Soffits

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NeilG

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I want to fire-harden my house a bit. One thing everyone says to do is box in open eaves. My roof is almost flat with a slight rise toward the back. The only place there are vents to an attic space are on the back of the house. The question is, should I install soffit vents all the way around, possibly to prevent moisture or heat build-up? This is SoCal, and it's normally pretty dry.

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Snoonyb

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By code, you are required to maintain a specific min area of attic ventilation.

If you are not upslope and on a canyon edge.
 

NeilG

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I'm not sure how that applies to this situation. I can't change the existing vents. All I can do is provide adequate vents in the soffits, if that's what you mean. I'm asking if I need vents in the soffits where there are no attic vents. Only the back half of the house has attic space, so there are only vents in the back.
 

Sparky617

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You might want to check with your local building codes office. In wildfire areas there are some specific requirements. I know for foundation vents they have requirements for vents that prevent embers from getting blown in under the house.
 

oldognewtrick

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Vents only work if you have an unrestricted area for air flow. Attics need to have intake (lower) and exhaust (upper) to create a chimney effect. An engine has an intake and exhaust manifold, compromise either and the motor won't run or runs inefficiently. Same for a roof structure. Do you have any attic area or is the roof mostly a flat surface?
 

NeilG

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Vents only work if you have an unrestricted area for air flow. Attics need to have intake (lower) and exhaust (upper) to create a chimney effect. An engine has an intake and exhaust manifold, compromise either and the motor won't run or runs inefficiently. Same for a roof structure. Do you have any attic area or is the roof mostly a flat surface?
The roof is flat, with the minimum allowable slope. Very typical for the area and time when it was built. The front half of the house has exposed beams and T&G roof deck, and the back of the house has drywall ceiling. So, the attic space is very shallow, with a few vents on the back of the house. As far as I can tell, there is no inlet, just those vents. No vents on the sides, and obviously, none on the front.
vents.jpg
 

NeilG

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You might want to check with your local building codes office. In wildfire areas there are some specific requirements. I know for foundation vents they have requirements for vents that prevent embers from getting blown in under the house.
Thanks, I hadn't thought about the foundation vents. Have those too. Looks like there's a trip to city hall to find out about all this.
 

Sparky617

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Thanks, I hadn't thought about the foundation vents. Have those too. Looks like there's a trip to city hall to find out about all this.
My brother is building in Salinas right now and the code for building in an area subject to earthquakes and wildfires is pretty strict.
 

NeilG

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I would hope that boxing in eaves doesn't mean a code upgrade for what's been there since 1953. I'm not even sure if a 1 foot high space qualifies as an "attic".
 

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