What I'm Seeing Now


"When We Sit Near Our Fireplace It's Really Cold Unless We Turn It On"

"When we sit near our fireplace it's really cold unless we turn it on."

You go to watch "the game" or a movie and sit down next to the fireplace.  And everyone needs a blanket!  That or the fireplace has to be turned on to feel comfortable.


Well, look at the fireplace in this thermal image.

Not only is there cold coming from the fireplace cavity, but the wall beside the fireplace.

So much here is poorly insulated. 

And on the other side of the fireplace the insulation looked the same way.

Had I done a pre-drywall inspection, and looked at the insulation then, or a final inspection just before closing, this would have been found at that time.

You can see the cold areas, and the cold radiating from the fireplace itself.

On a really frigid day this will be a really cold spot to sit down!

Are you cold while enjoying the movie?  Or need to drink hot chocolate during the game?  There's a reason!  AND THE REASON ALWAYS INVOLVES INSULATION.

My recommendation:  every year I get the "cold fireplace" phone calls.  And every year I can tell them over the phone the problem is due to the insulation near the fireplace!  But a thermal image is a real eye opener, and can EXACTLY demonstrate the problem for all to see!  My clients always thank Mighty Mo.  And I can tell you from personal experience that builders do not like seeing my thermal images!  One builder said to my face that home inspectors "should not be allowed to use thermal cameras."  Well, of course not!  Look what they can reveal!  Never mind wanting to turn a good product over to the consumer.  Why should someone have a comfortable house, anyway?  For a builder to say that is unconscionable.  Call  a home inspector with a thermal camera!  The cameras are worth their weight in gold.



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 7 commentsJay Markanich • January 16 2017 12:08PM
"When We Sit Near Our Fireplace It's Really Cold Unless We Turn…
"When we sit near our fireplace it's really cold unless we turn it on. " You go to watch "the game" or a movie and sit down next to the fireplace. And everyone needs a blanket! That or the fireplace has to be turned on to feel… more
Can Pressure-Treated Deck Wood Rot?
Can pressure-treated deck wood rot? In short, the answer is yes. Given enough time pressure-treated wood, even that rated for ground contact, will deteriorate and rot. The bases of every post of this deck had rotted. My pen is sticking into this one… more
"Why Do You Need To Check The Insulation? It's A New House. "
"Why do you need to check the insulation? It's a new house. " So asked the builder's supervisor. The answer is simple - because a home inspector observes and reports a variety of things during a home inspection, whether the house is new… more
Electrical Wires Must Be Protected
Electrical wires must be protected. During a pre-drywall phase, which needs to be checked during inspections, there are many things that need protection - electrical wires, plumbing supply and drain tubes, gas lines, and such. Looking on the left,… more
Why Gas Fireplaces Can Get So Cold!
Why gas fireplaces can get so cold! I get this call every winter, many times. "The area around my gas fireplace is really cold! What can we do? " That is a good question! What can be done now? This is a thermal image of a recent new… more
Keeping The AC Compressor Clean
Keeping the AC compressor clean. This is a very important point. AC compressors can get very dirty depending on what surrounds the unit. This unit is surrounded by dirt. It is also very close to the ground. The AC compressor should be at least 3… more
Don't Pressure Wash Siding!
Don't pressure wash siding! Just don't. There are many reasons, which range from the professionalism of the people doing the pressure washing to the damage pressure washing does to siding, paint and trim work. Case in point - I saw a house in my… more
Missing Hurricane Straps
Missing hurricane straps. Hurricane straps? What is a hurricane strap? Hurricane straps are a half-twist metal plate with holes which allow a roof rafter to be nailed to the framing below. Years ago I wrote a blog post regarding hurricane straps… more
What's The Difference Between A Sump Pump And An Ejector Pump?
What's the difference between a sump pump and an ejector pump? A sump pump is placed in basement floors, below ground level, and in a small pit of 20 or 30 gallons size. Around the house, under the house, and perhaps a stairwell, tubes will be… more
Should You Cut HVAC Air Filters To Fit The Space?
Should you cut HVAC air filters to fit the space? The answer - NO! The purpose of the HVAC air filter is to keep the system clean. Yes, the TV commercials say that if you use this or that filter the air in the house will be cleaner and your… more