How do I find this eve vent from the inside of the attic?

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by jmr106, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. Nov 17, 2017 #1

    jmr106

    jmr106

    jmr106

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    House built in 1950 in Georgia in the Southeastern US.

    Front of the house:

    [​IMG]

    The circled eve vent is what I'm chasing. The interesting thing is that I can't find it. There's one on each corner of the house where the two sides meet in a point and those two are readily accessible and visible from each end of the attic.


    [​IMG]

    The middle part of the attic is a room that you can stand up in all the way across (the black area). The crawl space area in red is this all the way across:

    [​IMG]

    In between the roof joists in the pic above, you can see the roof nails sticking out of the roof boards, so this is clearly the slant of the roof. They have some old junk up there that nobody bothered to throw away, mainly old boards with nails sticking out) that I had to shove aside. I went nearly halfway across the house and to the second awning from the right, and there was nothing visible in regards to the vent or any opening.

    At the corner of the house, I can see a little bit of drywall visible from in the attic crawl space that is clearly the area where it angles up, but I don't see a vent or opening anywhere (oh and yes, it is very icky up there, as expected).
     
  2. Nov 17, 2017 #2

    jmr106

    jmr106

    jmr106

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    (Part 2 since pic posts were limited)



    [​IMG]

    So my question now is...where the freak is this little "room" that should be there and isn't there? My logic tells me that it should be "above" the crawlspace area that I'm in, but I'm seeing the slanted roof boards in that area and there's no V-Shape visible in that crawl space pic that I posted above. Plus, the nails sticking through the slant formed by the roof boards tells me that there's shingles on the other side of those boards and that's the nails holding it. It goes all the way down slanted in the same way.

    So my question is...how do I find this room? My reason for wanting to find that vent is to cover it from the inside with a combination of screen wire (for insects) and mesh wire (I think a squirrel is scurrying around up there sometimes and getting in through this vent).

    This shows just how far that sticks out from apparently the top of the roof.

    [​IMG]

    Anyone got any advice for this one? :confused:
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  3. Nov 18, 2017 #3

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Hey, how are you doing?
    They built the main roof first and just add that as decoration on top. The vent is just decoration. It would be pretty big job to convert that into something you could use.
    Have you a problem that you were trying to solve?
    If you really have to get in there you would measure from the side of the building to the center of the peak from the ground.
    Subtract some for the brick and measure from the inside of the same wall and with a saws all cut a big enough hole to crawl thru.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  4. Nov 18, 2017 #4

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    This will give you some idea how it is constructed on the roof.

    valley set.jpg
     
  5. Nov 18, 2017 #5

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

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    As neal said, that gable end vent may just be decorative, but it may not be.

    When I was framing, if there was 24" from the top plate to the bottom of the ridge it was mandatory that that section of the attic be accessible from the attic.
     
  6. Nov 18, 2017 #6

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    It would be needed if the roof continued over another room more that 100 sq. ft. Now with trusses it wouldn't help you get there.
     
  7. Nov 18, 2017 #7

    jmr106

    jmr106

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    I don't think it is decorative. It is definitely metallic like the other side eve vents. I presume then that the nails that I'm seeing coming through the "roof" of the crawlspace in the area where this eve should be are from the original roof and that the original roofing material from decades ago (or maybe even when the house was built) should be on top of the ceiling that I see in the attic crawlspace. That is some weird looking drywall peeking through here and there in the woodwork to form the point.

    I would think that with such a large opening, there must be some kind of trapdoor type of access area.

    Yes, the reason why I want to reach this vent from inside is because it is too much of a hassle to cover it from outside with the screen and wire mesh. Plus, it would look awful. Plus, a family member told me that they have seen a squirrel going near that area of the house and I think it may be going in that vent. The other night I hear something scratching the wall up in the attic right above the fold-down stairs in the hallway and I want to make sure that I seal every possible opening up there that any critters could get into. It has apparently been "open" for all of this time if there is a little room up there.

    I have a device called a Ladder Angel or something similar to that that attaches to the ladder and basically stabilizes it against the house in a wide area. So I may attach that and go up as high as I can and take a cell phone with the light on and video recording and stick it up next to the vent to see what I can see in there. That method has worked for a variety of things in the past, so we'll see. If I can get up high enough and close enough to the eve vent, maybe I can take a peek in tomorrow with a flashlight.

    If there is some kind of door opening that they made, would it be towards the middle V area of the original roof or off to the side in the crawl space area? I should hope that it would be in the stand up area of the room because there's a crazy small amount of space in that crawl space. Those 18" on center boards are unforgiving on the knees, legs and hands to get over to that point.

    The area where this eve is would be above the living room and possibly the dining room area. It may span where both join.

    What makes me curious about this is...if it is for cosmetic reasons, why do they bother to roof the entire roof flat and then build the eve on top of the roof like that? Just to make the structure more sound?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  8. Nov 18, 2017 #8

    Snoonyb

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    The framing that Neal provided a photo of, is typical of a stick framed addition. The eve and the gable end vent, that is the subject, is the method of venting that space and additionally provided an increased volume for the attic ventilation in general.

    Neal described the method of creating an attic access to the space, and when you've crawled the ceiling joists as often as we have, you get a pair of secure knee pads and/or a 1'x4' piece of plywood as an assistant.
     
  9. Nov 18, 2017 #9

    jmr106

    jmr106

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    So if they did create an access panel somewhere, would my chances be better looking for it in larger stand-up attic space or over in the smaller crawl space? I'm going to measure it outside to know where to look inside and mark it off. That will be really interesting if they didn't make one. Anyone know if that would have been common in 1950? Some of this houses on this street have one and others don't have it or have a smaller one with a different design. Quite a few still have it.

    I see the point of it being decorative and/or giving additional venting to the space, but I don't see how it could do so if they didn't leave an opening somewhere.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  10. Nov 18, 2017 #10

    Snoonyb

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    The third photo of post #2 indicates that that section of roof is an architectural element designed to add character to an otherwise straight gable roof.

    As neal described, from the exterior right measure left to the approx. center of the of that gable. Transpose the dimension into the attic minus about 8" for the thickness of the wall, and that should be about the center.

    That dimension may or may not land in the center of a rafter bay, so measure down about 2' and cut a hole with a sawzall to find out where in the element you are so you can expand it large enough to access the inside of the gable end vent in question, to affect your repairs.
     
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  11. Nov 18, 2017 #11

    havasu

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    The two dormers on my house were built on my roof for decoration only. I took a sawzall and opened the interior so I now have daylight into my attic. Seems you may need to do the same?

    013016a.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2017
  12. Nov 18, 2017 #12

    joecaption

    joecaption

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    I have to agree with most of the other posters.
    We used to use an electric chain saw instead of a saws all on this one to make a faster cut through the sheathing, both will work, just ones faster.
    Just make the hole toward the center of the gable so you do not run into the roofing.
    Not going to hurt a thing making the hole to big as long as you do not cut into the rafters.
     

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