Are sewer inspections a good idea for old houses, or all houses? If you had asked me this question a few years ago, I would have told you old houses. In fact, I told a lot of people that. Today, however, I know better.
As a home ages, the potential for sewer problems increases. I used to believe that problems with building sewers were almost non-existent for newer, plastic drain lines. It's not true. My sewer inspection guy, Joseph Whitters, aka Sewer Joe, aka Dr. J, has shared a bunch of sewer inspection videos with me over the past year showing failed, relatively newer sewer lines. Each one of these drain lines requires an expensive repair that I would absolutely not want to get stuck with as a home buyer. I put together a short video of these defects, along with some commentary from Sewer Joe. Check it out: https://youtu.be/dz-8HOZPbaM
Reuben Saltzman is a second-generation home inspector with a passion for his work. Naturally, this blog is all about home inspections and home-related topics in the Twin Cities metro area. In addition to working at Structure Tech, he is also a licensed Truth-In-Sale of Housing Evaluator in Minneapolis, Saint Paul and several other cities.
When a water heater backdrafts, it's a safety hazard. Homeowners usually don't know they have a problem because a backdrafting water heater will almost never set off a carbon monoxide alarm. A water heater backdrafts when the exhaust gases from an atmospherically vented water heater spill out into the room, rather than safely leaving the house through the vent. Exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide and high levels of moisture, so this is always a condition that should be corrected.
Gas water heaters are a lot like decks, in the sense that most handy homeowners feel qualified to install one. Thanks to these handy folks, we find more installation defects on decks and water heaters than just about any other component in the home, and today I'm going to share how we inspect water heaters.
If you're buying an old house, beware of old water supply pipes; specifically, galvanized steel or lead. These pipes can lead to poor water flow in homes, to the point where you can't even run water in two places at once.
Buying a used house in Minnesota? Here's a rough timeline of potential problems to look out for. It's impossible to make a perfect chart like this because so many of these things are generalities, but I think this chart is a great starting point to knowing what types of issues to look out for.
One of my least favorite chores in the kitchen has always been re-filling the built-in hand soap dispenser at my kitchen sink. Through years of extensive research into this matter, I've discovered that I'm not alone. Approximately 57.3% of soap dispensers in the Twin Cities metro area remain unfilled. Sitting next to the empty soap dispensers, I often find unsightly store-bought bottles of hand soap. Oh, the humanity.