Case Study: Bobby Montgomery Home

At Building Performance, we often get calls from homeowners who are experiencing noticeable issues that they’d like to have fixed. Take the case of Prospect, KY’s Bobby Montgomery, a recent client who first contacted us because he had visible mold growing on the beadboard ceiling upstairs.

The mold was creating an indoor air quality issue, which prompted Bobby to make the call. Building Performance President Eric George responded to the call and opted to perform a home energy audit to ensure that other home performance issues weren’t at play.

The result? Eric discovered issues with multiple components of the home.

 

The Energy Audit Process

Bobby Montgomery’s energy audit started with what’s called a blower door test, allowing Eric to pinpoint exactly where areas of air leakage currently exist via the assistance of an infrared camera. Eric also found a number of underlying issues, including a water supply line leak that soaked the subfloor, floor joists and crawlspace under the home. Naturally, this led to the proliferation of excess moisture and mold.

The underlying source of the indoor air quality problems the homeowner was experiencing actually turned out to be quite worse than what he originally thought. While Eric was originally called to find a single source of the problem, he ended up stumbling upon a number of different systemic issues that all contributed to the problem. Unsurprisingly, this is an all-too-common occurrence, which makes it even more important to have well-trained people inspecting your home.  

The Problem Areas

Eric discovered a number of “problem areas” while performing an energy audit on Bobby Montgomery’s home, many of which were not issues the homeowner was aware of before making the call. These include:

  • Indoor Air Quality: The house was leaky, allowing excess moisture to sneak in. A leaky water supply line was also creating moisture issues under the house.  Old, wet, moldy fiberglass insulation in the crawlspace was also making the smell & air quality worse throughout the house.

  • Air Sealing: There were many improperly air sealed areas of the home, the attic lacked a proper air barrier, and the basement/crawlspace had leaky windows/doors and improperly sealed/insulated walls and rim joists.

  • Duct Leakage: The ducts were not sealed at all, meaning hot and cool air was being lost and wasted, and indoor pollutants like dust were being circulated throughout the home.  This was especially true inside the damp, dirty crawlspace!

While each of these issues may have popped up on their own, it’s important to realize that they all affect one another. This is just one reason why one of the most important things that both contractors and homeowners can do is learn how to view the home as a system.

The Importance of Viewing the Home as a System

No matter how large or small your home may be, it’s important to recognize that it’s a complex system made up of many different components, all of which work together to make your house function. When one part of this system malfunctions, so too can many of the others—not unlike a vehicle or the human body. Symptoms may be dealt with when they pop up, but they’ll only return if the underlying source is left unaddressed. Our team of professionals work to get to the root of the issue and solve it in a way that will benefit your home’s overall comfort, health and efficiency.

Building Performance to the Rescue! Our Solution

While the homeowner certainly had a lot on his plate once our findings were reported, he wisely chose to move forward with our recommendations and has benefited significantly from doing so. By air-sealing and insulating the home with spray-foam insulation, we were able to reduce air leakage in the home by 1,079 CFM!  That roughly 26% tighter than when we first started, reducing it from 4,113 CFM to 3,034 CFM. The home’s ductwork was leaky, too, which we took care of for the client. High moisture levels in the home were responsible for the mold growth that the client originally called in about, brought on from the water supply line leak.

Once these issues were dealt with, Montgomery noticed big improvements in the home’s efficiency, indoor air quality and home comfort levels. One thing he noticed immediately upon walking into his house after the work was complete, was that “the musty old house smell is gone!”  Even his dog, who has had allergies and respiratory issues, has felt much better since!

Ready to see what Building Performance can do for your home? Our team of home performance professionals can identify any issues that are present and help you come up with valuable solutions. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment!