Sometimes, You Just Have to Vent! |

Sometimes, You Just Have to Vent!

Lake Wildwood Firewise Committee

During our Defensible Space Advisory visits, we find that about 95 percent of homes in Lake Wildwood don’t have the proper size screens on their attic and crawl space vents. Most of the homes we see are equipped with 1/4 inch mesh wire, but building codes have changed over the years and now call for 1/8 inch mesh.

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Windblown embers can fly miles ahead of a fire and when they land in fuel, they ignite a new fire. You don’t want those embers getting under your house or into your attic where they can land on combustible materials and burn your house from the inside out. The 1/8 inch mesh is more effective at keeping the embers out.

You have several options to upgrade your vents. Of course, you can hire a contractor to retrofit your vents, but this is the most expensive option for a simple job.

If you’re handy you have a couple of choices. You can buy new vents and install them yourself. Local hardware stores carry replacement vents. Replacement is in the middle on expense.

The most economical option is to add an additional layer of mesh to your existing vents. Count and measure your vents to estimate the amount of material you need. Buy corrosion-resistant 1/8 inch wire mesh at a hardware or fencing store. It usually comes by the foot or by the roll. Cut rectangles a few inches larger than the vents. From inside the attic or crawl space, push the new mesh against the inside of the vent. You can also cut a rectangle of wood slightly smaller than the vent and use it to push the wire into place. For extra security use a few staples or a bit of construction adhesive.

QR Code

Learn more by reading the NFPA Fact Sheet on vents by using the QR code next to this article or by going to

Get ready to “Vent!”



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Enemies of the Lake


Trying to predict what any summer lake season will bring is a fool’s game at best. I wish I had an algorithm that would do the trick, but the variables are just too, well, variable…

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