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Too dang Hot!

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Two parts to this question. Just wondering if anyone else is trying to encourage clients to set appointments either early in the morning or in the evening to avoid the heat. I'm considering adding a $500 heat surcharge it's been so dang hot here lately (102 yesterday).

The question here is, what tips do you old timers have in beating the heat when inspecting?

The second question is about heat in the attic. How much is too much for you? The other day I went into an attic that registered 118 degree's. When I opened the scuttle, I knew I was in trouble as I got blasted by hot air and instantly started to sweat. Figuring there was a problem, and also confused as I saw two powered and two static vents from the outside I went in to see what was up. The problem was, the current owner was a real pack rat and stacked the attic full. There were boxes stacked to the rafters, literally. One static vent had maybe 4 inches of clearance, and the other three vents were totally blocked with boxes and junk. Even the soffits were blocked off. So in reality there was ZERO ventilation.

But my question is this. At what point would you refuse to go into a space? In this one, I had to make three trips. After the first I asked the Realtor to hang out below the scuttle and keep talking to me. I know I didn't do my best job up there as I was actually more worried about a dam heat stroke. After I finished up there, I actually had to change my shirt before I could continue as it was so soaked with sweat. I told the client, that after the seller moves everything out I would check it again to make sure it was all the junk causing the heat build up.

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Yep, water. Lots and lots of it. I've heard of inspectors who keep wet towels on ice in a cooler, but I've never tried that. I generally just tough it out. The hottest attic I've been in was 130 degrees. I didn't stay too long.

Those of us on the East coast know too well that sort of feeling of suffocation when exerting yourself in extremely hot and humid conditions. It's a cliché , but you can almost cut the air with a knife. It officially hit 95 here yesterday, although a bank sign displayed 97 on the way to my afternoon inspection. Luckily, 102 around here is extremely rare.

It's funny you posted this, because yesterday, for the first time ever, I declined to go into a crawlspace because of the heat. My morning inspection was a turn of the century 3,000 square footer on a very long and steep lot. There was probably close to a 100 foot elevation change from the street to the house in the middle, to the garage at the top. It was a killer

My afternoon inspection was a Cape Cod with a one story addition. The addition had a shallow crawl space under it. I got my crawl space bag, put on a Tyvek bunny suit, respirator and gloves and lifted myself into the opening. Although I'm not exactly a svelte guy (6 foot, 260 lbs.) I easily got through the opening. Well, most of the way in anyway - my legs were still out. I just couldn't bring myself to go any further. Once I got in, there was a duct that I'm pretty sure I could have squeezed under, but I was feeling claustrophobic with the closeness of the heat and humidity. My mind was racing, imagining having a heart attack at the far end. How would they get me out, I wondered. I backed out, and sheepishly explained this to the buyer, who was a medivac flight nurse. He told me he totally understood, as he'd been involved in several confined space rescues.

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I only do one a day and I insist on starting in the morning during the summer. It's hardly ever an issue. Once I cite the heat of the roof and attic, everyone here immediately gets it.

I just had a green realtor's assistant set one up for 1:30 in the afternoon. I asked for the seller's number, called him, and reminded him in a friendly way that one could bake a pizza in that attic by 1:30. He'll be there at 8:00 AM, no problem.

I did accept a job to inspect just a roof once; both sides, that day. I went in a little after 2PM. The air in the attic was hot enough to cause my lungs noticeable discomfort from normal breathing. I won't do that again. [:-crazy]

Brian G.

Confuscious Say, "If It Hurts, Don't Do That!" [:-graduat

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I don't want to hear it; the temperature has been so danged cold here the past few days that the damned heat came on here a couple of times over the past few days. This year, even I'm getting sick of the damned rain and I usually just slough it off.

OT - OF!!!


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Any body want to trade locations?

Our attics have been hot now for a couple of months now, although todays high is only in the low 90's with thunder showers.

I try to schedule as many morning jobs as possible, but I just deal with the heat, carry a rag continuously to mop up the sweat.

I do manage to inspect an attic much quicker in the summer than the winter. It is hard to do much quality inspecting once the sweat starts stinging the eyes! I always try to call someone just before entering a hot attic if I am alone. I give my wife or kids the address and tell them to send help if I don't call them back in 15 minutes. I have never had to be rescued, but I did have a close call in and extremely tight (and hot) attic. It is not a good feeling to wonder how long it would be before someone finds you!

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There have been some days down here (Texas) where the attic temperature is near 150-160.

I've had a couple where the house was re-roofed by a 'cost-cutter' who didn't think putting in static vents or whirly birds was important. Oops!

Upon opening the attic access door it felt like a pizza oven or blast furnace.

I also do as Jim noted ... keep in touch with someone!

There was an installer for ADT doing a pre-wire on a new home in the Dallas market several years ago who was overcome due to heat and died. He had a habit of "always" calling family when working in attics and this one time he left his cell phone in the truck.

Such instances really help drive home additional safety measures.

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