Most homeowners know that they need to regularly maintain their home and keep it clean. Some might focus on surface cleaning throughout the week and dedicate a few days a month to deep cleaning tasks. However, there is one area of the home that many homeowners ignore that could be wreaking havoc on health.
What is the most neglected space in the home? The largely unused and oft-ignored space is the attic, and it could be an empty cave of dust, debris, mold, mildew and allergens. Unfortunately for homeowners, what exists in the uppermost level must come down, and the allergens and particles of an unclean attic could leave homeowners sneezing, wheezing or worse.
Here’s How Frequently Homeowners Need to Clean the Attic
The recommendations for attic cleaning vary per expert. Some companies that specialize in attic spaces recommend cleaning and inspecting it twice a year. The Spruce recommends that homeowners clean the area seasonally or once a year (at the minimum).
Homeowners need to look for any evidence of rodent or insect infestations. In addition, check the space for mold. If homeowners notice an issue that points to infestation and/or mold, they can call a professional to assess the issue. Mold remediation needs to be done properly to ensure that the mold is fully removed. In addition, pest control companies know the best ways to remove each type of household pest.
How Long Does it Take to Clean the Attic?
Spruce explains that a thorough cleaning of the attic space can take about four hours. For spring attic cleaning, the company Wildlife Shield explains that the space can get hot (this depends on the region, though); homeowners should take breaks during an extensive cleaning to ensure they don’t become overheated.
Wildlife Shield advises homeowners to check the space in the spring for any wetness or dampness. In addition, homeowners also should inspect the insulation. The pest control company warns that winter could be the time when rodents and other animals try to make a home in the attic; check for any evidence of rodents, and, during winter cleaning, the company advises homeowners to seal up any areas that could allow animals to enter.
For an attic without any issues of mold or pests, homeowners might use a portable vacuum to clean up any dust and debris that could be causing allergies to enter the home. In addition, many homeowners store items in the attic. Organize boxes and other items; in addition, consider donating any unwanted household items to charity.
Assess the Insulation
While homeowners are cleaning up their attic, they also should inspect the insulation. Some companies note that attic insulation can last for decades and perhaps a century when it’s maintained. However, if the insulation has been damaged by pests or is in poor condition, homeowners should contact a professional to inspect it and assess if it needs to be replaced.
Homeowners could discover that their attic insulation isn’t fully protecting their home. They might invest in a better insulation material to improve the energy efficiency of their home and help lower their heating and cooling costs.
This Space also Could Benefit from Inspection
Some homes don’t have a full basement. Instead they have a small area under the house that is called a crawl space. Like the attic, the crawl space should be inspected regularly. Homeowners can inspect it before winter begins and during spring, too.
Again, look for evidence of mold, water and wetness (that could indicate leaks) and pests, too. If homeowners notice issues related to leaks, mold or pests, contact a professional. In addition, homeowners also should block any entry points near the crawl space to ensure rodents and other animals cannot make the space a home.
The Attic also Could be Transformed
When cleaning their attic, homeowners might realize that this space represents an opportunity to expand their home’s living area. In older homes, attics could have been transformed into extra bedrooms.
An attic transformation could be an expensive renovation. However, according to HouseLogic, this project also has a great return-on-investment for homeowners who might sell their home in the future. HouseLogic reports that renovating the attic into a living space will cost on average $100,000, but the project reaps a 75 percent return.
Schedule Attic Cleaning
It could be easy for homeowners to forget about the attic. However, this area can harbor pests, mold and allergens, too. Set a reminder on a phone or other device to clean the attic twice per year. This regular maintenance could help homeowners catch pest infestations and other problems; if attic inspections and cleaning reveal an issue, homeowners can take action and bring in the professionals.