Following up on some recent threads here that had to do with house
ventilation, particularly the installation of attic vents, I just read
an article in one of my favorite papers (The /Berkeley Daily Planet/*)
by one of my favorite columnists, their resident home inspector, Matt
Cantor, in which he says that, at least in certain places in California,
soffit vents are now going to be a thing of the past.
Basically, the deal is that such vents make it much too easy for fire to
spread into a structure through them. This is all a consequence of a new
set of building codes applicable to houses in certain fire zones called
the "Wildland Urban Interface", or WUI.
In his article
(http://berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2008-07-03/article/30486 ), he says:
Most homes today have both attic and foundation vents. Both are an
issue in the new WUI code. Vents normally found in the eaves or
"soffits" (the undersides of enclosed eaves) are completely eliminated
in the new code since we have discovered that these area of the building
are particularly vulnerable to sparks, embers and brands (bits of
He discusses the fire safety aspect of vents, but doesn't address the
ventilation issues raised by this: it looks as if it'll be back to the
drawing board for venting attics. How will one be able to ventilate
one's attic if one can't install soffit vents?
Anyhow, at least for folks living in certain areas, this is something
you might ought to be aware of.
* The name is a complete misnomer, since the paper now only comes out
once a week.
"Wikipedia ... it reminds me ... of dogs barking idiotically through
endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it.
Click to see the full signature.