How often have we complained about cold air near and around windows and doors? It could be that upon installation, the Best Practice - window and door insulation was not employed.
On a new construction, pre-drywall inspection I ran across something that I really like to see. Proper insulation around the windows and doors!
This is how insulation around windows and doors has been done for a long time.
If properly done, it is, in a word, OK.
However, there is a trick to it.
Fiberglass insulation is intended to provide a thermal barrier by trapping air.
If it is crammed in there too tightly, it is ineffective because there is no room for air to be trapped and heat escapes. Hence you feel cold!
If it is crammed in there too loosely, it is ineffective because there is so much room for air that heat escapes. Hence you feel cold!
In my experience, many insulators are NOT careful.
So one window may feel fine, another not. It pays not to be haphazard.
Running across this door I saw something that I consider to be a
The gap between this installed door and the framing is filled with a minimally expansive foam.
It is an open-celled poly-foam, a very good product.
Why is it Best Practice?
Because it absolutely fills the gap preventing any air flow.
Once air flow is controlled, the thermal movement of air is inhibited almost to zero.
I SAW THAT ALL THE DOORS AND WINDOWS WERE DONE THE SAME WAY.
This space will eventually be covered with drywall and some wood molding.
Altogether, the foam and subsequent products, a good R-value, resistance value of Btu control, is provided.
It was very good to see.
All gaps from indoors to outdoors - such as corners, where the sill plate meets the floor, the pre-fab studded sections of wall that were placed together - ALL SUCH GAPS - were also sealed with a caulk that seals air movement completely.
All that, accompanied with the properly-applied plastic thermal wrap on the outside of the house will contribute to great comfort of those inside, summer and winter.
All this was done in preparation for the insulation to be installed. I will swing by to check that as well, when done.
My recommendation: best practices are just that. Often they precede and exceed code recommendations and implementation. They represent current, and sometimes forward, thinking. You should always look for Best Practices when you look at any home, but particularly new construction. If you aren't familiar with what the best practices are, ask your home inspector!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560