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Question DetailsAsked on 10/5/2011

I have had 6 opinions on attic ventilation. I have small soffits,gable,ridgevents and attic fan in colonial style house. What is best vent?

2 attics, 2 gable vents in one attic, the attics are connect, 2 ridge vents over each attic, one attic fan in the attic with gable vents and small 6"sofffits vented every 3rd panel for both roofs and which are blocked with insulation in a center hall colonial house.Roof being replaced so must decide on best ventilation for attic. 6 opinions.Very confused. Also will under shingle gutter gaurds void a shingle warrenty?

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3 Answers

Voted Best Answer

First the gutter guards: Probably will void the warranty. Most shingle manufacturers say they must be installed in accordance with. . . If you have a problem with the shingles, the manufacturer has an easy answer of blaming the gutter guards if the damage is in this area. You won't have any way to dispute their claim, so effectively the warranty is void. It is very hard to get a manufacturer to stick to their warranty anyway; they always blame the installation/installer, the underlayment, etc. Get a warranty from your roofer instead.

As for gutter guards, don't use them. They hide potential problems until those problems become huge problems. While most leaves and debris will pass over the guard, some will still drop in the slats. Eventually you will end up with silt and grime in piles under the guards that prevent the gutters from working properlly. The trapped water will cause the gutters to buckle, pull away from the house or allow snow to pile up under the roof shingles. In hard rains, the water flows too fast, so the gutters are made ineffective, cause water to hit near the foundation or windows that the gutters should have been protecting. Cleaning the gutters once a year gives you a chance to recaulk, check connections and confirm the condition of the gutters and soffits, saving you a lot of money down the road.

On the vents; you need air flow. The soffit vents allow the air to enter the attic, the ridge vents or gable events allow the hotter air to be pushed out. Moving air prevents moisture and mold. If your soffit vents are plugged with insulation, pull the insulation back. They sell styrofoam 'spacers' that look like channels, that when nailed to the roof sheathing prevent insulation from being able to close off the vents. It would appear you do not have enought soffit vents. The soffit air must be able to flow to the ridge vents. So if you have insulation between the rafters, remove it. Over insulating is as bad as under insulating.

If your soffit vents are under sized or inaccessible for clearing, then you need to install a mechanical vent. This can be done in the existing gable vents or as a thru-roof unit. You still need flow, so you need an opening (preferrably on the opposite side of the attic) and you need a fan that will draw the attic air out (with fresh air coming in from the other vent). Mechanical vents have a humidistate and/or thermostat that will turn the fan on and off. Regular vents will just start spinning as the hot air exits. A regular vent often will need to be covered or closed in the winter, where a mechanical vent will close automatically.

The IRC has calculations to let you know the recommended amount of air vents per square footage of attic space. Some people warn of over ventilatting an attic, but if you run the math, you will see that it is very, very difficult to do this. So the more vents, the better, because not all vents will be working at all times. Good luck!

Answered 9 years ago by Kenny Johnson


You need to check with the shingle manufacture of the shingles you will be using like Certainteed,GAF,Owens Corning,ETC.They will tell you that you can use Gable Vents,Power Vents,or ridge Vents but not together you can only use one of those for vents on the attic.Not both together..As far as soffit you need more soffit than you have as far as vent See the Certainteed web site they can help you calculate how much you need.Hope this helps..Also use a Professional Certified Roofer not a shade tree guy that has done it before,,you will be glad you paid extra for a good roofer hope this helps..Ronnie Dunlap.

Answered 9 years ago by Ronnie1970


If you can afford it, spray foam your attic and forget theventing. If you think about it in the winter when you need your insulation towork the hardest ( if you have fiberglass or blown in) the cold winter nightand the wind kicks ups, that wind will come into your attic and through yourinsulation. It has been proven by engineers that any breeze going through yourattic insulation will diminish your insulation value by up wards to 65%! Samein the summer. Why would you want hot humid air to come into your attic orcrawl space?
If you foam, you close off all of your openings and now your attic is"condition space" and your house heats/cools more efficiently as it'snow part of the condition space. How many of you out there have your HVACsystem in your attic?
If you can foam, please have your roofing installer install a ridge vent withpassive soffits. Never use a power vent fan as this will suck your a/c out ofyour conditioned spaces.

David Sturm

Attention to Detail Home Remodeling

Roswell, GA


Answered 9 years ago by Davidshammer


First I am not at all a fan of spray foam within the rafters of a roof. There are many reasons for this.

Ridge vent would work great IF you have adequate ridge line, close your gables and have some form of intake in your soffit/overhang. Ridge vent will not work without equal or greater intake ventilation.

Gables work just fine assuming they are of adequate size and with a wind, consider the installation of a gable fan or a solar powered gable fan to create that wind.

There really are no size fits all attic ventilation solutions. I encourage you to check out which has a good section for consumers.

I have never heard of gutter guards voiding a shingle warranty unless they are in some manner screwed through the shingles. But gutter guards are a topic for a whole other conversation as to if they work or not. The answer is sometimes yes, other times no.

Also what are you doing getting 6 estimates?!!


Answered 9 years ago by ReliableAmericanRoof

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