Reuben's Home Inspection Blog

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Home Inspector - Structure Tech Home Inspections
Home inspection topics in the Minneapolis / Saint Paul area.
The CPSC estimates that between 2003 and 2007, there have been over eleven thousand injuries caused by structural failure or collapse of guardrails at outdoor decks.  It's not tough to understand why - when people have parties in the summer, everyone hangs out on the deck.  Throw in a keg of Busc...
May is National Deck Safety Month, so I'm going to start off this month by writing about the most common cause of deck collapses - improper attachment to a building.  Most decks are supported on one side by the building, and on the opposite side by the earth.  The photo below shows a deck collaps...
One of the most common defects I find with asphalt shingles is improper nailing.  The manufacturers of asphalt shingles give specific instructions on how to fasten shingles, and they're all pretty much the same.  Unfortunately, following those instructions seems to be a difficult thing to do for ...
I heard Adam Carolla mention this quick tip, and it really works.  I had to pass this along.  If you need to drill a hole in your wall and you don't want to make a mess on the floor, just use a Post-it® note. 3/8" hole in a 2x6 You make a couple of quick folds, paste the paper on the wall, then d...
What's the best temperature to set your water heater to?  There's no single great answer.  The American Society of Sanitary Engineering Scald Awareness Task Group recently released a white paper on this topic, which essentially says that there is no perfect temperature to set you water heater to....
Do you know what type of smoke alarms you have in your house?   There are two basic types of residential smoke alarms - ionization and photoelectric.  The vast majority of smoke alarms in use today are the ionization type, but they're being questioned more and more as a valid detection method; to...
Chandeliers above bath tubs are apparently all the rage today.  A few weeks ago I somehow ended up inspecting three houses in a row that had chandeliers installed above the bath tubs - one in Chaska, one in Saint Paul, and one in Victoria.  They all look great, don't they? Shortly after I posted ...
For about the last twenty years or so in Minnesota, it's been standard practice to seal up attic bypassses; little passageways for conditioned household air to leak in to the attic.  Attic bypasses are also known as attic air leaks.  It's important to seal all of the bypasses in an attic, because...
If you see black stuff covering or growing on the roof sheathing in your attic, it's probably mold.  It's never fun to find out that your house has mold, but the fix for mold in the attic is usually quite straightforward, and doesn't involve the services of any 'mold remediation experts'. There a...
There's a show on HGTV called Holmes Inspection, which exposes problems with houses that were allegedly missed by other home inspectors.  Here's the basic formula: John and Jane buy a house, have it inspected, no major problems.  Time passes, problems show up, Mike Holmes gets called in.  Mike in...

Reuben Saltzman

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Home inspection topics in the Minneapolis / Saint Paul area.