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How to Ventilate Solid Wood Soffits for Natural Ventilation

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Step One -- Tools, Materials and Skills Required
Ventilated Soffit Panels

Ventilated soffit panels help add natural ventilation to your attic space.

Photo © Jurin Roofing Services www.jurinroofing.com

Many older homes and structures in the United States were built with solid wood soffits and fascias. These solid wood surfaces, especially when they are freshly painted, provide great accents to the roof line of the home. However, the presence of solid wood surfaces can inhibit the movement of air in the attic space of the home. Ventilated soffits can provide sources of cross ventilation for attic spaces and enhance the performance of passive ventilation systems such as ridge vent.

Installing ventilated soffit vents into the solid wood soffits on your home or building is a simple process. It can be accomplished using a variety of products and techniques. The goal behind installing the soffit vents is the same regardless of the technique and product that you choose. The goal is to provide a source of cross ventilation to allow fresh air in through the soffit vents and allow the stale hot air to ventilate out through the passive vents on the roof such as ridge vent.

Tools, Materials and Skills Required

Installation of soffit vents requires several specialized tools and equipment in order to complete the installation correctly and safely. Keep in mind that while working on the soffit area of your home that you are working on a surface that is directly overhead. As a result, you will be looking up as you are working which will expose your eyes to falling debris and dirt. It is highly recommended that you wear safety glasses or safety goggles to protect your eyes while you are working on overhead surfaces.

  1. Tools
    • Power drill – preferably cordless
    • Paddle drill bit – 1.25” in size
    • Tape Measure
    • Chalk Line
    • ¼” driver bit
    • Tin Snips
  2. Materials
    • Ventilated Soffit Panels – aluminum or vinyl
    • J-channel – material to match soffit panels
    • Zip screws (fits into ¼” driver bit)
  3. Skills
    • No fear of heights
    • Ability to safely operate hand tools
    • Ability to setup ladders and scaffolding safely
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