Insulation in a property is a very important component to a homes system.  Insulation will protect your wallet against energy loss.  When a home is missing portions of the insulation or the depth of the insulation is low (3″-9″) there can be multiple issues that will be explained in this blog.  The Countryside home inspection will explain why increasing insulation depth will save you money in the long run.

The Countryside home inspection started from the outside and worked it way into the top of the home.  That would be the attic for the people who are new to my blog.  When I inspect an attic, I look for many things.  You can see me inspect an attic at    The first is the temperature to see if the temperature matches the outside.  The temperature should be as close to the outside temperature because when an attic exceeds 130 degrees it starts to “cook” the underside of the sheathing of the roof which in turn weakens the roof shingles.  Ventilation is the cure for this issue.  If there is not enough roof vents adding more is a remedy or adding a thermostatic attic fan will relieve this issue.  The next issue I look for is bathroom fans.  I like to see the bath fan venting through the roof line.  If it is just laying in the attic it can cause mold in the attic.  This can cost thousands to have it mitigated.  The attic/roof  structure is the next item that is inspected to see if there any issues with the rafters or trusses.  The final component of the attic inspection is the insulation.  This is where I had a problem at the Countryside home inspection.  The depth and material should always be documented so the client can make informed decisions on what to do.

The Countryside home inspection had 3″ of compressed cellulose insulation that had been in the home for the last 40+ years.  My advise was to have more insulation added to increase the ”R” rating.  I advised my clients to have 12″ added to the areas already covered.  In the Midwest the proposed ”R” rating suggested is R-38  -  R-60.  I split the 2 at  R-47.  The cost to add this is generally $1 – $4 depending on what type of material you choose to use.  There is fiberglass rolled, fiberglass blow in, cellulose, polystyrene.  The choice is yours.

If you have questions about your attics condition please contact us at  Thank You~ Jim Kolke

Attics??  If you own a home you probably have one, but the question is “Have you been up in it to see the conditions”?  The attic of a home can be used for storage or just be the structural component for the roof.  It really depends how the home was built.  I was contracted for a home inspection in Wheaton, Illinois.  My clients were very concerned of the condition of this homes attic because on their last home there were major issues that were found after they purchased the home.

Attics are constructed in a couple of different ways.  The first style of building an attic is called a ”rafter”.  The second is called  a “truss” and that was what my Wheaton home inspection  happened to be.  A truss built attic basically means that  the structure was pre-built and brought out to the site and installed with heavy equipment.  Using the truss built attics for storage will be very limited because of the way the attic is structured.  Rafter built attics are what we call “stick built”.  That means that the structure was built on site piece by piece.   Rafter built homes offer great storage areas in attics.

We check many things when in an attic.  I look at the condition of the structure, roof sheeting, moisture issues, insulation condition, insulation depth, framing, ventilation, attic fans, house fans, bathroom fans, attic access, lighting, and possible heating systems for large homes.  You can see me inspect an attic at  and many other areas on a real home inspection.  The Wheaton home inspection had 2 issues that would need to be taken care of pretty quick.

The first issue in the attic of the home inspection in Wheaton was the insulation which was rolled fiberglass that happened to be only 6″.  It is definitely under insulated.  I like to see 12″ to 15″ of insulation in the attic t ensure proper R-rating.  Under insulated attics is the number 1 reason of energy loss in the United States.

The 2nd item found at the Wheaton home inspection was the thermastatic attic fan was inoperable.  The temperature in the attic was 149 degrees on a 77 degree day.  The attic fan will need to be replaced or structural issues will begin to rear their head.  When you have excessive heat in an attic, roof shingles overheat from the bottom and the roof sheating  can delaminate and sag.  There were not any soffits at this home and only roof vents.  That means getting a cross breeze was not going to happen.  Either a new attic fan was to be installed or adding more roof vents.

If you own a home or are buying a home that you think has attic issues contact us at ~

Please leave a comment. ~ Thanks~ Jim Kolke

This winter was a doozy with all the snow and cold weather here in the Chicagoland area. Dring a home inspection in Lake Forest, Illinois we suspected issues with the building’s  insulation. The gas bills seemed to be a little high for the square footage of the home. We pride ourselves in that we use thermal imagers on all home inspections in Lake Forest and other towns and cities. Luckily we do, because the home was missing insulation in the walls.  We found out by using the thermal imager to evaluate the wall temperature.

The next stop was the attic. When I entered the attic, I was flabbergasted to see that there was NO insulation in the attic of the home inspection performed in Lake Forest. My next concern was ice-damning that can occur when you have a lot of snow and no insulation in your attic.

I bet you guessed it,  there was ice-damning in the home inspection in Lake Forest.  You would have guessed right!!  For those people that don’t know how ice damning occurs, the heat from the home rises up eventionally into the attic and heats the roof sheathing and melts the snow.  The temperature heats up during the day and cools in the night.  The day forms water and then ice is formed at night. This process happens over and over until the ice creeps under the roofs ice shield and you now have water entering your home.

Insulation in your home is a major component and should be checked to see if you have enough.  If you think you might have issues similar to this and need our help contact us at