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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ingleside Illinois
    Posts
    118

    Smile How are other HI's handing this ?

    I find its getting harder to find where bath fans vent with all the insulation being blown-in here in the Midwest. Many of the older homes are vented thru the eves with no visable vent in many cases.

    I've nearly fallen several times wading thru insulation and since I don't carry a rake replacing the insulation by hand isn't effective. I'm wondering how you word the report if you don't see a vent and don't dig thru the insulation. I've been noting it in the report that no vent for the bathroom was visable and due to the depth of insulation I was un-able to determene if the fan was vented.

    I'm lookinig for what other might be saying. (Maybe I should just retire)

    Similar Threads:
    Inspection Referral

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    1,181

    Default Re: How are other HI's handing this ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Wieczorek View Post
    I find its getting harder to find where bath fans vent with all the insulation being blown-in here in the Midwest. Many of the older homes are vented thru the eves with no visable vent in many cases.

    I've nearly fallen several times wading thru insulation and since I don't carry a rake replacing the insulation by hand isn't effective. I'm wondering how you word the report if you don't see a vent and don't dig thru the insulation. I've been noting it in the report that no vent for the bathroom was visable and due to the depth of insulation I was un-able to determene if the fan was vented.

    I'm lookinig for what other might be saying. (Maybe I should just retire)
    I would state I could not verify if it was venting to the exterior.

    If I cannot access an area in the attic above a fan , I look to see if there is a vent on the roof, then turn the fans on prior to going on the roof. No vent I slide the vent cover down, move the flappers up to see if I see daylight.

    I guess one could always create a little gas, or set a smoke bomb thing off and see if the smell or smoke blows outside.

    If the buyer expects more than that , I'll consider joining you in retirement ")

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: How are other HI's handing this ?

    If there's no visible vent installed in the soffit cover, it is wrong anyway. Just jamming a hose into the soffit area isn't good enough. In that case, I will report what I know, I could not confirm where the fan is exhausting to, so it needs a repair.

    New construction one time, I did what Dan does, turned on the range hood fan, went up on the roof, there's no air coming out of the vent. Somebody neglected to install 3 feet of duct pipe. You couldn't see anything in the attic.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: How are other HI's handing this ?

    I never walk in blown in insulation, ever mind the mess in the attic how do you not drag it back into the house.

    Just state that you can't determine if the fan vents to the exterior and further investigation is needed, found a few powder rooms lately where they are required to have a fan but there was no ducting connected to them.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,445

    Default Re: How are other HI's handing this ?

    1. Not walking in an attic, to me, is not doing a full job for your clients. While you can cite safety concerns, the reality is that probably most of the inspectors in your area DO walk in the attic.

    If the access is in a bedroom closet, I will place an old sheet over the owners clothes. After I have inspected the attic, I will stand near the access and brush off my pants to remove most of the lint (if not all). When I get down off the ladder, I put the booties back on over my shoes (that I wear at all inspections when inside). If any insulation has dropped down, I take some time and clean it up. It's really not a big deal.

    Every once in a while a bunch of insulation will fall down. I pick up all that I can, then look for the vacuum. If I can't find one, I carry a small one in my truck.

    After 23 years, I have had very few insulation problems.

    To the original question. I turn on the fans before I go into the attic. That way I can hear them while I am up there. In my area, it has only been the last few years that the AHJ made builders take the exhaust to the outside. First it was duct it up about 12" above the insulation, then it was to duct it to the eaves. Now it has to go outside.

    When I'm in the attic, I listen for the fans and work my way close to them. If I can't see a vent, I will get over to the vent, move the insulation out of the way, and take a photo of the vent, if its buried, or disconnected.
    If it needs to be connected, I leave it partially uncovered so the repair guy can find it. If its OK, then I fluff the insulation back best I can as I work my way back to the access.

    Not that hard, and part of the job IMHO.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,243

    Default Re: How are other HI's handing this ?

    1) Count the number of bathroom exhaust fans.
    2) Count the number of bathroom exhaust fan hoods you see.
    3) Subtract 2) from 1).
    4) The answer is the number of bathroom exhaust fans which are not properly terminated such that the discharge (the exhaust) is to the outdoors.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Northern, Ca.
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: How are other HI's handing this ?

    I do pretty much the same thing Jack does. I learned early on to bring sheets, to cover things and always put one under my ladder. Locate the vents and report my findings.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: How are other HI's handing this ?

    I agree with Jack and do pretty much the same.... BUT, what about a 3/12 roof? There's no "walking" going on in that attic

    I agree and run into the same thing as the OP very often. Many times there is just no way to realistically see the vents. Just today I was looking for one in a low sloped roof/attic with a large return air duct between the hatch and the area over the master. I was able to prop myself up and drag my arm through a bunch of itchy fiberglass to snap a picture and see the duct. It's often not possible, though.

    The short answer to the original question is to state that because of insulation and access restrictions the routing and terminating of the bathroom exhaust fans was not viewed. I stop short of making a recommendation to tear the roof off the house or suck the insulation out so I suppose my butt is "hanging in the wind" (since most SOPs require you make a recommendation).


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: How are other HI's handing this ?

    Whatever happened to leaving the home the way you found it? Walking through undisturbed blown insulation seems to ignore that rule. Personally, as a homeowner who has spent a lot of money on re-insulating, I'd be royally PO'd with an inspector who then walked through it.

    I strongly disagree with you guys - undisturbed blown insulation should be left alone.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Charlottesville, Va.
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: How are other HI's handing this ?

    Walking through loose fill insulation and compressing it as you go is creating a defect in my mind....I never do that.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: How are other HI's handing this ?

    In addition to what Jerry said, turn the fans on and take a walk outside to see if the flappers actually open. No flappers or flappers don't open, it goes in the report as a defect. Let the Seller verify or contest that it is installed properly.
    I'll walk the attic to check out various conditions, framing, venting, etc. As far as digging around for the pipe, not so much. The flapper either opens or it doesn't. The loose fill isn't going to be defective or disturbed enough by my walking around on the joists.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

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