What is a Pre-Listing Home Inspection?

When it comes to residential property inspections, you’ve probably heard of “home inspections,” but what exactly is a “pre-listing inspection,” also known as a “pre-inspection”? Is it necessary to conduct an inspection prior to the inspection? Some shrewd homeowners who are planning to sell their home in the near future are opting for one. Before putting a house on the market, a seller may want to consider hiring a home inspector to inspect the property. Before making an offer, it is common for buyers to request a pre-inspection.

What Does a Home Inspection Cover?

The engineers and inspectors at Middle Tennessee Inspections will examine the condition of the home’s systems, as well as any deterioration that has occurred and will provide you with a modern, detailed, itemized report, which includes repair recommendations. The home inspection is typically included in a buyer’s due diligence to ensure that the major systems are in good working order and that there are no serious, expensive defects that are unknown to the seller, but this information can be critical for the pre-seller if they are trying to offer their home quickly and for a higher price. You, the seller, have the opportunity to address these issues before putting your home on the market.

You should never discover a major glitch such as a foundation problem after you’ve signed a contract and are close to completing the transaction. It’s possible that there are problems in the house that aren’t visible. A pre-inspection may be requested by a shrewd home seller in order to avoid unpleasant surprises that could jeopardize the sale of the property. When selling an older home that you’ve lived in for a number of years, this can be a good strategy. A pre-offer inspection can help you identify potential problems and give you the opportunity to fix them. Additionally, sellers can boast that they have received a “clean bill of health” and that they are being upfront about the condition of the property. A pre-inspection can also be beneficial when determining the value of a home. Many states require sellers to provide buyers with property condition disclosures; however, agents recommend that buyers hire an independent home inspector to inspect the property.

Should You Get a Pre-Inspection?

The astute response is to consult with your real estate agent. They will be well-versed in the local market, the current economic climate, and the most effective negotiating strategies available. The answer may also be influenced by the age and condition of the house, as well as whether you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market at the time. A pre-inspection can give the seller the upper hand when it comes to determining the condition of the property being offered for sale. It is preferable to know ahead of time if you have or are likely to have a problem, as well as what repairs may be required and which appliances and systems may turn off prospective buyers. This is something that can be done on your timetable and that you can plan for. It is customary for the seller to be absent during a “typical home inspection”, but as this is your inspection you are very welcome and encouraged to attend.  You know your home the best.  The higher the number of offers received and the faster the house can be sold if there are fewer condition issues or red flags.

Another advantage is that a pre-inspection can assist you in pricing your home if there are issues, and it can also help you to correct those issues. Repairs that are required can be disclosed to the seller before the property is inspected. The fewer surprises there are, the better.

Pre-Inspection Myths

Some common myths about pre-listing inspections are that a potential deal could be lost from defects that are hidden.  It is better that you know about it before the buyers are surprised.  Some people think that a newer home in good condition doesn’t need an inspection.  New homes can have just as many surprises as some old ones.  That is a good reason that owners of newly built properties often get an “11th month inspection” to identify issues that are still in warranty.

The engineers and inspectors job at Middle Tennessee Inspections is to produce an objective and unbiased detailed report about the property you want to sell.  If your property is truly in great shape, inspection becomes a useful marketing piece

Bats are an essential component of a healthy environment.   Making a bat-friendly area in your backyard helps to promote bats’ ecologically important roles in the environment, such as pest control, pollination, and seed dissemination.  Bats are Nature’s mosquito police and feed on moths, wasps, beetles, gnats, midges, and mayflies, as well as other unpleasant insects that disturb your outdoor activities.

Explaining how many insects bats can eat is one of the most effective methods to urge people to protect bats. Some little bats have been revealed to be capable of catching 1,000 or more microscopic insects in a single hour, according to scientists. A nursing mother bat consumes the most insects, taking up to 4,000 in a single night.

 

While having them live in your house isn’t ideal, you can still benefit from them if you install an artificial roost, such as a bat house.  This is one of the finest ways to help bat conservation. Bat houses can be very valuable in providing secure roost areas for bats, especially since bat populations have declined dramatically. Bats serve humans and the environment in a variety of ways, and they need your support!

 

Place your bat house in the best possible place to stimulate bat activity.  The site is equally as crucial as its design.  The bat house should be properly situated for maximum occupancy.

 

Houses facing South or Southeast usually do well. It shouldn’t be too close to a tree or anything else that will obscure sunlight or let predators to get in.  The higher the better. Place the bat home on a pole or outbuilding that is at least 15 feet above the ground. It’s not a good idea to hang it on your house since bats carry mites, fleas, and insects (and, in rare cases, rabies) that you want to keep out. Furthermore, bats are untidy.

 

The temperature has a significant impact on whether or not bats will use a bat house.  It should be kept at a comfortable temperature that is neither too cold nor too hot.

 

Without exception, bat houses should be placed in areas that receive at least eight hours of direct sunlight every day.  Allowing your bat house to enjoy some afternoon shade, especially in the hottest sections of the state, may be useful.   It should be located near a water supply, and in an open area.

 

Bat boxes can be erected at any time of year, but they are more likely to be used during their first summer if they are erected before the bats emerge from their winter hibernation in the spring

 

There are many pre-built bat houses and plans to build your own.  The National Wildlife Federation has a great article.  https://www.nwf.org/garden-for-wildlife/cover/build-a-bat-house

Happy Pi day!

“Probably no symbol in mathematics
has evoked as much mystery, romanticism,
misconception and human interest as
the number pi”
William L. Schaaf

We here at Middle Tennessee Inspections love to celebrate Pi Day which is on March 14th (3/14).  As engineers and techs we love math!  And it’s a great excuse to eat pie!

Pi (often represented by the lower-case Greek letter π), is one of the most well-known mathematical constants. For any circle, the distance around the edge is a little more than three times it’s diameter.  This ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter is approximately 3.141592 represented as ‘pi’.  That is about 22/7 ths.

Pi has been calculated to over 50 trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to remember, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.

 

History

In 1988, the earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by Larry Shaw at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where Shaw worked as a physicist, with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, then consuming fruit pies. They still hold annual Pi Day celebrations every year. In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing March 14 as National Pi Day. In 2010, Google presented a Google Doodle celebrating the holiday, with the word Google laid over images of circles and pi symbols; and for the 30th anniversary in 2018, it was a Dominique Ansel pie with the circumference divided by its diameter.

The entire month of March 2014 (3/14) is observed by some as “Pi Month”. In the year 2015, March 14 was celebrated as “Super Pi Day”. Since it had special significance that the date is written as 3/14/15 in month/day/year format. At 9:26:53, the date and time together represented the first 10 digits of π, and later that second Pi Instant represented all of π’s digits.  Pure awesomeness.

Observance

There are many ways to celebrate Pi Day, including eating pie, throwing pies, and discussing the significance of the number. Pi Day is celebrated every year on March 14th, and is named after a pun based on the words “pi” and “pie” being homophones in English and the coincidental circular shape of many pies. In addition, some schools hold competitions to see which student can recall pi to the greatest number of decimal places with the greatest accuracy.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has traditionally mailed its application decision letters to prospective students on Pi Day, so that they arrive in time for the celebration. MIT has announced that, beginning in 2012, it will post those decisions (in private) online on Pi Day at exactly 6:28 p.m., which they have dubbed “Tau Time,” to honor the rival numbers pi and tau equally. In 2015, regular decisions were made available online at 9:26 a.m., which coincided with the year’s “pi minute,” and in 2020, regular decisions were made available online at 1:59 p.m., which coincided with the first six digits of pi. Engineers enjoy having a good time.

 

The 28th of June is “Two Pi Day,” which is also known as “Tau Day.” 2 is a common multiple in mathematical formulas, and it is denoted by the Greek letter tau in this case. There has been some debate as to whether is the more fundamental constant and whether Tau Day should be observed instead. To commemorate this occasion, some people joke about eating “twice the pie.”

Albert Einstein

The town of Princeton, New Jersey, where Albert Einstein lived and taught for twenty years, is hosting a variety of events to commemorate Pi Day and Einstein.  His birthday also falls on March 14. Einstein worked at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton for more than twenty years during which time he resided in the city. In addition to pie-eating and recitation competitions, there is an annual Einstein look-alike contest that takes place.

Before you eat that celebratory ‘we-just-bought-a-new-house’ pie (be it homemade or McDonalds) give the ‘math wizs’ at Middle Tennessee Inspections a call to make sure your prospective home will still be safe and wonderful for many more Pi days!

HOW TO AVOID HAVING TREE BRANCHES HIT YOUR ROOF

TIPS ON TRIMMING THE TREES AROUND YOUR HOUSE

Tree limbs that are too close to your home can cause damage to the rooftop and other parts of your property. Branches scraping against roof shingles on windy days can strip off layers of asphalt. Also, leaves that fall directly into the gutter can clog it, leading to premature deterioration, mold growth, and even leaks. That is why you would want to avoid having tree branches hit your roof. Here are a few tips to prevent damages.

TRIM THE TREES

Trim all tree branches that come within 6 feet of your roof. We recommend that you hire a professional arborist to get rid of overhanging branches, as they will be able to protect your roof as they work. Making a wrong cut could cause a branch to fall, leading to expensive and extra repairs to your roof, siding, windows, and even your car.

PRUNE YOUNG TREES

Pruning is an excellent way to control shrub and tree growth. Thus, avoiding the branches from reaching your roof. The general rule of thumb is to make the cuts just outside the branch collar to avoid damaging the trunk and compromising wound responses. Eliminate branches that show signs of damage first.

HOW TO CUT A TREE LIMB OVER YOUR HOUSE?

Cutting tree limbs over your roof is a dangerous task, and mistakes can cost you more money than expected. That is why we highly recommend hiring a certified, insured, and experienced arborist to perform the task. Professionals in the field know how to correctly trim the tree and remove branches while keeping your home intact.

Cutting tree limbs will not only avoid costly damages to your roof but will also prevent small animals from gaining access to your roof to try to intrude your home for spring nesting.

 

Give the engineers and inspectors at Middle Tennessee Inspections a call for more ‘tips’ and let to let us check the integrity of your roof.  Keep your home happy and dry!

 

Original post by  Secure LawnRoof inspector logo Drone Pilot Training logo

PROFESSIONAL LAWN CARE AND

 

Whether you’re looking to sell your house or just want it to look like a million bucks lawn care and landscaping is a great way to add curb appeal to your property.

The most obvious benefit of lawn care is that you’ll get to enjoy your lawn in its most beautiful form. A great-looking lawn can be an awesome gathering place for friends and family. Perhaps a more enticing benefit for some is the promise of a higher property value. A great-looking lawn is the first impression for potential buyers. This can help you move your house off the market faster, and ideally at a higher price.

Greenery

There are many tips to keeping your lawn looking great, and one of the biggest ones is maintaining your trees and shrubs. To further increase the resale value of your home, consider adding trees and shrubs to your yard. When well maintained, this type of greenery can increase your property value by up to 15%.

Maintaining this greenery is essential to keeping your yard looking great. One of the more important landscaping tips you can get is to keep your shrubs and trees pest-free. Managing these pests can take stress and pressure off of trees and let them look healthier and more appealing to your potential buyers. Giving your shrubs and trees and healthy environment to thrive is one of our top landscaping tips.

Professional Lawn CarePlant a tree

These days, everybody is busy. After a long work week, the last thing you want to do is spend hours tending to your lawn every weekend. Instead, let professionals take care of it so that you get all the benefits of a beautiful yard without the hassle of doing it yourself. Professional, licensed lawn care technicians are able to care for your lawn all year long so that come summer, it looks as good as it possibly can.

Coming home each day to a well-manicured lawn is about more than that feeling of pride of ownership. When it comes time to find a new home, a healthy lawn will make your property more attractive to potential buyers by adding curb appeal.

Increase Property Values

A professionally maintained lawn does more than just attract interested buyers. It can also increase the value of your home. And it’s a good investment, too. It has been estimated that lawn care provides a 300% return on your investment. How is that possible, you may ask. Consider the selling price of a nearby home similar to yours, but with a poorly maintained lawn. Now take your lawn care cost, triple it, and add it to your house price. You’ll see the price of your house, considering your beautiful landscaping, is definitely worth it.

Spring is almost here!

Take some time after spring has arrived to give your home a thorough inspection as well as its annual spring cleaning. Including these home maintenance recommendations in your daily routine will help your home run more smoothly.

Check your Air Conditioning

Have a professional HVAC contractor come out and perform a tune-up on your air conditioning system. You should do this once a year to ensure the system is operating at its manufacturer-rated efficiency, which can help you save money on your energy costs and keep you cooler on those soon-to-be-here hot Tennessee days. Check the condensate drain hose on your system as well, since we live in a humid region. Mine becomes blocked with algae and debris and I have to clean it regularly.  You can save money by inspecting the hose yourself on a regular basis. Try to flush any debris out then suction any remaining obstruction with a wet-vac.

Roofs And Gutters

Because the strong Middle Tennessee Summer heat may quickly destroy shingles on a roof, you should call a contractor if you haven’t inspected it in several years.  You can take a look from the ground or at gutter level for any loose shingles or screws. Remove any leaves or other material that has accumulated on them or in your gutters. There are many ‘gutter cover’ companies.  I did get a quote from one once; then went to my local hardware store and bought and installed them myself.  This just depends on your comport level on a ladder.  Double-check to verify if your gutters are securely secured and free of leaks.  Look at the fascias and trim. To avoid a potential basement flood, make sure that downspouts guide water away at least six feet from the house’s foundation.

Remember your Foundation

Before the spring rains arrive, inspect the foundation around your home to ensure that your basement is adequately protected. Remove any leaves that may be around it.  Look for cracks or defects and seal them or, if required, get a contractor to fix these issues. In addition, search for low spots in the yard near the foundation that could collect water during a severe downpour. Fill up the depressions in your yard with compacted earth to make them level. Keep an eye out for any additional “ponding” spots in your yard, as well, because standing water might form after a very heavy rain. Mosquitoes can spawn in these pools, making them a breeding site.  This will also make your Summer more enjoyable.

Exterior Tips

Check your outside faucets for freeze damage.  Make sure your window screens have no damage, and rechaulk doors and windows if necessary.  We have a lot of squirrels in Middle Tennessee so make sure all house entry points are sealed. Now’s a great time to make sure your lawn mower is running; better to get it into the shop now instead of when everyone needs repairs.  Spring is also a great time to think about planting trees.  Last year we got a bunch and planted them around the property.  Check out https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/seedlings.html

Decks

If you have a patio deck, look for stains, discolorations, or warping in the wood before using it. If you discover any, you may want to consider resealing the deck.  For confirmation that your old treatment is still functional, pour some water onto a dry deck and watch to see whether it beads up in any way. Generally speaking, deck-sealer manufacturers recommend that you reseal your deck once a year; I do mine every other year. If there are no obvious problems that need to be addressed, you may likely wait until the next spring to reseal. Examine the wood for any sharp edges, splintered wood, or rotten wood before proceeding. In addition, search for rusted nails or screws, or any that are coming loose or causing their connections to weaken or come loose. Inspect the deck posts for any signs of decay.  Also, make sure that the railings and steps are secure and not shaky before you start using the space.

Don’t Forget Inside Safety

Spring is a good time to check your smoke detectors and Fire Extinguishers.  We have all heard that your smoke detector batteries should be changed twice a year but did you know your home fire extinguishers should be checked at least monthly.  Spring is a great time to make sure they are okay.

 

These simple steps will help you and your home enjoy the cool Middle Tennessee Spring weather.

 

 

 

 

 

What are AFCIs? 

An arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) or arc-fault detection device (AFDD) is a circuit breaker or receptacle that breaks the circuit when it detects the electric arcs that are an indicator of loose connections in electrical wiring. Loose connections, which can develop over time, can sometimes become hot enough to ignite house fires. An AFCI selectively distinguishes between a harmless arc (incidental to normal operation of switches, plugs, and brushed motors), and a potentially dangerous arc (that can occur, for example, in a lamp cord which has a broken conductor).

What are AFCI testers or indicators? 

AFCI tester indicators (sometimes called AFCI testers) are portable devices designed to test AFCI functionality. They create waveform patterns similar to those produced by actual arc faults, thereby causing working AFCIs to trip. AFCI indicators are considerably larger and more expensive (by several hundred dollars) than  ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) indicators and are of questionable effectiveness. For these reasons, they are not used as widely as GFCI indicators.

Why are AFCI indicators important?

While an AFCI circuit breaker comes with a test button that performs a role similar to a portable AFCI indicator, this button cannot test for arc faults within individual portions of the branch circuit. An AFCI indicator, however, can test any individual receptacle within the branch. InterNACHI inspectors should use AFCI indicators to inspect receptacles observed and deemed to be AFCI-protected.

How do they work?

AFCI indicators should be inserted directly into the receptacle. Some AFCI indicators offer a number of testing options. This indicator creates eight to 12 pulses of 106 to 141 amp charges in less than a second which should be recognized by the AFCI as a dangerous arc and cause it to open the circuit that it serves. The indicator can also test for nuisance tripping, the annoying tendency of an AFCI to open its circuit when it detects a safe, shared neutral connection. For this test, it produces a 300mA arc that should not cause the AFCI to trip. Some AFCI indicators conveniently incorporate a GFCI indicator into their design.

AFCI indicators are somewhat larger than GFCI indicators but they are operated in the same way. An inspector simply inserts one into a receptacle and navigates the menu in order to produce the desired electric current. The user will know that the circuit in question has been tripped if the AFCI device loses power. If this occurs following an AFCI test, the AFCI is functioning properly. The user should then go to the electrical panel to reset the AFCI breaker. If the test results in the failure of an AFCI breaker to open the circuit, then a qualified electrician should be contacted.

How effective are they? 

It is important to understand the distinction between an AFCI indicator and the test button on an AFCI device. The latter produces an actual arc fault and can be relied upon to assess the functionality of the AFCI. An indicator, by contrast, creates waveforms that are not true arcs but are characteristic of them and are thus not a completely reliable measure of an AFCI’s functionality. As a result of this distinction, an indicator might not cause a perfectly functional AFCI to trip. Although commonly called testers, it is more appropriate to refer to them as indicators, despite terminology that often appears in AFCI “tester” user guides.

Underwriters Laboratories, a product-testing organization that develops product standards, requires AFCI indicators to include the following information detailing this limitation in their product manuals:

CAUTION:  AFCIs recognize characteristics unique to arcing, and AFCI indicators produce characteristics that mimic some forms of arcing. Because of this, the indicator may give a false indication that the AFCI is not functioning properly. If this occurs, recheck the operation of the AFCI using the test and reset buttons. The AFCI button test function will demonstrate proper operation.

This caution implies that an AFCI is working properly if the indicator causes it to trip, but the reverse is not necessarily true.  An AFCI that does not trip as a result of an indicator may actually be perfectly fine. The test button on the circuit interrupter can be used to confirm its malfunction in the event that the indicator does not cause it to trip. Manufacturers claim that their AFCI indicators provide a universal method to test AFCIs that are produced by different companies.

 

Summary 

AFCI indicators help ensure that AFCIs are properly monitoring the circuits that they serve for dangerous arc faults. These devices create electrical waveforms characteristic of those produced by an actual arc. As their effectiveness has been debated, they should be viewed as a complement to the test button on an AFCI, rather than a substitute.

Original Article Copied with Permission from InterNACHI – https://www.nachi.org/3.htm

 

 

Because IR cameras help inspectors rapidly and precisely find and document faults, thermal imaging has become a crucial tool for the engineers and inspectors at Middle Tennessee Inspections. Infrared thermal imaging cameras detect slight but significant temperature changes in various sections of a home, indicating problems that the human eye would never notice and that a visual inspection might only guess about. Its capacity to read heat as color and show that information in an easy to understand way for homeowners. Many full color IR photographs will be included in your Middle Tennessee Inspections inspection report.

Moisture is a major concern that these examinations identify, including hidden mold sources, roof leaks, and posts that indicate termite nests. Electrical issues, heat and energy loss, foundation fissures, structural concerns, missing insulation, ventilation issues, and rat infestations are all uncovered. Let’s go over a few of the most common camera issues we encounter, which might save you a lot of money.

William Herschel, the British astronomer best known for discovering Uranus, discovered infrared light almost 200 years ago. After World War II, IR pictures were utilized by the military as a reconnaissance tool, with cameras attached aboard planes collecting photographs. IR technology had advanced to commercial and industrial applications by the time of the Vietnam War. The practical uses of thermography have constantly risen as the technology has evolved and become more portable and less expensive. Thermal imaging has become highly popular for building inspections because it can find and document faults in ways that provide more data and accuracy than many of the more traditional equipment and procedures.

During an inspection, thermal imaging is mostly employed as a non-contact temperature measurement method. This method of measuring temperature differences allows for a fast assessment of huge areas. During building inspections and energy audits, infrared cameras can be used to discover problems by observing temperature changes, which the camera interprets as infrared radiation and displays as gradient colors. Infrared radiation is emitted by all objects, which is invisible to the naked eye but detectable by thermal imaging. Inspectors can use this information to uncover flaws that would otherwise be more difficult and time-consuming to locate. Understanding the data displayed by the camera is critical to properly exploiting IR technology to its full potential.

Infrared cameras are mostly employed in the inspection business to determine what is known as “apparent” temperature. Because of the varying levels of emissivity of different areas and objects, as well as other factors that can affect data, such as wind and weather conditions, determining the e

xact temperature of an anomaly with infrared alone can be difficult, which is why the most common use of thermal imaging in inspections is to locate and document problems.

A dark region in the thermal image of a ceiling, for example, could suggest moisture above it. A moisture meter can be used to confirm moisture penetration once this has been seen. The wet spot’s pattern can be recorded with the camera, and the region above the ceiling can then be studied with infrared to try to figure out where the leak is coming from. Many moisture meter readings and infrared photographs will be included in your Middle Tennessee Inspections report.

In a situation like this,  when infrared is frequently employed in inspections, the precise temperature measurement — the quantitative value — is irrelevant. What matters is that the apparent temperature difference alerted the inspector to a problem location that could be reported and investigated further. As a result, IR camera examination is a qualitative rather than a quantitative measurement. Thermal imaging is used to find abnormalities in the form of temperature variations,

evaluate the patterns, and document the problems.

In most inspection reports, thermal pictures are utilized to visually document faults discovered on site. The ‘visible-light snapshot’ as well as the IR picture are included as a background in the FLIR IR cameras utilized by Middle Tennessee Inspections, along with a description of the issue that was detected. Because it displays any clear, visible problems, the addition of standard, digital photographs makes side-by-side comparisons easier for both inspectors and clients to understand. IR, on the other hand, does not stop at the obvious. The infrared image accurately depicts a fault that the digital camera was unable to capture. For example, a digital image may show a dried water stain at a wall-ceiling junction, whereas an infrared image may show a black spot in the same location. While the digital image appears to show an old stain, the IR image reveals that moisture is still present, necessitating more study to discover and repair the problem.

Middle Tennessee Inspections’ engineer inspectors are InterNACHI Infrared Certified.

Attic Door Frame

 

 

Recently I inspected a property in Coffee County, TN with a newly installed attic hatch. At Middle Tennessee Inspections we always take a lot of InfraRed (IR) pictures and I’m glad I did here. The attic was insulated, but the door was not. It lacked a ‘weatherstrip

Attic Door IR

Attic Door using IR Camera

ping seal’ to close up the gap between the door and the frame. A quick trip to Lowes or Home Depot might save a lot of money for the homeowner.

Attic hatches have a hidden issue in that they may look to be in good working order but actually still leak a lot of energy. Even if the woodwork and paint on an attic hatch are immaculate, it can still be a gigantic heat leak. Although your attic is probably insulated, there’s a strong possibility your entrance hatch isn’t.  In the Summer, it will radiate heat into the home, and in the Winter, it will release heat and let warm air out. Despite the fact that attic hatches can be the source of massive air leaks and radiant heat loss, they are rarely repaired.

Here are two suggestions for saving energy and you some money. Increase the thickness of the insulation on and around the door itself. Then, and this is frequently the most important step, close the space between the door and the hatch to prevent air flow and heat loss. For this example, we’ll utilize a standard plywood hatch with finish molding over the rough-cut hole.

Fiberglass insulation on the top of the door will help, but a better long-term option is to construct a box out of solid insulation that fits over the framed opening of the door, as well as any folded steps if you have them. Rigid insulation is more effective than fiberglass in terms of sealing the box. Plus, when you open the hatch, none of that fiberglass will fall into your house. There are commercially available alternatives. For attic stair insulation, your local hardware store has everything from ready-made reflective foil tents to complex covers manufactured from thick expanded polystyrene (EPS).  You can also readily purchase pre-cut kits at hardware stores or on-line. They come in a number of sizes to fit a variety of attic door styles. Over time, that initial investment will save you a lot of money.

The weather-stripping on the hatches is frequently missing or insufficient. Even if it was fitted, there’s a good chance it’s been damaged as a result of use over time. When they dry out, they lose their effectiveness as well. Examine the weatherstripping and gaskets surrounding your attic hatch’s opening. If they appear to be damaged or dried out you should consider replacing them. It’s possible that they’ll simply rip away from the frame but if the weatherstripping was fastened with nails or screws, simply pull them out with a screwdriver or plyers.  A wire cutter works to remove all of the fasteners as well.  Two inch wood stays should be installed all the way around the opening if the attic hatch sits directly on the molding. These stops allow you to apply fresh weatherstripping with more ease. Hook and loop fasteners are a great idea to secure your door and hold it close to the weatherstripping.

After removing the old weatherstripping, or if there was none to begin with, you’re ready to install new weatherstripping. Cut it to fit snuggly on all four sides along the bottom edge of the trim as well as the other three edges. It’s much easier to use self-adhesive weatherstripping.  When finished, completely close the door/hatch and press down on the gasket to create a complete seal.

Let the engineers and inspectors at Middle Tennessee Inspections assist you in minimizing your heating bills. We have the experience, knowledge, and equipment necessary to quickly diagnose problems and save you money.

Attic Door Frame

Attic Door Frame with no Weatherstripping