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.


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?


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.