When was the last time you were in your attic? Let’s see, if you’re like most of us, this is maybe two or three times a year. And when you’re up there do you look around, check out the insulation, inspect the rafters, dive into all the corners to ensure you don’t have any rodents camping out? Again, like most of us, you probably don’t. While the experts suggest an attic inspection every three to six months, by simply getting in the habit of checking your attic after every major weather event and then whenever you are up there digging out the holiday decorations or storing suitcases after your summer vacation, you should be ok, especially if you know what to look for.
While the majority of homeowners wait until they see that dreaded ceiling water stain, the attic is the first place where a leak will make itself known. Carefully check the underside of the attic roof for water damage. This is best done on a rainy day, especially during the summer, when the high temperatures could cause the water to quickly evaporate.
Your attic is going to smell, that’s just the nature of the beast, but that smell shouldn’t be unpleasant.
- Mold is probably one of the most common odor causing problems. Any type of excess moisture, including humidity will allow mold to grow. Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds are the odiferous gases emitted from attic mold. Depending on the type of mold, you may notice a deep damp musky smell that over time may cause lung damage if allowed to filter through your home’s HVAC air vents.
- Fecal matter and urine are odors you should be able to readily identify and while the odor may be faint, any smell is an indication of a larger problem: a possible rodent or pest infestation. While fecal waste odor may dissipate over time, the urine ammonia smell lingers.
- There is no thinking you have a dead animal; you will definitely know you do from the pungent smell, and also from the presence of flies, beetles and cockroaches. If you open your attic door and smell rotten meat, an overwhelming smell of sulfur or an abnormally strong stench of waste, something has died in the attic.
Insulation and Rafters
- While checking the rafters for signs of roof leaks, also inspect the areas surrounding the rafters. Be on the lookout for damaged wallboard, including dark crumbling areas or sections that are peeling. If any of these signs are visible then further investigation is needed to see if you have an active roof leak and damaged shingles. Check to ensure the rafters are still securely attached to the ridge boards and wall framing top plates. Over time heat, cold and humidity can cause wood to shrink and expand, potentially causing nails, bolts and screws to become less stable.
Feeling the winter cold and summer heat more throughout your home? Could be your attic insulation needs to be completely replaced or retrofitted. While the overall lifespan of attic insulation is between 80-100 years, it will over time lose its effectiveness. And different insulation materials will have individual lifespans.
Questions about the condition of your attic? Call Closing Contractor today at 864-326-2640 or use our safe online form and schedule an attic inspection. Don’t let “out of sight, out of mind” cost you more money and time when it comes to your home’s attic.