Many homes feature overhangs that protect the house from rain. Known as eaves, the undersides of these structures are a common place to install venting for the roof. In some homes, however, the roofline falls flush with the exterior wall or has such a small overhang that it is not possible to install a roof vent. In these homes, install vents in a gable or, if the roof is flat, consider using a specially designed vent with a sealing mechanism that allows hot air to escape without permitting water to enter the vent.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Gable vent
- Turbine vent
- Mushroom vent
- Reciprocating saw
- Carpenter's hand tools
Install a vent in the upper portion of the gable. For a vent to be effective, it should be as high as possible in the gable without detracting from the design of the home. Gable vents come in numerous shapes and sizes; you can purchase one with a rounded top that accents round-top windows or you can install a simple geometric shape.
Cut through the boxing and siding in the gable, using the manufacturer’s specifications and use nails or screws to secure the flange on the vent to the boxing beneath. Install the provided trim, or use customised trim to add a decorative element.
Install turbine vents in the roof, along the top portion of the rear of the house where they are not visible from the road. Turbine vents are inexpensive standbys that are relatively easy to install. However, you must cut through the shingles and the plywood beneath
Peel back the shingles to the side and above the hole and position the turbine vent, itself, on top of the bottom shingles. The bottom shingles are the only ones not peeled back.
Nail the flange in place on top of the bottom shingles and replace the side and top shingles, folding them back into place on top of the nailing flange and sealing each shingle with roofing sealer as you go. In this manner, you create a runoff path for water that leads away from the turbine. Known as counter-flashing, it’s imperative that you replace the shingles in this way.
Install a mushroom vent on a flat roof. A mushroom vents allow air to escape under the protected lip of the vent, but water cannot enter. Follow the manufacturer’s specifications, and place a mushroom vent where you need not cut into any roof joists. Seal the vent into place with roofing tar.
Tips and warnings
- Place roof vents as high as possible. Since hot air rises, the higher the vent is, the better the air circulation.
- Eaves are not the best place for roof vents anyway, but they are handy to use as supplemental vents in order to increase air circulation in the attic.
- Un-vented attics may suffer from intense temperatures which may contribute to the expansion of the rafters or trusses, resulting in cracks in the home.