There are many components that make up your home’s roof — one being soffit. If you’ve done any work on your home’s exterior, you’ve probably heard the term before. That’s because soffit plays an integral role in your home’s roof and serves several essential functions, too.

Let’s take a closer look at soffit vents, including its definition, what material options are available and how many soffit vents you need for your home.

What is Soffit?

Most roofs hang over the walls of the home. This extended overhang has several names, including rafters and eaves, but no matter what it’s called, it refers to the part of your roof that extends beyond the walls.

The underside of the eaves can technically be left unfinished and exposed, but that’s quite uncommon with modern houses. Soffit is a finishing material that’s installed to cover the underside of eaves.

Soffit is available in various materials, widths and designs to fit your home’s needs. It’s available unvented, but vented is preferred to allow proper airflow. And, while its finishing effect is greatly admired, soffit ultimately helps protect the underside of your roof and provides the necessary ventilation your attic space needs.

What is a Soffit Vent?

A soffit vent has perforations that allow air to travel in and out of an attic. Installing soffit vents prevents costly damage to your roof, gutters and attic by providing airflow and mitigating trapped heat on the interior.

If heat is allowed to build up in your attic, shingles break down more quickly and ice dams can form in the winter, resulting in water leaks. Not to mention that overheated attics may cause higher energy bills.

With this being said, ventilation isn’t just about controlling heat. It also helps keep humidity levels down. If too much humidity builds up, mildew, mold and rot are likely to occur — which can all put your health and your structure’s integrity at risk.

In addition, most shingle manufacturers require the use of vented soffit to validate their shingle warranty. Note: Some homes may not need vented soffit if another ventilation system is in place or if the home is without eaves.

How Many Soffit Vents Do I Need On My Home?

Most professionals generally agree that you should have one square foot of ventilation per every 150 square feet of attic, but make sure to review your local building codes to ensure proper ventilation.

For example, if your attic is 1,800 square feet, you’d simply divide 1,800 by 150 to determine that you need approximately 12 square feet of total ventilation for your attic. The vents themselves will need to be placed evenly around the bottom of your eaves. But remember these measurements do not guarantee that your attic has the proper amount of ventilation. You must always review your building codes first in order to determine if the ventilation from your soffit vents or vented soffit is sufficient.

Material Options for Vented Soffit

Wood Soffit Vents

Wood is a traditional building material, so it’s no surprise this is a common option for soffit vents. Wooden soffit vents are made by cutting holes into the wooden soffit and installing vents, typically made of metal, into those holes to cover them. But if wooden soffits are not manufactured with extreme precision, this type of soffit vent may lead to insects entering the home through oversized holes and slats.

Additionally, while wood looks beautiful and offers a natural style, it has some downfalls. For example, wood soffit requires regular maintenance and repainting, and it is susceptible to water and insect damage. It can also be costly to install and repair, depending on the wood species used.

While wood remains a powerful and common building material, it’s been surpassed by cheaper and more durable materials that better serve the purpose of soffit vents.

Vinyl Soffit Vents

Vinyl is a great low-cost option, and contractors can run all vented soffit or a combination of solid and vented so long as they are meeting the proper ventilation requirements. Vinyl isn’t quite as durable as other options and thus tends to be a cheaper option.

Fiber Cement Soffit Vents

Fiber cement soffit is a durable option created from an amalgamation of wood chips, sawdust and epoxy resin. Like vinyl, contractors can do all vented soffit or a combination. Fiber cement as an option for soffit and vented soffit can be expensive and more difficult to install, which can increase labor costs as well.

Aluminum Soffit Vents

Aluminum soffit is a low-maintenance option, as it doesn't require painting or staining, and it only needs occasional cleaning with a garden hose. As with fiber cement and vinyl, contractors can utilize aluminum soffit in a fully vented configuration or a combination of both solid soffit and soffit vents. Aluminum is a very durable material; it is resistant to discoloration, rotting, and insect damage. Additionally, engineering aluminum soffit allows for precise vent holes and slats, keeping insect incursion to a minimum.

Aluminum soffit also offers various design possibilities, as modern material engineering has allowed for aluminum soffit to come in an incredible array of colors. Choose from 18 different colors with no worry about its charm diminishing over the years.

Get the Best Soffit Vent on The Market

At Rollex, we provide a beautiful, high-quality aluminum soffit that complements all types of siding, including vinyl, stucco, brick, fiber cement and more. Even further, our soffit is nearly maintenance-free, as it has a baked-on coating that creates a durable, dirt-resistant finish.

It also comes in 18 different colors, so you’re sure to find the perfect option that fits your home. As an added bonus, our products can be recycled again and again so you feel confident knowing that your soffit is environmentally friendly.

With our industry-leading warranty and unbeatable durability, you can rest assured you’re getting the best quality soffit for your home. If you’re ready to get started, contact our team today!