bathroom vents terminating at the soffit

Fans should be terminating outside the house. As opposed to direct venting into the attic you see venting to the soffit. How realistic is for people to make this change and how do you recommend writing it up? When I see them you can not see if the soffit is getting clogged. I don’t see damage from this in the homes and it’s been working fine for 20 years.

What are your thoughts on this type of venting?

They should still be vented directly outside. This issue just arose in my house actually. My house is 20 years old also. But now both my kids are older and taking hot showers now. So my household just added two extra showers a day, doubling the moisture. The vents shouldn’t be directed out of the soffit (even though this is allowed), but through the roof or exterior wall. The soffit will just suck that moisture right back into the attic. And also from your picture it looks like the insulation is blocking any air flow from the soffit.
I would say, my recommendation would be to redirect the exhaust directly out of the attic through a proper vent (exterior wall or roof) other than the soffit. Leaving the exhaust where it is could lead to extra moisture in the attic. And clear the insulation from the soffit to allow proper air flow. Hire a licensed contractor to properly fix this issue.

Thank you for the link Josh!

Understood, we are basically on the same page. I’m working on my comments for future reports to tweak and provide realistic resolutions. I agree and it’s known the wind will blow it back up in the attic. Thank you for the comment.

I would mention that the fan vent does not go to the outside in my report and leave it up to the client as to whether or not to correct it.

Just like anything else in a report :smiley:

Also exhaust duct needs to be insulated through unheated space. Dryer vent not appropriate either. This is obviously a home owner job. Recommend using shortest possible aluminum round pipe wrapped with insulation, or second best, insulated flex duct for bath exhaust, through the roof using a gooseneck.

Well boys it is accepted here in one county at least by the building code

Yipper AHJ allows it here as the attic is considered as the exterior due to ventilation. I see vented attic 20,30, 40 years in age with bathroom exhaust into the attic with good ventilation that has no moisture problems. The problem arises when the attics are not ventilated

How about this one?
This was hooked to a ceiling heater/exhaust fan.
I called it out.

This is an absolutely untrue statement.

FWIW, any attic that’s not ventilated (some exceptions apply) is going to have issues.

That is BS I can show you a 100,000 Homes or more if you like that has no problems with a properly vented attic here. You will have to take this argument up with my local AHJ not me I don’t make the rules. :wink:

This home that I inspected yesterday constructed in 1991 with soffit vents, gable vents and wind turbines. Four bathroom exhaust fans discharging into the attic you tell me me where the problem is. I am just a home inspector I have no authority to override the local AHJ

I can’t see them.
It looks like the two I see are through the roof.

LOL…C’mon man!!

I’m not arguing with you or your AHJ…and besides, who cares what your AHJ says? Venting warm, moist air into an attic/building envelope is a less-than-professional practice and d-u-m-b, IMO.
And of course, you happen to depict an attic that’s 15 foot tall and over 1,500 square feet where the chances of anything resulting from excess moisture from a bath fan is unlikely to cause an issue, but why look at the grey and not just black and white? I like to keep things simple and easy, or black and white. If you or your AHJ wants to do otherwise, then so be it.


Why do you have this video on your site.
IMHO it doesn’t do anything for your business.
However, the kids are cute.

It sure smelled like a argument to me I was just stating my local AHJ rules, never stated whether I agreed or disagreed

It helps to know what your looking at. Can’t see the bathroom exhaust your looking at the furnace flue vent and the dryer vent which BTW the local AHJ does require venting to the exterior. The one in the pic was stopped up with lint

I mention it is in the soffit on the report but never have seen a issue that resulted so mention that fact to my clients as well.