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        Soffit installation advice needed. Sign In/Join 
        Picture of SturdyNail
        posted
        Hello,

        I've received good advice from Sparky617 and GardenSprite regarding methods for keeping the bugs away. Thank you.

        And, thanks to Jaybee for endorsing vinyl soffit. That makes me feel better about sticking with that choice. Do you use the type with hidden ventilation?

        Regarding installation, I see instructions for using F and J Channels. I've also seen recommendations to nail the middle for wide soffits--setting the nail within a groove so it won't be seen.
        Is there any reason why I can't use nails on the edges too? That would, of course, require me to fix a nailing strip to nail to. I could trim out the edges with moulding. Does that seem reasonable/manageable?

        Thanks again.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: SturdyNail,
         
        Posts: 261 | Location: Western NewYork | Registered: Jan 26, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Sturdy,
        I'd think ants could get through any size hole I've seen in soffit vents. Even screened ones would only keep out the larger ants.

        I get little kitchen ants in my house. I've taken to spraying around the perimeter of the outside of the house several times a year and have been able to to keep the ants at bay.

        I'd make sure the trees aren't providing a pathway into your house by having branches that hang onto the house cut back.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 621 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of SturdyNail
        posted Hide Post
        Thanks for your reply Sparky,

        You're right, I probably can't have a ventilated soffit and guarantee that the littlest crawlers can't get through.

        I didn't mention that bees (yellow jackets, wasps, ground bees) are also a concern. They love my house Frown I really don't want them having free access to the attic crawl space.

        I'm reluctant to spray because our little dog sniffs around everywhere. I tried putting that sticky ant killer (I think it's called Terro or something like that) inside little boxes made with hardware cloth around my house. The ants can easily get in to take the bait, but the dog can't. It might have helped a little.

        Any opinions on what material makes a good soffit?
         
        Posts: 261 | Location: Western NewYork | Registered: Jan 26, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Jaybee
        posted Hide Post
        We prefer to use vented vinyl soffit material unless the vinyl look clashes with the house. And FTR, there ain't nuttin' that's going to keep the little creepy crawlies out. Just the natural movement of wood over time allows for more than enough space to let herds of bugs in. If they want in, they will get in.


        Jaybee
         
        Posts: 10132 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        Sparky and SN, speaking only to the issue of ants...

        I've used both Terro and Amdro; I think Amdro worked better, but it's hard to compare because the long term (about 1 year) ant problem was with carpenter ants, and the periodic seasonal ant visitations were the smaller ants.

        Amdro did kill the carpenters but they eventually returned until one day in spring they just vanished. I suspect there were multiple colonies somewhere in the cavities of the house. And I think it was the neighbor's wood pile that was harboring them.

        What I did find to work far more effectively on the kitchen ants was the 20 mule team borax, sugar and water combination. It wiped out dozens of them in one spraying, and got the rest the next day. I haven't had any kitchen ants since. I also left the spray on the area by the window and sill.

        They were coming in around the window, so I moved everything from the area and sprayed only in that area. That was enough.

        The problem arises though when you don't know where the entry point is and you don't have anything specific to spray.

        I don't know if the borax mixture would affect a dog. I also don't know if would deter stinging insects. If I can find out, I'll let you know.
         
        Posts: 1742 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of SturdyNail
        posted Hide Post
        Repeating myself, I know...
        quote:
        I've received good advice from Sparky617 and GardenSprite regarding methods for keeping the bugs away. Thank you.

        And, thanks to Jaybee for endorsing vinyl soffit. That makes me feel better about sticking with that choice. Do you use the type with hidden ventilation?

        Regarding installation, I see instructions for using F and J Channels. I've also seen recommendations to nail the middle for wide soffits--setting the nail within a groove so it won't be seen.
        Is there any reason why I can't use nails on the edges too? That would, of course, require me to fix a nailing strip to nail to. I could trim out the edges with moulding. Does that seem reasonable/manageable?

        Thanks again.
         
        Posts: 261 | Location: Western NewYork | Registered: Jan 26, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Vinyle soffit is like vinyle siding. Do not nail tight. It will expand and contract as vinyle siding does.
         
        Posts: 1730 | Location: Applachain | Registered: Feb 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of SturdyNail
        posted Hide Post
        How about aluminum, vented, soffit? Would that be a better choice than vinyl?
         
        Posts: 261 | Location: Western NewYork | Registered: Jan 26, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Jaybee
        posted Hide Post
        I'd consider them pretty equal.


        Jaybee
         
        Posts: 10132 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        One issue we had here in the Raleigh area with vinyl is fire. Several townhouse buildings in one neighborhood all went up in flames very quickly due to the combination of vinyl siding, vinyl soffit and pine straw for mulch. The pine straw caught fire, the wind stoked the fire, the fire went up the walls and into the roof structure via the vinyl soffit. The fire walls between units do a good job at containing a fire that starts inside the unit but a very poor job at a fire that starts outside the unit.

        Raleigh and the surrounding communities have banned pine straw from multi-family housing now. It is still a very popular mulch but I won't use it near my house and I have brick and Hardi-plank not vinyl.

        Oh and don't click on NiDoZe's links. He's a spammer.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 621 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        Sparky, thanks for that info on straw. I did use it at one time for mulch but had to dig it under b/c the city in its infinite wisdom decided it attracted rats. Still, I know that a number of folks who mulch still use straw, but I believe their gardens are away from their house.

        I'm wondering if the pine straw fire was deliberate, or was it from dryness caused by drought? Or maybe someone just threw a cigarette butt on the straw. Still, I wasn't aware that vinyl was that susceptible and vulnerable to fire.

        Would this apply, do you think, to vinyl fencing?
         
        Posts: 1742 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        The news reports at the time said it was "carelessly discarded smoking materials" so a cigarette butt in the pine straw.

        Yes a vinyl fence would be susceptible as well.

        I use shredded bark mulch close to the house and leaves in my wooded section of the yard. I gather leaves from my neighbors and use those. Free and very environmentally friendly. Last year I mulched a bunch of them up with the mower and used them in flower beds close to the house. They worked really well, I think I'll be freshening them up next month when the leaves start to fall again.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 621 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        Thanks for the update. I had actually considered using some vinyl in the garden, but if I do I won't use straw.

        I do have vinyl siding on the garage but it's on the side of the abandoned house so currently there's no one throwing cigarette butts out there. Maybe it's better that it is abandoned.

        Leaves are my favorite choice as well, and neighbors' yards are good contributing sources, as are your neighbors' yards.

        I've used shredded bark but found that it still allows weeds and it's harder to scuffle hoe to loosen the weeds. But it does work well and looks very nice in an evergreen border. Actually it compliments evergreens.

        I used to collect Christmas trees after they were thrown out, but it can be a chore to rope them and drag them home. But the fragrance is wonderful.

        Since leaves are also free, that makes them the best choice for me. Smile

        BTW, have you noticed the increase in spammers in the last week or so?

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
         
        Posts: 1742 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of SturdyNail
        posted Hide Post
        Confused
        Sparky617 you've got me regretting some of my choices now; vinyl windows to replace the rotted wood windows and Azek (plastic) trim. Now I'm thinking I should have spent the money for aluminum clad windows and Hardie trim. I'd never forgive myself if the materials I chose contributed to my family's house burning down.
         
        Posts: 261 | Location: Western NewYork | Registered: Jan 26, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        SN, I was beginning to think along the same lines. I replaced the dining room window a few years ago with a vinyl one and had planned to eventually do all of the windows in vinyl clads.

        But there's another way of viewing the situation. Now that we know the dangers, we can take precautions. At least we're aware now, whereas before we weren't.
         
        Posts: 1742 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I wouldn't be concerned about vinyl windows, nor Azek trim. I would think it would take a bit more to get Azek burning than vinyl siding.

        Keep flammable mulch away from your house especially if you have wood or vinyl siding.

        A number of years ago a neighbors house was struck by lightening. One of the first things the fire department did when they arrived on the scene was to put a water cannon between the houses to keep the fire from spreading. Our houses are a minimum of 20 feet apart and most have Hardi-Plank siding. I saw the effects of a house fire in a neighborhood with mainly vinyl siding, the adjacent home had the vinyl melted off of it.

        Vinyl has its place, I'm just not a huge fan of it for siding. It takes hail better than aluminum or steel siding, but for my money I'd go with Hardi-Plank for siding. For trim I really like Azek, but it is pricy. The big advantage is you'll never have to replace it.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 621 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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