Do You See What I See?

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

The Flashing, Flashing, Flashing post has already brought in business.  Another person in the same neighborhood, impressed by my Superman ability to see non-existent flashing (cough!), invited me over to investigate this same flashing problem on their house.  While there I also did an IR examination.

It seems that in addition to water stains, the bedroom also is hot and cold.  Looking around with an infrared camera, it isn't hard to see why.

 

This is blown up larger than normal, and grainy, but you can still see what is happening.  Part of the room has a pentagon shape, with a long attic space behind the bed. 

You can see the bed at the bottom of this image.

The wall behind the bed is about 6 feet high.  The attic space behind is quite hot.

The Max is the hottest spot in the image.  It is 131 degrees.

Keep in mind, this is right behind the bed!

The area you are looking at represents the space between two studs, and no insulation below about 5 1/2 feet.

The insulation was never stapled and fell down.

Looking into the attic, it was resting right on the floor.

Keep in mind, this house is just over one year of age.  That is how quickly insulation can slip. 

Imagine what can happen on a tall balloon wall!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image to the right is along that same wall.  It is to the right of the bed and in the corner. 

The same situation exists - the insulation was never stapled, it has fallen and the Max hot spot you see is 135 degrees!

That will influence a room, just a bit...

This represents the 12th image taken in that room.  There were more than two spots along that attic space wall.   In that room alone, here were 23 pictures taken in total! 

Imagine how hot and cold this room can get!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the cathedral ceiling in one alcove of the bedroom.  It is the end of that same pentagon shape described in the first image.

The line in the middle is the center double stud from floor to the highest point.  The height here is about 10 feet.

The insulation on both sides of that double stud was not stapled.  The Max temperature there is 166 degrees Fahrenheit!

There is only air between this drywall and the outside of the house.  This spot just happened to be in the sun on this particular day at the time I was there.

Even though the thermostat is in this room, and it has its own HVAC return, this room was uncomfortably warm.  A ceiling fan does not help.

It probably is uncomfortably cold in the winter.

How can you control the environment there when it is so poorly insulated?  There were 23 problem spots in this room.

 

 

 

I went to investigate one problem, and found a few others.  This was not the only room with the hot/cold issues.  There were many other spots in many other rooms throughout the house.  It was a very long thermal image report.

This particular home represents one of the worst insulation jobs I have seen in a long time.  They are out there.  I had a previous post over a year ago entitled "What I Am Seeing Now," which identified insulation that is not stapled as being a big problem.  You can see why.  Despite what the builder says, the drywall does NOT hold it up over time.  Insulation that is not stapled is simply poor quality, unprofessional work.

People love looking into the camera with me.  It can be horrifying!  It can also be fun...

I took a picture of a young lady a couple of months ago.  She was five months pregnant.  The baby's form was clearly visible!  I am sure they framed the photo I emailed them!

My recommendation:  If you can get an IR inspection on a house, do it before the one year warranty walk through.  That way, issues like this can be corrected before your clients have to live with them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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  1. Maureen McCabe 07/01/2009 06:57 AM
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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Active Rain Block Party
Professional Home Inspectors
The Vent
Tags:
new construction inspections
new construction problems
thermal infrared inspection
insulation

Comments 32 New Comment

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Ambassador
716,652
Mike Jones
Mike Jones NMLS 223495
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171)

Jay,

This is pretty "cool."  LOL  Seriously, I built 350 homes in another life, and this has me wanting to go out and buy a thermal imaging camera.  Better go google that.

Mike in Tucson

July 01, 2009 07:00 AM
Rainmaker
626,614
James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

You're preeching to the choir brother. I have been using an IR camera for years. I know what you see because I see it too.

July 01, 2009 07:10 AM
Rainmaker
291,273
Darrell Walters
W. Darrell Walters

That was from a home that was a year old? I guess it pays to have a home inspection even on newer construction.

July 01, 2009 07:41 AM
Anonymous #16
Anonymous
Lanna Broyles (Construction Claims Advisor)

Jay,have you thought about presenting summaries of your findings to the local/county/state building commissions and the entities that grant building permits? It appears that these contractors are building "to code," and we both know what that means. The code is obviously defective. I can't think of a better guy to pave the way to get those codes changed.

July 01, 2009 07:50 AM
Rainmaker
1,229,108
Michelle Gibson
REALTOR
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc.

Jay, That is a very interesting post.  I never gave much thought to insulation before, but now I will.

July 01, 2009 09:02 AM
Rainer
73,749
Dan Magstadt
CrossCountry Mortgage

Wow Jay, I've never seen IR photography use in home inspections before - That's pretty neat!

July 01, 2009 09:33 AM
Rainmaker
506,395
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate

Yes, the right tools make the difference with everything   Thanks for the post.

Patricia aulson/

July 01, 2009 11:19 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,985
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Dick and Dixie - I have had this camera for five years and it is terrific.  The price now is about one half of the price I paid!

Diego - If you are in lawn painting, you know that to be true!

Mara - may I quote Ronald Reagan?  "Trust, but verify..."

Nite, nite Janice.

Maureen - thank you...  again....

July 01, 2009 11:34 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,985
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Gabe - the IR camera is a great arrow in my quiver of tools.

Lenn - I have been finding this kind of stuff for nearly five years!

Cindy - my camera is five years old and I think the new cameras/software may be better yet!

Missy - it is a special camera with special software.  It sees very long light waves, not detectable by the human eye.  It is perfectly safe and is currently being used to see problems in the body.  I can look at my knee and see where the arthritis is the worst.  I no longer have that photo of the baby in the womb.  Maybe next time!

Richard - I think in a couple of years ALL home inspections will come with an IR analysis as part of the service.

 

July 01, 2009 11:37 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,985
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Mike - you use that word as if it is a verb!  Google...  actually we all use it as a verb now.

I know James.  It still is not catching on with most realtors.  It will I think.  You are much more able to publish the large photos and make them less grainy.  I am not that much of a computer whiz yet!

Integrity Mortgage - um, YESSS!

Lanna - I don't know what another layer of code on top of a code will do.  It is lousy workmanship, pure and simple.

Michelle - you are in Florida!  You should not only think insulation, but MORE insulation!!

July 01, 2009 11:41 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,985
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Dan - I've been doing them for five years now.

Patricia - home inspectors are getting more and more technologically empowered and we are taking advantage of it.  But thanks!

July 01, 2009 12:18 PM
Rainmaker
163,409
Kate Ford
Ask Kate a mortgage question...
Get-Your-Best-Mortgage-Rate.com

I was thinkin' the same as Lenn. So next time you fly into LV.... :)

(that would be a bus driver's holiday, right?) Kate

July 01, 2009 12:56 PM
Rainmaker
1,217,985
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Kate - I have been to Las Vegas only once, on a short layover flying from LA to DC!  And I would imagine that IR investigations there are interesting to say the least!  Just using the camera would make it a fun trip...  I'll think about it!

July 01, 2009 01:23 PM
Rainmaker
227,385
Troy Erickson
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor
Terra Solis Realty, LLC www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com

Jay - I have heard of this technology, but never have seen what it actually produces.  Thanks for sharing.  This is good information to know about.

July 01, 2009 02:13 PM
Rainmaker
1,217,985
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Troy - it has been around for a while, for me, at least, for five years.  The new equipment and software is better than my camera I think, but it is still doing very well!

July 01, 2009 07:58 PM
Anonymous #28
Anonymous
Anonymous

This is just too cool for school! I think I was expecting you to say you saw some "ghostly" forms with this machine! As usual, very imteresting post!

July 02, 2009 09:12 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,985
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Susan - I have never seen a ghost.  Can you do that with an IR camera?  If so, I have not heard about it, but now I will look harder!

July 02, 2009 04:05 PM
Anonymous #30
Anonymous
Anonymous

Apparently, spirits from the other side often produce strange thermal readings-both hot and cold. Just what I've read--not experienced!

July 02, 2009 09:17 PM
Rainmaker
1,217,985
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Susan - that probably isn't unusual - I know people on "this" side who produce hot and cold thermal readings...  (;>)

July 03, 2009 04:51 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,985
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Great idea Ray!  We try, we really, really try...

July 04, 2009 03:06 PM
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Rainmaker
1,217,985

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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