Toronto Sun Article: Toronto Housing Stock

Article on Toronto's Housing Stock from the Toronto Sun

I was wondering where I could find this sort of information the other day.

Excuse the bad picture. Transcript below.

Homes in Toronto are aging. That typically means they need repairs or full retrofits depending on the original quality of the construction. Even homes with ultra-durable brick cladding are beginning to see the wear-and-tear of the fluctuating Toronto weather that ranges from -40 to (especially recently) +40. Our winters are colder and our summers are hotter than most other places across Canada (and the states), meaning our buildings are subject to a range of different forces and building to deal with them all is at times, difficult.

The typical lifespan of brick from the 80s and earlier is roughly 50-80 years depending on how well it was maintained. This could be shorter due to the builder using cheap bricks that aren’t as dense or well manufactured. What’s important to realize is that upwards of 50% of Toronto’s brick homes (the period before 1980) do or will soon need some sort of maintenance.

Home owners that have brick that is decaying have a few options. The first is tuckpointing, which will fill in places that the mortar has begun failing early. This helps in situations where the damage is isolated, and is typically exasperated by running or dripping water. Tuckpointing is like applying a band-aid to a staph infection, it temporarily covers the problem but it’s only going to spread and get worse with time.

The second option is to replace the brick in sections where it’s really beginning to become a problem. Slightly better than tuckpointing because the brick is being replaced as well, but still costly when considering the quantity of work that is being done. Not only is it costly, it only addresses the portion that needs work NOW – the rest of the walls will be due in another 10 years anyways. Replacing sections of brick on your home is akin to putting a new door on your ’95 Corola when the rest of the body is about to fall apart.

The final option is to re-clad your home. This can be done by tearing down the existing brick (time consuming and costly) and putting something new up, or by going directly over the existing brick with a new cladding. New brick can be put back in place of the old brick if required. The advantage to going about re-cladding the brick before it’s in such bad condition that you can’t use it as a substrate, is that you can avoid the expense of tearing it down and disposing of it. Re-cladding the brick is also a more environmentally-friendly alternative because the waste doesn’t end up in landfills, nor is fuel used getting it there.

There are dozens of recladding siding options – vinyl siding, aluminum siding, cedar siding, hardie board, EIFS (“stucco”). The only ones that are designed to incorporate insulation boards to help reduce heating and cooling bills are vinyl siding and EIFS. Of those two options, EIFS is the only one that uses trowel-applied cement that can seal in and protect the brick from further decaying.

EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finish Systems – what is commonly called “stucco” in Toronto) incorporates a monolithic styrofoam layer that helps reduce heat lost or gained through the walls of a home. This can have an effect of reducing heating and cooling bills by upwards of 30% depending on the original state of insulation within the walls. In addition to protecting and therefore preserving the existing brick so that it does not need to end up in a landfill, EIFS represents an environmentally responsible option for re-cladding.

The outer layers of EIFS include a cement coating embeded with a fibreglass mesh to prevent cracking, and a beautiful finish coat available in any colour. A manufacturer’s colour chart can be supplied by the stucco contractor, or if the home owner already has a colour selected from a paint sample, EIFS manufacturers are capable of doing an exact match.

Head over to Toronto Stucco Contractor to request that your home be reclad with EIFS today.

Transcript from Image:

Image: Housing Stock
Built before 1946: 12%
1946-1960: 13.6%
1961-1980: 31.3%
1981-2000: 28.5%
2001 and later: 14.6%

 Housing stock and energy efficiency
High energy costs, notably for gasoline and ome heating, are damaging consumer confidence, purchasing power and spending. Rising prices add urgency to the need to reduce household energy consumption, Adrienne Warren of Bank of Nova Scotia writes in a special report.
“From the perspective of households, reducing energy consumption, or at least slower it’s rise, could generate significant long-term cost savings.
But new construction – which can integrate major energy-saving measures – takes a long time to have an effect on the aggregate housing stock, she points out.
Meanwhile, Canada’s housing stock is aging. Most homes were built before the 1980s and are far less energy-efficient than recent construction, and data suggests that over one-third need repairs.
Energy-efficient renovations and retro-fits have the potential to make a bigger impact in driving improvements in the housing stock, she says.
The looming higher cost of borrowing and more subdued outlook for home sales could put a damper on renovation spending, yet there are affordable cost-saving options, and programs and incentives provided by the different levels of government, she writes.

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