As a new homeowner, walking through your potential home, it’s good to know what your home inspector should be checking. You may not think of the attic and chimney as vital parts of a home inspection. Actually, your attic makes a huge difference in climate control. Your chimney can be quite dangerous if not well maintained. Here’s what your home inspector should be looking for as he inspects the attic and chimney of your potential new home. I learned all this when we did a walk through with our home inspector.
Why is it so important to inspect the insulation in your attic? As a new homeowner you should be thinking about the costs of heating and cooling your home. Your home inspector should be checking the type and condition of attic insulation. Insulation keeps the home warm in winter and cool in the summer. Inspection can alert you to any issues that may need to be addressed.
Attic Air Flow
New home owners might be unaware that proper air flow is needed for their health and the health of their home. Heat build up in the attic can cause everything from mold to wood rot. It can deteriorate shingles and roof materials as well. Your home inspector should be checking for proper attic air flow and signs of damage on his walk through inspection.
Roof Leakage or Damage
For obvious reasons, this is where leakage will first become visible. The home inspector can see signs of structural roof damage from inside the attic. Damage may not be obvious from the roof. That’s why it’s important for your home inspector to check roof structure from inside the attic as well as outside on the roof itself.
Chimney Brick Condition
The condition of the chimney can easily effect the condition of the attic. This is also true of the roof. You can learn about roof inspection here. As for the chimney, your home inspector will be looking at the condition of the bricks and other issues as well. Chimney bricks may crumble with age or wear and need to be replaced for weather resistance and to keep them from falling and damaging the roof. Your home inspector should also be checking to see that mortar between the bricks is intact.
Chimney Flue Condition
The flue is the part of the chimney that carries smoke and debris out of the home. Flues can become blocked due to falling bricks or structural breakage. It can also become packed with soot or creosote. This is a fire hazard and needs to be removed regularly. Your home inspector should be checking for any blockage in the flue. The flue should also be properly lined. Water or frost inside the flue indicates a leakage problem.
Chimney Flashing Maintenance
New homeowners may not even know what flashing is. Flashing is a sheet of metal used to cover roof seams against leakage. You will find flashing, among other locations, where the chimney meets the roof. Damaged or improperly constructed flashing can cause your roof to leak where it meets the chimney. Your home inspector should always check roof flashing, whether around the chimney or in other strategic areas.