Monthly Home Tip

Rochester MN Home Inspectors Discuss Damaged Garage Door

In the attached video of a cracked garage door top panel. I come across this defect quite often during home inspections. Improper adjustment of the garage door tracks and/or the drive chain can result in jerking of the door during operation.

Home Inspector Asks Why Wouldn’t You Cover Your Air Conditioner During The Winter Months?

Some experts argue that some AC covers actually trap moisture inside your air conditioner for long periods of time which could then lead to the rust as well as the exact same icing problem as when it wasn’t covered. Others point out that covers on AC units keep them dry and relatively clean and free from a steady cold wind - which makes them a perfect place for mice, chipmunks and other critters to snuggle in for the winter and chew your air conditioners wires to shreds.

Yearly Inspection and Cleaning Dirty Refrigerator Coils

Recently I came across a refrigerator/freezer unit that was heavily frosted up in the freezer unit. I took a look underneath the unit and the coils were completely loaded up with lint and dust bunnies. When the coils under a unit are all loaded and dirty up they can not operate efficiently, resulting in higher energy bills.

Home Inspectors Advice On Cleaning Oil Stains From Concrete

Removing Oil stains from your concrete flooring can be easy. You can use commercial cleaners, a strong detergent, or dry Portland cement to remove them. Some products you may already have in your own home, other products may need to be purchased from your local Rochester or Southeastern MN hardware or automotive store.

Home Inspection Company Discusses Patching Rotted Wood

Wood rot on windows, doors and frames can be a big problem. The humidity in Southeastern Minnesota summers and the addition of humidifiers set too high in airtight homes during the winter can cause windows of your home to collect moisture, and damage your door and window frames causing the wood to rot.

Rochester MN Home Inspector Suggests Pre-Inspection To Help Sell Your Home

When selling your home in today's market place you need to do everything you can to get that edge, to make people want to buy your home. Pre-Listing Home Inspections can help you to make sure that your home is in tip top shape prior to having that first offer.

Rochester MN Home Inspection Reveals Why Your Windows Fog Up.

It's hard to believe, but a family of four can generate up to 18 gallons of water in the form of humidity inside a home in a week? Cooking, showering, washing and drying clothes, and even breathing, creates a lot of water and it has to go somewhere.

Rochester MN Home Inspector Recommends Heating System Tune Up

The winter heating season is upon us here in RochesterMN area. When doing a home inspection and analyzing the heating system, I try to determine is a home's forced air heating system's age. If it is an older unit I suggest you have a professional heating contractor service it every year.

Rochester MN Home Inspector Reveals Equity-Building DIY Projects

Taking on a few simple do-it-yourself projects to increase the value and appearance of your home can make a big difference when it comes time to sell. Not only can you make your house stand out, you can receive more money from the sale, which can be used to offset other projects on your wish list.

Home Inspection Sniffs Out Burning Odor From Electrical Fixture

If a light fixture gives off a burning smell, disconnect the fixture until you have determined the source of the odor.

Overheating electrical wires and devices often emit a burning smell. Don't use the fixture again until a professional has inspected and repaired it. A fluorescent fixture may have a ballast that has failed and is spilling tar. For typical incandescent light fixtures, the burning smell may occur if you're using an oversized bulb. Check the rating of the fixture and the wattage of the bulb. The rating will be inside the fixture, near the bulb. Never exceed the wattage recommended.

You might also have a loose electrical connection at the splice or in the outlet box, or a loose screw or lamp base. A loose connection can create excessive resistance to electrical flow, and the resistance causes heat. Excessive heat makes metal connections expand and contract, loosening them further. This heat can damage insulation and even start a fire. Sometimes, when such excessive heat melts plastic, the problem area emits a misleading "dead animal" smell.

If you notice any strong smells near outlets, electrical boxes, or light fixtures, they may be due to an electrical problem. Call an electrician to evaluate and fix the problem. In the meantime, do not use electrical power in that area.

Rochester MN Home Inspection Company Discusses Air Conditioner Start Up

Central Air Conditioning should never be operated in cold weather. This can cause serious damage to the compressor unit. You should not use your central air conditioner unless the outdoor temperature has been above 65 degrees for at least 24 hours.

Remember to uncover the unit if it has been covered over the winter months. At the start of the cooling season, when you are about to start using the air conditioning unit, you need to make sure that the power is on for a minimum of 24 hours.

The thermostat should be switched off, and left off for at least 24 hours before operating the Air Conditioning Unit.

Most condensing units have a compressor crank case heater that allows a heater to warm the crank case lubricant. When the compressor crank case is cold, the coolant can be partially absorbed into the lubricant. This will result in frothing of the lubricant, and can cause undue wear on bearings, etc. Turning on power to the unit at least 24 hours before use will allow for the crank case lubricant to heat up and will release any coolant absorption from the lubricant.

After a minimum of 24 hours, the unit can be run safely. so, the net is... Just make sure that the power to the air conditioning unit is on at least 24 hours prior to using the air conditioning.

Rochester MN Home Inspector Recommends Regular Furnace Filter Maintenence

How often should you change the filter on the furnace? Whenever it's dirty. And although it sounds a little silly, some of better filters get dirty more quickly and need to be changed more often.