Homeowner? What’s Hiding in that Dark and Dusty Place?
No one wants to go there, or even think about what is hiding up in their attic. But, as homeowners it is important to inspect what is in our attics to avoid future problems and expenses.
Attic space is not designed or intended for storage. Access to the attic is for the inspection and maintenance of insulation, vents, chimneys, or other mechanical equipment that may be installed in the attic. If you or any service people perform maintenance or inspections in the attic, use great caution
and avoid stepping off wood members onto the drywall under the insulation. Stepping off the trusses or wood members can result in personal injury or damage to the ceiling below. Your limited warranty does not cover such injury or damage.
Attic Inspection Guide
Here are 7 quick and easy things to check when inspecting your attic. These items will help you to determine any potential problems before they become serious. Taking these steps will help to avoid health hazards and expensive repairs in the future.
1. Attics are vented through the soffit (the material installed on the underside of overhangs) or on gable ends. Driving rain or snow can sometimes enter the attic through these vents. Do not cover the vents to prevent minor amounts of water entering. Instead, cover the insulation in front of the vent with a poly plastic covering. By doing this you allow the vent to remain open and the small amount of water that blows in will evaporate safely. If the amount of water is excessive ensure the vent grilles are properly installed.
2. Check the attic for leaks, check the insulation, look for blocked vents and look to see if any daylight is coming in through the roof or around chimneys (may indicate a leak or hole).
3. If there are blockages caused by animal and bird’s nests, or leaves- clean these vents out regularly.
4. Pay special attention to the areas around the chimney, roof vents, sky lights and valley areas. These areas are where there could be rotting due to water leakage.
5. Check the insulation in the attic for damage and have the repairs done as soon as possible. Damaged insulation and holes can cause a significant impact on your utility bills- as heat rises. For insulation to be effective it should be 10- 12 inches in thickness.
6. Look at the structure in your attic. Check the trusses for cracks or bowing. If there is any bowing you will need to contact a professional for an inspection.
7. Inspect the attic for mold. If you find mold, black spots, or any other unknown substances make sure to contact a professional to help resolve the issue. Mold can lead to serious health issues.
A summary of this checklist can be found on this ‘Homeowner Series’ Youtube video.
The attic is an integral part of your home. Inspecting your attic does not take long and it requires little in the way of specialized tools. Attics should be inspected once a year. Familiarize yourself with the steps on how to do it yourself, or call in a professional to get it done.
Click here for a full list of Chilliwack home inspectors, along with their contact numbers.
For more information about maintaining your home, please view the Spruceland Homes Home Owner’s Manual.