Question of the Day - #97 Attic bypasses sealed

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Question of the Day - #97 Attic bypasses sealed

Postby RDavidson » Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:26 am

2015 MN Rules 1322.0100, subpart 3, last two sentences, states that you cannot add insulation to an existing attic unless attic bypasses are sealed and it defines what an attic bypass is.

You get a call from a homeowner of a home built in 2010. They indicate that they wanted additional insulation installed in their attic above what was required when the home was built. They tell you that the insulation installer informed them that he was required to seal all of the attic bypasses and that none of them were sealed. He said it costs $400 to seal all of those openings. He says he rarely sees these penetrations sealed like they are supposed to be. The homeowner complains to you that the code required those bypasses be sealed when the home was built and why didn’t you make sure the contractor met code at the time.

How do you answer his question? Do you tell him that you diligently check all pipe and wire penetrations for compliance?

Then the homeowner provides you close up photos taken in his attic of numerous wire penetrations and there is no visible sealant. Do you tell the homeowner that there are two top plates that the wire penetrates and that the contractor would usually apply the sealant from the underside which wouldn’t be visible from the attic side and the sealant is likely there? Do you tell him that he should peer down the hole with a flashlight and he will likely be able to see the sealant? And if you do and the homeowner says that the work is already done and paid for and why would you have a rule that requires attic bypasses be sealed when you can’t easily determine if they were sealed or not, what do you tell him?

The homeowner then asks if this is a regulated activity, why don’t you require a permit and conduct an inspection that would validate this requirement. What do you tell him?

Is this one of those feel good requirements that is largely ignored?
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