Inspecting your attic is often neglected by home owners, yet it is recommended that this be done on a yearly basis. In particular, these inspections should be scheduled for the Spring, since any repairs that may need to be done can be finished during the warm Summer months and will be completed before Winter rolls around. That attic, when properly inspected, can alert you to many potential or current problems with the house. Whether it be the homeowner or a professional home inspector, there are a variety of key things to look for during an inspection that can save you lots of time and trouble in the future. Inspecting for potential fire damage can anticipate and prevent fires, inspecting the attic insulation can save you big on heating and cooling bills, but the most common and most important problem found during inspections concerns the roof.
Attics are the closest part of the house to the roof, and thus attic inspections are your best way to find any problems with the roof. The most common problem found in attics associated with the roof is water leakage. Water leakage can be signalled in a few different forms: dark areas, staining, or streaks on the walls or wood supports; dark areas on the wallboard or plaster that is crumbling off; and damp or wet areas. These are all tell-tale signs of roof leakage, as water only very rarely leaks into an attic through the walls. Water damage can threaten the structural integrity of your house, so repairing any roof leakage before the rainy season will be very important.
While leaks found in the attic will normally signify that a number of shingles in the roof need replacing, an attic inspection can also show you whether or not the roof in its totality is secure. Inspecting closely the trusses and rafters, both of which support the entire roof, and making sure no cracks or splinters from stress are present, will ensure that the roof is strong. Even professional roof inspections will often times forget to inspect these rafters and trusses, making your attic check-up that much more important.