This is what these parents heard before I was called, "My feet get really cold, Mommy. I'm not brushing my teeth."
Well, he's four, so I get the not brushing his teeth, but why the cold feet? He said it's right in front of his bathroom sink.
We had the terrific cold snap recently and it revealed a lot of things - freezing pipes inside walls, dramatically colder rooms, and here a cold bathroom floor in front of the sink.
Interestingly, this bathroom does not abut the outside, it abuts a wall in the garage attic.
Hey, I thought those walls were supposed to get insulated!
Blowing up thermal images blurs them a bit, but you can clearly see here what is going on.
For the purposes of the report, orange and yellow colors demonstrate warmer temperatures and lavender, blue and purple demonstrate colder temps.
Try to put the left and center together to get a single image. The coldest spot is 41F! The warm wall above is the ambient temperature in the room and 71F.
Along that wall to the left of the corner it appears the insulation is loose, missing or in some other way improperly done. All along the wall! And that extends, obviously, behind the bath cabinet.
In the center image the cabinet door is open and there is cold right where the little boy would stand.
The right image demonstrates how cold it is inside and under the cabinet! The backside of the cabinet is 48F. Keep in mind, this is not an outside wall! This is inside the garage which is 20 or more degrees warmer than outdoors.
These images are taken at 3pm, and the temperature outdoors was 11F. So that was the perfect day to see this temperature demonstration inside!
The little boy was right!
This, by the way, was a one-year warranty inspection, so it is the perfect time to get thermal imaging done too! When we did the final inspection on the new house I told them to wait for the one year inspection before doing any thermal imaging as they would then experience the house and know things here and there.* This was not the only thermal problem we found! There are more. And it's a good thing they did it now, BEFORE the warranty expires. That would be a Best Practice!
My recommendation: I try to advise people as to the best time to do thermal imaging investigations, and whether to do inside or out. Doing this does not unnecessarily spend their money, and gets the best results. I have pushed people off many times to wait for different weather, or rain, or whatever, so we can get the best idea of what is going on. And pay attention to this sort of thing ESPECIALLY when a one-year warranty is about to expire! It's the absolute best time to look at the house as thermal images are describable, definitive, and hard to argue with.
* These folks really wanted me to do a thermal image investigation as a part of their final walk through a year ago. I more or less refused them, telling them I was not comfortable taking their money when I knew waiting a year would be more profitable. They saw my blog on the Condo Transition Study, and during that same cold snap wanted me to come right away. It's actually the 10th month for their house, but they wanted to take advantage of the extreme cold. Plus, their little boy was complaining!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560