Small round vents...

justducky22June 15, 2011

Hello everyone! I was doing some yard work this past weekend and noticed that there are these small round vents in my wood siding between the first and second floor. Anyone know what these are for? I did notice them when we first moved in but forgot about them until now. I have read that they could be holes from blown in insulation. I don't know...the previous owners were pretty detailed in all the improvements they had done but I guess anything is possible. Oh, it might or might not help to know that the vents are only on the left & right sides of the house...none in the front or back. Not a big deal, just curious. Any ideas? The house was built in 1928. Thanks!

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columbusguy1

Are they regularly spaced? All in the same row of siding? How big are they?

It sounds like caps for insulation holes, but without the above info, it could be anything.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 3:14PM
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renovator8

Are they louvered vents or just plugs?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 4:28PM
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columbusguy1

My house had cellulose blown in my first summer owning it, back in '88--the holes are covered with plastic caps. I bought some louvered ones to replace them, as I read that some ventilation was needed, but I never put them all in.

Should I replace them all with louvered ones?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 2:26PM
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renovator8

Vents can allow moisture to escape from the wall to the dry outside air (if the wall is wet) but they can also allow moisture from humid air and rain to get into the wall. Unless they are pencil sized and angled upward under the lap of clapboard siding I wouldn't recommend using them. The 3/4" to 2" sized vents are fine in exterior soffits.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 7:12PM
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justducky22

Yes, they seem pretty evenly spaced on the same row of siding. They appear to be 2" or maybe a little bigger and yes, they are louvered.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 8:48PM
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columbusguy1

Definitely sound like holes for insulation then...but I thought there should be more than one row per floor, as mine are done?

My house is from 1908, so I assume it's balloon-framed, but two rows each floor to account for fire-blocking?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 11:00PM
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brickeyee

"My house is from 1908, so I assume it's balloon-framed, but two rows each floor to account for fire-blocking?"

There may not be any blocking.
That was one of the overall weaknesses of balloon framing.
Many places had chimneys from foundation to roof in every exterior wall.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 11:31AM
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renovator8

Fire blocking, when used, normally occurs at the ceiling line.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 3:05PM
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columbusguy1

Thanks brickeyee and Ren, I thought I'd seen it in some old houses on tv about half-way up...wish I had an infrared camera to see inside my walls, because I think there are spots missing the insulation! If I knew where, I could fill those spots myself...but I can't afford to buy one.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 7:57PM
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