The insulation prediction becomes reality. "Our pillows are cold!"
Sometimes when home inspectors are dismissed things come back to bite the builder.
On this pre-drywall inspection there were dozens of places where insulation had gaps, holes, or was tucked so deeply between joists and studs that huge areas of cold would be the result.
The builder completely dismissed my report, saying that the insulation company is the final authority and they say this will have little effect on the house.
This location is the master bedroom closet.
Do you see how far the insulation is from the edge of the stud? And the hole?
That will all have effect later. And I predicted it on the report.
My client has been in the house only a short while. He complained of rooms and areas that are very cold.
I'm pretty sure this is a thermal image of the area in the photo above. There was more than one photo of the master closet, but this may be it.
Just walking into the closet I could feel the cold. At this time the sun was shining on the roof above this closet!
He was told that tucking insulation into the wall studs help to hold it up and would have no effect on the insulation's value.
One specific complaint was that the master bedroom was cold and that the pillows on the bed got really cold. When asked my client said, "Our pillows are cold!"
Can you see why?
See how wide the studs appear? That is because insulation was tucked behind them and huge convective loops have happened.
The builder told him that those lines are where the studs are and studs cannot be insulated. And he can provide a stud finder to prove it! Well, that's a big duh. The camera is showing where the studs are! But what about the areas around the studs? This wall is on the cold side of the house, no sun at all, and the outdoor temperature at this time was between 25F and 30F.
We have a recipe for a cold wall! And pillows.
There were 30 thermal images on this report. Many more could have been put there, but redundancy is not too instructive.
My recommendation: home inspectors are often made out to be the bad guys, but really, (really?), is the home inspector the problem here? When a prediction becomes fact, and living in a house proves a report to be reality, is the inspector to be blamed? The solution at this point? I bet my client is in for a lot of arguing with the builder. Oh, the insulation depth in the attic is shown to the right. When I told my client the R-value is not the advertised and touted 38, the builder said I am wrong. Really?
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560