Homeowners who don’t pay attention to what’s going on in their attics can face costly damage that can spread throughout their entire home. Internet is full of videos made with wireless ip video surveillance cameras which capture critters such as mice, squirrels, bats and bees living in people’s attics; meanwhile, one in 10 homeowners have never even seen their attics.
Rodents in the attic can be a nuisance at best, and if they are not eradicated quickly, they can become home wreckers, as squirrels and rats have been known to chew through electrical wires in attics. While this almost always ends badly for the animals, sparks from their gnawing can set the house on fire.
Many attics also house mechanical equipment, such as central air conditioning systems, exhaust fans, electrical junction boxes and plumbing. Homeowners should regularly make sure that any system that is connected to an electrical or water source in their attic is in good working condition, as a burst pipe or a clogged drain in the attic could lead to widespread water damage on the floors below.
Adding to the risk of loss, many homeowners store valuables, such as antiques, art and family heirlooms, in their attics. Most people use their attics for storage of seasonal clothing, luggage, family photographs, memorabilia and other items. These valuables are often exposed to significant temperature fluctuations throughout the year, which can hasten their deterioration.
We recommends storing fragile valuables in another part of the house that is not subject to extreme hot or cold temperatures. Also see if you can equip your attic with alarm systems to detect smoke, water leaks and extreme temperatures.
Some insurance companies, such as Chubb offer complimentary appraisals of customers’ homes. Check with your insurance company.