Attic and ceiling damage can come from many sources and lead to costly repairs and renovations, and cause potential health problems from toxic molds in the walls that can be difficult to exterminate. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to be informed and keep things in proper working order. Here are five ways to keep an eye on your attic and ceilings and catch a potential problem before it starts.
Check for Roof Leaks
Image via Flickr by Joe Shlabotnik
Roof leaks can come from loose shingles, unsealed flashing, or spots where water pools and rots through. Rainwater can spread down the subroof and seep in far from the leak’s origin. So, it can be helpful to hire a professional service if you notice dark or discolored spots on the ceiling.
Ventilation is important to decrease condensation in the enclosed space of an attic or areas of low airflow. Excessive moisture can cause rot and mold growth and lead to troubling problems. A good heating, ventilation, air conditioning, HVAC system will ensure this does not happen. If you have one already, remember to check and clean the filters. If you don’t have a properly working system, it’s time to call an HVAC professional and have them asses the ventilation in your attic.
Look for Exposed Pipes and Prevent Ruptures
If exposed plumbing pipes run through your attic the contrast with air temperatures can cause condensation leading to rot and rust which can create leaks and seepage. Check all pipes for signs of decay and have exposed pipes covered, especially in cold climates where the water can freeze and expand causing burst pipes and a flooded attic raining down on the rest of the house.
Maintain Attic Appliances
When water heaters or AC units are housed in the attic, it’s important to check filters and keep them running smoothly to avoid condensation. Water heaters need to be flushed and drained on a regular schedule to keep working efficiently and extend their life. A clogged drain can result in overfilling and flooding, harming carpets, floors and anything else susceptible to water damage.
Leaves and debris build up and clog gutters, removing their ability to drain. Backed-up water can corrode metal and wood causing decay and rot around the outer walls of your house. It’s best to clean the gutters twice a year, in the fall after the leaves have fallen, and again in spring. They can also become blocked by ice in winter and require additional care.
A little assessment and maintenance of your attic spaces can save you money and trouble. Don’t be afraid to hire a professional for repairs or installation, a well-done job will last longer and insure fewer problems down the road. So take a look around and see if everything is looking good or if there are any suspicious areas of damp or dry rot. It’s better to start on repairs before the whole attic needs replacing.