Attic Safety: Things to Know
Attic safety is important before launching any DIY attic projects. Upgrading attic insulation by installing pre-cut, roll-out batts is a task many homeowners take on to increase home energy efficiency and comfort, winter and summer. Sealing air leaks that allow cooling or heating to escape from living spaces below is another attic-related item on many to-do lists. However, since the attic isn’t a space routinely visited by most residents, a few cautions are in order to ensure attic safety as well as a successful project.
Here are some cautions to prevent injury as well as damage to the house while you’re up in the attic.
- Test the stairs. Pull-down attic stairs often aren’t carefully maintained in many homes. Before climbing up, check the structural integrity of the stairs and make sure it will hold your weight.
- Dress for the attic. Due to hazards from dust or floating insulation fibers, wear a disposable breathing mask and safety goggles, a long sleeve shirt and gloves.
- Protect against heat. It’s hot up there. Temperatures in a poorly ventilated attic may soar even when outdoor temperatures are pleasant. Drink plenty of liquids and climb down and take frequent breaks.
- Watch your head. Sharp nails often protrude from the sub-roof just above your head. A hard hat or at least a baseball cap is a good idea.
- Watch your step. Step only on ceiling joists or beams. Never walk onto a layer of insulation. Often there’s only a thin wallboard ceiling beneath which will collapse under your weight.
- Don’t chop or cut into existing insulation. Mounds of blown-in cellulose or fiberglass insulation may conceal hazards including electrical wiring. Make sure you know what’s underneath.
- Look out for insects. Wasps and bees frequently choose attics as nest sites. If you discover any, leave them alone and call an exterminator before continuing work.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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