Gas log fireplaces can be costly

By Joe Lundequam / May 1, 2017 / General / No Comments

What’s a gas log fireplace? Most wood burning fireplaces are pretty simple. You have a firebox, damper and a chimney to direct the smoke the fire makes up and out of the house. If starting a wood fire is something you like to do, you’re in good shape. But what if the hassle of burning...

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How often should I have my furnace tuned up?

By Joe Lundequam / April 25, 2017 / General / No Comments

Normal home maintenance is a little like regular car maintenance and health check-ups. The benefits outweigh the cost and hassle, nearly every time. You wouldn’t drive a car 100,000 miles without an oil change. An off-hours service call can be pricey, and can be avoided by a regular checkup...

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20Apr

How does a water softener work?

By Joe Lundequam / April 20, 2017 / General / No Comments

And what the heck is “zeolite”? As a Stillwater home inspector, I explain to the home buyer how the components of a house work together. I point out where shut off valves are, and regular maintenance tips, such as how and when to change filters. And I get a lot of questions about wate...

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Pressure tank problems

By Joe Lundequam / April 18, 2017 / General / No Comments

Does your water flow rise and fall while you take a shower? As a home inspector in the Stillwater area, I inspect a lot of homes that are not connected to a city water supply. Each home has it’s own well. They usually last a very long time, and require little maintenance, other than changin...

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10Apr

Stacked Stone Foundations

By Joe Lundequam / April 10, 2017 / General / No Comments

Many homes built in the 1800’s have stacked stone foundations that have not moved, or not moved very much, but who’s to say how much longer it will last? More importantly, what problems might arise, and what will those problems look like? A close look at the walls will let you know if...

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Were my shingles properly nailed?

By Joe Lundequam / March 18, 2017 / General / No Comments

Probably. Most roofers do a very good job of installing shingles, and they stay on the roof for a very long time. If the shingles are not properly nailed, however, there can be problems several years down the line. Maybe the house has been sold, or the roofer for whatever reason can’t be re...

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What does ‘double-tapped neutral’ mean?

By Joe Lundequam / March 18, 2017 / General / No Comments

As a home inspector in the Stillwater area, I often identify electrical problems as “Hazardous”, and recommend repair by qualified electrician. A common, yet poorly understood issue is double tapped neutrals, where there are more than one white wires connected to the panel using only ...

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Kickout flashing

By Joe Lundequam / March 13, 2017 / General / No Comments

On some roofs, rain water is directed to a gutter and then runs down the downspout. Sometimes there is so much rain that it overshoots the gutter. If it then splashes on a wall or window, the water could create a great deal of damage. Kickout flashing is a small (usually about 4″ – 6&...

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Do I have to upgrade to GFCI?

By Joe Lundequam / March 11, 2017 / General / No Comments

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters are outlets that will shut off before someone gets a nasty shock if something goes wrong and the user is touching something that is grounded, such as a faucet on a kitchen sink. You know what they look like; they are those outlets you find in the bathroom that ha...

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Photoelectric Smoke alarms

By Joe Lundequam / March 11, 2017 / General / No Comments

When inspecting a house, I recommend replacing alarms that are 10 years old or ionization alarms with new, photo electric ones. Almost all of the alarms I find are one or the other, or both. You should be able to find the manufacturer date on the back. If you can’t, it most certainly  is ol...

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