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  1. #1
    Bruce Crary's Avatar
    Bruce Crary Guest

    Default Frozen pipes lead to Eureka! discovery

    Before I tore the basement ceiling apart trying to locate the area where the kitchen faucet Pex tubing was freezing up, I used an optical thermometer to record the ceiling temperature. The coldest spot was near the center of the long axis and next to the foundation wall. On the exterior of this area, the dining room was cantilevered by two feet. I removed the vinyl soffit panels on the bottom and discovered that the overhang was not finished off with sheathing, there was no blocking between the sill plate and subfloor, the joist bays were mostly devoid of insulation, and of course no vapor barrier. Cold air was following the joist bays and freezing the pex lines about six feet inboard from the sill plate. Two other overhangs for bay windows were found to be similarly neglected.

    The house is six years old and I'm curious if anyone of you inspectors has discovered this construction oversight before?

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  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Frozen pipes lead to Eureka! discovery

    I just helped a friend a couple weeks ago with a window build out on each side of a home. Not one bit of insulation an any of the build out including the underside overhang. I would bet it is pretty usual. Unless of course you had a phase inspection by a good inspector


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    2,797

    Default Re: Frozen pipes lead to Eureka! discovery

    It's hard to tell unless the underside panels are just set in place, or construction is so sloppy that you can see or probe through a crack. Since I've been doing IR I see instances (at the interior) where I suspect it's the case, but there is no way to verify the construction/ insulation method at a home inspection

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Memphis TN.
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    Default Re: Frozen pipes lead to Eureka! discovery

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Crary View Post
    .
    discovered this construction oversight before?
    .
    Every ground floor bay window I have ever stuck a camera under.
    . Bare , Open, No Fire Blocking.
    .

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 02-15-2011 at 02:43 PM. Reason: spelling
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Frozen pipes lead to Eureka! discovery

    I run into it often due to the crappy installation of the "dust cover/ soffit panels" or due to completely open joist bays.

    I'll bet I write up insulation issues on well over half of all new constructions houses I inspect, and that's just what's visible.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    2,446

    Default Re: Frozen pipes lead to Eureka! discovery

    I have seen many where they didn't even put plywood, vinyl or anything on the bottom.
    However, I have also seen many that were stuffed with insulation when viewed from the basement or crawlspace.


  7. #7
    Sam Sloane's Avatar
    Sam Sloane Guest

    Default Re: Frozen pipes lead to Eureka! discovery

    Not an oversight. Just plain lazy and shoddy workmanship.


  8. #8
    Paul Cofrancesco's Avatar
    Paul Cofrancesco Guest

    Default Re: Frozen pipes lead to Eureka! discovery

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Crary View Post
    Before I tore the ba...... Two other overhangs for bay windows were found to be similarly neglected.

    The house is six years old and I'm curious if anyone of you inspectors has discovered this construction oversight before?
    Great find! Good work. The routine lack of proper workmanship makes the job so much more costly when heating costs and mold / water damage are factored in.

    Last edited by Paul Cofrancesco; 02-18-2011 at 01:43 PM.

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