What I'm Seeing Now

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What Can Loose Wall Insulation And Tutti Frutti Have In Common?

What can loose wall insulation and tutti frutti have in common?

Well, it depends on the temperature outside!

Think Little Richard --

Wop bop a loop bop a lop bom bom!
Tutti frutti, oh rutti,
Tutti frutti, oh rutti,
Tutti frutti, oh rutti,
Wop bop a loo bop a lop ba ba!

I suppose I could go on.

So, what do you think?  Tutti frutti?

Sometimes different thermal image palettes lend different information, and this one surely does!

The temperature difference between indoors and out was only 13F.  Ideally you want to see a 17F difference to get a good a good thermal image.

But this wall showed so much I thought I would make a record.  The temperature differences aren't dramatic, but the colors are.

Imagine what it will look like in the cold of winter!  Or a hotter day!

There is just one temperature location just for reference.  So what is going on in the wall isn't dramatic because the temps aren't dramatic.  The colors are relative one to another.  But they are illustrative! 

This is a tall balloon wall in a staircase.  The insulation there is poorly placed, or loosely placed, or there are holes and gaps between places.  It's hard to say. 

But I expect that in the winter cold air will be felt moving down the staircase.

It isn't blowing cold air really.  When you feel air like is air is moving, it is due to convection where warm and cold temperatures interact.  Atmospheric convection is why the wind blows during thunderstorms.  Hot and cold meet, moisture is produced, convection happens moving air faster and faster, and the wind blows!

It will be no different in this hallway, on a micro scale, with moving air.

My recommendation:  sometimes Mighty Mo raises eyebrows.  This is new construction.  The insulation hasn't been there long.  It will likely change more when the dew point inside the wall gets wet and freezes.  I say to people who buy new homes to live in them for a year to experience all the seasons and see which areas are comfortable and which are not.  And then, before the warranty expires, have it taken care of then.

 
 

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 • September 15 2015 03:51AM

Comments

Great blog...thanks for sharing!

Posted by Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team ( Elite Realty Group) about 4 years ago

Thank you Norma.  A little fun, a little information.  All that!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Looks like it would be like the old farmhouse I grew up in; the cold air blew around really well in the winter!

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 4 years ago

On the bright side, Raymond, you didn't have radon build up!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

I like your comparison Jay, it's certainly colorful! We see blown-in insulation in attics here, but rarely in the walls. Is that what this is? It seems like it would be very difficult to get it to be evenly placed.

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) about 4 years ago

This is rolled fiberglass Tom.  It was stuffed in improperly leaving big holes and gaps.  Or there is separation between pieces and air seeps in, moving via small convective loops inside the walls.  I'm going to follow this post with one about improperly stuffed insulation.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Jay Markanich  This just shows if that insulation is not installed correctly it does not perform properly.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

For sure Don.  Interestingly, I had to leave early for an appointment, but was going to contact you this afternoon to see how things are.  And here you are!

Things returned to normal?  Any more issues?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Jay,

Can you imagine what the temperature difference will be if we have cold weather like we had last February?  20 degrees outside should make things interesting in that stairway!

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) about 4 years ago

I think so too, Stephen.  But I say to people in new homes to live in the house for a year and see how the rooms feel season to season.  Then, before the one year warranty is up, come to take care of it.

I did suggest another image on a really cold day...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Jay- you do have a way with words and music!  I wish we'd had your gizmo thing to use in our house in Leesburg.  There was an area where we could have hung meat!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 4 years ago

Rather than tutti frutti, Kathy, that the walls in that room may have been Mr. Freeze (from the Batman era)...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

 

                            Jay Markanich Thank you for my Ah-ha moment. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 4 years ago

Gazoontite, Kathy.

But thanks for the mention on your site!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

What a great idea to live in the house for a year (with new construction) and let the insulation settle - and then have it fixed. Thanks for a valuable post

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) about 4 years ago

Your recommendation in your last paragraph should be on every new construction owner's calendar!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 4 years ago

Good morning Jay. I agree with Gary above, and otherwise find this very scary.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 4 years ago

Thanks Lise.  I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that you missed it first time it came out!

Kidding.

Gary - I've been saying that for years.  Before thermal cameras we did not have so much information about how insulation works over time.  It's very interesting science.

Sheila - thermal imaging is not frightening, per se, but it is very informative.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Jay - that is a very good point on new construction.  There is bound to be something missed and putting everything to the test the first year is important.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 4 years ago

Great advice to homeowners who choose new construction. Make sure you hold the builders to their warranties!

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) about 4 years ago

The first year is the learning year Grant.  And then the warranty is over.

Nicole - one has to be careful because some builders have their one year warranty expire in 11 months!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Jay, I admit I don't completely understand everything except that there may be an issue with the insulation.  Your last statement is great advice for any home owner in this regard!

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) about 4 years ago

My parents had someone come do an energy blah blah blah on their house.  They had equipment and well, my NEXT house will have the foam insulation my parents have.  They didn't have tutti fruiti photos.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 4 years ago

Silvia - the blue and green are cooler spots and the yellow and red warmer.  The scale on the right shows the temperatures.  But dead of winter those temperatures would be dramatically different.

Tammy - foam can go into the walls or in the attic, but not both.  And it isn't cheap!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Good tip about living there a year and taking care of things during the warranty period. 

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) about 4 years ago

Thanks Kat.  I have been telling my clients that for a long time.  It seems to work!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

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