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We had rats on our roof and atop is a bunch of nesting material. I don't know if this roof is setup correctly, but there are gaps between the soffit and the roof into the attic which are an inch thick. Is this supposed to be covered with mesh to keep rats out, or should it be sealed up with flashing or something more? enter image description here

EDIT: attached is a video showing the scene for a bit more context. Pardon language as my grip slipped on the ladder. Also here's a juvenile computer sketch of the issue - there is a complete airspace between the flashing and fasci which is the nesting material pictured here.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/iqUWNYb3KfK88iPf8

enter image description here

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    please post a pic farther away. The pic is too close to be able to discern what is what with the roof.
    – RMDman
    Oct 6, 2023 at 1:28
  • @RMDman please see edit.
    – AdamO
    Oct 6, 2023 at 13:21
  • I think the details are moot. If there is open space where critters would get in and build a nest, their access should be blocked. I can't watch your video but I would guess that flashing in your diagram should block that gap. It may be meant to act as a vent but you don't want to pull in air from the gutter and it definitely shouldn't be open for rats to move in. Oct 6, 2023 at 14:54

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After watching your video, I get a much better understanding of your problem.

There should not be a gap between the facia and the roof sheathing. It looks as if the facia board has come loose and slipped down.

You will need to remove the gutter and reinstall, or replace the facia after you can get a good look at why it has fallen down.

There is absolutely on reason to have a gap there. venting to the attic can be done in many other areas. The venting is not the issue here either.

You need to get to this ASAP, If there should be a hard rain, the opening will allow water that may overflow the gutter to get on the soffiting and possibly the insulation, causing other problems.

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Offering an answer to my own question here:

https://housinghow.com/gap-between-soffit-and-fascia/

This article contradicts itself in saying that air gaps should be and air gaps shouldn't be between the fascia and sheathing. It's known attics benefit from air flow, so the issue is not one of requiring the area to be sealed per se, but attic ventilation is usually more deliberate.

Apparently this is a known issue and can reflect some problems with the fascia install that require some elbow grease remediation. They can be sealed with "sealant" (presumably expanding foam) or a wire mesh may be tacked on to prevent critters from entering.

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  • That article is talking about something else. The soffit is the part at the bottom of the roof overhang. You want air coming in through some mesh or grills there if you vent your roof. Your gap is between the fascia (the vertical board that the gutters are attached to) and the roof deck. That gap should not be there in any form. Water will splash in there from the gutters in heavy rain. That's just broken. Oct 6, 2023 at 17:12

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