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  1. #1
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    Default EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    guys i have been writing this up for years--insulation is clearly what it is--it needs to be covered --it is a fire hazard- so not i have validified that writing--found this in crawl space--one side with the written warning ok the other side a fire zone--you kidding me--what to you think and write up cvf

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    Yep that's a Fire Hazard.

    Looking at photo #3 there already was a past fire.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    Charlie, did you also write up the duct insulation as having the VB next to the metal instead of on the outside? Just opposite of the floor insulation.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    Shouldn't the vapor barrier be on the heated side of the insulation?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anglin View Post
    Shouldn't the vapor barrier be on the heated side of the insulation?
    Yes, and in substantial contact with the floor above/ceiling below/wall.

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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Yep that's a Fire Hazard.

    Looking at photo #3 there already was a past fire.
    I concur.
    Likely a flash fire that ran under the floor joists in the crawlspace...
    Did little in the way of damage by the looks of it. But that is my opinion only.

    Ops, Crawlspace.


    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 12-09-2016 at 11:13 AM.
    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    Significance can vary according to local AHJ. As an example in the Province of Ontario a crawlspace is considered a "concealed space" and therefore does not need to be covered for fire protection. - Just saying - the significance can vary depending on local code requirements.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    Quote Originally Posted by Claude Lawrenson View Post
    Significance can vary according to local AHJ. As an example in the Province of Ontario a crawlspace is considered a "concealed space" and therefore does not need to be covered for fire protection. - Just saying - the significance can vary depending on local code requirements.
    The insulation facing itself carries a warning not to leave exposed and that the facing needs to be in substantial contact with drywall or other approved building material.

    If it isn't then it isn't installed as required by the manufacturer and the code. I also recall that the code requires substantial contact of the insulation to drywall or building material.

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    Thanks Jerry - can't disagree based on the manufacturers recommendations. However, let me raise several other points: (Without further info it's difficult to definitively answer these questions)

    1. (Comment) I've seen many a crawlspace that looks just like what was portrayed.

    2. Is this a heated crawlspace? Or a ventilated crawlspace?

    3. Is this insulation intended for floor or wall installation, with gypsum board covering? (Obvious from the manufacturer's warning, but it sometimes amazing what we see in the field installation conditions.)

    4. I can't remember ever encountering a similar condition where the crawlspace had gypsum board covering.

    5. Can the dark areas in the insulation possibly be evidence of moisture accumulation over years?

    6. Any comments about the interior plastic foundation wall seal (moisture barrier/retarder) in the crawlspace and the potential for trapping condensation?


  10. #10
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    Default Re: EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Likely a flash fire that ran under the floor joists in the crawlspace...
    I doubt there was a flash fire as there I see no evidence of it - the edges of the facing are torn looking, not charred, and that white plastic sheeting is not melted at all as it would have been from the heat of a flash fire ... I think it is simply that that old facing material deteriorate and fall away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Claude Lawrenson View Post
    3. Is this insulation intended for floor or wall installation, with gypsum board covering? (Obvious from the manufacturer's warning, but it sometimes amazing what we see in the field installation conditions.)
    Typically, that insulation is made for vertical or horizontal installation (floor/ceiling/wall).

    4. I can't remember ever encountering a similar condition where the crawlspace had gypsum board covering.
    Correct, the gypsum board comment on most of the facings includes, as I noted, 'other approved building material', when used to insulate a floor, that would be wood, not gypsum board.

    5. Can the dark areas in the insulation possibly be evidence of moisture accumulation over years?
    Could be, also could be dust - notice the darkened surface is only on the surface, not the sides, not through and through the insulation.

    6. Any comments about the interior plastic foundation wall seal (moisture barrier/retarder) in the crawlspace and the potential for trapping condensation?
    Only that there is no evidence of a flash fire on it.

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    Thanks for your feedback Jerry.

    Here's a bit more.....this particular type of insulation was banned in Canada for more than 3 decades.

    In Canada fire incidents were among the factors that resulted in the withdrawal of paper-faced batt insulation from the market. Today such batts, which are among the most commonly-used forms of insulation in the U.S., are no longer sold in Canada.

    Paper-faced batts are not fire retardant and they are not covered by the same straight flammability standards that apply to cellulose insulation. Cellulose insulation, whether installed in walls or ceilings, is required by federal law to meet a surface burning standard most authorities regard as equivalent to Class I flame spread rating.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    Claude,

    They wouldn't have been a fire issue if properly installed.

    That's like outlawing gasoline because people use it to start fires and as a solvent for things which catch on fire.

    Barking up the wrong tree.

    Of course, though, you can't fix stupid either.

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

  13. #13
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    Default Re: EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    Jerry, what caused the staining?
    I concur, if installed correctly this discussion would not be taking place, except for the suspect charring on the craft paper and fiberglass.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 12-11-2016 at 04:12 AM.
    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: EXPOSED INSULATION IN CRAWL SPACE

    There is a tar component in that paper. Maybe that is how they get it to stick to the fiberglass. With time and a bit of heat, the tar leaches to the exterior side of the paper.
    Heat from a duct will cook that paper, as seen in the pic.

    The walls of that crawlspace have now been insulated with the plastic-wrapped fiberglass that comes in a roll. Does anyone care that plastic is flammable? At least it is not tar paper.

    New construction has pretty much done away with insulated floors here. We now attach the insulation to the crawlspace exterior walls and install an electric baseboard heater down there. Builders often set a wood plank into the concrete foundation wall to provide attachment for the insulation. Closed cell foam board is the best but it is costly.

    You do not want to burn styrofoam either. Conclusion - nobody is much worried about fire in a crawlspace. Maybe they should be.

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

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