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  1. #1
    Olivia Brown's Avatar
    Olivia Brown Guest

    Question Ceiling vents in Basement

    We have a relocation inspection on Tuesday. I'm not sure how that is different from a regular home inspection, but I assume it is more stringent since our relocation appraisal will also be more stringent. I am trying to fix the problems I am aware of before then so they never come up.

    In our basement, the heater vents are in the ceiling, and they are all falling out becasue the holes were cut too large. I've been researching how to fix them and apparently there is the easy way and the right way. I can put construction adhesive on them and prop them up so they are literally glued to the ceiling around the edge, and would never be able to be removed. Or I can put a small piece of wood up above the drywall and screw the vent into that so it can be removed in the future if needed. I can easily do the first fix on my own. For the second fix, I need my husband's help (I've never used a drill or saw). He is already working in the town we are being relocated to so will have to drive 7 hours home to help me drill a screw into a piece of wood. Which is silly and embarrassing for me...haha.

    The question I have for the inspectors is, what will the inspection check for with the vents? If I glue them in place will that cause problems with the inspection? Do they have to be "removable"? Thanks for your help.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ceiling vents in Basement

    If they are the light plastic vents, why not use some double-sided tape? If you feel inclined, tell the buyer what you did.
    Loose ceiling vents are a minor item in a home inspection, IMO.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ceiling vents in Basement

    You may want to just wait until the inspection results are reported. There may be more pressing issues to attend to or to fix.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ceiling vents in Basement

    You seem to be describing trouble with loose fitting REGISTERS, not "vents" installed in the floor-ceiling assembly of the basement.

    They (the registers) should not be plastic as suggested by another poster, if the distribution supply/system is not "plastic". There are standards regarding the ceiling, wall covering, openings, materials, and the HVAC system regarding fire resistance, flame spread, smoke spread, etc. If unsure, you're likely better off leaving things alone and since the intent is to relocate, have the issue corrected by a licensed contractor.

    Disclosure duty of known defects.

    Yes they must be removable, for inspection, servicing, cleaniing, adjustment, etc. of the duct work, trunk work, dampers, etc. and be of the appropriate material, type, etc. to maintain the integrity and flame & smoke spread resistance of the distribution system and the assembly in which they are installed and properly direct and not drag on the system or leak into the cavity, etc.

    What you suggest as a "fix" would make the issues you describe worse.

    If you are so motivated, measure the boot opening, and visit your local Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, Ace Hardware, etc. or better yet a distributor to the HVAC trade; and purchase the appropriately sized and type REGISTER covers for the opening(s) and the correct length, diameter & threading pan-head screws, which screw into the boot flange behind the ceiling or wall covering (you can paint the screw heads to match the register cover before installing, check out the appliance touch-up paint bottles of various colors, they are roughly the size of a small bottle of nail polish, or use spray paint, be sure to clean and prime with white vinegar first); or if so equipped, the appropriate supporting metal springs and supporting mechanisms. Keep in mind the stores can offer for sale anything, including things that aren't "legal" or correct to actually install.

    Wall registers, floor registers, and ceiling registers vs. vent or return covers for installtion at wall, floor or ceilings, etc. may not be easily distinguishable for the uninformed, but there are distinctions with differences; you might do your homework vieing manufacturers or distributors catalogs, visualizing and measuring the openings and taking some pictures of the interior uncovered opening with you to the store.

    Return vent covers are not supply registers, and vice versa.

    HTH.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-05-2012 at 10:41 AM.

  5. #5
    Olivia Brown's Avatar
    Olivia Brown Guest

    Default Re: Ceiling vents in Basement

    Thank you for the info. I am leaving them alone for now and will just see what comes from the inspection.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ceiling vents in Basement

    Quote Originally Posted by Olivia Brown View Post
    In our basement, the heater vents are in the ceiling, and they are all falling out becasue the holes were cut too large.
    Every supply register that I've ever seen has at least two (and usually only two) holes for screws to go through and secure the supply registers to the duct flanges which are above the drywall.

    If the holes are cut too large, when you remove one of the supply registers or when one falls out, can you see ductwork up in the hole, or is there just an open hole? Hopefully, the hole is not just an open hole.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ceiling vents in Basement

    I would have to search for a pic of a register hanging from the ceiling , but in the mean time, here is a picture of a plastic heat register, and a typical metal one with no screw holes.

    I have seen examples of the plastic types hanging from the ceiling. They are usually just a friction fit. As Jerry mentioned, most ceiling-mount metal registers will have two screw holes, although I've seen the incorrect 'no holes' metal units held up by friction.

    I also have encountered on wood floors, the ones made of oak. If there is a fire hazard, is there a history of them or the plastic units catching fire?

    This place when we bought it had paper filters installed under the registers. How dumb is that product?

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    Last edited by John Kogel; 02-05-2012 at 10:38 PM. Reason: edited for clarity
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  8. #8
    Olivia Brown's Avatar
    Olivia Brown Guest

    Default Re: Ceiling vents in Basement

    Well I took closer look and one of them is simply screwed into the drywall. One of the screws has pulled through the drywall. I shoved it back through and, for now, friction is holding it up. I'll just wait and see if anything comes of that one. The other, more obvious, one is an entirely different problem. They metal duct (please forgive me if I use the incorrect terms) is actually cut about an inch too long and sticking out of the ceiling. The register does not have any screws in it and is just stuck in the duct somehow. I have no idea if it is friction or if they glued it in. I honestly just don't want to mess with it for fear I'll make the problem worse.

    We just bought this house 6 months ago so I'm going to be a pretty upset if this inspection says there is a problem with the registers and our inspector 6 months ago did not find anything wrong with them. Our inspector also didn't notice that the pop out window in the basement was partially popped out and was installed incorrectly. Someone had just put some caulk or sealant of some kind around the edge, and that is all the was holding it in. We had to completely re-frame the window to get the thing installed properly.


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