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Why Do I Need My Attic Inspected?

Updated: Jan 30

Attics are one of the many different locations that are included in a typical home inspection, as well as a home maintenance inspection. Attics vary in size and shape depending on how your home and roof are designed. Some common designs are gable, flat, and hip. Attics are one of, if not the hottest locations of the interior of your home. In an attic space there are several different systems each with multiple components that a home inspector will look at. Here are some of the most common:

  • Roof type and structure

The attic is the best place to see the different framing members like rafters and trusses that make up and provide support to your roof. Depending on the style of roof you have (gable, hip, flat, conical, mansard, etc) the framing for it will vary slightly. Please note that a home inspector is NOT a structural engineer and are not trained the same way. Home inspectors can and often will refer you, our client, to a structural engineer if he/she observes a defect or damage that may effect the structural integrity of the home. Some of the problems can include missing or damaged gusset plates, damaged structural members, and missing bracing.

  • Air ventilation

As mentioned above, the attic is one of the hottest locations in the home. That means that the hot air will eventually rise and reach the attic space. Excessive heat can cause problems with your roof as well as your attic space. Warm air has tiny particles of water vapor. Those particles are referred to as humidity. Under most circumstances hot humid air is not a problem. In fact, we need a certain percentage of humidity in the air for comfort. It is when there is no or not enough airflow in the attic that it becomes a problem so your attic space needs to be able to circulate air. A home inspector will take note of any gable, off-ridge, or ridge-vents that your attic space has and will inform you of any concerns that may be present.


  • Insulation

Insulation is what helps to keep your conditioned space comfortable. The higher the R-Value the more effective the insulation is. Depending on how your attic is used, storage space, livable attic, etc, the insulation that is in your attic and where it is located will vary. The common types of insulation are batt, blow-in (cellulose), rigid foam, and spray foam. A home inspector will take note of the type and amount of insulation and report any concerns he/she may find like water damaged insulation, lack of insulation, and more.