As a follow up to this question, I have two 54' x 3 " gaps running the length of an overhang in my roof supposedly for venting. I believe these to be the point of entry for some squirrels and who knows what else. I bought the house as a foreclosure, and when I asked the housing inspector about it, he indicated they were by design for "venting." At the time I thought, great no rodent on my roof will have a hard time getting in there. Turns out that was true. Would covering these with a screen be the best course of action for preventing entry? I feel like that would barely slow them down.

What is the best way to seal this? I would try running the length with sub-flooring, but that seems like it would exclude the "venting" idea if that is in fact needed.

If screen is the best choice, is there a material, grade, mesh, and/or thickness that would be recommended?

Is this on the money when it recommends:

The use of ½-inch x ½-inch screen is a reasonable compromise between ventilation requirements and rodent control.

  • Swiss cheese lets air through.
    – DMoore
    Sep 3 '13 at 19:42
  • @DMoore So does lung tissue. The question is what's the best balance of ventilation to rodent reduction. Given the sheer size of the "vents" I'm inclined to think I can go for smaller screening?
    – Atl LED
    Sep 3 '13 at 20:00

The soffit vents are an important part of keeping airflow under your roof, lowering your cooling costs in the summer, and preventing ice dams in the winter.

You can screen over the gap, but I would look for a soffit vent strip that you can fit into the gap to give it a nice look and prevent any animals, or even insects, from getting in. My newest ridge vent included a plastic mesh underneath that wouldn't rot but would keep out any leaves and most insects. If you can find something like this for your soffit vent, that would be the best of both worlds: decent appearance without any bugs.

soffit vent strip

  • +1 At the moment I'm having a hard time finding soft venting that it thin enough, but I think this will work. Will accept when I find a solution in soffit.
    – Atl LED
    Sep 3 '13 at 20:33
  • I think the biggest concern should be length and width. A lot of those soffit vents are designed to be the entire soffit, or a small round insert into an existing soffit, so you'll want to find long strips that are 3" wide. The thickness shouldn't matter since it can hang low or be recessed in your soffit.
    – BMitch
    Sep 3 '13 at 20:37
  • Sorry I meant width. I'm looking for some long panels 3" wide.
    – Atl LED
    Sep 3 '13 at 20:39
  • 1
    @AtlLED This is the closest that I found with a quick bit of searching: amazon.com/Air-Vent-Soffit-Strip-Undereave/dp/B000VBJBLC
    – BMitch
    Sep 3 '13 at 20:45
  • I was just looking at those and others that seem to be that size. I couldn't find anything that was 3 (not giving up yet)but I mat just have to run another material to close the gap first. I'm also concerned that most pieces I find in that size to be designed for the "middle of Softfit"
    – Atl LED
    Sep 3 '13 at 20:55

A fairly simple solution is hardware cloth

hardware cloth

It's not very elegant, but fairly cheap, easy to shape and can be stapled up. Edges can be covered with moldings. It comes in 1/2 and 1/4 inch sizes (maybe others).

  • This is in different gauges so you can apply different types depending on hole width and types of animals.
    – DMoore
    Sep 4 '13 at 0:54

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