Replacing the Gable Vent Fan in Your Attic Easily

You can replace a gable vent fan easily without needing the assistance of a technician or specialist. The gable vent fan allows ventilation in the attic. The attic must be ventilated to allow for circulation of air in and out of the roof space. Lack of ventilation or inadequate ventilation may trap moisture in the roof space, and this moisture may damage the roof timber or metal. Moisture can cause rot in timber or it can corrode the metal trusses. Thus, it always good to keep the attic dry. You will need to replace the gable vents if they have been damaged by birds or weather elements. An attic or roof space without a vent may also attract creatures that thrive in the dark and un-vented areas. These creatures may tamper with your home electrical wiring and cause damage.

Tools and Materials Needed:    

  • Deck screws (treated)
  • Drilling machine
  • Gable vent
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Caulk
  • Flashing
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Pry bar
  • Ladder

Step 1 – Remove the Trim

Put a ladder against the side of the gable wall. Make sure it is sturdy and stable. Ask a friend to hold the ladder. Climb up the ladder until you reach the gable. You must take a pry bar, pliers and screwdriver with you. Use a pry bar to remove the face trim on the gable vent. Remove the screws on the trim using a screwdriver if it is screwed onto the vent. You can also use pliers to rip away the fasteners.

Step 2 – Buy New Gable Vent

Remove the vent plate to take out the vent. Remove the screws around the plate, then pull out the vent. Take the vent to the nearest electrical or building material shop. Buy a brand-new vent that matches your specifications. Try to fit the new vent in the gable opening. If it does not fit, trim the sides of the openings. Check the flashing around the vent. If the flashing is damaged or corroded, remove it with a pry bar. Using a chisel, remove any caulk in the gable opening frame.

Step 3 – Install New Flashing

Fix new flashing at the sides of the gable opening. Use 2 inch-thick flashing. Install the flashing on both sides of the opening, on the internal side of attic and on the siding. Measure the two sides of the gable opening and trim the flashing so that it can fit in the frame. Fix the flashing inside the frame using caulk bead, then drive in nails using a hammer.

Step 4 – Fix the Vent in the Gable Wall Opening

Align the vent flat bearers with the mounting flange. Drive screws through the vent bearers and mounting flange holes using a drill. The mounting flange is on the frames around the gable opening. Drive and tighten the screws all round the opening.

Step 5 – Install Trim around Vent

Fit trim boards around the vent on the gable face. Use a drill to make holes, then screw on the trim boards using as screwdriver. Make angled cuts for corner trims to achieve a nice look. Screw them appropriately on the gable opening.