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Common Issues I Discover On The job.

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Attics

macomb attic mold.JPG Michigan attics can have water damage like mold and rot and must have good venting to function properly. In older homes, I like to at least see an adequate number of vents toward the peak of the house. It is better if the attic also has soffit vents to create convection where cooler air is sucked in through the lower vents as hotter air exits the higher vents as shown at the graphic at left. Newer homes are built with soffit vents.

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good vent example.JPG The photo at the left shows an attic vent that is cut out pretty well. It isn't perfect, you can see the can vent isn't centered exactly over the hole that was cut in the sheathing. But it is about 95% open so that air can flow through and keep the attic cool and the vent is cut out pretty well compared to some others I have seen during inspections.

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grosse pointe roof vent.JPG This is an example of a vent that is cut out badly. The can vent is about 90% blocked. Roofers should know better than to do this but they do it anyway. It would take 1 minute to cut this sheathing out properly or center the vent over the hole already cut in the sheathing. This is important so the attic will vent properly but the roofer would not take the time to do it. They did not center the vent over the existing hole because the way the shingles laid out. The roofer simply stuck the vent at the edge of a full shingle rather than cutting the shingle and centering the vent as it should have been. Again, they do this to save the 10 seconds it would take to measure and cut the shingle. Believe it or not, I see this all the time as you can see from the photos below.

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1.JPG This is another of a vent badly cut out and restricting air flow The lack of air flow will make the attic hotter than it needs to be and cause the shingles to fail sooner. If your attic is not properly vented, the warranty on your shingles may not be covered.

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detroit mold 100.JPG Improper attic venting can result in more ice dams and water damage inside your home. This is mold I found growing in a Macomb County attic. The clean-up cost was almost $4,000.00. Flowing air in the attic, via good venting is the way to prevent this type of damage.

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Crawl Spaces

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Crawl spaces can be one of the areas where I see considerable problems. Crawl spaces are rarely in good condition. The older the homes and lower the crawl spaces, the worse they generally are. High humidity, clay soil, no vapor barrier and lack of vents or air circulation all lead to moisture, insect and rot damage. Bugs love to eat wet and rotting wood. Carpenter ants, powder post beetles and termites can all be found in the Detroit Metro area.

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