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Inspecting a Home’s Attic

attic insulation helps lower energy billsInadequate insulation means that 10 to 50 percent of energy is lost through walls, ceilings and floors. Proper insulation helps lower energy bills by resisting heat loss. Where the interior of walls and ceilings is easily accessible, adding additional insulation can be a relatively inexpensive way to get a big return on energy savings.

The first place to look for missing insulation is in the attic. Attics, in general, are fairly accessible, but in many homes, even newer homes, insulation is often times inadequate. As part of a general home inspection, the inspector will examine the type of insulation present and its approximate thickness or “R-value.”

The inspector will also examine (if the attic is accessible) the attic interior, including: roofing, framing, sheathing, insulation, ventilation and chimneys. Any visible signs of moisture intrusion will be noted. The attic is a key element in the home’s ventilation system. Moist air from inside the home must be properly vented to the outside in order to protect roofing materials and prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

The inspector will also look for areas of safety concerns to ensure proper rating and installation of canned or recessed lighting in order to prevent overheating and possible fires.

In most cases, home inspectors will allow you to accompany him or her during an inspection. We, in fact, encourage this practice.

Also of Interest  Home and Building Inspectors: What to Look For
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