five percent rule of missing insulation: This Much Missing Insulation Can Influence A Whole Room - 03/21/17 01:45 AM
This much missing insulation can influence a whole room.
It doesn't seem like a lot, but with insulation just a little that is missing goes a long way toward dramatically increasing energy bills.
This subject house was advertised to have had a new roof installed just a few years ago.
It was an older townhouse, and going into the attic space it was obvious that much of the sheathing had to be replaced along with the shingles.
That likely was the result of the roof shingles being very old at the time of replacement.
The previous roof may have leaked substantially, rotting the roof sheathing below.
It … (8 comments)

five percent rule of missing insulation: This Is A Beautiful Light Fixture! But Don't Forget The Insulation! - 02/25/17 02:45 AM
This is a beautiful light fixture!  But don't forget the insulation!
This is new construction.  The entry way featured an open ceiling with a circular, wrapping staircase leading to an upper level hallway that serviced all the bedrooms.
A very attractive, hand-painted globe was in the ceiling.
And the light fixture lit up in such a way that enhanced itself beautifully.
This chandelier was very high and heavy and came with another feature.  A lift.  That device has the ability to lift and lower 300 pounds.   The chain above the light fixture was very long.  The lift device makes it easy to lower and clean … (14 comments)

five percent rule of missing insulation: Removing Insulation To Install New Light Fixtures Causes This - 07/30/16 07:54 PM
Removing insulation to install new light fixtures causes this.
There were a lot of new electrical installations in this house, all done unprofessionally and the wiring was inappropriate.
The old, single kitchen light was recently replaced with newer, chic halogen lights.
Three to be exact.
All were wired unprofessionally.
The insulation had been removed around each fixture to install it.
Bare drywall could be seen around each one.
These three spots without insulation took up a large portion of the kitchen ceiling, which comprised a lot of surface area, about 25 square feet.  They add up to more than 5% of the kitchen ceiling area.
Remember the 5% rule … (7 comments)

five percent rule of missing insulation: Things We Did Not Know About Insulation Before Thermal Imaging - 07/13/16 09:46 PM
Things we did not know about insulation before thermal imaging.
I got into thermal imaging about 14 years ago because my son was on his second all-expense-paid-trip to Iraq and told me about some of the fun tools he used.  Some of those tools included thermal imaging.
He thought a thermal camera might be useful during home inspections.  I had never considered it, but looked into it, and found that there was a big thermal imaging industry out there. 
But I also found that few home inspectors used thermal cameras.  Looking into all the manufacturers, and many styles and high costs of the units … (12 comments)

five percent rule of missing insulation: "The Loft Room Is Always Warm - It Won't Cool, No Matter What" - 06/27/16 08:19 PM
During the phone call I heard, "The loft room is always warm - it won't cool, no matter what."
They understood I have the ability to "see" insulation.  While that is not exactly true, Mighty Mo has the ability to distinguish warm from cool, and can "see" where insulation is and is not.
So, we went up into the room.  It was dramatically warmer than the third level, which was warmer than the main level. 
The thermostat on the third level was set to 72F.  That's pretty cool.  But going to the fourth level, or the loft room, the ambient air temperature was 87F.  … (11 comments)

five percent rule of missing insulation: A Garage Wall Is Still An Exterior Wall - 06/22/16 09:07 PM
A garage wall is still an exterior wall.
And, as such, if it abuts the house, it needs to be insulated!  Remember the 5% Rule!
On a new construction inspection I noticed something interesting.  The room adjoining the kitchen and garage was very warm.
The area in this photo is in the garage attic space.  It is above the garage ceiling, but still abuts the house.
It opens to the entry from the garage, which is also a combination mud room and laundry room.
Entering that space from the kitchen I noticed it was kind of warm.
It had its own floor register and was serviced with … (11 comments)

five percent rule of missing insulation: The 5% Rule Of Missing Insulation - 01/19/16 05:48 PM
Many insulation studies have come to the rule of thumb consideration that can be called
The 5% Rule of Missing Insulation.
Basically stated, if a given area, say a wall or ceiling in a room in a home, is missing 5% of insulation, that missing 5% will cause a more than 50% loss in R-value for that area.  To repeat: 
More than 50% loss in R-value for that area.
That is substantial!
Let's say you are in newer construction, and there because the homeowners have called about cold rooms.  If Mighty Mo is tagging along doing a thermal image sweep of the house to check on … (11 comments)

 
Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) Rainmaker large

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Bristow, VA

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Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Address: Bristow VA 20136

Office: (703) 330-6388

Mobile: (703) 585-7560

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An experienced home inspector's look at current home inspection events and conditions along with his useful recommendations.


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