Many homeowners fail to spend enough time tending matters associated with their attics. Oftentimes, attics become something of forgotten zones in people’s homes. The reality is that you need to be more proactive regarding matters associated with your attic. One step you can take in this regard is to undertake a comprehensive attic checkup. There are a number of key elements you need to include in a comprehensive attic checkup:
- Attic ventilation
- Bathroom fan ventilation
- Rodent infestation or rodent droppings
- Status of insulation
By following the directives set forth in this presentation, you can undertake an attic checkup on your own. If you identify what appear to be issues in one of the inspection points in your attic, you should then seriously consider hiring a professional to follow up with a recommended course of action.
Proper ventilation is crucial to a “healthy,” properly functioning attic. A key element of a comprehensive attic checkup is to ensure that the space is ventilated properly. Poor attic ventilation results in stagnant air. The lack of proper air flow typically results in the accumulation of moisture. The net effect of that is mold and mildew growth.
As mold grows in the attic, spores can be released that end up being transmitted throughout the entire residence. It can result in mold growth elsewhere in the residence. Mold can negatively impact the health of people in your home.
Bathroom Fan Ventilation
On a related note, you also need to examine how bathrooms in your residence are being ventilated as part of a comprehensive attic inspection. Bathroom fans are used to ventilate moisture out of those rooms. Unfortunately, time and again builders and others take an improper shortcut. They install fans that ventilate into an attic.
A bathroom fan that ventilates into an attic ends up causing moisture, mold, and mildew to accumulate in an attic. As was discussed, this moisture accumulation can have a negative impact on an attic, the remainder or a residence, and the people who live in it.
Rodent Infestation or Rodent Droppings
As part of your comprehensive attic inspection you need to be alert to animal infestation. The most likely types of unwanted visitors in an attic are mice and rats. With that said, other animals do take up occupancy in attics from time to time. These include:
If you detect the presence of rodents or rodent droppings in your attic, you need to recognize that you have a situation that both presents a risk to the physical structure of your home and a health hazard as well. Rodents and their droppings are what are known as potential disease vectors. This means that they can harbor viruses and bacteria that can result in diseases in humans.
If you discover rodent droppings in an attic, including dried ones, you need to get of the space immediately. Odds are when you commenced an attic inspection, you did not wear complete personal protective equipment. Thus, without this gear, you are exposed to the risks presented by rodent droppings. This includes a type of germ that can become airborne when dried rodent droppings crumble (and these feces do crumble very easily).
As a side note, if you discover rodent droppings in your attic – fresh or dried – you must not undertake cleaning them up with out wearing full personal protective equipment and following a strict procedure for that work. This includes saturating rodent droppings with a proper sanitization agent (and allowing droppings 20 minutes to soak in the solution) before cleanup. A homemade solution can be made with 1-part chlorine bleach and 9-parts water.
Status of Insulation
As part of a comprehensive attic inspection, you will want to examine the state of the insulation in the space. Many attics do not have what is considered a sufficient layer of insulation. In addition, in recent years, there are higher quality insulation products on the market today. Thus, if your attic has insulation that was placed in the 1990s or even earlier, the time very well may have arrived for that insulation to be replaced. The reality is that by adding more insulation or replacing what you have with a higher-quality option, your home is likely to be more comfortable and you will save money on your energy costs.
Professional Assistance With Attic Issues
If your attic inspection reveals the presence of one issue or another, you will want to give serious consideration to seeking professional assistance. For example, if you find that you’ve what amounts to improper bathroom ventilation, you may want to call a professional to remedy the problem, unless you are a capable do-it-yourselfer with the ability and background to tend to such a task.
Similarly, if there are issues surrounding general attic ventilation, the insulation needs an upgrade or replacement, or you’ve an issue with rodent infestation or rodent droppings, professional remediation should be considered seriously. Once again, unless you are an adept do-it-yourselfer, seeking professional assistance can be a wise course. This includes professional rodent dropping cleanup.