Monday, October 12, 2009 - 3:29 PM
Attic Ventilation:cobra ridge vent best attic vent how to install cobra ridge vent roof ventilation
Many homes built during or prior to the 1980's did not have proper attic ventilation. Many of these homes have some ventilation in the tops of the gables on the ends. Some may or may not have a turbine on the roof. The best way to get the proper ventilation is to install ridge vent across the peak of the roof, and install eave vents under the eaves in the soffits. This allows the hot air to escape the attic at the top. As the hot air escapes at the peak of the roof, the cool and fresh air is drawn in under the soffits. If you install the ridge vent across the top and the soffit vents under the eaves with the gutters, you get a good consistent flow from top to bottom in the attic. This can not be achieved with just ridge vent and gable vents. This can be a do-it-yourself project. But if you have a steep roof, or are not comfortable on ladders, it's best to call a professional.
Not having the proper ventilation system in your attic can cause real problems. First of all, ventilation is extremely important in getting rid of moisture. Moisture will over time cause your roof sheathing to sag and rot. Ventillation helps maintain a better attic temperature all year around, which effects energy efficiency, and your heating and cooling costs. Ridge vents are not designed for hip roofs. Those type of roofs require turbines or electric fans.
To install a ridge vent on a gable roof, you must first remove all the old capping. Take a razor knife with a hook blade(buy a pack of 5 at a hardware store for less than 5 dollars). Cut the top layer or shingles back about 4 inches from the peak. With a chalk box, pop a line about two inches below the top center of the peak on the sheathing on both sides. You'll want at least a two inch cut out of the top of your roof. Take a cat's paw or nail puller and remove all nails that are in the chalk line. Then you can take your circular saw, set the depth to make sure it is going to just cut through the sheathing, and cut down the chalk line. You should stop the cuts at least 2 feet from the ends. Remove the wood. When you do that on both sides you should have a gap around 2 inches in the peak. Now follow the directions on the ridge vent to install it. There are different types and I always choose @Cobra Ridge Vent. I don't like the metal vents because they are dented and damaged so easily. The @Cobra Ridge Vent comes with step by step directions and nails. The only other thing you need is capping. The cap goes over the ridge vent to give a nice appearance and cover the nails that hold the vent on. The @Cobra Ridge Vent just butts together, and has a mesh that prevents any birds or critters from entering your attic. I think I used about a bundle and a half to cap 40 feet. When cutting cap buy three tab shingles that match your roof and cut them in three sections at the tab line. It's best to cut inward about 30 degrees. Removing the corners of the part of the tabs that will be covered will give a nicer appearance. You stopped the cut two foot from the ends now lay five or so cap from the ends then install the ridge vent staying one foot off the ends. If you have any questions feel free to email me at JDotson@graceguttering.com
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This is how your cap should look after you cut it. It is one tab of a three tab shingle and the bottom is what is exposed. The top is cut and nailed. The periods are where the nails should go. The @Cobra Ridge Vent also has a nail line printed on it.
Installing the soffit vents is relatively easy. You can buy the metal soffit vents at any home improvement store for about 2 dollars for about a 16 inch by 12 inch vent. Simply trace the outline of the metal vent on the wooden soffit where you want the vent to go then drill a hole about an inch inside the four corners to use a sawz-all. Or you can use a circular saw, just remember to stay at least an inch inside the lines to give yourself room to attach the vent. Once you cut out the hole where you want the vent, you have to remove any insulation that will prevent the air from reaching the main part of the attic. It will do no good if the air is obstructed by insulation. Sometimes the insulation can block the air a foot or two inside. So make sure plenty of air can flow then install your soffit vents with some zip screws. Adding a ventilation system like this for your attic can save you money on cooling your house, and increase the life of the shingles on the roof. It will also eliminate any moisture issues that can cause damage to roof sheathing, insulation, and drywall.
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