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    Home | How to do it | How to Install a Roof Vent

    How to Install a Roof Vent

    One simple and effective way you can protect your roof and ultimately your home is through the use of vents. They allow for proper ventilation to help prevent the buildup of moisture underneath a roof and in the attic that may eventually cause further damage to the rest of your home. All in all, vents are part of a healthy home and a complete roofing system.

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    So, you’re probably wondering how you can get one or more of them installed on your residential roof. If you’re roof-savvy enough to do it yourself, you might want to give it a shot! Roof vents are fairly simple to install, and the job can be completed within a few hours in most cases. If you’d prefer the expertise of a roofing professional, you can give us a call here at Legacy Service at 215-798-9790 to schedule a consultation to determine the amount of ventilation you’ll need as well as the estimated cost. Continue reading to learn more about how to install roof vents!

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    What is the Purpose of Roof Ventilation?

    Roof ventilation serves a variety of purposes. Adequate ventilation can extend the life of your shingles, prevent ice dams in the winter as well as rot throughout the year, and help reduce your home’s energy bills. In many cases, vents will help protect your home from expensive repairs in the future.

    We understand that you want what’s best for your house. After all, it’s what protects your family from, well, just about everything. With the proper roof ventilation, you can help ensure your home will remain safe and sound by preventing moisture buildup inside of your home that comes from rooms like the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room.

    Do Roof Vents Really Work?

    You may be wondering if roof vents really work and if they’re actually worth it. If done properly, they can do wonders for your home whether it’s the summer or winter. During the winter, warm, moist air can seep into your attic from the areas below, while in the summer, too much heat from the outside can cause buildup within your home. However, good ventilation will allow the heat and moisture to escape, which cuts cooling costs and helps prolong the lifespan of your shingles. It also keeps your attic dry and reduces ice dams.

    How to Determine the Amount of Ventilation You Need

    Before installing any roof vents on your home, determine the amount of ventilation you’ll need. You can check if your attic is underventilated by following these four steps:

    1. Look at your roof and the eaves. If you don’t see any vents, you should definitely add a few. Some vents look different than traditional roof vents, though, so also keep your eye out for ridge vents, which are low-profile vents that run along the peak of the roof. Your roof may also have gable vents, which are louvered openings at the top of the gables.
    2. Inspect your attic during the winter using a flashlight. Warm air contains moisture that will condense on a roof sheathing or rafters if it escapes from the living spaces in your home. If you see frost or dampness, you need better ventilation.
    3. Check out your roof’s eaves during the winter. If there are thick ridges of ice on them, it could be a sign of underventilation. Warm air could be escaping from rooms in your home and getting trapped in the attic. This can cause snow to melt and refreeze on the cold eaves, which creates ice dams.
    4. Wait until a warm and sunny day, and then touch your ceiling to see if it’s hot. If it is, it may be acting like a solar oven, overheating your shingles and increasing your energy bills.

    So, how do you determine how much ventilation you need? If you want to figure it out yourself, calculate the size of your attic by multiplying the length by the width. For example, a 40 x 50 ft. attic will have an area size of 2,000 sq. ft. In most cases, you should aim for 1 sq. ft. of opening per 150 sq. ft. of attic. An expert will be able to give you a more accurate answer for the amount of ventilation your roof needs.

    How to Install a Roof Vent

    Some homeowners would rather add roof vents to their existing roof themselves, and if you’re one of them, read through our step-by-step guide before you get started. First, here’s what you’ll need:

    • Vent(s)
    • Ladder
    • Drill
    • Ruler
    • Marking pencil
    • Hammer and nails
    • Pry bar
    • Saw
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    Next, use this 10-step process to learn how to add ventilation to your roof:

    1. Go up to your attic and decide where you want to install your roof vent(s). Mark the location by drilling a hole upward through the middle of the area you’ve chosen and leave the drill bit sticking up, so you can find it from the outside.
    2. Position the ladder, and climb up onto your roof. Make sure you’re using proper safety precautions.
    3. Locate the drill bit(s) on the roof.
    4. Use your ruler to measure the open area of the vent. Then, using the drill bit as the center, measure the same size space onto your roof with the ruler and a marking pencil.
    5. Use your saw (a jigsaw or reciprocating saw for best results) to cut along the measured lines through both the shingles and the wood underneath them.
    6. Loosen the shingles around the hole using your pry bar.
    7. Turn the vent upside and apply caulk to the flange.
    8. Leaving the bottom side of your vent exposed and laying over the shingles, slide the sides and top of the vent underneath the shingles that are surrounding it.
    9. Secure the vent to your roofing structure by hammering in a nail every few inches.
    10. Use nails to secure any other shingles in the area that are loose.

    If you have any questions about this process, feel free to contact us at any time.

    How Much Does It Cost?

    Fortunately, the installation of roof ventilators is relatively inexpensive. Depending on a variety of factors, including materials and labor, installing a vent will typically cost between $300-$650. The exact cost will depend on the size and type as well as the number of vents you decide to install. Since vents come in various styles, they can cost anywhere from $10 to $500 each. Ridge vents, on the other hand, typically cost $2 to $3 per linear foot.

    Soffit, Ridge, and Roof/Gable Vents

    So, what’s the difference between the different types of vents? Well, there are three main types: soffit, ridge, and roof/gable. Soffit vents run along underneath the eaves of the roof, and they’re designed to enhance airflow since it enters from the outside. Ridge vents will run the length of the roof’s peak, and they allow warm, moist air to escape. Roof and gable vents have a single point of entry and exit. For the best ventilation system, you’ll want a combination of these styles. Any ventilation is better than none, though.

    Get Started on Installing Your Vents Today!

    As you know, your roof is an enormous investment, which means that you’ll want to do everything you can to maximize its lifespan. Installing vents is just one of the ways you can further protect your home.

    This is a fairly simple job for those who have experience with roofing projects. However, it’s usually best to hire a professional. If you’re looking for a roofing contractor to get the job done, you can always contact our team of experts here at Legacy Service. Get started on installing your vent(s) today by calling us at 215-798-9790 or filling out a contact form here. We’ll also take care of the rest of your home’s exterior, whether you’re looking for installation or replacement for your siding, windows, or doors.

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