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.


COVID-19 and Home Inspections 4/7/20

I started listening to The Obstacle is the Way for the second time last week. That book was written for times like these, and I recommend this book to anyone who has had their business negatively impacted by COVID-19.


COVID-19 and Home Inspections 03-31-20

I'm sorry for turning my home inspection blog into a newsreel update or online journal on the status of home inspections in Minnesota, but that seems to be what people care about right now.


COVID-19 and Home Inspections

Things are crazy and unprecedented in the home inspection world. Last week brought some major changes to our everyday lives, and I expect to see more changes this week. To answer the #1 question that our client care coordinators are being asked, the answer is YES. We're still open for business, we're still inspecting houses.


Bedrooms don't need closets

Everyone knows that you need a closet in a bedroom to call it a bedroom, right? While this is a universally accepted de facto standard, good luck finding any type of authority that will back this up.


Expensive chimney repairs on old homes

Stucco-covered chimneys make me nervous. This all started about five years ago when one of our past clients asked us to buy him a new $20k chimney, claiming we had missed a major issue with the chimney


Two-prong outlets

What's the problem with two-prong outlets? Nothing. Lots of old homes have two-prong outlets, and this isn't a defect.


Hazardous electric panels

The most notorious electric panel is the Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok panel, also known as an FPE panel, Federal Pacific panel, or Stab-Lok.


Smoke Alarm Standards—ahead of schedule

The confusion and foot-dragging matters, and the fact that it is taking so long to get available technology in place is nothing but a shame.


Kitchen range hoods are for all kitchens, not just above gas ovens

Every home should be equipped with a ducted kitchen range hood. I recently read a great 31-page white paper on ducted range hoods, and this blog post is the CliffNotes version of that information.


Walking wet roofs

Walking a wet asphalt shingle roof isn't any more dangerous than walking a dry roof, provided it's clean. Yep, you read that right. I said it.


Moldy shower caulk... fixed!

Everyone has seen moldy bathroom caulk before, and if you've tried cleaning this stuff, you know it's impossible. Until now.


The top five places to find mold in your home

As a home inspector, I don't specifically look for mold, but when I find stuff that looks like mold, I report it as such. A mold issue is a moisture issue.


Double-Keyed Deadbolts

Are double-keyed deadbolts legal? Are they safer? More secure? Great questions. Let's dig into all of them.


Wait what? The strangest home inspection photos of 2019

Wait what? The strangest home inspection photos of 2019

Here are 20 photos featuring the wackiest things home inspectors saw this year.


Minneapolis Time of Sale Energy Disclosure takes effect on January 15th, 2020

It's official, Minneapolis is implementing a Time of Sale Energy Disclosure program, which takes effect on January 15, 2020.


Video: burning dryer ducts

I bought a 200 CFM fan, filled a bunch of dryer transition ducts with shredded paper, then started them on fire. Check out the video below to see the results.


Foil dryer ducts: code-approved?

Foil dryer transition ducts are allowed by code and by some clothes dryer manufacturers.


Should I turn off the circuit breaker to my AC for the winter?

Shortly after posting our fall maintenance checklist this year, I had a reader contact me to let me know that I may have missed an important fall maintenance item.


Heat Cable Installation

Welcome to the final entry in my three-part series on ice dam prevention and heat cables.


Should you install heat cables to prevent ice dams?

Heat cable has a dubious reputation in the ice dam prevention world. It's a topic few understand in-depth, both in terms of functionality and installation.