Inspecting attic insulation and attic ventilation is an essential task. If you suspect there is a problem in the attic, for example a water leak coming from condensation or from roofs or chimney leaks, you should take no delay by going up to the attic to inspect it. Fixing it before it turns into a bigger problem can save you a lot of cleanup task, cost and time.
While some room-like attics have a proper stairway up to them, many attics have only an access panel. For the latter style, determine whether you have a safe way of climbing up through the panel. Some might incorporate a pull-down stairway. If this is the case, make sure the stairway is sturdy and the pull-down mechanism is working smoothly. If there is no pull-down stairway, then a ladder is your best option of climbing up to the attic. But make sure the ladder reaches all the way up to the access panel. A shorter ladder will force you to balance on its upper steps while reaching up to open or close an attic hatch panel. This is certainly not a good idea to practice.
Once you have reached the attic, check on its surrounding and structure. If your attic doesn’t have a floor surface, just joist for example, step only on the joists. Stepping between the joists puts your weight on the wallboard or plaster ceiling of the room below, which can easily give way. To make your work in the attic easier, some tips here which you can apply are you can lay a sheet of plywood over the joists. By doing this, you can step your feet on the sheet of plywood which offers you more flexibilities in moving around.
Some of the structures you may see in the attics are plumbing vent stacks, electrical wiring, chimney flues and exhaust ducts running through the attic. You should inspect them to make sure they are in good shape such as rust free, adequately supported and the right materials, for example electrical wiring shouldn’t rely on extension cords, it should be permanent.
Moreover, exhaust ducts from bathrooms and kitchen in cold-climate attics should be insulated to prevent condensation from forming inside the ducts and dripping back down into the bathroom or kitchen. It’s especially important that these ducts exhaust to the outside, rather than simply ending in the attic. They are designed to remove moist air from the house. Channeling that air into the attic will cause condensation problems.
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