A Pre-Drywall Inspection Is The Only Time To See This

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

A pre-drywall inspection is the only time to see this.

A thermal camera can show where areas are not insulated or not insulated well.  But why find that out after the house is built?

A pre-drywall inspection is the only time to see the house in a skeletal condition.  THAT is when the insulation should be examined.  And it is the ONLY time that areas that will need to be insulated can be examined.

See these photos and notice the large areas where insulation will be difficult, if not impossible, to install.

Long areas along exterior walls between the basement ceiling the floor of the first level MUST BE COMPLETELY INSULATED.  If even a small gap exists between the insulation and the first-level floor, for example, it will feel like no insulation is present.

Each of these areas is 30' long, 16" high, and very wide.  One is under a long family room wall above and the other under a long living room wall above.  These walls will influence each of these rooms, but particularly in winter. 

This is what the International Residency Code says, in part, about insulation.  Virginia subscribes to this code.

Walls

Corners and headers shall be insulated and the junction of the foundation and sill plate shall be sealed.
The junction of the top plate and top of exterior walls shall be sealed.
Exterior thermal envelope insulation for framed walls shall be installed in substantial contact and continuous alignment with the air barrier.

The words "substantial contact" and "continuous alignment" are there for a reason.  The words "shall be" are there for a reason.  As stated above, even a 1" gap between the insulation and the floor will feel like there is no insulation present.

My recommendation:  some things in a house can only be seen pre-drywall.  Where insulation should be installed, or where it cannot be easily installed, is one of those things.  House designs have to be such that access is provided for insulation.  There is only one shot to get insulation correctly installed.  If large areas have been built into the framing that discourage or prevent insulation, it will affect the house forever.

 

 

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
851,861
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

That's excellent information Jay Markanich and continues to enforce the importance of home inspections for new or older homes!

Jun 26, 2016 08:57 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,850,322
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

A year from now I would find this with my thermal camera Jennifer.  If that time is within the one-year warranty the builder would be asked to fix it.  And the builder gets upset with the home inspector.

We all know it's the home inspector's fault.

Now is the easiest time to address this!

Jun 26, 2016 09:04 PM #2
Rainmaker
3,830,649
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Jay Markanich ,

What a great post! This is exactly why I advise my clients who are building to have an inspection before the sheet rock goes up. I'm bookmarking your post!

Jun 26, 2016 09:43 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,850,322
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Dorie.  I have had many pre-drywall posts, each showing a particular reason (and there are zillions) for having a pre-drywall inspection.

Jun 26, 2016 09:48 PM #4
Rainmaker
3,303,318
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Jay. I am a big fan of a pre-drywall inspection. There is still time to correct mistakes! Enjoy your day!

Jun 26, 2016 09:51 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,549,155
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Jay Markanich It is very sad that builders do not follow-thru to make sure these error never occur. Incredible energy losses do result from these oversights!

Jun 26, 2016 09:53 PM #6
Rainmaker
1,850,322
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That's the idea, Wayne.  Iffn' they do it.

S&N - these were two of six such areas!  And guaranteed, during insulation the "professional installers" would regard those as small areas, too hard to get to, but gee, they are so small what's the difference?  No big deal.

The code is a MINIMUM standard!  And the minimum is substantially addressed by the code in this case.

Jun 26, 2016 09:58 PM #7
Rainmaker
3,268,403
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Have to wonder how many/what percentage of contractors actually follow this part of the code..hmmmm....

Jun 26, 2016 10:15 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,850,322
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

If you want my opinion based on experience, S&D, less than 10% are probably aware of the code and/or install according to the code.

Jun 26, 2016 10:24 PM #9
Rainmaker
573,250
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

You can walk in just about any older home with your thermal camera and see hot/cold corners and headers. I know some of it is insulation sagging, maybe even because they didn't staple the insulation. Best to catch it and take care of future problems before you cover it up!

Jun 26, 2016 11:51 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,850,322
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Corners are one thing, Fred, and always reflect a lack of insulation because they are hard to do.  Which we both understand.  However, these are voids and will always be voids unless some proactive action is taken to solve what will be a problem.

Jun 27, 2016 03:36 AM #11
Rainer
307,356
Stephen Weakley
Nationwide Mortgage Services - Rockville, MD

Thanks Jay!  Another project for my honey-do list.

Jun 27, 2016 05:13 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,850,322
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Really Stephen?  You have to send me some photos of you cramming insulation into tight spaces!

Jun 27, 2016 05:22 AM #13
Ambassador
1,041,851
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Jay, the proof is in the pudding! 

Jun 27, 2016 06:14 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,850,322
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

The proof of this problem would have been felt in the winter, Andrea.  Good, and better, to catch it now while it is more easily addressed.

Jun 27, 2016 07:06 AM #15
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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