insulation missing: When Any Upper Level Is Hot Insulation Is Almost Always The Reason - 07/05/17 03:46 AM
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 … (17 comments)

insulation missing: Why Gas Fireplaces Can Get So Cold! - 01/05/17 03:40 AM
Why gas fireplaces can get so cold!
I get this call every winter, many times.  "The area around my gas fireplace is really cold!  What can we do?"  That is a good question!  What can be done now?
This is a thermal image of a recent new construction inspection.
It was not cold outdoors, in the 40sF.  But look how cold is radiating out from the fireplace!  Thermal imaging is the only way to demonstrate what is going on here.
So, why is that cold radiating?
Always, ALWAYS,  the answer is insulation.
And the improper positioning or the lack thereof.
Imagine how cold this area will feel in … (10 comments)

insulation missing: A Facelift For An Upstairs Bathroom. But Wait! - 10/15/16 08:13 PM
This is an older house with a facelift for an upstairs bathroom.  But wait!
New appliances, lights, floor, and ceramic wall tile!
Everything worked well and I thought the bathroom looked great.  I really liked the shelf in the shower stall.  But wait, isn't the shower wall on the exterior rear wall of the house?
Then how did they get the space to sink that shelf in there?
How can you tell if it's an exterior wall by just looking at it?
You can't.
But Mighty Mo can!
The sun happened to be shining on the wall at the time this thermal image was taken.
Not a very hot … (12 comments)

insulation missing: To Tray Or Not To Tray - That Is The Question - 08/03/16 08:57 PM
To tray or not to tray - that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler for the room to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous insulation,
Or to add insulation against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them. 
Devoutly to be wished.
To sleep, perhaps to dream, in comfort.  Aye, there's the rub!
 
Tray ceilings are a popular, and attractive, feature in rooms. 
This one is in the master bathroom.
Going into the bathroom we noticed that it was quite a bit warmer than the master bedroom.
There can be only one reason for a warmer room - poor or poorly-placed insulation.
One critical feature of a tray ceiling … (4 comments)

insulation missing: 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)

insulation missing: In An Attic, Two Buckets Are A Pair, But Three Are A Charm! - 05/09/16 08:53 PM
In an attic, two buckets are a pair, but three are a charm!
There was remodeling and many changes, upgrades and all you can imagine.  And nothing seemed done professionally.  Certainly permits were not pulled for anything.
There was a new bath vent and sky light in the bathroom.  They looked good from below.
THINGS ALWAYS ALMOST LOOK GOOD WHEN THEY ARE ONLY GLANCED AT!
But you have to look further!  Take the bathroom for instance.  It all looked good!
Let's see.
The new fan blows into the attic space, not outdoors.
And the skylight framing is weak, cuts a truss, is uninsulated and the insulation that was … (13 comments)

insulation missing: When A Large Area Of Drywall Is Really Hot, There Is A Reason - 04/20/16 07:49 PM
When a large area of drywall is really hot, there is a reason why.
One thing I do during a home inspection is sweep the house with a thermal camera.
And Mighty Mo is good at what he does.
This is the back side of a skylight over the master bathtub.
While standing in the tub and looking up this is what the drywall looked like.
Not a really hot day, 83F, the back wall (and one side wall) of the drywall was pretty hot.
This means that in winter it is pretty cold!
They why is pretty obvious.
Whenever drywall is unusually hot or cold it is always … (23 comments)

insulation missing: Why Does The Bath Water Get Cold So Quickly? - 03/06/16 04:42 PM
You hop into a nice, hot bath and sit for only a few minutes only to wonder - why does the bath water get cold so quickly?
One thing I always look for on a pre-drywall inspection is how well the bath tubs are insulated if they are beside an exterior wall.
If the wall(s) is not insulated well, and by that is meant that the cavities between the 2x4s are filled completely and all the way to the floor, it is something that must be called out and rectified before the bathroom is finished.
The why is simple.
Beside and surrounding the tub is … (14 comments)

insulation missing: Missing Skylight Insulation Can Be A Huge Energy Waster - 03/02/16 07:20 PM
Missing skylight insulation can be a huge energy waster.
While looking around with Mighty Mo I could see that this skylight cavity was missing some insulation.
Skylights that are placed over tall hallways, or cathedral ceilings, often have a lot of drywall area visible inside the house.
Such is the case here.
From the ceiling to the skylight is about 12'.
So, as heat seeks cold, and since this would represent the highest point in the house, during the winter heat from the house would find this the perfect place to try to escape.
Conversely, in summer, heat from the attic will radiate inward and cause this … (9 comments)

insulation missing: 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)

insulation missing: Good Thing There Was A Light In The Attic To Show The Lack Of Insulation - 11/26/15 06:40 PM
Good thing there was a light in the attic to show the lack of insulation.
Gee, how else would we have known?
There was no mistaking the fact that there was a light there.
The fixture was excellently installed.  Not!
Okay, the switch didn't work, and the bulb didn't light up, but I'm sure it will one day.
And the fluffy insulation makes this space look snug and warm.
Or snug and cool, depending on your season.
Okay, that may have been a tad sarcastic as you can see there is NO INSULATION THERE!
This brand, new construction couldn't have presented itself better!
Sometimes I really wonder if the "supervisor"  … (15 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

More about me…

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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