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Five Common Attic Issues

09 October 2019

Without question, one of the least visited areas of the home is its attic. Unfortunately, this often creates a scenario where attic issues go on for far too long without recognition.  Here are five of the most common attic issues homeowners should be on the lookout for.

Wood Rot: Loose or missing shingles can quickly escalate from a minor to a major issue when they allow water to filter into your attic.  Wood that becomes saturated with water will begin to rot.  While early stages can be difficult to identify to the untrained eye, signs to look for include wood that is off-white or gray, shrinking, cracking, and warping.  Wood that has been impacted by dry rot will be become soft to the touch.  Dry rot needs to be addressed as quickly as possible to prevent broken roof rafters and other structural issues.

Damaged Skylights: It is imperative that skylight installation be handled by a reputable home improvement professional that completes this task on a routine basis.  Failure to adhere to correct installation procedures and can result in water permeating your roof and walls.  Keep an eye out for skylight glass that appears foggy or interior molding that has become discolored, as this often is evidence of a more severe issue.

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A Shoddy Insulation Job: Beware of any insulation contractor that isn’t discussing ventilation or attic air sealing as part of your product.  Simply adding piles of insulation to an attic will not act as a preventative for ice dams.  Other rookie mistakes include blocking soffit vents or piling up insulation to the roof decking.

Animal Invasion: Pests such as mice, raccoons, and bats can wreak serious havoc within your attic.  Mice can create tunnel systems throughout your insulation, rendering it ineffective.  These pests also leave their droppings which compromises your home’s air quality, ruins your insulation, and produces a pungent odor.  Ward off these pests by placing dryer sheets spritzed with peppermint oil throughout your attic.  Also, be sure trees are trimmed back so that these types of pests don’t have an easy method of accessing your attic.

Mold: When warm air can travel up through the house due to poor attic air sealing, it reaches the cold surfaces of the attic, causing frost.  Frost proves problematic as it thaws, creating wet insulation, mold & mildew formation, and water stained ceilings.  While black mold often starts as small black dots, it isn’t long before it can take over your entire attic.  To prevent this serious issue, attic air sealing, particularly near bypasses is needed. The reason bypasses are vulnerable is because they skip direct contact with attic insulation.  Common attic bypasses include recessed lighting, switch plates, vents, and electrical outlets.

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