Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mike at WorldSkills 2013

This is an article I found pertaining to WorldSkills 2013. It mentions that Mike is a "mentor and cheerleader" for the competitors.


Local WorldSkills Competitor Spends Training Weekend in Ottawa.

Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 11:07 AM
By Sara Warr
Grande Prairie

Young tradespeople from across Canada are gearing up for the 2013 WorldSkills competition in Germany, including Grande Prairie's own Mike Sheideman.
The 21 year old is working towards his Refridgeration ticket, but took a couple of days off last week to take part in some WorldSkills training in Ottawa.
He says preparing for the competition has taught him a lot - knowledge he believes will help him in his job here at Albright Refridgeration.
"Some of the training includes problem solving and just focus and teamwork lots of the time, so coming back with some of those skill sets will be pretty good. The WorldSkills builds fundamentals and a lot more, so when you go back to the worksite you can hopefully bring more to the table."
Canada's most trusted contractor, Mike Holmes from "Holmes on Homes" fame is serving as a mentor and cheerleader for the 35 competitors on Team Canada.
The WorldSkills competition is slated for July 2nd to 7th in Leipzig, Germany.

Photo supplied by Mike Scheideman

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Little Neighborly Advice From Mike

When selecting a new home, it's important to do your homework. Apart from hiring a good qualified inspector to make sure that the home is structurally in tip top shape, it might be wise to talk to the people who have lived around your prospective property. Talking to the neighbors can reveal a lot about the real history of the home, including previous renovations, bad renters, and illegal activities. In this article, reposted from, Mike gives a little neighborly advice about buying a home.

Neighbourly advice

If the neighbours are talking, you might want to listen

Let me give you a scenario: You found the house of your dreams. You get it inspected and there doesn't seem to be any major issues. Should you go ahead and make an offer? Most people will give you the green light. But smart homebuyers will do a little more digging — they'll talk to the neighbours.

I can't tell you how many times I walk into a home that is a complete nightmare. And if the homeowners had just asked the neighbours a couple of simple questions — before they bought the house — they could have avoided the entire mess.

Questions like: Was there any work done on the house recently? Was it exposed to rain during the renovation? Did it have a tarp on the roof? For how long? Who was living in the house? Was it rented? Did anything happen on the property? These are things that every homebuyer should know before they get caught up in the excitement of buying a home.

If the neighbours tell you of any suspicious activity on the property — things that could indicate a grow-op or some kind of illicit lab — then you can tell the home inspector. When they do their home inspection, they know what clues to look for: tampered electrical, patched holes in the ceiling, moisture issues, mould or irregular duct runs. These are telltale signs that say don't buy the house unless you've got boatloads of money for repairs.

The other day I went to go take a look at a home with my story producer. The homeowners found out that they had an entire third floor that was hidden, or closed off, and they had no idea even though they were now living in the house. How did they find out about the third floor? By talking to their neighbours. Everyone that looked at the house assumed it was the attic — including the home inspector. And no one checked the "attic" because it didn't have a hatch. Go figure.

You should even ask the neighbours about their home. Because they could give you the heads up on any future issues with yours. If the same builder builds them around the same time it wouldn't surprise me if they had the same problems. Ask them if they've had any trouble.

Have they had termites? Does their foundation leak? A leaky foundation could be a problem with most of the homes on the same block. I'd be looking at my basement and getting a professional to look at it too — especially if it's finished.

A lot of people nowadays don't talk to their neighbours — not to mention potential neighbours. But if you're seriously considering moving in it's smart to know who you and your family will be living next to for the next couple of years.

Find out if the neighbours have dogs and how often they bark. Or whether any of your neighbours play instruments and practice at home. Drums are loud. I know because I play them. And believe me, you can hear the bass through cinder block.

And what about hot tubs? Some homeowners don't think a hot tub is a big deal. But if there's one within view from a window in your home, it could mean not opening your window for most of the year — which could be a major issue.

It's also important to talk about mutual interests, like what to do with a shared property line. Know where air conditioning units are located in the backyard. These systems are loud. It's worth finding out if your neighbour plans on moving theirs, or they might be hoping you move yours, which could spell trouble down the road if you don't.

When we get into attached living spaces talking to the neighbours takes on a whole new level. You're living within such close quarters to each other. It's easy for different habits to become a nuisance.

Sounds and smells travel fast in attached and semi-detached homes. If you live in a condo or townhouse and your neighbours smoke, you'll probably smell it if your living units aren't separated by a cinder-block firewall. Smells can travel even through electrical outlets.

If you're thinking of moving into a condo, not only should you get to know the neighbours on your floor, talk to the ones in the units above and below you. Noise might not be a problem with your neighbours on either side. But it might be with the ones living above and below your unit.

What about work schedules? If your neighbour works at night that could mean they'll be making noise when they come home in the morning.
And let's not forget: Talking to your neighbours expands your support system. It's good to hear about issues that have cropped up in their homes — and how they've dealt with it. Make life less about keeping up with the Joneses and more about inviting them over. Today's neighbour might be tomorrow's friend — you never know.

Catch Mike Holmes in his new series, Holmes Makes It Right Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on HGTV. For more information, visit For more information on home renovations, visit

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mike Salutes Canada's Best Trades Talent

Mike Holmes has been the self proclaimed WorldSkills Team Canada's mascot now for the last three years. As an official spokesman for Skills Canada, his aim is to promote the WorldSkills competition and youth involvement in the trades. In this news article, reposted from, we meet the 2013 Skills Canada team who will compete in Germany this coming July. Last Friday, January 25, Mike Holmes was in Ottawa with the team at the Skills Canada Champions Breakfast to lend his support.

From Herald

Mike Holmes, Canada's Most Trusted Contractor, and the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, salute Canada's Best Trades talent as they begin their journey to WorldSkills Leipzig 2013

Published: January 25, 2013


OTTAWA, Jan. 25, 2013 — /CNW/ - Skills/Compétences Canada, a not-for-profit organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies, officially welcomed the 35 members of Team Canada who will compete at the 42nd WorldSkills Competition being held in Leipzig, Germany, from July 2nd-7th, 2013. Representing Canada's best in skilled trades and technology, the talented youth gathered in Ottawa today for a Champions Breakfast, marking the final leg of their journey to WorldSkills Leipzig 2013.

The Champions Breakfast will be followed by a team orientation meeting for the Competitors as they undergo final training and mental preparation in the lead up to WorldSkills Leipzig 2013.

The Honorable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, was at the event and provided words of encouragement and support as WorldSkills Team Canada 2013 makes their final preparations to compete against the world's best skilled trade talent.

"On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to wish Team Canada all the best at the WorldSkills Competition in Germany," said Minister Finley. "You are the future of Canada's skilled workforce and we'll be cheering you on as you compete on the world stage."

A leading advocate for skilled trades and official spokesperson for Skills Canada, Mike Holmes, was also on hand to support the future members of Canada's skilled trade labour force. Holmes provided an address encouraging the competitors to do their "very best" on this last stretch of training before the "test of their lives" in Leipzig. The host of Holmes Makes it RightTM on HGTV and Canada's Most Trusted Contractor, said that there is nothing better than witnessing the success of these young individuals as they reach for excellence in their respective skill categories - a testament to the growing popularity of careers in skilled trades. "The look on a kid's face when I put that medal around their neck says everything."

WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 represents Canada's 12th participation at WorldSkills, an international competition which takes place every two years, bringing together the world's best and brightest skilled trades and technology students and apprentices. The 35 members of WorldSkills Team Canada 2013 will compete in 32 of the 45 skill categories against more than 1000 Competitors from 61 Member countries/regions. The four-day WorldSkills Competition is the biggest of its kind in the world.

More information on WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 can be found at WorldSkills Leipzig 2013.

About Skills/Compétences CanadaSkills/Compétences Canada was founded in 1989 as a national, not-for-profit organization that works with employers, educators, labour groups and governments to promote skilled trades and technology careers among Canadian youth. Its unique position among private and public sector partners enables it to work toward securing Canada's future skilled labour needs while helping young people discover rewarding careers. Skills/Compétences Canada offers experiential learning opportunities including skilled trades and technology competitions for hundreds of thousands of young Canadians through regional, provincial/territorial, national and international events, as well as skilled trades awareness programs. Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Skills/Compétences Canada is the Canadian Member organization of WorldSkills International. For more information about Skills/Compétences Canada visit or call 877-754-5226.

Follow Skills/Compétences Canada on Twitter at

Image available at


Image with caption: "From left to right: Donavon Elliott, President of SCC, Minister Diane Finley, Mike Holmes and Shaun Thorson, CEO of SCC, with WorldSkills Team Canada 2013 (in uniform) at the Skills Canada Champion's Breakfast, on January 25th, 2013 in Ottawa, ON. (CNW Group/SKILLS/COMPETENCES CANADA)". Image available at: Other photos from the event:

Read more here:

Monday, January 28, 2013

Removing Snow And Ice Is Everyone’s Responsibility

Canada is cold. They don't call it the Great White North for nothing. In fact, I think even Jeff Foxworth told a joke once saying that the four seasons in Canada are almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction. Right this very moment, I think it's solidly winter in Canada, and that means snow and ice. Snow and ice can be a real problem, and removing it safely from roofs and walkways is a responsibility everyone shares. In this article, reposted from the National Post, Mike explains the importance of keeping snow and ice away from places it should not be. He also talks about using certain salts and chemicals to melt snow and ice, and the positives and negatives of doing so. This article is a must read for those who live in cold climates. As for me, the sun is shining and the thermostat reads a bearable 67 degrees Fahrenheit. That's pretty much beach weather in Canada, eh?

From the National Post:

Mike Holmes: Removing snow, ice is everyone’s responsibility

Mike Holmes | Jan 28, 2013 8:00 AM ET | Last Updated: Jan 25, 2013 2:57 PM ET
More from Mike Holmes

The Holmes Group Icicles are a sure sign of bad insulation, and dangerous.
Canadian weather can seem a bit unpredictable. One minute it’s sunshine and warm weather. Next thing you know we’re hit with a snowstorm. Don’t let the occasional spring-like day fool you — we are still in the middle of winter. And when you consider that insurance claims for damages related to winter storms can run into the thousands, knowing how to deal with ice and snow around your house is just smart.

One of the first things I tell homeowners is to keep snow away from foundation walls. The moisture from snow melting can slowly seep in. Remember, concrete is porous. So when you shovel your driveway, walkways and sidewalks, shovel snow away from the perimeter of your home. And make sure fire hydrants, gas meters and dryer vents aren’t covered by snow.

Enough snow on the wrong roof could cause it to collapse. The funny thing is that you want your roof to have snow. If the snow doesn’t melt, your attic insulation is doing its job. But if there’s too much snow and ice the roof can collapse. Flat roofs are especially vulnerable. Some municipalities even ask homeowners to remove snow from flat rooftops, overhangs and gutters — especially if the area has been hit with a few snow and ice storms.

Some homeowner will use roof snow shovels to remove the snow. These shovels are designed reach the roof from the ground so you’re not climbing up on the roof and risking a fall. But shovelling your roof from the ground also has its risks: One, you could damage your shingles. And two, the snow could come down on top of you.

If you need to remove snow or an ice dam from your roof call a professional contractor who regularly deals with these kinds of problems.

Most people worry about injuries happening on their property — and they should. You’re responsible for taking the proper precautions, because if someone gets hurt as a result of your negligence, you’re in trouble. That includes injuries caused by falling icicles, slips and falls. These are so common that there’s even an insurance category called “slip and fall” cases.

And if you think you’re off the hook because you’re a renter — you’re not. In some Canadian jurisdictions there’s legislation that includes “duty of care.” What that means is that the occupier of a home — it doesn’t matter if they’re just renting — needs to make sure the property is safe for anyone who has to enter it, such as the mailman or utility service reps.

Snow and ice are slipping hazards — everyone knows this. But shovelling might not be enough. You also need to think ahead. If the temperature drops below freezing or you know a storm is headed your way, apply a de-icer on your driveway, walkway and sidewalk. Spread as much as your property’s size requires. After the storm, apply more, along with some sand to add traction.

The most common de-icer is sodium chloride — what many people call road or rock salt. It’s the most inexpensive. But there’s also calcium chloride, urea, potassium chloride and magnesium chloride. Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride melt ice faster than salt, but they cost more. And calcium chloride is corrosive; it destroys grass roots. Urea and potassium chloride can be found in fertilizer, so they’re safe for your lawn. The problem is that urea can be corrosive, and potassium chloride damages concrete. And that’s not good.

I’m not a big fan of salt, and there are a number of reasons. One, it destroys your grass. Have you ever seen brown patches of grass at the end of driveways and along the sides? That’s because melted snow with salt in it got into the soil. Two, it can make your pet sick. When I take my dog Charlie out for a walk, sometimes he gets salt on his paws. Then when he’s back inside he starts licking them. The next day he’s throwing up.

The third reason is that salt works best only when the ground temperature is above -9C (15F). We’ve certainly seen temperatures lower than -9C this past week. Plus, salt is sensitive to temperature changes. The colder the ground temperature, the less effective it is.

And fourth, salt eats away at brick mortar. I’ve seen brick homes where every year the salt eats away more at the mortar, the voids climbing up from the ground with every passing winter.

I’d rather use sand or gravel over salt because they’re safer natural alternatives. But no matter what de-icer you decide to go with, make sure you read the package and follow instructions.

If you think about the risks, taking care of ice and snow is a no-brainer. Save yourself the trouble and stop any potential injuries Old Man Winter might bring to your doorstep.

Catch Mike Holmes in Holmes Makes It Right, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on HGTV. For more information, visit For more information on home renovations, visit

Sunday, January 27, 2013

CBC Radio Interview With Mike Holmes

On Friday, Mike was making his rounds all over Toronto, partially because HGTV Canada is doing a 10 year anniversary special celebrating Mike's tenth year on the network. Mike was also busy lending his support to the World Skills Canadian team, who were conducting their Champions Breakfast. In this hour-long Q&A interview with CBC Radio, Mike not only answers building questions from callers, but some personal and behind-the-scenes questions as well. If you've ever wanted to know who pays for the renovations on Mike's shows, this is the interview to listen to. I was shocked to hear just how much of a financial commitment Mike makes personally to help the people on his show. It was also interesting to hear him explain the criteria for being chosen to appear one of his shows, and just how costly it is to move all that camera equipment around. Great interview! I listened to it live on Friday, and I was thrilled to see it archived!

Listen to the previously recorded live interview on the CBC website.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

CTV Morning Live Interview With Mike Holmes

This interview with Mike Holmes on CTV Morning Live was filmed yesterday. Mike is once again supporting team Canada during the 2013 World Skills competition. During the interview, Mike answers questions pertaining to his involvement with World Skills and why he's just so passionate about it. Great interview!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mike's Busy Friday

Mike Holmes definitely earned his weekend today. In fact, as I type, I'm listening to Mike live on an Ontario radio show. From Mike's Facebook minutes ago:

Posted 12PM EST:

On @CBCOntarioToday now! Call in with your questions. You can listen online at

Apart from the CBC radio interview, Mike was also busy supporting team Canada for the World Skills competition in Ottawa.
Posted 10AM EST:

Here with 35 Skills Canada Champions who are heading to world Skills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany in July. Good looking team!

Posted 7AM EST:

In Ottawa for the @Skills_Canada Champions Breakfast. Had some interviews this morning - heading to the event soon!


Still listening LIVE to Mike on the CBC radio show. Hopefully they'll archive it and I can post it tomorrow or the next day. Cant wait to hunt down all those interviews! This should make the next couple of days fun for me :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Ok, so there's not much to blog about today. It's kind of been a slow couple of days on the internet. I figured that that there's no time like the present to remind everyone that Mike's brand new show Holmes Makes It Right will be airing soon in the US on HGTV. The date? Nobody knows as of now. Mike has said that he'll announce it as soon as he knows. Currently Mike is busy filming yet another season of the show. As of yet, only our Canadian friends have had the privilege of seeing it. Apparently nobody told the networks that Mike Holmes has a HUGE fan base outside of Canada, and we're all waiting in anticipation to see the show!

Long story short... keep your eyes and ears peeled if you live in the US. The show should be premiering any time now.

I also realize that I haven't posted an update on the birthday present I'm creating for Mike's 25th-times-two birthday this August. That's a BIG birthday, so my present is going to be equally as splendid! I'm chipping away at it day by day in hopes that by August, it will be finished! I announced a couple months ago that the project is entitled "Canadian Rhapsody." That's pretty much all I'm going to reveal as of now, along with these pictures...

Poor Mike doesn't have a head, feet, or arms yet, as he's currently undergoing an extreme makeover. Since his body and style have changed a bit since the last time I did one of these things, so has his avatar.

Bet you can guess who this is! You're going to have to, because I'm NOT telling ;-) Not yet, anyways.

Last but not least... another new character. Not telling who this is either. Could be anyone I guess, but's not just anyone, it's someone we all know and love!
So that's it! It's going to be a nutty crazy epic tribute to my hero Mike and his awesome crew, AKA the latest victims of my artwork.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mike Holmes Makes The Case For A Career In Skilled Trades

This is an older interview, but it's one I hadn't seen before, so chances are you haven't seen it either! This video was part of Skilled Trades and Technology Week 2009 at Humber College in Ontario. In the interview, Mike talks to the youth of Canada about becoming a skilled tradesman or tradeswoman. He talks about the importance of mentoring and internships in the field, and finding something you love to do. Great interview!

Here's some screencaps from the interview. To see the complete interview, go here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Sonne Side of Life

While perusing Mike's Facebook page, I found this video, posted by All American Handyman contestant and grand prize winner Sonne Shields. Sonne was judged by Mike and Scott Mcgillivray to be the "All American Handy[wo]man" on season three of the show, which aired last year on HGTV. Part of the prize package was a development deal... so where's the Sonne show? I'd love to see one! In the meantime, I guess Sonne's been busy showing off her skills on YouTube. Here's a video that Sonne posted to Mike's Facebook a couple days ago, with the added question "did I make it right Mike?"

In the video, Sonne and Dave replace a door that was damaged by a burglar.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

How To Find The Right Architect

For many people, hiring an architect for a home renovation is a scary process. Not only do you have to pick a good architect with the skills to complete your project, you also have to choose one who works well with your contractor. The bottom line for Mike Holmes: "Don’t let it come down to cost. Choose an architect whose skills you trust and who you can work with. Because in the end it’s your project. Hire someone whose best interests are in making it right and keeping you happy." In this article, reposted from the Montreal Gazette, Mike discusses finding the right architect for your renovation project.
From the Montreal Gazette:
Mike Holmes: How to find the right architect for your reno job

Don't let fee fears deter you from hiring a true professional for house projects

Many construction or renovation projects require the help of a professional architect to get the job done right. Don’t let your choice of architect come down to cost.

Anyone thinking about doing a major renovation will probably work with a professional architect at some point. Not everyone understands the relationship among homeowners, contractors and architects. But in my line of work I depend on these pros all the time.
Any time a renovation requires building permits, plans need to be drawn up, submitted and approved by your local building authority. And you have a couple of options when it comes to the plans.
Your first option is submitting plans that aren’t stamped, signed or sealed by any professional — not something I recommend. Because if something goes wrong, you are 100 per cent liable for fixing it — plus any damages.
Then there are times when the plans must be prepared and stamped or sealed by a professional engineer, or architect, or both, for example, if you’re building an addition that’s bigger than 600 square metres or three storeys in height. And this can vary from province to province.
Sometimes when I mention bringing in an architect, homeowners start to get nervous — they think the job will be too expensive. Permits mean plans, plans mean architects and architects mean architect fees. Or they think the architect won’t listen to them and design whatever they want. But what I always tell homeowners is hiring the right professional is worth every penny.
For a construction project to be good, it needs to do three things: work for you and the environment, look good and be built to last. Architects help turn dreams into reality by guiding you through the design and construction process. Usually their services include designing, preparing construction documents and construction administration. But it varies. As a bare minimum, they should make sure your project abides by local zoning bylaws and building codes.
Architects are consultants. But they’re also co-ordinators and technical managers trained to deliver a project on schedule and, hopefully, within budget. Most architect agreements stipulate that the project must come within 15 per cent of the budget; if it doesn’t, they have to revise the plans at no extra cost. But this isn’t a standard rule so always read the agreement carefully.
Finding the right architect can be tricky. Sometimes you find the right contractor first and they will recommend an architect. But this could be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you know the contractor and architect can work together—that’s good. But if the architect depends on the contractor to get referrals, the risk is they might be more concerned with keeping the contractor happy than you. If you find the architect first, you don’t know if they can work with the contractor you end up hiring. So do your homework.
If you really like a contractor’s work, ask them about architects they’ve worked with and how happy they were with the final results. Then talk to the homeowners and get their take on the entire process. For instance, how quick was it for them to get the right building permits based on the architect’s drawings? How many modifications had to be made to the original plans? These are all clues that tell you how easy — or difficult — it will be working with a particular architect.
So how do you find the right architect?
Canada has a directory of architects called the Architecture Canada Electronic Directory. It might include information on past projects an architect has worked on, commissions, awards and so on. But your best bet is to talk to people who have worked with an architect in the past.
No matter what architect you decide to work with, you need to have a clear understanding of the obligations, responsibilities and expectations.
What services do you expect them to deliver? What are you responsible for? When do you expect certain milestones to be completed? How much are you willing to pay?
And once you know what these terms are, put them in writing. There should be a separate contract between you and the architect — in addition to the one you have with your contractor — that clearly outlines the terms and conditions of the entire project, including a payment schedule.
One helpful document is called the Canadian Standard Form of Agreement Between Client and Architect. There’s also a shorter version. You could use the shorter version when you don’t need an architect’s full services — maybe just their input for one small aspect of a construction project, like a modification to renovation plans.
Either way, you can find these documents through provincial architectural associations, although they might need to be adapted for use in Quebec.
Architect fees
Most clients pay a deposit once they sign a contract with an architect — usually a percentage of the architect’s total fee.
There are two main types of fees: architectural services and out-of-pocket expenses, such as travel costs and the cost of reproducing documents. Some architects will charge a lump sum, hourly rate or a percentage of the total cost of the construction project. Sometimes it’s a combination.
Bottom line: Don’t let it come down to cost. Choose an architect whose skills you trust and who you can work with. Because in the end it’s your project. Hire someone whose best interests are in making it right and keeping you happy.
Catch Mike Holmes in his new series, Holmes Makes It Right Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on HGTV. For more information, visit For more information on home renovations, visit

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mike Holmes Helps The Deaf Community

From Mike's Facebook yesterday:

Day 1 on a new project for Holmes Makes It Right. Walking through the house with the homeowner and her interpreter. First time working with a deaf homeowner - hopefully I can pick up on some sign language by the end of the project!

As most Holmes on Homes fans know, this is not Mike's first run in with deaf people and interpreters. In the 2007 episode "Country Kitchen" Mike helps rebuild a kitchen for a sign language interpreter and her husband, who requested an open floor plan to better accommodate the visual needs of their deaf friends. Along the way, Mike learns how to fingerspell his name M-I-K-E and also how to sign the phrases "make it right" "nice to meet you" and "thank you very much." This episode is a fan favorite because country music star Charlie Major also makes a guest appearance and performs a special song at the end (see Mike Holmes and Charlie Major Make It Right for more information).

I think one thing that Mike probably doesn't know about himself is that he is a very big star in the Deaf community! I went to school to be an interpreter, and was in a deaf theater company for four years. I even met my husband at a deaf picnic, and started dating him after attending a deaf bowling league event. My husband is not deaf, but my brother and sister in law are both deaf. I sign, my husband signs, and most of my family signs, so sign language has been a big part of my life for many years. I do know that Mike is just as iconic in the deaf community as he is in the hearing community. The reasons why are simple. First, many deaf people gravitate towards the trades as a career choice, because the trades better suite their communication and skill sets (although I do have deaf friends who are college professors with Master's degrees, so I don't want to characterize all deaf people with the same broad brush). Secondly, his shows are visually entertaining - Mike explains by doing, not just by talking. Not to mention that Mike is easily recognizable visually with his overalls and buzzed hair cut. Deaf people like that! And last but not least, Mike has recently and in the past expressed a willingness and an interest to learn more about deaf people. I don't think he fully realizes that by working with members of the deaf community, he's pretty much securing his place in the hearts and minds of deaf people around the world. Like any group, deaf people appreciate when anyone brings awareness to their community.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Renovations That Worked With Mike Holmes

If I lived in Canada, without a doubt the one show I would watch there that we don't have here in the States is George Stromb... Stro... Strombolo.... STROUMBOULOPOULOS. There it is, I knew I had it in my notes somewhere. It appears to me, a mere observer from afar, that George Stroumboulopoulos is the Greek god of Canadian late night television. From all that I've gathered via clips on the internet, he's just like Conan, only he has Mike Holmes as a regular guest, which instantly makes him that much better!

In this little short, made for George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, Mike Holmes talks about renovations that actually worked. I don't know about you, but I could stare at Mike's happy smiley face for hours, which unlike the Sphinx, is very handsome.

Here's some screen caps from the video, which can be watched here! Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mike Holmes Inspections Partners with iVerify

Mike Holmes' company, Mike Holmes Inspections, has formed a partnership with iVerify, an Ottawa company which provides detailed Home History Reports to potential home buyers. "This is crucial information for anyone buying a home," states Mike in the below article. He adds, "It gives you essential facts that every homeowner has a right to know. You should know if the home you're buying was a grow-op, or if there was a fire. That could mean thousands of dollars in repairs." In these articles, one from Canada Newswire and one from the Ottawa Citizen, MHI's role in providing iVerify reports with every inspection it conducts is discussed at length. Read on...
From Canada Newswire:

Don't buy a lemon! Protect your investment with a Home History Report from Mike Holmes Inspections and iVerify

TORONTO, Jan. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Mike Holmes Inspections (MHI) is proud to announce its partnership with iVerify™. iVerify™ is the company behind the first Canadian Home History Report service. The partnership means MHI clients will receive a detailed Home History Report with their home inspection. Interested homeowners can also purchase the report without a home inspection.
The report is based on data from municipal, provincial and federal records and includes information on any insurance claims and municipal building permits associated with the property, potential clandestine labs and drug operations formerly on the property, as well as previous sales price(s).
"This is crucial information for anyone buying a home," stated Mike Holmes. "It gives you essential facts that every homeowner has a right to know. You should know if the home you're buying was a grow-op, or if there was a fire. That could mean thousands of dollars in repairs," added Holmes.
MHI Director Ashley Shojaie is responsible for developing the partnership. "This service is most valuable to homebuyers because it helps them make a smart investment," stated Shojaie. "But it can also help current homeowners understand underlying issues in their home and develop a strategy for necessary repairs."
iVerify President and CEO Alexandre Morin targeted MHI as a strategic partner to help bring additional transparency to real estate transactions.
"I am very proud of this partnership," stated Morin. "MHI has established itself as an industry innovator. We are confident that this agreement will allow iVerify™ to position its Home History Report as an essential tool for all parties involved in real estate transactions. iVerify™ couldn't be happier to have partnered with the most trusted name in the industry," added Morin.
The iVerify™ Report is a complete home due diligence report on any Canadian property, generated by searching the address of a property against millions of records from key sources and obtaining the most current data available.
About Mike Holmes Inspections
Mike Holmes Inspections is an independent home inspection service company providing thorough, fair and educated assessments of building structures and systems by integrating advanced technologies with sophisticated industry techniques. It invests in the development of industry standards through collaborations and third-party ventures with educational institutions and industry associations.
SOURCE: Mike Holmes Inspections
For further information: For more information on Mike Holmes Inspections, please visit
For all queries regarding Mike Holmes Inspections, please contact:
Ashley Shojaie, Director
For all queries regarding the iVerify™ Report service, please contact:
Alexandre Morin, President and CEO


From Ottawa Citizen:

Home shopping without surprises


History Report aims to do for real estate what Carfax has done for used car buying

Alexandre Morin is CEO of Ottawa company iVerify. The company produces reports about a home’s history.

Photograph by: Bruno Schlumberger, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — An Ottawa company called iVerify hopes to forever change the way Canadians buy houses — and it’s enlisted the help of Canada’s best known handyman to get the word out.
Mike Holmes will help promote the firm’s Canadian Home History Report, which details all of the insurance claims, building permits, previous sales prices and other municipal, provincial and federal records that will be of interest to a potential buyer. The report also flags homes that were marijuana grow operations or used as clandestine drug labs.
“It’s not until you talk to your new neighbour that you learn the truth about why the previous owner really wanted to sell the property,” said Alexandre Morin, chief executive of iVerify. “Or, you try to insure (a home) and the broker tells you, ‘We can insure it, but it’s going to cost you $1,000 more because its prone to flooding and it’s happened before.’ ”
Buyers of resale homes are supposed to be informed about significant renovations, fires, flooding or other issues. However, a real estate agent is only privy to the details a home seller is willing to share. If the seller doesn’t tell the agent about problems with repeated flooding, that information may never reach potential buyers.
Morin said that until iVerify launched in March 2012, it was difficult to collect all historical information about a home. His company negotiated deals with insurance companies and municipal, provincial and federal governments to gain access to the details needed to provide historical reports to potential home buyers. It also created and maintains a cross-country database of grow ops and clandestine labs so it can flag those homes to prospective buyers.
“Realtors have been able to hide behind the fact that they didn’t know and they didn’t have any resources to find that information. Therefore they didn’t have to disclose it,” said Morin. “We wanted to come up with a solution for industry professionals and home buyers to lean against, at an affordable price, so they can make an informed decision.”
The company hopes to become like Carfax, which has changed the way people buy cars by presenting a vehicle’s ownership, accident and insurance claim history.
Reports from iVerify range from four to six pages and cost between $49 and $99, depending on how much information a person wants on the property. Real estate agents and other professionals who plan to be heavy users of iVerify services are offered discounted rates.
The company, which started out under the name HomeProof, employs six and is privately funded. Despite being relatively unknown, the firm has already caught the attention of one of the country’s most vocal proponents when it comes to increasing accountability in Canada’s real estate industry.
“This is crucial information for anyone buying a home,” said Mike Holmes in a release. “It gives you essential facts that every homeowner has a right to know. You should know if the home you’re buying was a grow-op, or if there was a fire. That could mean thousands of dollars in repairs.”
Holmes, the star of popular television shows on HGTV Canada, has for years been crusading for better building codes and encouraging homeowners to be extra vigilant when it comes to hiring contractors, buying a new home or performing renovations.
Under the agreement with iVerify, Holmes’s company, Mike Holmes Inspections (MHI), will provide iVerify report to all of its clients. Holmes is not receiving any financial consideration for endorsing the Ottawa company.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Got A Question For Mike???

Ten years ago, the world was introduced to Mike Holmes via HGTV Canada, and the world has never been the same since! HGTV Canada is celebrating ten years of Mike with an anniversary special in which Mike will be answering select viewer submitted questions. If you have a question for Mike, you can submit them to HGTV Canada via their Facebook, Twitter, or email.

From HGTV Canada:
Behind the Overalls: Ask Mike Holmes
Posted by Tina Taus, Web Producer Monday, January 14, 2013 1:00 PM EST

How time flies! We can’t believe it’s already been nearly 10 years since Mike Holmes first joined our airwaves. His 10-year anniversary is fast approaching, and to help kick it off we’re asking his fans to submit questions that you’ve always wanted to ask him.

Ever wondered how Mike got his start in TV? Or, what does Mike like to do when he’s not busy Making it Right? Now is your chance to submit those questions! Either email us at or simply post a question in the comment section below, Facebook or Tweet us.

You just might see the answer to your question from Mike himself in our 10 year anniversary special airing this Spring.

So get started, ask away!

Monday, January 14, 2013

What Scares You About Renovating?

I found this blog entry by Mountainside Build and Design, a Vancouver based custom home builder, interesting and a little bit funny too! While it's not about Mike per se, it touches on how Mike's shows such as Holmes on Homes and Holmes Inspection have changed how many people approach home renovation. Watching copious amounts of Holmes on Homes without any kind of reference or perspective can turn people into homeowner hypochondriacs who fret and worry about what could be lurking behind their own walls! Not to worry, though. In the spirit of Mike Holmes, this company is using education to combat homeowners' fears. They don't dare promise a bunch of good looking men (and women) showing up on your door step with jack hammers and nail guns, but they do promise to earn your trust, and that sounds pretty good to me.
January 10, 2013 | by Jake Kostelyk
What Scares You About Renovating?

{Image courtesy of HGTV}

Mike Holmes is the leading name in Canadian Renovations. He can renovate an entire home in 21 minutes (plus commercials) and rescues homeowners from deceiving, dishonest contractors on a daily basis. Joking aside, he's a very good spokesman for our industry, and knows his stuff!

I get to meet with many home owners considering renovations. Many of them have watched HGTV. Most of them watch Holmes on Homes, which leaves them with many questions;

Are all contractors crooked?
Is there really that much rot in every house?
Are the guys that show up to renovate going to be that strong and good looking?
The answer is no, no, and sometimes (depending on who you hire).

Fear of crooked contractors and rot/mould issues almost always lead to more fears:
- fear of aesbestos
- blowing the budget
- improper workmanship
- not knowing what's happening

A renovation is a large investment, and naturally, causes people to stress.

Here at Mountainside, we've implemented specific systems and programs to ensure that we can address these fears and concerns BEFORE any construction starts:

1. We now offer firm commitments on cost AND scheduling. This way you'll know how much the project is going to cost, and how long it's going to take.
2. We use offer written contracts, as well as a detailed design and scope of work and specifications document. This means you'll know what your project is going to look like, what products are being used, and what the terms of the agreement are BEFORE we swing the first hammer.
3. We offer a written warranty program for both renovations and new homes.
4. We use an online Project Management system which keeps you, the home owner, informed and connected at all times.
4. We crawl around your house BEFORE the project starts. By reviewing your existing plumbing, checking out your electrical panel and sampling the wall and flooring for aesbestos, we can start construction without major questions or unknowns.

But what about the problems hidden BEHIND the wall? Occasionally, we find a large patch of mould behind a shower. On other occasions, we'll uncover improper wire hidden behind the drywall. There are certain things that are, as we call it, unforeseeable. If we can not possibly find out something before we start construction, we will bring up any suprises to you directly, and provide you with the best course of action.

Surprise birthday parties are fun. Surprise mould and rot is not fun. Our goal is to earn your trust, and provide you with a stunning home, and just as importantly, a stress-free (and even ENJOYABLE) process.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Today's Picture of the Day...

If you didn't know, the Holmes Spot blog posts a picture of Mike every day in the "Picture of the Day" section of the blog. Check out today's picture of the day...
This is a photo of Mike and a Toronto FD EMT during the High Park rebuild back in July 2012. You can see the rebuild in the "Building Castles" episode of Holmes Makes It Right, which debuted on HGTV Canada in October 2012. Mike's new show is set to debut some time early this year (2013) in the US on HGTV.  An official date has not yet been announced, but as soon as it does, we'll be right on it!
In Mike's latest video, posted just before Christmas to his website, Mike confirmed that his new show Holmes Makes It Right would be airing soon in the US, and that there would be 18 new episodes back to back (Season 1 and the yet-to-be-aired Season 2).
My speculative guess (and it's only a guess) as to when the new show will debut in the US is March, because that's when new shows come out for the spring season in the US. If you're really impatient, you can do a google search and find some episodes of Holmes Makes It Right that some naughty hacker put up on YouTube. Have to admit, I watched the "Building Castles" episode and one other, just so I could have some perspective to blog about. But the rest, I'm saving for when the show debuts in the US!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mike Holmes Inspection: RecallChek

For many many moons now, Mike Holmes has been encouraging homeowners to get informed about their homes. In an attempt to educate people about the home inspection aspect of buying a home, Mike did an entire series Holmes Inspection which ran for three years on HGTV. And then of course, there's the the manual for every homeowner, buyer, and seller, "The Holmes Inspection," Mike's best selling book which has been out on the shelves now for quite some time. Last year, Mike started a home inspection company for home buyers in Canada to get an inspection from a professional that gets the coveted Holmes stamp of approval.

Here's Mike's introduction, which can be found on

In the last week, this video went online on the Inspector Services YouTube channel. It's a video about RecallChek, a service offered during a Mike Holmes Inspection in which all appliances in the home are check to make sure there are no recalls currently in effect.

Sounds awesome!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What’s Really Causing That Draft?

Posted on Mike's Facebook page today:

Drafts and cold spots can steal comfort out of your home and money out of your pocket in terms of wasted energy. More homeowners might be starting to notice drafts, which is normal for this time of year when temperatures drop and winds pick up.

Read Mike's recent article on drafts, reposted from the Ottawa Citizen. It just might help you save a little money on energy costs this season:

What’s really causing that draft?

 By Mike Holmes, Postmedia NewsJanuary 9, 2013
 All vents and openings on a home’s exterior such as a dryer vent, must be properly sealed. That will do a lot toward cutting your heating bills.Photograph by: The Holmes Group
Drafts and cold spots can steal comfort out of your home and money out of your pocket in terms of wasted energy. More homeowners might be starting to notice drafts, which is normal for this time of year when temperatures drop and winds pick up.
You can usually feel drafts around windows, doors and fireplaces. Sometimes you can feel a cold spot along a wall. Feeling a draft or a cold spot is one thing; finding exactly where the cold is coming from is something else.
Sometimes when homeowners feel a draft they’ll start to seal everything with caulking, not knowing the exact source of the problem. That’s like throwing a handful of darts hoping one of them hits the target. It’s not the best strategy, but I get it.
The truth is there are plenty of places in the home that could be causing the draft.
Top draft picks
There are a few known areas that are vulnerable to drafts. Some of them I already mentioned, such as windows and doors. Replacing the seal on doors and weatherstripping can help. But if the framing around doors and windows is rotted you’re going to have gaps that will let cold air come in.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen contractors install brand new windows — top of the line — over a rotting frame. That’s unacceptable. It’s wasted money. You can have the best windows on the market, but if the frame is rotted, you’ve got nothing.
Recessed lights or pot lights might also be a cold spot. When they’re installed on the top floor of a home, holes have to be cut into the ceiling, which means penetrating into the attic space.
Your home’s attic is a cold zone — the temperature in the attic should be the same as the air outside. I hate pot lights in a cold zone. If there isn’t enough insulation around the pot light, heat will escape into the attic.
So what can you do about pot light leaks? Make sure there is vapour barrier in the attic, with the area around the pot light properly sealed to the original vapour barrier with Tuck Tape. And, of course, insulation over the vapour barrier. Also, choose the right kind of pot light for an insulated space — IC lights.
Also, there should be insulation around electrical boxes located on walls that are part of your home’s building envelope. I’ve seen new homes where the builder doesn’t bother insulating these spots at all. You end up with a wall that lets heat escape left, right and centre — literally.
Who do you call?
Knowing where to target can be tricky. Before you start caulking up a storm, hire a professional to identify draft sources and cold spots.
For example, a qualified home inspector who is an accredited thermographer can use a thermal imaging camera to find cold spots and air leaks, identifying problems such as missing insulation in your walls or around electrical boxes and recessed lights.
A qualified home inspector will go into your attic to make sure there is enough insulation and that there aren’t any walls that aren’t properly sealed off. The attic hatch, duct registers and plumbing vents should all be tightly sealed. The professional should also check any other vents and openings that might not be properly sealed on your home’s exterior, like the dryer vent.
You can also try contacting an energy adviser licensed by Natural Resources Canada to give you some recommendations on how to boost your home’s energy efficiency. It might be as simple as insulating ducts that run through cold zones.
An energy audit is another option. This usually involves a blower door test, which can tell the auditor how airtight your home is.
The test is pretty straightforward. A fan is mounted to an exterior door and pulls all the air out of your house. If there are any cracks or unsealed openings in your home, outside air will seep in as the inside air is being sucked out. A smoke pencil can then show the auditor where the air leaks are that are causing drafts in your home.
Remember: When you get rid of drafts and cold spots you increase your home’s energy efficiency. So it’s worth your time and effort to solve the problem.
Catch Mike Holmes in his new series, Holmes Makes It Right, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on HGTV. For more information, visit For more information on home renovations, visit

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Holmes Spot 2012 Year In Review

2012 was a very busy year for Mike and his crew, and the Holmes Spot blog had a very busy year attempting to write all about it! As this first week of 2013 comes to a close I figured I'd post some important dates that stood out from last 12 months -- mostly from May on forward, because I started this blog in early May of 2012! All I can say is that 2012 was a GREAT year!!! Here's to 2013!



Mike and crew at the Megaspeed Car Show
- January 2012... Mike's green building project in Alberta, Canada "Wind Walk" gets the go ahead to proceed by the local government.

-February 2012... Mike Holmes and tech company Cisco ally together to create high tech innovations for the Boyd Renaissance project, an affordable housing project for seniors and disabled people in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.

-March 9, 10, and 11... Mike and his crew have fun making an appearance at the Megaspeed Custom Car and Truck Show.

-May 1... Mike is named Building Safety Month Honorary Ambassador

-May 3... The Holmes Spot blog posts its first blog entry!

-May 13... Mike Holmes receives an honorary doctorate in pedagogy from Niagara University during its spring commencement ceremony.

-May 18... Mike meets with locals and takes suggestions for the rebuilding of a castle in High Park, which had been burned down by arsonists in March 2012.

-June 2... Mike and several members of his crew participate in the 6th Annual Ride for the Holmes Foundation presented by OFATV and Can-Am. After several years of coming out cleaner than he went in, Mike finally got stuck in the mud!

-June 5... Mike officially reveals his new ink after a contest to guess what his new tattoos are ends.

-June 12... Mike gives the keynote address at the World Indigenous Housing Conference.

-June 19... Mike Holmes Receives The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Mike receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Michael Quast
Holmes Group former CEO Mchael Quast
-July 7... Mike and his crew work diligently along side members of the community and the Toronto Fire Department in intense heat to finish rebuilding the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground in High Park. The build is filmed for Mike's new show Holmes Makes It Right.

-July 16... Mike Holmes and Michael Quast, Holmes Group CEO, part ways.

The new castle in High Park
- August 1...Liza Drozdov is named VP of the Holmes Group.

-August 3... Mike turns 24 and a half times two. The Holmes Spot blog celebrates Mike's birthday with the release of The Mike Holmes Cartoon, a four minute long animated monstrosity that gratefully Mike loved! Mike celebrates the day of his birth on site with friends and family.

The cast of All American Handyman
-August 19... All American Handyman premieres in the US.
-August 20... Forbes names Mike 3rd most trusted celebrity.

-September 4... Mike confirms that the homes he helped build in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans are still standing strong after Hurricane Isaac.

-September 20... Tool maker Hilti announces it will be providing Mike and his crew tools for the new series Holmes Makes It Right.

Mike and crew with their Hilti tools.
-October 16... Holmes Makes It Right premieres in Canada on HGTV. To promote the show, Mike dresses up like "Super Holmes" complete with red cape and super "H" on the front of his overalls. He greets fans on the streets of Toronto and one lucky fan wins $5000!
Super Holmes and his "Mike-alikes"

-November 11... The "Holmes" logo appears on a 3M sponsored NASCAR #16 driven by Greg Biffle.
#16 3M Car with Holmes logo 

-December 2012... Point Load Pictures announces that it has finished the pilot of Damon's new show Damon Bennett Restoration Co., just as Mike Jr. "Takes The Reigns" as site supervisor on Holmes Makes It Right.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hold on...

OK, so I've been working on a special post, a 2012 YEAR IN REVIEW, but it's become a little more of an involving project than I initially expected. And since we do things right around here, I figured I'd take one more day to put the finishing touches on the project so that all you Holmes Spot readers get the highest quality post you've hopefully come to expect!

In the meantime, enjoy this totally irrelevant, completely gratuitous Mike Holmes video from 2010. It deals with the issue of grow houses and home inspections. As any Holmes fan knows, Mike did an episode of Holmes on Homes called "Gone to Pot" which dealt with the issue of a woman's home which had been used as a grow house. The house was totally trashed from the inside out, and of course had tons of mold. Sit back, kick up your feet and enjoy this video, a clip from the Canadian investigative news show Marketplace, and I'll see you tomorrow (hopefully) with my Holmes Spot 2012 YEAR IN REVIEW!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

POD Lives On!

I'm happy to announce that I have resumed posting the PICTURE OF THE DAY...


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mike Holmes Returns To "Handyman" Series

...well, sort of. Canada's Handyman Challenge is back, and Mike will be making an appearance as a guest judge on the final episode.

Canada Newswire:

HGTV Canada's #1 Series of 2012 is Back With Big Stars and a Big New Prize

Bryan Baeumler, Scott McGillivray and Paul Lafrance Will Judge The Second Season of Canada's Handyman Challenge
Premieres Tuesday January 22 at 10pm ET/PT on HGTV Canada
For additional photography and press kit material visit: and follow us on Twitter at @shawmediaTV_PR
TORONTO, Jan. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - HGTV Canada's top series of 2012* returns in search of Canada's best handyman. In the new season of Canada's Handyman Challenge, HGTV celebrities Bryan Baeumler (Leave It To Bryan), Scott McGillivray (Income Property) and Paul Lafrance (Decked Out) are teaming up as judges along with HGTV newcomer Jennifer Robertson (Little Mosque on the Prairie, Mr. D) as host. The competition is amplified this season as contestants battle it out for the all-new $25,000 prize. Canada's Handyman Challenge premieres on Tuesday January 22nd at 10pm ET/PT on HGTV Canada.
"Canada's Handyman Challenge provides talented Canadians with a unique opportunity. Not only do they showcase their skills on a national platform, but they have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to receive guidance and advice from some of the top talent in the contracting and construction industries, plus a shot at a $25,000 prize," said Barb Williams, Senior Vice President of Content, Shaw Media.
The competition this season is fierce. The top five contestants from auditions in Halifax, Vancouver and Toronto will move on to the Top 15 where they'll face intense challenges, demanding expectations and tough critiques from the judges. From building freestanding patio swings in under two hours, reupholstering a chair in just 30 minutes and facing the judges for one-on-one trivia, the challenges this season will test speed, expertise and precision to determine which contestants thrive and which fail in their effort to walk away $25,000 richer.
"The caliber of contestants this season is just amazing," said Bryan Baeumler, judge on Canada's Handyman Challenge. "The $25,000 prize has certainly added a more competitive atmosphere to the series this season, highlighting the outstanding skill this country has to offer."
Canada's most trusted contractor Mike Holmes (Holmes Makes It Right) will appear as a guest judge in the final episode to weigh in on the decision to name Canada's Best Handyman and award the $25,000 prize. In a season with more contestants, more diverse challenges and a prize that takes the competition over the top, Canada's Handyman Challenge is sure to become a fan favourite on HGTV once again.
For full episodes after they air, behind the scenes photos and exclusive interviews with the judges and host of Canada's Handyman Challenge, visit

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mike Holmes: When The Mice Move In

What could be more yucky than mice? Practically nothing! When the weather outside turns cold, mice love to go inside to keep warm. They contaminate practically everything they come in contact with, leaving their droppings behind. The best way to get rid of mice is never to have them in the first place. Keeping your home free of cracks and openings where mice could sneak their way in is an important step. Next, make sure your home is free of clutter and trash where mice could take up residence. In this article, reposted from the National Post, Mike talks about unwanted pests and how to keep them from destroying your home.

Mike Holmes: When the mice move in

Mike Holmes | Jan 2, 2013 12:21 PM ET | Last Updated: Jan 4, 2013 11:12 AM ET
More from Mike Holmes
Mice are known to eat away at batt insulation, including rigid foam.

A lot of homeowners might be starting to notice some unwanted guests. No, not the in-laws. I’m talking about pests, and mice in particular.

Cold weather drives most animals and insects to find warmth, which could lead them straight to your house. And if they find a food source, they’re moving in.

What are the signs that you have mice? Mouse droppings. Little bits of chewed-up food packages. You might also be able to hear them in your walls or ceiling. They lurk in the cellar, the garage, pantry, kitchen — even bedrooms.

It takes just one mouse to make most people feel uncomfortable in their homes. And I don’t blame them.

Mice are known to carry diseases, bacteria, viruses and parasites. Breathing in small particles from their droppings, urine, saliva or nesting materials can make you sick. The particles can get into the air when you sweep or vacuum. That’s why you’re supposed to spray any area where mice have been with a disinfectant. It helps keep the particles from flying around, and then you can sweep or vacuum (remember to wear a disposable mask and gloves).

Mice can also contaminate surfaces in your home with their saliva or urine, which is almost impossible to detect. Next thing you know you could be drinking from a pop can that has mouse urine on the lid.

Some people might think that a couple of mice isn’t a big deal. But two mice in your home can do a lot of damage. In just six months, two mice can eat four pounds of food and leave 18,000 droppings. Plus, mice multiply fast. One female can have five to 10 litters of about five or six mice a year. Then those mice can start reproducing after only 30 days. Within three months six mice can multiply into 60. So if you’ve found one, there are probably more.

The worst part is the risk of contamination. Mice contaminate about 10 times more food than they eat.

These rodents are also destructive. They can chew through electrical wires and cause an electrical fire. They’ve been known to destroy rigid foam and fiberglass batt insulation. They can also gnaw through any wood in your home, including furniture, trim, cabinets, doors, even your home’s structure. Repairing all the damage they cause can be very expensive. And if you’re thinking of selling your home, a pest problem is usually a deal breaker.

How do you get rid of them?

I’ve heard of people using electrical devices that emit sound to get rid of mice. They usually don’t work. At first such a device might have an effect, but eventually mice get used to it.

Poisons aren’t always effective either. Plus, it’s a risk if you have pets; they could eat the poison or a poisoned dead mouse. When mice are poisoned they usually die somewhere inaccessible, like in a wall. It won’t be long before you start to notice a foul smell. And then how are you going to get a dead mouse out of your wall?

If you’re serious about getting rid of these critters for good, you need to call a professional. You don’t want to risk an infestation.

An experienced pest control professional can find where the mice are coming in. They’ll check for cracks and spaces around vents, wires, pipes, windows and doors. Then they’ll block their entry with mesh wiring, wood or spray foam insulation, or both.

Next, clean your house — including the garage and basement. Get rid of any clutter and trash. Mice love messy places, which make it easy for them to hide and nest. Store all food sources in sealed containers, including pet food.

To help stop mice from coming in, place weatherstripping around your doors; as a bonus, this will also increase energy efficiency. If your house has a chimney, get a chimney cap installed. Keep compost far from your home. Also move any firewood or mulch from around your home’s exterior. These are excellent places for mice to hide in.

All mice need is a little crack in a wall or foundation to get in. A sealed home is the only way to stop the problem. It’s also the most effective and humane. So check your home annually for cracks where mice can sneak in.

Catch Mike Holmes in his new series, Holmes Makes It Right, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on HGTV.
For more information, visit For more information on home renovations, visit