What happens when an exterior faucet drips in Minnesota in the Winter? You get an Ice Dome. Two things you want to make sure of is that faucets ar completely shut off and that you don't leave garden hoses hooked up. It is important that the anti frost valve is allowed to drain properly to prevent damage to the faucet
It’s winter and the critters living outside are looking for a warm place to spend the winter. Your home offers everything that mice, chipmunks, and squirrels are looking for, warmth, water and food.
We all put a lot of time and hard work into your yard during the summer. It’s late fall and you have taken the time to get things ready for winter. You know the drill: make sure your plans are all well watered before the ground freezes. Move house plans indoors. Clean up the flower beds, remove, cut back, mulch…etc.
Here we are, the end of October. Summer is over and we need to start thinking about preparing for winter. Below are some recommended home maintenance tips you should consider before the snow starts to fly.
This is an example of one way not to repair a crumbling porch. Over time the elements got to the outer later of this porch brickwork. Mortar and bricks became loose and fell out. What the home owner did was to provide bracing to keep addotionam courses of block from falling out.
It’s Summer, and if you haven’t noticed yet, we have had a few storms. Once a storm has passed and it is safe to go outside, make a careful inspection of the exterior of your home and repair any minor damage that may have occurred.
As stated in the video, we had over 40 inches of snow here in Rochester during the month of December. Then to top it off we had above freezing weather and rain. This resulted in ice daming on most all homes in the area.
This video is showing mold growth and staining in a split level basement ledge of the exterior wall. The basement was finished off about a year ago, with the mold and staining starting within the last two months. The owner pointed out this problem during the home inspection and asked me if I could help to figure out the cause. This wall was the only one in the basement that had this problem. All other areas were dry at the time of the home inspection.
At a recent home inspection I came across an opening in the side of a home that was housing a bee hive. This video clearly shows why you should always make sure that openings in the exterior of your home are sealed. These bees get into the wall and displace the insulation as they build their colonies. My recommendation to the new home owner was to have these bees exterminated, removed, and then to have the insulation replaced... Oh, and to make sure that all openings in the home's exterior are sealed.
This home inspection video shows an improper exterior electrical installation. The past homeowner needed electrical power to the outside, so he went ahead and drilled a hole through a basement window frame and ran a wire through it.
In the attached video you will see a deck that has had years of neglect and deferred maintenance. As a result, there are many issues that need attention.
What does your home have that can improve its first impression and it’s energy efficiency? It’s on the front of your home and sits directly in front of your main entrance. I’m talking about your storm doors. Storm doors play an important role in your homes curb appeal and energy efficiency. They can beautify and prevent drafts.
If your driveway, sidewalk or patio has a large area of concrete that has settled unevenly and now has a pitch towards your home foundation and threatens to flow rain water towards the basement, you may have a candidate for mudjacking.
There aren’t many things worse than walking across your basement, and suddenly getting your feet wet. Maybe the kids spilled something on the carpet or Fido had an accident. Then you realize there is a lot more water there than either could produce.
Your Rochester MN Home Inspector recommends staining your deck as one of the best ways to protect your investment from the elements, It will be easier to maintain and look better longer
We had a lot of snow this past winter and apparently the load exceeded the design specifications of this garage roof. Or maybe deferred maintenance caught up with structure. Whatever the case, it appears this garage is near the end of it's useful life ;-).
Your home inspector saw this as I was passing by and couldn't resist stopping and taking a picture.
Here’s another good reason you should make sure all exterior openings are sealed. I usually discuss with my clients the importance of making sure that all exterior openings are sealed so that moisture and insects can not infiltrate.
Quite often during a home inspection I will note a gap between the concrete driveway and the garage slab on the inspection report. Taking the time to fill the gap will be worth the effort. Excess water under the slab will cause the slab to raise in the winter as the ground freezes. The gap can be closed using a filler/backer rod and a self leveling sealant filler material.
The first step is to clean the gap, blowing away all dust and debris. If there is any depth to the void you will need to fill it with a filler material, sometimes called backer rod, or backer rope. This is typically a closed cell synthetic material that looks like one of those float noodles that the kids use in the pool. But a size that is slightly wider than the opening you are trying to fill. Your local Rochester, or Southeastern MN building materials store will have these materials.
Next, force the backing materials into the opening using a putty knife until you have about ¾-1 inch below the concrete surface. The backer rod material will support the filler sealant and will expand and contract as the seasons change. It also provides a surface that will not stick to the filler sealant. If the filler sealant is attached to three surfaces, it may not expand and contract properly and pull away from the concrete.
After the backer rod is installed, add the self leveling concrete filler or urethane type caulk. This material will fill the void and is self leveling. This material is designed to adhere well to concrete and will expand and contract with the seasons. Always follow the manufacturers directions for installation and cure time. Proper installation will give you a great result that will keep the gap filled for years to come.
Sometime it doesn't hurt to maybe take a look at the roof after a storm. This might also explain the stain on the bedroom ceiling.
Here is a good example of a flat rubber roof that is part of an addition to a home. It was raining while I performed this inspection so I was able to see that there was a low area in the center of this roof.