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  1. #1
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    Default would you walk in this attic

    hey all forgot to ask this question with my last thread

    i am 6' 3'' and wear a size 13 shoe i wasn't to comfortable walking in these two attics--there was nothing to hold onto zero collor ties both homes build in the 1920s--what would you do--have not gone thru a ceiling yet didn't want to start

    and yes i did get all that mold like substance on wood in report

    charlie

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  2. #2

    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    I would walk it by holding onto the rafters to keep my balance. I wouldn't fault anyone for not walking it uncomfortable doing so.


  3. #3
    daniel nantell's Avatar
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    I think you made the right decision , I would not have walked either, just reported that due to the height of Insulation was unsafe to walk.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    I'll walk an insulated attic if I can sweep the insulation away and verify a wood framing piece with each step. Usually, while hanging onto rafters. I'm also not big on kicking up insulation in older houses due the the asbestos, even though I always wear a mask. I wouldn't fault anyone for not walking it. Just make sure you communicate that to your client.

    Just curious.... I'm not seeing any mold. From the pictures the attic appears to be well ventilated.

    Edit - I see something on the hip rafter in the third photo but it seems isolated to only that piece of lumber. I'd be more likely to think it was that way when it was built. Do you have any other pics?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    HERE YOU GO

    remember mold like substance

    see the white residue on rafters in third picture

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    There we go....

    I see black down near the eave in the second picture. I'll guess that's on the north side of the house and the soffit vents are blocked with insulation.

    It's hard to tell what the white on the hip rafter from this angle.....

    I'm sure you saw everything much better from being in the attic.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    NO SOFFFIT vents and thats on the south side--roof was replaced in 1999--think this is left over from old roof leak-----sniff it in

    just roof vents and spin fan


  8. #8
    Howard Tennyson's Avatar
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    I would try to move in and get to a place where I could see the attic structure from a different angle than the one provided by just standing near the access. Sometimes there is evidence of problems on one side of rafters and not the other. This is a tough one....must be very careful.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    Could all that black on the sheathing near the eaves in photo 2 be from air infiltration from inside the home? The discolored insulation there looks the way it does from air leaking from inside. Or is it from moisture would you say, how did you treat that in your report? Thanks


  10. #10
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    Depends. In newer construction I might at least move to vantage points sufficient to view the chimney and roof penetrations, peek into dormers, etc.

    In older construction - where at least around around here there could be knob and tube, broken joists, old access hatches, who knows what??? under that - no way.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  11. #11
    Brad Peterson's Avatar
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    Smile Re: would you walk in this attic

    Attics are a rough road. In attics with minimal insulation and good head room I usualy walk then. Those newer attics with 8+ inches of insulation with minimum visabliity and head room I stay out. Take the time to evaluated more completely from access. The damage we do as inspectors to unexposed wiring, can lights and the compaction to the insulation it's self is a balance we all have to evaluated on site.


  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Peterson View Post
    Attics are a rough road. In attics with minimal insulation and good head room I usualy walk then. Those newer attics with 8+ inches of insulation with minimum visabliity and head room I stay out. Take the time to evaluated more completely from access. The damage we do as inspectors to unexposed wiring, can lights and the compaction to the insulation it's self is a balance we all have to evaluated on site.
    If you are more worried about compaction of a little insualtion than you are about finding a leak around a chimney then maybe you shoiuld not be an inspector.

    As far as damage we do as inspectors. I don't know ab out you but the only damage I have ever done is a little compaction of insulation. That is not damage. That is doing what you should for your client.

    So many think we attic walkers are just running head long into the attic space. I for one happen to like myself. I test every footing I take and gently move insulation. I don't step on can lights and wires. I am not going thru someones ceiling with a mistake ooops type thing. If I can not ballance myself to the next step I go a different way. Obviously if it is to low and I would have to crawl thru the 12 inch insulatiuon and cannot knee everything solidly I won't do it.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    Hi Guys,

    In Arizona, we are not required to enter any area that may be dangerous to us (inspectors), or may damage the property. Probably true for all states. We are also not required to "disturb" insulation....

    However, it is a judgment call, different at every house. We are not required to walk the roof, but I do. Not required to check every outlet, door, window, but I do. So it just depends.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Just be sure to clearly explain what was/wasn't inspected, and why.

    Dave Hill
    Buyers & Sellers Property Inspections LLC
    WWW.BuyersSellersPi.Com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    IfI am not going thru someones ceiling with a mistake ooops type thing.
    Just wanted that archived for future reference.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  15. #15
    Richard Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    HERE YOU GO

    remember mold like substance

    see the white residue on rafters in third picture
    On that photo only: On older houses I will often find a few joists or other boards that have concrete residue on them. They were probably used as form boards, screeds, etc during an earlier phase of construction. The fact that that "white residue" is only on that hip rafter, and only on one side, would lead me to suspect it is something other than mold. Obviously, I can't say it definitely isn't just from the photo, but it seems unlikely that mold would stop growing right at the change of plane and not "infect" nearby boards of the same material.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    I agree with Ted.
    That attic looks plenty high. I just hold on to the rafters and step carefully on each ceiling joist. Yes, I displace a little insulation as I walk.
    I feel that is a small price to pay to be able to get to a large percentage of the attic for a look see.

    To me calling out an attic like that as a risk is a cop out. I am not going to crawl on my hands and knees through an attic when my face will be just a few inches above the insulation. But if I can stand up, or crouch down and get thru, then i am going for it.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    Is it me or do the rafters in the third picture look like they're sagging?

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  18. #18
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Miller View Post
    Is it me or do the rafters in the third picture look like they're sagging?
    It is a long span for the size those rafters appear. I think the sag look may be more in the lens but the ridge at very the least should have some support.


  19. #19
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    Wink Re: would you walk in this attic

    Depends on the attic and what you can see from the entrance area. I don't have a problem walking the ones you have shown, its the low height ones that you have to belly crawl through that worry me. Those are the only ones I have listed as a limitation and recommended another entrance be provided at the other end of home.
    The darkness at the base of the soffit area may also indicate a buried vent hose exhausting into that area.

    Quote"Dave Hill

    In Arizona, we are not required to enter any area that may be dangerous to us (inspectors), or may damage the property."

    That requirement would prevent me from entering some of the homes I inspect


  20. #20
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    jack, cop out??, i go in many cramped crawl spaces and old attic. did a simular attic 1924 built the day before and with my big feet lost my balance at least three times, that was enough, plus with the mold like substance, backed off.would do it again. recommended mold inspector.

    ted, this house was built in 1929, evaluated all roofing structures and there was no sag anywhere.

    again im 6' 3" and a size 13 shoe, felt it was unsafe, not many that i do, it was a safety call, sorry you think i copped out

    charlie


  21. #21
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    sorry ted i meant darren on the sag issue


  22. #22
    Eric Shuman's Avatar
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    How many of you call out compressed insulation as an issue in your reports?

    Eric


  23. #23
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    Ocassionally I have found deck boards in the attic that are white colored, on close inspection some of these boards looked like they were used for concrete form boards. Some homes also used scrap boards from previous demolition. Some boards looked like they were scrap that was laying around the back yard. Next time if you're afraid to walk the attic, use your zoom lens. You can't say white mold unless you get a good look.
    Keep your eyes open and don't assume anything.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    How many of you call out compressed insulation as an issue in your reports?

    Eric
    A couple footprints, no.

    Huge pieces of plywood laid down, yes.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: would you walk in this attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    How many of you call out compressed insulation as an issue in your reports?

    Eric

    Those foot prints 'before' you walked through, or those 'after' you walked through, or were 'all those foot prints there before I walked through, so I just followed those same foot prints' ?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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