How To Keep Blown Insulation Out Of Soffit Vents?

Keeping blown insulation out of areas such as soffit vents is crucial for maintaining efficient insulation in your home. Knowing this, you might be wondering how to keep blown insulation out of soffit vents. In this article, we'll go over some tips that we researched to help you keep blown insulation out of soffit vents.

To keep blown insulation out of soffit vents, you can follow the tips provided below:

  • Use a rake tool.
  • Install a piece of soffit board.
  • Build a dam. 
  • Use a larger blower.
  • Use a blower with a filter.

Keep on reading this guide to learn more details about these tips and other important information about blown insulation that might interest you.

Spraying blown fiberglass insulation for roof, How To Keep Blown Insulation Out Of Soffit Vents?

Keeping Blown Insulation Out Of Soffit Vents

It is best to avoid installing blown insulation in areas where the insulation is blowing into your soffit vents. However, if you’ve already installed blown insulation and are now realizing the need to keep it out of your soffit vents, there are a few ways you can go about fixing it.

Here are some tips to keep the blown insulation out of your soffit vents:

Use A Rake Tool

Woman raking autumn leaves

One way is to use a rake tool to push the blown insulation that has already made its way into your soffit back towards the house's walls. This will effectively push the blown insulation back out of the soffit.

Check out this metal rake on Amazon.

Install A Piece Of Soffit Board

Another way is to install a piece of soffit board that has screen mesh on top of it, then install your soffit vents over the mesh. This will prevent the blown insulation from entering the vents and causing problems.

Check out this soffit vent on Amazon.

Build A Dam 

You can build a dam to prevent loose fiberglass from getting into your soffit vents. Make a simple dam using boards or a tarp to create a barrier. An alternative is to make a more complex structure from concrete or other materials.

To build a dam, you’ll want to place the barrier against the wall where the blown insulation would enter the soffit vents. 

Use A Larger Blower

You can use a larger blower to blow the insulation up higher into the attic. This will help blow the loose fibers out of the way and keep them from getting into your soffit vents. 

Use A Blower With A Filter

If you plan to blow the insulation near the soffit vents, you can use a blower with a filter. This will catch loose fiberglass and prevent it from entering your soffit vents.

What Is Blown Insulation?

Worker spraying blown fiberglass insulation between attic trusses

Blown insulation is installed by blowing through a hose into the area that needs to be insulated. Compared to traditional batts or unrolled foam boards, you can install blown insulation without removing the drywalls of your house. This is now one of the most common insulation used in residential areas due to its ease of application. 

This is a very convenient and easy way to install insulation, but it is not precise. Because of this, a lot of insulation ends up in areas where it is not needed, such as in the rafters, the attic floor, and near vents and seams. Extra insulation in these places can make a home inefficient and cost more.

What Are Soffit Vents?

Soffit vents

Soffit vents are mounted at the top of the wall below the roof line. They transfer warm air out of the attic and let cool air outside the room while preventing warm roof or attic air from entering the living space below.

How To Insulate Attics with Blown-in Insulation?

Here are the ">steps on the blown-in insulation process for insulating attics:

  1. Wear a dust mask and other protective clothing to avoid direct contact with the material.
  2. Attach the paper rulers to several joists around the attic and pick the right R-value for your location. This will show you how high you need to fill your attic to achieve that value.
  3. Seal any air leaks. Use caulk for small gaps and foam for gaps up to 3 inches.
  4. Protect heat-producing objects by creating barriers, called baffles, around them.
  5. Use a vent chute so the fiberglass doesn’t come into contact with the underside of the roof.
  6. Read your machine's operating instructions. Connect or seal all joints of your machine and set it to the recommended initial settings before getting started.
  7. Have someone flip the switch and feed the machine or use the remote on the end of the hose.
  8. Protect any finished opening or window sill with a plastic bag or piece of cardboard when pulling the hose into the attic.
  9. Start at the end of the attic and work from the eaves toward the middle. Always try to blow with and not across the joists as you work your way back toward the attic access point.
  10. Hold the hose parallel to the floor as much as possible.
  11. The arc of the material from the end of the hose should be about 10 to 14 feet. Increase or decrease the arc by adjusting air pressure for the best application.
  12. Don't let the insulation bounce off the roof, floor, or trusses as it can cause compression that will reduce the R-value and the coverage.
  13. Let the insulation fall freely into place and ensure you install the proper number of bags in each area.
  14. Avoid cupping your hand to direct the insulation. Too much cupping compresses the insulation and can reduce coverage by as much as 10% to 20%. This may be necessary for small spaces or at the attic access point.
  15. You can cut down on air pressure or make other machine adjustments alternately.
  16. Ensure that you have blown every space and check the attic rulers to see that the insulation has a uniform thickness throughout the area before attaching a piece of batt inside the access cover.

See these steps in action in this video:

Why Is It Important To Keep Blown Insulation Out Of Vents?

Blown insulation that finds its way into your soffit vents acts as a plug, restricting the amount of airflow through the vents. This can be an issue because its presence in these areas can cause it to build up and potentially clog the vents, blocking them partially or completely. This can make your house less efficient by increasing your heating and cooling costs.

It can also create a fire hazard if it becomes wet. The insulation inside the soffit can become very hot if it’s under a roof with access to direct sunlight. Rainwater can seep into the insulation, making it soggy, which poses a fire hazard. Blown insulation in other areas of your attic can be problematic, so keeping it out of your soffit vents is important for safety and efficiency.

Blown fiberglass can also settle against the roof shingles and be pushed into the gutters, causing roof problems. It also takes up more space than batts would in the same area. This can cause blown fiberglass to build up against the insulation installed by hand, reducing the R-value which measures the resistance of heat flow through the material in that area.

What Are Some Tips On Installing Blown Insulation In Other Areas?

An insulation specialist pouring in blown in insulation in the flooring of an attic, Is Blown-In Insulation Cheaper Than Rolls?

If you plan on installing blown insulation in other areas, have all the necessary accessories to avoid vents from getting clogged. If you’re installing blown insulation in your walls, you’ll want to have wall baffles to go around ducts and electrical wires to keep insulation away from them.

Lastly, if you’re installing blown insulation in your attic, you’ll want to have a roof rake that helps guide the blown insulation towards your soffit vents and keeps it away from your roof.

In Conclusion

Spraying Blown Fiberglass Insulation for roof technician spraying foam insulation using plural component gun

Blown insulation is a convenient and effective way to insulate your home, but it can be problematic if it gets into your soffit vents. You keep them from getting into your soffit vents by using a rake to push them away, a soffit board with mesh lining, building a physical dam barrier around it, or even using a stronger blower with a filter.

If you found this helpful, do check out our other articles:

Can You Mix Fiberglass And Cellulose Insulation?

How Long Does Blown-In Insulation Last?

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