Generally, the attic is an open space right below the roofing structure and is an important component to check for any interior structural problems. Inspections should be done to determine the overall condition of insulation, ventilation, wiring, and the structure itself. It is in the attic that most roofing contractors check for any warning signs of problems such as moisture stains, mold formation, and condensation.
This is the main reason why an attic inspection must be done and essential to prevent premature failure and to avoid health problems caused by mold. For these reasons, it is important to have the proper knowledge on how to uncover issues that could result in major damage during rainy or snowy seasons.
Prior to actually looking for possible problems, there are various factors that should be considered for an inspection to be performed properly.
- Timing – The best time to conduct this examination is during the spring. In the colder months, it should not be done on icy days. On warmer days; it should be done first thing in the morning or in the evening.
- Flooring – The attic should have flooring that is strong enough to carry the weight of an average person. Path ways should be established to avoid falling through the attic to the floor below.
- Lighting – Sometimes it is hard to check for damage in the attic due to a minimal amount of lighting; therefore, it is essential to bring a flashlight to aid in this process.
It is often a question of what to look for during an investigation of the attic space. Following are some problems to look for, paying special attention to rafters, beams, and sheathing:
Stains or Mold – Water stains, protruding nail tips, screws, metal pipes, vents or anything else that protrudes through the roof as well as any mold are some items to examine.
- Rafters – Cracking or damage to the rafters should be looked for during a check in the attic.
- Insulation – Improperly installed or inadequate insulation should be closely examined.
- Ventilation – Any evidence of poor ventilation in this area could be a problem.
- Pest Infestation – Look for droppings from any animal as well as any insects present in the area.
Once an inspection of the attic has been completed, it is time to examine the results and consider if any changes, repairs or replacements need to be accomplished.
- Condensation – Regardless of the age of the house, there may be evidence that proves condensation is already present. Water spots on the flooring or sheathing is due to water condensation on nails that drips down through the subsurface. Inspect the eaves, ridge boards, and roof edges for the presence of moisture marks. Any sign of rust or staining is a strong indication there may condensation problems which points to a ventilation problem.
- Moisture Stains – Increased moisture can cause metal to oxidize, which is the reason nail tips rust. Stains and rust around protruding nails are strong evidence that there is a high level of moisture in the cavity surfaces; this usually occurs on the underside of the roofing structure. During the winter, moisture is present if there is frost on the nails; in the summer, rust can be seen on the tip of the nails and sheathing around the nail protrusion. In older homes, there may be traces of rust or stains where old nails have been removed. Again, it is most likely a ventilation issue to be corrected.
- Mold Formation – Black colored mildew stains are easy to identify; however, it is even more important to check for the light-colored type of mold since this kind is more hazardous and can hazardous to breathing if it is airborne. Brown or black mold is a known allergen that forms as a fungus-like infestation. If high levels of mold are present, it should be removed immediately to avoid compromising the health of the residents.
It is valuable to realize the importance of inspecting an attic. This is a fundamental requirement of every household in order to expose small interior problems that could lead to major problems if not detected early. Taking the time to evaluate the condition of an attic will only help to preserve the integrity of the entire building. Knowing the basics of an attic inspection is imperative in order to determine and fix any minor problems before becoming major issues!
Are you looking for Houston roofing contractors to perform a thorough inspection of your attic structure? Schulte Roofing of Navasota provides excellent service to the entire Houston area and can help customers with all of their roofing needs!