What I'm Seeing Now


"Your Inspector Pushed Down The Insulation Just To Take A Photo Of It"

The Realtor called me many times after the final new-construction inspection that began with this roof, this time saying that the supervisor told them, "Your inspector pushed down the insulation just to take a photo of it."

Yeah, right.

Do you see how erratic and fluffy that is?

Does it look smashed down?

It is not, and I do not set up photographs.

That is a most disingenuous comment by a very unprofessional person.

I took a dozen measurement-tape readings around the scuttle hole.

They were all 7" - 8".

Looking around the attic there were high and low spots, footprint divots all over which were never filled back in, and something I have never seen before -

insulation blown in so uncaring it actually filled the gaps in the soffit-vent baffles!  The installer angled the insulation stream so high it landed way up the truss! 


This house is SUPPOSED to be an Energy Star house.

I don't know if they have had their final Energy Star approval.  That means somebody RESNET qualified should come to the house to investigate various things, including attic insulation.

Here is the criteria for Energy Star insulation nationwide.

Virginia is in Zone 4.

Every supervisor on EVERY new home inspection has argued that 13" of blown-in fiberglass is R-38.

That stuff has an R-value of 2.5 per inch.

I don't know about your math, but mine says that 13" does not reach R-38.

Nor the 7" to 8" inches in this attic.

Insulation is ONLY effective when it is level and uniform, and reaches a depth consistent with the stated R-value for the material used.

My favorite is blown-in cellulose.  It has a 3.7 per inch R-value, does not settle much over time and does not absorb heat from the house so much at lower temperatures.  Blown-in fiberglass has the least R-value, settles a lot, especially over time, absorbs heat from the house, and is my least favorite insulation.

It especially does not help to blow insulation into the venting baffles.  That photo is representative of many of the baffles visible from the scuttle hole to the attic.  Does the supervisor think I floated over there to do that too?

My recommendation:  the house is the house.  I don't invent stuff!  People often don't believe me when I say I saw this or that -- until they see the photograph!  And I don't set up the photographs!  And if you are going to tout an Energy Star house, it should meet Energy Star criteria.  And that criteria should be met overall, not only for insulation...




Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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


Comment balloon 51 commentsJay Markanich • October 28 2013 03:42AM
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