Grateful for the wind in my face!

Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.


My last post was about excessive moisture in an attic due to breaches in the air barrier between the indoors and the attic space.

As that post discussed, these by-passes can be obvious or hidden.  There are often multiple breaches in the same home and some may be easy to find and other may be very difficult to fine.  When I find these breaches I point them out and recommend that proper repairs be made.  These breaches, if not a problem now, may become a problem in the future.

The picture below is an example of an obvious breach in the connection of the ceiling heat register to the insulated duct in the attic.  The picture is looking down at the insulation and the pink insulation is part of the wrap that goes around the heat duct that runs to the ceiling register.

It was pretty easy to find because the heating system was running and this little hole in the insulation was blowing air in my face as I climbed through the access hatch into the attic.

 air leakage

If the heating system had not been running, I like to think I would not have just thought it was a mouse hole.

The truth is though---it does not look at all like a mouse hole because there is no trail.

I’m just grateful for the wind in my face.


Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Interesting, as usual....I would have freaked if I saw a mouse, etc, but I am sure you are used to that now :-)

Jan 16, 2013 10:50 PM #1
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I am grateful for your educational posts. Good observation on "NO trail" indicating no critters about...A good Real Estate Scout this Charles is....

Jan 16, 2013 10:52 PM #2
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Perhaps there were very conscientious mice about, thus leaving no trail :)

Jan 16, 2013 10:54 PM #3
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Kristin, thanks.  I don't see many mice---just "evidence" typically :)

Richie, thanks,

Jim, this looks more like the work of moles :)

Jan 16, 2013 10:56 PM #4
Kathryn Maguire (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

That insulation that had been displaced was a great indicator of the air flow.  I don't think you would have thought it was a critter hole!

Jan 16, 2013 10:59 PM #5
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Charlie, See mouse trails all the time also and their little hole. Glad you were not behind me and getting wind in your face ;)

Jan 16, 2013 11:13 PM #6
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It sure is convenient when that little puppy is blowing air on you!  Good thing that cobra in the attic left such a wide hole. 

How many by passes can a man look down, before they can call him a man?  The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind, the answer is blowin' in the wind.

Jan 16, 2013 11:31 PM #7
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

Imagine if you lived in a place that get to -30 at times - like it was last week. This stuff really matters. Great post Charlie.

Jan 16, 2013 11:46 PM #8
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Charles,

So they wanted to keep the mice warm. What's the big deal anyway. No one cares about the heating and cooling costs anyway. LOL

Good find as we inspect homes more and more we find all kinds of short cuts done by the sub contractors.

Have a good day in the Seattle area.

Best, Clint McKie

Jan 17, 2013 12:07 AM #9
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Kathryn, especially with the edges of the hole flapping in the breeze :)

Don, that goes without saying from my view point :)

Jay, and Dylan likely had no clue to the extent that things blow in the wind

Charlie, yes---a little hole like this can vent a tremendous amount of moisture into the attic and become a major player in ice-dams.

Clint what is a little heat loss amongst friends? :)

Jan 17, 2013 12:21 AM #10
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Sure...That's a mole hole, for you know, Moley. Surely you've read "The Wind In The Willows"....:)

Jan 17, 2013 01:11 AM #11
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Charles we just had our HVAC expert over and he found a few places just like this....and I'm grateful he did. All that nice warm air going up and out.

Jan 17, 2013 02:46 AM #12
Paula McDonald
Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury - Granbury, TX
Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Cute title!  Good that you discovered this for the clients!  Good eye!

Jan 17, 2013 02:47 AM #13
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

Charles, when I first saw the picture I thought it was a mouse hole.  But not being too familiar with mice, I wasn't aware to look for a trail, but now will be.

Glad you were able to spot the ol' geyser!

Jan 17, 2013 03:49 AM #14
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

Charles, you are a virtual machine when it comes to writing quality content and getting featured. If I didn't know better I would never guess you're a successful home inspector also... 

Jan 17, 2013 10:43 AM #15
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Charles Buell

Seattle Home Inspector
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