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Old 03-30-2012, 03:52 PM   #1
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Help understanding this venting job...


Hello diychatroom, first time poster.

I was hoping I could get some input about my situation. For starters, I know very little about home repair or venting--so any input relative to my topic will serve to make me more informed--even if it doesn't ultimately solve my problem.

Now, the problem began when I was boiling some pasta for dinner (at my fiancee's house). The fan over the range started dripping. I opened the cupboards above the fan and noticed the ducting ran up to the attic.

I decided to hop up to the attic from the small door in the ceiling in one of the bedrooms. To my surprise, there was only one duct running up through the attic to the roof. It was from the NG heater. Here is a pic I snapped:






Now, I figured if there was no other ducting, that the vents from the bathroom and kitchen were just directed into the attic. I checked the eaves around the house and they are not vented. Pic:





I went on top of my roof and found 6 of these vents, thinking that they were the ventilation for my attic:




After ascertaining the locations of these vents, I crawled back up into the attic to see how they were mounted and if they were functioning. I found that they were indeed blocked off completely. All of them. Pic:






So, it appears to me that there is no actual venting in the attic. I have a few questions...

1. is this setup normal for a home built in the 50's?

2. why would these vents be blocked off while the bathroom fan and kitchen fan empty into the attic?

3. is there a way I can unblock these vents and open up some air movement in attic?

4. is there any other insight anyone can give me as to how to properly vent the attic, or the dynamics involved with keeping the attic semi-sealed like this?

Again, this is my first post here, if there are some things I'm ignorant to, don't hesitate to school me or link me in the right direction.

Your time is appreciated!
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Help understanding this venting job...-roof4.jpg   Help understanding this venting job...-roof3.jpg   Help understanding this venting job...-roof2.jpg   Help understanding this venting job...-roof1.jpg  


Last edited by Gary in WA; 04-03-2012 at 11:37 PM. Reason: removed duplicate pictures.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:07 PM   #2
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Help understanding this venting job...


That is both amusing and sad at the same time.
Very good pictures, thanks for that.

It appears to me your vents, both soffit and ridge were intentional blocked off. No, this is not correct.
Even more alarming is your bath/kitchen vents not going anywhere and possibly going into the attic. This, especially the bath, can be very very disastrous. You really should investigate further to determine exactly what is going on with them and where they terminate.

Luckily, none of these issues are very difficult to correct once properly diagnosed. Can you see from up in the attic anywhere down into the soffits to see if there ever was any venting? IE old holes or a 2" linear gap in the soffits? Possibly see some screening in it? If so then there was originally some venting.

The other issues will require some roofing knowledge to remove the ridge vents, open up the holes, and re-install them. The bath and kitchen vents should be run through the soffits but preferably the roof and will require vents or stacks to be installed for them also.

The roofing doesn't appear to be too old so shouldn't be a huge pain to work with.

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Old 03-30-2012, 04:52 PM   #3
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Help understanding this venting job...


Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNBroken View Post
That is both amusing and sad at the same time.
Very good pictures, thanks for that.

It appears to me your vents, both soffit and ridge were intentional blocked off. No, this is not correct.
Even more alarming is your bath/kitchen vents not going anywhere and possibly going into the attic. This, especially the bath, can be very very disastrous. You really should investigate further to determine exactly what is going on with them and where they terminate.

Luckily, none of these issues are very difficult to correct once properly diagnosed. Can you see from up in the attic anywhere down into the soffits to see if there ever was any venting? IE old holes or a 2" linear gap in the soffits? Possibly see some screening in it? If so then there was originally some venting.

The other issues will require some roofing knowledge to remove the ridge vents, open up the holes, and re-install them. The bath and kitchen vents should be run through the soffits but preferably the roof and will require vents or stacks to be installed for them also.

The roofing doesn't appear to be too old so shouldn't be a huge pain to work with.
Thank you for your reply!


I'm waiting on my fiancees dad to come over. He's a little smaller and will hop up there to investigate the soffits. I'll post pics here in a few when we finish searching around.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:28 PM   #4
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Help understanding this venting job...


looks like somebody tried to seal up the attic to prevent heat loss. This is never a good idea, and I'm surprised you don't have mold up there.

Attic ventilation is to allow moisture to escape, because in winter the moist air from the house seeps up into the attic, and can condense on the cold underside of the roof, dripping and creating mold/rot. This happens in most houses even without vent fans, but even more so when the vent fans dump directly into the attic.

You prevent heat loss by (a) sealing your ceiling (using expanding foam or caulk on every ceiling opening for electrical and plumbing (except the furnace chimney) and the top plate of every wall, and (2) good insulation. Vent fans should always be vented to the outside of the building, away from attic intake vents.

Last edited by M3 Pete; 04-02-2012 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:48 PM   #5
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Help understanding this venting job...


What a mess but easily fixed.

Scary what some folks do.

Get those soffits re-opened and the ridge "re-vented".
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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Help understanding this venting job...


Some fella certainly put an awful lot of nails in the piece of plywood blocking the vent.

Didn't see it written anywhere, but check where the bath/kitchen fans are in the attic and see if any ducting is under the insulation.

If none, as ONB stated, run new ducting to the soffits. Better through the roof but much easier to exit out of the soffits.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:41 PM   #7
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Help understanding this venting job...


Could we have another picture of the rafter blocking over the exterior wall from outside about 10' away?

I'd start by supporting the vent patch better....

Where are you located? Is there a vapor barrier plastic under the insulation on the plaster/lath drywall?

This will get you started reading, as requested: http://www.airvent.com/homeowner/pro...it-specs.shtml

http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...on?full_view=1

Gary

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