Heat is something to think about before summer hits! If you haven’t been up in your attic in a while (or ever), now is the time to see what’s up there. A routine inspection could save you hundreds of dollars or maybe more!
Attic access panels or doors are normally located on the top floor. The panel can be up in the ceiling in the hallway, a spare room, or a bedroom closet. Sometimes they are located on a half wall if attic space was retrofitted or designed as a usable room. Things to check for when you are up in the attic are:
- Adequate insulation and ventilation
- Damage or leakage on the roof (water stains, large openings )
- Bad wiring, frayed or loose wires
- Vermin, nests, termites
The attic needs to be ventilated so there’s plenty of air movement to reduce moisture. Too much humidity encourages mold. Without proper ventilation, moisture can cause rotting in the wood sheathing on your roof (under your shingles). This will shorten the life of the shingles and increase the frequency of re-roofing. To avoid this problem, there should be sufficient soffit, gable or ridge vents in your attic. The vents need to have clear openings that are not covered over by insulation. According to the Federal Housing Administration, a ratio between 1:150 and 1:300 depending on the age of the home is recommended. This number refers to the fact that there should be proper ventilation for every 150- 300 square feet of attic space. In addition to ventilation, roof shingle color, sun exposure and good insulation are even more important to overall energy efficiency than ventilation.
Having enough insulation in your attic is just as important as ventilation. You need to have enough insulation between your living space and the attic space above to prevent heat from escaping. Typical types of insulation are loose-fill or batt insulation. Your home should be insulated from the roof down to its foundation for optimal energy efficiency. When heated air escapes into your attic in the winter, it will melt the snow on your roof, and the snow will refreeze causing icicles and dams. The insulation buffer will help you save money on your energy bills and prevent ice dam build ups in the winter.
So before summer hits, check to see if your attic is ready and make sure that the only thing cooking is what’s on your grill!