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East Meadow Roofing: Article About Soffit Vents

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Anyone that is handy with home repairs can easily install soffit vents with a few simple tools most people already own. Very little skill is required, and it can be completed in as little as one hour depending on how many vents are needed. Ventilation improves the air quality in the attic and prevents a common East Meadow roofing issue of ice dams that can form in the winter. Single rectangular vents are the most commonly used by homeowners, but there are larger continuous vents and custom options available.

Prior to making any cuts, use a stud finder to locate and avoid roof rafters. A little bit of damage to the support can lead to a major support issue in the roof later on. The easiest way to establish a template for making cuts and drilling holes for mounting screws is to use a pencil or chalk to trace the vent itself. Double check for straight lines and an attractive placement, and take the time to start over if necessary. It is much easier to cut a hole than fill it back in. Do not cut along the lines, this is only a rough guide. The actual hole should be drawn around 3/4" inside and cut with a jigsaw.

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Drilling into each corner is the easiest way to insert the saw blade to get started. Repeat as needed for additional soffit vents.

Discard the cutout and install the vent with louvers aimed toward the direction of the home. Secure it in place with mounting screws using the cordless drill with a screwdriver attachment. If done correctly, the new vent should have a clean look that provides safe ventilation for circulating outdoor air into the attic.

Remember that a little goes a long way when it comes to allowing outdoor air into the home. Continuous soffits stretch the entire length of the roof and open a narrow section for ventilation. These take more skill to install properly so most homeowners that choose this options have professional help. New homes may already have them in place, however, older homes will benefit from the simple improvement.

Don't forget to clean the new soffit vents once in a while to keep a steady flow of air into the attic. If they become clogged with debris, exit vents do not have a push to clear the old air out of the attic. This can result in indoor moisture retention, a higher likelihood of winter ice dams and energy wasted trying to cool the home down in the heat of summer. Use a regular air compressor every few months to remove anything that could be restricting the airflow system.

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