While attempting to install a security camera in the soffit of my bungalow home, I noticed that there is wood paneling beneath (above) the soffit. The soffits are aluminum, and it looks as though there are breathable soffit panels every 12' or so. The wood appears to be solid, I assume where the breathable panels are there is a gap in the wood.

EDIT: My brick bungalow is approx. 1100sq/ft, My roof pitch is 8/12. Just before the peak on one side there are 4 roof vents, evenly spaced. In addition, there are gable vents close to the top of the brick at either side of the house.

My roof tiles appear to be in good condition, but I am concerned that I do not have enough ventilation intake. Is it still recommended to have wood above soffits? Am I risking damage to my roofing tiles by leaving this for a couple of years, or is it recommended to deal with this asap (if ventialtion is indeed inadequate)?

  • Your question is really about ventilation, not soffits. You should revise to describe your ventilation situation more thoroughly. It could be that you have other ventilation mechanisms that preclude the need for soffit vents.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 16:56
  • Thanks for the feedback. I don't believe there is another method of air intake though, so I'm not sure how to revise.
    – Toby
    Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 17:04
  • 1
    You have a lot of doubt in your first paragraph about what's up there actually ventilating your attic. You need to get into you attic and find out these answers before you decide you have a problem.
    – JACK
    Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 17:21
  • Soffit vents require ridge vents (or at least gable vents) to be effective. Any ventilation loop needs an in and an out. Find out what your situation is and get back to us. If you don't have a question in the meantime, maybe just delete this one.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 17:23
  • Many thanks - I have made the suggested edits, and revised the question to be more specific.
    – Toby
    Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


Attic Ventilation shall be “cross ventilation “ and shall be 1/150th the area that is to be vented. (See ICC R806 Vents.)

However, there is one exception: The attic ventilation can be reduced to 1/300th the area to be vented provided one of the following items are met:

1) a Class I or II vapor retarder is installed on the “warm-in-winter” side of the ceiling, or

2) not less than 40% and not more than 50% of the ventilation is located in the upper portion of the attic. The upper portion is defined as: “Upper ventilation shall not be lower than 3’ below the ridge or highest point of the roof. “ (See ICC R806.1.2.)

Also, the Code says you’ll maintain a 1” clearance between attic insulation and framing.

So, you can see there is clearly a benefit to having ridge vents, gable vents, etc. , but in a proportion that allows COMPLETE CROSS-VENTILATION to the attic....and cross ventilation is best with soffit vents.

Remember, you’re venting the attic to remove condensation. Condensation damages wood, not your tile roofing. I’d act quickly.

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