Soffit replacement questions

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Old 12-30-19, 01:38 PM
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Soffit replacement questions

Hello,
I've discovered that under my existing 25 year old aluminum soffit, lays the original wood soffit going around 1100sq feet ranch style home. I believe whatever small holes that were originally in the wood for venting that go around the entire house are all that's still there. I dont believe there were bigger openings cut into the wood to allow more ventilation before putting the aluminum soffit on. So a majority of those original small holes/vents are covered by solid soffit, some might line up with the venting spots.
My questions are:
Should I have the aluminum soffit removed, then have the original wood soffit all removed and then new soffit installed? Or just cut into the current soffit where the vents are and just open those spots up more for venting and leave the rest? I'd want to make sure I'm getting enough air flow.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 12-30-19, 01:59 PM
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It is normal to go over the old soffit with the new, and there is nothing wrong with doing it that way. No matter whether it is vented or not, Aluminum soffit is not air tight... air can still move around it, it's just not a straight shot, so to speak. The vented aluminum soffit does not "have" to line up with the underlying vent holes. If the holes in your old plywood soffit were sufficient I doubt you need to do anything. Unless you have some sort of problem, its likely erroneous to think that you need more or bigger holes after all these years.

If your old soffit vent screens were full of lint after all these years, that might reduce airflow and would be the ONLY reason you might want to do anything at all. When I put soffit on houses I usually remove the old screens and throw them away. Might be a mistake to do that though because it might let wasps and mice in. I just dont want the old vents getting plugged up with lint.
 
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Old 12-30-19, 02:33 PM
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If it is ain't broke don't fix it.

If you live in an area that gets frost after a heavy frost just walk down your street a couple times as the sun warms up.and look at the roofs that face the same direction.
You will be able to tell which houses have good ventilation and which do not.
You can judge your place against the others.
 
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Old 12-30-19, 02:34 PM
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Do you have an old picture of the house that might show the old vents?
Can you see into the soffit area from the attic?

Unfortunately ventilation wasn't a priority many years ago so a little here and there was considered sufficient. But as X points out, it there is no problem all may be well.

What is in place for upper venting, ridge or gable, maybe roof vents?

Have you done any air sealing or added new insulation?

Bud
 
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Old 12-30-19, 02:56 PM
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Thank yous for the responses.
​​​​ I've struggled with condensation in the attic during the cold months for a while. New roof installed years ago and the three nails are already rusty. I need to add insulation and air seal, getting to the soffits from inside the attic is hard but I am able to get down there and stuff insulation over the top plate, I did install baffles. When I look into the soffit areas in the attic, I cannot see daylight. While I need to add insulation, I know I need sufficient air flow going from the soffits to the ridge vent. I figured I'd put my soffit venting concerns in here first- I will be blowing cellulose into the attic and I know I dont want to mess around in that once it is installed if I need to access the soffits again. Getting to them is kind of a pain in the attic and figured if the soffits were off, I could ensure the top plates were covered completely. During the cold months, I'd say the snow on my roof melts at about the same rate as others.
 
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Old 12-30-19, 03:32 PM
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Condensation in the attic usually comes form poor air sealing, lots of excess moisture leaving the house.

More ventilation will make your roof colder... it can help reduce ice dams on the shingles. But more ventilation alone wont solve moisture problems. I would say the order you should proceed is 1). Move all your existing insulation so you can find and air seal all penetrations, (plumbing, hvac, electrical ceiling fixtures, etc) make sure any ducts are properly vented out the roof and that joints are taped. You can make boxes out of foam board to help air seal poorly sealed fixtures. 2). Stuff insulation between the chutes and top plate. 3) add insulation.

I assume since you said you have a new roof, that you already have ridge vent, but ensure they cut the openings out correctly. I've seen idiots who didnt cut the vent slot wide enough or some who papered right over them.

Soffits can be accessed from the exterior at anytime... you dont have to do that first. Not seeing light only means the aluminum soffit isn't lined up directly below your existing vents. It doesn't mean air isn't moving.
 
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Old 12-31-19, 10:35 AM
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I do have a ridge vent, I've gone up there and it is not being blocked by paper or anything. The quote I got to air seal and insulate, mentions air sealing "all major holes and penetrations in attic with foam, flashing, caulk and sealants neccesary in all exposed areas". To me, that says they arent moving every peice of insulation and sealing every nook and cranny. Should I not expect that?
Thank you all for the responses! Bud, I actually do have a picture showing the old venting, but i cant upload pictures because it says I have too many attachments.
 
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Old 12-31-19, 12:48 PM
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To me, that says they aren't moving every piece of insulation and sealing every nook and cranny. Should I not expect that?
Air sealing is intended to resolve gaps in anything that breaks through the drywall like pipes, electrical boxes, lighting cans, vents, etc, they don't necessarily need to move every square inch of insulation to locate these items!
 
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Old 12-31-19, 01:04 PM
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Oh ok! When I search attic air sealing, I see pictures of all the gaps, seams and all around any wall plates sealed up so wasnt sure. Thank you!
 
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