Real Estate

Home Inspection - No Access to Attic

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 21st, 2021 2:56 pm
[OP]
Member
Mar 26, 2009
367 posts
239 upvotes
Toronto

Home Inspection - No Access to Attic

We've been looking actively for a home in Toronto since March. We've seen a number of places and only two have come back with a home inspection. Both times, there's been no access to the attic. These are older homes - built in the early 1900's.

How much of a red flag is this? Obviously we have concerns with mold etc. but starting to get suspicious that two reports didn't have access. Any insight?
6 replies
Member
Dec 3, 2019
270 posts
224 upvotes
Ontario
More details would help:
What was the reason given for no access to the attic and by whom? Were you there?
Has the home inspector actually wanted to walk into the attic or just poke their head in?


Maybe the home inspector did not have a proper ladder to get up there so it was a good excuse for them. They usually show up in a regular car that can't support a big ladder.
There could have been loose insulation the home owner was afraid would fall back into the house. (I personally experienced this objection)
Sr. Member
Oct 22, 2016
776 posts
710 upvotes
Comox Valley
Some times the attic access in a closet, is blocked off by a stacked washer and dryer. Maybe at one time, asbestos has been detected in the attic, and they tape shut the access hatch.

Absolutely preferable to have a look at it, but their be reasons for no access to it.

Washer and dryer thing happed to me when I was inspecting. My client was on site and he was not happy I could not get in there. I brought the 2 realtors, existing homeowner, and prospect buyer, to the closet, where the washer and dryer was. I told them my client wants me to inspect the Attic, and I want to inspect the attic. But I told them their is no access to the attic, with the washer and dryer in the way. I then told them, are you willing to move those appliances? They refused, so no attic inspection.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
6274 posts
3471 upvotes
Thornhill
It's not uncommon for century old homes to not have attic access. Sometimes there's not even enough room to crawl through.

If you're concerned with moisture get a moisture test and air quality test in the home done. The air quality tests pick up tiny particulates of all sorts.
Deal Addict
Sep 6, 2017
4019 posts
2568 upvotes
User452441 wrote: Some times the attic access in a closet, is blocked off by a stacked washer and dryer. Maybe at one time, asbestos has been detected in the attic, and they tape shut the access hatch.

Absolutely preferable to have a look at it, but their be reasons for no access to it.

Washer and dryer thing happed to me when I was inspecting. My client was on site and he was not happy I could not get in there. I brought the 2 realtors, existing homeowner, and prospect buyer, to the closet, where the washer and dryer was. I told them my client wants me to inspect the Attic, and I want to inspect the attic. But I told them their is no access to the attic, with the washer and dryer in the way. I then told them, are you willing to move those appliances? They refused, so no attic inspection.
you do not want to disturb those fibers now do we.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 4, 2005
3044 posts
805 upvotes
Toronto
First house I bought had no access to the attic. When we did the home inspection it was just noted as such. As to what's up there now... *shrugs* beats me!
Deal Addict
Sep 2, 2009
1872 posts
1850 upvotes
Ottawa
The main concerns would likely be: very little space for access / insulation (harder to make the home more energy efficient), asbestos (risk but it is closed off), pests. The inspector/you would have to look for signs of this in the ceiling (sagging ceiling, sounds, discoloration, etc).

If you do decide to get the house, you can buy an inspection camera and make a small hole or two in order to see what's up there. This could also help locate a good spot in order to create an access if there is enough space.

Alternatively, whenever the roof needs to get done next, you could use the opportunity to look through the ventilation opening or replace/remove one of the wooden panel from under the shingles (this may also give decent access to make any fixes you can or adding insulation).

Top