Repair Vents To Protect Your Home’s ‘Envelope’ | Print |  E-mail
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Friday, 30 March 2012 14:27

By Samantha Mazzotta

Special to the Forum


Recently, I found that sparrows had built a nest, not just under the eaves of my house but inside the crawlspace under the roof. I had pest control remove the nest, and now I plan to seal up any gaps or openings under the eaves or leading into the attic. How best do I go about this?


You don’t want to seal up every opening in the attic and crawlspace area, as many of the openings play an important role in maintaining the health of your home.

The spaces between the exterior and interior living area of a house — attics, crawlspaces, the gaps between the outside wall and the interior framing and drywall — make up what’s known as a home’s “envelope.” Airflow into and out of this envelope is as important as the other components you’ll often find inside, such as insulation.

Home plans provide for open vents spaced around the exterior of the house, which allow air to flow naturally into and out of the envelope.

This constantly moving air keeps the space between your living area and the outside of the house from getting too hot or too cold, and, more importantly, keeps moisture from becoming a problem. Excess humidity within the envelope can, over time, cause some very expensive problems, including mold.

Of course, you don’t want pests using these vents to move into your home, because they, too, can cause quite a bit of damage.

To protect the crawlspace and health of your home, notate all of the openings and vents in the eaves and soffits, the crawlspace and attic, and the basement or lower crawlspace. Note whether a vent is in place. Is there just an opening with no protective vent, or does the opening look like a damaged area rather than an intentionally placed opening?

Now purchase what you need to install proper vent covers to enable airflow but discourage pests. Also, take time to repair any exterior damage before interior damage becomes a problem.

Even with protective measures in place, you still need to inspect the area at least twice a year, typically spring and fall, for evidence of animals or other pests trying to make your home their home.

Home Tip: What’s the difference between eaves and soffits? Eaves sit at the edge of a sloped roof; soffits are the flat underside of a roof’s overhang between the exterior wall and the eaves.

© 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.




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