What I'm Seeing Now

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When A Large Area Of Drywall Is Really Hot, There Is A Reason

When a large area of drywall is really hot, there is a reason why.

One thing I do during a home inspection is sweep the house with a thermal camera.

And Mighty Mo is good at what he does.

This is the back side of a skylight over the master bathtub.

While standing in the tub and looking up this is what the drywall looked like.

Not a really hot day, 83F, the back wall (and one side wall) of the drywall was pretty hot.

This means that in winter it is pretty cold!

They why is pretty obvious.

Whenever drywall is unusually hot or cold it is always insulation related.

Viewing that same skylight from the attic space the reason for the heat was obvious.

The spot is devoid of insulation.

Not unexpected!

Ideally that spot would be insulated with a thick bat insulation, R-30 or so, with the paper vapor retarder touching the drywall.  Then that cottony fiberglass insulation would be blown in on top to seal any bypasses.

I expect in winter sitting in that tub would be uncomfortable!

My recommendation:  some things are best learned by a home inspector.  And other things are better learned by a home inspector with a thermal camera.  How many homeowners venture into their attics to just check things out?   For how many years did these homeowners wonder why the bathroom was so uncomfortable!?  Now they know why.  And they can make it right for somebody else!

 

 

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 23 commentsJay Markanich • April 21 2016 02:49AM

Comments

It is great that you provide this service but you are getting into an area that might make it difficult for the agents representing both the buyers and sellers.  How do you present this information ? The devil is in the details. 

Posted by Peter Mohylsky, Your Bucket List Broker Along Scenic 30A (BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE) over 2 years ago

Information is difficult for the agent Peter?  I have been providing this service for 13 years.

How do I present it?  A home inspector observes and reports.  I observed an area without insulation and showed a photo and a corresponding thermal image on the report.  The buyer, my client, is informed.  The agent takes it from there.

About 25 years ago, when moisture meters first came out, I began demonstrating where exterior grading and drainage was causing moisture in foundation walls, and would prove it with a moisture meter.  If you were buying a house, would you want to know that?  Did I get into an area that  made it difficult for agents?  By the way, now, in addition to the moisture meter, I demonstrate the foundation leak with the thermal camera.

Too much information?

Finding what are oftentimes unknown foundation cracks, I have saved unknown thousands of dollars and headaches for my clients over the years. 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Peter - by the way, this has been a very popular blog over the years.  Those clients had never been to the house, buying it from photos on line.  They were in another state during the inspection.

P.s.  The Flipper covered up a big foundation crack with new drywall.

http://activerain.com/blogsview/4375296/this-is-what-you-and-i-see---and-this-is-what-a-thermal-camera-sees-

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Jay- I wish I'd had Mighty Mo and you for our home we had in Leesburg. My desk area was always cold enough to hand meat.

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 2 years ago

Kathy - once an old lady said to me that she was cold sitting on her toilet (one-year inspection).  The attic above, and the wall behind, the toilet was devoid of insulation.  One cold seat begets another...

The builder didn't like me.  I think he used Peter's word - I was a "devil."

Yep, my fault!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

We have soooo few inspectors that use your technology....unfortunate !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 2 years ago

I have been saying for over 10 years that every home inspection everywhere would come with thermal imaging S&D.  And I have been wrong for 10 years.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

It looks like the thermal imaging makes the inspector a better detective.  And the tools are not that expensive when considering how often they can be used and how much value they provide.

Posted by Dan Rosenberger (Harvest Realty) over 2 years ago

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and your photographs.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) over 2 years ago

I have been having fun with mine ever since I bought it. I think it's the future. TMI? You gotta be kidding!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 2 years ago

Dan - you are right.  I call my thermal camera the sharpest arrow in my quiver.  I have nearly 100 thermal imaging posts on AR.

However, I assure you the cameras (I am into my third) and training are quite expensive.  I have already taken two new classes in thermal imaging just this year, and I have been doing it for 13 years.

Welcome Roy.

Fred - practice, practice, training, training.  I'm not a big texter, what is TMI?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Jay, I would never purchase a home without an inspection.  I just wish I had your contact information before I bought my current home.  There were a few deficiencies that our inspector didn't catch that would have come in handy during the negotiating stage.  Luckily I am really handy and I have a builder friend from high school to back me up.

Keep up the great work and informative posts!

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 2 years ago

Thanks Stephen.  I expect different inspectors will find different things on any house.  But hopefully the most important things are not missed.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Informative post. I always reccomend my clients get an inspection done with a thermal camera now. I had 2 incidents a couple of years ago that were not detected by inspectors because they were in the walls on new construction. A thermal image would have been revealing. 

Posted by Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest (Keller Williams Realty Southwest) over 2 years ago

Mike - I can tell you that builders do not like me!  One said home inspectors should not use thermal cameras!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Too Much Information, can't get enough in these situations!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 2 years ago

Like the line in the Dirty Harry movie, Fred, "I gots to know."

Prior to that was the line, "Do you feel lucky, punk?"

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Exactly correct, Jay Markanich . Our inspectors also use the thermal cameras to scan the walls, not just the ceilings.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (Realty National) over 2 years ago

And the roof, plumbing, electrical and foundation S&N!

You never know what Mighty Mo will see!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

How far into Maryland will you come? The thermal camera is only used by a few agents here as you know! 

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 2 years ago

It depends on the contract Lise.  If the contract demands a Maryland-licensed inspector, I cannot come.  I do not know what the contracts say about thermal imaging in particular, or if that is considered to be a home inspection.

I grew up in Kensington and am very familiar with Maryland.  It would have to be somewhere nearer to the Virginia border.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Hi Jay, that is very interesting, I had no idea that drywall could get that hot!

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) over 2 years ago

Sybil - drywall can get very hot!  I have been in attic spaces that were so hot I could not touch anything!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

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