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When Any Upper Level Is Hot Insulation Is Almost Always The Reason

When any upper level is hot insulation is almost always the reason.

And why else wouldn't it be?  It could be that the air conditioning does not reach or blow hard enough into the upper level.  But that air pressure is an easy check.

When air is blowing well through a register I have my client feel it so they will know when the mechanism isn't blowing properly.

But going into the attic we found our answer there.

Insulation was indeed the reason here!  Large areas without insulation were evident.  And along the edges of the roof the condition was the same.

Thermal images of each of the photos above looked like this. 

The insulation all over the attic had huge gaps where there wasn’t any present.  And insulation, when it was present elsewhere, was very thin.

And all along the edges of the roof, front and rear, the insulation was similarly weak.

How does that add up?  To a hot upper level! 

IMAGINE HOW COLD THIS UPPER LEVEL IS IN THE WINTER!

My recommendation:  things happen for reasons.  Usually the reasons are clear.  In this case not only were they clear, but indisputably identified with both photos and thermal imaging.  This is an easy fix, but a very important one!  Air conditioning and heating simply CANNOT be effective when a lack of insulation is getting in the way!  When there is no thermal barrier temperature and humidity will overcome.  And that was the case in this house.  And an uncomfortable upper level was the necessary result.

 

 

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 17 commentsJay Markanich • July 05 2017 10:46AM

Comments

This is timely advice to share with home owners.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) 5 months ago

Proper insulation is a primary key factor in providing comfort and economically sound home ownership. It repays the investment over and over again. So many owners and builders fail to focus on this.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (Realty One Group) 5 months ago

Of course, Roy, insulation is timely no matter the season.

S&N - and builders sometimes pretent they do.  See my post a little while ago on a builder's insulation "certificate" that was not only without valuable information, but untrue.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

Good morning Jay. Someone forgot to do their job! Unbelievable! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker (Wayne M Martin) 5 months ago

We have plenty of insulation in our attic. It's our walls that have me concerned. They are cold to the touch in winter. It is the same insulation that was installed at construction in 1959. How long is insulation good for, Jay.

Posted by Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor® (Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA) 5 months ago

Waddya talking about? It's gotta be R1 - R2 at least!

Posted by Fred Hernden, Albuquerque area Home Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) 5 months ago

Maybe the maid crew got up there and dusted a lot, Wayne!

In that era your walls would have had a thin layer of not very dense fiberglass with a paper vapor retarder, Doug.  Not too effective.  No wonder you feel the cold in winter.

Fred - that bare drywall is R-.5!  It stops a light breeze, but not much more!  But, as they say, better than nothing!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

And I thought my attic insulation needed improvement!

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) 5 months ago

By comparison yours is the Kingdom of Heaven, Stephen.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

We are about to reach the 100 degree temperature in Oklahoma City and about 14 inches of blown insulation is essential. We also don't have much wind in the hot times so power vents on the roof that are motorized and set to a temperature to come on is also helpful.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) 5 months ago

Insulation and ventilation are essential for a healthy house, Joe.  The more the better.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

That camera of yours is invaluable.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) 5 months ago

Truly, Lyn.  I say it's the sharpest arrow in my quiver.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

This is, in our market, the next worse area of contractors who scam people...the first being foundation specialists....know the reputation of that person you hire...and oh that camera is such an asset !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale (Keller Williams 414-525-0563) 5 months ago

I've been touting what an asset it is for 14 years, S&D.  When I first got it my wife asked if I could make my money back.  My answer was honest, "I don't know.  I hope so!"

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

Jay, those were some pretty serious gaps in the insulation. Maybe a squirrel ran off with it. I had that happen at my house. Maybe a whole bunch of squirrels.

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) 5 months ago

Who knows, Mike.  The insulation was originally done in the 60s - what's happened since?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

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