Healthy Homes - Attic


Health and Safety Tips

  • Seal gaps around roofing, attic spaces, windows and doors to prevent rodents and insects from entering the house
  • Clean up clutter to prevent rodents and insects from finding places to nest
  • Ventilate the attic
  • Repair roof leaks promptly
  • Keep stairs in good repair, free of clutter and well-lit
  • Be careful of exposed rafters, nails or electrical wiring
  • If the attic is not completely floored, be careful to step on joists and not between them

Green Tips

  • Reduce your home's heating and cooling costs with proper insulation, moisture control and air sealing
  • Consider cool roofs, such as planted green roofs or reflective white roofs, when building a new home or replacing an existing roof

What about insulation?

Houses that do not maintain adequate temperatures may place the safety of residents at increased risk from exposure to extreme cold or heat. This fact sheet will help to make informed choices about insulation that focus on health concerns. For those considering Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation (SPF), it is crucial to use an educated and experienced installer.

What about asbestos?

Asbestos was a popular fire protection component in commercial products from the early 1900’s to the 1970’s.  Asbestos may have been used in construction materials such as: sprayed-on or textured ceilings, floor tiles, roofing felts and shingles, ceiling tiles, and drywall or joint compounds.

Intact and undisturbed asbestos-containing material usually does not pose a health risk. If asbestos fibers get in the air because of damage, disturbance or deterioration, asbestos may be an inhalation hazard.  Follow these links to learn more about asbestos or vermiculite.


Additional resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Seal Up!
Mold Clean Up

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Mold and Moisture in Your Home

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Help Yourself to a Healthy Home

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
About Attic Ventilation
Insulation Tips
Energy-Efficient Roofs

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)
Asbestos information