Beware the "Remodeled" House - 2 of 3

This is the same house on the previous post and could probably take up a couple of chapters in a home inspection training book on things you hope not to find on a remodel.  This house could provide 30 blog posts.

Many rooms had been changed.  The master bathroom was enlarged by eliminating the linen closet.  They wanted a larger, more modern, double shower stall.  It looked nice, but sacrificing the only linen closet is not recommended.  It had a new vent fan and HVAC register.

The register blew no air.  The vent fan worked fine (I employ the toilet paper test - if it holds toilet paper firmly against itself, it works...)

A visit to the attic revealed why no air blew from the register.

That is a dryer vent, obviously uninsulated.  Dryer vents do not make good HVAC vents.  Period.

It is connected to the other side with tape.  A hole was repaired on the right side by taping a towel over the vent.  And you can see it is crushed and torn.  It did somewhat cool the attic space, for which I was temporarily grateful... 

On the left is the bathroom vent, which drew out air.  Here is what I found.

 

 It vents into the furnace vent, which passes through the roof!!

This view shows the whole connection.  I have to confess, I have never seen that before, and I have seen many bathroom vents!

The furnace vent has a "hot" vent on the inside of this larger "cool" vent, but this is a BAD BAD to say the least.

The house boasted a "fourth bedroom!"  This bedroom was 6'x8' and used to be a garden shed.  It was cleverly converted into a "bedroom" with some insulation, one small, jalousie window and an exterior door.  There was one receptacle, cut into the back side of a receptacle in the original, abutting bedroom.  The box for this new "bedroom's" receptacle was shaved to fit both back to back.  And cute!

Okay, the ceiling was low, the two degree slope on the roof leaked badly, the walls were soft and stained high and low, and it smelled like a moldy-oldy gym sock, but cute!

There was an HVAC register in the ceiling, which did not blow air either.  Here is what I found in the attic.

What you see on the left is the beginning of the vent for that shed "bedroom."  It is another crushed dryer vent, taped into the main trunk, which transitions into another uninsulated slinky vent.  The view on the right is the continuation of that same vent as it goes down and eventually into that room.  That tear is not helpful...

Another problem you might not have noticed is that nearly the entire attic was floored with a mish-mash of plywood.  For storage, don't you know!  This crushed the insulation to the point
of having an R-value of about what, five or six?  The air conditioning in the rest of the house was not very effective, competing with so much heat radiating down from the attic.

My recommendation:  Place your hands against HVAC registers to see if they actually blow air.  Without getting too technical, the air flow should feel fairly strong.  If not, it should be evaluated.  And don't crush attic insulation for any reason.  If you need the attic for storage, create a shelf on the trusses up off the insulation but don't store too much weight.

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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!