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: "Will you be checking for moisture during the home inspection?"

"Will you be checking for moisture during the home inspection?" Yep, that's a common question, and the correct answer is Heck Yes.


Attic Insulation Methods

What's the best way to insulate your attic? Last week's post was about insulation types, this week's post is about insulation methods.


Attic insulation types

What's the best attic insulation? That depends on your definition of best. What performs the best isn't the most cost-effective way to insulate an attic.


Unintended consequences of attic improvements

Air sealing and adding insulation to an existing house could have negative impacts on both the occupants and the house.


Adding attic insulation? Read this first.

If you've considered adding attic insulation to your home this year, please read this first. Most homeowners go about re-insulating their attics all wrong.


Knocking drain noises

Ever noticed those knocking drain noises when hot water drains out of your sink or bathtub? It's the drain expanding. That's it, that's all.


Frost in attics: Why it's there and how to fix it

Frost in an attic

If you have a problem with frost in your attic, you're not alone. The last few weeks of very cold weather has led to a lot of frost-covered attics.


Top 20 home inspection photos from 2017

This circuit breaker box is out of control.

A shower head positioned outside the shower. Water temperature of nearly 200 degrees. Fuse boxes gone wild. See the crazy things Reuben Saltzman and his home inspectors discovered in 2017.


Old vent caps need to go

Drive through any neighborhood in Minneapolis or Saint Paul and you'll find a handful of gas vents with missing or improper vent caps. These all need to go.


Top 4 holiday gifts for handy homeowners

I've put together my list of Top 4 gifts for handy homeowners. You can't go wrong with any of these gifts.


Missing handrails are now a required repair in Minneapolis

Missing handrails just got upgraded to a must-fix item for homes in Minneapolis. This used to be rated as a "B", now it's an "RRE".


Fenix TK35UE 2018 Edition flashlight: a home inspector's review

I tested out the brand new Fenix TK35UE 2018 edition flashlight as part of their Global Review campaign, and it's a light cannon.


Seek Thermal Reveal Pro Camera: a home inspector's review

Seek Thermal's new Reveal Pro thermal imaging camera is an extremely impressive pocket-sized camera with image quality comparable to the FLIR E6.


Same house, second inspection... what now?

What happens when we get a request to inspect a house a second time? This question comes from a thousand other home inspectors.


FLIR ONE Pro: a home inspector's review

I had a chance to test out the FLIR ONE Pro Thermal Camera, which is a $399 mobile phone accessory with the same resolution as the FLIR E6.


Can I join ABS to PVC?

It's possible to join ABS to PVC, but it's only supposed to be done with a mechanical coupling, not glued. For the rest of the story, read on.


Animals, skeletons, and creepy home inspection photos

Workers for Structure Tech Home Inspections found this creepy doll hanging in an attic.

No need to go a haunted house attraction for Halloween. Home inspector Reuben Saltzman has photos of attics, basements and crawl spaces that will scare the wits out of you.


Hey, Minnesota homeowners: Here's your fall maintenance checklist

With freezing temperatures and flurries in the forecast later this week, the clock is ticking on getting your home prepared for a Minnesota winter.


Skylight leak? No, probably not.

I'm convinced that most moisture issues with skylights are condensation issues that are misdiagnosed as leaks.


Bonding gas piping

To make it really simple, when metal that can carry electricity (but shouldn't) gets connected together to eliminate potential, we call it bonding.