Insulation Construction Defects
You have probably been a guest in old house, one that creaks when you walk and has drafts in the winter. That’s just one of the characteristics of an old house, but it’s not supposed to happen in a new one! Insulation mistakes during new construction happen all too often and the homeowner will know it when they feel cold air rushing in near a window or through a joint between a wall and the floor.
One of the most common mistakes is that the contractor simply did not use enough insulation. Often the design plans call for a double layer, and only a single layer is installed. Or it could be that the insulation was installed upside down. Most insulation comes with a film attached to it, a vapor barrier. If the layer is not installed properly, air can rush right through.
Another insulation error happens when installers push the insulation into places where it should not go, like into ventilation ducts. In this case, you won’t experience a draft, but you won’t get the right amount of air from your system. Either your furnace or your air conditioner will be stymied as it labors to keep your home at the proper temperature.
Fiberglass insulation is made fluffy for a reason. It is the fluffiness that makes it work, and in an attic if the insulation is pressed flat with sheets of plywood to make a walk-around floor surface it will lose it’s ability to be an effective barrier. When this happens it can be very expensive to repair.
High utility bills are often the first signs of an insulation problem, and when the issue is not resolved over time the cost can be high. In the case of a commercial office building or a large apartment building, if the defect is widespread across the structure, repairs will be astronomical.
How do You Locate an Insulation Defect and Determine Who Made the Mistake?
Finding construction defects and then tracing back to the origin of the problem is a task best handled by a professional engineer. Home inspectors are usually not equipped with the construction background, do not have the credentials to prepare in-depth reports, and do not have the experience to prepare expert witness testimony should that become necessary. Justin Hall, P.E. has been helping homeowners, commercial property managers, and condo boards deal with defects in insulation by finding where the problem originated and then offering evidence and testimony to prove his findings.
Justin Hall, P.E. can be reached at 501-240-9213