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Old 07-01-2012, 05:19 AM   #1
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Ridge Vent Installed - what to do about soffits


I have an 80 year old house.

Was getting siding done, then early on realized we needed a roof, so wasn't able to talk to any roofing contractors. Went with siding contractors (who is a general contractor as well) recommendation - but a company that is supposedly well respected.

Anyway.....my contractor had him add a ridge vent to the house and detached garage.

FIRST, THE GARAGE: It is detached and has no heating or ac and gets very hot in summer. Ridge vent seemed like a good idea, and he added a gable vent at the rear. There was vinyl soffits there that he replaced, but the soffits are "sealed" / no opening between the soffit area and inside of garage, so no air will be coming in except from the gable vent. Is that OK? (I can take a picture of this if needed)

Second, more important question.

The house use to only have 3 of static metal roof vents on rear roof, and the soffits were/are sealed wood - probably original with the house. So, besides those 3 roof vents, there was no ventilation to the unfinished attached space. The second floor is finished attic with a decent amount of unfinished space...but the "center" of it is finished. There is no insulation in the rafters...just those foam things running up the rafters between the drywall and roof.

So, for the house, they added a ridge vent and removed those 3 metal vents. Two questions.....siding company is about to add a gable vent to the rear of the home - not in actual roof line, but in this small addition that connects into attic (see first picture). Its has a peak, so it would look nice and hopefully functional (well, that was idea) I'm reading ridge vents + gable vent is bad idea - but not sure if in this situation. can anyone confirm? I understand that gable vents up high on near ridge wouldn't make much sense...but this is at rear of house in an a section that "protudes" from house/and original roof line maybe 6 feet. Hopefully picture illustates that well. And, because of this little extension, not much in the way of soffits there...so I'm almost thinking that you probably DO need this in lieu of lack of soffits at bottom of roof line, since that doesn't exist.

Also, when I bid out for siding jobs, all the contractors said they would drill holes at bottom of existing soffits, then install their vented vinyl soffits over the top. I expected this guy to do that as well. He started instally vinyl soffits and when I asked if he drilled holes, it sounded like he did not on the rear of the house.

So, few questions about house:
- Was putting the ridge vent a good idea? I hope so, because no turning back now.
- Should I put the gable vent in? And if so, just one at rear ok? (see attachment 1 for location)
- Should I have holes drilled in existing soffits?
- And, if so, should I confirm with contractor whether he drilled holes in rear of house or not...and if he didn't what should I do? Would it be really bad if I had holes drilled in front of house soffits, but rear had none?

Pictures 2, 3, 4 I try to show what the existing soffits look like.
Attached Thumbnails
Ridge Vent Installed - what to do about soffits-imag0511.jpg   Ridge Vent Installed - what to do about soffits-imag0512.jpg   Ridge Vent Installed - what to do about soffits-imag0513.jpg   Ridge Vent Installed - what to do about soffits-imag0514.jpg  


Last edited by nickc3; 07-01-2012 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:02 AM   #2
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Ridge Vent Installed - what to do about soffits


UPDATE / MORE INFO - I just took a look up around the attic spaces. The way the house was built, opening up the soffits would do no good as its blocked up except a couple of areas...and insulation is all stuffed so no airflow. THere are a are couple of area on edges of house where someone opened it up a bit. BUT, the front of the house is like the back of the house (see picture). The front of the house has a little vestibule with a peak....that area DOES open up to the rest of the original house/attic space. And, that area does have soffits.....should I have holes drilled in that area.

Hope that makes sense...I can try to take pictures.

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Old 07-01-2012, 10:03 AM   #3
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Ridge Vent Installed - what to do about soffits


Ridge vents with no soffit vents are almost usless. Try sucking on a straw and put your finger over the end or it and see how it works out.
With ridge vents you do not need gable vents. All it will do is suck in air though the gable vent and blow it out the ridge vents, short circuting the whole idea of why there there.
It would have been better to just remove all the old wood where the soffits area, but lots and lots of 4" holes would be better then nothing.
There is no need for vented soffits on the ends of the house where the gables are. Unvented soffit can be used there.
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:26 AM   #4
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Ridge Vent Installed - what to do about soffits


But, what about the fact that the gable vent is at the back of the house, in the area that is an extension.....I'm trying to quickly learn here....but poking around the unfinished attic space like I described in my 'update' post, it seems to be the only way to get some air flow from the lower part of the house to the ridge. and similarly, since I don't plan on putting a gable in the front, I would have holes put in the front of the houses "protrusion" (really an enclosed porch that is all connected to the attic.....

Does that make sense.

Funny, I took a drive around town looking at recently renovated houses that had Ridge vents....I don't have x-ray vision, so no sure what is going on with their soffits..but almost all of them had gable vents up top.....at either end of the ridge - so some bad practices going on.
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