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Question DetailsAsked on 9/27/2017

how much should it cost to replace turtle roof vents

My roof is is great shape (10 yrs old) but the turtle vents weren't properly installed and I had major leaks during tropical storm Irma .

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If the vents are somewhat heavy duty - thicker aluminum or galvanized steel, usually you can take them out and reinstall without trouble. The very light-weight thin aluminum ones like some box stores and websites carry may tear or get deformed taking them out of the roof and need replacement - commonly about $50 (contractor billout rate) for cheaper, simple models or around $100-200 for powered ones - this for the vent itself (each). Ditto if grouted in place on a tile roof - commonly they are damaged in taking them out of the grout if it was done right.

Since you say the installation was the problem, just having a Roofer remove them and properly reinstall (which may in some cases mean a small number of shingles being replaced too) may be the answer. They would be removed (after pulling any nails through them, damaged shingles replaced (should be one to very few per installation on 10 year old asphalt shingle roof, almost certainly maybe a half dozen or so with wood shingles or shakes, commonly a tile or three per installation with tiles - more if epoxied down). Then the vent skirt plate is slipped back into proper place under the overlying shingles, with the bottom half of the skirt overlapping the lower shingles, nailed back in. This way water coming down from above run onto the top of the skirt, and off at the bottom and onto the top of the lower shingles. In heavy wind/hurricane and ice damming areas at least, a separate waterproof boot should be put around the roof penetration on top of the water barrier (felt or synthetic) to prevent any blow-in or backup of water UNDER the skirt or under the shingles from getting into the hole. Some types need asphaltic sealant/caulk to seal properly, most need zero caulking - though I put a bead of sealant down the two side edges as a dam to prevent runoff water from migrating laterally under the shingles - some installers prefer to fully seal the vent at the nearest shingle edges with fibrous asphaltic roof sealant.

Here is a diagram of a typical properly interlaced vent skirt in shingle roofing:

Cost for the repair commonly about $150-250 for the first one or two (normal minimum service call charge for roofers), then probably around $50 each for additional ones done on same trip on shingle roof - more like $75-100 each on tile roofs many times. This $ amount does NOT include the cost of replacement vents if needed.

The other thing you need to consider - if this is the first time the vents leaked, perhaps they were not installed wrong - turtle vents are not known for good performance in high speed wind blown rain up the roof as it splashes heavily underneath the dome and can be splashed up inside, and can also be blown in under the skirt and go down the hole in the sheathing - ditto to direct blow-in with driving windblown rain coming up or along the roof. Part of hurricane prep commonly includes wrapping and sealing off such vents, though that does not solve the blow-under issue. There are a couple of models of turtle and hood type vents designed to close and lock a damper to prevent blow-in - the hood type usually use a cam level type that locks down the sheet metal plate damper usually found in them, the turtle vents I have seen with it (I don't believe they are effective so have not seen a lot of them) has a twist handle that spun a slotted dome piece in under the main dome which blocked off the inlet slots. I don't know the cost offhand but probably about 25-50% more than the prices given above.

Also, if the first timeit leaked- standard installation involves nails under the shingles covering the top of the skirt,, but no more - but in tornado/hurricane and other very high wind areas, the skirt has to be nailed down alll around so the bottom part does not lift in the wind causing the entire hood to tilt up in the wind, letting a lot of water in underneath.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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