I do my best to be flexible, but……….

By
Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

     Heating contractors love flexible, insulated, plastic ductwork.  It is light weight, quick and easy to install and meets energy code requirements.

     Metal type ducts take time, have lots of seams that have to be taped and then the ducts have to be insulated as well.

     The problem is, that in the long run, when it comes time to clean them, it may not be possible----which would then result in them needing to be replaced.

     For my money, I would go with the metal ducts.  They are much easier to support properly and air flow can be less restrictive than the flexible ducts.  These flexible ducts may be ok in an attic where they can lie flat and fully supported, but when they have to be strung across the bottom of joists in a crawl space they can develop sags and restrictions at the hangers----unless there are a lot of them.  Too often the pipes are not adequately supported in crawl spaces and end up collapsed on the ground where they get crushed by workmen that don’t know any better or where vermin are attracted to sleeping on them because they are warmer.  They are also very susceptible to damage from rodents.  Everyone knows that the presence of rodents in a crawl space is not a matter of “if” but “when.”  They love to chew their way into these plastic ducts and once in the ducts they can pretty much go anywhere they want in the house----as well as build nests in the ductwork.  The furnace blower can then blow odors from their activity throughout the house (a most pleasant thought).

     Here are a few pictures of plastic ductwork from several crawl spaces.

Unsupported flexible ductwork

And more unsupported flexible ductwork

     The next picture shows where an enterprising rodent has made their way into the insulated duct.

Rodent tunnels

     It seems like creating a network of tunnels for rodents to freely move about the house is not a good idea.

     For my money quick, easy and cheap----is more expensive in the long run.

Charles Buell Seattle Home Inspectors, Charles Buell Inspections Inc, Seattle, Wa

 

PS:  In other totally unrelated matters:

     Is it a coincidence that Oranges are Orange?  Why aren’t Lemons called Yellows?

 

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Seattle Home Inspector

 

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Rainmaker
179,704
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

BTW, using that logic should peppers be black and white, hmmmmmmmm?

Jun 17, 2009 07:20 AM #5
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

James---what don't you like listening to the critters scurrying around in the ductwork?

Alan, "ewwwwww" about covers it I think---now go back and stuff those wires back where they belong:)

Jack, I am becoming more and more convinced that the stuff is garbage

Lisa, actually the pictures are from 4 different houses---just to sort of convey that it happens a lot.

Jack, but peppers come in red, green, yellow and other colors as well.

Jun 17, 2009 07:48 AM #6
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Because grapefruits are also yellow Charles.  There is your perfectly logical explaination.  and I'm with Alan on this one.  EWWWWWWWW.  And I do have that stuff.  I wonder if my termite man keeps a check on that when he does my inspections.  I'll be asking that question.  No going in the crawl space for me today.

Jun 17, 2009 07:54 AM #7
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Tammy, AHHH but tangerines are orange too----so lemons COULD be "yellows":)

Jun 17, 2009 08:01 AM #8
Rainmaker
69,086
Vince Santos
StepByStep Home Services LC - Canton, MI
Southeast Michigan Home Inspector

My favorite is when they attach the ducts to floor structure and squeeze the "flow" out of them.

Jun 17, 2009 08:42 AM #9
Rainmaker
885,804
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Nutsy could have a fun time in these houses!  He may have made the hole in the last one.

Jun 17, 2009 02:37 PM #10
Rainer
65,773
Shoshana Shay
St. Pete Realty - Treasure Island, FL

Arghh! I do NOT want to have that close a relationship with rodents.  Now you've made me wonder about the fruit rats who seem determined to skitter through my insulation... maybe it's not in the insulation but in the ductwork? I need to know someone like you around here... :) (will not dream about giant rats coming through the ducts tonight...)

Jun 17, 2009 03:37 PM #11
Rainmaker
379,811
Matt Listro
National Credit Fixers - Matt Listro - Vernon, CT
Your Credit Repair Expert

Hi Charles: looks like a job for elastic man.

:)

Jun 17, 2009 04:53 PM #12
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Vince---the thing is they sell this stuff as being "better" than metal duct

Barbara----most likely---or one of his close rodent relatives

Shoshana---in the case of rats---size probably doesn't matter:)

Matt---or slinky man

Jun 17, 2009 05:37 PM #13
Rainmaker
137,018
Teresa K. Nelson
Windermere Real Estate/HLC - Woodinville, WA

Yikes! They will think of anything to save a buck these days! That looks like a scary inspection down the road.

Jun 18, 2009 02:58 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,228,339
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Active Rain members,

I do a full crawl space inspection. I go on record as being oppossed to rodents in crawl spaces, except for those who are certifried professionals. Mr Charles gets his water overheated because he eats too many hotdogs and will not fit in some crawl spaces.

Nutsy

Jun 18, 2009 04:04 AM #15
Rainmaker
1,228,339
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

There are some other practical alternatives to poisons.

 

Jun 18, 2009 04:05 AM #16
Rainmaker
677,943
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Steve, Why don't you put the twins in a closed room with Nutsy for a few hours. I bet Nutsy learns to climb in new and wondrous ways.

Jun 18, 2009 04:07 AM #17
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Theresa---all in a day's work:)

Nutsy at least I will never be made into hotdogs

Steve, I hear they work on squirrels as well?

James---great minds think alike:)

Jun 18, 2009 11:16 AM #18
Rainer
83,856
Andrew Haslett
Van Warren Home Inspections, NAHI CRI - Fort Knox, KY
Heartland of Kentuckynulls, Best Home Inspector

Charles, what about cranberries: shouldn't they be purples? tomatoes should be reds? or yellows?

As for the duct work: it's not much different than going with the cheapest home inspector, right?

Jun 18, 2009 01:06 PM #19
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Andrew, me thinks there is lots of short sightedness around.

Jun 19, 2009 12:44 PM #20
Rainmaker
1,681,839
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

The indoor Highway 66!

Jun 19, 2009 08:53 PM #21
Rainmaker
329,325
Dinah Lee Griffey
Windermere Peninsula Properties - Allyn, WA
Managing Broker Windermere Peninsula Properties

I am not a big fan of rodents. I think avoiding a crawlspace if at all possible is a good idea-Dinah Lee

Jun 20, 2009 11:04 AM #22
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jay, Car 54 Where are You?

Dinah, I would be happy if the rodents just avoided the crawl spaces:)

Jun 20, 2009 11:12 AM #23
Anonymous
JP Rich

Hello and thank you for the info, I thought I was one of the select unlucky few that had this problem.

(with the rodents, not the names of fruits & vegies)

Any ideas on how to get rid of my uninvited house guests? (besides replacing the duct work which goes without saying)

Thank you again

JP Rich

Dec 23, 2009 09:29 AM #24
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