How to inspect a chimney

Here's what to look for when inspecting a chimney Nearly 75% of the chimneys built before 1990 are in need of some kind of repair. That's according to Randy Sloss,…

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Let’s not attach a deck to a cantilevered joist

Deck safety starts with a good design, and that starts with understanding building codes. The 2015 IRC (International Building Code) states clearly that decks are not to be attached to…

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Frost heaves

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. Frost…

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Sewer vent frost plug

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…

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

Those little white balls are frost that has formed on nails 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.…

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Saddle valves; what could possibly go wrong?

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…

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Missing Ground Jumper

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…

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Simple home maintenance tip: Bathroom exhaust

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…

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The ideal crawlspace

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…

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