FLIR E6: the best infrared camera for home inspectors

- The RESNET standard for infrared cameras says that the minimum allowable resolution is 120×120. . That standard doesn’t apply to home inspections, but just in case I ever wanted to venture into the energy audit side of business, I decided to use 120×120 as a minimum standard for all of my infrared cameras, and the E6 meets it ..More

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Water heater replacement: pros and cons of tankless water heaters

- I spoke with a technician who has seen tankless water heaters fail due to hard water deposits in as little as two years here in Minnesota. One of the biggest and least talked about drawbacks to tankless water heaters is that hard water destroys them. Most cities here in the Twin Cities area have much harder water than that: see Water Hardness List for Twin Cities. . For example, the Takagi installation manual says that water hardness levels must not exceed 7 grains per gallon. Hard water is hard on all water heaters, but it’s especially hard on tankless units. Malfunctions caused by lime, mineral build-up, or scale are not covered by manufacturers warranties ..More

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Home inspection horror story: screw through water line

- This home had too, with just a single screw holding the access panel cover in place. Most bathtubs have an access panel behind the drain, and they’re usually screwed into place. What was funny about this one was that the screw hadn’t been driven all the way into the wall; it stuck out from the wall about an inch. . As I mentioned in a blog post from about six years ago, we always test bathtub overflows for leaks, provided the back sides of the overflows are accessible. You can probably guess why ..More

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Four simple things for sellers to do before the home inspection

- This is a home inspection checklist for sellers, to help make sure that the home inspection can be completed once, the first time, without any hitches. It’s extremely frustrating for everyone involved in a real estate transaction if a full home inspection can’t be completed during the first trip, especially if it’s because of something that could have been easily avoided. ..More

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Concealed damage, part 2: stinky bees

- The only way to get there was to remove the siding at the exterior. After pulling the outlet and finding nothing out of the ordinary, he began tearing into the drywall. So that’s what came next. He got very close to the source of the odor, but the worst area seemed to be right around the corner from the concrete block wall, which is the section of wall that sticks out a bit in the lower left quarter of the photo. ..More

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