Attics??  If you own a home you probably have one, but the question is “Have you been up in it to see the conditions”?  The attic of a home can be used for storage or just be the structural component for the roof.  It really depends how the home was built.  I was contracted for a home inspection in Wheaton, Illinois.  My clients were very concerned of the condition of this homes attic because on their last home there were major issues that were found after they purchased the home.

Attics are constructed in a couple of different ways.  The first style of building an attic is called a ”rafter”.  The second is called  a “truss” and that was what my Wheaton home inspection  happened to be.  A truss built attic basically means that  the structure was pre-built and brought out to the site and installed with heavy equipment.  Using the truss built attics for storage will be very limited because of the way the attic is structured.  Rafter built attics are what we call “stick built”.  That means that the structure was built on site piece by piece.   Rafter built homes offer great storage areas in attics.

We check many things when in an attic.  I look at the condition of the structure, roof sheeting, moisture issues, insulation condition, insulation depth, framing, ventilation, attic fans, house fans, bathroom fans, attic access, lighting, and possible heating systems for large homes.  You can see me inspect an attic at  and many other areas on a real home inspection.  The Wheaton home inspection had 2 issues that would need to be taken care of pretty quick.

The first issue in the attic of the home inspection in Wheaton was the insulation which was rolled fiberglass that happened to be only 6″.  It is definitely under insulated.  I like to see 12″ to 15″ of insulation in the attic t ensure proper R-rating.  Under insulated attics is the number 1 reason of energy loss in the United States.

The 2nd item found at the Wheaton home inspection was the thermastatic attic fan was inoperable.  The temperature in the attic was 149 degrees on a 77 degree day.  The attic fan will need to be replaced or structural issues will begin to rear their head.  When you have excessive heat in an attic, roof shingles overheat from the bottom and the roof sheating  can delaminate and sag.  There were not any soffits at this home and only roof vents.  That means getting a cross breeze was not going to happen.  Either a new attic fan was to be installed or adding more roof vents.

If you own a home or are buying a home that you think has attic issues contact us at ~

Please leave a comment. ~ Thanks~ Jim Kolke

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