attic?

hello I am investigating a possible slight leak in the roof , how do I get in the attic to investigate I can get a ladder and climb up but there is no flooring and just insulation. Do I put boards on so I can stand while looking , otherwise I will fall through the ceiling below. any suggestions? thanks
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It's scary the first time if you've never worked an attic before, but before long you'll be fine.
First, you don't need boards, although if you're up there for an extended amount of time in a given location installing a celing fan box or something, they might be helpful.
If you have a well insulated home, take a wood handled broom with ya to sweep the insulation away, and also to put it back when yer done.
I also find Rubber knee protectors quite handy, and essential if there isn't enough room to stand (watch out for roofing nails protruding from the roof decking!).
Just stay on the rafters, and travel in a direction perpendicular to the rafters. Hands and knees... the rafter spacing you might find is conveniently such that your knee can be on one rafter, and the top of your foot will be alongside the one behind it, and your hands in front of ya, and you can crawl quite comfortably without freaking out. Standing, just keep your feet on separate rafters and keep a hand on something and you'll feel quite secure, and get the hang of it assuming you have no medical problems with balance. If you're on your hands and knees, it becomes pretty darned hard to fall through a ceiling unless you're under 16" tall.
By all means be careful, but it's really not that bad. You just have to get yer "attic legs" and stop thinking so much about there not being any weight bearing surface between the rafters.
Best Regards, -- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1
On 31 Jul 2005 21:40:28 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@toddh.net (Todd H.) wrote:

Just pretend Joe Rogan is waiting downstairs to shake your hand, and say: "evididently, fear is not a factor for you"!
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--
-john
wide-open at throttle dot info
  Click to see the full signature.
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In alt.home.repair on Sun, 31 Jul 2005 22:27:49 -0400 "Chucky D"

I think boards are a good idea.
Although one can stand on the joists, and even steady himself with his hand up on a rafter, it gets tiring pretty quickly, and I personally know one guy who fell through his ceiling. Not all the way, but still. And I have a place where the tape between two pieces of ceiling sheetrock is bulging. I once lost my footing. Didn't think I put my weight on the sheetrock, but I guess I must have.
And if you're going to go up there again, you might as well make it easy as soon as possible.
My maximum width through the trapdoor was 18 inches, so I took 4x8 sheets and cut them in thirds lengthwise, 16 inches wide. I think I started with 2 sheets, 6 boards. That gave me 4 for the center and 2 to move around. Plus I've used some scrap wood from me and my neighbor. (None of my neighbors use their attic at all afaik. I use it for storage, although it got cold and my lava lamp broke. :) If I'd realized it was filled with water and not lava I might not have put it up there. :) )
Also watch where you put your head. The roofing nails come through. When I had my roof replaced, he used longer nails yet, and I think they may go past my natural limit on how close I let my head get to a ceiling, so I'm thinking of wearing a hard hat up there. or at least some sort of hat for early warning if not protection. Scalp wounds really bleed, I hear. (Haven't been out of the center since then, where it is higher than my head)
You can investigate, and if you do it when it's raining, I'm pretty sure you'll find the leak. Even when not raining, you may find a water stain. Darker wood? But I think it has to be repaired from the outside.
The guy who sold me my house tried putting silicone up in the cone surrounding the stovepipe chimney, but he didn't get it in far enough, let alone stop all the paths the water could have taken. No one could have. It made it easy for me, however, to know I had to recaulk (or what do you call the black stuff that goes around a chimney) the base of the chimney. It was also missing the collar that most of my neighbors chimney's had, and that my own furnace chimney had. Probably not your problem but ftr, that was hard to find. No one sold one as big as my pipe (12 inches iirc) and I found only two places in all of Baltimore and surrounding towns that sold a universal one. One furnace supply store and one fireplace retail store, with a parts departement. Only ~ten dollars and takes very little storage space. Did other places have this but didn't want to sell to me? Had to be trimmed a lot with tin snips before it would fit my pipe.
Meirman -- If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter. Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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