What I'm Seeing Now

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A Little Hole In The Insulation Equals A Big Hole For Energy Loss

A little hole in the insulation equals a big hole for energy loss.

This kind of spot was found in four places in this attic.

It is a proper support and box for a bedroom ceiling fan.

There is nothing wrong with the installation.

However, when the insulation is pulled away to install this support arm and wiring, it should be replaced.

Insulation is only effective if it is level and uniform.

When there are thin spots, or gaps, or holes, or areas like you see here with the bare drywall exposed, these places become huge energy wasters.

Heat seeks cold.  So in the summer it is trying to get into the house and in the winter it is trying to get out.

It will always be successful!

Why?  Because physics works!

There are four such locations in this house with four similar thermal patterns around bedroom ceiling fans.  Thermal imaging brings this problem dramatically to life.  And it was not a hot day outside during this inspection.  Imagine the temperature extremes during hot or cold weather.

That adds up to a lot of square footage left without insulation.  A little in each room.

Will this influence the temperatures in the rooms?  Yes.  In the upper level overall?  Yes.

My recommendation:  sometimes things done partially right and partially wrong end up with a 100% negative.  Half and half does not cut it.  A job must be done completely right.  Insulation is one of those things paid less attention to, yet it has a huge impact overall in a house.  It is permanent!  So it can be permanently effective or permanently ineffective.  I would suggest one should strive for perfection.

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 8 commentsJay Markanich • November 22 2016 04:10AM

Comments

Great visual - I love your thermal camera- Do you come over to the MD side of the river? 

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

It depends on the contract Lise.  MD has stringent licensing requirements (which are utterly pedantic*) and I am a VA licensed inspector.  If the contract demands a MD licensed inspector I would not be your guy.

I grew up in Kensington and am very familiar with Montgomery County.  If the contract allows, I would be your guy, but only in that area.

* They want me to go to Ellicott City to attend 21 days of classes, that I have to pay big money for, to "learn" what I already know so I can "earn" the privilege of being a licensed MD inspector.   The cost/benefit does not add up for me...

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

Uh oh.....looking for those holes with your magic camera can help provide folks with great savings when they plug those holes !  Did you get my email Jay Markanich Speaking of  cameras ?

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

I did and thought I answered it Sally.  I'll look again!

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

Good morning Jay. So close to doing the job right, yet not done yet! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) almost 2 years ago

As they say, Wayne, so near, yet so far.

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

Just like when the access door is not insulated! See that a lot.

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

Doors, panels and ladders, Fred.  You are right, big spots!

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

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