How to Replace a Roof Vent: Step by Step Guide - Home Inspection Insider (2022)

How to Replace a Roof Vent: Step by Step Guide - Home Inspection Insider (1)

The vent system is very crucial for a comfortable home environment. It ensures that the air inside the home is always comfortable, but it also ensures that the roof’s longevity is intact and the energy consumption is regulated.

There are several types of roof vents, and installation will vary based on the type of roof venting you have. To replace a roof box vent:

Do I Need a New Roof 2

Do I Need a New Roof 2

  1. lift or remove the shingled around the roof vent
  2. remove nails that hold the vent tightly in place
  3. slide the old vent box out of the shingles
  4. slide in the new box vent
  5. nail down the new box vent
  6. reinstall the shingles around the vent and use roofing cement to secure the shingles in place
  7. apply caulk on the nails to prevent any leakage

Most roof vents are low profile, but when you stroll around the hood, you will not miss seeing the different assortment of appliances sitting or protruding out of the roofs from different angles and installed on the soffit ridge or peak of the roof.

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What Exactly Is A Roof Vent & Are They Necessary?

Roof and attic venting systems are uncomplicated and necessary because they are the secret behind regulated home temperatures no matter the season and lower energy consumption.

Do I Need a New Roof 1

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In summer, when it is hot, the hot air rises and leaves the attic through the vent on the roof, and during winter, when the air is thick and heavy, a vented attic traps the warm air emanating from the living quarters below, enabling snow on the roof to melt away quickly.

Do I Need a New Roof 3

An attic is a place at home we rarely visit and can be easily neglected until a stain appears on the ceiling or energy consumption goes high.

There are two important types of air ventilation in the attic;

  1. Active ventilation
  2. Passive ventilation

Active Ventilation

Attic active ventilation or mechanical ventilation is powered by turbines, electricity, and solar and works by pulling or pushing stale air out of the attic. They are mostly installed on top of the roof and are generally larger than natural ventilation.

Passive Ventilations

Passive attic ventilation, also known as natural ventilation, is the type of vent that depends on natural forces like the wind. Convection naturally draws in cool, fresh air while expelling hot, stale air from the attic.

Examples are static vents, ridge vents without baffle, and gable end vents.

In both exhaust and intake vents, the end purpose is to regulate air circulation and ensure the building structure’s safety from moisture damage.

Here are some of the problems you may face if you fail to vent your roof:

  1. Moisture build-up in the attic leads to molds’ growth inside the attic and eventual rooting of the wooden roof framework.
  2. Damage to insulation and the ceilings through dampening.
  3. Snow/ice dams on the roof for long periods lead to the damage of shingles, fascia, and gutters leading to a shorter roof lifespan.
  4. Moisture build-up in the attic results in unregulated home temperatures leading to more energy consumption as the home will need heating and cooling systems.
  5. The stale and damp smell of the air in the confines of the home is due to the stale air in the attic.

How Do You Replace A Roof Vent?

Some people might want to fix a broken vent to elongate its longevity, but the best way to handle a broken roof vent is to throw it away and buy a new one.

Fixing a broken roof vent does not assure that it will work like before or even last longer, and you might find yourself handling the same problem after a short period.

Here are the things you need when you need to replace a roof vent;

  1. A new pair of roof vents.
  2. A handful of 11/4” roofing nails.
  3. Ladder for climbing.
  4. Caulking gun for sealing.
  5. Hammer for the nails.
  6. Crowbar
  7. Mud knife.
  8. Knife for cutting through the shingles if need be.

The following is the step-by-step procedure of fixing a roof vent:

Step By Step Procedure:

Step One

  • Go up the roof using a ladder and be careful not to lose your footing
  • 5/12 pitched types of roofs are easy to walk and sit on, while steeper roofs with the height of 8/12, 10/12, and 12/12 are tricky and dangerous for a DIY roof vent replacement project, and it will be best if you involve a professional to help you replace the roof vent.

Step Two

  • Remove every roofing nail from the shingles attaching the roof vent onto the shingles by sliding the mud knife below the shingles to let loose any stuck shingle and pulling the nails up using a crowbar until the nails come out.
  • Make sure to keep every nail you pull out safe and not throw it away carelessly as children may pick them up or someone may step on them and get hurt.

Step Three

  • When all the nails have been pulled out, gently slide out the old box vent and place it aside.

Step Four

  • Slide in the new box vent and ensure that it fits well around the area where the old box vent sat.

Step Five

  • Tag the box by nailing it down on both sides of the nail box.

Step Six

  • Find and replace all the nail holes from where you took them out. It is to ensure the wind does not blow up and ruin the shingles.

Step Seven

  • Apply a roofing tar or caulk on top of exposed nails and under old or loose shingles to hold them in place and prevent any water leakage.

Tips For Replacing A Roof Vent

  • Choose a day with cool temperatures to work on your roof venting system as attics and rooftops can get uncomfortably hot on a warm day, so you will not be able to work properly.
  • Replacing a roof vent may take a few hours, but setting out a whole day is best, so you won’t be disappointed.
  • Choose the rectangular-shaped roof vents as they are easy to install.

What Are The Different Types Of Roof Vents?

There are different types of roof vents, but each roof vent depends on either one of the two types of attic ventilation and the location of installation on top of the roof:

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  1. Gable intake vents
  2. Static vents
  3. Ridge vents
  4. Solar attic fans
  5. Off ridge vents
  6. Powered vents
  7. Turbine-powered vents.

You can combine two types of roof vents for better efficiency. One can be installed on the roof and the other on the soffit.

Gable Intake Vents

Gable vents, also called louvered vents, are soffit vents installed on the side of the roof and popular with gable types of roof and are mostly installed on both sides of a roof.

You will spot them in rectangular, circular, or square boxes near where the two slanting roofs meet.

Gable vents are natural/passive vents and work like two windows installed directly opposite each other. The blowing wind drives fresh, clean air from one end and hot, stale air out of the attic and through the other gable end.

Static Vents

Static vents are roof vents and serve their purpose by allowing hot air trapped in the attic to escape through them.

A roof needs several static vents installed at different angles to maintain proper attic ventilation.

Ridge Vents

Ridge vents also go by ridge cap vents and are the most common among all other roof vents.

And just like the name sounds, the ridge cap vent is installed at the ridge of the roof and runs the entire distance, end to end, letting shingles slide beneath it and blend with the rest of the roof to create a continuity that does not allow water to leak through.

Because of its location, the roof’s highest point, a ridge vent is complemented and works well with soffit vents that draw in sufficient air because the minimal supply of air from the outside will cause the ridge vent system to break down.

Solar Attic Fans

Unlike powered vents, solar attic fans are 100% cost-free. The reliability of solar-powered vents is on a 50/50 basis.

The solar attic fan is too powerful, and another time the fan is running low on power. Solar roof vents work well in hotter/warmer regions where the fan can recharge its power.

Our Top Pick

How to Replace a Roof Vent: Step by Step Guide - Home Inspection Insider (2)

30-Watt Solar Attic Fan with Thermostat/Humidistat/adapter by Remingto...

The Remington Solar Attic Fan is our top pick for those that need a solar roof vent that can run day and night. It features a powerful brushless 30-watt motor for quiet operation. It's powered by the sun, so it runs free of electricity costs but has hybrid 110v power to run at night if needed.

The tiltable solar panel allows you to capture more southern sunlight for maximum effectiveness. Not all solar vents offer this feature.

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It has a thermostat and humidistat to keep your attic at the perfect temperature and humidity. It's also hail and weather resistant, so you can rest assured that it will stand up to any condition.

Features a 30-day money-back guarantee, a 15-year warranty on the fan, and a 2-year warranty on the 110v adapter.

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Our Top Pick

How to Replace a Roof Vent: Step by Step Guide - Home Inspection Insider (3)

4 SEASONS Solar Powered Polycarbonate Vent, Weatherproof Design, Quietly Cools Up to 500 Sq Ft, 400 CFM

$220.00 ($0.44 / Sq Ft)

The 4 Seasons solar roof vent is perfect for keeping your home cool and comfortable all summer. The fan vents up to 400 CFM and cools up to 500 sq feet of attic space. The 10W monocrystalline solar panel provides plenty of power to keep your space cool, and the durable, weatherproof design ensures that it will last for years.

Installation is easy, and the quiet operation means you won't even know it's there. Plus, it comes with a 10-year limited warranty on materials and craftsmanship. Our main drawbacks are that it needs direct sunlight so effectiveness can be reduced in overcast conditions and is not designed for night use.

However, it's a great product and works well in areas that receive lots of direct sunlight.

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08/16/2022 03:43 am GMT

Off Ridge Vents

The off ridge vents are installed slightly off the ridge of the roof. It is made of metal and has a length of 3 asphalt shingles, and measures up to 4 feet in length.

Off-ridge vents fall under active vents and are installed like a box vent to sit tight under asphalt roofing sheets.

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The attic will be poorly ventilated and not the most popular as its location and size prevent it from expelling sufficient amounts of stale air. But it can still work well where the roof runs short distances and not one complete stretch.

Powered Vents

As the name suggests, powered attic vents are powered by electricity to expel moist air and improve air circulation.

They are efficient in their duty, but its downside is that it crowns normal utility bills with an additional energy bill. And when there is a blackout, it means the attic will be stuffy.

Turbines Vents

Whirlybird is its fun name. The turbine/whirlybird vent is powered by the blowing wind, which spins the turbine vent’s interior blades, making it eco-friendly.

The turbine blades’ speed will spin depending on outside wind strength. On days that the wind is still, the turbine-powered vent will not be able to work well.

The downside of turbine-powered vents is their small size which does not equip the vent with enough capacity to expel sufficient air out of the attic; that is why most roofs with turbine-powered vents are installed with multiple turbine vents efficiency.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Roof Vent?

Replacing a roof vent involves labor and materials. As a universal rule, every 150 square feet is entitled to 1 square foot of vent.

The exact rates are not quantitative and will depend on size, design, and the number of vents you are replacing;

  • Roof vents cost as low as $10 and as high as $500 per piece.
  • Labor could cost between $45 to $150

If you decide to do it yourself, all you will need is to buy supplies, but if you source out the replacement job, a company may charge you 100 dollars to replace your old and damaged roof vent with a new one. The rough estimate then falls between $300 – $550.

When Should You Replace Roof Vents?

Most of the time, the roof air vent system functions well and does not need too much maintenance, but it also needs replacing if it has been in place for more than ten years.

The one most common problem with roof vents that call for replacement is leakage of water which is notable by:

  • Staining on the ceiling or water dripping down the roof vent.
  • Sudden unregulated temperature, e.g., too much heat or too much cold, has to be stabilized using air conditioning.
  • Ice pooling on the roof means that the attic is not properly vented.

Extreme climatic conditions cause the leakage. Too much sun and cold can damage the roof vents leading to leakage and ultimately retarding others.

What Is The Best Way To Vent A Roof?

How to Replace a Roof Vent: Step by Step Guide - Home Inspection Insider (4)

When deciding which roof vent to go for, you look into a venting system that cares for the longevity and safety of your roof, the type of roof, and sufficient air circulation in your attic.

The best way to have adequate attic ventilation is to combine a ridge vent and a soffit vent.

A soffit vent installed in the eaves will let fresh air flow in and out through the roof vent installed near the roof’s peak because hot air naturally rises.

Natural attic vents are also the best ridge vents. For example, wind, solar, and electric-powered vents might fail due to insufficient power and extra bills for electric power vents.

A ridge vent combined with a soffit vent will do your house justice.

How To Care And Maintain Roof Vents

Roof vents do not need a lot of maintenance, but once in a while, they may block, and you may need to clean them.

There are three ways to do it;

  1. You need to do is to use a compressed air machine to blast the dirt away
  2. Using a broom is the easiest way to clean a vent.
  3. The use of water pressure and detergents for cleaning.

Cleaning mostly happens in spring, ensuring your roof air vents are ready to tackle the harsh winter and summer seasons.

Final Thoughts

Replacing a roof vent is one thing; replacing it correctly and adequately is another. When done properly, the venting system will save you many costly problems and may lead back to the money in your pocket.

All homes need a roof air venting system. A homeowner will undoubtedly be grateful for the regulated indoor temperatures, which will cut down the energy use in air conditioning and the hope for a longer roof lifespan.

Lastly, if you think of replacing your roof, you better choose a day with cool temperatures to work on your roof venting system.

FAQs

How do you install a new roof vent? ›

And some guys for extra precaution will take uh a bead of caulking. And run caulking on the inside

How do you replace a static vent? ›

Basically all you have to do here. You just cut the bigger square you don't have to remove any

How do you replace a whirlybird roof vent? ›

To remove the old turbine heads they're typically three screws equispaced around the diameter of it.

How do you replace a roof vent on a shingle roof? ›

Roof Vent Installation
  1. Drive a nail through your roof to mark the spot for the vent.
  2. Remove the shingles that would be affected by the vent. Set them aside for later.
  3. Drill a hole around the nail you marked the vent spot with. ...
  4. Reinstall the lower shingles. ...
  5. Install the roof vent with roofing tar and nails.
23 Mar 2022

How much does it cost to install a roof vent? ›

Installing a roof vent costs between $300 and $550 on average, including labor and materials. Exact rates depend on the type, size, and number of units you choose to install, and you can pay anywhere from $150 to $2,000.

How long do roof vents last? ›

Elements will gradually wear on any sort of plastic ventilation unit, causing cracking and breaking as the material weakens. The brittle and cracking plastic will likely only hold up for a meager lifespan of approximately ten to fifteen years.

How do you remove an outside exhaust vent cover? ›

To replace old outdoor vent covers, first pull apart the duct at the last joint inside the house. If they don't pull apart easily, look for small screws holding the sections of pipe together. Next, remove the screws or nails used to attach the cap to the siding and cut through the caulk around the edges (Photo 1).

How do you replace an attic gable vent? ›

How to Replace Attic Vents
  1. Measure the Existing Vent. Measure your existing attic vent. ...
  2. Remove the Nails or Screws. Remove the screws or nails that secure your current attic vent. ...
  3. Remove the Flashing. ...
  4. Place the Metal Cap. ...
  5. Add the Caulking. ...
  6. Finish Securing the New Attic Vent.

What is a static roof vent? ›

Static roof vents allow air to escape from the attic. Often multiple static roof vents are needed to adequately ventilate the attic. Roof vents should be evenly spaced across the roof and installed just below the peak of the roof where heated air will rise.

Can you replace the top of a whirlybird? ›

The WeatherPRO turbine ball replacement top can be installed on an existing base from a whirlybird or turbine vent of either 12" or 14". It is intended for a sloped and shingled roof to ventilate hot, moist attic air as part of a balanced ventilation system. It blocks out water and snow thanks to drain openings.

Do whirlybird vents leak? ›

Do whirlybirds leak? When installed by professionals, whirlybirds do not leak or let in rain. Whirlybirds have been installed throughout Queensland for the last 100 years – and if they leaked, there would be a lot of soggy ceilings.

How do you install a vent cover? ›

Steps:
  1. Remove the old vent. ...
  2. If the ductwork extends out from the wall, you'll need to cut it away if you're installing a flush-mount vent cover. ...
  3. Remove the painter's tape and fit the new vent cover. ...
  4. Slide the vent cover into position and secure with screws.

How many vents should a roof have? ›

But how many roof vents does one home really need? A general guideline is homeowners need one square foot of roof vent for every 300 square feet of ceiling space, if your home has a roof with a vapor barrier, or 1:300. If not, you should have one square foot of roof vent for every 150 square feet, or 1:150.

What is the most effective roof venting system? ›

Turbine vents are extremely efficient and are the best solution on large gable roofs that don't have a lot of area at the peak.

What are vents on top of roof called? ›

Static roof vents, also known as roof louvers, are designed to fit into the highest peaks of a roof and rely on wind to function. Gable vents are a type of louvered vent that can act as an intake or exhaust vent, depending on which way the wind is blowing.

Which is better ridge vent or roof vent? ›

Roofers prefer installing ridge vents because they're easier than cutting numerous holes in the roof and then having to cut shingles around them. The other benefit to ridge vents is that small animals like squirrels can't chew holes and get into your attic like they can with box vents.

How do you tell if your attic is venting properly? ›

How to determine whether you need better attic ventilation
  1. Look at your eaves and roof. ...
  2. Touch your ceiling on a warm, sunny day. ...
  3. Thick ridges of ice on your eaves in winter are a sign of poor attic ventilation. ...
  4. Warm air that escapes living space also carries moisture that will condense on rafters or roof sheathing.
30 Nov 2018

How do you tell if your ridge vent is installed properly? ›

In general, to find out if your ridge vent is installed properly, walk along its entire length and pull the vent slightly upward every few meters. Inspect the vent for any loose seams or fasteners; have them repaired as soon as possible. Even a nail slightly out of place can cause problems later on.

How much does a roof ridge vent cost? ›

The average ridge vent price is about $2 to $3 per linear foot. This doesn't include installation, which will run you an additional $45 to $75 per hour. Homeowners usually pay a total of around $300 to $400 in labor costs. You should install soffit vents, which cost between $3.30 and $4.50 per linear foot.

What is the 1 150 rule? ›

For every 150 square feet (sq. ft.) of attic space, 1 square foot of ventilation is recommended. Every square foot of ventilation is divided by 2 for the Intake (soffit ventilation) and the Exhaust (roof ventilation).

Which is better plastic or metal roof vents? ›

When it comes to roof ventilation, Duraflo® plastic roof vents are a reliable choice. “Metal vents — can be susceptible to bent flanges and denting from shipping and handling. Plastic vents are a lot lighter and much more durable.”

Can a roof be vented too much? ›

The two main dangers associated with too much ventilation involve roof damage and increased utility bills. If you have too much air circulating, your roof will collect moisture causing damages that will weaken spots and then cause leaking.

What are vent covers on outside house? ›

Exterior wall vent covers are placed over the vent in order to prevent certain elements from creating havoc on the home. Exterior wall vents have the ability to dispel moisture, heat and pressure but also act as a barrier against weather elements such as rain, snow and hail.

How do you seal exhaust vents? ›

Seal holes in the fan housing with caulk, sealing putty, or metal tape. Install the fan then seal around the fan with caulk or canned spray foam. Seal the exhaust duct to the fan box with approved metal tape or mastic. Seal around the exterior fan duct vent with caulk or a pre-made exterior wall gasket.

How do you attach a vent to vinyl siding? ›

How to Install Gable Vents with Vinyl Siding - YouTube

What is a gable vent? ›

Gable vents offer passive ventilation of the attic space and roof. When the outside air is moving perpendicular to the gable vents, it's like two windows on opposite sides of a room: cool air into one side, and hot air out the other.

How do you install an attic vent? ›

Soffit vent installation for attic ventilation - YouTube

Should attic vents have screens? ›

Although many homeowners are not even aware that such holes exist, they are essential for attic ventilation, so you can't just cover them with wood. And even if you do, it may not repel rodents, bats, and birds, many of which can easily chew through wood.

Can roof vents leak? ›

Any structure that sticks up from the surface of the roof can be a source of leaks. This includes items like skylights, chimneys, and roof vents. Roof vents that aren't sealed properly are often a source of water infiltration.

What is a turtle type roof vent? ›

Turtle vents are non-mechanical curved vents (yep, like a turtle shell) that allow hot air to escape the attic space. If not used with soffit vents, they typically only release air where they are installed. Gable vents are rectangles vents generally found on the front or sides of a house, below the roof ridge.

What is a 750 roof vent? ›

The Lomanco 750 is the original slant back vent. This vent has a three sided louver to allow more air to flow through the vent which in turn will remove more heat and moisture from an attic. This vent is also approved by Texas Department of Insurance "Windstorm" to withstand variable wind speeds.

How much does it cost to install a roof vent? ›

Written by HomeAdvisor. Installing a roof vent costs between $300 and $550 on average, including labor and materials. Exact rates depend on the type, size, and number of units you choose to install, and you can pay anywhere from $150 to $2,000.

How many vents should a roof have? ›

But how many roof vents does one home really need? A general guideline is homeowners need one square foot of roof vent for every 300 square feet of ceiling space, if your home has a roof with a vapor barrier, or 1:300. If not, you should have one square foot of roof vent for every 150 square feet, or 1:150.

How do you shingle a roof vent? ›

How-To: Shingle around a vent pipe Flashing - YouTube

What is the attic vent called? ›

Static roof vents, also known as roof louvers, are designed to fit into the highest peaks of a roof and rely on wind to function. Gable vents are a type of louvered vent that can act as an intake or exhaust vent, depending on which way the wind is blowing.

Which is better ridge vent or roof vent? ›

Roofers prefer installing ridge vents because they're easier than cutting numerous holes in the roof and then having to cut shingles around them. The other benefit to ridge vents is that small animals like squirrels can't chew holes and get into your attic like they can with box vents.

How do you tell if your attic is venting properly? ›

How to determine whether you need better attic ventilation
  1. Look at your eaves and roof. ...
  2. Touch your ceiling on a warm, sunny day. ...
  3. Thick ridges of ice on your eaves in winter are a sign of poor attic ventilation. ...
  4. Warm air that escapes living space also carries moisture that will condense on rafters or roof sheathing.
30 Nov 2018

Can you vent a roof too much? ›

It's possible to have too much exhaust ventilation, but you cannot have too much intake ventilation. If there is more intake ventilation than the attic's square footage requires, it's not problematic because any excess intake converts to “exhaust” on the leeward side of the house.

What is the 1 150 rule? ›

For every 150 square feet (sq. ft.) of attic space, 1 square foot of ventilation is recommended. Every square foot of ventilation is divided by 2 for the Intake (soffit ventilation) and the Exhaust (roof ventilation).

What are the 4 main types of roof vents for attic ventilation? ›

The 4 common types of active roof vents: turbine, power, ridge, and solar-powered vents.

Is it better to vent range hood through wall or roof? ›

The best option is to vent vertically through the roof if possible, since hot air rises. But this is not required. Vent through a side wall if you cannot vent directly above your hood. To have a smooth installation, find a great contractor to install your ductwork.

Does a range hood need to be vented through the roof? ›

Venting your range hood into the attic essentially defeats the purpose of having a ducted range hood. Not to mention that over time, the grease buildup may damage your attic. If you're venting your range hood out of an exterior wall, you don't need to worry about venting your roof.

What type of duct is best for venting a range hood? ›

Rigid duct is the best type of duct to vent your range hood. It requires a one-time installation and little to no maintenance as long as you clean your range hood filters. Most rigid ductwork is made from durable stainless steel, as opposed to rigid ductwork which is aluminum or flimsy plastic.

What do you use to seal a vent pipe on a roof? ›

How to Fix a Leaking Rooftop Vent Pipe | This Old House - YouTube

What does step flashing look like? ›

How To Shingle - Step Flashing - YouTube

What is roof vent pipe? ›

What is a rooftop vent pipe? Much like sewage pipes, a vent pipe regulates air pressure in plumbing pipes and allows sewer gases to escape to the outside mostly via your roof. In addition to letting sewer gases escape, a vent pipe also allows oxygen to break down the sewage aerobically in the waste pipes.

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