With visions of hip converted bedrooms and childhood hiding places, attics occupy a certain place in the American suburban mythos. But outside of that mythos, most people don’t occupy their attics. Far from being mysterious hangouts or treasure troves of family heirlooms, today’s attics are usually neglected spaces where no one ventures until they think they a problem needs investigating. So pull the chain, drop the ladder, and climb into these three reasons you should maintain your attic.
Prevent Raccoon Entry
Imagine going to bed one winter night when you hear a strange sound from above your ceiling. It almost sounds as if someone is swinging around a 20-pound sack of potatoes. What you’re probably hearing is a 20-pound raccoon who has come in from the cold and made a nest in your attic. Raccoons are clever problem-solvers and deceptively strong, and they’ll explore obscure entry points such as vents to find comfortable homes. But far from being unobtrusive houseguests, raccoons almost seem to revel in the rampant destruction they cause. Unlucky homeowners have known raccoons to tear insulation to shreds, chew on cables and wires, and leave abundant amounts of waste.
If a prior homeowner hasn’t taken proper steps to guard against raccoon entry, don’t find out the hard way. Investigate your attic and make sure entry points are well-sealed enough to keep out even the most persistent critters.
Keep Air Flowing
When we think of our heating and air conditioning ducts, we concentrate on the ones that run through our basements and back to the furnace. But ductwork runs through many attics as well, and with a lack of oversight and those aforementioned unwanted visitors, sensitive spots such as joints could break and leak. This could release heated air into a space where it does no good and force your furnace to work harder to heat occupied areas. Addressing any issues during routine checkups of any attic ductwork can help your furnace work more efficiently and reduce your heating bills.
Protect Against Moisture and Mold
Proximity to the Great Lakes means western Pennsylvania gets a healthy amount of precipitation each year, and as warm air rises in the winter, it can meet cold, unconditioned air in the attic and cause condensation. All that moisture can wreak havoc on the structural integrity of your home. But checking for roof leaks and condensation buildup isn’t all there is to this reason you should maintain your attic. Moisture means mold, and mold in a space that often goes unchecked is trouble even for people who don’t have allergic sensitivities. If you’re not going to make a living space of your attic, don’t let it become a living space for mold.