What are Rafter Vents?

August 29th, 2012

Rafter vents are also known as attic insulation baffles. They are objects made of cardboard, plastic or hard foam. Their core function is to create a gap, which allows air to flow from the vents to the attic. Rafter vents are installed near the eaves and they create passages for removing stuffy air right from the soffits to the ridge vents. Benefits of rafter vents When moist air is not allowed to escape through rafter vents, moisture accumulates leading to fungal growth and mildew. Soffit vents can also get clogged from heavy insulation, which decreases their effectiveness. Attics are usually dark places unless you have special lights there; installing rafter vents can produce an alternative source of lighting. Rafter vents are essential when you insulate the total floor area of the attic and seal all the air leaks as these vents allow air to circulate through the ridge and soffit vents.  Proper ventilation will help you extract the best performance from your attic insulation. How to install rafter vents? The number of rafter vents you purchase should be equal to the number of soffit vents. You have to first locate soffits which are vents for air intake placed under the Eaves. Rafter vents are usually 4 feet long and are available in a variety of widths. In order to get the correct width for your vents, measure the space between your rafters with a measuring tape. Using a utility knife cut open the tap on the mouths of Batts and loosen the insulating material blocking the Soffit vents. Ensure that you don’t compress or damage the rest of the insulating material. Brush away any loose material hanging around and then staple the rafter vents exactly at the point in the roof deck where the attic floor meets the ceiling. In this way, follow up each soffit vent by a rafter vent. Precautions to take Wear long pants, full-sleeve shirt, gloves and other protective clothing. Protective eyewear such as dust resistant goggles and masks covering your face are a must. Be very careful while using ladders to climb up to the roof when installing rafters. This process might severely irritate your lungs and skin so if you are allergic to dust, take the help of experienced workmen. You can use blocks of plywood to create a safe working space for yourself over the insulated floor. Be cautious with the staple gun as it is known to cause a lot of accidents. Things you will need Staple gun, rope, a ladder, measuring tape, utility knife, protective gear and a torch are essentials you should have before trying to install rafter vents. There are two kinds of rafter vents available in the market –cardboard and foam. Both deliver the same kind of performance but with one vital difference. Foam is moisture resistant while cardboard sometimes acts as a source of food for mildew. Whatever type you choose, install your rafter vents carefully and you are sure to have a fresh and comfortable attic.