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Structural

While in the attic, be sure to inspect the roof framing. Check the rafters and trusses for cracked, broken, and sagging sections. Are the rafters spreading apart near the ridge? Although these problems are uncommon, they indicate a structural defect that should be evaluated by a professional. Look at the floor joists. If they’ve been cut to accommodate an opening for an attic fan or pull-down stairs, have the cut ends been properly secured to a header? They should be. If not, record that fact on your worksheet for future correction.

When trusses have been used for roof framing, check to see if any of the webs or chords have been removed. Homeowners have been known to cut and remove them to accommodate storage items. This affects the structural integrity of the truss and should also be recorded on your worksheet for needed repairs.

Checkpoint summary

❍ Is attic insulated?

  • Is additional insulation needed?
  • Does existing insulation contain a vapor barrier?
  • Is insulation properly installed?
  • Is ventilation provided?
  • Are vent openings blocked?
  • Check operation of attic fan or power ventilator.
  • If attic is poorly ventilated, look particularly at northerly slope for delaminating plywood or warped roofing boards.
  • Look for signs of past or current roof leakage.
  • Pay particular attention to area around the chimney and plumbing vent stacks.
  • Are air-conditioning and heating ducts insulated?
  • Look for open joints in the duct work.
  • Do any plumbing vent stacks discharge into the attic?
  • Are kitchen or bathroom exhaust fans discharging into the attic?
  • Are there open electrical junction boxes or makeshift electrical wiring?
  • If house has a prefabricated chimney, is there a need for fire-stopping around the joint between the chimney and the attic floor?
  • Are there any cracked, broken or sagging sections of rafters or truss members?
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