What I'm Seeing Now

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A Facelift For An Upstairs Bathroom. But Wait!

This is an older house with a facelift for an upstairs bathroom.  But wait!

New appliances, lights, floor, and ceramic wall tile!

Everything worked well and I thought the bathroom looked great.  I really liked the shelf in the shower stall.  But wait, isn't the shower wall on the exterior rear wall of the house?

Then how did they get the space to sink that shelf in there?

How can you tell if it's an exterior wall by just looking at it?

You can't.

But Mighty Mo can!

The sun happened to be shining on the wall at the time this thermal image was taken.

Not a very hot day, and at the time the sun was at an oblique angle, but that it was hitting the wall is very apparent.

And the result is obvious.  They not only robbed the insulation from the space where the shelf is, but they removed the insulation entirely, and apparently from the stud wall cavity above.  What insulation was remaining below and beside is loose or haphazard.

On a hot summer day, this will be a little hot spot!  And on a cold winter day, well, you get it.  It looks like the wall itself might be hot and cold, but not as much as the shelf.

My recommendation:  sometimes a thermal camera is the only way to define things in a way that is understood.  And this particular thermal color palette defines the lack of insulation in that space wonderfully.  The shelf was a good idea.  But at the expense of insulation?  Not sure about that...

 

 

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 12 commentsJay Markanich • October 16 2016 03:13AM

Comments

Yes, good catch.  I think showering in the winter would be a bit unpleasant.  At least the pipes are on other wall.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 4 years ago

It is important to get a home inspection before buying a house. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Robbing Peter to pay Paul has never worked out!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

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

You see some odd things on home inspection! (Perhaps there was a window in that spot at some point.) Cool tool you've got there.

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Jay. What is missing behind the tile can be very costly and uncomfortable! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) almost 4 years ago

Debbie - you got that right.  The service pipes are original so no way would they have been on an exterior wall. 

Gita - yes it is.

Raymond - you mean like "affordable" health care?

Kathryn - original 1925 wood siding outside, so what you are seeing is tile glued to something right beside the exterior siding!

Wayne - in this case perhaps both!

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

You don't need that pesky insulation, get that outta there, the shelf is waaay more important! See, we Inspecktorz are pretty smart sometimes 

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 4 years ago

Fred - I was looking at the wall thinking the tile had to be against the outside wall and was just waiting until later to break out Mighty Mo.

The Moester did not disappoint.

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

Hi Jay. I never would have thought to do a thermal inspection of the bathroom. Is this something you generally recommend?

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant (HomeSmart Realty Group) almost 4 years ago

I sweep the whole house as a matter of course, Donna.  And I was especially interested in that bathroom because when I saw the shelf I knew there wasn't much space between the tile and the exterior siding!

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

Interesting.  You can check the weather while you shower!  What a novel idea.

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

Maybe they could put a phone in the shower so people could call them for a weather report early each morning, Stephen.

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

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