25 checkpoints for inspecting insulation

Check it out…


What is the source of this list?

I’m in the middle of a builder-buyer suit over defective insulation installation.
Have a meeting with “quality control” Friday.
Can I use this list as a standard of proper installation?



Thanks Kevin!

That’s good stuff. BTW check out my new ebooklet I have for sale on ebay titled - 25 Checkpoints for Inspecting Insulation.

Only $9.95!



Here is the direct link: http://www.insulate.org/ckpts.html

Thank Kevin!

I defiantly saved that for future reference.
Thanks Kevin

Thank you Sir!

good article but should it be named 25 checkpoints for inspecting *fiberglass *insulation


Back in the 1980’s Owens-Corning had insulation installation training for contractors. The walls that they would install batts in had an environmental chamber on the other side. Some installers thought they were doing a very good job until they saw the heat loss shown in the finished wall by IR. See if you can find any documents from that period.

A couple of things not said in the mentioned document are:

  1. When installing a “friction fit” batt into a cavity (15" batt into a 14.5" wide stud cavity), push/compress the batt into the outer corners and then pull it back out to be flush with the face of the studs. If this is not done the batts drag on the sides of the studs and leave a small triangular void at the outside corners of the cavity.

  2. If a batt is not intended to fill a cavity (not as thick as the cavity), ensure that it is installed in full contact with either the inner or outer panel surfaces enclosing the cavity. If there is space on both sides of the batt (installed in the center of the cavity), convective forces will be enhanced and full R value not attained. This may be the case with paper-faced batts when stapled along the side rather than the face of the studs. The side stapling creates a space on the inner side of the cavity. If the batt does not fully fill the cavity and be in full contact with the sheathing, creating an outer space, convection losses lessen the R.

Wow good stuff.
Thanks Kevin

No truer statement has been made!

That goes for me too!
I have installed many a roll in my time, and I never “imagined” the actual performance of the install!

It makes me “cringe” when a contractor refutes performance of a “crappy” install!

Back in the mid-80’s when I co-owned an energy retrofit & exterior finishes company (up to 13 employees w/ 3 trucks), I had a former university prof (a fastidious Brit with records of every penny he spent on the house since he bought it in 1963) contract with us to blow the front exterior walls, slopes and attic of his 100+ year old, 1+1/2 storey home. Being a true scientist, he wanted the walls/slopes we blew IR scanned to determine coverage completeness.

When doing the estimate I noticed that one of the slopes had the plumbing vent run vertically up though it. This was a retrofit plumbing system probably installed in the 1920-30’s. To re-finish the broken plaster around the pipe, they needed to provide a plaster base…they stuffed in an old potato sack!!!

Just before doing the IR scan, I mentioned to the thermographer (An engineer with an AGA 700 series Thermovision…anyone else remember these?..about $40+ grand in the 1980’s…OUCH!!!) that there was an area in a slope that we could not blow completely…this was the only part of our installation that showed a cold spot or a miss!!

A few years prior to our retrofit work, the owner had ripped out, re-wired, insulated, etc and installed a new kitchen in the rear addition. I had this scanned since it was a small area. The insulation work done by the owner was actually pretty bad to the point that he said he should have consulted with or hired us to do the fiberglass batt & air/vapour barrier work when he did the renovation!!

Not so good insulation install. Batt insulation with gaps

thanx for the info Kevin, saving that for future reference. Good additional info Brian, my reference list will have 27 items.

Good stuff:)

I disagree with point # 6. The Kraft paper should be stapled to the face of the studs. If not, a cold air space develops.

Seen alot around here. You can still apply glue over the Kraft paper and get good adhesion.

Also point # 14. Fiberglass insulation, chinked into the window and door openings does not insulat or seal against air infilreation. Low foaming foam.

Also, make sure that all exterior sheating openings and cracks are sealed with foam.

Hope this helps;

I agree Will, but most Manufactures instructions for installation of Kraft faced batts allow the flaps to be stapled to the side of the studs.

This is an excerpt from Johns Manville’s instructions;

Allow friction to hold the batts in place. Or you can staple the flanges of faced batts to the inside or face of the joists. (Stapling on the inside is preferred by many drywallers because it leaves the edges of the framing members easier to locate. However, your local building codes may require you to overlap the flanges and staple them to the edges of the framing members.)

I read somewhere in Building Science or other, that since we are using high density batts now, that stapling on the inside of the studs creates air gaps and compresses the insulation which in turn looses some of its R-factor.
A lot of times it is the drywallers that complain on the face stapling because it can cause bumps in the drywall.

Chinking windows to studs with insulation comes from and goes back to the invent of the insulation itself. The only product they had back then and I did it myself back 45 years ago when I did not know what I was doing accept learn from the old guys.
With today’s low expansion foams and the need to stop infiltration, I am with you on nothing else but the foam product.
I am now re-doing my interior trim of my house and find most of the gaps are empty and chinked with fiberglass, and still feel the air. :slight_smile: