How to Ventilate a Gambrel Roof

What You'll Need
Ridge vents
eyebrow vents
ventilation fans
sabre saw (rectangular saw)
hole saw

The gambrel roof, also known as Dutch gambler or just gambler, resembles the top of a barn: it is symmetrically shaped, with two slopes on each side. The upper slope is rather slight while the lower one is steeper. This type of roof is common to the Dutch colonial style houses.

Gamblers create a large attic space, that can be turned into an additional bedroom or even a studio. Moreover, these roofs add more style, simple elegance and classic look to your house facade. While the advantages of having a gambler roof are many, their shape can make them a challenge to ventilate, to allow proper air circulation and prevent moisture. Ventilation cools the space when overheated and prevents premature aging of the wood, paint and the entire house as well. Read on to find about the most efficient methods of ventilating your gambrel roof.

Step 1–Install Soffet Vents

Poor circulation under your gambrel roof can easily lead to damage by moisture and poor heating a cooling of your home. Let outside air in, using additional ventilation devices, such as soffit vents or eyebrow vents. You can make soffit vents by cutting openings with a sabre or reciprocating saw and screwing rectangular grilles over them, or by cutting openings with a hole saw and installing round grilles. Alternatively, you may cut a continuous slot along the soffit and attach a long, narrow grill over it. It is preferable to use a continuous sofit because it allows the air to wash the whole roof area. Excessive heat build-up will be avoided during the summer, preventing damage to the roofing materials. Pockets of condensation will be avoided with the help of a continuous sheet of moving air in the winter.

Step 2–Install Eyebrow Vents

Install eyebrow vents in rows at the lowest overhanging part of the roof. Eyebrow vents are common intake vents, designed to let fresh air into the roof area. Bear in mind that the efficiency of the installed eyebrow vents depends mainly on their correct number, determined by the side of your attic.

Step 3–Place Ridge Vents

Place ridge vents at the upper part of the roof. These exhaust vents allow the air to escape, and are considered the most efficient and cost-effective by many.

    Step 4–Choose Ventilation Fans 

    Install ventilation fans if required. These devices are designed to let the hot air out of the roof space. Although they can be a bit noisy and cumbersome, fans cool the space, combating moisture and various moisture-related problems quite effectively. There are three common types of ventilation fans. The simple turbine-style fan depends on no other power source but the hot air escaping from the attic, and its efficiency is quite limited. The electric fan is a widely used type, especially the models that allow the user to control speed. Finally, the solar ventilation fan has gained popularity in recent years. Most models of this type have storage batteries that allow the solar fan to work even at night.