Ceiling Insulation Question

We moved into a just built house in December 2017. Over the last 4 years we have do a number of changes that required various people to tramp through the blown insulation in the attic. In some areas the depth of insulation is noticeably less. Also I am pretty sure above one chandelier (an area I can not see) there is very little insulation - we moved that chandelier 30 inches.

Is there any way to determine if it makes sense to have the level of blown fiberglass topped off?

Is there any way to determine if it makes sense to have the level of blown fiberglass topped off?

Besides the “more is always better” theory, you could get a thermal imaging gun. They’re not expensive. I have the Black & Decker model for about $27, but they’re as low as $19.

https://www.amazon.com/Masione-Temperature-Non-contact-Therm…

Walk around, shoot the ceiling, see if it’s noticeably colder [warmer] in some areas than others. I have found several uses for it over the years, then it tucks nicely away for a few years until I find a need for it again.

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A thermal camera on a really cold day. Unfortunately they are expensive. The cheapest I found is an add on to a smart phone.

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0728C7KND/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_gl…

There are services you can hire that own them. They might be just as expensive. Maybe one can be rented?

https://www.homedepot.com/p/rental/FLIR-COMMERCIAL-SYSTEMS-I…

There are also units that measure a spot, with a laser pointer. That might do it (or not) but it would be more work.

https://www.techtoolsupply.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCod…

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GWPotter
Is there any way to determine if it makes sense to have the level of blown fiberglass topped off?

If it were me: First step, get a quote for doing the topping off, forget about even making thermal measurements.

If the quote is not prohibitive, have it done.

If you were to go thru the measurements first, cost may come close to just having the work done.

Added thought: The cost/effort of measuring, if done, is simply gone, not applied to the cost of the top off work.

If you find the topping off quote is very expensive, might need to measure first. Decide topping off from those test results.

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A thermal camera on a really cold day. Unfortunately they are expensive. The cheapest I found is an add on to a smart phone.

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0728C7KND/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_gl……

I have one of the FLIR cameras. It works great. I used it for exactly the same thing…finding some cold spots in the ceiling. I then drilled some holes and blew in some great stuff foam. (This was a thin area with no attic space above)
The precision is great. Someone can walk barefoot across the carpet and a few seconds later you can see the footprints on the floor from the residual heat. Seriously…just like Billy in the Family Circus cartoon you can see the footprints, where they sat, etc.

Mike

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The precision is great. Someone can walk barefoot across the carpet and a few seconds later you can see the footprints on the floor from the residual heat. Seriously…just like Billy in the Family Circus cartoon you can see the footprints, where they sat, etc.

You do need to be aware that some of what you’ll see is reflected IR.
For example, if you’re looking at a large window, you’ll likely see some reflection off of it.
This can also apply to other material - and what you think of as reflective/non-reflective in visible light isn’t always the same in IR.

Really can’t beat the thermal imaging add-on you posted - https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0728C7KND/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_gl…

I’ve had one in my Cart, saved for quite a while, price has dropped a lot, but I have yet to pull the trigger, other needs, etc… But it was the handiest other than a full blown Mike Holmes type thermal camera…

Unsure, still, not sure I want to know… And do I want to tear open walls to find out why?

A conundrum…

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You do need to be aware that some of what you’ll see is reflected IR.

Yes, in order to actually get an accurate image you have to be sure you just have a straight on view of the surface. Mirrors, glass windows, etc will show up. I even took some pictures while on a canoe at night on a lake and got some interesting images.

But it easily shows heat leaks around doors, windows and places that have less insulation.

Note: I did not actually pay for my FLIR camera. I won it in a raffle in their booth at CES a couple of years ago.

Mike

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