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Old 12-28-2009, 10:26 AM   #1
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Soffit and Ceiling Framing

Hi - I'm a new poster here, found the site while trying to find some information on a problem I'm having.

We bought this house a few months ago and since moving in, I noticed some problems in the ceiling in the basement. It's a finished walk-out basement, an addition that was built some time after the main house was built, about 10 years ago.

The room is now my office, and I noticed a musty smell that seemed to be getting worse. Looking around in the drop ceiling I found a few surprises: Evidence of mice (lots of evidence), although I hadn't heard any mice, and some very bad looking and smelling insulation.

Over the last couple months as it started getting colder out I heard some mice move in, and dealt with them, but I've been trying to figure out how they have been getting in.

Yesterday I pulled out a lot of the damaged insulation, and poking around in the ceiling, discovered that there's no barrier between the inside and the soffit outside.

I don't know if this is correct or not, but it seems that if a critter gets into the soffit, it can walk right in and make a home in the insulation.

Seems to me this should be sealed or blocked off somehow, but I don't know much about how this should be done. So I'll post some pictures and maybe you guys can offer some suggestions.

The pictures show the corner of the office and then what's up there. Above the office is a deck that is enclosed but not heated, and I'm guessing that someone left the window open at some point and that's how water got in and down onto the insulation.

Attached Thumbnails
Soffit and Ceiling Framing-office1.jpg   Soffit and Ceiling Framing-office2.jpg   Soffit and Ceiling Framing-office3.jpg  


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Old 12-28-2009, 12:59 PM   #2
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What is above this room? Is there a roof above it or another floor? I'm trying to understand why the soffit vents are there. You likely will have to examine areas where a mouse can enter (holes as small as a dime will allow a mouse in I've heard) and make needed repairs.


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Old 12-28-2009, 01:19 PM   #3
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Yes, there is supposed to be solid blocking over the outside wall, preventing joist rotation at the cantilever. Mice can go through a 1/4" hole, not the 1/8" holes in your vinyl soffit venting. They must be getting in somewhere else. After the blocking is installed, cut and install some rigid foam board, caulked and fire-barrier covered there. The cold soffit (outside) air has access to the floor above and ceiling below..... A tad chilly? The cantilever should be insulated and air sealed as well.

Be safe, Gary
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:49 PM   #4
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Rim Joists

The soffit vents are on the inside side of the rim joists.

There is another spot where the ceiling is open (no drop ceiling) and I can see there is just some pink insulation stuffed in to the gap that leads to the soffit.

Above this room is a deck and an uninsulated sunroom. From the picture I'm attaching you can see the deck seems to overhang the office by a foot or so. (The circle shows the area on the outside that corresponds to the pictures I took on the inside).

Yes, it's cold on windy days, and bugs have been getting in - I found a lot of ladybugs in the insulation.
Attached Thumbnails
Soffit and Ceiling Framing-officeoutside.jpg  

Last edited by stevex; 12-28-2009 at 05:33 PM. Reason: (Forgot attachment)
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