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Questions to Ask About an Attic

Professional home inspectors report on issues very similar to these when inspecting attics:

attic inspectionsIs the attic insulated adequately and properly?

Ten to twelve inches is adequate in most situations.

Does existing insulation contain a vapor barrier?

Vapor barriers should always face the heated side of a ceiling or wall.

Is there proper and clear ventilation?

High-low ventilation is the most desirable and the more insulation, the more beneficial it is.

Does the attic fan or power ventilator work?

These items may not be necessary, and adequate ventilation is more important, but if they are present they should operate properly. A safety shroud or some type of screening should protect a home’s occupants from fan blades.

Is there delaminating plywood or warped roofing boards?

Causes may be expansion of plywood, condensation, or poor workmanship.

Are there signs, especially around the chimney and plumbing vent stacks, of past or current roof leakage?

Seventy percent of roof leaks occur at flashings and valleys.

Are air-conditioning and heating ducts insulated?

Duct work in attics loses a significant amount of its effectiveness due to extreme summer and winter temperatures.

Are there open joints in the duct work?

Air losses may negatively impact cooling and heating efficiency.

Do any plumbing vent stacks terminate in the attic?

The vents will function, but they must vent above the roof to expel sewer odors

Are exhaust fans from the kitchen or bathrooms discharging into the attic?

They will add moisture to the attic and may cause condensation concerns.

Are there open electrical junction boxes or improperly terminated electrical wiring?

The electric fixtures may function properly, but there may be a safety issue.

Are there any cracked, broken, or sagging sections of rafters or truss members?

Reinforcement may not be urgent, but it is necessary.