"Fake" soffit vents in my new OLD house


Old 01-31-05, 06:59 AM
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"Fake" soffit vents in my new OLD house

I just bought an old house and I wanted to add more insulation in the attic. With that occasion I wanted to clean from inside the soffit vents. The gutter system doesn't seem too old, maybe 10 years, and the soffits outside are of vinyl in which I can see the vents. Because from inside I could not see any light coming in from where the vents are, I concluded that they need to be cleaned. I tried from inside the attic (it is very difficult to reach that area) to clean the vents and instead to find vinyl where the soffit is, I found wood. It seems that they put the more modern vinyl soffit over old wood. That means that those vents can't do their work. Being a novice in all these, I am not sure if this is the case so I will appreciate any advise. Now in the cold season and the fact that the fascia has some openings (about 1/2 in) I don't think that I have a ventilation problem but I don't know how it will be in the summer. Thank you so much. Mark.
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Old 02-01-05, 07:52 AM
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I would wait to see what it's like in the summer before undertaking any major project like that. You may be OK. Do you have any exhaust vents?
Old 02-01-05, 08:59 PM
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I'm kinda getting conflicting pictures of this. You say it has the modern vinyl soffits, but then you say you can see 1/2" gap in the fascia? Whenever they install new soffit weather it be vinyl or aluminum the fascia gets capped with aluminum to cover the exposed edge of that new soffit.

As far as you not seeing any light from inside the attic and finding wood, that's what almost everybody would find in an older home that's been resided or has new soffit/fascia. The original soffit's in most homes was 1/4" plywood with metal vents installed every so often. Most guys will install the new soffit right over top of all the original stuff...which is fine so long as the orginal vents are not painted shut/clooged up with layer of paint, and there is enough vents throughout the entire soffit to insure addequate ventilation.

Best thing you can do at this point is get any insualtion pulled out from that area that's betweeen the top plate of the wall where the rafters/trusses sit. This way fresh air can get into your attic and help flush the old stuff out. In my experiences installing new siding/soffit many of the homes do not have adeqaute vents in the wood soffit, so before I install the new stuff I'll either rip down all the plywood soffit-especially if I cut some holes and find that area is stuffed tight with insulation. If the air way between the top plate and rafters/trusses are open, I'll just cut in some 12"x24" holes every 3' or 4' to help the original soffit vents.

You have nothing out of the normal, just hope when they installed the soffit there was adeqate venting initially.
Old 02-02-05, 08:52 PM
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If you have gaps (between the fascia and roof boards) in an old house, I

would look around that attic to see if any sign of bats. A 1/2'' is usually

all they need.
Old 02-07-05, 03:33 PM
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As I mentioned, the gutter system is about 10 years old, but is "modern" versus the house that was build in 1920s. After talking to some other people, it seems that they installed the aluminium cover fascia, vinyl soffits and the gutter directly over the old wood (fascia, soffits). That is why there are no vents in the wood soffit. Probably after they installed the gutter, under its weight, the wood fascia moved down a bit (1/2 to 1 inch), or they just did a sloppy job, the fact is that here and there there are gaps between fascia and the roof edge. No, I don't see any buts, thank God, and also I think I won the war with the squirrels. Until I will have funds to do the whole gutter, I will probably make some vent openings in the wood soffit so the vinyl soffit will do its job. Also I will cover all the gaps wider than 1/2 of inch to prevent the bats (thank you for warning me). Thank you.
Old 02-07-05, 03:39 PM
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Just as an aside, your house may have stopped soffits as does mine. There is no opening between the attic and the outdoors under the eaves. There are no lookouts under the eaves. Having an opening would have exposed the attic to the outdoors without screening. The decorative soffits are just that, a way to decorate the otherwise open and exposed rafter structure. Mine was built in 1939.

Hope this helps.
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