Home maintenance is the definition of a chore. You may not necessarily get to complete any desired renovations and there are usually steep costs associated with maintenance. However, if you can be disciplined enough to stay ahead of the game, then you can at least avoid many of the costs associated with unexpected issues around the house.
One of the most forgotten spaces in a home is the attic. Especially in homes built before the 90’s, many people have become accustomed to using the attic as a storage spot, particularly if the current owners moved in when the attic was still unfinished. We’re not saying that storage is unimportant, but throwing all your old dusty items and forgetting about them can almost be like forgetting an entire room of your house. Maybe you will go up to get something on occasions like Christmas, but how often do you think “Hmm, I should really poke around the attic to check the condition of the surrounding structure.” Probably not very often, at least if you’re anything like me. So here are some tips that can help you begin searching for ways to make sure you are keeping up with everything you need to reduce maintenance costs.
Monitor Humidity and Temperature
Try monitoring the humidity of your attic if you aren’t overly sure how it fluctuates throughout a year. This is a great way to ease into things. You can poke around the attic a bit and find some good spots to set up the monitor, but aside from that, there really isn’t much work involved! AcuRite is one of the top brands for home humidity and temperature monitors, the only downside here is that a lot of their equipment is meant to be viewed in real time, which isn’t overly conducive to easy checking of conditions in the attic. That said, you can also find humidity loggers, which are slightly different from monitors. Loggers keep an archive of all the humidity and temperature data, and while some may not display the real time data, you can view an entire plot of humidity and temperature over time simply by plugging it into the USB port of your computer.
So why does this matter? First, an overly hot and humid environment can encourage the growth of mould, which can subsequently harm your health and reduce the integrity of your roof. Second, even if you are happy with the condition of your attic when you go check it out, any changes to the humidity and temperature can stress the structures, particularly if they are wood, via minimal but constant expansion and contraction. Therefore, if you find that the humidity and temperature are constantly changing, this may be an indicator that you need to check in a little more frequently for any progressing deterioration, leaks, or other damage.
Collect Small but Durable Tools
Attics are usually pretty confined spaces, which makes working on the ceiling a little tough, especially if you are limited for tools. The main things is to have proper lighting, which could simply be in the form of a bright LED flashlight or headlamp. Durable pens that can perform well enough to be seen quite obviously on wood are a must. Other small pocket tools like multi-tools, knives, tape measurers, a small level, and a hammer can all go a long way. For more information on some really handy small tools, especially lighting solutions, pens, and pocket knives, check out Tac X Tactical.
Check Both Load Bearing Areas and Flatter Sections of the Ceiling
Minimizing any sort of progressive deterioration of load-bearing structures in your home is obviously important. In this case, when you’re up in the attic, don’t just focus on the roof, but also inspect any load-bearing beams and supports for any sort of water or termite damage. This includes corners, walls, and the joints of any interfaces. Afterwards, try a quick check on the roof itself to ensure you have no developing leaks. If any area appears to be sagging or warped, inspect it closely to try and find the full extent of the problem. However, unless you’re a professional, don’t begin fixing anything yourself without consultation from a roofing and/or home improvement expert, especially if it involves load bearing structures or materials that are outdated or you are simply unfamiliar with.
Really, at the end of the day, the main thing is that you simply don’t forget about the attic as an area of your home that will require maintenance. Inspecting the overall condition from time to time could help you get a jump on what could have otherwise been a really inconvenient and expensive fix. It will also allow you to learn more about the insulation and energy efficiency of your home, so you never what may come of it!…