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How To Remove Insulation From Soffit Vents (DIY Guide)

How To Remove Insulation From Soffit Vents (DIY Guide)

When it comes to soffit vents, removing insulation can be a little more difficult due to the placement of the vents. So, how do you remove the insulation from soffit vents? 

Here are the steps to take to adequately and safely remove insulation from soffit vents: 

  1. Use a ladder to check inside the soffit vents. 
  2. Remove the vent covers. 
  3. Wear gloves and pull out loose insulation on the vents. 
  4. Measure enough room between the soffit vents and insulation. 
  5. Cut any sections of insulation near the vent away. 
  6. Improve your attic insulation setup. 

The rest of this article will discuss precisely how to remove insulation from soffit vents, why it’s essential to clear insulation from the vents, and how to prevent any insulation from getting into the vents in the future. 

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1. Use a Ladder To Check Inside the Soffit Vents

Since soffit vents are located in the attic, it can be challenging to clean out the vents of insulation, especially if you don’t have the proper set up in your attic that allows you to move through it. 

If you don’t have easy access through your attic or too much insulation is in the way, the best thing to do is use a ladder to reach the soffit vents themselves. Climbing up to check inside the vents will also allow you to see how much insulation is built up in the vents themselves, so you’ll know what you’re working with. 

The Importance of Insulation

Attic insulation is essential to keeping the house’s air circulation well maintained and preventing future damage to your home and roof. Therefore, ensuring the insulation is in the right place and away from the soffit vents is critical. 

See What is the Building Envelope & How Does it Affect Insulation?

You should never cover your soffit vents with insulation because it will block the natural airflow. Blocking the natural airflow will cause even more problems throughout your house, so properly installing insulation is critical (source).

2. Remove the Vent Covers

After checking inside the soffit vents, remove the vent covers. You’ll have to use a screwdriver, as well as some protective equipment to remove it. If there is insulation directly on the vent, wearing eye protection before taking the vent off is recommended, as you don’t want to get insulation in your eyes. 

After the vent covers are removed, you’ll have a better idea of how much insulation is on the soffit vents that need to be removed. 

3. Wear Gloves and Pull Out Loose Insulation on the Vents

Before trying to remove the insulation, ensure you’re wearing protective gloves. Coming into direct contact with insulation can cause fiberglass in your skin, which is painful and can lead to rashes. 

After ensuring your safety, carefully pull out the loose insulation around and on the soffit vents. You can do this by pushing the insulation further into the attic or taking it out completely. However, the best thing to do is have the insulation set up correctly, which I’ll get more into later. 

How To Remove Fiberglass From Your Skin

If you do happen to come into direct contact with insulation, don’t worry. There are ways you can get the fiberglass out of your skin safely and efficiently. 

  • Ensure you’re not scratching or rubbing the area. Doing this can cause the fiberglass to go further into your skin. 
  • Use a washcloth to wash the area with soap and water before applying tape. The tape can help remove the fiberglass from your skin. 

However, if the rash and itchiness continue, it would be best to see a doctor (source).

4. Measure Enough Room Between the Soffit Vents and Insulation

You should keep insulation three inches (7.6 centimeters) away from soffit vents and light fixtures. Therefore, you should measure the room between the soffit vents and insulation after removing insulation from the vents and pushing it away from the opening. 

Use a tape measure to measure the distance accurately. This will help avoid insulation from going into the soffit vents (source). 

5. Cut Any Sections of Insulation Near the Vent Away

After measuring, cut any remaining insulation away from the soffit vents to create an adequate amount of space between the insulation and the vents. After cutting away the insulation away from the vents, your job is done. However, you can do more to help prevent the vents from becoming overrun with insulation again, which I’ll discuss next. 

6. Improve Your Attic Insulation Setup

The best way to prevent a build-up of insulation in the soffit vents is to do everything you can to improve the setup in your attic. Depending on the size of your attic and how much room you have to move around up there will determine what you can do to improve the situation and prevent future insulation removal. 

Use Plywood Strips

Using plywood strips across the attic floor will make it easier to navigate, as it will help create a walkway and ensure better access to the soffit vents themselves. Using wide plywood will be more stable, and therefore, safer. 

But if you want to keep insulation away from your soffit vents, plywood strips can be nailed between the ceiling joists to create a box that ensures obstruction-free ventilation. This is an excellent prep to do prior to installing blown-in insulation but it can help keep rolled fiberglass insulation from covering the vent as well.

Conclusion

Removing insulation from inside soffit vents is an easy job you can do yourself, as long as you have the right tools and safety equipment to do so. Locating the soffit vents with a ladder and removing the excess is the best option for quick cleaning. 

However, properly installing plywood strips to create vent boxes is a great way to prevent insulation from falling back in your soffit vents in the future. 

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