Roof leaks, rodent activity, dangerous electrical work, leaking or compromised duct work and missing insulation are just a few of the issues often observed while inspecting in the attic.
Every home inspection is performed in a systematic way to help us uncover problems that may exist. Problems in construction typically have a domino effect that leads us to other areas of concern in the home.
There are often limitations when performing the attic inspection. Sometimes the pitch is too low to enter any part of the attic at all. Other times we are heavily obstructed due to the design of the duct work and the mechanics installed the attic as well as stored personal belongings. We will do the best we can based on the access we are given on every job we perform.
While in the attic we will look for potential moisture stains on the sheathing of the roof that would indicate a previous or an active roof leak. It is likely that we may have already noted these areas of potential concerns from performing the roof inspection before we even entered the attic area. We will do our best to identify the problem from both the exterior of the roof as well as in the attic.
The trusses will be evaluated to verify that the intended structural integrity has not been compromised. The most common issue we come across is when new Air Handlers are installed in the attic. HVAC companies will often cut trusses to install the new air handler in a location that they desire. We also observe roof leaks that have rotted out the structural integrity of the trusses as well.
The insulation will be evaluated and we will do our best to indicate missing or displaced areas of insulation. It is rare, but we have observed multiple homes in which they entire home was improperly insulated. It is our desire to protect you from any unforeseen expenses and improper insulation could lead to wasted energy bills not to mention the cost to add additional insulation. It is also important that the insulation is not plugging up the soffit vents which will restrict air flow in the attic. Poor air flow will decrease the energy efficiency, it will often also compromise the roof covering as well as create an environment for potential mold growth.
Occasionally the plumbing might be visible in the attic area. Much of the time it is covered by insulation and in older homes it can be under the concrete flooring. We will do our best to inspect the visible portions of the plumbing and identify the type of material used as well as its condition.
The ductwork is inspected while we are in the attic. We are not only evaluating the condition of the duct work, but we are also looking for areas in which the duct work may be hanging over the trusses and obstructing air flow. We are looking for areas in which the duct work may be leaking or even torn and disconnected. The evaluation we perform in the attic will give us better perspective as we inspect the air supply in each room of the house.
Portions of the electrical wires can sometimes be visible during the attic inspection. The portions that are not visible are typically because they are covered by insulation. It is not uncommon to observe handyman electrical work that can often result in safety hazards. We see improper splicing of wires and open electrical junction boxes on a regular basis. Older cloth wiring often breaks down and can become compromised in time. We also see newer homes in which the romex electrical wires become damaged due to rodent infestation in the attic as they often chew on these wires. We will simply report on the electrical wires that were visible at the time of the home inspection.