If you have been having issues with poor air circulation in your soffit and overhangs, you may need to install or replace the soffit vents on your building. Soffit vents are indispensable to any building that has an overhang that may trap heat. We’re going to discuss what these simple, but vital pieces of trim can do to assist the longevity of your building. 

What is a Soffit Vent? 

The most important question to start with is, what is a soffit vent? The term “Soffit” is construction term for an overhang or exterior ceiling of a building that is perpendicular to the ground. The term “Vent” is obviously short for Ventilation and refers to how the product performs as a tool for ventilating an area.

A product that can be known as a “Soffit Vent” is a perforated piece of metal or vinyl that is attached to the underside of a building’s overhang. The perforations in the trim allow air to flow into the closed soffit. 

Why is Air Circulation through a Soffit Vent Important? 

Air circulation through your building’s soffit is important for the overall wellbeing of the building’s substrate and framing system. Perforations in the trim allow cool air to flow into the closed soffit and hot air to escape, especially during the summer months. Many may think that a soffit vent is unnecessary in a colder climate or possibly during the winter months, but this is also an important time for soffit vents to do their jobs. The movement of air keeps the soffit cavity dry and prevents condensation from rotting the substrates and other building materials. This condensation can really be a factor when the outside temperature may drop below the inside temperature of a building and its overhangs. 

Are There Different Types of Soffit Vents? 

There are quite a few types of soffit vents, from size and shape to the types of materials that they can be made from. Aluminum soffit vents are of higher quality compared to many galvanized vents since they will never rust out. Aluminum vents are typically manufactured in a heavier gauge of material which adds strength to them as well as requiring a certain kind of perforation that prevents many types of “nesting” insects from entering the soffit cavity. The different types of soffit vents range from the Plaster Channel Screed and Plaster F-Mold Vents to Drip Screed and EIFS Vents. Each soffit vent is used for a specific reason, so it is important to find the one that will fit the style and need of your particular building. You can see a list of soffit vents here, as well as their uses. 

Are Soffit Vents Easy to Install? 

With the right tools and a basic knowledge of handling metal trim, soffit vents can be installed relatively easily. Planning the installation of any soffit vent revolves around the type of soffit material that is being utilized. A stucco/plaster soffit will require a different type of soffit vent compared to a fiber cement or wood panel soffit material. The larger the soffit cavity, the large the soffit vent will need to be to accommodate the required air flow for that cavity. Your engineer and/or architect as well as your local building code will need to be consulted for your specific needs. 

We hope this blog post was helpful and answered a few questions about soffit vents, but if there are any questions you still have or want to find out more about purchasing quality soffit vents for your project, contact us here or at Flannery’s offices in San Fernando, CA. 

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