Wind Wash & Inspecting Your Attic

Did you know that inspecting your attic is part of homeowner maintenance? Going into your own attic can be intimidating for many homeowners but it is necessary to ensure the proper care and maintenance of materials in this area. Below are some tips and ideas of what you should be looking for during your inspection:

  • Wind Wash: Wind wash is typically caused by air flow coming from soffits or roof vents. The loose fill gets pushed out of place causing bare spots or uneven distribution of the insulation. Loose fill should be fluffy and evenly dispersed with a minimum of any low or high spot.
  • What to look for: There should be no bare spots showing at all. When looking in the attic typical areas of concerns are right under roof vents or in the corners of the attic space. Often times the wind is coming from the north or north west side of your home. Traditionally this is where we find the majority of disturbed insulation. See pictures.

What happens when wind wash goes untreated?

  • Temperature in the room below will be noticeably colder.
  • Moisture on ceiling of room below.
  • Frost build-up in the attic as well as on the ceiling in the room directly below.

 

 

Things to remember when you are going into your attic:

  • Do not go up when you are home alone. Use the buddy system. Ask someone to join you or to check on you periodically.
  • Bring a flashlight or wear a head mounted lamp so you can be hands-free.
  • Consider using a dust mask; it can get dusty and dirty in attic.
  • When walking you often pack down insulation. When returning to the attic hatch be sure to "cover your tracks" of any disturbed insulation in order to maintain even distribution.
  • Insulation will cover a lot of things you don't want to damage. Gas lines, electrical lines, duct work for central air and heating, exhaust fans from your bathroom, plumbing/sewer vent pipes, hot water heater/stove exhaust pipes, etc. Some of it you will see and some you won't. Don't step where you can't see.

Wind Wash can usually be repaired by re-distributing the insulation back into the proper location in the attic. You can do this with your hands however a rake or a broom often make this job easier. In some extreme cases when wind wash keeps re-occurring, batts of insulations can be installed to keep that area warm.

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