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How To Install Roof Vents




William T. from Sandpoint, ID wrote:

What's shakin' Itchy,

I discovered my old house needs upper ventilation and more insulation. Got any suggestions for installing roof vents?

A good rule of thumb is to install one square foot of ventilation for very 150 square feet of attic floor. Check with your local building department before getting started. Once the amount of "net free" space required has been determined you'll be ready to purchase your roof vents. 

Roof vents come in small or large sizes and vary in colors. They can be made of metal or plastic. 


I personally prefer the plastic roof vents. Installing roof vents is not rocket science and won't take too much time. A word of caution - if the pitch of your roof is too steep to safely work on or if your are uncomfortable with heights you should consider hiring a professional. 

The first thing to do is decide where you want to install the roof vents. I prefer to install them on the back of the house, not visible from your street. They should be placed evenly apart and about 2 feet down from the roof ridge. Take a look in the attic. Make sure there are no electrical wires located where the roof vents are to be placed. 

Drill a hole in the center of the area where the roof vent is to be installed. Using a reciprocating saw, cut the opening to the same size as the opening in the roof vent you are about to install. Tip: When making your cuts, always start by cutting across in the same direction as the roof ridge. The reason for this is if you hit a rafter simply cut in the reverse direction. You don't want to install the roof vent over any of the structural members. 

OK. You have the hole cut. Gently pull the shingles at the top up and sides up. Apply caulk to the roof vent flange and slide it under the shingles. Make sure the top and side shingles are covering the roof vent flange. Next, nail it into the roof deck. Once secured seal the nail holes with a good caulk. Finally, use roofing cement under the shingles that you loosened. Continue this process until all of the roof vents have been installed. Once finished sweep the mess you've made on the roof with a broom. 

That's it! 

Related Tips and Advice:

How To Install Soffit Vents

How To Install Gable Vents

How To Install Insulation Baffles


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