Reuben's Home Inspection Blog

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Home Inspector - Structure Tech Home Inspections
Home inspection topics in the Minneapolis / Saint Paul area.
Last week I received an email from a concerned reader who said his 85-year-old mother-in-law had recently purchased a $2,500 radiant barrier insulation system for her 1,800 sf townhouse in Austin, MN.   She was convinced that this was a good investment after attending a free dinner, wherein the e...
Confusion abounds over the use of tandem circuit breakers in panelboards, even among electricians and electrical inspectors.  Today I'll set  the record straight as to when tandem circuit breakers can be used.   This is an adaptation of an article I wrote for the ASHI Reporter, which was publishe...
Home flippers buy dilapidated houses, fix them up, then sell them again as quickly as possible with the intention of making a tidy profit.  Flipped houses look shiny and new inside, but what's going on underneath all the new drywall, carpet, and paint?  Very few home buyers seem to trust flippers...
About two to three times a month, I get a call or email from someone who is interested in becoming a home inspector. "What kind of training is required to be a home inspector in Minnesota?  What type of background is required to be a home inspector?  Are you hiring?" I always call people back to...
For at least the last twenty years or so, the most common way of insulating attics in Minnesota is to use loose-fill insulation - either cellulose or fiberglass.  This is a huge improvement over fiberglass batts, because batts are nearly impossible to install in attics and they cost more money. ...
I don't know how it happened, and I'm not accusing anyone of intentionally doing something that's completely despicable, but it looks like someone intentionally tampered with a radon test. I recently inspected a home that was being flipped for some young first-time home buyers.  The home had a ne...
When a temperature and pressure  (T&P) relief valve at a water heater leaks, it's usually a simple fix; just replace the valve.   These valves cost less than $15, and replacing the valve is a very basic job - just drain some water out of the water heater, remove the discharge tube, and replace th...
Most homeowners who live in cold climates know it's important to 'winterize' the outside faucets to prevent them from freezing, which can destroy the faucet or lead to a burst pipe.  The problem is that many people don't quite get it right - winterizing the outside faucets in the fall seems like ...
Why are home inspectors obsessed with flashlights?  It's probably because flashlights are one of the few tools that home inspectors just absolutely couldn't do an inspection without, and it's the only tool that keeps getting better and better every year.  Now please excuse me while I geek out. Ev...
In searching for a home inspector for out-of-state family members buying a home, I ended up comparing dozens of home inspector web sites, trying to separate the great home inspectors from the hacks.  It wasn't difficult to find qualified home inspectors, but finding someone who I thought was a gr...

Reuben Saltzman

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Home inspection topics in the Minneapolis / Saint Paul area.