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.


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.


Plumbing Traps

A plumbing trap prevents sewer gas from entering your home. At least, that's what it's supposed to do.


Sewer inspections: old homes or all homes?

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.


Gas appliance connectors

Gas appliance connectors aren't the same as gas piping. Gas appliance connectors are devices that connect gas appliancestogas piping.


Gas appliance categories

Do gas appliance categories matter? To anyone installing or inspecting these units, yes. This is important stuff to be aware of. As a home inspector...


Are re-inspections necessary?

When a home buyer asks a seller to make repairs to a property after a home inspection, how do the repairs get verified? Dothey get verified?


Does the seller need to fix this?

Does the seller need to fix this? This is a common question we're asked when we find defects at houses that we inspect, and the answer is always no.


Hot circuit breakers and dimmer switches

I recently had a home inspector ask me how hot is too hot when it comes to circuit breakers and switches.


How to replace a shutoff valve the easy way: use a SharkBite®

Leaking shutoff valve at your sink or toilet? The repair can sometimes be a quick and easy process, thanks to SharkBite® fittings.


Fire separation between the garage and house; don't say firewall

The separation between a garage and a house is commonly referred to as a firewall, but it's not accurate. It should be called a fire separation wall.


The Structure Tech training process

I get a lot of training questions from aspiring home inspectors about how to get into this business and how to get trained. I have some advice to share.