Roof Structure & Attic Common Defects
Maintaining Your Home Series
While there are not many items to maintain in a typical attic, there are a number of common defects that should be corrected to meet current building standards. Many of these improvements are essential to better performance and energy efficiency.
But first, I want to set some realistic expectations about home inspectors and the inspection of the attic space. Attic spaces are inaccessible by nature. There are almost always areas of attics that an inspector can't see or access. Your home inspector should not be expected to be able to access every area of the attic.
Here are a few of the most common defects we find in attics.
- The attic should be well ventilated to allow moisture to escape and to allow air to move through the attic from the soffits or eaves through vents. In Texas, 12 inches or more of insulation is recommended to achieve an R30 rating. The helps achieve optimal insulating power in both hot and cold weather.
- The roof decking materials and structural framing should not be water damage or stained. Water damage and staining are indications of roof covering material leaks.
Framing should be well connected without separations. The roof structure should be well braced and supported with adequate collar ties and properly sized supports.
Attic gable vent screens or other attic vents should not be damaged. Damaged screens and vents may allow unwanted pests in enter the attic.
- The attic access stairs or port should be large enough to remove any mechanical equipment.
- Attic access ladders or attic stairs should be fire rated if installed in the garage.
- Attic ladders should not have damage or loose screws, nuts or bolts.
- Attic ladders should be secured to the attic or ceiling framing by 16d or larger steel nails or lag bolts. Drywall screws are not sufficient.
- Electrical wires should not be within grasp of the attic access for reasons of safety.
- All electrical switches and receptacles should have cover plates.
- All electrical connections should be sealed inside of junction boxes.
Please visit our website to read more about common defects found in roof structures and attics.