New construction attic insulation - do you wonder if heat escapes?
And, if heat escapes, do you wonder if heat enters?
Many clients call me for a home inspection on brand new construction and tell me that they want one even though they are told by the builder they don't need a private inspection.
After all, the supervisor is there every day, doing his inspections.
The county has been by many times, doing their inspections.
Manufacturer reps often come by, like window companies, doing their inspections.
So, why in the world would you need to pay money for another, private home inspection?
TO OBJECTIVELY LOOK AT THINGS.
Like insulation. Insulation is one of the most important energy-saving features of a house. It is there from the start and theoretically can last decades. If done right it is great, and if not it is ALWAYS a nuisance, if not a problem.
Where not done right, rooms can be hot and cold. Why?
Because heat seeks cold. Put differently, heat moves towards cold.
What does insulation do? It provides a thermal barrier impeding heat energy transfer via the air (convection) to and from the house. It prevents heat from moving toward cold via the air.
In this attic the insulation was exceptionally erratic.
Insulation is best when it is level and uniform.
The thicker it is, the more value it gives toward the resistance of air moving from hot to cold.
The ability to do that is called resistance value, or R-value.
If crushed with plywood and storage insulation provides less R-value. Where there are high or low spots insulation provides more or less R-value.
When I say the insulation in this attic was EXCEPTIONALLY ERRATIC , it is almost an understatement. Looking around with Mighty Mo, almost no matter where I looked, it was revealing.
I choose this color palette for the thermal image here because it is logical. Can you see heat escaping through the erratic insulation? This is most demonstrative.
This is a multi-million dollar house with a huge attic. There are many furnaces. Do you think that AS heat escapes everywhere like this unexpected, extra dollars are not also escaping?
MAGICALLY, INTO THIN AIR!
And in the summer, AS heat enters, it will take more air conditioning (energy) to cool, and, oppositely, are not unexpected, extra dollars being unnecessarily spent?
It could be that the insulating company did a good job. It could be that the people who followed, plumbers, electricians, data or satellite people, did not care and disrupted a clean blanket of insulation as they went about their work?
So, knowing this, where is the supervision?
ENTER THE HOME INSPECTOR.
My recommendation: the house is the house. The home inspector is there to observe and report. In this case the supervisor had never seen a thermal image taken in one of his houses. He felt the home inspector was "out of line" using such a device because the inspector pointed out "too many things," not just in the attic. Alrighty then!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560