Blower Door Services for Michigan's new building code.
I've performed dozens of Michigan Uniform Energy Code Test Certifications since this new code has arrived, and have operated Blower Doors for over seven years on 2,500 homes across the United States. As of February 2016 Michigan adopted the 2015 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). As part of our building code, Michigan builders are required to have a Blower Door Test performed on all new residential homes and additions. If doing an addition, an initial Blower Door Test must be performed prior to construction of addition to secure a benchmark for determining air-flow associated with new addition (no more that 4ach@-50 is allowed). To avoid conflict of interest, Michigan requires builders to use a third party to complete testing, not the insulation company that air-sealed and insulated the new construction.
The average cost is between $250- $450 USD.
Don't worry about Failing a Blower Door Test
The primary reason new homes fail is due to uneducated insulation companies failing to properly seal the bond-joist. This includes all penetrations involved with the bond-joist; HVAC make-up air, flues, plumbing, and dryer vents. A lot of old school insulation companies also fail to properly seal wall-tops, weather-stripping on attic hatches, can-lights, bath-fans, and skylights in the attic. If the home fails for any reason, I'll create a report with thermal/digital pictures including a list of actions that need to take place in order for your building to pass, and email it to you within one business day. The return visit cost will be determined at the point of test failure, and typically will cost less than initial visit.
VERY IMPORTANT THINGS TO HAVE DONE BEFORE TESTING TO AVOID FAILURES
ATTIC HATCHES MUST BE IN PLACE AND WEATHER-STRIPPED
WALK-OUT BASEMENTS WITH METAL BULK-HEAD DOORS MUST HAVE THERMAL DOOR WITH THRESHOLD AND WEATHER-STRIPPING SEPARATING THEM FROM BASEMENT
BOND-JOIST MUST BE SEALED AND ALL PENETRATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH IT
ALL DOORS TO THE OUTSIDE MUST HAVE DOOR KNOBS, THRESHOLDS, AND WEATHER-STRIPPING IN PLACE
WATER IN ALL P-TRAPS AND SUMP-PUMPS
ALL WINDOWS SHOULD BE LATCHED SHUT. WINDOWS SHOULD ALSO BE SEALED IN PLACE ( I WOULDN'T ASK IF I HADN'T SEEN IT ALREADY)
NEW BUILDINGS ON OLD FOUNDATIONS OR SLABS ARE NOTORIOUS FOR FAILING. BE SURE TO TAKE SPECIAL CARE WHEN SEALING MUDSILL/STEMWALL, AND I RECOMMEND OVERDOING THE SPRAY-FOAM WHEN SEALING WALL-TOPS, CAN-LIGHTS, SKYLIGHTS, AND BATH-FANS IN ATTIC