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.