Troubleshooting Gambrel Roof Problems

A Gambrel roof is a traditional building roof which is sometimes referred to as a barn roof, primarily because of its construction, structure and appearance. However, proper installation and maintenance is mandatory for these roofs to remain durable for long. They have their unique advantages but do also usually suffer from the problems of ventilation which makes them vulnerable to water damage and dry rot.

Hence, once any possible problems with gambrel roofs are noticed, troubleshooting becomes necessary. Using the tips and recommendations mentioned below you can solve almost all possible problems which may damage your gambrel roof’s functionality, durability or convenience.

1. Height of your Roof

Due to the often limited height of the gambrel roof, you may discover that your attic has gotten too cramped up. To avoid this problem you may make your roof high up but see to it that you do not affect your neighborhood adversely or break any area codes or rules that forbid you from doing so. See to it that during the installation of your gambrel roof, you have enough space in the attic to install a possible insulation or ventilation system.

2. The Issue of Ventilation

Unlike other roofs, gambrel roofs often cannot get rid of moisture or dirt which often exposes them to the problem of ventilation. As these roofs are built closely to the rest of the house and are placed tightly against the main brickwork of your building, ventilation might get problematic. To resolve this problem, it is recommended to plan as well as install a proper ventilation system (like an electric ventilation system) while you get the construction of your roof done.

3. Additional Measures for Improving Ventilation

As Ventilation is one of the most commonly faced problems with gambrel roofs, additional devices can be installed to solve it. Ridge vents can be inserted into the small edges of your roof (specifically the front and the back) so that these areas get a constant supply of airflow. A much more specialized device namely eyebrow vents can also be used in the lowest point of the roof but a professional mason might be required for the installation. However, if your gambrel roof cannot accommodate these passive systems (vents), knocking a small hole in your roof to lodge an attic fan might be the ideal solution as it would allow you to regulate the airflow into the roof with a simple click of a switch.

4. Insulation

Many states have particular rules that oblige homeowners or builders to install proper foam insulation during the construction process. Gambrel roofs require the most effective form of insulation available as heat and moisture often find it difficult to leave this type of roof structure, which often results in the building up of fungi (causing the aesthetic appeal to fade off and resulting in possible damage to human life too).

5. Mistakes to Avoid

While working on or with gambrel roofs, try to avoid several commonly made mistakes for example, avoid using wrong nails with inappropriate length, keep the pitch at a reasonable height which goes in line with your structure, maintain a properly detailed drainage system, give special attention to insulation as well as ventilation, use sufficient number of trusses (usually installed every 16 inches) and apply a waterproof coating in case of paint.