Frost Heave and Deck Footings

- .  I once lived in a townhouse in Saint Louis Park with a patio that would heave about 4” during the winter; it got so bad that I could barely open my storm door during the winter. How much can soils heave?  It depends ..More

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Combustion Air Duct Connected to the Return Plenum

- .  Section 708. 1, #3 says:. As a home inspector I don’t get hung up on code requirements, but as long as I’m blogging about this topic, it’s worth mentioning that the Minnesota State Mechanical Code no longer allows the combustion air duct to be connected to the return plenum ..More

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Radon in New Minnesota Homes

- .  A radon fan can be installed at the radon vent in the attic, along with a simple monitor in the basement to show that the system is working.  This fan will suck soil gases out from underneath the house, and is extremely effective at minimizing radon levels. If an elevated radon level is found at a new construction home, the fix is typically easy and inexpensive.  An outlet will have already been installed in the attic for the fan, so the installation is a piece of cake ..More

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Q&A: What Does a Long Home Inspection Mean?

- .  It takes time to document problems, and these problem areas then need to be further inspected to help determine what else might be wrong. Houses with deferred maintenance (aka – “no maintenance”) take a lot longer to inspect ..More

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Chewed Up Plumbing Vent Flashing

- I suppose all that lead can’t be good for squirrels, but the main focus is how this affects one’s house. Squirrels like to gnaw on those sweet lead caps, and once a squirrel develops a taste for lead, they just can’t seem to help themselves. They keep coming back. Lead apparently has a sweet taste, and was used in Ancient Rome to sweeten wine. .   Once a plumbing vent cap is damaged, water can leak into the attic between the plumbing vent and the cap.  The photos below show a few examples ..More

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