The Home Inspector | Star Tribune

The Home Inspector

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.


Ice Dams: how to prevent and how to remove

Ice dams are literally dams of ice that form on roofs and cause water to back up. Today I'll explain why they happen, how to prevent them, and how to remove


Visible changes to radon testing in Minnesota

Licensing for radon testing has arrived in Minnesota, and with that comes a lot of red tape and changes will be quite noticeable.


How to control window condensation during deep freeze

There are only two variables to window condensation: indoor humidity and window temperature. To prevent condensation, these need to be controlled.


Should home inspectors trample insulation? No.

Should home inspectors walk through insulated attics to fully inspect the attic spaces? I say no. There is a high potential to cause damage to the home.


Walabot Wall Scanner demonstration

The WalabotDIY Wall Scanner is essentially a glorifiedstud finder for Android phones. I made a video to show how it works.


Minneapolis Time of Sale Energy Disclosure

The City of Minneapolis is getting serious about implementing a Time of Sale Energy Disclosure program to the existing Truth-In-Sale of Housing program.


Radon licensing requirements for Minnesota

It's official, radon licensing has arrived in Minnesota. As of January 1st, anyone who does a radon test will need to be licensed.


They did what? The best of the worst home inspection photos of 2018

They did what? The best of the worst home inspection photos of 2018

From painted on grout and a cut-out door to a built-in (to the wall) toilet, here are the "best" home inspection photos of 2018.


Bedroom ceiling height and floor area requirements for 1.5-story homes

Ceiling height and floor area requirements for bedrooms in 1.5-story homes seemto befuddle everyone.


Are combustion air ducts needed for large basements?

Are combustion air ducts needed for large, open basements? Maybe. It depends on many different factors, which we'll discuss today.


Carbon monoxide = CO (houses don't need CO2 detectors)

There are many common misconceptions and misunderstandings about furnaces, water heaters, and carbon monoxide that I hear repeated on a daily basis.


Whole-House Humidifiers Harm Houses (still)

Whole-house humidifiers are at the root of many of the most serious moisture problems in Minnesota homes.


Foundation cracks: get an engineer every time?

Does this sound like good advice to you? Hire an engineer to evaluateevery foundation crack?It doesn't sound like good advice to me.


How to Inspect Your Own Home

You're a diligent homeowner, a firm believer in home maintenance, and you regularly inspect your own home. Right? Download our free guide to help with that.


Are annual furnace inspections really necessary?

In a recent blog post aboutfall maintenance for Minnesota homeowners, I recommended annual furnace inspections (or boiler inspections)


What's faster: vented or unvented drains?

What drains faster, a vented or unvented drain? For every side-by-side test that I have ever conducted, the unvented drain is faster.


Animals, skeletons, and creepy home inspection stuff, part 3

Unlike most blog posts that you'll find here, this one has no educational value at all. Warning: Several of these photos are gross.


Here to help: Your fall Minnesota homeowner maintenance checklist

Here to help: Your fall Minnesota homeowner maintenance checklist

Fall is officially here and we've already had snow. If you're not yet done with your fall maintenance list, get on it.


Air admittance valves

Air admittance valves are mechanical devices that take the place of plumbing vents. They're inexpensive, they work, and they're not legal in Minnesota.


Plumbing Vents, Why Houses Need Them (forget the water bottle analogy)

Plumbing vents protect plumbing traps. They don't make fixtures drain faster; in fact, they do the opposite.