If you’re in the market for a new home, it pays to have a home inspection company that isn’t afraid to peek into the dark corners where others may fear to tread, such as crawl spaces and attics. A detailed inspection of an attic can answer some critical questions about the home: How much and what kind of insulation is present? Is there adequate venting? Could there be hidden roof leaks? What about unwanted critters and wood-destroying insects?
The certified professionals at A-Pro Home Inspection perform complete 500-point inspections, so every accessible nook and cranny of a home, including the attic, gets a thorough examination. Here’s what you should expect from the attic portion of a home inspection:
Insulation: The inspector reports on the type of insulation (blown-in fiberglass or cellulose insulation, rolled or pre-cut fiberglass batt insulation), note its depth and thickness, and point out defects. These may include lack of insulation; double layer insulation compressed to the size of one layer; insulation blocking attic vents; improper installation; gaps, disturbances or unevenness; and flattened or dirty insulation that drastically prevents it from blocking the flow of heat.
Venting: A home stays cooler in the summer by expelling trapped solar-heated air, which translates into greater comfort and cost savings. A well-vented attic in winter prevents roof warming, which leads to the formation of destructive ice dams. Further, extreme summer heat in a poorly vented attic can cook shingles and roof sheathing, cutting short their intended life spans. Your home inspector will check to see if there is a proper balance of correctly placed intake and exit venting designed to keep the attic close to outside temperatures. This will help prevent high moisture levels that can damage roof and attic wood structures, harm roof decking, spur mold, and mildew growth, lead to paint failure, invite wood-destroying insects inside, and other concerns. An attic should have at least one square foot of ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic, according to the Federal Housing Administration. The home inspection will include an evaluation to determine if attic venting is present, the type of venting and if it’s performing as it should. Evidence that there may be inadequate attic venting includes shingle deterioration, mold, and mildew in the attic, wet insulation, excessive attic heat, and condensation on sheathing and rafters.
Framing: The home inspector will check exposed framing in the attic for signs of rot, damaged sheathing, sagging or bowing, and the general quality of the framing construction, which may give hints about the rest of the home’s skeleton.
Water Leakage: During the attic inspection, special attention will be given to areas that are prone to water leakages, such as around skylights, roof vents, and chimneys. It is not uncommon to find decaying sheathing, mold, and rotting wood where water penetration has occurred. Signs of a roof leak include water stains on roof sheathing, venting pipes, and framing, as well as matted insulation. Use of a moisture meter can assess the extent of the problem.
Pests: Finally, the inspector will check for signs of squirrels, bats, birds, rats, raccoons, and insects that can cause severe damage to a home, pose a health risk, and scare the living daylights out of you if one happens to jump on or fly by the breakfast table. Ripped screens, holes, nests, droppings, and evidence of chewed wires and wood will be noted in the inspection report.
Inspection of a home’s attic is just one part of an A-Pro 500-point inspection. To schedule a home inspection, call 406-426-2766 or visit here.