When your out shopping for your new home your realtor takes you out to all these different homes. This is where you get the chance to go through all the rooms in the house except one, the attic. Now we all know an attic isn’t actually a room but it is a space in the house that often gets overlooked.
There are many problems that may exist in your attic but today I am going to focus on bath and kitchen vents as well as your furnace and water heater flue. It is very common that these become disconnected in the attic space. Since the average person hardly ever goes into their attic this problem goes unnoticed for a very long time.
This is a picture of a disconnected flue pipe, (B Vent), in an attic space that was used to vent hot moist flue gasses that contain carbon monoxide produced from a forced air furnace and gas water heater. Not only is this a carbon monoxide hazard it is also a fire hazard. It is also adding moisture to the attic space. If this was taken in the winter I’m sure I would find frost on the underside of the roof sheathing.
This is a picture of a disconnected bathroom vent that I found while doing a home inspection in St. Paul Minnesota. This is a typical amateur installation. Not only did it come apart it, the materials they used were the best choice for this application. An insulated flex duct would have been a better choice. If bath vents are not insulated the warm moist bathroom air will condense in the uninsulated pipe and run back down causing water damage to the bathroom ceiling. Disconnected bathroom vents will dump A LOT of moisture into the attic space, keep doing it and you’ll have mold, leave it even longer and you will be replacing a lot of rotted roof sheathing. Not good folks, don’t do this.
Here we have a kitchen vent that was PURPOSELY vented into the attic. I bet this guy was proud of the job he did. Notice the nicely installed vent hood. I’m not sure what his intentions for this was but its just wrong. A hole through the roof is needed with the proper vent hood that is properly flashed.