Frost heaves

By Joe Lundequam / March 13, 2019 / General / No Comments

At an inspection in Woodbury, I saw that the deck sloped toward the house. Was it built that way? Nope. The footings had been pushed up by frost heave. Every spring, farmers head into the fields and pick up rocks that appeared after the snow melts. They weren’t there in the fall. Where did ...

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Sewer vent frost plug

By Joe Lundequam / February 6, 2019 / General / No Comments

Sewer pipes are on the roof s of homes, and are usually PVC (white plastic) or cast iron. They allow air to enter or leave the sewer system in the house as needed for the drains and toilets to work properly. When it’s very cold out, water vapor can freeze on the end, plugging it. […]

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Is it raining in your attic? In a way, yes.

By Joe Lundequam / January 27, 2019 / General / No Comments

At a home inspection in Stillwater, MN, I found evidence of frost. Finding it is easy during the winter because the frost forms on the nails from the shingles. In the summertime I look for rust on those nails, as well as darkened wood where the moisture has caused damage. Moist air in the attic [...

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Saddle valves; what could possibly go wrong?

By Joe Lundequam / October 6, 2018 / General / No Comments

You need to install a water line for your ice maker, but you don’t consider yourself a plumber. The idea of sweating  joints is a bit intimidating to folks without any experience. And what about the equipment; torch, solder, flux etc. that you need- when are you going to use that stuff agai...

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Tree branches are touching my power lines!

By Joe Lundequam / October 3, 2018 / General / 2 Comments

Who’s gonna cut the trees around the power lines? According to Excel Energy, the person who owns the land that the tree is on is expected to keep the tree branches from touching the power lines. That means that if your lines cross your neighbor’s yard and your neighbor’s tree ne...

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Missing Ground Jumper

By Joe Lundequam / October 3, 2018 / General / No Comments

What’s a missing ground jumper? A long time ago, water pipes were used for grounding electrical components in the house. The idea had merit; the pipes were metal, and came to the house through the ground. Any stray voltage would be safely diverted. Nope. Back up. Explain “Stray Voltag...

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Simple home maintenance tip: Bathroom exhaust

By Joe Lundequam / August 9, 2018 / General / No Comments

Take a minute to check your fan Are you sure your bathroom fan is doing it’s job? Here’s a simple way to check; Take a short length of toilet paper and hold it up to the grille on the bathroom fan while it’s running. Does it stay there? Done. Well, almost. Now you know if it [&h...

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The ideal crawlspace

By Joe Lundequam / July 19, 2018 / General / No Comments

The ideal crawlspace DOES exist! AT a home inspection in Minneapolis, I came across a perfect example of should NOT be in a crawlspace, and it occurred to me that I have seen more basements with problems than without, especially on homes that were more than 50 years old. This house had stacked st...

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You get to clean gutters! How cool is THAT?

By Joe Lundequam / July 12, 2018 / General / No Comments

The joys of home ownership! As a home inspector in the Stillwater MN area, I always make a point of looking into the gutters on a house. The gutters perform an important roll in water management, but only if they function properly.  Clearly, the only way for gutters to do their important job is t...

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Aluminum wiring

By Joe Lundequam / June 5, 2018 / General / No Comments

Aluminum branch wiring; the house hasn’t burned down yet, so we’re good, right?  Um, I think the operative word there is “yet“. There are a bunch of reasons why aluminum branch wiring is a concern to home inspectors. But first, a bit of history; In 1960, the price of coppe...

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