Why You Should Keep Your Water Heater Properly Maintained

During the course of a home inspection I remind clients that in order for appliances to operate safely and efficiently, they should be maintained on a regular schedule as recommended by the manufacturer. In the photos above you will see a water heater that I came across at a home inspection. Clearly there are some combustion issues.

Rochester MN Home Inspector Discusses Dryer Fire Hazards

If you have had a home inspection by HomePro Home Inspections you know that when I come across flexible, corrugated dryer venting, we discuss the potential for fire hazard. Dryer manufacturers recommend solid metal smooth bore venting to provide for better air flow.

Home Inspection Detects Hazardous Gas

On a recent home inspection near Rochester MN, I came across what appeared to be a blocked chimney flue. Both the furnace and water heater were functioning properly with nice blue flames. I was however getting back draft Carbon Monoxide exhaust from both appliances.

Home Inspectors Discover Serious Water Heater Venting Problem

At a recent home inspection I came across a hot water heater in a utility closet in which the vent flue had become disconnected at the ceiling. In addition to the exhaust and CO venting directly to the closet, you can see that the paper on the adjacent sheetrock is heavily charred from the exhaust heat.

Blocked Furnace Venting Found During Home Inspection

The recent heavy snowfall and drifting brings one more thing that Rochester and Southeastern MN homeowners need to keep an eye on. Home owners with High Efficiency, direct vent furnaces and water heaters need to check to see that the venting has not been drifted over with snow or blocked.

Rochester MN Home Inspector Finds Bees In The Basement

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.

Home Inspection Exposes Deteriorated Chimney Cap

Home inspector demonstrates deteriorated chimney cap and mortar

Home inspector demonstrates deteriorated chimney cap and mortar

After years and years of exposure to the elements, the mortar and wash cap around your tile chimney top can start to crack and deteriorate. These types of defects should be noted by your home inspector at the time of your home inspection. 

Cracks in your chimney cap should be caulked or sealed in order to prevent damage form freeze/that cycles during the harsh Rochester MN weather.  When water is trapped in the masonry or mortar joints, freezing literally starts to break the chimney apart. 

Small cracks can be sealed with masonry caulk, or silicone.  The best choice would be a urethane or one part epoxy product.

After inspecting your chimney mortar and cap for cracks and deterioration, clean the cracks with a brush or air spray.  Fill the cracks with caulk and/or sealant.  Caulk should only be used if the cracks are relatively small.  You should inspect your chimney cap at least once a year.  If it is too high or dangerous for you to attempt yourself, contact a local Rochester MN  chimney contractor to perform an inspection and repairs.

Larger cracks or major chimney repairs should be handled by professional masons or certified chimney sweeps.  If the chimney cap is in real bad shape, the long term solution would be to have the cap replaced with poured concrete.  The concrete mix used should be formulated to withstand the weather extremes and moisture.  Caps should have adequate expansion joints between the concrete and the clay chimney flue tile.  This expansion joint should be sealed after the chimney cap is cured.  Pre cast chimney caps may also be available in various sizes from you local chimney contractor.