Holmes Partners with Duvanco Homes

The Holmes Approved Homes program has a new partner to add to its growing list of industry leading builders. Mike Holmes Approved Homes has has partnered with Duvanco Homes due to their commitment to excellence in both building homes right from the ground up, and building homes with that "wow" factor that makes homeowners love living in them.

For more information about Mike's partnership with Duvanco Homes, visit the Duvanco Homes website.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Maintenance - It's About Priorities!

Spring is in the air, and even if there's still a layer of snow on the ground where you live, you can almost smell that warmer weather is just around the corner. Many people want to get out of the house and jump right into their pet projects and fixing up the yard, but Mike Holmes warns homeowners to stop for a moment and prioritize what's really important when it comes to renovating. Mike highly suggests that people work from the inside out, meaning focus on all the things you don't readily see that make your home more comfortable and weather resistant. Start with inspecting the roof and foundation and make sure that the caulking around the windows held through the winter. Mike also recommends that people maintain a 5% slope away from the house to protect the foundation from spring's rain and next winter's snow. When it comes to spring maintenance, prioritize your projects and renovate smart and you won't go wrong.

From the National Post:

Mike Holmes: It’s finally spring — so start preparing your house for next winter

We’re finally at the beginning of spring. That means spring maintenance — the stuff we do to get our homes in tip-top shape for next winter. It also means renovation season is just around the corner.

If you have a renovation or construction project you want completed before next winter, get on it now. It’s going to take at least a couple of months to find the right professional, so you better start looking and doing your homework fast; otherwise, you might have to put it off until next year.

When it comes to home repairs and maintenance, spring is about re-roofing, upgrading or replacing windows or regrading.

Most people want to jump right into creating their dream backyard in time for summer, renovating the kitchen or a bathroom, or finishing the basement. But you have to think smart. What’s the point of getting the perfect backyard if it’s just going to get trampled over and ruined if you have to fix a crack in the foundation, replace the windows or regrade your property to prevent a leak or flood?

These fixes make such a difference in your home, but a lot of homeowners lose perspective as the temperatures get warmer — they get spring fever. That’s when you forget about what’s important, such as upgrading insulation, making sure your attic is well-ventilated and insulated, or making sure the roof is strong and there’s a system that directs water away from your house and its foundation.

Instead, many people go with the impulse buys — the stuff we all want, like that awesome deck or man cave, modern kitchen or hot tub. But we should work from the outside in, looking at the building envelope first so that anything we do on the inside is protected and therefore lasts.

Prioritizing spring fixes

1. The most important thing is to regrade your property. Grading with at least a five-degree slope away from the foundation (that’s a one-inch slope for every horizontal foot) can help protect against basement flooding and leaks. This is the time of year you’ll start to notice if your property has sunk away from your foundation; build it up, and divert water away.

2. Look for puddling around the yard. Spring brings many showers, and with all the melting snow it’s no wonder basement flooding is common during this season. If you’re concerned, bring in a contractor you trust as soon as possible. They might be able to give you a temporary solution so that permanent repairs can be made during summer.

3. Inspect caulking around windows and doors. If it’s cracked, replace it. There’s a lot of good caulking on the market, but educate yourself so you know what you’re buying. A rubberized exterior caulking moves with the window framing so the seal doesn’t break as it expands and contracts with changing temperatures.

If there has been a lot of condensation or mould on your windowsills, or cold drafts around them, bring in a window pro. It might be time to replace and upgrade your windows.

4. And of course, check your roof. From the ground, look for missing, torn, buckling or curling shingles, or shingles with missing granules. These, along with asphalt granules in eavestroughs (you have to clean your eavestroughs, too!), are telltale signs your roof needs attention.

If you work from the outside in and keep up with regular seasonal maintenance, your home and future renovations will be protected — not to mention, your family will be, too.

Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit makeitright.ca.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mike Holmes on Home Water Filtration

Good whole-house water quality is something that every person should be concerned with. Having access to clean water for drinking, cleaning, and bathing is pretty much what separates a first world country from a third world country. I for one live in a desert environment where water quantity and quality are of huge concern. The water where I live is some of the poorest quality water in the entire country, with a hardness rating of over 100 in some neighborhoods. This means without a good quality water softener, every water using appliance in the house is covered in a thick scummy coat of limestone, calcium, and magnesium. Hard water is not just inconvenient, it kills water using appliances such as washing machines, dish washers, and water heaters in a matter of a few short years. Long story short, having hard water sucks. Water hardness is not the only factor to consider with water quality. Chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and VOC's can be present in the local water supply, making a good quality water filter a must for many people. A water filter and a water softener are two entirely different products - filtered water is NOT soft water, and soft water can still contain many contaminants that are harmful to drink. In my region, I utilize a water softener for whole house water treatment to soften water and prolong the life of water using appliances. I also use a reverse osmosis water filtration system located at the kitchen sink for drinking and cooking. Reverse osmosis systems have their pros and cons, but the biggest "pro" includes bottle-quality water on tap. The type of water filtration system you will need depends largely on the region in which you live. A good plumber should be able to give you a recommendation for the best type of water filtration system for your region. In the article below, Mike Holmes talks about water quality and water filters, and how to find the best system for your home.

From the National Post:
Mike Holmes: Which water filter is best for your family?

With World Plumbing Day on March 11 just gone, it seems like a good time to talk about water filters.

As a homeowner, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. Do you call a plumber? Should you get the standard pitcher-style countertop filter? Would that be enough? How often do you need to change the filter? How much is it going to cost you? And, is it worth it?

When most people think of water filters they think of the typical water filter pitcher (also called a carafe filter) that is stored in the fridge. But water filters come in different shapes and sizes. There are carafe, faucet-mounted, under-sink and whole-house filters, among others.

Some reduce water flow. Some wear out fast and need to be replaced often, while others don’t need to be replaced at all. Some replacement filters are fairly inexpensive, but others might cost in the hundreds. Some filters require changing plumbing, while others just attach to the tap.

The right water filter depends a lot on where you live and your lifestyle.

For example, in some municipalities the local water supply is so hard (which basically means it has a lot of minerals in it) that builders will automatically install a water softener into every new home they build. In other regions there is concern about such chemicals and bacteria as radon (yes!) or E. coli getting into our water supply, rather than, say, lead or arsenic.

And whatever is more convenient and cost-efficient for you might not be for your neighbour — a lot of it has to do with how many people live in your home and how much water you use. A carafe filter might be enough for two people but not for a family of four.

And different filters eliminate different contaminants. For example, a water softener removes minerals — mainly calcium and magnesium — from water. But you’ll need a different water filter to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chloroform, radon or bacteria.

So choosing the right filter starts with knowing what’s in your water. The only way to do that is to get your tap water tested.

Every city has its own local authority for testing water — and in most cases (if not all) it is free.

The next step is to take those results to the right pros. You have two choices: a licensed plumber or a water filtration expert. The latter will usually have a store that sells all kinds of water filters, water filtration systems and softeners, and they’ll have their own service guys who will install the system for you.

But you can also ask a licensed plumber you trust for a consultation. Some plumbers have more experience in water filtration systems than others. For example, a plumber that works in a rural area might know more about water filters than a city-based pro because water filtration is more of an issue in rural areas.

A licensed plumber will typically take your water’s test results to a water filtration supplier, ask for at least three water filters that will get rid of the contaminants in your water, and then recommend a proper water filtration system based on the plumbing in your home, number of fixtures, layout and consumption.

Of course, it will cost you. But if it means getting the right system that will help protect your health and safety, there is no better investment.

Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit makeitright.ca.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mike Holmes Visits Lethbridge College - Video

On March 7, Mike Holmes was in Lethbridge, Alberta Canada visiting Lethbridge college in their Trade Wing to promote his partnership with Bezooyen Contracting Inc. and Stranville Living. In the short news video below, Mike explains the reason for his visit and his commitment to the next generation of tradesmen and women. For more information about Mike's visit to Lethbridge, see Mike Holmes at Lethbridge College.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Mike Holmes on BT Discussing Deck Safety and SigmaDek - Video

Early this morning, Mike Holmes appeared on a segment of CityTV's Breakfast Television (or BT for short) where he discussed his endorsement of innovative decking company SigmaDek, as well as the fundamentals of deck safety. Mike explains the important of a sound and sturdy deck by citing a time where he leaned against a rail which broke, sending him four feet down to the ground.

SigmaDek is a high tech company out of Calgary that now boasts the "Holmes Approved" seal of approval on their decking products. Mike explains his endorsement of the company and how they serve as both an innovative and cost effective way of creating a beautiful, strong, durable deck.

For more information about Mike's endorsement of SigmaDek, see Mike Holmes Endorses SigmaDek, Unveils Innovative Decking Products At National Home Show in Toronto.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mike Holmes Endorses SigmaDek, Unveils Innovative Decking Products At National Home Show in Toronto

Mike Holmes announced today through a press release that he is endorsing SigmaDek, a revolutionary new decking company out of Calgary, for their innovative new decking system. With SigmaDek, one can create a durable, beautiful, and virtually maintenance free deck that wont scratch, stain, or fall apart. Mike Holmes describes this product as a "game changer" in the world of decks that is aesthetically appealing and convenient to install. Mike Holmes will be unveiling this new product at the National Home Show in Toronto, Canada on March 13.

From Newswire.ca:

Construction guru Mike Holmes joins SigmaDek to unveil its revolutionary patio deck system at National Home Show

TORONTO, March 12, 2015 /CNW/ - SigmaDek™ Ltd. of Calgary will unveil its unique, Canadian-made prefabricated decking system – the next generation in home deck design and building – with trusted contractor and TV host Mike Holmes at this month's National Home Show, presented by RE/MAX and co-located with Canada Blooms in Toronto.

Holmes will attend the opening day of the National Home Show, presented by RE/MAX and co-located with Canada Blooms on March 13, 2015 from 9:30 am to noon to give the media a first look at the high-tech SigmaDek product line, which combines aerospace-grade aluminum substructure with aluminum-and-porcelain deck boards that connect seamlessly. The award-winning system creates a stunning patio deck surface that delivers unprecedented levels of durability, fast assembly, convenience and safety.

"SigmaDek is a game-changer. It introduces a whole new product category when it comes to building decks, and it's smart. It reduces construction time, it's scratch proof, stain resistant, maintenance free, and it lasts. Not to mention it looks good, too!" said Holmes, host of the popular television series Holmes on Homes® and Holmes Makes It Right. "Homeowners, deck installers, builders and designers are going to love this product!"

SigmaDek has been officially designated a HOLMES Approved Product. The HOLMES Approved Products program helps homeowners choose quality products for their home.

SigmaDek will have a full patio model on display for the run of the National Home Show, presented by RE/MAX and co-located with Canada Blooms from March 13–22 in the Direct Energy Centre at Toronto's Exhibition Place.

"Our new SigmaDek system is a breakthrough product that truly must be seen to be believed," said Tory Weber, President of SigmaDek Ltd. "Our easy-to install, pre-fabricated system features non-combustible components that interlock seamlessly, look beautiful and will never rot, crack or warp. It's nothing less than a paradigm shift in patio deck construction and materials."
SigmaDek is the industry's first painted and prefabricated deck system, with ready-to-assemble components that minimize job site waste while dramatically reducing construction time.

"We are extremely excited to introduce SigmaDek to the Canadian market following seven years of careful development and we are very proud to have the participation of Mike Holmes, Canada's leading voice on home improvement and construction," Weber added.

SigmaDek will be available nationally in retail home improvement stores starting in May 2015, and the in-store experience will include SigmaDek's industry-leading Customer Experience Interactive Center. Trained SigmaDek representatives will be a touchscreen away via a high-tech, interactive kiosk to provide live consultation and information to Canadian consumers.

"Personal interaction with each customer from our trained experts is essential in providing the highest level of customer service and support and that is unprecedented in the building materials sector," said Paul Walker, SigmaDek CEO.

SigmaDek's aluminum deck system – deck substructure, railing, stairs and porcelain deck boards - carries a limited lifetime warranty. SigmaDek's system is Built Green™ certified and tested beyond Canada's existing building code requirements.
Additional details on SigmaDek's innovative design are available online at www.sigmadek.com, along with amazing videos demonstrating SigmaDek's incredible durability and unique appearance.

For all media inquiries regarding Mike Holmes, please contact The Holmes Group.

Based in Calgary, Canada SigmaDek Ltd. is a privately held company founded in 2008. SigmaDek™ has spent over six years designing and engineering a safe, aluminum component decking system. SigmaDek is using materials that do not deteriorate and can only be installed according to a pre-engineered design. These systems are made from rugged die cast aluminum and extruded aluminum. SigmaDek is taking the lead in providing a Safe, Strong and Sustainable alternative to wood constructions, while improving outdoor esthetics.
Mike Holmes is a professional contractor and the host and creator of the hit TV series Holmes on Homes®, Holmes Inspection and Holmes Makes It Right. He's been named the 2nd Most Trusted Canadian by Reader's Digest, Forbes' 3rd Most Trustworthy Celebrity and the 8th Most Trusted Public Name in America. Through his company, The Holmes Group, Mike Holmes leads an international brand with operations in independent media production, new-home building and home inspection, residential construction and renovation, as well as product development. The HOLMES brand includes Make It Right Productions Inc., HOLMES Communities, HOLMES Approved Homes, MIKE HOLMES Inspections, HOLMES Approved Products, Make It Right Construction, HOLMES Workwear and The Holmes Foundation.

SOURCE SigmaDek Ltd.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Empire Communities Partners with Mike Holmes for HOLMES Approved Homes Program

It was announced today that Empire Communities, a home builder with a 20 year track record of building quality homes in Ontario, is the latest member of the Holmes Approved Homes program. The partnership between the two companies was announced via a press release:

From Newswire.ca:

Empire Communities Partners with Mike Holmes for HOLMES Approved Homes Program

The partnership will see Empire's lowrise communities inspected and certified by HOLMES Approved Homes inspectors

VAUGHAN, ON, March 9, 2015 /CNW/ - Empire Communities continues its commitment to building homes of enduring value with the announcement that they partnered with Mike Holmes and his HOLMES Approved Homes Program for all of its lowrise communities in Ontario. Empire was approached by the Holmes team to join the exclusive program.

"Empire is the biggest builder we've partnered with, hands down," states Mike Holmes. "I'm excited about this partnership because it helps me to reach more homebuyers. Everyone deserves to have a home built right. Thanks to this partnership with Empire, now they can. This is going to be huge!"

The HOLMES Approved Homes Program implements Mike Holmes' mandate in new-home construction, giving homebuyers the opportunity to purchase a home built to Mike's standards. Every unit registered in the Program must undergo a series of inspections during critical stages of construction to receive HOLMES Approved Homes certification.

"We are honoured that the Holmes team personally selected us for the HOLMES Approved Homes Program and are thrilled to say inspections have already begun at our sites in Southwestern Ontario," says Paul A. Golini Jr., Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, Industry Relations, Empire.

The HOLMES Approved Homes Program augments Partner Builders' quality assurance programs, based on Mike's building specifications, and transfers that value to their clients for added reassurance and their peace of mind.

Through the partnership, every Empire home that is part of the program will be inspected both during and after construction, including building envelope reviews, thermographic scans, and a complete review of finishes, plumbing, HVAC and electrical, among other inspections.

Once all inspections are complete, Empire homeowners will receive a HOLMES Approved Homes Summary Report as a transparent record of their home's construction and to help build future value.

"By providing our homeowners with transparent proof that their home has been built to be safer, stronger and more durable thanks to superior construction practices and a strict adherence to proper code, they can have peace of mind knowing their future home has been built to last and is a smart investment," says Golini.

Empire lowrise communities currently registered in the HOLMES Approved Homes Program include Eaton Square, Glow, Imagine, Lakeside, Lush at Victory, Summerlea, Victory, Wyndance and Wyndfield.

In its 20-year history, Empire has achieved over 90 awards for outstanding service, achievement and design. The company is one of the most awarded Green Builders in Ontario having for a number of years been recognized by the HHHBA, WRHBA, BILD and EnerQuality as Green Builder of the Year.  In 2014 EnerQuality recognized Empire for achieving 1000 ENERGY STAR® qualified homes in their Wyndfield Community making them the largest ENERGY STAR® builder in Southwestern Ontario.

For Empire interview opportunities, please contact Vicbar Marketing Ltd.

For all inquiries regarding Mike Holmes, including interviews, please contact The Holmes Group.

SOURCE Empire Communities

Image with caption: "Mike Holmes (CNW Group/Empire Communities/The Holmes Group)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150309_C3738_PHOTO_EN_12951.jpg

 For further information: Media Contacts: Vicki Griffiths, Vicbar Marketing Ltd., Ph: 416-510-0073, Cel: 416-432-8785, vgriffiths@vicbarmarketing.com; Jodi Goulart, Vicbar Marketing Ltd., Cel: 647-887-8643, jgoulart@vicbarmarketing.com; Amanda Heath, The Holmes Group, 647-253-0300 ext. 410, amandaheath@makeitright.ca

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Mike Holmes at Lethbridge College

This past Saturday, March 7, Mike Holmes was the special guest at Lethbridge College in Lethbridge, Alberta Canada. From 1:30-4:30 PM, Mike met with students, faculty, and guests in the Trades Wing to promote his partnership with two Lethbride builders -  Bezooyen Contracting Inc. and Stranville Living (see Mike Holmes Partners with Bezooyen Contracting for more information). A VIP "Mix and Mingle" event was also held at the Garden Court Restaurant at 12:30 p.m. Tickets to the VIP event could be won by visiting the Stranville Living Facebook page and entering their contest.

An article from the Lethbridge Herald:


TV host and contractor partners with local builders Melissa Villeneuve Lethbridge Herald mvilleneuve@lethbridgeherald.com If you build it, he will come. Two local award-winning builders learned this to be true after their workmanship caught the eye of Mike Holmes, trusted contractor and popular television host, who was at Lethbridge College on Saturday. Holmes was here in celebration of his partnership with Stranville Living and Bezooyen Contracting Inc. Both are recognized as official HOLMES Approved Homes Partner Builders under the HOLMES Approved Homes Program. “I’m only one guy, I’m only one company. I can’t do it all, but what I did do was come up with an idea that made sense. Find the best builders across Canada, ones that really want to step above and beyond the builders that don’t care,” said Holmes. “The biggest problem we’ve seen is the boom and when the boom happens, everyone wants to buy and everyone wants to build. Those who build faster it’s about icing on the cake. Does the cake taste good? Odds are the answer’s no. If we build smarter, we build better, we’re building for the environment, we’re building for you, and we’re building healthier homes.” Both Bezooyen Contracting Inc. and Stranville Living said they were honoured to be chosen. Only top builders are recruited by the Holmes team to join the exclusive program, which currently partners with about 39 builders across Canada. Each builder is required to build homes according to Holmes’ specifications in order to receive HOLMES Approved Homes certification. Homes undergo a series of inspections during construction to ensure the proper building practices and installation guidelines have been executed. “We find you. You don’t find me. We check you out, we like what we see, and right now to have Bezooyen Contracting and Stranville Living here in Lethbridge, they’re the two best builders we’ve found and they want to do what I want to do. And now working with the college to bring kids in to build better, build smarter, this is a smart way of doing things right.” Holmes is an ambassador for World Skills and Skills Canada competitions that recognize the best of the trades. Both are near to his heart because he said he didn’t get any respect when he first started out as a young contractor. “It was simple, you’re a contractor, you’re nothing. The truth is that’s not true. Being a contractor I can design the hospital a doctor works in, and the home he lives in, and I can build it better than anyone else out there. I should get the same respect. We need to see respect into the trades, especially right now, and make it cool again.” He believes it’s the best career to get into with opportunities to make money, learn new technology, and have job security. A line-up started early for a public session in the afternoon, where Holmes met with hundreds of fans and posed for pictures in the LC Trades Wing. For more information on the program, visit http://www.holmesapprovedhomes.com.

Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman attended the event and posted several photos to his personal Facebook page:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Mike Holmes: Building Strong, Confident Women Begins at Home

Mike Holmes is and has always has been a huge advocate of women in the trades. When it comes to getting women involved on the job site, Mike not only talks a good game, but he also puts his money where his mouth is. In fact, some of Mike's most famous crew alumni are female, including Kate Campbell and his very own daughter Sherry Holmes. Mike believes that teaching women renovation skills from a young age benefits them and helps develop them into strong confident women. March 8, 2015 is International Women's Day, and this year, Mike is encouraging dads to get their daughters involved with home improvement projects around the house. In the article below, Mike talks about how his father shaped his life by involving him in home maintenance projects and how he thinks its a shame that many fathers and mothers overlook their daughters when it comes to involving children in such projects. By handing down valuable life skills such as how to change a tire or a leaky faucet to young women, parents are teaching their daughters to be independent, confident, and self-reliant.

From the National Post:

Mike Holmes: Teach your daughters reno skills and you’ll help set them up for life

Mike Holmes, Postmedia News | March 7, 2015 | Last Updated: Mar 7 9:38 AM ET

The other day I saw an interesting post a father made about his four-year-old daughter. She wanted a step stool to help her reach the sink. He said, “Let’s go make one,” and you know what she said? “OK!” The next thing you know, she’s helping him choose materials and even assisting with sanding.

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and I think that dad was a great example of how parents can help shape tomorrow’s leaders, just through simple things like involving kids — especially daughters — in small projects around the house.

It’s a good step toward building self-confidence and provides a great opportunity for them to learn a new skill, how things work and general home maintenance — important stuff for every one to know.

When parents work on home repairs, small projects, general maintenance and even renovations, they might try to get their sons involved, but not too often do they ask their daughters to  help. Typically, if dad’s working on the house, mom might take the girls out or get them to do something else — and that’s a shame.

Some parents might think their children aren’t interested in this kind of work, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about kids — boys and girls — it’s that they love to learn how to use tools properly. You can see their faces just light up. You know the saying: “Get them while they’re young.” I couldn’t agree more.

Knowing how to hang a picture, change a door knob, fix a leaky faucet or install a light are great skills for anyone to have. Learning how different tools work and how they can make a job easier is just smart, for everyone. It helps them be more self-reliant. They don’t have to wait for someone to come fix a problem, because they can do it themselves.

It teaches them they can change things, and make them right. That’s huge. I know that watching my own dad work on our house shaped who I am.

Some people might think learning about simple home maintenance is small stuff, but knowing how to do something yourself gives you control, even if you don’t do the work yourself, because you will know the difference between shoddy work and a job done right.

For example, I love it when women tell me about contractors, subcontractors or so-called handymen who try to take them for a ride and not do a repair or reno the right way.

But because these women did their homework and have some experience doing repairs and minor renos around the house, they can tell them straight away that’s not the way to do it. And when they go into detail, step-by-step on how they expect the work to be done, the look on some of these contractors’ faces, they say, is priceless.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Make It Happen. I encourage all parents to get their daughters more involved in jobs around the home, no matter what it is. Whether it’s helping to change a tire or a furnace filter, knowing how to do something right — and why — is a lesson that no one forgets and that helps them for life.

Watch what happens next time you ask your daughter to help install a shelf, build a bookcase or fix the fence. Nine times out of 10 she will say, “OK!” and jump at the chance. I guarantee they will impress you — as a dad of two daughters, I know.

Let’s make it happen, and make it right because building strong, confident women begins at home.

Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit makeitright.ca.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mike Holmes: Never DIY When Pipes Freeze

Spring is just around the corner, but in many parts of the US and Canada, winter is far from over. When the weather gets cold, homeowners must take extra precautions to ensure the water in their pipes don't freeze and burst. Frozen pipes can lead to massive damage and flooding when the ice blockage inside eventually thaws come spring. If you suspect that a pipe in your home may have burst, it's important that you shut the water off at the main and call a plumber - fixing frozen pipes is never a DIY job according to Mike Holmes. A licensed and experienced plumber will know exactly what to do without punching a bunch of holes in your walls.

From the Ottawa Citizen:

Mike Holmes: Never do-it-yourself when pipes freeze

One of the worst things that can happen to your home during winter is a burst pipe. Repairing or replacing the pipe is one thing, but the real - and more costly - threat is the potential for water damage.

What causes a pipe to burst? Pressure, and usually that pressure is caused by the expansion of water when it freezes. (A clog can also cause a pipe to burst but freezing is the usual culprit.)

It's important to prevent frozen pipes by wrapping them (including hot water lines) and draining exterior plumbing lines. Also, turning off the exterior hose bib is not the same as shutting off the line; it must be shut off from the inside.

But what if a pipe is already frozen? In some cases it's unavoidable (for instance, during extreme weather conditions and power outages.) How would you know and what do you do?

The first sign of frozen pipes is no water flow from one faucet or fixture (like a shower head), but others in the house work fine.

If one pipe freezes other pipes nearby can freeze too, since they are in the same area of the house. So you should let a little bit of water drip from adjacent fixtures to keep water flowing before it freezes, and flush toilets every so often. You can do this when it's extremely cold and/or there's no power.

When people think of a pipe bursting they usually imagine water pouring down the walls, through the ceiling or onto the floor. But if a pipe bursts because water froze in it, the homeowner might not know it until the frozen section thaws. Then one day they come home and their house is flooded.

If you suspect a burst pipe, shut off the main water valve as a precaution. It's usually in the mechanical room in the basement, but every home is different. Next, call a licensed plumber. By code, all plumbing should be on the warm side of the insulation and vapour barrier. If not it should be rerun - a big, expensive job. A temporary solution is a heat tracer or heat-tracing system. But you will still eventually need to rerun the pipe, or pipe will freeze again once there's intense cold.

Sometimes plumbers use a heat tracer or heat-tracing system to get rid of ice blockages in pipes. It has two clamps that are attached to either end of the pipe and then an electrical current thaws the ice. There are also plug-in versions you can get at big-box stores to wrap around pipes vulnerable to freezing. They typically have a thermostat, so when temperatures drop they kick in.

Fixing frozen pipes is never a DIY job; you must call in a licensed, experienced plumber. They will know which pipes are affected and where they are without turning your walls into Swiss cheese.

If you don't have a licensed plumber you can trust in your list of contacts, one way to know if you're dealing with a professional is by calling. Most reputable plumbing businesses have a dispatcher. They will tell you if there are any plumbers in your area and the wait time.

If you call and you get someone's voice mail, or the plumber picks up the phone him or herself, chances are they've picked up twenty other calls that day and you will be waiting a very long time before anyone shows up. You're better off finding someone else.

Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit makeitright.ca.