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dat5574 03-01-2009 10:27 AM

Soffit venting question
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Hi, I'm getting quotes on a new roof and having a ridge vent installed since I only have gable vents on each end. The house was built in 1971 and has about 6" wide aluminum soffits with not vents.

Part of my problem the last year were ice dams and I notice some rot along the eaves while looking around in the attic.

Anyway, the roofer wants to install soffit vents as well. However, this may be stupid question, couldn't I just drill groups of 1/8" or so holes following a rectangular pattern in the aluminum soffit every 3 or 4 feet along the soffit to mimic what the soffit vents would accomplish? It would be considerably cheaper but if it's not a standard solution I won't pursue it.

If this or the soffit vent solution is used, what is the spacing required between each vent?


Tom Struble 03-01-2009 12:02 PM

alot of times on older homes there is a existing plywood soffit some distance up from the aluminum soffit your looking at,and sometimes the aluminum soffit was installed without cutting a venting slot in the origional wood soffit.i would encourage you to make sure you have the proper venting and i would forget the idea about drilling all those holes and use a vented soffit system it will look much better in the long run

i would use a center vent or fully vented vinyl soffit system either should give you the intake you need

Stillwerkin 03-03-2009 10:21 AM

From what I understand of how a soffit works, you can't have a gable and a ridge vent system at the same time.

1) The ridge vent type is an active sealed-type system. Heat builds up in the attic, escapes through the ridge vent, and suction draws more air in through the rafters.

2) The gable vent type is more of a passive one. Air flows from one end of the attic to the other and in doing so pulls a little air up through the rafters.

Every rafter needs some air flow to get rid of condensation, so make sure the insulation isn't packed solid to the plywood. The fix could be the plastic spacers full of holes sold by the big-box stores, or simple 1x2s levered down the rafters.

The benefits of each system probably depends a lot on the local climate.
Take the above with a grain of salt, it's just what I've heard. I'm not a roofer or engineer.

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