Cracked Heat Exchanger

I found this on an inspection of a recently vacant property. It was tucked up inside the furnace. There was a noticable odor of combustion gas in the home as well as excess condensation on the windows. Notice is dated 1-26-2008. Inspection was early in 2013. Five years of operation with a cracked heat exchanger. No carbon monoxide detector in the home. I'm guessing the previous owner(s) experienced frequent headaches...

  • Have your furnace serviced yearly by a licensed heating contractor. 
  • Provide a carbon monoxide detector within 10 feet of each bedroom. (Minnesota state code)
  • We also recommend installing a carbon monoxide detector in the same room as the furnace and water heater.



Transite Chimney Liner


Here is a collapsed transite chimney liner found during the inspection of a 50's home.

Transite liners are susceptible to deterioration from moisture.

This liner was reduced in size by almost 50% and was causing some back drafting when the furnace and water heater were operating at the same time. This had the potential to be an extreme hazard.

Also interesting was the fact that a new furnace had just been installed by a licensed HVAC contractor and inspected by the city inspector. Apparently neither of them bothered to check the exhaust end of the system.




Mouse House

I have found a few of these over the years. Electric panels make a cozy home if you add a little insulation, as long as you don't touch the wrong wires...

In reality mice can do serious damage to wiring and potentially create a fire hazard. If this mouse used combustable material to build the nest instead of fiberglass this would have been a more hazardous situation.

As it is it will probably require 2 to 3 hours for an electrician to clean, check and repair damaged wiring.


Underground oil tank

We encounter abandoned buried oil tanks on a fairly regular basis in certain neighborhoods of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. These are easy to overlook if you don't know what to look for.

Oil tank removal has become an expensive task since new guidelines require soil sampling and removal of contaminated soils.


Electrified House

The anchors for the main feed wires to this house have pulled loose, causing the wires to come in contact with the aluminum gutter. The house also has metal siding. The insulation on the wires was still intact but eventually it could wear through creating a very hazardous condition.