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    Thermographic Inspection of Cavity-Wall Insulation Retrofits

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    A national demonstration of the effectiveness of an optimal weatherization program for low-income families was conducted by the Community Services Administration and the National Bureau of Standards. In this demonstration 101 family dwellings in 12 cities in the continental United States were retrofitted and inspected by using thermographic equipment. The weatherization techniques included air infiltration reducing measures such as caulking and weatherstripping, additional attic insulation, storm windows, cavity-wall insulation, basement or crawl-space insulation, and modification or replacement of the heating systems. In order to assess the quality of the workmanship of the weatherization techniques applied to the building envelope, and in particular the quality of the installation of the cavity wall insulation, thermographic surveys were performed after the completion of the weatherization work. It was not uncommon to find large wall areas still uninsulated, ceiling insulation improperly installed, heat losses around door and window frames, excessive heat losses from eaves and soffits due to bypassing of the insulation, shrinkage and fissures in the foam insulation, areas where the loose fill insulation was not installed to proper density, and air penetration into the interior of cavities. Examples of such defects are presented and summary statistics showing the frequency of occurrence of these defects in the weatherized dwellings and the percentage of wall area not insulated are given.


    air infiltration, insulation, quality control, retrofit, thermography, weatherization

    Author Information:

    Grot, RA
    National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.,

    Chang, Y-ML
    National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.,

    Committee/Subcommittee: C16.30

    DOI: 10.1520/STP29455S