A Rare Sight

Attic Access.jpg

An important part of the inspection is the attic area - there are a number of items "hidden" away up there. Homes without garage pull down ladders will have an attic access hatch (note to designers - do not put these in a closet) which is usually a piece of the ceiling gypsum board held in place by gravity.  My procedure for this situation when it is time to go into this "sauna" (never have found a cool attic yet) is to spread out a sheet on the floor, place my ladder, and put on my eye protection. I then push up on the hatch door to gain access to the attic. Usually the first item to start falling down on me is loose insulation, which is why the sheet is on the floor - to catch this insulation and whatever else is up there around the hatch. The photo above is the first time I have ever seen an access have the code required insulation baffle. Code states the baffle is there "to prevent the loose fill insulation from spilling into the living space when the attic access is opened, and to provide a permanent means on maintaining the installed R-value of the loose fill insulation". In this case the insulation could be 14" all the way to the edge of the opening. There should be an equivalent R-value of fiberglass insulation batts on top of the access door which should fall back in place when the door is shut.  What I have not ever seen yet is the code required weatherstripping of the attic access door. What is the rest of the story - this house was built before the 2010 Florida building codes that required these features.