How to repair your garbage disposal is what I’ll be showing you what to do today.  I came across a garbage disposal that was inoperable and was in need of repair while at a home inspection in Schaumburg, Illinois.  The general remedy for most people is to pick up the phone and call a plumber, friend, dad, mom and on and on.  I’ll en power you so you can do these repairs with out calling anyone.

My clients from the Schaumburg home inspection could not beleive that this was happening.  I beleive a home inspection is my classroom to educate all my clients on how to work on their own home if they choose to.  I like to take the scare tactic out of a home inspection and make it fun for everyone.  It should be a happy time.  Your buying your home!

As you will see in the video there is an area to insert a garbage disposal wrench or Allen key to free the gears of the garbage disposal.  If this area is stuck it will cause the electric safety switch to pop out and then you will have to free up the gears and possibly reset the switch.  The worst case is you may have to loosen the connection to the sink and lower the garbage disposal to pull out any items out.  I have found that loose change, bones, bread ties and so much more will cause the gears of the garbage disposal to bind.  Most people will call for a service call by a plumber. 

Hopefully this video enpowers my clients from the Schaumburg home inspection to take on more home repairs in the future.  If you have further questions about your garbage disposal you can contact me at ~

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke

If you are buying a home that is 60 plus years old or a home in a rural area there is a possibility that you may have some sort of fuel storage tank on your property.  Just because you have a storage tank on your property does not mean that the house is bad.  The condition, location, type, amount of fuel in the tank and age of the tank will determine how you should procede.  My clients from the Buffalo Grove, Illinois home inspection were concerned of the side effects of having a storage tank in the home.

There are a few issues that can arise from a fuel storage tank  on your property.  The first concern is the fact that you have a storage tank on the property.  The location of the tank will also dictate future issues and how they will affect you directly and indirectly.

A buried storage tank can be an easier issues to deal with in the fact that it is not seen or smelled and if there is leaking of the tank it will not be noticiblable.  A leaking storage tank can pose issues if the property water supply comes from a personal well.  If the tank is empty and there is no evidence of leaking then leaving the tank below ground is my advise.  If you choose to remove the tank from a basement below concrete plan on spending $2500.00 $7000.00 to remove the fuel storage tank. You can see other repair/ replacement prices at ~  This is where my clients from the Buffalo Grove home inspection went for pricing on issues in their home.

Fuel storage tanks that are located above ground are easily removed depending on where the tank is located.  If you happen to have a fuel storage tank located above the ground I would advise you to have it removed if you were my client.  The storage tank I found at the home inspection in Buffalo Grove was in a crawl space.  This fuel storage tank was empty but there was evidence of leaking of oil.  After calling a tank specialist my clients agreed to have it removed for $1200.00.  There was a smell of oil in the crawl that could only be smelled in the crawl so removing this tank along with portions of the gravel in the Buffalo Grove home inspection would eliminate the smell and all issues.

Some people would run from a home with a storage tank?  The Buffalo Grove home inspection was a great home even with a storage tank.  By removing the fuel storage tank my clients got the home they wanted with no major issues to speak of.

If you are buying a home or building and you are nervous about what issues could come of having a fuel storage tank on your property please contact me at ~ so that I can “talk you off the ledge” and point you in the right direction on getting your dream home.

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke

If you are from the Chicago land area or have visited us in the winter then you know it can get very cold and snowy and sometimes both at the same time.  Yesterday,  I was inspecting a home in Chicago, Illinois and it was early in the morning when I started. I got the full blast of 40 degrees at 7am!  This led to the honey do list that I went over with my client from the Chicago home inspection.

Most of the items I have for this list are for the exterior of your home.  You don’t want to get stuck trying to do these items in a 20 degrees below zero afternoon if you do not  have to.  Ill start with the exterior items that will be addressed  and then Ill get into the interior projects.

  1. Gutter cleaning – Gutter cleaning can cause water issues into soffits if the gutters are full of debris and this debris clogs the drain.  Also ice damning can occur if there is debris that is in the gutter that will not allow the drainage to go down the downspout which in turn causes ice.  The gutter fills with ice then the shingles start to take water from underneath.  Hopefully your home has an ice shield.
  2. Sprinkler system – If your home has a lawn sprinkler system you will need to get your service provider to come by and remove your backflow preventer and blow out the lines.
  3. Storm windows – If you live in an old home that has storm windows that need to be installed annually then this is the time to remove the screens and install your storm windows.
  4. Crawl space vents -  If you have a crawl space that has plumbing piping that does not have heat tape on it then you will need to close the vents on the crawl to prevent extreme cold air from entering this space and possibly breaking your water piping.
  5. Hose bib and hoses – If your hose bib has a shut off in the home then this is the time to shut it off and leave the hose bib open to release any access water so it does not freeze.  Clear all the water from the hoses and roll them up for the next season.
  6. Balconies – If you live in a condo or own a home with a balcony you want to make sure the drainage points are clear to prevent issues on the balcony.
  7. Furnace/ boiler cleaning – This is a great time to bring in a hvac professional to inspect and clean your furnace or boiler.  When a contractor has to come to your home at 3am you wont be paying $100.00 for that service call!
  8. Smoke detector – Replace batteries as the season changes.
  9. Furnace filters – Change filters in furnaces at the change of seasons.
  10. Exterior projects – These projects should be buttoned up for the winter if at all possible.

As you can see there are quite a few things that will need to be done prior to closing the house up for the winter.  My clients from the Chicago home inspection were amazed that there could be so many items to be addressed  to prepare your home for a cold winter.  If you find that your home has repairs that will need to be done prior to winter this is a list that will help you with what these repairs may cost –  My clients from the Chicago home inspection found this very useful for the repairs that were needed in their home.

Hopefully this  “honey do list” is helpful to you and your families on preparing your home for a long Chicago winter.  If you have questions about this topic please contact me at –

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke