Insulation Defect Pictures from Home Inspections in Barrie

Insulation Defect Pictures – Defects can be minor in nature or can be a major issue affecting heat loss and the comfort of  your home.  An example of a minor insulation defect is often found in the rim joist ( face plate ) area of your home in the basement.  Most trade persons will install pipes, vents or cables from exterior of your home and unfortunately never replace or replace the insulation or vapour barrier which has been moved during installation.  Your vapour barrier is an important part of your insulations protection.  Heat is constantly moving from the interior of your home, through the insulation to the colder exterior.  The vapour barrier prevents moisture from passing through the insulation because when it hits the “dew point temperature” midway through your insulation, the humidity in the air then turns to moisture.  This will make your insulation wet and most likely cause mould.

Thermal Imaging – Insulation DefectsInsulation Defects - Thermal Imaging

The Barrie Home Inspector uses Thermal Imaging to inspect your exterior walls and any hidden moisture will be identified.  Thermal Imaging can also identify Missing Insulation in walls. The heat sensing ability of Thermal Imaging allows a Home Inspector using an Infrared Camera to find hidden moisture in walls and ceilings that otherwise would have gone undetected.

View Insulation Defect Picture Gallery

Pictures taken from actual Home Inspections in Barrie and local area.


Insulation, like ven­ti­la­tion, is often a source of problems that span a spectrum depending on whether too little or too much insulation is present in the walls and ceiling of a home. Too much insulation, inexpertly stuffed in walls and ceilings can reduce the R-value just as the presence of too little can. Insulation that is not properly backed with vapour barrier can be a breading-ground for mold and mildew. Typically every Home Inspection includes a detailed assessment of the overall insulation quality of a home.  The effectiveness of an insulation material’s resistance to heat flow also depends on how and where the insulation is installed. For example, insulation that is compressed will not provide its full rated R-value.  Fiberglass insulation should never be installed sideways as this affects the heat conduction negatively.  Read our detailed article on Protecting Your Attic which explains the functions of components and what their failure could cause.

How Insulation Works

To understand how insulation works it helps to understand heat flow, which involves three basic mechanisms — conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction is the way heat moves through materials, such as when a spoon placed in a hot cup of coffee conducts heat through its handle to your hand. Convection is the way heat circulates through liquids and gases, and is why lighter, warmer air rises, and cooler, denser air sinks in your home. Radiant heat travels in a straight line and heats anything solid in its path that absorbs its energy.

Most common insulation materials work by slowing conductive heat flow and–to a lesser extent–convective heat flow. Radiant barriers and reflective insulation systems work by reducing radiant heat gain. To be effective, the reflective surface must face an air space.

Regardless of the mechanism, heat flows from warmer to cooler until there is no longer a temperature difference. In your home, this means that in winter, heat flows directly from all heated living spaces to adjacent unheated attics, garages, basements, and even to the outdoors. Heat flow can also move indirectly through interior ceilings, walls, and floors–wherever there is a difference in temperature. During the cooling season, heat flows from the outdoors to the interior of a house.

To maintain comfort, the heat lost in the winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gained in the summer must be removed by your cooling system. Properly insulating your home will decrease this heat flow by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.

A recent study in California where 30 homes were inspected to determine the quality of workmanship used when installing fiberglass batts found every one of the 30 homes had poorly installed insulation.  Fiberglass batts have to be cut to fit properly and when there is custom roofing framing involved poor fitting insulation seems to be the norm.

Free Thermal Imaging with Every Home Inspection.   Thermal Imaging can find missing insulation behind walls and ceilings.

View our List of Common Deficiencies Found During Home Inspections