“Mom! I hear something in the attic!” My daughter’s blood-curdling cry forced me to explore one area of my home that I’d rather avoid: our unfinished attic. The picture below captures my experience best. Let me tell you, it was not pleasant. As it turns out the drama was caused by a bird that had chosen our attic as her nesting location. By the time we had relocated the feathered family, I was itchy, sweaty, and worst of all, had put my foot through my son’s bedroom ceiling. (Note the “DO NOT step here!”)
Attics may be unpleasant, but they are a vital part of the outer shell of your home. Being in the height of Atlantic hurricane season right now means the potential for lots of wind and water coming down on your Virginia home.
Our home expert, Travis, says your attic is the place to look for small water leaks that can become big problems. So, if you’re a fearless DIY detective like me, grab a flashlight and take a trip on up. Here’s how to do a simple inspection:
- Check valleys, vent pipes, and areas around attic ventilation fans for dampness. These are good places to investigate signs of leaks.
- While you’re up there you can also keep your eye out for signs of uninvited pests.
- See if you can spy wet roof sheathing (that’s the wood underneath the shingles), an indication of problems with roof shingles.
Here's an Expert Tip: during or soon after a rain event is an ideal opportunity for early detection of water problems. Old leaks show up as dark staining on sheathing- sometimes with mold and mildew!
After seeing a snapshot of my attic experience, or having had one equally as harrowing of your own, you may decide a better route is to hire a pro. Kill two birds with one stone with a certified and reputable roofing contractor.
They should also inspect your attic for telltale signs of existing issues and make sure you have the right amount of ventilation and insulation.These two sure go a long way with Virginia’s heat and humidity and lessen the stress on your HVAC system. They can also prolong the life of your roof shingles.
One quality professional inspection - great peace of mind for a big fall storm and the winter months ahead!