Can You See The Problem Here? All Spaces Along An Exterior Wall Need Insulation

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

Can you see the problem here?  All spaces along an exterior wall need insulation.

I had to blow them up a bit so you could see the problem I am having with this.

Nobody else seemed to notice.

This is one of the exterior side walls of the house.

The other side wall was the same way!

Can you see my problem?

Hopefully this will help. 

Here is another similar photo.

Another area, same problem.

Can you see this one too?

Does this help?

Certainly this will be a long term problem.

This floor joist is under the sun room.

The sun room is rectangular.

This basement will be finished.  So the walls will all be insulated. 

Around the house the rim joists are also to be insulated.  At least they should be!  Everywhere!

However, in this house, they have the two exterior joists situated so closely together, that there is a gap between them which I figured to be 8" or 10". 

That area will be sealed up, covered with flooring above, and drywall below.  It will become a large, long space of dead, and very cold, air.

Do you think that much square footage missing insulation all along both sides of the house and around the rear sun room will not influence the house?

OF COURSE IT WILL!

My client asked how these spaces can be insulated now.  The only way would be to cut holes and blow loose, cellulose insulation into the space.

DO YOU THINK THE BUILDER HAD PLANS TO DO THAT?  I doubt it highly.

My recommendation:   home inspectors catch things like this.  I wonder if the builder had.  I know the client, who had been in the house dozens of times prior to my visit, had not noticed it.  Now he thinks it is a concern.  And it is!  This is a silly design flaw, in my opinion, that this builder's designers should have picked up on.  For now, hopefully, it will be taken care of, at least for this client.

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Of course it's their responsibility James.  I hope they step up.  They have created a difficult space to insulate!

Yea, no big deal Bliz.  I can hear the supervisor saying that too!

For sure Kathryn.  This kind of thing could NEVER get detected during the one-year warranty inspection.  It would be covered with drywall.  And the builder knows that!

Mar 22, 2012 09:06 PM #4
Rainmaker
2,666,854
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Great catch Jay.  It really makes you wonder how many other homes were previously done incorrectly.

Mar 22, 2012 09:17 PM #5
Rainmaker
2,249,180
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Most prospective homeowners really wouldn't know or pay any attention to issues like this, that is why you are the right person for the job. They are better off as a result.

Mar 22, 2012 09:17 PM #6
Rainmaker
2,704,764
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Good morning Jay,

I am curious as to whether this builder advertises their homes as "energy efficient" or with specific R-Factors.  The problem you found would definitely shoot holes in that marketing campaign!

Mar 22, 2012 09:37 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Debbie - all of them, with this design.  Has to be.

But the supervisor should be aware Joe!  And pay attention.  Look, the electricians use the space to run wiring!

I think so Lisa, and no way would the "energy auditor," from whatever agency, would catch this after drywall.

Mar 22, 2012 09:46 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,543,970
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Looks like an opportunity for Mike Holmes to step in with his foaminator.  I'll have to admit, when my electrical contracting company follows a build where foam is used rather than other types of insulation it's a real challenge to do extra work.

Mar 22, 2012 10:15 PM #9
Ambassador
1,343,266
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Jay~I'm wondering why the buyer didn't just walk away. This seems pretty substantial to me...maybe I'm crazy?

Mar 22, 2012 11:27 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I like foam in certain contexts Mike, but for after work, as you say, it can be really difficult stuff to work with.

Gayle - this can be done with cellulose, but that MUST be evident prior to the drywall going up.  Who knows if they can get it done that quickly.

Mar 23, 2012 03:37 AM #11
Rainer
284,418
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Jay -- there you go pointing out things that nobody else is ever going to notice.  Unless they use a thermal camera on that section, when they notice it is so much cooler than the rest of the floor.

Mar 23, 2012 06:07 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

They would have found it one very cold day Steven, when they were in the kitchen or sun room and their feet were cold!  AND they would have remembered how nicely insulated the basement walls were and not understood why they were cold!

Mar 23, 2012 08:33 AM #13
Ambassador
1,540,892
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional
Hi Jay, Thank you for including these photo stories in the ActiveRainPhotoblogger group. These posts are so useful for all of us in the field. Well done!
Mar 23, 2012 11:40 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thankyou William.  I just kind of discovered the group and thought these might be useful!

Mar 23, 2012 07:30 PM #15
Rainmaker
86,952
Eric Middleton
Closer Look Property Inspections Inc. - Uniondale, NY
Professional Property Inspector

Jay- I think most contractors are not trained on how air flows in structures. I know a contractor that did not know what efflorescence was and installs drywall right on top of it. He has know idea of how air and moisture can affect a house. 

Mar 24, 2012 12:52 PM #16
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I think you're right Eric.  Houses are systems and lots of things work together.  Not understanding one thing in the system can affect so many other things.

Mar 24, 2012 08:21 PM #17
Rainmaker
684,209
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

What about those holes in the floor trusses? They are close to the end. I would be very concerned about that too. 

Mar 24, 2012 11:23 PM #18
Rainmaker
579,727
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Jay, I am sure this is how my home is constructed.  Either applying some foam insulation, or having someone do it for me, will reduce the air leakage in my home

Mar 25, 2012 01:08 AM #19
Ambassador
2,079,669
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Love your posts and the photos that go with them! You give such great examples of why home inspections are vital!

Mar 25, 2012 03:38 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Jim - those holes demonstrate the space I am referring to.  They look close together, but that space represents about 8 or 10" of uninsulated area!

Chris - if you can do it, where you live you probably should!  Up there you can go with closed or open cell.

Barbara-Jo - glad you like it!  I love reading home inspector posts on AR too!  You notice that we inspectors comment on each other's posts all the time.  I like to suggest them.

Mar 25, 2012 09:38 AM #21
Rainmaker
233,461
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Nice catch- no IR camera needed for that one.

Mar 27, 2012 11:50 AM #22
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

True Reubs.  Had they called me in the winter with the people complaining about a cold floor, a long, purple spot would have been pretty visible!

Mar 27, 2012 07:00 PM #23
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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