Five Common Sump System Defects

- . The photo below shows the sump pump discharging to a receptor that connects to a 4″ corrugated drain hose ..More

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Home Inspectors Shouldn’t be Nail Biters

-  He was given weak advice from a home inspector who spends more time worrying about getting sued than they spend trying to identify problems with a house. . Sorry, but I don’t buy into that ..More

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Window Replacement Part 1: The Dog and Pony Show Comes to Your House

- .   With the tight seals from a new install and new windows, the moisture is better sealed in your house and will condense on the coolest surface, being the glass.   However, keep in mind that new windows sometimes cause condensation for the first time!  How can that be?  It’s because the old windows were so drafty that the moisture simply passed through to the outside.   If you can lower humidity levels in your home, that will also help with the condensation issue.  .   You will get less of it with the warm-edge spacer. Today there are warm-edge spacers, made out of non-conductive foam polymers.  This greatly decreases the heat (and cold) transfer along the edges of the glass, cutting down on the amount of condensation ..More

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Combustion Air Ducts, Part I: Why Houses Need Them

- . The photo below shows the furnace vents going through the rim joist.  Daylight is visible around these penetrations, which means air leakage ..More

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Minnesota Radon Awareness Act

- .  The seller acted very insulted because she had already conducted a radon test on her own, “proving” that radon levels in her home were low.  I had an almost comical situation occur this fall when a buyer hired us to conduct a radon test along with our home inspection.  It was no surprise to us when the radon results came back high.  After some conversation with the seller, it seemed quite obvious that she had placed the do-it-yourself test on the second floor of her home and the windows were probably open when she conducted the test, making the test results worthless. If you’re buying a home, hire a professional to test it for radon.  Don’t go with the sellers results ..More

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