It’s essential to have roof ventilation and a good attic, as it can lower your utility bills and increase the lifespan of your shingles. Reduction of winter ice dams is also an advantage if you are in a region with that type of weather. Rotting to the roof is also prevented, as well as the overall health of your roof.
Roof and soffit vents installation is quick and easy. The results are a reduction in future expensive repair costs. We will help you determine if your attic needs ventilation and how to install vents if you need them.
Heat build-up inside an attic will reduce if there is proper attic ventilation during the summer. Cooling costs will minimize, and shingle life will extend. During the winter, the warm, moist air from the living space below will seep into the attic. Heat and moisture will escape with appropriate ventilation, as the attic will keep dry and reduce ice dams. The four signs of an under-ventilated or unventilated attic are:
Inspect your roof and eaves. If you do not have any attic vents, consider installing them. Vents can look very different from each other. It’s possible to have a ridge vent, which is low-profile, continuous roof air vent along the top of the roof. Gable vents are likely too, characterized by louver openings at the top of roofs.
On a warm, humid day, touch your ceiling. If the ceiling is hot, the attic may be raising your cooling bills because it is now acting like a solar oven and heating the shingles.
During the winter, if there are thick ridges of ice planted on the eaves, poor attic ventilation should be to blame. The warm air from below is trapped in the attic, melting snow and the water will refreeze on cold eaves, causing ice dams.
Rafters or roof sheathing may occur if warm air carries into living spaces, causing moisture. Use a flashlight and during winter, inspect the attic and check for dampness or frost. If this occurs, you may need attic vents or better ventilation.
Roof ventilation is best near the roof’s summit and soffit vents in the eaves. Airflow will go through the soffit vent and out through the roof vents. Vents are available in my styles, such as rectangular, hooded, and rectangular soffit vents. These vents are easy to install, making the job easier. Home centers have the most information available to start these types of projects. Before starting, you must have 1-1/4inch roofing nails, ½ inch galvanized sheet metal screws for soffit vents, a dust mask, utility knife blades, and tube of roofing cement for three vents. A saw or jigsaw will cut holes for the vents. This project will take a day, best on a cool day. Warm or hot days, the attic will be hot, also making the shingles damaged easily.
Determine how many vents you need, as well as the area by multiplying the length by width. For example, a 30 x 40-foot attic has an area of 1,200 square feet. Aim for 1 square foot of vent opening per 150 square foot of attic. In some conditions, the building code will reduce that by half. However, more roof ventilation is better. Open areas of vents may have a listing on the roof air vent as net free vent area (NFVA). If it does not, measure it yourself. Half of a vent area will come from a roof vent, the other half, a soffit vent.
Locate attic roof air vent placements: Position nails in the center between rafters 18 inches from roofs peak. Mark air vent locations by driving nails up through sheathing and shingles.
Cut shingles for roof vents: Using the utility knife, cut shingles and make a ½ inch cut out bigger than the vent opening. For a cutting line easily seen, use chalk.
Cut a hole for roof vents: Use a reciprocating saw or jigsaw to cut a hole in the sheathing of the roof. Drill a starter hole; insert blade to start the cut.
Remove obstructions: Separate the self-sealing adhesive of the shingles by slipping a pry bar between them. Remove shingle nails that prevent the vent installation.
Place the vent: Carefully slide vent into its place. Using roofing nails, tack the lower edge.
Install attic vent cover: Where the shingles meet the vent, apply roof cement. Secure shingles to the attic vent cover base by adding a dab of cement.
To add attic vents, simply cutting holes and installing vents do the trick. Before cutting, plan the locations first.
Locate the roof venting locations from the attic, and avoid placing roofing vents over the rafters. All roof vents should be installed on the same side of the roof. In the event roof peaks run parallel to the street, install them on the backside. Drive nails up through the shingles to mark the locations of attic vents that will be spaced out. A dusk mask is required while working, and lay planks or plywood on rafters to avoid rafters, evading the drywall ceiling below.
Cut soffit vent holes: Use a jigsaw to cut holes for soffit vents. The hole dimensions should be 1 inch lesser than the length width of the vent.
Vent installation: With the fins pointing toward the house, screw the soffit vents into place. Match the soffit with the prime and paint without plugging the inner screen with paint.
Baffles installation: Between the rafter spaces, staple baffles so air can flow through the vents past the insulation.
On both sides of the house, plan and space the soffit vents evenly. In the soffit, look for nails and seams that indicate framing locations, and refrain from placing vents over the framing. Make a cardboard template 1 inch smaller than the vent to mark cutting lines on the soffit. Install roof vents near the minor edge of your roof if your house does not have soffits. If you want a better-looking solution, consider calling a roofing supplier.
With well-insulated attics, the insulation may plug spaces between rafters above the exterior walls. The airflow then becomes constricted, and air cannot flow from the soffit vents to the roof vents. To allow airflow past the insulation, add baffles, which are available at home goods stores. Installation of baffles can be a gross job, in a dark, dusty space. Older homes may have wood blocking between rafts, that need to be cut, drilled or pried out to open air passages.
It’s important to have the tools you need before starting a project to avoid delays. Here’s what you’ll need:
3/4-in. spade bit
Drill/driver – cordless
Get ready ahead of time and purchase these requirements to get started:
Attic insulation baffles
Sheet metal screws
Keep your tools and yourself from sliding by buying a roof jacket.
Rent a PFAS (personal fall arrest system); may have to call rental centers for one.
Soft-sole shoes for best grip.
Prevent accidents by cleaning up debris.
Stay off of wet shingles until they are dry.