Home Inspection – Insulation

insulation I needed a topic and I asked my 8 yr old son Jack what do you want to know about a house? Jack’s response “I want to know what the fluffy stuff is behind the walls”. So insulation it is! There are several types of insulation in homes. Most these days have blown in fiberglass or cellulose insulation in the attics and batt insulation in the walls. In older homes I often see this insulation sprayed over the top of the older batt insulation or in some cases the older vermiculite insulation (contains asbestos) which you don’t want to disturb. Vermiculite looks like little white/grey pea sized nuggets. More and more homes are starting to have spray foam incorporated into them. Mainly around the rim joist you will find it in new homes but some are also spraying walls and such with it. It is far superior than batt insulation as it will stop almost all air flow which creates a tight envelope. The one drawback is that once it is in it is pretty much permanent so that can make remodeling/renovation difficult with wiring/plumbing and such. Spray foam is more expensive but in the long run you will come out far ahead due to the added efficiency. Adding insulation to your attic space is a pretty easy job although a little messy. Usually the big box stores will give you the blower if you buy enough insulation. All you need is two people, set it up in the yard, run your hose up into the attic space, get a mask and goggles on and some gettin dirty clothes and have at it. Be careful not to blow insulation into the cavities at the soffits (rafter ends) as this is where air enters for attic ventilation. Usually there are baffles here to keep clearance. Ideally you want to see about 18″ of insulation in the attic space.