Show Recap: The House Whisperer – 1/17/24

In this episode of “Ask The Expert,” listeners were treated to a wealth of knowledge from Chuck Worley of Worley’s Home Services, known as the 757 House Whisperer. Broadcasting from separate studios for the first time, Chuck and co-host Tommy Heinz, along with various experts, tackled a variety of home improvement topics, offering valuable insights and practical advice for homeowners.

Crawl Space Vents Debate: Open or Closed?

The show started off with a discussion about crawl space vents, sparked by a caller’s question about whether they should be closed all year. Chuck, leveraging his extensive knowledge in building science, explained that while vents should be closed during winter to avoid freezing pipes and ductwork, they shouldn’t be closed year-round unless the crawl space is encapsulated. He emphasized the importance of crawl space encapsulation in controlling humidity and preventing mold growth, particularly in the context of newer, larger homes where traditional cross breeze methods are ineffective. 

Inspections for Modular Homes

Modular homes have become popular in Hampton Roads due to how affordable they are when compared to custom homes — but caller Johnny had concerns that the inspection process from the manufacturer would leave him with a home that isn’t up to par. One solution mentioned by the hosts was contacting a renovation inspector, and ensuring the city and county inspections were completed. These specialized inspectors often have contracting experience, and they know both local code and craftsmanship. These inspectors can identify problems before they become expensive or dangerous issues. 

Insulation: Maximizing Home Efficiency

Insulation was another hot topic. Chuck shared his expert advice on attic insulation as a key to energy efficiency. He recommended spray foam insulation to seal gaps, thereby preventing air infiltration and curbing heat loss. Home heat loss happens often from recessed lighting, attic fans, and other areas where holes in the sealing are not sealed airtight. 

He advised against less effective methods, like radiant barriers, once their vapor barrier is compromised. Chuck’s guidance was clear: focus on insulation in the attic first for the best return on investment and consider spray foaming the roof deck only if the roof is newer.

Electrical Panel Upgrades: Planning for the Future

Addressing a common household concern, the show discussed electrical panel upgrades. In a home where the circuits are constantly tripping, is it better to replace the whole panel or add a sub panel to handle the overage?  Chuck suggested replacing the full panel with a larger one, future-proofing the home’s electrical system, and leaving some electrical “headroom”.

Should You Spray Foam the Roof Deck?

The last caller inquired about the implications of using spray foam insulation in the attic, particularly regarding the early detection of roof leaks. Chuck advised caution with this approach. He explained that while it’s possible to apply spray foam to the roof deck, it could make leak detection challenging. Leaks might manifest away from their actual location, appearing beneath the spray foam, potentially misleading repair efforts. Chuck recommended, especially for newer roofs, having a professional roofer conduct annual inspections to ensure any leaks are caught early. He emphasized the importance of sealing and insulating the attic properly and suggested homeowners regularly check their attic for leaks during cooler seasons.

Carbon Monoxide Deaths are Not “Trivial”!

This week’s trivia included an intriguing question about the number of annual deaths in the U.S. due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Greg, a caller involved with local fire and EMS, guessed that there are “thousands of deaths” every year due to carbon monoxide poisoning every year, and mentioned that these incidents usually involve more than one death. Faulty combustion appliances like kerosene furnaces will give off carbon monoxide without warning, and that CO2 enters the bloodstream, attaches to red blood cells, and pushes oxygen out of the body. 

The real shocker? Greg’s guess was far less than the reality here in the US:

A Treasure Trove of Home Improvement Wisdom

In summary, this episode of “Ask The Expert” with the 757 House Whisperer, Chuck Worley, was a masterclass in home improvement. From crawl space issues to attic insulation, and the importance of home safety and inspections, the show offered a wealth of practical advice. Chuck’s expertise, combined with the team’s approachable style, made complex topics accessible and engaging for every homeowner. For more insights and tips on home improvement, listeners were encouraged to visit

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