Building Insulation Defects List & Home Inspection Education
INSULATION DEFECTS CHECKLIST - CONTENTS: Building insulation & ventilation system defects, definitions, and home inspection education topics. Lists of important building insulation defects for residential buildings. What does a home inspector need to know about building insulation? Home inspection training and education curriculum recommendations for insulation systems
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This article lists significant building insulation & ventilation system defects, definitions, and home inspection education topics.
The building defects and inspection points listed in these articles also guide homeowners and home buyers to building areas that merit careful attention and often point areas of safety concern or important maintenance and repair tasks.
Home Inspection Education Curriculum - Insulation & Ventilatation Systems
8.0 INSULATION AND VENTILATION Inspection Requirements & Defects List
8.1 Building Insulation Inspection Requirements & Common Defects
8.1.1 Knowledge Base for Building Insulation System Inspections
1. Describe the function of insulation and roof and underfloor space ventilation systems in homes including controlling heat and moisture flow in the building envelope.
2. Describe the function of air barriers and vapor barriers (vapor retarder, vapor diffusion retarder)
3. Describe these common forms of insulation - loose fill, batts or blankets rigid boards, foamed-in-place
4. Describe the properties of these common insulation materials – fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool, vermiculite and perlite, expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, polyurethane (how about urea-formaldehyde?)
5. List two common air/vapor barrier materials.
6. Describe the features of adequate installation and repair technique with respect to insulation, air vapor barrier and ventilation in floors, walls and roof systems. Distinguish between attics and cathedral ceilings or flat roofs.
7. Define the following terms:
degree-days, ventilation-unconditioned spaces, ventilation-fresh air for occupants, heat vs. temperature, british thermal unit (BTU), sensible heat, latent heat of vaporization, latent heat of fusion, conduction, radiation, convection, evaporation, thermal conductivity, thermal conductance, thermal conductor, thermal insulator, thermal resistance, air leakage, wind washing, condensation, absolute humidity, relative humidity, stack effect, neutral pressure plane, dew point temperature, vapor diffusion, drying potential, sheathing, housewrap, building paper, direct vent appliance, indoor air quality (IAQ), depressurization, heat transfer, thermal bridge, convective loop, radiant barrier, R value, perm, insulating sheathing, cold wall effect, cold floor effect.
8, Identify the codes or standards which apply to insulation and ventilation systems in your area.
8.1.2 Inspection Skills for Building Insulation Systems
1. Describe the inspection procedure for insulation in attics, other roof spaces, walls, floors, basements and crawl spaces.
2. Identify the following common defects listed on the next page.
3. Describe the implications of each defect
4. Identify safety issues for the inspector and occupant of the house (injury due to falling through the attic, electric shock).
5. Communicate findings to client verbally and in writing, recommending corrective action when needed.
Building Insulation, Typical Defects List
FOUNDATION INSULATION Defects List
• Exterior insulation not protected at top
• Exterior insulation not suitable for use below grade
FLOORS OVER UNHEATED AREAS, Insulation Defects List
• Evidence insulation has been added
• Too little insulation (usually difficult to tell)
WALLS, Insulation Defects List
• Evidence insulation has been added
• Evidence of no insulation (visual inspection from basement or crawl
gives view into some wall bottom cavities, outside moisture or paint clues,
fishing for insulation at available wall openings such as at receptacles,
thermography or similar surveys (not usually part of a home inspection))
INSULATION & Vapor Barriers, General, Insulation Defects List
• Air/vapor barrier wrong location
• Air leakage excessive
• Air/vapor barrier incomplete
• Air/vapor barrier missing
• Combustible insulation too close to masonry chimney
• Covering recessed lights
• Foam insulation exposed in occupied space - fire hazards
• Gaps or voids
• Inadequate in knee wall areas
• Inadequate at skylights and light wells
• Insulation too close to metal chimney
• Missing at dropped ceilings
• Mold or mold-suspect (has been wet)
• Rodent or insect or other pest contamination (disturbed, feces, odors)
• Too little amount of insulation
• Wet insulation
ROOF VENTING, Insulation Defects List
• Snow or wet spots below roof vents
TURBINE VENTS, Insulation Defects List
POWER VENTS, Insulation Defects List
• Inoperative in summer (winter or other conditions may preclude testing)
• Operating in winter
• Poor wiring
PARTY WALLS (Fire Partitions), Insulation Defects List
• Ice dams
• Not continuous – incomplete, penetrated
EXHAUST FANS, Insulation Defects List
• Cover missing
• Ducts leaky
• Inadequate air movement
• Not insulated in unconditioned space
• Poor termination location
• Termination point not found
• Wiring unsafe
INSULATION IN BASEMENTS & CRAWL SPACES, Insulation Defects List
• Air/vapor barrier missing, incomplete or in wrong location
• Exposed combustible insulation
• Missing at rim joists
• No moisture barrier on basement walls
• No moisture barrier on earth floor
• Sagging, loose or voids
• Too little
This article series, beginning at BUILDING DEFECTS LISTS, provides lists of common building defects and basic defect knowledge that also outline recommended curriculum content for home inspector education.
Use the Search Box at the top or bottom of these pages to find in-depth information about building, energy savings, and indoor environment inspection, diagnosis and repair at this website.
Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here. CONTACT us to suggest corrections or additions to articles at this website.
Use the Search Box at the top or bottom of these pages to find in-depth information about building, energy savings, and indoor environment inspection, diagnosis and repair at this website. Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here.
These curriculae and building defect lists are based on smilar curriculum documents first prepared by Joe Scaduto, an ASHI member who prepared course material for Northeastern University's Building Inspection Certificate program in 1988, subsequently by DF, InspectApedia's editor, for New York University ca 1988 and later, with others, recommended to ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors.
ASHI did not adopt this material though currently that association as well as others offer extensive HOME INSPECTOR EDUCATION material.
The curriculum and lists of defects are informed by additional analysis of the process of home inspection that was developed beginning Calgary, AB for Canadian and U.S. home inspector education and certification examinations in 1997. Other early contributors to home inspection education in the U.S. and Canada include Dr. Jess Aronstein, Alan Carson, Mike Casey, Mark Cramer, John Cox, Dwight Barnett, Douglas Hansen, Rick Heyl, Larry Hoytt, Bill Merrill, Kevin O'Malley, Dennis Robitalille, Keith Peddie, Pat Porzio, Roger Robinson.
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John Cranor is an ASHI member and a home inspector (The House Whisperer) is located in Glen Allen, VA 23060. He is also a contributor to InspectApedia.com in several technical areas such as plumbing and appliances (dryer vents). Contact Mr. Cranor at 804-747-7747 or by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger Hankey is principal of Hankey and Brown home inspectors, Eden Prairie, MN. Mr. Hankey is a past chairman of the ASHI Standards Committee. Mr. Hankey has served in other ASHI professional and leadership roles. Contact Roger Hankey at: 952 829-0044 - email@example.com. Mr. Hankey is a frequent contributor to InspectAPedia.com.
Arlene Puentes, an ASHI member and a licensed home inspector in Kingston, NY, and has served on ASHI national committees as well as HVASHI Chapter President. Ms. Puentes can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wikipedia provided background information about some topics discussed at this website provided this citation is also found in the same article along with a " retrieved on" date. NOTE: because Wikipedia entries are fluid and can be amended in real time, we cite the retrieval date of Wikipedia citations and we do not assert that the information found there is necessarily authoritative.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: email@example.com. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
The Horizon Software System manages business operations,scheduling, & inspection report writing using Carson Dunlop's knowledge base & color images. The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones