In most homes the attic is a dark and dusty place where everything that is not frequently required is stored. In many cases it becomes a dumping ground for all kinds of junk. But ignored as the attic is, it remains and integral part of your home and not checking it regularly for problems can result in these issues affecting the rest of the house which may lead to both health hazards as well as expensive repairs. Inspecting an attic does not take very long and requires little in the way of specialized knowledge or tools.
Once you get to know your attic well, which regular inspections will enable you to do, you may come up with ideas on how to better utilize all the space you have there. With proper organization, the amount of space needed for storage can be drastically reduced and the free space in the attic can now be used to create a home office, guest room, gym, sport’s room for the World Series or Monday Night Football, or anything else that there never was space for before. And with the attic in fabulous condition, there will be no expense in terms of major repairs.
1.The Importance of Attic Inspections
Water damage, leaks, seepages, cracks, and mold are among the most common attic problems.
The roof is the part of the house that is most exposed to weather and climatic conditions. Continuous exposure over years to rain and arid dryness, burning heat from direct sunlight, and the bitter cold can affect the integrity of the roof and the house below it. And the first part of the house to be affected is that just below the roof, the attic.
Water damage, leaks, seepages, cracks, and mold are among the most common attic problems. And if they are not tackled quickly the damage can rapidly spread to the rest of the house. Regular attic inspection will, in most cases, allow you to spot problems early on and attain the appropriate repairs before the costs become prohibitive and you are looking at a wide scale project all of a sudden. No way do you want to deal with a problem of this magnitude during a recession that just goes on forever.
Think of the roof as a crash helmet and the attic as the head below it and you will understand the importance of attic inspection.
Attic inspections are not something to be taken lightly. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) makes special mention of the importance of attic inspection on its website. If you would prefer to have a professional do the job for you, the information you need about the home and attic inspectors can be found online. The Internet is the greatest information provider the world has ever scene.
2.An Attic Inspection Checklist
By following this simple checklist, you can protect your home and identify potential problem areas before they become serious:
1. Make sure that all the vents, of whatever types may be installed, are clear and air is able to flow without hindrance. If the attic has soffit vents it is important to ensure that the vents have not been blocked at the rear by insulation material. Installing baffles will keep the soffit areas clear and ensure proper ventilation.
2. In the case of a ridge vents, check to see if the sheathing under the vent is cut back by at least the 3 inches that are needed to ensure proper air flow.
3. If there are roof vents, blockages caused by animal and bird’s nests, leaves etc. are common. Clean these vents out regularly.
4. Pay special attention to the areas around the chimneys, roof vents, sky lights, and valley areas. These are where rotted sheathing caused by water leakage is most often found.
5. Check the insulation in the attic for damage and have and repairs done as fast as you can. Remember that hot air rises and heat loss through the attic can have a significant impact on your utility bills. For insulation of be effective, 10 to 12 inches is the optimum thickness.
6. Complete a detailed inspection for mold which is a common problem with attics. If you do find mold or any other back or unknown substances on the sheathing, obtain professional help to resolve the problem which could lead to serious health issues.
7. Check the wood or engineered trusses for bowing or cracks. If there is any bowing, additional support may be required.
3.Look After Your Attic
Looking after your attic is an important part of looking after your home. Catching and fixing problems early will protect your family and save you money.