Homeowners often give little thought to their attics except to store decorations and souvenirs. But an attic should be regularly inspected and properly maintained.

A lack of insulation or improper ventilation in an attic can cause hot and cold zones in the house, raising energy costs. Here are some signs it’s time to call for professional help.

Unpleasant Smells

Unpleasant smells in the attic are among the most common signs that it’s time for a thorough cleaning. Various issues can cause this, but the most common is moisture, which creates a perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive.

Water damage or a lack of proper ventilation can lead to musty odors trickling down into the rest of your home. This can also cause other health problems like allergies and asthma.

Animal droppings and urine can also cause a foul odor that’s hard to eliminate. After evicting wildlife, it’s important to seal any entry points so other animals don’t try to reside in your attic again.

Water Damage

Water damage can be especially problematic when it occurs in the attic. It can be challenging to track down the source and prevent it from reaching other parts of the home. The best way to check for water damage in the attic is to remove stored items and use a flashlight to examine the space.

You can often spot water damage in the attic by looking for discoloration on the ceiling and walls, rotting wood and soggy insulation. Water damage may be caused by roof leaks, gutter clogs, and other issues that allow water to enter the attic.

It’s also common for wildlife to cause water damage in the attic. Once the animals are safely and humanely evicted, you need restoration services like SWAT Wildlife Restoration Services to fix the mess they leave behind.

Bad Insulation

In addition to making a home uncomfortable, old insulation poses health concerns. Fiberglass can become toxic when wet or break down due to age and other causes. Inhaling it can lead to breathing difficulties, allergies and rashes on the skin.

Bad attic insulation can also cause high energy bills. It allows heat to escape the home, which forces HVAC systems to work harder.

Insufficient insulation can also make the attic vulnerable to condensation and roof leaks. These issues may indicate that it’s time for an attic restoration.

Animal Infestation

Wild animals that get into your attic can cause many problems. Rats, mice, squirrels and raccoons can chew electrical wires and cause damage to other parts of your home. Their continually growing teeth can also destroy insulation and flatten it to the point of being a fire hazard.

The nocturnal sounds of scurrying and scratching from overhead can signify animal infestation. Typically, these sounds are heard only at night because of the nocturnal nature of the pests.

When animals are in your attic, their feces and urine can create foul odors and put everyone at risk of diseases like Hantavirus or histoplasmosis. Animal removal experts can sanitize and decontaminate the attic to restore it safely.

Unusual Noises

If you hear scratching noises in your ceiling or walls, this could be a sign that animals are infesting your attic. Rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons, and birds can all find shelter in attics or lofts, and they can cause damage by chewing insulation and electric cabling.

Scurrying noises are a common indicator of rodent infestation, usually heard at night. They can also create a quiet thumping sound as they run throughout your attic and walls.

Raccoons and opossums make much louder stomping sounds, which may be heard during the day. These sounds indicate that these critters are invading your home and must be removed immediately. Other signs include fluttering or tweeting sounds, indicating a bird is stuck in your attic.

The following two tabs change content below.
Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.