Walking around in an unfinished attic is an accident waiting to happen. Although most roofing trusses are designed to hold a couple hundred pounds or more, they are meant to bear the weight from above, not below on the bottom beams. If you are a fairly lightweight person, you might be able to get away with stepping only on the beams, but what are the odds that you will not slip and fall through the insulation to the floor below? Here is what can happen if you choose to throw caution to the wind and walk around in your unfinished attic.
The Attic Floor
Your attic floor is the ceiling to your house's level below. Beneath the mounds of insulation in the unfinished attic are some thin layers of wood, drywall, plaster and paint. If you were to slip and fall off of a truss beam, you can go through the floor and break through the ceiling into your home. It leaves a giant hole and a massive mess that only roofing contractors can fix. Additionally, it exposes your home to the outdoor elements, making it impossible to cool or heat your home, keep it dry, and keep bugs, bats and attic pests from entering the rest of the house.
Applying to Much Weight to the Trusses
Another problem that could result from wandering about in your attic is that you could crack or snap the trusses. Old, moldy, rotting and/or very dry trusses can split when a heavier person steps on them. There is no guarantee that your weight will not affect your trusses and cost you thousands of dollars in replacement and repair costs. Until a contractor checks out your trusses, it is better to leave any attic adventures to the pros. They know where they can step and how to do it to avoid damage and injury.
Making Your Attic Safer
For whatever reason you feel the need to crawl around in your attic, you should consider finishing the space. Having a finished attic means safety, a long life for your roof supports, and an increase in your home's value. Hire a roofing contractor like Darr Roofing who will examine your roof, your trusses, and reinforce or replace anything that needs work. Then the contractor can put a floor in in your attic, one which will bear your weight no matter where you step and will prevent you from falling through the floor or snapping your truss bases like twigs.