The Benefits Of An Attic Inspection

05/25/2022 | By Pamela Vargas-Touchard |

Bay Area attics are usually afterthoughts for homeowners, but this is a mistake. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the majority of a home’s heat loss and gain occurs through the attic, and inadequate attic insulation can increase utility spending by 20% or more each year. 

When we inspect your attic, we’ll look for any evidence of wear, damage, or code violations by examining:

  • Overall attic structure (rafters, joists, walls, etc)
  • Insulation
  • Air sealing
  • HVAC ducts
  • Plumbing/electrical work
  • Evidence of pest infestations
  • Roof penetrations

Afterward, you’ll be provided with a report outlining anything we believe should be updated, repaired, or replaced. While we’re happy to perform attic cleaning/sanitation and insulation updating/replacement ourselves, we can refer you to local licensed contractors for any work outside our service offerings.

7 Reasons Your Home Needs An Attic Inspection

Annual inspections are fast and affordable but can red flag issues compromising whole-home comfort, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency. Some of the signs indicating it’s time to schedule an inspection include:

  • You can’t remember ever having an attic inspection
  • Recent purchase of a home that’s 15 years old or older
  • Experiencing temperature fluctuations in interior living spaces
  • A damp feeling (or smell)
  • Weird smells or sounds from the duct system
  • Frequent HVAC cycling even though the unit is newer or is regularly maintained

Here are seven reasons your attic should be inspected once per year.

Optimize whole-home energy efficiency

The Number One reason to schedule annual attic inspections is to optimize whole-home energy efficiency. The more work your attic needs, the more you’ll pay to comfortably heat/cool your home. Also, leaky, drafty, or poorly insulated/ventilated attics also compromise whole-home comfort and indoor air quality.

Your insulation is outdated or inadequate

Attic (and crawl space) insulation is essential to minimizing heat gain and loss during peak heating/cooling seasons. Insulation is easily compromised as the result of age, leaks, moisture damage, pest infestations, or after-market contractors that mess it up and don’t put it back in place.

Your attic inspection determines whether or not attic insulation is sufficient (up to code) or if age or damage are negatively impacting your home. 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 90% of homes in the United States are underinsulated. This is partially the result of damage or outdated insulation. However, it’s also due to the EPA’s increased energy efficiency guidelines. Even if attic insulation looks sufficient to you, it could be the wrong R-Value or quantity to meet current insulation standards.

Check for sufficient attic ventilation

The roof and attic systems are a team. They work together to protect the home from moisture and heat gain. However, the attic requires adequate ventilation to vent heated air and any fumes from the living spaces below. The combination of well-designed roofing, insulation, and ventilation also works to protect the home from excess moisture that leads to humidity issues.

You’re planning to turn it into a room or extra living space

Some attics are better than others when it comes to bonus rooms and additional living spaces. Never transform the attic into something new unless it’s been inspected by an attic professional. We’ll let you know if it’s safe enough to bear the load and accommodate a remodel or modification without additional structural reinforcement or a complete renovation.

We also recommend reading our post, Before You Turn Your Attic Into a Room, to learn more about what to consider to make the most of an attic conversion.

Keep an eye on moisture control

The attic often shows signs of leaks or moisture control issues that don’t show up in the home’s living spaces. Homeowners are often amazed to see the evidence of longstanding roof leaks, mold/midew growth, or condensation that threatens indoor humidity levels and air quality - not to mention the structural integrity of the roof, attic, and exterior walls. Annual inspections catch evidence of moisture control issues before they cause problems.

Ensure ducts are clean and in good shape

Over time, HVAC ducts suffer eroded seals, dents, breaks, or are coated with dust and other airborne (or pest-borne) debris. During our attic inspection, we look at all of your ducts to make sure they're in good shape. We can also perform duct cleaning and minor repairs if needed to replace worn seals or reconnect separated duct joints. If the ducts are obviously outdated or compromised, we’ll refer you to some of the area’s best HVAC contractors to perform the work for you.

Remove and prevent pest infestations

Attics are the perfect environment for harboring unwanted pests. They are safe and secure from most pest predators. Air ducts and insulation provide a warm, weatherproof space for pests to raise their families and comfortably rest when they’re not outside. Finally, all those wooden joists or rafters are awfully tasty if you’re a wood-eating organism. Unfortunately, many homeowners aren’t aware they have attic pests until disgusting odors (the result of pest waste) or structural damage signals costly removal and repair.

Annual attic inspections verify your attic is free of pests. If we discover evidence of a current or former rodent or pest infestation, we’ll clean and sanitize the attic. Once that’s done, we’ll also install pest-prevention systems to keep your attic pest free in the future.

Is Your Attic Inspection Overdue?

Is your home overdue for an attic inspection? Contact Attic Solutions to schedule your affordable attic inspection today. Our family-owned and operated business has faithfully served the San Francisco Bay Area for more than a decade. 

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