Tuesday, July 19, 2011

When was the last time you went in your attic?

5 things homeowners need check in the attic.

  1. Bath exhaust fan Your exhaust fan should have a duct run from the fan to a vent in the roof. Often the duct will be connected to it's own vent and sealed. This is important to check since your fan's job is to exhaust all the moisture. You don't want moisture from the shower blowing into your attic causing mold to grow. 
  2. Insulation Your attic should have enough insulation that you cannot see any joists that hold the ceiling up. The recommended R-value is up to or over R-60. This means you should have blown-in insulation about 20" deep. 
  3. Roof vents Your attic needs to breath. It gets hot and cold throughout the day and year. Condensing moisture needs to escape and air needs to circulate to maintain constant temperatures within the house. Your attic should have vents toward the top of the roof or along the ridge and one every so often at the bottom of your roof where the framing sits on the exterior walls. These will have screens on them and are often called bird blocks. They should not be cover from insulation.
  4. Heating and cooling ducts If you have ducting in your attic for your heating and cooling system check that they are wrapped with insulation to help the system work more efficiently. They should also have no leaks that blow air into the attic space. Same applies to the crawl space. 
  5. Discolored sheeting  Inspect the plywood where visible for discoloring. There should be no signs of moisture build-up or leaks. If you don't see any leaks in your house this doesn't mean they don't happen. Water can run down a vent pipe in your wall to the crawl space and rot away everything out of sight without ever knowing. Call a roofing expert if there are signs of leaking.

This inspection should only take 20-30 min. Put it in your calendar to do for this weekend. 

Does your attic not ventilate well? Install an attic fan on a thermostat that circulates air from the outside.

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