Home Insulation & Noise Elimination

I’m sitting in the office of my townhouse, trying to concentrate on my work.  As I write this blog post, this is what I hear:
  • Children laughing and playing outside
  • Appliances buzzing around the house
  • Airplanes and cars flying and driving outside
  • Floors squeaking wherever my spouse is walking
  • Dishes clinking on the other side of the wall
  • Furnace “grumbling” in the basement

And a whole other ensemble of noises I can’t quite name.

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Do you think I can concentrate? Not reall..y…oh oh, there is an ambulance passing by. At least we didn’t buy a house facing the highway, I can’t even think what that would be like. What do all of these noises have in common? They all belong to either indoor or outdoor factors that we can’t control. Or can we? Let’s start our battle by defending ourselves against noise coming from the outside. Windows are the weakest link. If you have thin windows and you aren’t ready to replace them, you can simply cover them with heavy, thick drapes. This should reduce the noise, however this will not eliminate sounds completely. However, if you are thinking of replacing your windows, keep the following in mind: Windows are rated according to their Sound Transmission Class (STC). Windows are rated from 18 to 38 STC, . A higher number indicates better sound insulation. For example, a single-pane window may have STC rating of 22-25, while a dual-pane window can be rated between 27 and 32. There are windows with even higher STC rating that may reach the full 38 rating. So keep this in mind when you are planning to replace yours. Now that the outside noise is dealt with, let’s put a stop to the unintentional eavesdropping on our neighbours. This is particularly relevant to condominium and townhouse owners. In line with our heavy drapes trick, we can line the shared walls with furniture such as bookcases. However that may not be ideal. Continue Reading

Exhibiting at the National Home Show 2014

Squeaky Floor Repair

Yesterday was the last day of the 10 day National Home Show extravaganza. For us, this is a very important part of kicking off the season. This is a great time for Silent Floor Solutions to spread the word directly to the end-client, as well as numerous industry experts, media and of course neighbouring exhibitors!

Needless to say, this is the time for a great first impression. We have two very important messages to deliver:

“Yes we CAN fix your squeaky floor and Yes you CAN trust us!”

Squeaky Floor Repair Toronto

In order to convey our message, we needed to put together a sales team of a special breed. First thing on their agenda, honesty! We always need to be sure that our clients know exactly what they should expect from us, throughout our work with them, without any surprises. This is why it is so important to us that our team doesn’t exaggerate or paint an overly rosy picture (we try to paint a hopeful picture instead :)). Continue Reading

Squeaky Floors, what an Impression!

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Yes, this is indeed an article about squeaky floors. Not about how to fix them, but rather the topic of squeaky floors! Sounds decidedly exciting, I know. But wait, I promise there is a lot more to the topic than meets the ear. Philosophically speaking, why do most of us think that squeaky floors are okay to have? I seriously question this. Let’s think about this for a minute, shall we?
Outdoors, when our lawn gets a little bit too long, we feel insecure and worry about what our neighbors may think. So we quickly pull out the noisy old mower and cut the grass. Even if it’s 7am while every other self-respecting, hard-working woman and man in the neighbourhood is trying to catch up on some sleep! (Perhaps that’s a topic for a different post)

When our wall paint starts to show wear, stains or begins to show cracks, we hurry to the hardware store. We try to squeeze in a couple of coats of paint before Christmas, because God forbid our guests figure out that we actually use the space we live in. We want our house to look like Buckingham palace!

The front door, a guest’s first impression (as well as last, perhaps). “Boy does it have to go! It’s so old and outdated. What is it, from the 80’s or something? Call the door guys, we need to get something new.” Really? I can understand if it’s letting in the Polar Vortex, but otherwise it will easily last another 20 years.

“Honey! When are we going to redo the bathroom?! This faucet is so old and covered in scale, the tiles are outdated and the toilet is not efficient. Should we start planning a renovation?” Fine, make the bathroom shiny and efficient, but hear me out… Continue Reading

Keeping your House Warm and Safe During the Winter

window frost

Despite the not so cheerful prognosis, the weather in your house can take a sunnier turn with the right maintenance during this truly Canadian winter. Follow our top 5 tips and suggestions for maintaining your house during the winter season, and enjoy all the warmth and comfort your house has to offer, with minimal inconvenience to you and your family.

Despite the not so cheerful prognosis, the weather in your house can take a sunnier turn with the right maintenance during this truly Canadian winter. Follow our top 5 tips and suggestions for maintaining your house during the winter season, and enjoy all the warmth and comfort your house has to offer, with minimal inconvenience to you and your family.

1. Maintain the right humidity levels

Humidity levels are extremely important and lack of proper maintenance may have a great impact both on your house and your health.  Many adverse effects are associated with humidity levels being too high or too low. In the winter especially, humidity tends to be low and the dryness may cause skin cracking and irritation, sore throat, breathing difficulties, static electricity, cracking of wooden furniture, etc. For example, one particular effect of low humidity on the house is observed with wood floor that shrinks and loosens creating hollow space that allows for movement of floor layers. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation suggests to maintain humidity level between 35% 45% during the winter. You can use a hygrometer to easily check the humidity levels in your house, while investing in a humidifier will enable you to take control and adjust humidity to the desired level. This way, you will not only take care of your house and all its wooden features, but most importantly, you will take care of your health!

2. Examine your house for ice accumulation or cold air leaks

While some measures may be taken proactively to be ready for the wrath of cold, some things are only discovered during the winter season itself, such as accumulation of ice on windows. If you do find that your house gives way to air leaks, ice accumulation, and ice dams, whether on windows, in the attic or on the roof, make a note to take care of it in the spring. Depending in the exact problem, different services are available to help you solve it, from re-applying insulation, replacing doors and windows to roofing services.

3. Clean the chimney and make sure the fireplace is ready for use

While many house owners see the fireplace as a romantic luxury that is nice to have, they don’t use it often and don’t maintain it regularly. The recent ice storm in Ontario proved that fireplaces can be very functional indeed, being the only source of heat when the power is out. As such, make sure to regularly clean it so it will be ready for use at any time. (While on the subject of power outage, you might also want to stock up on candles, just in case.) Here is a good resource you can consult for tips on cleaning the chimney.

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Silencing Squeaky Floors without Floor Replacement

This article was featured in Vaughan News and All About Home magazine.

When a man built a house in the old days, he ensured that a few of the floorboards or steps are left to squeak, in order to provide an invisible, built-in alarm system to protect his home against burglars and intruders. Nowadays, there surely is no need for squeaky floor alarm systems, yet only few North Americans can boast about the silence of their floors!

Silent Floor Solutions, a GTA based company, has found the answer to the age old problem of squeaking floors. Silent Floor Soltuions

The company’s co-founder Lev Remennik notes, people living with squeaky floors in their homes often think that nothing can be done to fix  them. The squeak is typically a result of a hurried construction process, variation in moisture levels in the home, loosening fasteners or a myriad of other contributing factors.

Many consider floor replacement to be their only solution. Replacing the entire floor is a hefty  financial obligation, not to mention the mess, disruption of daily routine, noise and most importantly, the lack of guarantee that the squeaks will stop. Fans of DIY projects, consider strengthening the floors with screws or nails, driving them through the beautiful surface of their floors or when possible, from below. While that provides a temporary solution, the squeaks return after a short period of time.  Once the new fasteners begin to loosen, they become a contributing factor to the original squeak. Sometimes resulting in an even louder noise. Continue Reading

Ho Ho Ho-liday Surprise!

???????????????????The jingle of the sleigh bells is just around the corner! Very soon your house will be visited by a very important and much awaited guest, and your house must be ready to receive him! No doubt you’ve lit up your front yard with festive lights, cleaned the house (not forgetting the chimney), and beautifully decorated the tree. It’s even more certain that you hung up plenty of stockings around the fireplace, and left milk and freshly baked cookies for that special guest. Everything is ready and set. But wait!  Santa wants to surprise your kids and sneak those precious presents without being seen and heard. A very challenging task if you have squeaky floors! Avoid the embarrassment of your kid catching Santa by the beard, and find a solution for your squeaky floors in advance! You might say: “But it’s already December! I don’t have time for renovation. I’ve got so much cleaning and preparation to do.”

You are right, but why do you need renovation to remove just a few squeaks? Did you know that in most cases squeaky floors can be silenced within only 1 day? Even better, it can be done without any floor replacement! Since there is no floor replacement, you don’t even have to move much furniture around or worry about creating a mess in your decorated house.

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My Journey Towards Peace and Quiet…

It all started with a faint sound coming from one particular spot in my house. I didn’t pay much attention to it at first, but it started to grow louder and louder. I couldn’t ignore it anymore. It was disturbing my sleep. It was disturbing my family’s sleep. I couldn’t sneak around the house at night, not even to use the washroom. And the reason? My hardwood floor decided it was time to voice itself. I, though, had no desire to engage in a conversation. After months of interrupted sleep, I decided it was time to silence my squeaky floor, once and for all. But how? Turns out, it was easier said than done. I started to ask around.

To my surprise, my friends and neighbours were also quietly suffering while their floors were raising their volume. And what did they do about it? Ignored it, accepted it, tried to live with it. For me this wasn’t an option. Being a sensitive sleeper, and having a spouse who is a shift worker, ignoring the “symphony” of my floors was impossible, and why should I have to? Like many of my friends with the same problem, I also approached experts for advice, but they offered no real solution. The squeak was coming from one particular spot on the upper floor between the bedroom and the staircase.

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