Reuben's Home Inspection Blog

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Home Inspector - Structure Tech Home Inspections
Home inspection topics in the Minneapolis / Saint Paul area.
RECENT BLOG POSTS
Goodbye post hole. Goodbye post hole digger. Goodbye worker bending over the hole. Goodbye two-man auger, and the gas that goes in it. Goodbye concrete mix. Goodbye wheel barrow. Goodbye sonotube, and the rebar inside it. Goodbye frost heave, and Goodbye heaved steps. Goodbye heaved footings, and...
Posted 10 months ago
One of the most common problems with decks in Minnesota is frost heave. Today I’ll explain how this works, why it matters, and what steps can be taken to help prevent damage from frost heave when building a deck. How Frost Heave Works When expansive soils freeze and expand, the earth rises. Wikip...
Posted 11 months ago
For home buyers interested in conducting their own home inspection, here's a list of larger items to look out for while viewing houses.  This is a cursory overview of some of the larger problems that are frequently identified during home inspections.  Of course, this is no substitute for a profes...
Posted 12 months ago
Have you ever noticed a big insulated tube dropping down next to the floor near your furnace or boiler in the basement? If you trace this duct down, you'll find that it connects to an opening at the exterior of the building.  This is essentially just a hole in the side of the building that brings...
Posted about 1 year ago
One of the most common Truth-in-Housing repair items is an unfilled opening in an electrical box or panelboard.  If you walk through the garage or basement of just about any old Minneapolis or Saint Paul home, you'll probably be able a few of these.   The national electric code says that unused o...
Posted about 1 year ago
Who inspects the attic insulation in new construction homes?  Probably just the person that put it in.  Nobody else. When new houses are built in Minnesota, the municipal inspection departments typically never even stick their head up in to the attic after the insulation gets blown in.  I know th...
Posted about 1 year ago
When there's a long period of sub-zero temperatures in Minnesota, plumbing vents often stop working.  The problem is that plumbing vents can get completely blocked shut with frost when it's very cold outside for a long period of time.  I've seen this at a lot of home inspections this winter.  I w...
Posted about 1 year ago
When it comes to first time home buyers, one of the least understood components of a home seems to be plumbing vents.  You know, those pipes sticking up out of the roof that run through the attic and through the rest of the house.  All plumbing fixtures, with the possible exception of floor drain...
Posted about 1 year ago
Icicles hanging over the edges of roofs might look pretty, but once enough melted water gets trapped behind that ice, water can leak in to the house.  Minnesota saw a ridiculous amount of ice dams two and three winters ago, which prompted many homeowners to start looking for ways to prevent ice d...
Posted over 1 year ago
This has happened to me dozens of times, so I have to assume it happens to other home inspectors around the country every day.  I report a problem with a gas appliance, saying there is exhaust gas leaking in to the house, and I say it needs to be fixed because it's a safety hazard; exhaust gas co...
Posted over 1 year ago
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Reuben Saltzman

Minneapolis Home Inspections
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Home inspection topics in the Minneapolis / Saint Paul area.