Openings in a house are very important. The first and most important of which is the door, otherwise no one can get into or out of the house. Following closely behind doors on the list would be the windows. After that I think you would have to stop and think of other important openings that should exist in a house.
A definition of the word opening is;
1. gap: a gap or hole in something, especially one through which you can see or through which people or animals can pass
So the opposite of opening would be closed or blocked, for example the vent opening was blocked. Which brings me to the next and maybe not so obvious opening in a house, the attic vents. More specifically the ridge vent. Ridge vents are installed at and along the roof peak. They are actually one of two parts of an attic venting system. The other part being the soffit vents.
What should be obvious to the installers of these vents is the openings must be of proper size and free of obstructions.
During two separate inspections over the last few days I discovered two ridge vent installations in which the openings were hardly open at all.
The first instance was in a newer condominium townhouse, under 10 years old. Upon entering the large attic I immediately noticed the signs of ventilation issues, staining on the roof deck with water stains from condensing moisture on the ceiling insulation. Gazing up at the roof ridge to inspect the vent opening, I could see it was sporadically cut and blocked in places by the roof shingles. An all around a sloppy job.
Just a few days later I saw basically the same conditions in an attic where a new ridge vent had been installed along with a new roof only just this past fall. As one can see, my pen couldn't make it through the gap.
Generally speaking the opening along the roof ridge should be a bit over 3 inches. When looking at this gap from the attic, there should be at least an inch of clear space visible on either side of the roof ridge beam.
It would seem that when an opening is needed, one may be well advised to check it has been installed. After all it would be difficult to get in your house if the front door was not cut out.
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC
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