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What's the current thought on soffit venting? (Florida attic)

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What's the current thought on soffit venting? (Florida attic)

Old 05-02-2017, 05:09 PM
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Default What's the current thought on soffit venting? (Florida attic)

1960s home with white flat tile roof. Some of the faces of the soffit have a handful of 12x6 screen vents, other faces have a dozen 1.5" round holes that had screen glued in to keep pests out. By all appearances this was all original 1960.

Attic temps are very reasonable thanks to the white roof. Minimal insulation and the roof itself is sealed. (no ridge vents etc)

I had a rat get in my attic, and it decided to chew through many of the screened in openings, so now my soffit has a number of 1.5" holes in it with no protection from bugs or other pests.

I can either go buy a dozen 1.5" vented plugs, make the holes bigger and replace with 2 or 3" vent plugs, or if I really want to get crazy I can get out the circular saw and do a continuous vent or similar.

Any thoughts? I'm inclined not to fix it if it ain't broke, but it would be easy enough for me to make these holes bigger and get a little bit more airflow through the attic. I do need to seal this up to prevent anything else from getting in.
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:49 AM
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If your attic has no ridge vents, gable vents, turbines, or electric vents and is "sealed" as you say the soffit vents could not be letting very much air in at all. The venting mentioned is what helps pull a draft through the attic.

Does your roof have foam insulation sprayed between the rafters?

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Old 05-03-2017, 04:08 AM
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I would get an 1-1/2" & 2" hole saw. Put 1-1/2" inside 2" when cutting, so saw will not run away and saw up eves.
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Old 05-03-2017, 04:10 AM
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1959 Florida ranch doubled in size and remodeled in 1984 . We have a whole house attic fan which works great we have yet to turn a/c on this year. Ridge is vented as well as end gables and soffits have aluminum vents all the way around the house. They really work
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Old 05-03-2017, 04:47 AM
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Ridge vents leak in hurricanes. Ventilators sometimes leak. It's tough to vent properly with hip roof.
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Old 05-03-2017, 04:55 AM
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I just built a house in The Keys. Brand new. Roofer told me no one uses attic turbines anymore because of problems or whatever. Code required soffits every 5 feet or so. Blown insulation and attic is hot as hell but house cools fine. I'm still torn on this. I though about the solid insulation on the underside of the roof to seal in the entire house but my building department balked at this for some stupid reason about trapped moisture rotting the wood. Anyway....good luck and keep me abreast of what you do and your reasoning.
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Old 05-03-2017, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by oceandansar View Post
1959 Florida ranch doubled in size and remodeled in 1984 . We have a whole house attic fan which works great we have yet to turn a/c on this year. Ridge is vented as well as end gables and soffits have aluminum vents all the way around the house. They really work
What's the interior temp in late afternoon?
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Shipwreck1 View Post
I would get an 1-1/2" & 2" hole saw. Put 1-1/2" inside 2" when cutting, so saw will not run away and saw up eves.
Agreed, I actually have an arbor set up for this, no reason I can't go to 3" just as easily.

Originally Posted by jkmjr View Post
If your attic has no ridge vents, gable vents, turbines, or electric vents and is "sealed" as you say the soffit vents could not be letting very much air in at all. The venting mentioned is what helps pull a draft through the attic.

Does your roof have foam insulation sprayed between the rafters?
I guess I could clarify more - it is a hip roof and no, no vents of any kind otherwise.

No under-deck insulation, they didn't do that in the 60s and when I remodeled I wasn't ready to rip the entire ceiling out. (in retrospect, I probably should have, would have saved me a ton of time and allowed me to do spray-foam insulation)

My attic temps are not unreasonable due to the white surface. The only way I know these vents do anything is that on windy days, I'll get a little "attic smell" on the leeward side of the house.
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
What's the interior temp in late afternoon?
Not to bad have never looked at the thermostat. The trick is turning off the attic fan before it gets to hot outside otherwise your just sucking in hit air.
When we did the remodel we left the old rock roof on and put a truss roof up over everything so it has a pretty good barrier over half the house anyway. In the center of the attic probably 8' of clearance between old roof and new lots of room to walk around in attic
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:40 AM
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Don't change it if it aint broke.

Any changes could cause future problems. If it's working and has been working for the last 60 years, just replace with the same size vents.

Try to find ones that are all metal with heavy screen.
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:23 AM
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I have a 60's home like yours with a 2/12 roof. Vaulted ceilings and an open 1 car garage. When I moved in there was a slot along the soffit that was screened. Torch down roof. No ridge vent. minimal insulation that looks like a heavy layer of dust. I have redone the soffits and installed the plastic vents like you pictured. In the garage I installed an electric attic fan. I plan on installing a ridge vent this summer but I must say the electric fan has made a HUGE difference in garage temps. The fan pulls air through the vents and exits through the garage cooling the ceiling. The a/c has been running less and the house stays cooler.
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:31 PM
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What is the opinion of the soffits that look like a cheese grater being painted over? All of my soffits are in good shape and have been painted over so they are not venting any more. I am in process of getting some fascia replaced then repaint entire house. One contractor said I should replace soffits so they vented ... whats the general consesus? My house cools just fine in the summer months
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