Window Replacement Part 4: (Vinyl) Lindsay, Alside, Simonton, Soft-Lite

- . They have 4 options for interior woodgrains. Their upper end lines like “Elements” and “Imperial LS” work great in our climate. Soft-Lite Windows is located in Ohio, like many other vinyl window manufacturers, and they’ve been making windows since 1937 ..More

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Troubleshooting a Leaking Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

- .  If the pressure is over 80 psi, it should be corrected.  You should expect the pressure to be somewhere in the 40 – 80 psi range, with no other water running.  The solution is to have a pressure regulator installed.  Get a plumber to do that. The easiest way to do this is to get a gauge with a garden hose thread, connect it to an outside garden hose faucet (sillcock), and open up the faucet ..More

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How to Inspect Your Own House, Part 1: Roof and Chimney

-  Pay special attention to the south-facing portions of the roof; these areas almost always fail first.  If needed, use binoculars and slowly scan everything. The best way to inspect a roof is by walking its surface.  If that’s not possible or not safe, walk around the exterior and carefully inspect all sides of the roof. .  If it’s safe to do so, get on the roof to inspect it.  If it’s not safe to walk the roof, inspect it by leaning a ladder against the edges in several places to get a close look.  Need a ladder?  I recommend the Little Giant.  If there are curled or deteriorated shingles, it’s probably worth having a follow-up inspection done by a trusted roofing contractor ..More

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Q&A – Siding Stains: Why Do Houses Cry?

-  This is how moist air gets into the walls.  It leaks through outlets, switches, and countless other penetrations. In Allison Bailes’ article above, this would be described as a “Supply Only” ventilation system for the home.  It leaks through a million little holes in the walls and ceilings. .  Check out my blog post on this topic for more info: Combustion Air Duct Connected to Return Plenum.  When the blower fan on the furnace runs, it pulls air into the home via the duct that runs to the exterior of the home.  Of course, all of that air coming in needs to leak back out… somewhere… right?  Of course it does.  This puts the home under positive pressure.  This is a bad way to ventilate houses in Minnesota ..More

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Why Home Inspectors Should Know Building Codes

- @#$!%* beaurocracy, plain and simple. .  The folks that I’ve reached out to at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry have told me they’re not allowed to do any teaching outside of the state curriculum because there’s a conflict of interest.  I’m not done with it though.  I have no idea what the conflict could possibly be, and I’m not at all satisfied with that answer, but in the interest of getting this class put together and notifications sent out to MN home inspectors in a timely manner, I didn’t fight the issue ..More

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