checking insulation with inspection camera?

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Old 09-30-18, 08:27 PM
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checking insulation with inspection camera?

I have an upstairs office over a garage that has ridge venting but no gable. It does not retain heat or cold very well. I would like to check and see what type of insulation there is in this roof area (it also has dormers)

I don't want to spend $$$$$ to find out if I need to blow in insulation or more insulation. What type of tool will fit through the ridge venting to scope down? I have looked at a few endoscopes, but their focal length is like 3 inches.

Also, would you recommend a solar roof vent fan, and if so, what type. We are in Texas and get plenty of afternoon sun.

TIA,
Jeff
 
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Old 10-01-18, 02:56 AM
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Id just cut a hole in the drywall and take a look, easy enough to patch when done! Even with one of the inspection scopes you still have to get in there plus they might not even give you a good confirmation of the amount of insulation in there.
 
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Old 10-01-18, 07:23 AM
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you mean through the ceiling? cough cough ?
 
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Old 10-01-18, 08:05 AM
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Attic outside vents are major source of heat loss in winter.

For a remote vent, difficult to access I block it in winter with hinged panel activated with long rope. A couple pulleys were necessary to navigate turns.

To close for winter pull rope and secure on cleat. In spring let rope loose and gravity opens it.

Am not worried about condensation in winter. There are plenty of tiny places for air exchange.
 
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Old 10-01-18, 08:26 AM
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Texas tells us it is hot, but is it dry or humid? Hot humid air can be a problem in an attic.

I assume this space has a sloped ceiling? Any side attics or attic space at the top?

Bud
 
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Old 10-01-18, 08:26 AM
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Thank you. The winter for me in Texas isn't as much of an issue. It is the 100 degree days in summer where I can't keep the office cool without running the window unit 100% of the time. I am going to have reflective coating on my dormer windows but I'm trying to determine if the attic insulation (or lack thereof) is the issue. If I have to blow in insulation, I'll need to put in a gable perhaps.
 
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Old 10-01-18, 08:29 AM
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When was the building constructed and if this is a sloped ceiling how deep are the rafters?

An infrared cameras can provide some information but difficult to interpret.

Bud
 
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Old 10-01-18, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Texas tells us it is hot, but is it dry or humid? Hot humid air can be a problem in an attic.

I assume this space has a sloped ceiling? Any side attics or attic space at the top?

Bud
Usually it is dry in central Texas hill country. A few humid days, but not often. My office has sloped ceilings. No side attics. My office area is about 225 sq ft. My art studio below the office does not have this problem I have a mini split that keeps it cool and it doesn't get direct sun until late in the afternoon. The roof overhangs.

Built in 1998 but don't know depth of the rafters. Probably 5 feet or less from interior ceiling to the roof peak. The flat part of the interior ceiling is about 5 feet wide. the rest of the room is angled except for the dormers.
 
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Old 10-01-18, 08:59 AM
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What you describe basically sounds like a cape without the side attics and rafters are usually 2x6 or 2x8 unless specifically increased to allow more insulation. If that space was finished as a remodel then they probably just insulated what was there, a guess.

But testing is easy, a small hole and a metal wire to probe directly through to the sheathing, then measure the wire. Subtract the drywall thickness and you have the rafter depth. A dab of spackle and the hole is gone. Once we know the depth then we know the maximum amount of insulation that can be in there.

You have a ridge vent but do you have soffit vents (low vents)?

As for the function of venting it is not intended to retain heat (winter) or cold (summer). The air in the attic and above your insulation is supposed to be as close to outside temp as possible.

Now, having said that there is another approach which eliminates all ventilation, called an unvented attic. There are guidelines for this approach which I will have to review from my cold climate location (currently in the 60's). Here is a link that might help.

As a note, I live in a cape and I'm currently dealing with upgrading minimal insulation, I'm also very experienced in construction so sometimes suggest things regular home owners shy away from. But one approach would be a weekend to remove much of the drywall up there, upgrade the insulation, and add new drywall. It really isn't that tough of a job and it's done and done right. You would love the results and we can help in all steps.

Bud
 
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Old 10-01-18, 03:33 PM
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Bud9051: As for the function of venting it is not intended to retain heat (winter) or cold (summer). The air in the attic and above your insulation is supposed to be as close to outside temp as possible.
If the winter attic air is not flowing because of no cross ventilation with outside air, then it becomes a transitional insulation blanket.

My house was build with insulation in the room ceiling rafters. Roof rafters have no insulation. In the winter with vent blocked attic air temperature is typically 20F below outside air temp reducing heat loss.

Yes, the original function of attic venting is to reduce summer heat load. But stopping venting in winter is a free heating cost reduction. Others may not recommend it, but I like free lifetime savings.
 

Last edited by doughess; 10-01-18 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 10-01-18, 11:28 PM
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I had edited prior post to read “typically 20 below outside air temp” but see that it did not take and is still reads “above” rather than “below”. Sorry about that.
 
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