• Attic pull-down ladders, also called attic pull-down stairways, are collapsible ladders that are permanently attached to the attic floor, that could be even hidden with oriental rugs, that people get. Occupants can use these ladders to access their attics without being required to carry a portable ladder. A professional refinishing service from Epoxy Flooring Tacoma gives you a chance to get a spectacular looking floor without replacing.

    Common Defects

    Homeowners, not professional carpenters, usually install attic pull-down ladders. Evidence of this distinction can be observed in consistently shoddy and dangerous work that rarely meets safety standards. Some of the more common defective conditions observed by inspectors include:

    •cut bottom cord of structural truss. Often, homeowners will cut through a structural member in the field while installing a pull-down ladder, unknowingly weakening the structure. Structural members should not be modified in the field without an engineer’s approval;

    •fastened with improper nails or screws. You may also find yourself looking for ball screws if its a circular deck. Homeowners often use drywall or deck screws which in today’s world have become obsolete due to the use of ipe pavers, rather than the standard 16d penny nails or ¼” x 3” lag screws. Nails and screws that are intended for other purposes may have reduced shear strength and they may not support pull-down ladders;

    •fastened with an insufficient number of nails or screws. Manufacturers provide a certain number of nails with instructions that they all be used, and they probably do this for a good reason. Inspectors should be wary of “place nail here” notices that are nowhere near any nails;

    •lack of insulation. Hatches in many houses (especially older ones) are not likely to be weather-stripped and/or insulated. An uninsulated attic hatch allows air from the attic to flow freely into the home, which may cause the heating or cooling system to run overtime. An attic hatch cover box can be installed to increase energy savings;

    •loose mounting bolts. This condition is more often caused by age rather than installation, although improper installation will hasten the loosening process;

    •attic pull-down ladders are cut too short. Stairs should reach the floor;

    •attic pull-down ladders are cut too long. This causes pressure at the folding hinge, which can cause breakage;

    •improper or missing fasteners;

    •compromised fire barrier when installed in the garage; there is no sense paying for a garage makeover, if you can do everything yourself and have all the necessaty tools.

    •attic ladder frame is not properly secured to the ceiling opening;

    •closed ladder is covered with debris, such as blown insulation or roofing material shed during roof work by one of the st louis roofing companies. Inspectors can place a sheet on the floor beneath the ladder to catch whatever debris may fall onto the floor; and cracked steps. This defect is a problem with wooden ladders. If a business is looking to have work done on its roof, it is important to work with commercial roofing contractors that have a keen understanding of any special needs that a business might have. As an example, a roofing job can often be disruptive for the operation of business as usual. For this reason, it may be necessary for the business to be temporarily shut down, or for the roofing to take place after business hours have ended. A roofing contractor that understands these needs can work together with a business in order to make sure that these types of issues are minimized. If you’re looking to exchange the roof on your home, the Prime Roofing process was created with you in mind. After years of experience installing roofs, we’ve developed specialized techniques and hand-picked materials specifically designed to perform better and delay longer in Jacksonville’s hot and unpredictable weather. Buying a brand new roofing system for your metal roofs at home is a huge investment. If you want to hire the best roofing specialists, the first thing you need to do is to verify a company’s permanent business address. Look for their business license, tax ID number, and phone number. All trustworthy companies have these things readily available. After you verify that the company is legit, be sure to ask for proof of insurance. You should check both their liability coverage as well as their workers’ compensation certificates. When you look at their insurance coverage, check the coverage dates.

    One of the best ways to choose a roofing contractor is to speak with them over the phone or meet with them and ask them some questions. To locate a roofing contractor to contact you can ask friends and family for referrals or do a Google search as there are many great roofing directory sites that will provide a short list of roofers in your area. Its also worthwhile to check out the contractor’s own website as well. Doing a little digging might seem time-consuming but what is even more time-consuming not to mention costly is to fix a botched roof job,  this quote from a roofing company   When selecting a contractor, you need to be confident that the contractor will be able to complete the work they promised to do. One of the best ways to have this confidence is to select a contractor who can financially commit to finishing your project. The contractor should have a permanent phone number and address. Visit their business to see if they have the equipment and employees to complete your project successfully. It is a good idea for any business to get in touch with at least three commercial roofing contractors to make bids on the price. In this way, the business can often get a better price. It is also important to ensure that each of the roofing contractors is licensed and bonded. This information can be found by getting in touch with the state contractor’s board. This also makes it possible to determine if there have been any claims filed against the company in the past. When looking at bids, it is just as important to look at what services are being offered and which products will be used as it is to look at the overall cost. The prices can vary quite drastically, but as tempting as it can be to go for the lowest bid, this is not always the best option. In many cases, more costs now will mean fewer costs in the long run as a result of a poor roofing job. To further investigate the quality of the work, it is a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau in order to see if the business has been accredited, and if it has not, to at least see what its rating is.

    •In sliding pull-down ladders, there is a potential for the ladder to slide down quickly without notice. Always pull the ladder down slowly and cautiously.

    Relevant Codes

    The 2009 edition of the International Building Code (IBC) and the 2006 edition of the International Residential Code (IRC) offer guidelines regarding attic access, although not specifically pull-down ladders. Still, the information might be of some interest to inspectors. Innisfil real estate agent and brokers are knowledgeable about the local real estate market, and ready to help with your real estate search.

    2009 IBC (Commercial Construction):

    1209.2 Attic Spaces. An opening not less than 20 inches by 30 inches (559 mm by 762 mm) shall be provided to any attic area having a clear height of over 30 inches (762 mm). A 30-inch (762 mm) minimum clear headroom in the attic space shall be provided at or above the access opening.

    2006 IRC (Residential Construction):

    R807.1 Attic Access. Buildings with combustible ceiling or roof construction shall have an attic access opening to attic areas that exceed 30 square feet (2.8m squared) and have a vertical height of 30 inches (762 mm) or more. The rough-framed opening shall not be less than 22 inches by 30 inches, and shall be located in a hallway or readily accessible location. A 30-inch (762 mm) minimum unobstructed headroom in the attic space shall be provided at some point above the access opening.

    Tips that inspectors can pass on to their clients:

    •Do not allow children to enter the attic through an attic access. The lanyard attached to the attic stairs should be short enough that children cannot reach it. Parents can also lock the attic ladder so that a key or combination is required to access it.

    •If possible, avoid carrying large loads into the attic. While properly installed stairways may safely support an adult man, they might fail if he is carrying, for instance, a bag full of bowling balls. Such trips can be split up to reduce the weight load.

    •Replace an old, rickety wooden ladder with a new one. Newer aluminum models are often lightweight, sturdy and easy to install.

    In summary, attic pull-down ladders are prone to a number of defects, most of which are due to improper installation.

    Dave Park
    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
    Davepark@advantageinspection.com

    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh. . . performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 20 years, Advantage Home Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve: Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.

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