How to Install Soffit Vent Insect Screen

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Safety glasses
Soffit ventilation plugs or screens
Drill/Drill bits
Keyhole saw

A soffit vent is an ideal solution for attic ventilation. Essentially, it is a vent that is made up of a screen that keeps insects out and allows air to recycle. The vents are made of an aluminum panel that has louvers punched into its face which allows air to enter. A typical soffit vent is four to eight inches wide, however, they can also be very long, ranging from 14 to 22 inches, and may fit between 16 to 24 inches on a rafter.

Soffit vents are installed by cutting rectangular holes into the face of the soffit and then covering the hole with a vent screen by screwing it on. Some people prefer having continuous soffit vents in their homes, and the construction of such continuous vents is similar to that of individual ones. Continuous vents are typically 4 X 96 inches, and the vent is installed by cutting out a very long slot and then screwing a screen over the slot. Here’s how you can install a soft vent insect screen.

Step 1 – Choose the Right Kind of Vent Screen

There are round and rectangular shaped soffit vent insect screens and plugs. You should first decide what kind of plugs you wish to use. Although both of these vent screens work in the same manner, the main difference is in the looks of the two and in the manner in which you will have to cut out vents and holes for them. Once you have decided which screen to use, purchase it and move on to step 2.

Step 2 – Measure the Soffits

Depending on where you want to install the soffit vent screen, you may need a step ladder or a ladder. Usually, a vent screen is installed between each rafter; however, always use your best judgement. Once you have decided where to place the screens, measure the soffits and get the ventilation plugs of the exact size. Be sure that you purchase plugs that have the insect screens on them.

Step 3 – Drill the Holes

Before you begin with the drilling, put on your safety goggles. You may need to cut a round or a rectangular hole depending on the type of soffit vent screens you have decided to use. Also, the holes will be made according to the measurement of the soffit. For a rectangular hole, you will need to drill for each of the corners of the rectangular soffit. This is the easier of the two. After drilling the hole, insert the keyhole saw and cut out the entire hole.

Step 5 – Install the Plugs

According to the instructions of the manufacturer, install the soffit plugs. These will need to have rubberized edges so that they can be popped easily into place. For each of the plugs, you will have to repeat the installation process. If the soffit doesn’t already have louvered vents, you can install those to finish the ventilation. These will keep the air flowing in, while the soffit vents keep the insects out.