Insulation Checkpoints for Contractors

Below is a list published by the NAIMA, North America Insulation Manufacturers Association, that outlines a few handy checkpoints for builders & contractors to determine if insulation is installed properly in wall areas. Many individuals use these as a reminder for the various items that need to be inspected.


Wall Areas


1. Cavity Fill. The batts or loose-fill should fill all standard and narrow cavities

completely: no gaps top or bottom.


2. Electrical Wiring. Insulation should be split or cut to fit around wiring.


3. Electrical Boxes. Batts should be cut to fit around electrical boxes with a

piece placed behind each box.


4. Plumbing. Insulation should be placed between the outside wall and the

pipes. If kraft facing is used, it should be in substantial contact with the

gypsum board.


5. R-value. The R-value should be marked visibly on the insulation, faced

or unfaced. The R-value should meet or exceed the minimum code



6. Fitting. Batts should friction fit snugly in the cavity. Faced batts can be

inset or faced stapled as needed. If inset stapled, batts should not be

overly compressed.


7. Vapor Retarder Placement. It should be towards the “warm in winter”

living area except in extremely humid areas. (Note: Kraft facing should

never be left exposed.)


8. Vapor Retarder Integrity. Taping vapor retarder facings is not standard

practice. Small tears and gaps are not expected to cause moisture issues

but can be repaired if desired.


9. Vapor Retarder Materials. When required, appropriate vapor retarder

materials may include kraft facing, continuous polyethylene sheeting,

vapor retarder paints and “smart” vapor retarders. (Note: Polyethylene

should only be used in very cold climates.)


10. Bay Window. The outside wall, extended floor, and ceiling should be



11. Window and Door Areas. Spaces around windows and doors should be

filled with insulation or caulked. Do not overstuff.


12. Band Joists. Insulation with a nonflammable facing should be used for

band joists.