What I'm Seeing Now

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Foam Insulation - Especially As A Best Practice!

Something I don't see often on new construction is foam insulation - especially as a Best Practice!

In contrast to yesterday's post, where new construction had entire exterior wall gaps that would not have received insulation, this house has its rim joist sealed against air passage, with insulation put on top of that.

This is so good to see!

I am hoping that this is the new wave in home construction around here.

Our area is one that experiences very low AND very high seasonal temperatures.

Rim joists are an area through which huge amounts of air, hot and cold, can pass.

This affects every aspect of the environment inside of a house.

Yes, a house needs to breathe, it is true.

But such respiration must be done properly and controlled so that it does not contribute to moisture build up or microbial growth.

Notice what is being done here.

All exterior wood material, called the rim joist or frieze board, is coated with an open-cell foam, probably some form of Icynene.

It surrounds the bathroom vent tubing as well as the lines from the AC compressor.

It can be seen puffing out.

The top photo shows that the rim joist along an entire exterior wall is coated with the foam also, in dramatic contrast to yesterday's post.

On top of the foam everywhere is regular fiberglass insulation.

The foam provides an R-value of about 3 per inch.  But the real benefit is that it completely controls air flow.  This is a real advantage when fiberglass is used in addition.

The fiberglass is there to add a bit of additional thermal barrier.  More insulation is almost never a bad thing.

The other green color seen is a copper solution sprayed here on exterior wood in lower levels, especially when there are basements.  It acts as an insect and moisture repellent, as well as a fungistat.

All in all I consider this to be

Best Practice

And it was very nice to see!  And I expressed my enjoyment many times to my client and his agent, AR's Karen Kruschka.

My recommendation:  when you see something that looks different or outside the normal, bring it up with the construction supervisor or home inspector.  See what the house is offering!  You might be pleasantly surprised!

 

 

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 26 commentsJay Markanich • March 24 2012 03:11AM

Comments

Did you read this...??? I think the internet has gone bizerk !  The copy changed from team member chatter at real estate brokerages back to insulation...yicks !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 7 years ago

Honestly I have no idea what you mean!  Where is the real estate team member chatter?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay - Well I'm glad to hear that someone is doing things right.  Yay to the reliable and honest contractor.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 7 years ago

I love to see Best Practices employed Debbie!  Why I started the group!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

It must be great to do reports that the contractor did everything that was supposed to be done and done the right way.

Thank you for sharing the post with all of us.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 7 years ago

That's why I started the Best Practices Group Joe!  I just invited you to join!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Wonderful way to start the day, a post that shows everything done right...and, AR members that get to work with one another.  It's a "win-win"!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 7 years ago

All true Lisa.  Karen and I have been together a few times!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Morning Jay I could see that smile of your even getting larger when you notice such things.  We are all glad to see and hear about a job well done 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 7 years ago

It did James, and I mentioned this practice more than once during the inspection!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay - It's always good to see builders/remodelers doing things right. And when they go beyond what is required it confirms that there are still some who take pride in their work.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 7 years ago

Hey Jay,

That is a nice job. Here in New York I have not yet seen spray foam insulation in homes I've inspected, everyone uses the pink stuff.

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) over 7 years ago

John - right, and for me it is worth mentioning, and posting in the Best Practices group!

Eric - I have had a few foam posts and so far it is impressive.  But not cheap!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

In my opinion, the rim joist should always be spray foam insulted on any new house or as an upgrade on existing homes. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, this use of foam insulation will dramatically reduce leakage.  I should investigate doing this in my home

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Jay - So glad to hear that there are builders out there that actually take insulation seriously and do it correctly!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 7 years ago

Jay - Thank you for sharing detailed quality information on foam insulation, especially as a best practice.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) over 7 years ago

Jim - I have never looked into it, and still could do it on about 1/3 of my rim joists.  I think I am going to call around.

Chris - it would certainly improve the basement's ability to retain heat during your winters.  Would it pay you back financially?  Probably not, but that isn't the motivation.

Barbara-Jo - at least this one does!  I loved seeing it.

You're welcome John.  It certainly is a best practice, which hopefully soon will become a common practice.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

That's great to see!  I'm sure you'll be seeing more and more foam :)

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 7 years ago

It seems to be making its way into our area Reuben.  They recommend the open cell here, due to our humidity during the summer.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay:  Until we started watching Holmes on Homes ... I had never seen such great usage of the spray foam insulation.  You just prove with your post, that it has many great uses beyond what I've seen so far.  And it looks so easy to apply.  I've done insulating and always come away scratching afterwards.  This sure would alleviate that ... so I'm giving it a big thumbs-up ... and your post too ..

Gene

Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 7 years ago

Thanks Gene.  They use a different product in Canada than we use here.  That foam is closed cell, but it is foam nonetheless!  It is easy to install yes, and not cheap!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

That's great to see, The builder obviously got some good advice from someone. They need to stop compressing that insulation though. Good start for others to follow.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) over 7 years ago

Thanks Rob.  I wonder if this is the new wave around here.  Hope so!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, It is here since builder are trying to meet the 2006 IECC which might be adopted by the county soon. I usually only see the extra effort in energy retrofits.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) over 7 years ago

If it was done in my house as a retrofit I could only do about 1/3 of my basement Rob.  Many houses it would be less than that.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

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