Attic and Roof Inspection Checklist


  1. Attic ventilation is very important in every home. We recommend that every home be properly ventilated.  Proper ventilation includes any of the following combinations: roof vents and soffit vents, ridge vents and soffit vents, or gable vents and soffit vents
  2. A Professional Inspector will make sure when checking ventilation that the soffit vents are not plugged by insulation inside the attics near the soffit areas. We always recommend having baffles installed to keep the soffit areas clear for proper ventilation.
  3. If a ridge vent has been installed a Professional Inspector will make sure sure the ridge vent is clean, the ridge vent will occasionally get plugged with insulation and not vent properly.  Also make sure the sheathing under the ridge vent is cut back to a minimum of 3″ for proper ventilation. This is a very common mistake made by roofers.
  4. If the home has roof vents make sure they are not plugged from animal, birds or bees nests.
  5. We recommend that every attic have a minimum of 10″ to 12″ of insulation installed.
  6. We recommend looking very closely for rotted sheathing caused from water leaks. Common areas to find damage sheathing is near chimneys, around any roof vents, around sky lights and in valley areas.
  7. We recommend looking very closely at either wood trusses or engineered trusses for cracks or bowing.  It is very common that in older homes wood trusses would have very long spans and would cause the structure to bow.  If the trusses are bowing additional support may be needed.  Contact a local licensed contractor to review the attic structure and make any and all necessary repairs.
  8. It is very common in attic today to find a black substance or possible mold on the sheathing.  This is generally caused because the attic is not venting properly. If mold is found we recommend you hire a mold inspector to make all necessary recommendations.
  9. When inspecting attics make sure all bathroom vents are vented to the exterior of the home, all plumbing vents are run thru the roof to the exterior of the home.


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This photo indicates that the attic sheathing is in good condition.

Attic sheathing Mold

Mold on the attic sheathing.


Attic Sheathing Mold

Mold on the attic sheathing.




This ridge vent has been properly installed, the wood sheathing has been cut open a minimum of 3 inches.

Attic vent

This is a ridge vent that has never been cut open, this will stop the air from venting out of your home.

attic vent

We recommend that a ridge vent should be cut open 3″ wide; this one is only 1″ wide.  This will not allow proper ventilation out of the attic.

Attic ventilation blockage

These soffit vents have been blocked with insulation, this will stop the air from venting properly in your home.


The arrows are pointing to the what is called baffles for soffit vents.  This allows attics to properly vent while adding additional insulation in the attic.


The only difference between these baffles and the ones to the left in the photo is that these are made of cardboard.



Blown in fiberglass insulation is very commonly found in homes. R-Value is between 2.20 & 4.30 per inch.


Rolled Fiberglass insulation. R-Value is between 3.14 & 4.30 per inch.


Blown in attic Cellulose insulation. R-Value is between 3.60 & 3.70 per inch


Blown in White Fiberglass R-Value is 2.8 per inch.


This attic has been insulated using blown fiberglass, it has approx. 6 in of insulation we recommend adding approx. 10 in more.


Blocks of Styrofoam insulation, if you find this in your attic we recommend to have this removed and add new insulation.

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When looking into a attic do the best you can with looking at the bathroom exhaust fans how they have been wired.  These poor wiring jobs generally are found in older homes where the homeowner is doing the work themselves

spliced wires in attic

Electrical wires spliced together should be placed into a covered junction box.



Other Attic Inspection Issues:


Attic Sheathing water stains around chimney

Water stains were found under the chimney, this is caused from a flashing leak around the exterior of the chimney.

water stains in attic

Water stains found in the attic are common because there is always a small amount of water that will enter thru a roof vent or a ridge vent.

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This photo indicated the bathroom plumbing vent being properly run to the exterior of the home thru the roof sheathing.

bathroom fan in attic

Bathroom exhaust vent that should be run to the exterior of the home.  This is common to find in older homes.

Attic plumbing vents

The two white pipes are plumbing waste pipes that should be run thru the roof to the exterior of the home.


This is a photo of a bathroom vent that was run into the attic instead of the exterior of the home.


Cracked Roof truss

Cracked roof joist should be repaired by a licensed builder.

poor roof supports

This attic structure needs additional support, and was most likely repaired by a non professional.


This photo indicates a properly installed knee wall in a attic for additional support to roof structure. The red lines on the left side indicate the knee wall

Collar ties

Collar tie, used for adding additional support to attic roof supports..


This photo indicates what can happens when roof sheathing clips are not installed.  The lower section of sheathing has bowed. If a roof clip was installed this would not happen.

re roof over old pot vent

This is a photo of a roof vent that has been removed and new shingles were installed over it.  The hole should have been re-supported before installingnew shingles.