Attic is probably the most important area of your house and yet it is the least inspected place. It is not uncommon for a homeowner to say that he or she has lived in his or her house for over twenty years and has never gone into the attic. Inspecting an attic can reveal problems of which most homeowners are not aware, some of which might be potentially dangerous or costly to repair. Incidentally, if the homeowner does say that he or she had never gone to the attic, you can be sure that at the very least, the attic is inadequately insulated by current energy standards.
There are basically two types of attic: full and crawl. A full attic is one in which a person can easily walk around. Usually there is a floor in this type of attic, although the walls and ceilings are unfinished. There might be partition walls forming finished rooms with sloping or horizontal ceilings. Access to a full attic is usually through a finished staircase.
In a crawl attic, which is completely unfinished, the roof is sufficiently close to the floor so that to get around it is necessary to crawl or stoop over. The crawl attic usually does not have a floor. The ceiling joists from the level below are exposed. When getting around in this type of attic, be careful to walk only on the exposed joists. If you accidentally step between the joists, you will probably frighten the pants off of anyone in the room below because your foot will go right through the ceiling. Access to a crawl attic is usually through a ceiling hatch located in a closet or hallway or through hidden folding or sliding steps.
Insulation and roof leakage are probably the only things most people consider when thinking about the attic. However, there are other items of importance and concern, such as ventilation and its associated problems, fire hazards, electrical and plumbing violations, improperly discharging vents, and open duct joists.
In conclusion, before installing any insulation at your attic, be sure to find out which attic does yours belong to, crawl or full. Also find out if there is any roof leakage, ventilation issue, fire hazards, electrical and plumbing problems before doing any insulation work. That will save you some re-installing cost.
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