Someone is going to die

Ok full disclosure. I no longer inspect Florida attics or homes for that matter but i did for 9 yrs until this year. Every year it got hotter. Every year i said i was going to get out because of it. I measured temps interior of attics north of 165. Its not even on a OSHA chart of safe heat exposure to even be in it.
I inspect in the north now. Not even in the same league.
You guys and gals inspecting in FLA over the next 3 months or so be very careful. I mean it even i say someone is going to get hurt. Everyone please be careful.


How to inspect an attic?

There are many attic inspections which may have been inadequate do to this very reason.

Yes, I’ve always said attics are deadly.
I still go in 'em but at least I have an assistant to watch over me.
If you were to be alone & something, anything would happen, be it an accident or emergency medical it wouldn’t be cool.

I agree with everybody thus far, but I am kinda curious…
Just how exactly are you measuring the temp in said attics?
I see post after post on FB of IR thermometers with ultra-high numbers.
Please enlighten us all.

Hey Jeffrey
I don’t know about others but in my case i had a standing bet with another inspector in my company about who could measure the highest temp inside an attic with our FLIR cameras. It was at the end of that summer some years back that i realized just how hot that environment really is.

I don’t believe there are any more inadequate attic inspections conducted in Florida due to this than any other state. I do believe the inspectors are doing great work under very difficult circumstances. Every inspector i know and i still know a bunch do their best to go through the attic as throughly as possible and the heat isn’t even slowing them down. And that’s the problem. Inspectors not taking their own safety in account as much as they should.

Perhaps I need to rephrase the question…
How do/did you measure “air temp”… NOT… the temp of the sheathing, trusses, rafters, other…???

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Good Morning Jeffery
What makes you think the air temp is different than the sheeting/rafter/insulation surface temp? After soaking in those temps they are the same or very very close. . Look at a typical Florida attic in the afternoon with FLIR. Its all one orangeish blob. Everything is the same color including air temp. And to further that theory the new FLIR C61 camera allows for a quick average and again it may not be exact but its darn close to all being the same.
Not all attics are alike obviously. the better insulated, the ones with insulation in the rafters of some sort, open/closed cell insulation all looked and acted different. But, the typical R19 to R38, 6 pitch, dark shingle, attic was all one big heat blog by 10am more or less.
Florida inspectors I say again just be carefull. The temps are getting higher and even though you dont feel it you bodys are being stressed to the max. Take caution when inspecting at those temps.

The same principal applies to reading temp differentials at registers.
I challenge any inspector to take a Dry-bulb thermometer into an attic with them and show it’s reading next to an IR thermometer or IR camera display. Remember, keep it away from any (radiant) heat source for an accurate reading!!


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Good Morning Jeffery
Appreciate the great drawing. Though it does not reflect my real life experienced lets agree to disagree.
Have a happy 4th.

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I judge temperatures in the attic like this; if I start sweating, the moment I put my head in the opening, I won’t go monkey bar swinging through the trusses. I limit my self to traversing floored areas, if there are any. I don’t need to know the numerical value of how hot it is.

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I’m fully prepared to rip open an A/C flex duct in an emergency, or simply step through the drywall ceiling In a controlled escape, if necessary.


My laser thermometer has registered as high as 167 degrees, but the proof is when my ipad and iPhone have a message saying its overheating and needs to be cooled down. I use my thermometer to test temperature at HVAC grills. From one who has had a heat stroke, be careful, there’s very little warning

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I appreciate your warning Todd, but don’t confine the heat problem to just Florida. Those of us in the other Southern and Western states are dealing with unbearable temps.


No arguments there.

A TV show on scientists working in caves with temperatures and humidity roughly like what’s found in Florida attics made the point that internal organ death starts at 140 deg F, as I recall, and that at temps as low as 113 deg F the lungs can start filling with water. Any exposure to the high temps in Florida attics for more than a few minutes at a time would likely cause at least some cumulative, irreparable heart and lung damage, right?

Since Nachi has a facility in South Florida, maybe its local people could undertake a study to protect Florida members’ unacceptable liability exposure arising from a nebulous right of the inspector to determine what temperature is safe and what’s not, and specifically where it’s safe to walk and where it’s not.

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I think we all just have to use common sense. Same when trying to inspect icy roofs in winters, low wet crawl spaces with electrical hazards, confined spaces etc. Sometimes we do the best we can with a remote operated camera stick, binoculars or other tools, or maybe we just disclaim the location for safety reasons.
Be safe all!

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It simply comes down to “If you don’t feel safe then don’t do it”.

The roof and ceiling structure was visually inspected from the attic access viewpoint. The attic was not accessible due to extreme heat.


Florida SOP …

61-30.802 Standards of Practice, Structure

(1) The inspector shall inspect all of the visible structural components as described in 61-30.801(26), F.A.C., including visible portions of the foundation, walls, posts, beams, columns, joists, rafters, trusses, other framing and the ventilation of attics and foundation areas. The inspector shall inspect by probing of structural components where deterioration is visible or suspected or where clear indications of possible deterioration exist. Probing is not required when, in the opinion of the inspector, probing would only further damage any area already identified as defective or where no deterioration is visible or presumed to exist.

(2) The inspector shall describe:

(a) the foundation;

(b) floor structure;

© wall structure;

(d) ceiling structure;

(e) roof structure.

(f) the methods used to inspect the attic space and under floor crawl space, if present.

(3) The inspector is not required to enter or traverse any under-floor crawl space or attic, if in the opinion of the inspector:

(a) An unsafe or unsanitary condition exists;

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In new construction the other day, I felt the attic was excessively hot given the ambient temperature of 89 degrees. Using my non-contact thermometer pointed at the the center ridge post about 1 foot below the ridge, I got 125 degrees. I think that was probably far enough away from the roof itself that heat transmission was not a large part of that.

Another approach would be to just use a standard digital probe-type thermometer exposed the the attic air.

I inspect alone, so I am very cautious in this regard. I use one of those cooling neck scarfs which I keep on ice when I am not using it.