Metro Home Insulation was negligent in the work it completed on our home, causing damage to the interior and exterior of our home.
We built our home in 2006-07, we were the general contractor for our home. We hired Metro Home to install the insulation in our home. We have had hot and cold spots in our home, but for many years we never paid attention. During the winter months, we had ice dams occur on the roof over our master bedroom, we sent a letter to metro home insulation to seek help, noting that with how cold it seemed in our master bedroom, and with the ice dams that it's possible that Metro Home had issues with their installation...we received no response, we assumed that they felt there were no issues and that what we were experiencing was typical.
Late in the winter of 2013-14, we had water leak from the area surrounding our first floor fireplace, the issue happened for just a couple of hours and went away, we thought we had an issue with our roof. A few weeks later, I received a call from my wife stating that our smoke detectors were all going off, and that there was water coming from the can lights on our second floor. I went up in the attic and found what can only be described as sounds like running water. The roof deck had solid ice that was melting, and running down into the insulation. We had excessive damage to our ceiling, electrical fixtures, insulation, and other electronics in our home. I did some research, and hired a building science company who came into our home doing a blower door test to check for air infiltration and to inspect our home using an infrared camera looking for leaks of cold air. While they were out looking @ our 2nd floor attic, we had them look at the area around our master bedroom too. The company found that there were areas around our master bedroom had severe cold air infiltration, gaps in insulation, and possible cross-infiltration through framing that was never insulated. In our attic, the company found that Metro Home never properly sealed penetrations through the ceiling, causing warm and moist air to leak into the attic, which would then condense on the roof deck and then freeze into ice. This process in the attic continued for weeks throughout the winter, causing the issue we had when warmer weather arrived in late winter.
We reached out to Metro Home Insulation, describing the situation. Metro Home Insulation shirked their responsibility, first saying that we had our humidifier turned up too high. We contacted Honeywell and confirmed that our humidity settings were within acceptable ranges for a healthy home. When Metro Home could not use the humidifier as a defense, they threw up that our letter to them more than 2 years previous was a notification of a problem, and that we were outside the statute of limitations. We sought out help of an attorney (never filed a lawsuit), and we were informed that we were most likely correct, but that we would be looking @ $15,000 or more of legal fees to prove our point. We never made a claim of an issue, we were not sure we had an issue, we just asked that Metro Home reach out to us to help us find out and resolve the problem. Also, the issue with our master bedroom was a completely separate issue from our 2nf floor attic.
We are seeking for Metro Home Insulation to honor their obligation to repair their negligent work. We are not seeking any other remedies, just repair the damage, and repair the work. We even offered to purchase some improvements from Metro Home Insulation as part of the repair work.
***response has been scanned in and converted to text below (original document is available using the online complaint system).
I write in response to the homeowner's complaint filed with your agency against Metro Home Insulation, LLC ("MHI"). For the purpose of anonymity, as requested by the BBB, the complainant will be referred to as the "homeowner" herein.
Contrary to the allegations set forth in the complaint, the actions and conduct of MHI did not give rise to the conditions and resulting damage of which the homeowner complains. It is our belief that the conditions and resulting damage were caused by individuals and entities over which MHI had no control or right of control. In addition, it is our belief and opinion that the humidity level within the home and the failure to properly and adequately remove snow from the roof, which allowed the accumulated snow to block the roof venting and impede proper ventilation, contributed to these conditions and resulting damage.
MHI completed its work on the home in July 2007. The first notice of complaint received from the homeowner of which MHI has record is his letter of December 6, 2011. In his letter, the homeowner raises concerns with temperature control in his master bathroom, ice damming, and a frozen water line to the master bath. The MHI employee responsible for response to homeowner concerns at that time is no longer with the company. To the extent the homeowner feels as though the concerns expressed in this letter were not properly addressed, we extend our apologies directly to homeowner. It is our company policy to respond to all such complaints and concerns timely and appropriately.
On February 18, 2014, MHI received a call from the homeowner. The homeowner called to inform MHI of the presence and melting of frost at the underside of the roof deck. During this call the homeowner also informed MHI that the indoor humidity level of the residence was set at 36%.
MHI sent an employee to homeowner's residence on the same day, February 18, 2014. Upon arrival, the MHI employee noticed that the homeowner had failed to remove snow from the roof. The accumulation of snow at the roof had covered and blocked most of the roof vents. Blockage of the roof vents prohibits or impedes the necessary and proper ventilation of the attic. Lack of proper attic ventilation causes and contributes to the creation of ice dams on the roof. This is even more prevalent with extreme temperatures and elevated snow depths, like occurred in Minnesota during the winter of 2013/2014.
MHI explained to the homeowner that the combination of the indoor humidity level and blockage of the roof vents caused or at the very least contributed to the conditions of which the homeowner complained. MHI also requested access to the home for the purpose of conducting a limited inspection of the home's attic. Access was denied by the homeowner.
MHI was not made aware of any subsequent inspection or testing nor has any record of any results from the infrared scan and blower door test referenced by the homeowner in the complaint. In any event, according to the homeowner's complaint, the results indicated cold air infiltration at the exterior walls of the master bedroom, gaps in insulation, and possible cross-infiltration through framing at the exterior walls of the master bedroom. Even if true, these results are not conclusive evidence of MHI's fault or liability.
As with any residential construction, various trades (electricians, plumbers, mechanical contractors) work within the exterior walls, before and after insulation installation. Not only do these trades make penetrations in and through the exterior walls, all of which if not properly sealed can cause and contribute to hot or cold air infiltration in and through the exterior walls, they may and do manipulate and move the insulation installed within the wall cavity. These other trades may and do fail or forget to replace and/or reattach the insulation thereby leaving a gap in the insulation. It is just as plausible and possible, if the results of the infrared scan are accurate, that one of these other trades moved or manipulated the insulation previously installed by MHI.
It is unclear what it meant by "possible cross infiltration through the framing at the exterior walls of the master bedroom". However, as framing members have no to very little insulating quality, it is common for the framing members to demonstrate or show heat loss or transfer. That is not evidence of no insulation or poor workmanship on the part of MHI.
Finally, the work performed by MHI at this residence underwent and passed an insulation inspection. If the insulation installed by MHI was deficient at installation, it would not have passed this inspection.
It is our belief that all work performed by MHI was code and industry standard compliant. The work of MHI did not cause nor contribute to the conditions complained of by this homeowner.
Further, the applicable statute of limitations (2 years from date of notice) bars action by this homeowner.
Although unfortunate that the homeowner has experienced the complained of conditions at his home, given the foregoing, we are unwilling to commit to any payment in resolution of this homeowner's complaint.