What does the inside of a soffit look like?

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Old 07-18-08, 06:07 AM
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What does the inside of a soffit look like?

I want to see if insulation is blocking these soffit "things" lol.

My attic loft is extremely hot during the day.

Before I start with ventilation etc, I want to verify that this area is not being blocked.

I have access to various crawl spaces in the attic, but I don't know what I am looking for.

Everything looks sealed up by studs, rafters, joists, etc. If I am in my attic, do I look up or down to try and find these soffit things from the inside? lol

Am I supposed so see light through somewhere?

I am really confused.

FYI, the outside of my home looks almost exactly like this...

http://www.nwhi.net/Images/Soffit.jpg
 
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Old 07-18-08, 06:42 AM
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"Am I supposed so see light through somewhere"

Yes but it may be difficult to see if you aren't in the right position. Most newer homes will have a thin piece of stryofoam [I ferget the name] that will provide a air channel from the soffit vent to the attic so the insulation doesn't restrict the air flow. This stryofoam is stapled to the rafters providing a 4" x 21" [approx] air channel.
 
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Old 07-18-08, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
"Am I supposed so see light through somewhere"

Yes but it may be difficult to see if you aren't in the right position. Most newer homes will have a thin piece of stryofoam [I ferget the name] that will provide a air channel from the soffit vent to the attic so the insulation doesn't restrict the air flow. This stryofoam is stapled to the rafters providing a 4" x 21" [approx] air channel.
Thanks for chiming in. My home was built in 1948, but it had obviously gone a massive renovation.

I am having a hard time determining what to look for.

I don't see any styrofoam.
 
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Old 07-18-08, 07:49 AM
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jj94,

First, lets be clear on what the soffit is. The soffit area is basically the part of the roof that goes over and past the outer wall. As you can see on the pic you posted, those soffits look to have been enclosed with material similar to the siding. If you cannot see the rafters from your roof coming over the outer walls from the outside, then you have enclosed soffits. (Here in AZ, many houses do not have the soffit area enclosed. And there are blocks of wood installed between each roof rafter that seal the attic from the exterior.)

The material that encloses the soffit should have some sort of venting in it. Either a series of small holes puched in it, a continuous strip of louvered vents, or a larger hole cut and covered with a vent.

If you were in the center of your attic, for instance, you would look out and down, following the rafters. After it passes over the outer wall, that area should not be blocked by insulation, if you have vented soffit.

If you do not have something like this, then you may have gable vents (large round, square or triangular) at the ends of your house, along with some type of vent on the roof itself.
 
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Old 07-19-08, 05:16 AM
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Soffit

You need insulation baffles between the trusses at the top of the side walls. These baffles let air pass from the soffit to the attic. These baffles can be installed from the outside by removing the soffit covering underneath the eaves. The soffit needs to be ventilated by using perferated soffit material or soffit vents.
 
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Old 07-19-08, 05:17 PM
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It would help to know what type of soffit vents jj94auto has. Vinyl soffit wouldn't be original to the house although I suppose aluminum soffit would be possible. If vinyl has been installed, it is likely they left the wood soffit intact, utilizing the original openings for the ventilation.
 
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Old 07-19-08, 08:03 PM
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jj94auto,

Cross section of roof showing air entering at soffit vent (blue arrows at bottom) and exiting at ridge vent (red arrows at top):



One common type of soffit vent, seen from underside on the outside:



A common cause of blocked soffit vents is insulation spilling over into the soffits:



Plastic or Styrofoam baffles form a channel that let air past the insulation:



Here's one common type, in place:

 
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