My audit yesterday, uncovered a concern of the HO about the master bedroom being hot in summer, cold in winter compared to the comfort in the rest of the house.  So  I spent some extra time there. Found several areas like this one with the IR.  Then got the visible in the attic directly above. 

Ceiling

Attic


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Nice infrared image. Nice photo too, for that matter! These vaulted ceilings can definitely be problematic. Give it a few years and a few mice and all of that insulation will slowly slip down the slope and then there will be a different thermal signature! ;-)
When the HO looked at the image on the camera, he asked if additional insulation would solve his cold in winter, hot in summer problem in the Master Bedroom. I don't think he will wait for the mice to assist.
In all fairness to the insulation contractor, it would appear the average material depth is about right :-).
The attic side image is not really the best. You can see bare drywall on the vault where the IR shows a problem. You can see the pile of insulation near the top of the vault. The insulation card says, R-30 in the attic. FG at 3 per inch says 10 inches. There is 20 near the top of the vault and 0 for the last 15 inches near the walls at the bottom of both sides of the vault all the way along.

This area is about 28 feet SW and 32 feet NW of the entry point to the attic, the FAR CORNER. If there had not been a R-9 path through the supposed R-30 from previous trades and the IR image to check out, I would not have gone there. I doubt the Contractor's supervisor checked the installer's work in that corner. There were insulation rulers in several areas of the attic, none over the Master Suite.

Probably enough, blame, (I don't want to get into playing that one with anyone, customers or contractors) to go around if we try to fix that. Bad enough we have entry level people with entry level motivation doing these critical jobs.

The issue is, find the areas for improvement and, work out an improvement plan for the HO.

I think the value of this forum is not about placing blame; it is about educating those choosing to look at the pictures and discussion and learn from it. I will always remember asking this HO the question "Do you have any areas that are hot in the summer and cold in the winter compared to the rest of the house?" I will never forget after this one to ask this question several times.
John:

You did see the smiley face at the end of my comment, right :-) ?

Thanks for the in depth (no pun intended) follow up on this situation. It put everything into perspective.

The seven homes in my section of our retirement community were built at about the same time (assembly line) and the insulation contractors must have taken a lunch break at house # 4 and resumed their efforts (with full belly's) at #6 (!!). It was spring time and not until the first heating bill arrived did the HO realize there was R-O blown into his attic :-(.

Have been in my own attic on numerous occassions and discovered many "insulation shadows" behind ducts, where the installer (no doubt being paid by the job and not per hour) resisted the urge to drag his (her?) hose over and around trusses to do an proper job. Before the construction industry totally collapsed here in NV, I was involved in several demolition projects where I rescued pick up truck loads of R-19 that were land fill bound and now, currently reside in my attic (the insulation, not the land fills).

Thanks again for the detailed summary!
Your due diligence and use of thermography John definitely helped out this homeowner. Your blog clearly documents the need for certified energy audits and retrofits. This homeowner telling their story to their neighbors, friends, relatives and coworkers will go a long way towards educating everybody that a properly done energy audit will them saving them money and making their homes more comfortable.

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