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.


Q&A: should the air exchanger be on or off during a radon test?

When conducting a short-term radon test, should the air exchanger be running or not? Great question. I've heard it argued both ways.


Not A Flamethrower testing on intumescent firestop collars

How effective are intumescent firestop collars? Joe, Matt, and I used a friend's Not A Flamethrower to find out. The testing was fun and enlightening.


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.


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.


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.


Reuben's Recommended Reading

I have a hard time remembering all of my favorites, so I put together a list of my most-recommended books. Then I decided to share it here as a blog post.


Decks attached through brick veneer

When a deck is attached to brick veneer, something probably went wrong. Today I'll explain why this is an issue and what can be done about it.


Non-contact voltage testers: tips and tricks

As a home inspector, I use my non-contact voltage detector for a variety of things, and I'm careful to avoid these pitfalls during home inspections.


Introducing the Sense Home Energy Monitor

The Sense home energy monitor is possibly the coolest tool ever invented to track home energy usage. I installed one in my own home about a month ago.


Home inspections for first-time home buyers (video post)

This is a 13-minute class on the basics of home inspections for first-time home buyers. What's a home inspection? What happens next? Etc.


Hazards with aluminum wiring

Buying a home with aluminum wiring? The seller will probably tell you it's perfectly fine, has never been a problem, and there's nothing to worry about.


How to replace a hardwired smoke alarm

Replacing a hardwired smoke alarm is a piece of cake. If you purchase a smoke alarm from the same manufacturer, you might be able to use the same wiring.


Which smoke alarm to buy

Shopping for a new smoke alarm? Stop. Don't even go to the store until you know exactly which smoke alarm you want.


Carbon monoxide alarm requirements for Minnesota

Carbon monoxide alarms are required for most dwellings in Minnesota, both by Statute and by Rule. Here are the details about most scenarios I can think of.


Trade tip: make your ladder scratch-free

By applying electrical tape to the portion of my ladder that leans against the gutter, it no longer scratches the gutter. The tape lasts for a long time, and it's easy to replace when needed.


Automatic water leak protection

Water leaks and water backups can occur in many places throughout the home. Here's a way to reduce the potential for water damage.


Chimney inspections: pass or fail, nothing in-between

According to the CPSC, an estimated 22,300 residential structure fires occur every year as a result of a Fireplace, Chimney, or Chimney Connector fire.


Snow+rain=extremely heavy snow

It's time for Minnesotans to consider removing snow from their roofs because of the weight.


Bath fan duct: metal or plastic?

Should bath fan ducts be made from metal or plastic? If you live in a cold climate like Minnesota, I recommend plastic.


'How much snow is safe for my roof?' A question that needed to be asked

'How much snow is safe for my roof?' A question that needed to be asked

The record-setting snowfall that we've received here in Minnesota raises concerns about how much snow a roof can hold. Should snow be removed?