How To Install A Roof Venthow To Install A Roof Vent
What youâll need to install a roof vent:
- First, head up to your attic and determine where you want to install your roof vent.
- Drill a hole upward through the middle of the area you desire and leave the drill bit sticking up through the roof so you can find it from the outside.
- Next, position your ladder against your home and climb up to your roof.
- Locate the drill bit.
Which Types Of Roof Vents Are Best For My Home
Every home is different. The best vents for your roof will depend on your home’s architectural style, the design of your roof, and your local climate. It’s important not to mix different types of exhaust vents in the same attic space, which can prevent proper airflow through the space.
A qualified roofing professional can implement a balanced attic ventilation system of intake and exhaust vents that will help reduce excess heat and moisture from your attic. To help calculate your attic’s ventilation needs, or contact a contractor certified by GAF* near you.
* Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products.
Roof Vents: Three Questions To Ask Before You Install
When deciding the particulars about a new roof for your home, youll have to decide what kind of roof vents to install to allow proper ventilation in your attic. But why do you even need roof vents? And how many does one roof need anyway? What kind of roof vents are there and what would work best for your home? Heres the answers to some of the key questions so you can pick the roof vents that are right for you:
Why would a new roof need vents in the first place?
A roof vents best-known benefit is that it helps keep your attic cooler during warmer months. If youve crawled up into your attic on a hot day, you know this attribute alone is reason enough to install as many roof vents as you can. In addition, lowering the temperature in your attic and increasing the air flow helps prevent damage, mold, rot and many other repairs homeowners face with an unventilated roof.
But, adding vents arent just about controlling the attic temp, here are more reasons your roof needs proper ventilation to help protect roofs and shingles:
How many roof vents is enough?
Of course, every house in every different climate is different, so we can look at your specific need and assess exactly how many your home needs.
What kind of roof vents are there? Which kind do I need?
Just like every home is different, every roof needs a slightly different plan when it comes to roof vents. Heres an overview of the different kind of vents that we recommend and install for our homes:
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Placing Intake Vents Too High Or Exhaust Vents Too Low
A balanced attic ventilation system draws in fresh, cool air at the lowest part of the attic space and exhausts warm, moist air at the highest point. If either of these vents are placed incorrectly, they reduce the entire attic space’s exposure to continuous air flow, reducing the overall system’s effectiveness.
If an exhaust vent is placed too low on the roof, or if two exhaust vents are stacked, one of the vents might then act as intake and disruptor short-circuitthe airflow through the entire attic space, reducing how effective it can be.
Make sure that the intake vent is placed at the lowest possible point of the roof so that it lines up with the lowest part of the attic space. Exhaust vents should always be placed at the highest possible point on the roof which typically aligns with the highest part of the attic space.
Why Is Proper Attic Ventilation Important In The Summer
In the warmer months, your attic can get very hot. If its not properly ventilated, it can heat the upstairs of your home to the point where its uncomfortable. It may even get too hot to be upstairs at all during the day, only cooling when the sun goes down.
In the summer, your vents should be pulling in fresh air and allowing the hot air to escape. If the temperature outside is 90°F, the temperature in your attic can get as high as 170F.
If the temperature inside your attic is 170F, then the heat at your attic floor can be as high as 140F. The temperature in the rooms below your attic will be uncomfortable. Your AC will have to work harder to try to keep your home cool which will cause your energy bills to rise.
Poor ventilation in the summer can cause heat to build up in your attic which in turn burns your roof up. The roof decking can delaminate quickly. This means the adhesives in the decking has deteriorated and causes it to become brittle. It also causes your roofs shingles to become brittle, crack or curl.
Making sure your attic is properly ventilated will help you get the full life out of your roof.
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What Are Signs Of Poor Attic Ventilation
Its easy for you to check your own attic to see if it has ventilation. But it may take a reputable, qualified roofing expert to see if it has the required vents to properly ventilate your attic space. Most home are not properly vented. Here are a few signs that you have a poor ventilation system:
- Curling shingles
- Peeling or blistering paint on your walls or ceilings
- Rust on the metal components of your roof from excessive moisture
- Damage to siding
- Ice damming
Calculate Air Flow Needs
First, determine how much venting your home requires. Ideally, your roof should have a minimum of one square foot of ventilation, split between intake and exhaust vents, for every 300 square feet of attic floor space. The amount of ventilation per vent is expressed as net free area, or NFA, and will be listed in product descriptions.
To calculate your venting needs, multiply the length and width of the attic to determine the total attic floor space. Divide the total by 300. That number is the total NFA your attic requires including intake and exhaust. Divide the amount in half to determine how much of each you need.
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When To Call A Professional
If you plan to install the vent yourself, be sure you’re really up for the challenge. This project requires work on a tall ladder and working atop the roof while using hand and power tools. If you have any anxiety over heights or are not quite sure you know how to handle your tools, consider hiring a professional.
Be aware that a ridge vent is only one part of properly ventilating your attic space and roof. For a ridge vent to work properly, it relies on passive airflow, or intake air, coming into the attic space via soffit or gable vents or other attic ventilation.
Do You Think Your Attic Isn’t Properly Ventilated
There should never be a poorly ventilated attic. Sadly, it is very common in North America. If you think you have improper ventilation, you may want to do some research to find a qualified, reputable roofing contractor to do an assessment on your attic and roof.
When looking for a potential roofing contractor you need to ask the right questions and get the right answers back to figure out if they’re a reputable roofing company. Luckily, we have a checklist that does just that.
We here at Bill Ragan Roofing use our highly trained team of roofing experts to help people with their attic ventilation for over 30 years. We take pride in our award winning service and our customers trusting us.
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Clogged Or Blocked Intake Vents
Even when intake vents were correctly installed, they may become ineffective over time if the outside portion becomes clogged with paint, dirt, dust, or even spiderwebs. Vents may also get blocked from the inside if the attic insulation is installed over the vents.
Keep the intake vents clean by removing any debris that may have accumulated over time. If necessary, use attic baffles to keep insulation away from the intake vents. Don’t forget to check that a hole has been properly cut in the soffits to allow air to enter the intake vents.
What Does The Code Require
For the purposes of this article, only the 2018 edition of the International Residential Code will be discussed. The majority of the requirements related to attic ventilation have not changed much from the previous editions.
The ventilation amount and opening size requirements can be found in Section 806, Roof Ventilation of Chapter 8, Roof-Ceiling Construction. The following are the requirements taken directly from the IRC:
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A Note About Bathroom And Kitchen Exhaust Vents
Bathroom and kitchen exhaust vents are not a type of roofing vent. It should be noted that these vents, which expel warm moist air from the bathroom and food prep areas of the home, need their own ducts and vent hoods, which direct air to the homes exterior. These vents and ducts should never share space with the roof vent, and air should never be vented directly into the attic.
What Is The Best Roof Vent
Anyone who states flatly that one vent system is superior to another does not understand the real issue. See, what is so critical to understand is that not all homes are the same nor are they in the same climate therefore not every home will use the same ventilation options. The BEST roof vent for your home is the one that factors in your homes airflow. It also factors into the roofs design in removing the most square footage of air. So to answer this question, find an unbiased roofing contractor who will design a custom ventilation system for your home.
A common rule across residential building codes calls for the 1/300 rule. This means 1 square foot of vented area for every 300 square feet of attic space. And 1/150 without a vapor barrier. This means a 1,500 sq. ft. attic should have 5 sq ft of vent space. Half of this is to be dedicated for air intake in the soffits and the other half for exhaust through the roof.
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Create An Unvented Roof
Through provision R806.4, the IRC also allows you to build an unvented roof assembly. Unvented assemblies work particularly well on complex roofs that would be difficult or impossible to vent properly or on roofs where it would be difficult to insulate properly if the roof were vented.
It should be noted, however, that in high-snow-load areas, you still need a vented over-roof to deal with ice damming. In essence, youre creating a hybrid vented/unvented roof system.The goal in an unvented roof is to keep the roof deckthe principal condensing surface in roof assembliessufficiently warm through the year to prevent condensation from occurring. In most climates, builders have to insulate the roof sheathing to prevent condensation from occurring within the assembly. The exception is hot-dry climates such as in Phoenix, where condensation isnt as big an issue.
Condensation control is most often accomplished by installing rigid foam above the roof deck or by installing air-impermeable spray-foam insulation directly against the underside of the roof deck. The code also allows for air-permeable insulation, such as fiberglass or cellulose, to be used under the roof deck as long as rigid foam is used above the roof sheathing. Flash-and-batt assemblies are also allowed. Any of these approaches can adequately prevent condensation from occurring within the roof when the rigid foam or spray foam is installed at the appropriate thickness.
How Does Roof Ventilation Work
Roof ventilation works by providing a continual flow of fresh air through the attic, removing hot air and condensation from attic space, and by reducing the impact of rising or changing temperature conditions inside or outside of the home. The ventilation system includes exhaust and intake vents which are installed on the roof. Getting proper roof ventilation is a tough task. As roof ventilation design will provide plenty of air for insulation and flow under the roof. Thus, it will also balance the intake and exhaust ventilation in the attic space by increasing the lifespan of your roof.
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How Roof Ventilation Works
Roof ventilation works to provide continuous airflow in your attic space to release hot air and moisture. It also works to reduce any damage that could be caused by temperature changes and moisture conditions inside and outside your house.
The system allowing the ventilation consists of exhaust and intake vents installed at specific places in the attic. These vents are all placed strategically for the best ventilation possible. There may be different types of vents in different attic parts, depending on spaces needs.
The construction and design of the ventilation system must be done correctly. The design should leave plenty of space for insulation and airflow. A design that is done correctly will equally balance intake and exhaust to pressurize the attic slightly. This will prevent cooled air from being sucked out of the exhaust vents.
Hot air rises in your home to the attic and causes high pressure in the high points of your roof. Exhaust happens when this hot air leaves the attic, which can only happen if it has a way out. Intake happens when cool air enters the attic. The exhaust vents let the hot air leave through the attic, and the intake lets cool air come in.
How To Install Roof Ventilation
Installing roof ventilation is not a DIY project. As it requires proper tools and professional help for installing a perfect roof vent system. The thing you will require in roof vent installation is a drill, ladder, roof vent, hammer, jigsaw, and pry bar.
The installation can be determined by heading up to the attic and selecting the place where you want to install the vent system. Installation of roof ventilation can be done by
1. Drilling the roof
2. Making a mark of the open area to place vent
3. Using a jigsaw to cut along measured lines.
4. Install vent in that roof space.
5. Hammer every nail on the vent to make it properly fit in the roof.
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Guide To Attic Air Ventilation
Few aspects of your home are as critical to the long-term performance of your roof as the ventilation of the roof and the attic space directly under it. Ever ask yourself “why does my attic smell so musty?” In many cases, the lack of proper ventilation can lead to this musty smell as well as voiding an asphalt shingle manufacturer’s warranty if damage to the roof is a direct result of insufficient ventilation.
A Small Turbine = Lots Of Air
A small 12-inch diameter turbine vent with a constant wind speed of 5 miles per hour can remove 347 cubic feet of air per minute from the attic space.
A single 14-inch diameter turbine vent that is subjected to 15 mph winds can expel up to 1,342 cfm of air! If the winds are still, the vents still allow air to drift up and out of the attic space, although not nearly as much.
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Box Vent Exhaust Ventilation
Box exhaust ventilation is similar to the off-ridge ventilation as these are also installed on the top of the roof. These box vents are installed by making a space in the roof where they will fit accurately. Although, using one or two box exhausts is not enough for a better ventilation system, so these are installed one after another by maintaining a gap between them for a better ventilation system.
Installing Soffit Intake Vents
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