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Old 06-19-2010, 06:57 PM   #1
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


I put insulation in my attic, I blew it in months ago, I realized now that I covered a majority of the soffit vents with it, which can be very bad from what I have read. The Soffit is either made of aluminum or vinyl they seem to be connected to one another.

My question is: Is there anyway to remove just the vents and the put them back in after clearing the area? If not what is the proper way of doing this, Attic is way too low and hot to work in so I am at a loss here. Please if you can help in anyway I would appreciate it.









Last edited by Mishof; 06-19-2010 at 08:45 PM. Reason: Adding Pictures.
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:45 PM   #2
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


Pics of the soffit vent ?

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Old 06-19-2010, 08:46 PM   #3
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


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Pics of the soffit vent ?
Just added some pictures, let me know if that helped. Thanks ahead of time!
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:05 PM   #4
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


I can't tell if those are vinyl
My vinyl soffits do come apart
But if yours are older (and vinyl) they may be brittle
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:36 PM   #5
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


These look like aluminum to me.
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:32 AM   #6
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


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These look like aluminum to me.
Any suggestions on how I can remove them and then put them back?
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:26 AM   #7
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


There aluminum and you can’t just remove just the one vented piece, without destroying it anyway.

Getting up in the attic to clear the vents would be much faster and easier.

You might try using a leaf blower from underneath. Don’t know how well that would work though.
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:34 AM   #8
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


Most likely they're screwed on the ends covered with the metal flanges of the facia wrap. About the only way to get them off without bending the heck out of everything is remove the gutters, remove the facia wrap, unscrew, clean out then reinstall . Whole lot less work to get in the attic and rake out the excess.
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:58 PM   #9
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


The orignal logic of soffit vents, was that the passing wind would create a low pressure zone in the lee of the building and air would be sucked through the soffit vents across the rafters and out the other side or top.

It was believed that in doing this, any water vapour that had risen through the ceilings into the attic from the home below, would blow away before it condensed on the rafters or other wood work and caused mould or wood rot.

Modern thinking is that in an attempt to save power and heating and cooling costs, the home should be insulated and sealed to as close to air tight as possible, with an almost water proof membrane below the joists/above the drywall to stop the water vapour getting into the attic.

This system is preferable to relying on the wind that does not always blow when it is required.

You may like to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of getting up into the attic to re distribute the insulation, which is almost certainly not up to standard, or pulling down the ceilings and incorporating an almost water vapour proof membrane above the drywall?

There is another way. A couple of coats of gloss paint covering the ceilings plus a careful sealing of the light fittings an the filling of any other holes that warm wet air may rise through will also solve the problem.
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:43 PM   #10
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


The vapor retarder paint (as Perry said) is a good substitute for plastic above the ceiling material: http://www.panhandleinsulation.com/b...materials.html

Your vents are greatly under-sized for today’s standards. If they are 16” x 6” size, you get about 37 NFVA. http://www.lomanco.com/ProductPAGES/cseries.html It appears they are spaced about 36” ? apart, for an average NFVA of 1” per foot, where they should be 9” per foot without a vapor barrier in the attic to divide by 150: http://www.airvent.com/homeowner/pro...it-specs.shtml

Remove the insulation near the vents and add baffles to prevent wind-washing, either rigid foam/plastic to the bottom of the rafters or (if a low pitch roof):
http://www.bergerbuildingproducts.co...sAccuvent.html

http://www.homeenergy.org/archive/he...96/961110.html

Sealing the air leaks as mentioned is a very good idea: http://www.rd.com/how-to-seal-attic-...icle18158.html

This will prevent ice-dams later: http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/mah...gemare_001.cfm

Be safe, Gary
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:37 PM   #11
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


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Originally Posted by Mishof View Post
Any suggestions on how I can remove them and then put them back?
That soffit vent is probably nailed to the fascia.

In order to acces it, you probably need to somehow bend that lip on the fascia board cover.

If that does not work, what you can do is just cut out that soffit vent, remove the insulation, and then replace with another soffit vent that you could probably buy at HD and cut to size somehow.
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:48 PM   #12
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


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Attic is way too low and hot to work in
And you need to watch out you don't cut your scalp on all the roofing nails sticking through.

You might be able to make a long-handled rake of sorts 22" wide to pull the insulation back from the vents and use a modified version of the same thing to drop in home-made C shaped insulation baffles that will keep the vents clear.

Or drop in the baffles first and suck out the insulation over the vents and redistribute it.

Or, depending on the height above ground no one's eye will drawn to it if, from the outside, you cut 3 sides of a 6" square hole, bend the metal down, put in a baffle and remove insulation, and then bend the flap back into place. Secure it with wire, copper or SS.

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Old 06-20-2010, 09:04 PM   #13
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


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There aluminum and you canít just remove just the one vented piece, without destroying it anyway.

Getting up in the attic to clear the vents would be much faster and easier.

You might try using a leaf blower from underneath. Donít know how well that would work though.
I tried the leaf blower, I don't think it worked. No way of really telling.
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:12 AM   #14
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


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cut out that soffit vent, remove the insulation, and then replace with another soffit vent that you could probably buy at HD and cut to size somehow.
That's probably the best solution so far. Buy some surface mount vents covers and treat the soffit as if it were wood. Cut new vent holes, re-arrange the insulation, and screw the new vent covers to the face of the old.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:45 PM   #15
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Taking off Soffit Vents to clear insulation


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I tried the leaf blower, I don't think it worked. No way of really telling.
Did you come up with a way to get the insulation moved out of the way?

I have the same problem, I think. The soffit vents don't seem to take air in or out - much. The attic is too hot and too low pitched to allow safe access to the soffits from inside.

We had fiberglass blown in about 25 years ago. That went on top of some pre-existing rock wool for a total of R35 or R38. I don't know if any precautions were taken to keep the area above the vents clear of insulation. I'm pretty sure there were no mechanical devices added for that purpose.

I was thinking of trying a leaf blower - either with or without first removing the vents.

Since our 20 year Tamko shingles have lasted 25 years, maybe I shouldn't bother. Since we are about to re-roof, and make minor repairs to the fascia and soffits, this is the time to take action.

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