0 Helpful?

Should I vent enclosed soffits on a house with an unvented cathedral ceiling?

We're in zone 4C at 1550 feet. Building a log house. We're planning on an unvented cathedral ceiling (2 in. closed cell spray foam with balance of rafter bay filled with additional insulation). The roof (12/12 pitch) is shingled at this point in time. We utilized I beam style rafters. We wanted to use cedar T&G planks on the underside of the soffits (4 - 5 feet wide). We hope to have a few recessed can lights in the gable soffits. Should we vent the soffits? If so, how? Or is the T&G "leaky" enough for ventilation. It's rather wet here, 30's to 20's for periods during the winter, 70's with sun during summer. Concerned about moisture in enclosed soffitsLeaving soffits open won't work. Can't find recommendations for this issue! Thanks.

Asked by Rick Schneider
Posted Nov 28, 2012 11:05 PM ET


2 Answers

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

You don't need to vent the soffits.

But there are several concerns you haven't mentioned.

First of all, if you want to install can lights in an outdoor soffit, you have to be sure that they are appropriate for a damp environment. Otherwise, the trim will rust, and they'll look terrible.

Second, these can lights will create hot spots that have the potential to melt snow on your roof and contribute to an ice dam. I don't know how much snow you get in your area, but you don't want hot spots on your roof. You may be able to address this issue with some rigid foam.

Third, you need to maintain adequate clearances to prevent the can lights from overheating.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Nov 29, 2012 5:53 AM ET


Thanks for the advice and putting our minds at ease. We'll use LED bulbs to reduce heat. Not too much snow, but we can always leave the lights off if there is an accumulation.

Answered by Rick Schneider
Posted Nov 29, 2012 9:34 AM ET

Other Questions in GBA Pro help

ugg bailey button triplet long boots - classic tall ugg boots schuh

In General questions | Asked by Michaelgek Michaelgek | Nov 25, 15

Ideal load for a multispeed inverter-driven GSHP?

In Mechanicals | Asked by Ted | Nov 19, 15

split system location

In Mechanicals | Asked by A Lange | Nov 24, 15

Buyer education versus a good code and intensive enforcement of it

In Building Code Questions | Asked by Eric Habegger | Jul 21, 15

ugg classic tall grey boots on sale - ugg boots with rhinestones

In General questions | Asked by Michaelgek Michaelgek | Nov 24, 15
Register for a free account and join the conversation

Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!