Most of us don't spend much time in the attic. Perhaps we’ll pull the ladder down in November and climb up to retrieve Christmas decorations stored there. Or maybe we’ll add more to the collection of things we don't want to donate or throw out. And some of us have attics we never visit.

Unfortunately attics can accumulate moisture that will create a number of problems for homeowners if left unattended. Undetected attic moisture provides a great home for mold and may weaken the structural strength of your roof supports.

To prevent this from happening, a homeowner should inspect the attic at least once a year, looking for possible leaks. When inspecting your attic, look at the insulation and the wooded areas. Look for signs that water has been present even if it’s dry today. You will see streaks or other evidence that water has collected at some time. If you have lighting in the attic, check around the electrical devices for signs of rust, corrosion or other water stains. Also check to see that air conditioning units or other appliances are working correctly. An attic air conditioning system that leaks will cause long term damage.

Second, be certain that you have adequate ventilation installed in the attic. Poor ventilation will increase moisture in the attic. Service Team of Professionals of Coeur d’Alene has inspected attics with evidence of water damage caused by poor ventilation. In north Idaho in the winter, warm air in a heated home will rise to the ceiling, enter the attic and condense on the cold surfaces within the attic. This condensation will not evaporate without correct ventilation.

Third, proper insulation is critical. For example, your attic temperature should be approximately 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. Proper insulation in the attic floor will prevent too much warm air from entering the attic to create a warmer environment. The danger is that when the attic is too warm, ice dams can form on the edge of the roof causing severe damage to the roof structure and gutters. This damage can ultimately result in unwelcome water in your home.

Fourth, make sure your bathroom and appliance vents are vented to the outside of your home and not to your attic space. A common mistake on the part of the homeowner is to install a bathroom vent allowing the moisture to go to the attic rather than installing additional duct work to take the moisture outside. Another problem is when a dryer vents into attic space. Again, this moves moisture to the attic rather than outside.

If you discover water damage, call Service Team of Professionals of Coeur d’Alene. We will inspect your attic or any other part of your home. Service Team of Professionals can advise you on the correct steps to address or prevent these moisture problems and preserve your home’s value.