improper soffit material installation?

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Old 04-18-12, 08:18 PM
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improper soffit material installation?

I bought my house last summer knowing that the soffit material (fairly new) was (according to my home inspector) improperly installed. No holes were cut in the wood that the soffit material covers. Basically there is no air intake into my attics, however I do have gable vents and ridge vents.

It sounds too asinine these days to assume that this was intentionally done incorrectly. Could there have been a reason this was done? I verified this problem today by poking a wire into random holes and seeing that not once did the wire go in further than 1 inch.
 
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Old 04-18-12, 08:33 PM
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It's likely that the house never had soffit vents in the first place. To say the soffit cover was improperly installed might be his opinion. But it's not usually the job of the person covering the soffit and fascia to change how the house is vented if it never had soffit vents in the first place, since in some older houses the rafter bays are blocked by framing.

What year was your house built, and do you have any pictures? Have you been in the attic?
 
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Old 04-18-12, 08:45 PM
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That could very well be the case. But since it was built in 1982 I would imagine it had some sort of air intake, don't you? I'm assuming the ridge vent was done with the most recent re-roofing. I'm not an expert on roofing and ventilation but I can see where 1 inch was cut away from both sides of the roof top and I can feel a mesh-like material in between where it was cut away. I'm assuming this is a form of ridge venting?

I can get into the attic and take pictures but I don't know what to look for. Me being a tall guy, its not that easy to get to the soffit vents. Suggestions?
 
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Old 04-18-12, 09:04 PM
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Can't say for sure. One would think so. Houses that have soffit venting usually only have it in a few areas of the soffit, not through the entire length of the soffit. So just because you poked a wire in a few spots doesn't really mean you have found the original soffit vents which might be up there. Even if you poked right on one of the soffit vents, the wire would probably hit the louver and you wouldn't know it was there. The best way to inspect that would be from the attic side, and you would either look for foam baffles between your rafters in a few locations... or you would find insulation crammed between the roof and top plate in most rafter bays, but if there are some are left open, it would likely be close to where the soffit vents are.

Many soffit vent grilles were 6"x12" screen / louvers and there would usually be one or two per side of the house, depending on its size. Soffit venting sq ft should roughly be equal to the ridge venting sq ft, and the total amount should be 1 sq ft per 300 sq ft of attic space.

The bigger issue the inspector should have mentioned is that ridge venting and gable venting should not be used in conjunction when there is soffit ventilation. FYI, read this Q&A taken from the magazine, "Journal of Light Construction" where an energy expert weighs in on the subject.
 

Last edited by XSleeper; 04-18-12 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 04-21-12, 12:11 AM
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You can go into the dark attic and have someone shine a bright flashlight on the soffit area. They could slowly move the light all over the soffit area while you look to see if you see any light. Most likely if you can't see any light you probably are not getting any air either.
 
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