How healthy is your attic? – And why you should care

The mention of an attic can conjure up many images: grandma’s rocking chair, boxes of stored Christmas decorations, or maybe a stack of record albums-The Beatles, Rolling Stones, or Led Zeppelin perhaps? Besides providing a sometimes quaint storage area, do you know the importance of a healthy attic to your home? Don’t worry, neither did I.

We all know that heat rises. So guess what happens when you take one of those long hot showers, and then turn on the exhaust fan to clear the steam off the mirror? Yep, you guessed it, all that warm humid air likely vents right into your attic. Maybe you’re thinking, who cares?

CONSEQUENCES OF POOR VENTILATION

  • Mold. Warm humid air is a breeding ground for it, yuck.
  • Damage. Heat and moisture trapped inside your attic can be very damaging to wood, which can cause your roof to rot from the inside out.

There are many products from ridge vents to exhaust fans that keep moisture from making your attic unhealthy.

img_3203Once your attic is vented properly, the next big issue is whether you have proper insulation, which reminds me of a funny story. During the process of getting hired at M&M, on my second interview, the office manager and owner of the company said they wanted to sit in. After I was offered the position, the manager conducting the interview launched into a unique requirement of the job I had just accepted. He explained that I would attend home shows and represent the company by wearing a pink panther costume, the mascot for Owens Corning insulation. He even had a little slide show prepared with the panther greeting people and further explained that, much like a Disney character, I would be required to stay in character for the duration of the show, even while taking a break and eating lunch. After asking how I felt about that, and watching me squirm and mumble for a little while, all three burst out laughing. Thankfully it was a joke to make me less nervous. So, every time I think about insulation, I picture myself running around in a pink panther costume, and grin. I digress, back to your healthy attic.

BENEFITS OF PROPER INSULATION

  • Comfort. Insulation prevents heat from the interior of your home from escaping through the roof (remember the hear rises conversation from before?). In the summer insulation keeps the heat from outside from entering your home, keeping you cooler.
  • Money Savings. Keeping heat from escaping or entering your home will mean your furnace and air conditioner won’t have to run as often, and you can keep your hard earned money, instead of shelling it out to the utility company every month.
  • Preserving your roof. Proper insulation also helps to prevent condensation, which is harmful to the wood on the inside of your roof.

 

Are you one of those lucky tax payers expecting a refund check from Uncle Sam around this time of year? How will you spend it? The possibilities are endless: new furniture, a down payment on a car, or my personal favorite idea, a luxurious vacation to somewhere tropical. It won’t cost you anything to have a professional come out and diagnose the health of your attic. If you your attic isn’t properly ventilated or doesn’t have enough insulation, consider improving the health of your attic, the benefits of a healthy attic will outlast just about anything else you choose to spend your money on.