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612-314-3121

Honest Home Inspection Logo Full
Radon 101

Radon 101

 

This week we talk about radon – what it is, where it comes from, how to measure it, and how to mitigate. The State of Minnesota recently enacted a law requiring licensure for radon measurement professionals, and as a part of that licensure, Christopher has to complete several hours of continuing education a year. In this episode he shares some of the things he learned at his last class.

Additional resources:

CDC Radon Facts
State of Minnesota Radon Resources
Our Radon Facts Page
Rachel Malmberg and A Breath of Hope 

Electricity!

Electricity!

Most of what we cover in this episode is: Electricity can kill you. Never hesitate calling a licensed electrician to handle the work for you. Having said that, we do cover some homeowner DIY basics – swapping out lights, switches, and outlets. We also discuss common electrical problems we’ve found on inspections.

Additional Resources:

Electrical test kit – including inductive voltage meter
All about GFCIs
Deeper dive into amps, watts, volts, and ohms

Our own personal W.hat T.he F.ail / homeowner problem.

Fireplaces, Wood Stoves, and Chimneys

Fireplaces, Wood Stoves, and Chimneys

This week we dive into all things fire! Fireplaces, wood stoves, and chimneys all require regular maintenance in order to function properly and SAFELY! Now that the burning season is more or less over, this is the best time to have the fire-heat system in your home serviced. We cover the most frequent defects we find in chimneys and offer solutions for more efficient wood and gas fireplace heating.

Resources and links

Fireplace mantles from Antique Woodworks
Centralia Mine Fire

Fireplace with a wood burning insert

Fireplace with a wood burning insert.

The fireplace in our current home (photo from the listing because we haven't classed up the joint yet)

The fireplace in our current home (photo from the listing because we haven't classed up the joint yet).

Inner workings of a chimney. Cannot shoot arrow straight up.

Inner workings of a chimney. Cannot shoot arrow straight up.

Theresa's childhood woodstove

Theresa's childhood wood stove.

The moose

The moose.

Wood stove typical of many 1920s era homes - lots of these in Minnesota. This was from our first home.

Wood stove typical of many 1920s era homes - lots of these in Minnesota. This was from our first home.

Emergency Podcast: Spring Thaw Water Management & Basement Flooding

Emergency Podcast: Spring Thaw Water Management & Basement Flooding

Emergency Podcast: Spring Thaw Water Management & Basement Flooding

Honest Home Podcast, Season 1

Over the weekend, Central and Southern Minnesota got an additional 6-12″ of heavy, wet snow. Now, two days later, it’s starting to rain. Temps will be in the 30s with rain for the next 2-3 days.

The potential for flooding is extremely high.

That’s why we’ve put together this emergency podcast about water management and what to do when water does get inside your home.

Please share!

Resources

Emergency water mitigation and insurance restoration

Diagram of downspout extensions and how they move water away from your foundation.

Diagram of proper grade around foundation.

  Example of a type of window well cover that can help keep additional water from becoming trapped in the well.

 

Rigid Wet Dry Vac with Pump from Home Depot 

 

June 19, 2014 – the day we had 4-5″ of rain in the Twin Cities Metro. We had a basement walkout patio that had settled and we did our best to create a barrier with some gravel to keep the water back. 

Don’t Lock People In Your Basement

Don’t Lock People In Your Basement

Don't Lock People In Your Basement

Honest Home Podcast, Season 1

This week we address safe means of egress (the means of entering and exiting a location). We were jacked up on cookie dough and exhaustion, so we cover everything from fire safety to serial killers to tapping maples to make syrup!

Resources:
My Favorite Murder – one of Theresa’s favorite podcasts.

On a very serious note, we do understand that sometimes loved ones can be a flight risk, so we’re sharing a couple resources we were able to find on how to protect your loved one in the home:

Minnesota Department of Public Safety: INFORMATION SHEET 1 & 2 FAMILY DWELLINGS, CHILD & ADULT FOSTER CARE  – this information is applicable to all homes

Home Safety from the Autism Society

Home Safety from the Alzheimer’s Association

Our Producer, Tucker, checking the mics before we record.

 

Basement door with keyed side of deadbolt to the inside, where a person could be locked in without means of egress.

W.hat T.he F.ail

– not exactly a fail, but my mind definitely went to “serial killer”

Basement room with missing block that leads to dirt floor crawl space. Visible window is by no means a legal form of egress, especially given the height of the child recorded on the door frame.

 

Other side of basement room, with old windows that now look out under an addition.

Inside the room looking out, and there are the height marks for a growing child. Inside the frame of the door to the room without egress, but with a CHUD entrance… 

Bonus: Maple tapping!

Theresa posing with her implements of sap-gathering! This was our first year gathering sap, and our latest tapping ever – March 25th, 2013. We were late to the game that year, because we’d just taken a class at the Lowry Nature Center on how to tap maples!

Christopher helping 5yo Morgan strike in the tap.

 

Christopher helping 2.5 yo Jameson strike in the tap.

 

The bag and hanger system we ultimate fell in love with – a lot easier to manage!

All About Ice Dams

All About Ice Dams

In this episode we tackle that seasonal foe, ice dams. We describe what causes ice dams, how to prevent and/or remove them safely, and take a look at the role your attic ventilation and insulation plays in the formation of ice dams.

We also discuss Zonolite, an insultation material used between the 1940s to mid 1980s that was found to contain asbestos.

For more information on the identification and mitigation of Zonolite, please visit: https://www.zonoliteatticinsulation.com/

Listener question: Shut-off valves

We go over why shut-off valves typically fail and give some recommendations for replacement

W.hat T.he F.ail: DIY spark arrestor

Don’t try to stop fire with flammable material.

Ice Dam Cause & Effect

Attic Insulation & Ventilation

Ball Valve

W.hat T.he F.ail

DIY spark arrestor made of flammable material

Factory spark arrestor made of non-flammable material