Roof vents for a cooler house?


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Old 06-21-06, 09:31 PM
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Roof vents for a cooler house?

Hello,

I know proper roof ventilation is just plain good for the life of the roof/house, but by itself, do you think it will help cool the upstairs?

I live in a two story 4 bedroom stone house. Front of the house has a pitched roof, back half or so is flat. It gets quite hot upstairs in the summer. Currently there is almost zero roof ventilation on this house. I am going to install a ridge vent and a few other vents on the pitched roof section and maybe some sort of non powered fan type vents for the flat section. I was just wondering if I might have a cooler upstairs after all this is done. If not, then I should then have plenty of venting for a new attic fan!
 
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Old 06-22-06, 04:23 AM
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It will help. An attic can get much hotter than the air outside. This is the heat your insulation is working against. If you have a cooler attic, less heat penetration into the living space below.

It also will help remove moisture that can be damaging to your building.

In the winter, it will remove heat from the attic as well. While this may sound counter productive, what it actually does is keep your roof cold so the snow does not melt and make ice dams, which cause water infiltration into the attic or walls.
 
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Old 06-22-06, 05:57 PM
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What nap said. And may I add that you will need intake vents in the soffit for proper air flow, not just exhaust vents up high on the roof.
 
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Old 06-22-06, 07:20 PM
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Best way to keep it cool is to have No vents and to spray a closed cell foam on rafters and roof!
 
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Old 06-22-06, 10:25 PM
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I put air vents up on the peak a minumal of 6ft apart and have gone as close as 5ft or even 4ft apart when the existing vents are spaced too far apart.

You need to bring new air in a take old air out. Gable vents work wonders too with a wind from either direction.
 
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Old 06-24-06, 09:31 AM
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Thanks everybody. There is one issue and this is going to sound weird. Based on the way my house is built, various roofers are telling me there are no soffit vents and nowhere to put them! This is really hard to describe, so here is a picture: http://home.comcast.net/~karavite/deanswebpics-Images/0.jpg

See how the pitched roof section in front sort of wraps around the windows and down the front porch? Apparently any areas where it would seem you could put a soffit vent do not connect to the attic. I'm sure there is a way around this. I really need to get up in my attic and check this out some more (we have only been here a year and my wife has too much stuff in the closet with the hatch to the attic!). Any advice/ideas in the meantime will be much appreciated.

The flat roof section in back is another problem. It also apparently has no connection (for air to flow) to the attic section of the pitched roof. Joists back there run from the back to the front of the house, so I am worried that any vents back there will just vent the areas between the joists. How would I vent this part of the house? Currently there is zero insulation in the flat roof - nothing. And it other than tearing out the plaster ceilings, there is no way to put some in. I guess you could blow something in, but wouldn't that just seal it up causing zero airflow and be bad for moisture?

Ah, the joys of an old weird stone house that never ever matches what I read in various DIY books and magazines. :-)

Thanks again and sorry for the long winded response!
 
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Old 06-24-06, 10:17 AM
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If you have gable ends in the attic, you may be relegated to gable vents.

The flat roof stuff I'll leave to the carpenters on site.
 
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Old 06-25-06, 10:38 AM
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Ah, yes right now I have one tiny little gable vent. Putting in a bigger one would require knocking out a section of stone that is about 18" thick. Note the house is a "twin" (common here in Philly) and so I have only one side of the house open/with a gable.

Dumb question (maybe), but isn't the gable vent to vent air "out" - don't I still need something to bring air in as a soffit vent would do?

And regarding the flat roof, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. What is really odd is there are about 10 houses similar to mine here in the neighborhood (all built around 1920) and not one has any roof venting. I guess I am the roof venting "pioneer" here in the neighborhood.
 
 

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