Is Something Lurking In Your Attic? Here's How To Easily Check

Posted on: 3 April 2017

For many homeowners, their attic is out of sight and out of mind. However, sometimes, the only way to know there is a problem with the roofing of your home is to go to the attic and look around. If you haven't trekked up to your attic in quite some time, now's the time to go. You may just discover a problem or two lurking in the attic. Here's what you need to know. 

What may be lurking in your attic?

You could have mold, bacteria, and insects lurking in your attic, some of which could damage your roofing and the roofing structure. There are also health risks associated with many of these lurkers, particularly mold. Mold can grow easily in attics where it is humid, warm, and dark.

However, the most dangerous one to your roofing materials may be the smallest of them all—bacteria. Bacteria can cause wood rot, which is dangerous because wood is the primary material of your roofing structure. Rotten wood can cause the roof to be unable to withstand forceful winds and heavy snow. Rotten wood can also cause water to leak through. 

When should you inspect your attic? 

Ideally, you'll want to inspect your attic at several different times. Here are a few ways to check for signs of whatever may be lurking in your attic:

  • In the daylight, inspect the underside of your roofing by looking for pinholes of sunlight. Pay close attention to nail holes, particularly near signs of water damage. If you are able to see any sunlight coming through, it's time to have your roof repaired. 
  • Take a screwdriver or other sharp instrument or tool with you. Use the screwdriver to see if the wood structure is soft and/or crumbly, which are signs of wood rot. It means that bacteria have fed off of the wood and have caused it to deteriorate. Crumbly wood could also mean that your home has been invaded by termites or another type of wood-damaging insect. 
  • Place several sheets of newspaper on the attic floor anywhere you suspect water can be leaking through the roof. During or immediately after a rainstorm, go to the attic and look for leaks and check the newspaper for signs of water drops. Use a dry sheet of newspaper to blot at the underside of the roof to help you determine if there is leakage. 

Obviously, you will need to work with a roofing company to repair or replace the wood if you find it has wood rot and/or signs of leaks. If you find mold growth, be sure to repair the roofing before removing the mold.