Articles by Kurt

I'm a home inspector and carpenter in Chicago and this site is built from things I’ve learned from 30 years inspecting houses in this town.


5

What is Tuckpointing

What is tuckpointing? We’ve all heard the term “tuckpointing“.  In Chicago, it’s the standard designation for any method of smearing cement on masonry walls.  But, almost no one knows what this word really means. Real tuckpointing is a method for striking mortar joints between bricks of different sizes and shapes to make them appear uniform.  There…

0

Masonry And Water Management, Part I

f one is going to divide wall systems into two basic types, they would be barrier and water managed.  Barrier systems, as the name implies, are wall assemblies that are prophylactically impervious to water entry.  Water managed walls, as you’re probably already guessing, take on some amount of moisture and through the magic of well…

7

The Early Years of Home Inspection

It’s sure different now than it was 30 years ago.  Back then, home inspections were brand new, standards of practice and reports were marginal to lousy, and only an approximate 15% of houses were inspected as part of the purchase procedure. Home inspections, as a standard operating procedure, were not a component of real estate sales….

6

Aluminum Wrap on Steel Lintels / Big Mistake

I see it everywhere. Otherwise nice and well maintained buildings that have had their windows replaced, and the window installer wraps the structural steel lintel with aluminum.  Ouch. When you wrap lintels in aluminum,  they remain saturated.  Lintels are supposed to drain and not sealed up with aluminum or caulk.  It dramatically accelerates the deterioration…

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