Insulation 101 Home Inspection
Inspecting Home Insulation
Insulation helps moderate the internal temperature of your home, keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Some materials also have a moisture barrier to minimize moisture seeping into your home. Insulation is rated by its ability to block outside temperatures. Your inspector will visually inspect for any potential health hazards. In addition, he will check vents for air circulation to prevent moisture buildup.
Your inspector will visually survey and check:
- Insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces.
- Ventilation of attics and foundation areas.
- Mechanical ventilation systems
Your written description includes description of the insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces like the attic and its absence in unfinished spaces as well as the rating for the material installed. Old homes may have insulation that is toxic, so your report may include references to levels of toxicity as well as recommendations for removal. Looks can be deceiving. Your attic space may be filled with an older material but its rating may be low to nil, providing no real temperature moderation for your home.
Inadequate ventilation, roof leaks in the attic, or plumbing leaks under the flooring can create conditions that may promote the growth of fungus or mold. Your inspector will note findings in your written report.
While every home inspection is as thorough as possible, your inspector is not required to disturb the installation or determine the composition or energy rating of differing materials. However, your inspector may be familiar with the energy rating of commonly used materials in your area. An experienced, professional home inspector can help your identify local professional resources to upgrade if your insulation is inadequate.
A detailed insulation inspection is an integral component of your property inspection. Take a look at the other 101 introductions to learn what else your home inspector sees when he takes a professional look at your property.