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____ Monday October 19, 2015 ____

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House & Structure

Top 5 building concerns for Ontario homeowners

Research report examines what Ontarians care about most in their homes

Concord – Home energy costs, noise and mould are some of the top concerns of surveyed Ontario homeowners, according to a recently released report from the Ontario association representing brick, block and stone manufacturers, recently looked into what Ontarians fear most about their homes.

“Structural issues are a massive concern for homeowners because they are some of the most expensive and dangerous problems homeowners can face,” said Judy Pryma of MasonryWorx. “Fortunately, many of these concerns can be prevented or remedied by using the right building materials either from the get-go on a new build, or through renovations.”

Below are the five most popular concerns for Ontario homeowners, according to the research report:

Excess energy use – A home that isn’t properly insulated can lead to excess energy use by letting out cool air in the summer and allowing warm air to escape in the winter - forcing air conditioning and heating systems to run more frequently and raising natural gas and electricity bills.

Noise from an attached house or apartment – Weak materials and thin walls can lead to insufficient sound protection. Especially in apartment buildings or attached homes that are connected with neighbours, noise can be a major issue.

Excess street noise from outside – Even in detached homes, noise can create problems for homeowners. Whether it’s vehicle noise from the street, lawnmowers and loud tools, or children playing outside, noise can easily travel through a home if the exterior structure does not have sufficient sound protection in place.

Mould problems in the home – Excessive moisture and dampness in homes can leadto mould, which is a health risk and a costly item to fix. Although commonly detected, especially in older homes, mould can be prevented if the proper materials are used.

Rotting or damaged exterior wood or stucco – While these materials may be cheaper in the short-term, Unlike masonry, which can last for generations, rotting and damage are common in homes with wood and stucco exteriors when they are exposed to extreme weather and other environmental conditions.

Many of the concerns that the report discovered can be aided with the use of brick, block and stone either at the onset of a build, or during renovations. Masonry products are known to be superior in categories such as energy efficiency, sound control and mould resistance, and unlike wood or stucco, are durable and long-lasting in a variety of climates.

“Building with masonry only adds about two per cent to the cost of a newly built home opposed to other building materials,however the savings pay off in the long-run – with the home gaining an average of four per cent on resale value,” said Pryma. “Masonry products have stood the test of time and contribute to stronger and lower maintenance homes than other building materials. A newly built brick, block or stone home is more durable and comfortable and always worth the investment.”

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