Almoost lost it..

My McDonald’s Big Breakfast that is, after seeing this yesterday morning…



Yeah…:-k…I don’t see it. What was it?

Poor attic ventilation?

What a coincidence…My morning inspection yesterday was worse.

All roof sheathing was loaded with gray hairy mold looking substance and the moisture content was ridiculously high.

I could see that the Sellers closed off all their soffit vents because it was too cold in the attic.

I’m amazed to see how many homeowners are building science illiterate. I think every homeowner should be required to take a first time buyers program in order to save their homes. I teach all my clients about their attic ventilation while inspecting the attic.

I also had one yesterday and one on Friday that were lacking outside air flow into the attic through the soffits. (no baffles) One was a home inspectors home.

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I did a small search of your site but found little on air infiltration/exfiltration and airsealing/draftproofing.

Even the INACHI glossary is lacking on this topic:

Air Infiltration: The amount of air leaking in and out of a building through cracks in walls, windows and doors.

This does not mention all the hidden areas where most of the air exchange actually occurs: attic, wall and even floor penetrations in some house styles, loose attic hatches, the sills, etc.

Here’s a post (mine) on another thread from a couple of days ago:

*In some houses, increasing attic ventilation can actually increase moisture flow to the attic, especially if there’s a damp house below from whatever reasons. The “closed” (relatively speaking) attic is actually slowing down warm, moist air movement from below. By adding attic ventilation, an open system is created which allows more air leakage from below which (1) brings more moisture from below and (2) increases heat loss.

Following are some Canadian websites on the air leakage issues:


*Notice the emphasis on airsealing throughout these sections. The rest of the booklet is quite good also.

Here’s a list of energy brochures from my old gov. dept. I had input to many of these and originally wrote the “Ventilation for New Homes” in 1994/5. It’s been changed a bit since then; I don’t fully agree with some items now.

OOPS: Just realized I left the website URL out:


Here’s the website of a Canadian building enevelope specialist. They do air leakage remediation as well as have a franchise operation called “ZERODRAFT”. They been doing this since the mid 1980’s:

80 year old with no soffit vents! However, there was a great deal of air circulation created by all the holes in the frame, fascia and eaves.

We are consulting with homeowners here, not scientists…

Let’s be realistic. My site gets the point across without all the references. All they want to know is how to take care of the house. Not how it works.

Dave I love the illustrations on your site.
Where are they from?


Energy cost is formost in the consumer’s mind these days! They will appreciate any updated, accurate info on energy efficiency and conservation!!!

All of the websites and info referenced, except the last one, are from or are publications for the homeowner, not building scientists or HI’s…but HI’s should have a good grasp of this stuff!! The last one I showed was for professionals such as HIs to see how far the airsealing field has come along.

All the info I referenced was aimed at HI’s (that’s who uses this site) so they can help their clients get the best energy retrofit info and current trends/practices. An HI who does not fully understand the Heat, Air and Moisture (HAM) flows through a house cannot give the best advice or refer clients to better energy retrofit companies.

I’ve said this a few times before: If an HI hasn’t read periodicals such as Energy Design Update, Home Energy, Environmental Building News, and Solplan Review, and worked with/watched a progressive insulation /airsealing company, they’re behind on how houses work and what gets missed by “regular, old companies”. The customer needs to know this info…we are the ones that usually get their confidence and can influence their choices as an extension of our services…especially those of us that have IR gear and will be using it for energy “audits” (actually IR just a small part of a true energy audit which should include a heating system efficiency check, an air leakage test, a trained class “A” auditor* and an accurate proven computer program that give numbers truly approximating the real world. The IR will determine insulated/uninsulated walls quicker and more completely than an auditor and can be used for quality control after the work is done but is not necessarily a primary tool in energy retrofitting.)

*Locally, the longest serving HI, an architect, did not make high enough on a pre-qualification test that would allow him to be trained as an energy auditor under Canada’s national audit program…speaks volumes of what HI’s may really know about the field. Energy efficiency and conservation has really be come a specialty niche field.

Canadians have lead in the residential energy conservation field. Probably 60-85% of the HRV’s sold in the US are of Canadian origin. The “Health House” (also a highly energy efficient house) ( )promoted by the American Lung Association is based primarily on the Canadian R2000 program. Canadian Joe Lstiburek, an early 1980’s participant in R2000, is co-chair of the technical committee for the Health House program. You might recognize the Lstiburek name from Building Science Corporation ( ) where he is the leading principal. This corp. is one of the main partners (]( )in the Building America program

I speak from being in the residential energy conservation field since 1977. In 1981, I was certified as an energy auditor in the US and was selling retrofit insulation, airsealing (using a blower door for quality control), ERV’s/HRV’s, windows/doors and heating equipment efficiency testing…and I’m still learning on a regular basis!!!


That is an amazing book!! Thanks!

Sounds like this guy has a pretty unique method of “going green” with the fungii of his choice.:wink:

This place might have been my first crack house. Furnace had no filter, empty clorox bottle supporting the TPR valve and look how they’ve been using their clothes dryer…:shock:


That’s one reason why I always have my respirator on when I first enter an attic or crawl space. I hope you never have to go in an attic that has or had bats living in it. I ran like hell.