Inspect Your Attic Regularly (twice per year recommended)
Going into your attic can be like a dental appointment; you don’t look forward to it, it’s usually uncomfortable, and you probably won’t enjoy it. But it a necessary part of regular home maintenance and inspection, and just like taking care of your teeth it’s something you should check on twice a year to look for signs of critters big and small, and at least once every 2 or 3 years to check on the condition of the air and rafters.
If you haven’t inspected your attic recently, get up there and give it a thorough once over once during the summer, then again during the coldest time of winter. Make sure you:
> Look for signs of furry critters or holes that will allow them to get in.
> Look for signs or rotted wood (which may indicate termites).
> Look for dark or white spots on wood (which may indicate moisture or mold).
> Look for ice sheets or icicles in the winter, which is a sure sign of leaks and/or inadequate ventilation.
> Take note of the heat level in the summer. Your attic should always be cool and dry. If it’s unusually warm or you see condensation on your roof’s sheathing or rafters, then you need to improve attic ventilation and insulation. If attic ventilation is not optimal it can lead to mold growth or produce conditions which cause ice dams, which can then lead to costly repairs and elevated utility bills.
There’s no doubt having an attic free of animals, feces, bugs, moisture, and mold will help keep your family safe from the health effects caused by these issues and conditions and will eliminate or lower costly repairs. And if you use your attic for storage you’ll be insuring your belongings don’t get ruined by animals or excess heat and humidity. It will also keep the value of your home from decreasing due to these problems and that is a big plus if you’re considering selling your home now or in the future.
Moving around in an attic can be uncomfortable, but it can also be dangerous. There may be spots you cannot walk on without damaging your home’s ceiling, or there may be a danger of you falling through the ceiling. There may be insulation that should not be handled with bare skin. It is always a good idea to wear a mask to protect yourself from dust, possible mold, fibers from insulation, or if your home is very old you may have asbestos in the attic.
If you’re unable to safely get up into your attic by yourself, ask an adult friend or family member to take a look for you. If you don’t have anyone who can go up and take a look for you for free, you should hire someone to go up and do a thorough inspection at least once every 2 or 3 years. But we’ve found asking an able-bodied friend or family member is best, to save money, and if they know you’re unable to do it yourself most friends and family will not hesitate to go up and take a look, as long as they’re not afraid of spiders, tight spaces, or going up on ladders. 😉
Lastly, if you have reason to believe your attic may have dangerous conditions such as wild animals (that might bite), rafters or ceilings in poor condition (that may collapse), mold, or asbestos, you should consider hiring a professional to inspect your attic, even if you’re willing and able to do it yourself. A good professional knows what to watch out for and has the equipment to protect themselves. A certified home inspector may be your best bet because they can spot issues stemming from all kinds of problems ranging from pests to weather and water/ice damage to structural issues and more.
If you’re looking for a licensed home inspection service, heating and ventilation service (HVAC), pest control service, or any other home service contractors you can find reviews and do searches on Kudzu. It’s like Angie’s List only it’s free. Kudzu has partnered with HGTV and the DIY Network to bring you this service. We’d love to hear from anyone who has benefited from using this free service.
Also, we have a subscription to Angie’s List and will be happy to look up any specific service or company you want to check out for reviews. Just contact us with full details of the name, address, and phone number of the company.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~