How to Repair Tears in Vent Covers

What You'll Need
Replacement vent covers
Pry bar
Wood glue
Finishing nails
Wood screws
Scissors or tin snips
Caulk gun
Replacement mesh or wire screen
Stape gun
Measuring tape
Paint tray
Paint brush
Scrap pieces of wood

If the vent covers in your home have become torn or damaged, you need to know how to properly repair or replace them. Some vent covers can be repaired, while others are easier to simply replace. Working on damaged vent covers in your attic is not that difficult and can make an excellent DIY project. This easy-to-understand how-to guide will walk you through the process of repairing or replacing the damaged vent covers in your attic.

How to Repair Broken Louvers in a Wooden Soffit Vent

Step 1—Remove Soffit Vent

If you have a wooden soffit vent that has a broken louver, you can replace it. To do this, first use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the wooden soffit in place.

Step 2—Create Replacement Louver

Use a hammer and screwdriver to pry out the broken louver from the soffit vent. After that, use a tape measure to find the dimensions of a good soffit louver inside the vent cover and transfer the measurements to a scrap piece of wood. Cut out a louver from the scrap piece of wood that is the same size as the others in the vent.

Step 3—Install New Louver

Use wood glue or finishing nails to insert the new louver piece into the soffit vent.

Step 4—Re-Install Soffit Vent

Replace the soffit vent in the vent opening and secure it with wood screws.

How to Replace Wire or Mesh Screens on Vent Covers

Step 1—Remove Vent Cover

If you have a vent cover with a torn-or-damaged wire mesh or screen, remove the vent cover from the opening, using a screwdriver to remove the school screws, and then use a flat-head screwdriver to pry the vent cover out of the opening.

Step 2—Remove Screen

Use a flat-head screwdriver to gently pry out the staples that hold the mesh or wire screen on the vent cover.

Step 3—Install New Screen

Take a pair of scissors or tin snips and cut a piece of wire mesh or screen that is the same size as the piece you removed. Then, use a staple gun to secure the piece of screen in place.

Step 4—Reinstall Vent Cover

Place the vent cover back in the opening and use a screwdriver and wood screws to reinstall it.

How to Replace a Vent Cover

Step 1—Remove Old Vent Cover

If you simply want to replace an old vent cover, you'll first need to remove the old one. To do this, you'll generally need to remove a few screws with a screwdriver and then use a flat-head screwdriver or a pry bar to remove the vent cover. If the old vent cover used caulk to seal the edges, use a putty knife or flat-head screwdriver to scrape away the caulk.

Step 2—Install New Vent Cover

Install the new vent cover in the opening and secure it with the screws. Next, use a caulk gun with some silicone-based caulk to seal around the edges of the vent cover.