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Insulation job gone wrong, what should I look for?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 26th, 2019 12:39 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Oct 22, 2016
725 posts
612 upvotes
Comox Valley

Insulation job gone wrong, what should I look for?

I have just moved this month into a single family house (built in 1989) on Vancouver Island, that I have owed for 3 years. In January of 2018, I had this rental house updated with new insulation added. The specs were

- wrap more insulation around bathroom/kitchen vent pipes ( small gaps at top and bottom )
- put in more insulation stops ( korovents) , allow more air into attic from soffits
- when the new roof was put on last year there was a lot of walking around in the blown insulation . I would build up the low areas , and add another R20 fiberglass blowing wool, bringing the house just above the R40 code.


Because I lived 6 hours away at that time, I did not look at the contractors work. They have an online history, and have been around for a while.

Now this is the problems I have come into, of this job.

I have 2 attic hatches on the house. One in the house hallway, and one 20 feet away in that attached garage. I went and lifted up the attic hatch inside the house hallway to go in the attic. A fair amount of insulation fell on my head, close to 1/3 of a garbage bag (as photos, which does not do it justice). What they did was the following. They used the attic hatch in the garage to get access to the house attic, it is open between the garage and the house. They blew in their insulation, and instead of building up the edges of the attic hatch in the house hallway, to raise it to accept the new insulation, they just blew over the top of the hatch. So when I opened it up, all this insulation fell on my head. I have been in close to 400 different attics in my life, and this is the first time, a great deal came down. So I will have to raise this point with them.

Second point. The garage attic at present is just, insulation batts from the original construction in 1989, they did not update it with the blown in insulation. As the attic is open between the house, and the garage attics, I would have thought that it should have been insulated also last year.

Am I correct in this, and if so is their an online source I can quote in my complaint to them?

Now I have only spent a very short time in the attic, and now I will have to inspect it all. I will look at the entire attic space, and measure the depth of the new insulation. Korovents added, and updated insulation around the vent piping.

Is their anything else I should look for in this job?
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2 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
1298 posts
1020 upvotes
I have seen of ton of jobs where they top up the attic and basically do next to nothing around the access shaft. I have seen houses in Toronto where they reno'd the whole thing and you poke your head up into the attic and there is either nothing holding the insulation back, or they put builders paper or flimsy cardboard which you basically need to support as you go up. So I would say it is a very common practice to not property frame around the scuttle hole, and I could see how your contractors would just blow stuff over your hallway hatch with no direction or supervision. Its unfortunate, but it just seems to be what they do.

If I'm going into an attic and there isn't anything built up, Ill usually just cut up some ply and make something that is sturdy.

Moving on, have you measured the depth of insulation in your attic? I feel as though more than 1/3rd of a garbage bag should have fallen out of that hatch if you poked your full head up, but maybe you did a good job at keeping stuff in. Also, I would shoot for R50 or 60, its well worth the investment. However, I do realise it was a rental at the time.

Lastly, from my understanding you have an attached garage which shares an attic with the rest of the house. Is there a reason why this garage needs to be insulated? Are the walls and door insulated, do you spend time in there in the summer/winter and cool/heat it?

Adding insulation above an attached garage will really only stabilise the temperature in the garage, it won't really help at all with the rest of the house, and the building envelope for your house is completely separate. (If I understand your setup correctly)
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10388 posts
5604 upvotes
Paris
They should have built a dam around the house hatch but insulating the garage portion would have had to be specifically called out in your contract.

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