What I'm Seeing Now

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Do You See What I See?

The Flashing, Flashing, Flashing post has already brought in business.  Another person in the same neighborhood, impressed by my Superman ability to see non-existent flashing (cough!), invited me over to investigate this same flashing problem on their house.  While there I also did an IR examination.

It seems that in addition to water stains, the bedroom also is hot and cold.  Looking around with an infrared camera, it isn't hard to see why.

 

This is blown up larger than normal, and grainy, but you can still see what is happening.  Part of the room has a pentagon shape, with a long attic space behind the bed. 

You can see the bed at the bottom of this image.

The wall behind the bed is about 6 feet high.  The attic space behind is quite hot.

The Max is the hottest spot in the image.  It is 131 degrees.

Keep in mind, this is right behind the bed!

The area you are looking at represents the space between two studs, and no insulation below about 5 1/2 feet.

The insulation was never stapled and fell down.

Looking into the attic, it was resting right on the floor.

Keep in mind, this house is just over one year of age.  That is how quickly insulation can slip. 

Imagine what can happen on a tall balloon wall!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image to the right is along that same wall.  It is to the right of the bed and in the corner. 

The same situation exists - the insulation was never stapled, it has fallen and the Max hot spot you see is 135 degrees!

That will influence a room, just a bit...

This represents the 12th image taken in that room.  There were more than two spots along that attic space wall.   In that room alone, here were 23 pictures taken in total! 

Imagine how hot and cold this room can get!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the cathedral ceiling in one alcove of the bedroom.  It is the end of that same pentagon shape described in the first image.

The line in the middle is the center double stud from floor to the highest point.  The height here is about 10 feet.

The insulation on both sides of that double stud was not stapled.  The Max temperature there is 166 degrees Fahrenheit!

There is only air between this drywall and the outside of the house.  This spot just happened to be in the sun on this particular day at the time I was there.

Even though the thermostat is in this room, and it has its own HVAC return, this room was uncomfortably warm.  A ceiling fan does not help.

It probably is uncomfortably cold in the winter.

How can you control the environment there when it is so poorly insulated?  There were 23 problem spots in this room.

 

 

 

I went to investigate one problem, and found a few others.  This was not the only room with the hot/cold issues.  There were many other spots in many other rooms throughout the house.  It was a very long thermal image report.

This particular home represents one of the worst insulation jobs I have seen in a long time.  They are out there.  I had a previous post over a year ago entitled "What I Am Seeing Now," which identified insulation that is not stapled as being a big problem.  You can see why.  Despite what the builder says, the drywall does NOT hold it up over time.  Insulation that is not stapled is simply poor quality, unprofessional work.

People love looking into the camera with me.  It can be horrifying!  It can also be fun...

I took a picture of a young lady a couple of months ago.  She was five months pregnant.  The baby's form was clearly visible!  I am sure they framed the photo I emailed them!

My recommendation:  If you can get an IR inspection on a house, do it before the one year warranty walk through.  That way, issues like this can be corrected before your clients have to live with them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 32 commentsJay Markanich • July 01 2009 05:54AM

Comments

Wow, I wasn't aware that you could pinpoint a location where there is no insulation. ..thank you for sharing this with us.

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 11 years ago

Wow, Fernando, you are up almost as early as I!  Go to bed man!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Jay,

This is really cool. Technology has advanced. I thought my laser temp. reader for a/c vents was cool but this is amazing. Only a year old? They sure don't build them like they used to!
Have a Great Day!

Dick and Dixie Sells

Posted by Dick and Dixie Sells, Realtors, Tampa Bay Florida Homes For Sale (Sells Real Estate, LLC) over 11 years ago

the right tool makes all the difference, learn something new every day. thank Jay

Posted by Diego A. Perez (Connecticut Lawn Painting) over 11 years ago

That's really fascinating, "seeing through walls".... bionic assets have to be great for business :-) It's great to remove the mystery from those spaces you would normally have to just trust the builder on.

Posted by Mara Hawks, Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL (First Realty Auburn ) over 11 years ago

Technology just gets more amazing. I agree though, time for beddybye

Posted by Janice Roosevelt, OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker ( Keller Williams Brandywine Valley ) over 11 years ago

I'll be back to Re-Blog you later....  love the last line. 

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 11 years ago

Jay, great use of technology to explain problems and poor workmanship, thanks.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 11 years ago

Fascinating is the word. 

I think I need a home inspection. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 11 years ago

That is amazing.  Learn something new everyday on Active Rain.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 11 years ago

Jay, I have never heard of this? Is it a machine or a camera you buy? Can you post a photo of the baby in the womb? I would love to see that?

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 11 years ago

Jay,

The home inspector I recommend uses the thermal imaging camera too and the results are phenomenal.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 11 years ago

Jay,

This is pretty "cool."  LOL  Seriously, I built 350 homes in another life, and this has me wanting to go out and buy a thermal imaging camera.  Better go google that.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 11 years ago

You're preeching to the choir brother. I have been using an IR camera for years. I know what you see because I see it too.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 11 years ago

That was from a home that was a year old? I guess it pays to have a home inspection even on newer construction.

Posted by Home Loan Search.Online (Home Loan Search Online) over 11 years ago

Jay,have you thought about presenting summaries of your findings to the local/county/state building commissions and the entities that grant building permits? It appears that these contractors are building "to code," and we both know what that means. The code is obviously defective. I can't think of a better guy to pave the way to get those codes changed.

Posted by Lanna Broyles (Construction Claims Advisor) over 11 years ago

Jay, That is a very interesting post.  I never gave much thought to insulation before, but now I will.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) over 11 years ago

Wow Jay, I've never seen IR photography use in home inspections before - That's pretty neat!

Posted by Dan Magstadt (Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc) over 11 years ago

Yes, the right tools make the difference with everything   Thanks for the post.

Patricia aulson/

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) over 11 years ago

Dick and Dixie - I have had this camera for five years and it is terrific.  The price now is about one half of the price I paid!

Diego - If you are in lawn painting, you know that to be true!

Mara - may I quote Ronald Reagan?  "Trust, but verify..."

Nite, nite Janice.

Maureen - thank you...  again....

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Gabe - the IR camera is a great arrow in my quiver of tools.

Lenn - I have been finding this kind of stuff for nearly five years!

Cindy - my camera is five years old and I think the new cameras/software may be better yet!

Missy - it is a special camera with special software.  It sees very long light waves, not detectable by the human eye.  It is perfectly safe and is currently being used to see problems in the body.  I can look at my knee and see where the arthritis is the worst.  I no longer have that photo of the baby in the womb.  Maybe next time!

Richard - I think in a couple of years ALL home inspections will come with an IR analysis as part of the service.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Mike - you use that word as if it is a verb!  Google...  actually we all use it as a verb now.

I know James.  It still is not catching on with most realtors.  It will I think.  You are much more able to publish the large photos and make them less grainy.  I am not that much of a computer whiz yet!

Integrity Mortgage - um, YESSS!

Lanna - I don't know what another layer of code on top of a code will do.  It is lousy workmanship, pure and simple.

Michelle - you are in Florida!  You should not only think insulation, but MORE insulation!!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Dan - I've been doing them for five years now.

Patricia - home inspectors are getting more and more technologically empowered and we are taking advantage of it.  But thanks!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

I was thinkin' the same as Lenn. So next time you fly into LV.... :)

(that would be a bus driver's holiday, right?) Kate

Posted by Kate Kate over 11 years ago

Kate - I have been to Las Vegas only once, on a short layover flying from LA to DC!  And I would imagine that IR investigations there are interesting to say the least!  Just using the camera would make it a fun trip...  I'll think about it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Jay - I have heard of this technology, but never have seen what it actually produces.  Thanks for sharing.  This is good information to know about.

Posted by Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Good Company Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Troy - it has been around for a while, for me, at least, for five years.  The new equipment and software is better than my camera I think, but it is still doing very well!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

This is just too cool for school! I think I was expecting you to say you saw some "ghostly" forms with this machine! As usual, very imteresting post!

Posted by Susan Gonzalez Faux painting murals atlanta (Marietta Mural & Decorative Design) over 11 years ago

Susan - I have never seen a ghost.  Can you do that with an IR camera?  If so, I have not heard about it, but now I will look harder!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Apparently, spirits from the other side often produce strange thermal readings-both hot and cold. Just what I've read--not experienced!

Posted by Susan Gonzalez Faux painting murals atlanta (Marietta Mural & Decorative Design) over 11 years ago

Susan - that probably isn't unusual - I know people on "this" side who produce hot and cold thermal readings...  (;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Great idea Ray!  We try, we really, really try...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

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