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Never Vent a Bathroom into an Attic or Soffit

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Joyce in Montana listens on KMMS. What can we do for you?

    JOYCE: I am wondering whether it is up to code or proper to vent bathrooms into an eave.

    TOM: No, it’s not. (chuckling) You vent bathrooms …

    JOYCE: It’s not?

    TOM: … and everything else to the outside. You don’t vent them into attics. Is that what you’re asking?

    JOYCE: Actually, it’s – OK, I’m a real estate agent – a local realtor – and a home inspection was performed. And the home inspector found it to be not proper, but the city in which the permits were issued says it was.

    LESLIE: Venting to a soffit vent? Is it venting to a window?

    JOYCE: It’s venting into the eave.

    TOM: When you say venting into the eaves, do you mean into the attic?

    JOYCE: Into the soffit.

    TOM: The soffit? You have a bathroom venting into a soffit?

    JOYCE: Yes.

    TOM: No way.

    JOYCE: No way?

    TOM: No way.

    JOYCE: OK, well then this home inspector was correct. I …

    TOM: Yeah.

    JOYCE: I just happened to – the day after the inspection, when I got the report, I was listening to your show and I thought, “I’m going to find out whether this guy knows his stuff.”

    TOM: Yeah, and by way of full disclosure, Joyce, I’ll tell you I spent 20 years as a home inspector. But I’m taking …

    JOYCE: Oh, OK.

    TOM: I’m not taking sides. The guy is absolutely correct.

    JOYCE: Why would the city, then – that’s what’s bizarre to me is …

    TOM: Because you know what? The city doesn’t always …

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Well yeah, but there’s a city code, even, that says if there’s a window in your bathroom you don’t need a vent. But if you’re not venting the bathroom properly, you’re just going to end up with excessive moisture in your attic, in the bathroom, in rooms near the bathroom. So it’s so important to vent those outside.

    JOYCE: Well, I agree. I just – you know, based upon what the builder said – that the, you know, the city said it was to code when they, you know, granted them occupancy …

    TOM: Yeah well, code – you know, code is another word for a minimum passing grade.

    JOYCE: Oh, OK.

    TOM: Now what would happen if your kid came home and said, “Guess what, Mom? I got a D. Aren’t you proud?”

    JOYCE: Yeah. I understand completely.

    TOM: Alright, Joyce. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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