I was showing a house to a client the other day. They wanted to look up in the attic and pulled down the pull-down attic stairs to go up into the attic. The ladder looked very precarious. I have been to several home inspections where there were problems with the pull-down attic stairs.
If you have pull-down attic stairs and they don't work properly, it may be time to install a new unit. You can replace the whole pull-down unit for a couple hundred dollars. It just isn't worth it to fall or to let someone else fall when they are looking at your house.
One of my favorite movies is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. There are some scenes in that movie where Chevy Chase falls from the ladder - the roof - the attic and I just sit and laugh. I especially like the part where he staples his shirt to the roof and then falls off the ladder. In the movies we see ladder accidents all the time and they are meant to be funny. The fact is, in reality they are not. I've known several people over the last two years who have been seriously injured in accidents involving a ladder. Three of them have been out of work for over 6 months.
Fall is a beautiful time of year when the leaves turn color. These leaves eventually fall off the trees and into your gutters, which need to be cleaned - so up on a ladder you go. For safety tips on using a ladder, check out this article in a newsletter from Housemaster's Home Inspection.
Fall is also a great time of year to shop for a new home - hopefully one with a functioning attic ladder. You can look for houses on line at my website, www.tonibird.com. Call me when you are ready look in person.