from Girl Friday
getting prepared for the change of
Check the attic.
As I write this reminder, I am in
Wisconsin visiting family, and it's
getting chilly here! This is reminder to
me that, yes - Autumn is coming and it
will soon be chilly in Maryland too.
While the weather is not too hot or too
cold, let's take the next few weeks to
check on all those tasks that will keep
your house warm and cozy when Mother
Nature decides that winter is on the
This weekend, look into your attic
space. Some attics are fully equipped
with flooring and made for storage, but
most are not. Most attics are just a
crawl space above your living area which
is really meant only for insulation and
the pipes and electrical wires that keep
the rest of your house running smoothly.
Those ceilings were never meant to carry
heavy loads of storage...or you...so
beware! (This will surely be a topic for
1. Without using any extra lighting,
peek into the attic space and make note
of where there is light coming in.
Attics are supposed to have ventilation
so you should be able to see some light.
Vents are usually located at the lower
edge of the roof (the soffit) and the
highest part of the roof (the ridge).
What you do NOT want is larger holes
that may allow animals to enter and use
your attic as their winter home.
2. With additional lighting, and from
your place on the ladder or step, look
around to see if the insulation is in
place. Workmen are notorious for
removing insulation to attend to HVAC,
plumbing or electrical problems but not
replacing it when their work is
complete. If you must enter the attic to
explore, PLEASE take the proper
precautions by placing pieces of plywood
across the ceiling joists to walk on so
that you will not fall through your
3. Look for water streaks. Look at
the plywood above your head, but also
look on the white PVC plumbing pipes and
the bathroom exhaust vents where they
penetrate the roof. If you see any water
marks, that is an indication that there
is a leak somewhere and warrants further
investigation by a professional.
If any of these items raises some
concern, don't hesitate to employ
professional guidance and assistance.
Don't wait until the winter weather
causes more damage or inconvenience
while repairs are being made.