Poor Insulation Causes Homes to Lose Lose Heat and Cool Air
Advances in materials and methods have greatly increased the ability for new home designers and contractors to build homes that are more energy efficient than ever. Deficiencies in workmanship and design errors do happen, and they impede the goal of saving energy that we cannot afford to lose.
What are the Major Construction Errors That Cause Insulation Defects?
Basically the issues fall into three categories:
Inadequate or Faulty Design
People living in new houses, apartment homes, and condominiums often settle in to their new residences and then wonder why their heating and cooling bills are so when they were promised low-cost utility bills by the developer. Some people actually feel drafts in their homes soon after moving in. The thing about thermal barrier and insulation defects is that they can be very difficult to locate, and then to determine who or what caused the problem.
Some of the most common problems with insulation are:
Insufficient Blown Insulation. The workers blowing the material into the attic simply do not apply enough to cover what is required and called for in the specs. Inspections are superficial and the problem is not discovered until much later.
Poorly insulated knee walls. In the summer attics can reach temperatures well over 100 degrees, and vertical knee walls, which separate the attic from living rooms when not insulated properly will permit the transfer of heat right into the home.
Dropped Ceilings. Insulation is often installed on a flat ceiling but then contractors build in a dropped ceiling and don’t take the time to make sure that area is covered. When this happens in one room it is not particularly troublesome but when it happens in a large condo or apartment building it can be very expensive to correct.
Open Chases. A chase is a path through roof or attic spaces intended for ducts, pipes, electrical conduit and other necessary elements. If these chases are not properly insulated they will act as channels for heat and cold and on a widespread basis they will significantly diminish the energy efficiency of a single family home or building.
What Can be Done About Defective or Inadequate Insulation?
A coordinated and comprehensive investigation is necessary to identify the problem, specify the location, measure the impact of the defect and trace the source.
A professional engineer has the ability to sort out an insulation defect problem, and one with expertise and experience in the construction is particularly effective. Justin Hall has been dealing with disputes involving insulation and other thermal barrier issues for many years. He has inspected, investigated problems and then prepared reports and even expert witness testimony on many occasions to help settle disputes.
Justin can be reached at (501) 240-9213