A soffit vent is a type of roof vent that you install under the eaves of your roof that extend over the walls of your home. Soffit vents help balance the ventilation in your roof and provide airflow to your attic (which may extend the life of your roof).Overview:
- Do I need Soffit Vents?
- How far apart should soffit vents be?
- What soffit vent material is right for me?
- How do you seal soffit vents?
Do I need soffit vents?
If your house uses small gable end vents or a ventilator high in the roof, a soffit vent may help increase airflow. Soffit vents do this by allowing outside air to enter the attic, under the eaves of the roof that extend past your walls.
If your home does have roof overhangs, and sufficient space to add soffit venting, then experts strongly recommend the use of soffit vents.
Where should soffit vents be placed? How far apart should soffit vents be?
Most professionals recommend one square foot of ventilation for every 150 square feet of attic area. This will help you determine how many soffit vents you need. For example, a 15′ x 40′ attic would have a total area of 600 square feet; divided by 150 equals 4 square feet of total ventilated space needed.
Then, the soffit vents should need to be placed evenly around the bottom of the under eaves.
Do all homes use soffit vents?
No. Particularly with older homes that don't have eaves or soffits, you'll have to choose a different ventilation option. Sometimes contractors will use turtle vents or turbine vents in place of soffit vents.
What soffit vent material is right for me?
Metal soffit vents – copper or steel – are a favorite of roofers and contractors because they are resistant to water damage and other elements. This makes metal soffit vents a perfect choice for lifelong-use in any climate.
In addition, metal soffit vents are the ideal aesthetic choice for commercial and residential builds. See our selection of soffit vents here.
How do you seal soffit vents?
It is very important to properly seal soffit vents from the outdoor elements, particularly moisture, debris, and even bugs. You can avoid these natural threats by making sure the soffit vent has an airtight seal.
We recommend a caulk product like Lexel for sealing soffit vents. Take your caulk gun, and run a line along the outer edges of your soffit vent, being careful to avoid excess caulk on the outer edges which may lead to side spillage. This should create a tight seal on the very outer edges of each vent so they are flush with the wood in soffit. Test the application by putting light pressure on each vent with your hand. Any give or jiggling may require tightening (or replacing) the screws).