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Advice for getting a new roof please! 1 of many?: Ridge vent or fan?

Advice for getting a new roof please! 1 of many?: Ridge vent or fan?

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  #1  
Old 09-01-16, 08:02 PM
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Advice for getting a new roof please! 1 of many?: Ridge vent or fan?

We're getting a new roof soon. Trying to look at reviews from people in the area, angie's list, etc to get a good contractor (we have amazingly bad luck with getting someone to do something right - I have loads of posts in the bath area about a master bath project that went awry).

Anyway, any tips on what to do / not do? Ridge vent or powered exhaust fan through the roof? not both, right? end (gables?) fans? lots of soffit vents?

We are in NJ.

I have loads of insulation in the attic (R-60 in some areas!) and the styrofoam 'trays' that allow soffit air to get into the attic. (but near the wall / ceiling edge under the styrofoam trays, there's really not much room for insulation... I kinda want to raise the roof to have more space for insulation near the edges of the house?).

We have a whole house fan from previous owner (so it's at least 20 years old). It's in the ceiling of the 2nd floor. When it runs, it draws air into the attic. I've noticed that I can put my hands near some outlets / switches on the 2nd floor and feel air coming out - (the air is going into attic, can't all get out from gable vents and soffit vents so gets pushed back down through holes into the 2nd floor).

Does too much soffit vents cause problems? The current soffit vents are rectangular spaced every so often from the original install of house (40 - 50 years old?) over time the screens that are in there get plugged, right? so likely aren't letting the whole house fan air out as much as years ago? And less air coming in when whoie house fain isn't running?

Any other things?

thanks!
 
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Old 09-01-16, 08:06 PM
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A combination ridge vent and soffit vents is a good combination.

Pressurizing the attic with your whole house fan is not ideal. It's possible that the combination of the new ridge vent with the existing soffit vents will be enough. If not... you may need to consider cutting in extra non powered roof vents.
 
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Old 09-01-16, 09:13 PM
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Yes, the top of the outer wall next to those soffits is often a problem with getting a lot of insulation in there. But raising the roof would not really be cost effective. I could run some numbers but a wild guess would be less than $50 a year in savings for increasing the insulation there. Your foam baffles (trays) should have tails on them to protect the insulation from incoming air. If you have those you are all set.

Those holes where you feel the air flow should have all been sealed before the insulation.

Yes, you need to review the recommended amount of ventilation and probably increase the soffit vent area. With the new roof add the ridge vents but also leave the gable vents. Despite the roofing industries concerns about having both ridge and gable vents they work fine together. Further explanation available if needed.

Vents in the soffit area are well protected from rain and snow and having a lot of vent area down there is good.

Bud
 
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Old 09-02-16, 12:15 PM
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Bud - yes I meant to mention that feeling the air at the wall switches shows I didn't insulate the holes in the studs in the attic : ) But on the plus side, it alerted me to the air in the attic being pressuraized / not getting out when the whole house fan is on.

Gable and ridge? OK. What about powered fan on the roof surface with / instead of ridge vent?

And PJ - do older soffit vents get clogged over time (spiderwebs, dust, etc)? Do you replace them or go up wiht shop vac or compressor and blow / vacuum them?
 
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Old 09-02-16, 12:18 PM
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Soffit and ridge vents are going to provide the best passive ventilation, skip the gable vents.

Yes, soffit vents can get clogged with time; my father cleans his by shooting the leaf blower through them once a year.

EDIT: Sorry, didn't realize the gable vents were already there, thought you were asking about adding them. If there already, leave them, I just would not add them.
 
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Old 09-02-16, 01:14 PM
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Since you know there is substantial leakage from house to attic I would not suggest a powered attic fan. Just as you felt air blowing down when pressurized, it will blow conditioned air into the attic when depressurized. Plus, as that conditioned air escapes outside air will have to leak back in through all available cracks. It is like leaving the front door wide open. Stay with the natural ventilation, ridge and soffits as well as the existing gable vents.

Even though it may not be worth while chasing 100% of the leaks into the attic, be sure the big ones have been sealed, chimney, plumbing vent, recessed lights and attic hatch.

Bud
 
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