Axium SOP

Topic Progress:

ROOF STRUCTURE AND ATTIC

General Info:

Go to your Roof Structure and Attic section and it’s going to come up to your 2 cover pictures. Your 2 cover pictures for the Attic should be taken when you are up inside of the attic and be two representative pictures of the entire attic. If you can see the entire attic from the hatch there is no need to go in, but if you can’t see the entire attic you need to go inspect.

As you are observing the attic you want to be looking at the general structure and if there is any signs of moisture intrusion on that structure. You will also want to observe the insulation, ventilation, and vent piping in the attic for any defects.

REMEMBER: Before you are done, always check and make sure that everything on screen is green. When you think you are done with the Roof Structure and Attic, scroll through and make sure everything is green. Don’t move on to the next step or section until you are done so you don’t have to waste your time to go back into the attic and get a picture to complete the section.

Tools Needed: Ladder, Tape Measure, Flashlight, Non-Contact Voltage Tester, Moisture Meter.

2.01 Attic Access Locations

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will describe the location of the attic access hatch at the property and document with two pictures (see procedure below).

Tools Needed

The inspector will require a ladder to in order to get to the attic access.

Procedure

  • Even though this is listed in the program as the first step, this will actually be the last thing you do after inspecting the attic.
  • After the attic has been inspected, carefully put the hatch back the exact way that it was found and close up the ladder. Make sure the hatch is nice and square, and that there are no handprints or dirt on the hatch. Also, make sure there are no gaps or insulation hanging out from the hatch.
  • If you have any concerns about the condition of the hatch upon arrival, take a picture of it before you even put your ladder up there. Mention any prior damage or handprints of the hatch to the client on the recorder.
  • Make sure that all the insulation and any mess that was made from removing the hatch has been cleaned up.
  • At this point when everything has been put back and cleaned up the inspector will take two required pictures. The first picture will be of the attic access hatch showing that it has been replaced and not damaged. The second picture will be of the floor below the hatch showing that the inspector didn’t make a mess and cleaned up after themselves. There is not a required picture but it is also important to check if the hatch is insulated and if it’s not to put that as repair/replace in the report.
  • Always look for multiple attic hatches and inspect each attic separately by duplicating each section.

Common Defects

  • Attic access hatch is damaged, missing, or tight.
  • The insulation is loose or the hatch is not insulated.

Common Mistakes

  • Damaging the attic access panel when opening and/or closing. If an attic access panel is painted shut and/or stuck use a razor to carefully cut around the access panel opening. Afterwards, using a flat edge like a level, gently hit the level with your hand or a hammer to loosen the access panel around the edges. The inspector must be very careful doing this so the access panel is not damaged.
  • Leaning the ladder against the trim and damaging/breaking it.
  • Loosening the trim when entering the attic.
  • Breaking drywall panels or corners.

2.02 Roof Structure Description

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should describe the roof structure of the attic and also distinguish whether or not they walked the attic or viewed it from the entrance.

Tools Needed

The inspector might need to use a flashlight to inspect the roof structure.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is viewing the attic (while walking or from the entrance) they shall determine the type of structure type, sheathing type, and the ceiling structure. There is one picture required that should show all aspects of the roof structure.

Common Defects

There are no defects in this section.

Common Mistakes

  • Not being able to identify the right type of structural materials.
  • Not walking the attic when it can be easily walked.

2.03 Roof Structure Condition

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should check the roof structure for any damage.

Tools Needed

The inspector might need a flashlight to inspect the condition of the roof structure.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is viewing the attic (while walking or from the entrance) they shall look at the general condition of the roof structure for any visible damage. There is only a picture required for this section if there is a defect found with the roof structure.

Common Defects

  • Rafters that are damaged, missing or split.
  • Trusses that are damaged or altered.
  • Roof decking that is damaged, missing, or split.
  • Any component that is bowed in the structure of the attic.

Common Mistakes

  • Not walking the attic when it can be easily done.
  • Not thoroughly checking the roof structure for any damage.

2.04 Insulation in Attic

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will determine the type of insulation being used in the attic and how thick that insulation is on average. Typically, Axium would like to recommend at least 11 inches of insulation be used in the attic.

Tools Needed

The inspector will need a tape measure in order to accurately measure the insulation and a flashlight to be able to inspect the insulation throughout the attic.

Procedure

  • The inspector will first determine the type of insulation and then use the tape measure to determine the thickness of the insulation. There are two required pictures for this section with the first picture showing the tape measure and the thickness of the insulation. The second picture will show the coverage of insulation throughout the attic.
  • Make sure to look corner to corner and identify any areas of missing insulation. Especially over newly renovated areas like new kitchens and bathrooms where they may have removed insulation to install new ceilings or light fixtures.
  • The inspector should report as repair/replace if the insulation is less than 10 inches.
  • Make sure you can identify Vermiculite insulation and select the RR vermiculite comment. Do not enter attics or walk attics with Vermiculite insulation that could contain asbestos.
  • The paper or vapor barrier should be down and in contact with the ceiling if present.
  • The paper or plastic vapor barrier should not be on top or between layers of insulation. This can allow for condensation and trap moisture.
  • Skylight boxes should be insulated. Skylight chases and vaulted ceiling walls should be insulated. Insulation dams should be installed around recessed lights.

 Common Defects

  • Insulation being over knob and tube wiring. See section 2.06 (Visible Electric Wiring in Attic) for specific comment on the defect of knob and tube wiring.
  • Having a low level of insulation (less than 10 inches).
  • The insulation material being vermiculite which could possibly contain asbestos.
  • Insulation that is concealed by blackboard or plastic.
  • Insulation has a paper face and is concealed in plastic which can trap moisture and create condensation.
  • Insulation that is deteriorated or hanging loose.
  • Insulation that is loose/fallen, missing (in areas), or not uniform.
  • Insulation that is not wide enough or has recessed (no clearance).
  • Insulation that is wet or has been laid with the wrong side up.
  • Stored items being on top of insulation.

Common Mistakes

  • Identifying the wrong type of insulation in the attic.
  • The picture showing the thickness of insulation not being clear enough to see the inches of insulation on the picture.
  • Not checking throughout the attic for insulation in all areas.
  • Not calling out paper facing the wrong direction as a defect.

2.05 Attic Ventilation

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should check all the ventilation and determine if it is adequate for the home.

Tools Needed

The inspector might need to use the flashlight in order to inspect the ventilation.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is viewing the attic (while walking or from the entrance) they shall look at the ventilation and determine if it is adequate for the home. There are two required pictures for this section both showing the ventilation in the attic. Make sure to get two different pictures of ventilation (i.e., gable vent and soffit vent).

Common Defects

  • Attic ventilation being insufficient.
  • Exhaust vents being blocked.
  • No intake ventilation is present.
  • There is active moisture in the attic.
  • Ventilation that should be increased to prolong life or during a roof replacement.
  • Attic vent fans, ridge vents, or turbines should be installed.

Common Mistakes

  • Not taking clear pictures of the ventilation.
  • Not identifying the multiple forms of ventilation present in the attic.

2.06 Visible Electric Wiring in Attic

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check for any wiring defects in the attic and for older homes will want to check for any knob & tube wiring.

Tools Needed

The inspector might require a flashlight and the non-voltage tester while checking the electrical wiring in the attic.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is viewing the attic (while walking or from the entrance) they shall look for any wiring defects. There are no pictures required for this section unless a wiring defect is found.

Common Defects

  • Knob and Tube wiring being present in the attic.
  • Wiring that is loose and not properly secured in the attic.
  • Wiring that does not have a proper cover plate or needs to be placed inside a box with a cover plate.
  • Wiring that has improper splicing.
  • Attic needs light fixture installed.
  • Recessed lights have no clearance.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking for knob and tube wiring in the attic if the home is old.
  • Not checking to see if loose wires are “live” with non-contact voltage tester.

2.07 Vent Ducts

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should check to make sure that all visible vent ducts aren’t damaged, are properly connected, and are venting through the roof.

Tools Needed

The inspector may require a flashlight to inspect the vent ducts.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is viewing the attic (while walking or from the entrance) they shall look for all vent ducts to be venting properly to the exterior through the roof. There are two pictures required for this section that show the vents are in good condition and are venting properly through the roof.

Common Defects

  • Gas appliance flue pipe vent not having proper clearance from combustibles.
  • Vent ducts that terminate into the attic and not to the exterior of the property.
  • Vent ducts that are damaged or disconnected.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking all of the vent ducts in the attic.

2.08 Attic Ventilation Fans

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should visually inspect the attic ventilation for any damage that can be seen during the inspection. The inspector is not required to operate this fan.

Tools Needed

The inspector might need to use the flashlight to inspect the attic ventilation fans.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is viewing the attic (while walking or from the entrance) they shall visibly inspect the attic ventilation fan but there is no requirement to operate the fan. There is one picture required that should be of the attic ventilation fan. The inspector can also take a picture of the thermostat that controls the fan if it is able to be found. These fans are an upgrade component to the property and is generally not found in most homes.

Common Defects

  • Attic ventilation fan that is damaged, defective, loose, or not connected.
  • The wiring is incorrect or has an open splice or is unsafe.
  • Attic ventilation fan is “humming” and is hot to the touch.
  • Fan blade no longer turns easily and is defective.
  • Is disassembled at the control box or missing cover at control box.
  • Is missing fan shroud.
  • Attic ventilation fan is no longer connected to wiring or controlled by thermostat.
  • Is using an extension cord or improper cord for permanent wiring.
  • Attic ventilation fan appears to be non-operational and not working.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking all of the attic ventilation fans if they are accessible.
  • Not checking the wiring and cord connections of the attic ventilation fans.

 2.09 Whole House Attic Fan

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should test the whole house attic fan if present. These are an upgrade to the property and not a NACHI standard to test, but Axium does inspect the operation.

Tools Needed

The inspector might require the flashlight to inspect the whole house attic fan.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is viewing the attic (while walking or from the entrance) they shall inspect the top portion of the whole house attic fan for defects. Once the attic hatch has been closed (this is IMPORTANT so we don’t blow insulation out of the attic) the inspector will turn on the whole house attic fan. There is one picture required for this section and it should be of the whole house attic fan being open and working.

Common Defects

  • The whole house attic fan is loose or damaged.
  • The motor is old, noisy, or weak.
  • The wiring is exposed, improper, spliced, or melted.
  • Missing receptacle cover that has exposed electrical contacts.
  • Is using an extension cord for permanent wiring.

Common Mistakes

  • Not operating the whole house attic fan to check that it is working properly.
  • Not taking a picture of the whole house attic fan while it is open and operating.
  • Not checking all the wiring of the whole house attic fan, if it is accessible.

2.10 Attic Moisture Intrusion

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should check for any moisture intrusion and possible mold while in the attic.

Tools Needed

The inspector might need a flashlight and the moisture meter to determine if there is any active moisture intrusion in the attic.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is viewing the attic (while walking or from the entrance) they shall inspect for any moisture intrusion. There are no pictures required for this section unless moisture intrusion is found in the attic.
  • Visible signs of water intrusion in the attic can be seen on stained ceiling drywall in home. Stain could be from a previous leak that happened before a newer roof was installed. Water intrusion can lead to costly repairs and damage if it is not corrected.

Common Defects

  • Signs of water intrusion on insulation, rafters, sheathing, or a vent pipe.
  • Possible mold-like substance in the attic.

Common Mistakes

  • Not using the moisture meter to determine if there is active moisture in the attic.
  • Not checking throughout the entire attic for signs of moisture intrusion.
  • Not looking for possible mold-like substances when there is moisture intrusion.