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The Home Inspector

Like boot camp for homeowners.

Home & Garden
February 4

Kitchen range hoods are for all kitchens, not just above gas ovens

Every home should be equipped with a ducted kitchen range hood. I recently read a great 31-page white paper on ducted range hoods, and this blog post is the CliffNotes version of that information.
Home & Garden
January 28

Walking wet roofs

Walking a wet asphalt shingle roof isn't any more dangerous than walking a dry roof, provided it's clean. Yep, you read that right. I said it.
Home & Garden
January 21

Moldy shower caulk... fixed!

Everyone has seen moldy bathroom caulk before, and if you've tried cleaning this stuff, you know it's impossible. Until now.
Home & Garden
January 14

The top five places to find mold in your home

As a home inspector, I don't specifically look for mold, but when I find stuff that looks like mold, I report it as such. A mold issue is a moisture issue.
Home & Garden
January 7

Double-Keyed Deadbolts

Are double-keyed deadbolts legal? Are they safer? More secure? Great questions. Let's dig into all of them.
Home & Garden
December 31, 2019
Wait what? The strangest home inspection photos of 2019

Wait what? The strangest home inspection photos of 2019

Here are 20 photos featuring the wackiest things home inspectors saw this year.
Home & Garden
December 24, 2019

Minneapolis Time of Sale Energy Disclosure takes effect on January 15th, 2020

It's official, Minneapolis is implementing a Time of Sale Energy Disclosure program, which takes effect on January 15, 2020.
Home & Garden
December 17, 2019

Video: burning dryer ducts

I bought a 200 CFM fan, filled a bunch of dryer transition ducts with shredded paper, then started them on fire. Check out the video below to see the results.
Home & Garden
December 10, 2019

Foil dryer ducts: code-approved?

Foil dryer transition ducts are allowed by code and by some clothes dryer manufacturers.
Home & Garden
December 6, 2019

Should I turn off the circuit breaker to my AC for the winter?

Shortly after posting our fall maintenance checklist this year, I had a reader contact me to let me know that I may have missed an important fall maintenance item.
Home & Garden
November 26, 2019

Heat Cable Installation

Welcome to the final entry in my three-part series on ice dam prevention and heat cables.
Home & Garden
November 22, 2019

Should you install heat cables to prevent ice dams?

Heat cable has a dubious reputation in the ice dam prevention world. It's a topic few understand in-depth, both in terms of functionality and installation.
Home & Garden
November 20, 2019

Frost-free faucets are now required in Minnesota

Frost-proof faucets are now required by the Minnesota State Plumbing Code, which says "A listed self-draining frost-proof hose bibb shall be used."
Home & Garden
November 19, 2019

Not all heat cable is created equal

My advice to anyone considering heat cable for ice dam prevention is to either install a high-quality, self-regulating heat cable or skip it altogether.
Home & Garden
November 19, 2019

Animals, skeletons, and creepy home inspection stuff, 2019

Most of the stuff that we post is educational, but this one isn't. This is pure eye-candy for the season. If you follow our Facebook page, you've surely seen most of these photos, but not all of them. These are our favorites from 2019. Warning: Several of these photos are gross.
Home & Garden
November 18, 2019

Inspections to consider when building a new home

There are three types of inspections associated with new-construction homes: pre-drywall inspections, final inspections, and one-year warranty inspections.
Home & Garden
November 17, 2019

New construction inspection: trust, but verify.

The homeowner didn't get a home inspection when she purchased the home, because the builder's rep had convinced her of all the myths listed above.
Home & Garden
November 16, 2019

Nine ways for water to enter your basement or crawl space

Wondering how that water made it into your crawlspace? Guest post by Murphy Home Inspection explains the most common ways water enters a crawlspace.
Home & Garden
October 22, 2019
Gutters and downspouts clogged with leaves and other debris can cause the rainwater to overflow - and that can lead to costly repairs.

Ready for winter? A fall maintenance checklist for Minnesota homeowners

If you haven't finished your fall maintenance list, it's time to get on it. This is a comprehensive list of fall maintenance items for Minnesota homeowners.
Home & Garden
October 15, 2019
Are gutter guards worth it?

Are gutter guards worth it?

Are gutter guards worth it? I like good gutter guards, and they certainly help to reduce home maintenance, but none of them are maintenance-free.
Home & Garden
October 8, 2019

How to fix double-tapped circuit breakers

Double-tapped circuit breakers are one of the most common electrical defects that home inspectors find.
Home & Garden
October 1, 2019

Orangeburg Pipe? What is Orangeburg Pipe?

"Man, that sure looks like Orangeburg to me!" Then, looking at it closely, he added, quietly, "Boy, I sure hope that's not Orangeburg."
Home & Garden
September 24, 2019

Seek Thermal ShotPRO camera review

Seek Thermal has a relatively new pocket-sized infrared camera called the ShotPRO, which retails for $699. I did a bunch of testing against the FLIR E6.
Home & Garden
September 17, 2019

Bath fan fire hazards

Old dirty bath fans can start fires. You take a hot fan motor and put it in contact with lint and dust, and you have a fire hazard.
Home & Garden
September 10, 2019

Home inspection fail files: wrong house

How could a home inspector inspect the wrong house? It's not as tough as it sounds. I've done it twice myself, and at least one other person on my team did it recently.