| Having work done on a building can seem
like a complex task–and it is, which is why you should hire competent
professionals to do the work. Before you do, though, you can spend
a while getting to know your property and assessing your needs–it
will save you time and money. You'll also want to avoid unpleasant
surprises by making sure you have all the required authorizations
and permits before you pay for any materials or start work.
A treasure trove of information
Consult the Old
Montréal Heritage Inventories to learn
about the history of the building you occupy. This database contains
detailed information files (currently available in French only)
for every building in the historic district. It also contains a
wealth of information about streets, public squares and important
historical figures, and an exhaustive bibliography to help guide
your further reading.
You should have your building periodically inspected for any
potential damage, so that you can take action before the situation
worsens. Continual maintenance is not only more economical, but
it ensures your property's longevity as well as enhancing its real-estate
value. Specialists recommend that you make a visual inspection
of your building's exterior walls, upper façade and crowning
elements, using binoculars, to properly assess their condition–paying
particular attention to that of the masonry joints. Every autumn,
you should inspect the roof close up, checking the condition of
its surface, sweeping away dead leaves and other debris that may
hinder water runoff, and verifying the seals in sheet-metal roof
elements, which act as a fire-break. Remember to check the tightness
of seals at doors, windows and floors, and fill any fissures with
exterior caulking. Finally, any wood surfaces should get a new
coat of paint every two years.
The following list of questions and answers is provided for your
information. You can use it as an aid in inspecting your building
and making a list of topics to discuss with professionals.
Doors and windows
is the proper way to inspect doors and windows?
should repairs be made?
are the most important things to consider?
Upper façade and crowning elements
What should I do if a wood cornice on the façade of my building needs
can I do to keep a mansard roof in good shape?
do I do about a deteriorating parapet?
should I do if cracks appear in the building foundation?
should I do if I notice "stair-step" cracks on the front
wall of my building?
can be done to prevent water infiltration in the building's front
do I do if a window lintel is cracked?
should be done about crumbling or empty mortar joints?
about whitish deposits, blackened areas and other soiling on masonry
should I do if I notice part of the foundation is slumping or bulging?
should I do if tar paper is showing through in spots?
should be done about blistering on the roof?
can be done to fix holes or rust on roof flashing?
should I do if the jointing in sheet metal on the roof is substandard?