floor joist insulation

Not sure if I’m in the right forum for this. How do you guys write up upside down insulation in an unconditioned crawlspace (vapor barrier down)? I don’t have a problem with explaining it in my report, I just can’t decide whether to make it a “needs service” or just “informational”.


An unconditioned crawlspace needs to have insulation with paper (vapor retarder) against the warm side of the building.

In your case, it’s upside-down and either needs to be flipped over or you can recommend that slits be cut into paper to prevent moisture and mold build-up inside this enclosed insulation. I’d much rather prefer to flip all insulation over so the vapor retarder is against the warm side of the building.


I would document the Improper Installation. (Not following Manufacturer’s recommendation)

I would note the conditions that may occur and what the condition is conducive to (Wet Rot, Mold Growth, WDI Infestations, etc…).

Recommend further Review and Repair as needed.

not to mention questioning the professional install seeings how most insulation says “this side to warm room” every 2 feet or so.

Yeah if you read my post that’s is not what I’m asking. I’m aware of the issues involved and how to report them. I’m only saying I could either report these issues as “needs service” or a less imperative “informational” entry into my report.

o.k. my bad. in that case James, i’d recommend correction due to possibility of trapped moisture and subsiquent break down of insulation and eminent organic growth.

Report the Condition as “in need of Repair”.

It is not an FYI item. It is an improper installation that could result in all of the problems mentioned above.

Noting the condition as an FYI only, without a recommendation to repair, could transfer Liability to You for Future Conditions that may occur due to your Error and Ommission in reporting.

That is why it is called E&O.

Thanks, thats what I thought too. Just looking for a little reassurance.

Repair it. In addition to all mentioned above problems it is a fire hazard in most cases. I usually take a nice picture of the fire hazard warning on the insulation and include it in the report.

I also agree with Joe that it is definitely an item that needs to be repaired.

I did a follow up structural evaluation for some framing in a crawl space that had the insulation reversed and also had inadequate ventilation. The high moisture condition of the crawl space combined with the improper vapor barrier location contributed to serious structural deterioration of the wood floor framing that now needs to be replaced. Very expensive fix now.

JMO and 2-nickels … :wink:

oddly enough, i spent most of saterday under dad’s kitchen in the crawl space of his 75 yr old garison. seems that 15 years ago he “reinsulated” all by himself. well it was all upside down, falling etc. and if you’ve ever had the privalage of going in a crawl of a 75 yr. old New England cottage made house, then ya know how “evenly” the joists are space.
“Just chug that beer eh, and lay another joist…quick nail it before it moves again” “o.k. now take like 2 steps that way and lay another…wait don’t forget to chug a beer between each one”