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Harden Your Home Against Wildfires - Covering Vents & Openings

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Vent openings are vulnerable spots for ember entry into the home. Many vents use wire mesh coverings. Some building codes set the minimum mesh size for these at 1/4 inch. Smaller mesh sizes can become clogged by paint, cobwebs, debris, etc. that will reduce airflow. Unfortunately, the 1/4-inch mesh is ineffective in preventing ember entry into the attic, eave, and crawl space vents. For existing homes, consider the following:

  • Replace 1/4-inch mesh with 1/8-inch mesh if building codes and required airflow allow. Be sure to keep the mesh openings unclogged.
  • Use metal wire mesh, not plastic or fiberglass.
  • Don’t store combustible materials, such as paper, clothing, etc., in the attic or crawl space.
  • Do not plant shrubs in front of or underneath vent openings.
  • Create pre-made covers out of plywood to install over vent openings if a wildfire is approaching and there is time.
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