Differences in Time

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

Time will always win outIf I had a dime for every time I heard it said, “they don’t make things like they used to”, I’d be retired lounging on a warm beach sipping a tall, frosty adult beverage. The previous statement is supposed to mean everything built today or at least the subject of the declaration is inferior to something made from yester year. The way I see it all the crap that was made long ago has gone where all junk ends up, in the dump. The well made and well cared for are still around, but remember this, time and nature always has the final word.

I was reminded of how buildings have improved over the years when during an inspection I saw a dichotomy right in front of me.

Exterior view of the old and new.The trend has been and continues to be for improved energy efficiency in homes. Many years ago energy was cheap and no one really though about insulating homes. Generally from what I have seen through inspections and energy audits is that homes were first starting to be regularly insulated in the 1950s. The insulation was minimal and usually only in the ceiling and sometimes inside the exterior walls. Over the years houses have become super insulated, but there is still room for improvement.

During a recent home inspection where the customer had requested infrared scanning the differences in time were captured in infrared light. On this home the differences in wall insulation and its performance can be seen and compared.

Infrared image of a Connecticut house exterior The portion of the house in the fore ground was built in 1952, while the newer section in the back ground was made in 2009. The chimney is basically the border between the two parts. Two things that are distinctly noticeable and show the “good old days” compared to the here and now.

First is the uniformity of the temperatures on the new compared to the old. The old side shows patchiness which is indicative of minimal insulation inside the wall cavity. Second are the temperature differences. There is an about 5 degree difference between the two walls. The old wall is warmer, indicating more heat loss. Since the day was mild, with temps in the mid 40s, the difference isn’t too great. As the temperature drops, the difference will become much more pronounced.

The differences in time and in this case temperature are distinct.

 

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services. Learn more about our home energy audits, the Home Energy Tune uP®.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

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Rainmaker
2,030,657
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

The difference in home insulation from 50 years ago is amazing

Jan 29, 2012 11:59 PM #1
Rainmaker
2,269,136
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

It is amazing, the technology that you use to detail a home ispection for a client. You do a great job in educating the client. Great post.

Jan 30, 2012 12:03 AM #2
Rainmaker
573,650
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

James, Yes it is funny the perception is that things were made better back in the "old days". The same is true about automobiles. Those big old cars were "solid" in our parents and even our generations eyes. They wouldn't get all crushed up cause they were so rigid....lol. Never did anybody think about the fact that the material they are built with today actually absorbs the crash impact, trashing the car of course but saving the lives of our loved ones.

Good post, keep up the good work!!

Jan 30, 2012 12:13 AM #3
Ambassador
1,334,402
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jim, give me new over old any day---as long as I get to choose the version of new :)

Jan 30, 2012 01:10 AM #4
Rainmaker
179,897
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

James the comparison is great.  Wish it would have been a little colder so there was more distinction.  

Jan 30, 2012 06:38 AM #5
Rainmaker
179,897
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Sorry, not wishing the cold temps on anyone.

Jan 30, 2012 06:39 AM #6
Rainmaker
200,319
Debbie Holmes
Gold Key Real Estate - Boise, ID
Gets the job done!

Intereresting.... I would have expected older homes to be built tighter but I guess that is not the case.

Jan 30, 2012 08:01 AM #7
Rainmaker
690,134
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Joe J., More amazing when you see your heating bill :)

Joe P., Thank you, nice of you to say. Education is the primary goal of the inspector. 

Fred, Cars are a great example. Those old tanks were actually much less safe.

Charlie, Choice is the key.

Jack, Colder would have shown a bigger difference, but it can still be seen. 

Debbie, Actually the opposite is generally true. 

Jan 30, 2012 10:31 PM #8
Rainer
284,418
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

James -- a great way to demonstrate the difference between old ways of doing things and new ways.  I know that my folks had insulation blown into their mid-50s style house walls, at one point.  For the first couple years, it was obvious where the holes had been drilled in the exterior walls to put the insulation in, then the paint got thick enought to cover them back up.

Jan 31, 2012 05:54 AM #9
Rainmaker
119,829
Vince Chinell
VICO Home Inspection - Branson, MO
CPI

James,  I know many people think IR is an unnecessary expense but it shows so clearly what is going on, unable to be seen with the human eye.  It can easily show ventilation, moisture, and insulation problems quickly and without  a doubt. 

Jan 31, 2012 11:11 AM #10
Rainmaker
690,134
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Steven, I love cellulose. It's great insulation.

Vince, Yes, when people can see something it really makes the point. 

Feb 03, 2012 08:33 AM #11
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Rainmaker
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James Quarello

Connecticut Home Inspector
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