Apparent Missing Insulation

Scanned this bedroom tray ceiling. The sloped sections of the tray appear to be insulated with a surface temp. of 76 degrees. The flat area temp. is 91 degrees, outside temp. was about 85 degrees.

tray 1.jpg

tray 2.jpg

tray 3.jpg

tray 4.jpg

tray 3.jpg

tray 3.jpg

tray 2.jpg

tray 4.jpg

tray 3.jpg

Why do you call it a tray ceiling? never heard that term before. Nice pictures, do you ever change over to grey scale when checking missing insulation in walls? I had some good success with it.

Same term I have always used http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&rlz=1C1GGLS_enUS291US304&num=100&defl=en&q=define:tray+ceiling&ei=QnxJSuOMB4bwMYixqbQC&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=title

Perhaps there are different names in different regions.

BTW John: Definitely looks like an insulation deficiency to me. Was it accessible from the attic? Good find for the buyer. Paid for their IR inspection.

I think the old wood shingle kind of give it away.

Best

Ron

IR_0062.jpg

IR_0061.jpg

Tray ceiling is a common term in this area. Refers to typically a minimum 9’ ceiling with angled sides, maybe 30 degrees, that meet the flat ceiling at the top and bottom adjoining the walls. This home had no attic access above the bedroom. Since the home was constructed in 1992, you have to wonder how the county inspector missed this one, not to mention the builder of this $500,000 home. I was actually looking for moisture, the insulation issue was a surprise discovery!

Thanks, never heard that term before. I wonder if the house was originally sold as unfinished?

I see about one of these a month. Usually in new or one year old"Energy-Star" homes. Usually an inaccessible attic over the master bedroom. Makes you wonder what the other inspectors are inspecting.

What model FLIR are you using John?

Looks like a 320X240 RES.

Best

Ron

The “Tray” term is used around here as well.

The images were taken with a FLIR b60. These are the highest quality that I have captured since I started 2 months ago. Delta t was right on.

John,
Nice catch. My only recommendation is to not publish in a report
actual temperatures as your E settings is 1.0 and the true E of
this tray ceiling is not. You can just say that the thermal pattern
is an indicator of missing insulation.

In fact, this kind of survey is a qualitative one and not a quantitative
so actual temperatures are not necessary. Also crop image to remove
color bar and span temps.

John,
Nice catch. Since these are quantitative and not qualitative it is nice to see your emisivity setting at 1.0

Jeff makes a good point John… turn off all the information on your camera. it can be used against you… :mrgreen:

Best

Ron

Isn’t that an Energy Star requirement?:shock:

I guess the blower door test didn’t catch that one!

I have had more than one builder come back and say “well it passed the energy star certification/inspection there cannot be any missing insulation,” or (I like this one better) “Infrared is a scam, ALL of our houses are properly insulated.”

It doesn’t take much destructive testing to determine who is right and who is scamming in these cases. I don’t even throw the ES guys under the bus, how would they see that the inaccessible attic didn’t get insulated? That’s why people pay me=)

A follow up email from the client purchasing the home with missing insulation. here is part of his message:

"John did a very professional job and his infrared thermal imaging tool was able to detect a major flaw in the home which would have definitely gone undetected without this service. The imager was able to detect that a portion of the cathedral ceiling in the bedroom (inaccessible from the attic) was not insulated. For a relatively newer home built in the 90s, it was definitely not something I expected to find. There is no way a home inspector without this tool would have been able to find this flaw. The owners of the home have agreed to fix the problem prior to closing at a cost that will undoubtedly be more than the price of the inspection, so it has already paid for itself. "

The imager is really beginning to open new business opportunities. I can only imagine how many defects were possibly missed during typical inspections without infrared. :slight_smile: