Roof Vents or Attic Vents

Jan 01, 2011
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Roof vent

Roof vents, also called attic vents, are an essential part of a home: They work to provide enough air flow and ventilation in the attic. There are many reasons why roof vents are critical for the proper functioning of your entire home. They are important for increasing the life of the roof, and for the proper functioning of your heating and air conditioning systems (HVAC). Improperly ventilated attics and roofs mean that air will be trapped in your attic, thus making your HVAC systems work harder to heat or cool your home. In fact, proper attic and roof ventilation is so important that improper or not enough ventilation could lead to mold growth in your home (from all the locked-in moisture), which could lead to potentially serious health problems. Poor ventilation also means higher energy costs or, in other words, higher bills. So take the time to read below and find out what attic vents are all about and how they can help you and your family have a healthy and energy-saving home.

The number one reason for roof replacements is damage caused by moisture, and other moisture-related problems. It is estimated that nine out of ten homes in North America do not have proper attic ventilation. It is therefore crucial to find a professional roofer who knows the ins and outs of roof ventilation to ensure you have the proper number of vents and that they are placed in the correct areas of your roof. You don’t have to worry about compromising the look of your roof with roof vents, as there are many shapes and sizes of vents on the market that will go well with the look of your home. View attic and roof vent styles and colors.

There are two kinds of attic/roof vents: intake vents and exhaust vents.

Intake vents are those placed along the soffit to let fresh air into the attic. Exhaust vents are installed in the upper third of the roof to allow attic air to escape.

Vent types


There are three common intake vents: gable, static and soffit. Speak to your roofer about which one is best for your home.

1. Gable: These types of vents are popular but often least effective. They are installed in the gable wall below the peak of the roof and are available in several shapes and colors.

2. Static: These are also known as eyebrow vents and are made of sheet metal cylinder with a flashing collar and a metal hood to keep rain out. They are installed in rows along the face of the roof by cutting holes in the roof, nailing the flashing collars to the roof sheathing and shingling around the vents. Their effectiveness depends on how many are installed; their greatest disadvantage is that like any roof penetration, they may leak. (Source:

3. Soffit: Soffit vents are located under the eaves, right near where the gutters should be. They often have a screen over them to prevent insects from coming in and can be as long as 22". They are one of the easiest to install by cutting rectangular holes in the soffit and screwing the vent over the hole.

There are two kinds of exhaust vents: static vents and power ventilators.

1. Static vents include ridge vents and allow the air to escape. Ridge vents are considered the most efficient and cost-effective.

2. Power ventilators suck out air from the attic. They are turbine vents that consist of a turbine mounted on a sheet-metal cylinder. They are installed like roof line vents along the face of the roof. When the wind blows, it spins the turbine, which in turn draws air up out of the attic. Their effectiveness, naturally, depends on whether the wind is blowing or not.

Learn how to install attic vents.

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