What I'm Seeing Now

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I Could Almost Hear The Heat Whoosh From The House!

Finally getting into the attic space I could almost hear the heat whoosh from the house!

Let me back up.  This older home featured a remodeled master suite and two remodeled upstairs bathrooms.

Each was new and had skylights.  Each looked great.

Going into the attic space and looking at the first skylight, I was disappointed. 

It was not insulated.  At all. 

And when they constructed it they removed the insulation from all around, but never replaced it!

Beyond that, the bath vent was blowing its air directly into the attic space.

Who doesn't know that is not acceptable?

But there are two other skylights!

 

 

Let's see.  More of the same?

Consistent with the first, it is also missing insulation.  That was expected.

Erratic insulation is not effective insulation.  It should have a consistent depth and be smooth.

The third is the same.  Not insulated, with insulation missing from the ceiling all around.

Consistency counts!

An additional surprise is that the tubing from the previous bath vents is left in the attic!

So, the contractors removed the previous vents, and tubing, left it all in the attic, and then installed the new vents WITHOUT venting it outside with new tubing!

REMEMBER, HEAT SEEKS COLD, SO DURING THE WINTER IT IS GETTING OUT (MY WORD "WHOOSHING" OUT) THROUGH EACH OF THESE UNINSULATED CONDUITS!

AND IN THE SUMMER HEAT IS TRYING TO GET IN.  AND IT WILL!

And this could have been done with a permit!  Do you think the county is going into the attic to check this work out?  I don't either...

My recommendation:  when remodeling is done, even with a permit, have a home inspector check it out!  Home inspectors are thorough, and will go where others might not in order to gather information.  Information is crucial!  Get all you can!

 

 

 

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 31 commentsJay Markanich • March 14 2013 03:24AM

Comments

Wow, I can't believe they did that, and can't believe they left the stuff in the attic. 

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 6 years ago

That happened in our old house, Jay.  There was an awful build up of icicles outsida a bathroom skylight.  I called in an insulation company.  They found the attic scuttle in the bathroom had no insulation over it and no insulation around the skylight.  We heard that "whoosh", too. 

Posted by Barbara Tattersall, GRI (Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH)) over 6 years ago

These were some real pros Debbie! 

Barbara - it's low and steady, but there!  What a waste of money!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Morning Jay and that is what keeps Uncle Bob in business not doing the work that requires a permit. Makes me sad sometimes to see what he is doing to himself.  :~)

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 6 years ago

This may have been done with a permit James, but the county would never check this.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

I have had tenants complain about insulation only to find they have covered the air return with furniture...some of the unknowns of heat loss are insulation!

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 6 years ago

Common sense reigns Wallace.  As you know... 

Tenants are full of it.

Gee, you could take that both ways!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Just goes to show that getting permits is easy.  You can scratch an outline on a napkin and get the permit and never call for an inspection to close the permit. 

THIS is precisely why I have always recommended that plans, specs and DOM be reviewed PRIOR TO CONSTRUCTION.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Well, insulation is certainly a part of the job, and the kind and amount should be on the initial plan Lenn.  How many people would think that far ahead though?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Another item to be looking for in the attic; thank you for the information.

Make yourself a great day.

 

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 6 years ago

Jay, I believe whooshing is the technical term for what you're describing there.  8-)  A job half done is not done.  Let me guess, this was a flip?  No?  It had all of the characteristics.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 6 years ago

Unlikely that the permit police would have caught these "short cuts"....best to have the inspector, INSPECT !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 6 years ago

Better to sit in the dark or turn on a light than whoosh your money out the roof... somebody said that, I think!

Posted by Sara Homan, Realtor, Homes, Farms & 55+ (Coldwell Banker Ellison Realty 352-209-4044) over 6 years ago

Not surprising...everyone with a tool belt and a hammer these days is a contractor all trying to get out with the biggest invoice and the smallest bill for materials.

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) over 6 years ago

There are a dozen things or more to look for in the attic Raymond.

Not a flip Mike.  But still, poorly done.

The permit police are pretty minimal S&D.  Hence me!

Sara - an old and famous statement.  I think.

That's part of the problem Marc.  Poor workmanship, and a lack of professionalism.

 

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay, it's not a problem if the conractor's brother or the inspector's brother is in the oil delivery business

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 6 years ago

Forgetting that point, Ed, I concede it.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Hi Jay,

Looks like Uncle Bob was hard at work not doing things right in your area.

That's a awful lot of unused tubes in the attic. And none of them were insulated either. Not a good thin.

Many skylights are not insulated in my areas either.

Nice find.

Have a great day in Bristow my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 6 years ago

Whooshing is a technical term, correct Jay?  It's amazing the things that you see out there.  Great post and thanks for shairng!                                      

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 6 years ago

With the current inexpensive price for fuel (gas, electricity, etc) who cares about a little heat escaping? That insulation stuff is expensive! At least that is what they said aroundhere in the early 70s when they weren't even insulating the walls!

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 6 years ago

Whoop, I mean whoosh, there it is. Or isn't. Lack of insulation and heat loss, heat coming back in is a big lazy no no. Vent and walk that insulation to the attic and let it breath, jettison that moisture from the singing in the shower off key.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 6 years ago

When it snows frosts up here, it is easy to see the homes that need a little or a lot of insulation in the attics.  Their snow on their roofs always melts fast and first.

Posted by Roger Stensland, Let's Move! (Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound) over 6 years ago

Unless the worker takes character, integrity and honesty into that attic space with them, the outcome will always be the same....lacking

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 6 years ago

Wait... what's that sound? It's money whooshing down the toilet each month all the way to the electric company! 

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 6 years ago

It wasn't too hard Clint, but thanks!

Christiansens - Home Inspector 101.  It's also in the Official Home Inspector Compendious Dictionary.

Than - insulation, schminsulation!  But we have some really neat skylights!

Andrew - maybe they should drill some holes in those drywall cavities to let the heat out?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Roger - I can drive by houses early in the morning and see who has decent insulation and who does not!

'Tis, Richie.  Lacking is the code here.  I think.

Fred - it may as well be!  And I appreciate the metaphor.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay, 

Great idea to have inspectors check out work after a re-model.  It's the right thing to do to verify with an independent source.

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) over 6 years ago

Thanks Michelle.  All true!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago
Out of sight and out of mind. The workers may not care but you will. Defiantly have work inspected, it's the smart thing to do.
Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 6 years ago

More quality construction. Why is that contractors find it so difficult to replace what they have moved?

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 6 years ago

Robert - sometimes I wonder if contractors simply think these things will never be seen by anyone, so let's leave it this way...

Jim - because "not my job."  They aren't insulation specialists?  Do they ever?  When I had a security system installed in my house I asked the guy to replace the insulation over the siren and additional smoke detector he installed upstiars.  He did.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

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