Most homeowners give their attics little thought, until something goes wrong. However regular attic maintenance helps keep your whole home in good condition.
What’s more, keeping an eye on your attic can save you a lot of money in the long run compared to only checking it when you think there’s an issue. Here’s a simple guide to looking after your attic by Atticare: the premier attic specialist in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and New Jersey.
Check Your Attic Insulation
Most homeowners associate attic insulation with something you need in winter.
However, both New Jersey and Los Angeles especially have scorching hot summers too. Insulation is also key in the summer to keeping that cool air you’re paying for inside your home.
Do You Need Attic Insulation Replacement?
Attic insulation is something that’s relatively low-cost to replace if yours is worn out or damaged. It’s certainly better to replace old attic insulation than have your HVAC systems working overtime to keep your home at a pleasant temperature.
What Signs Of Damage Should I Look For In My Insulation?
Old or damaged insulation is usually straightforward enough to spot with the naked eye. You just need a flashlight and a little elementary detective work.
All of the issues below can ruin your indoor air quality if the dirty air travels into other parts of your home.
Insulation just doesn’t work as well when it’s wet. And it’s a slow leak that’s been there for a long time you could get dampness and mold.So pat around the area to feel for any moisture.
Dampness And Mold
If it’s safe to do so, you should check underneath your insulation for mold growth. This is because mold often grows on the insulation backing, or between damp insulation and wood.
Rodent Feces, Urine Or Hair
Rats and mice can soil a large area of insulation in a short time, leaving a toxic, damp mess.
Pests often tear up insulation to make nests too, which means the insulation won’t cover your space evenly any more. So are there any of these signs of rodent activity in your attic?
Seal Any Holes Or Cracks
Older homes tend to have gaps in the attic. In warm weather, these can cause moisture to condense inside the attic which causes no end of problems.
- The conditions are ideal for mold growth, which ruins roofing underlayment and wood.
- Pests can enter easily.
- You’ll lose that warm or cool air your HVAC system is generating right through the roof.
If you have a small amount of cracks in the attic, you may consider sealing them yourself. However, if there are a large amount you should call a licensed provider of attic services like Atticare.
Ventilate The Attic
Attic vents are vital so that you can control the airflow to and from your attic. As we said above, you should take steps to stop pests and moisture entering through tiny cracks and holes. However, regulating airflow correctly is an important part of attic maintenance.
Properly controlled ventilation keeps your attic dry and moves any toxins outdoors. Vents carry the damp, dirty air you don’t want outdoors, while preventing rodents and other pests entering.
How Can I Check The Ventilation By Myself?
If you’re inspecting your attic by yourself, check that the air ducts from your HVAC system, kitchen and bathroom don’t vent damp air into the attic.
If they do, it’s time to call an attic specialist like Atticare. Damp air will cause mold and structural damage in your attic, and get worse the longer you wait.
Kick Out Any Rodents
Can you see or hear any rodents up there in the attic? If you’ve caught the very beginnings of a rodent infestation with minimal mess, you may want to attempt rodent exclusion yourself.
However, by the time most homeowners notice them, there are several rodents that only keep reproducing and soiling your attic further.
Here’s what you should check for to see if you have rodents in the attic.
- Traces of light colored fur.
- Greasy trails from their fur.
- Tooth marks and scratch marks.
- Broken electrical wiring from gnawing.
- Torn up insulation.
- Rodent feces.
- Rodent urine, which may still be wet, or dried as stains.
How many rodents are we dealing with? If there are more than a couple, if there’s a nest or if they’ve made a real mess, contact Atticare for rodent proofing.
We’ll carry out thorough attic cleaning and seal off the gaps in your attic so the rodents can’t get back in. You’ll be glad to know it’s totally humane, too.
How To Keep On Top Of Attic Maintenance Yourself
Interested in long-term attic maintenance? There are some simple things you can do so that you may not need to call in the attic specialists so often.
#1. Minimize The Belongings You Store In The Attic
The fewer items you have in the attic, the fewer nooks and crannies there’ll be for rodents to nest in. Rodents like secluded, shadowy places and they’ll shred any paper or cardboard they can get their paws on.
For this reason, if you have paper or cardboard belongings, you should store them in airtight, nibble-proof boxes. Also, routine attic cleaning is so much easier in a clearer space.
#2. Attic Cleaning
Keeping your attic perfectly clean and dust-free will help you maintain purer air quality, and you will be able to spot any pest activity as soon as it starts.
When the attic is clean, it’s easier to identify anything that’s structurally unsafe because of pest activity or mold, too.
Attic cleaning may seem like a big job, and it is. The best course of action is to call Atticare for professional attic and crawl space cleaning. We have industrial grade breathing equipment to filter out toxic dust, and the cleaning products we use are powerful too.
If it’s necessary to store belongings in the attic, it’s important to organize them smartly.
- Choose hard, waterproof containers that keep dampness out, and that pests can’t gnaw into.
- Label containers clearly so you don’t have to keep opening them, so you can keep them tightly sealed for longer.
- Be sure not to block any vents with containers.
- Store belongings towards the sides of your attic, so that there’s a path through the middle.
- Stack containers neatly so there are no spaces for nesting.
All these tips will make future attic maintenance a breeze.
Call Atticare For Expert Attic Maintenance In Your Home
Whether you need attic repair and insulation, or simply routine attic maintenance, get in touch with Atticare for a free attic inspection.
We proudly provide excellent attic services throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and New Jersey. Call us at (866) 692-5449 or send us a message here.