So WHAT if there is a little missing insulation?

By
Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

Sometimes it is the little things that get you.

However, these little things can end up costing you a lot of money over time.

At a recent inspection I had a house where the insulation details were not well thought out.  Without going into a discussion about the “type” of insulation, lets just discuss in the simplest of terms how the system was working—or not working as the case might be.

The following sketch shows how the walls are insulated up to the ceiling and then the roof plane itself is insulated.  What got missed was the wall between the roof and the ceiling.  This space above the ceiling is essentially “conditioned” space and the short wall between has to be insulated to have continuous insulation around the conditioned space.

Missing insulation

This next picture shows what that un-insulated area looks like with thermal imaging from the exterior.  However this is a space between the second floor and the main floor ceiling.



Going back to the original drawing, here is an exterior view of that un-insulated space—as seen by thermal imaging.  The un-insulated areas appear warmer (the white-yellow areas)



The same areas of the above picture as seen from the inside of the attic space with the un-insulated areas appearing “cooler” (the black areas).



These areas will need to be well-insulated to prevent wasting of energy that increases both heating and cooling loads of the home.

The fiberglass insulation should be encapsulated, and for more information about that:  All Fiberglass Insulation Must be Encapsulated.


Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Rainmaker
573,650
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

It's amazing to me how much of this stuff we see. I just ran into skylight wells not insulated in the attic the other day. Are the insulation installers blind? They cannot see that stuff like this needs insulating, or you have to point to every area and say, "insulate this, and this". Mostly I see the back side of the access door not insulated, pretty high percentage of them!

Mar 24, 2017 07:01 AM #1
Rainmaker
3,160,266
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information!  Thanks for sharing and happy weekend!

Mar 24, 2017 07:59 AM #2
Rainmaker
3,983,375
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Many people just do not get the importance of the small things like tis.

Mar 24, 2017 09:47 AM #3
Rainmaker
2,559,207
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

The thermo imaging demonstrates where the problem is, Charles.  A very valuable tool!

Mar 24, 2017 10:20 AM #4
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Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
603-380-4886

Charles this is a big deal in our area as well. Some of the older homes just aren't insulated well and it's very expensive to keep them cool in the summer.

Mar 24, 2017 11:57 AM #5
Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You're getting into the infamous 5% rule!  Yep, it adds up!

How is that Icynene holding up in a wet climate?  Here, with severe hot and cold cycles and high humidity they are finding it cracks and leaks.

Mar 25, 2017 02:08 AM #6
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