How to Improve Gambrel Roof Ventilation

A gambrel roof resembles the top of a barn, and is sometimes rather difficult to ventilate or heat, due to its shape. The roof may begin exactly where the wall for the lower part of the home ends, meaning that it is difficult to fit a ventilator to the area, or there may not be a single path between the outer part of the roof and the opening in the attic. A gambrel roof may not have the gables and roofing capacity of other roofs, and this result in homeowners living with an overheated attic for many years. However, it is not impossible to improve the ventilation in a gambrel roof, but you will need to use the right tools for the job, and work a little bit harder than you would with other types of roofs.

Do You Need to Ventilate?

Before you start spending your budget on extensive renovations or ventilation devices, you should consider whether you need to ventilate at all. Most gambrel roofs are made from the extended wall of the lower rooms, which are already ventilated. Therefore, a part of the roof should not need additional air flow installed into it. The only problem is if you have a weak, mainly wooden roofing system which can be damaged by water and moisture. In this case, you should consider one of the ventilation options below.

Use Ridge Vents

A ridge vent can sometimes be slotted into the small edges of the roof, particularly at the front and back of the roof. These vents will help to keep the part of the roof that needs to be ventilated with a regular supply of air flow, and this can be important when you come to ventilating the roof. However, if the wall is completely built up to the side of the roof, with no available space between to insert the ridge vent, you will not be able to use it, and will have to consider other kinds of vents.

Use Eyebrow Vents

This type of vent is much more specialized, and you may need to have a professional roofer acquire and install it. The eyebrow vent, or eyebrow dormer vent, fits into the overhanging part of the roof at its lowest point, which can be a good idea with a gambrel roof anyway. Eyebrow vents allow air to circulate around the upper and lower parts of the roof, and for this reason they make an excellent passive ventilation system for your roof.

Use Fans

If your roof will not accommodate a passive ventilation system such as the vents described, you may have to knock a small hole in the side of the roof, so you can fit an attic fan. These devices are sometimes noisy and cumbersome, but they will keep your roof vented better than a passive hole, and you will be able to control when the fan by switching it on and off, making it ideal for people who want to control the flow of air into their gambrel roof.