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  1. #1
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    Ridge & Gable & Soffit vents

    Hello,
    I have a 1950 Cape style home in Boston. It only has soffit vents on one side of the pitched roof and has a gable vent on each end. I had a new roof put in 3 years ago and they added a ridge vent. I then had an insulation audit and they sealed and blew in insulation over the existing insulation in the attic. (They also blocked the soffit vents with insulation.)

    - What should I do??

    1) Leave it alone
    2) Unblock the insulation blocking the soffit vents (again there are only soffit vents on one side of the house (pitched roof).
    3) Block the Gable vents (but what happens when snow covers my ridge vents all winter). It is extremely difficult to get into the attic, can I cover the gable vents with plastic on the outside.

    Most importantly I have a newborn and want to make certain the air quality is good. As well as extend the life of my asphalt shingles.

    Thanks Very Much! Jake

  2. #2
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    Jul 2004
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    Saint Regis Falls, NY, USA.
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    who blocked the soffit vents? Any weatherization company should know a roof's got to breathe. when they installed the ridge vent, did the contractor saw an open space along the ridge pole or just nail the ridge vent over the ridge? if the vent was just nailed along the ridge pole it is essentially useless.

  3. #3
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    Not positive. They used a saw and cut right at the peak from one end of the house to the other side. The soffit vents are only on one side of the house. The other side does not have them. My guess is with the soffits blocked that the gable vents are now the intake of air and the ridge vents along the peak of the roof are the exhaust.

  4. #4
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    not so heat rises. how's the air gonna get into the house? gable vents are at the juncture of the ridge beam and the rafters. get some soffit material and install it on the side where there isn't any. another thing, beneath the roof insulation there should be a 2 inch space that goes from the soffit to the ridge vent. this space carries the hot air to the ridge vent where it is exhausted into the atmosphere. you are trying to create an upward flowing air flow.

  5. #5
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    Yes there should always be Durovents (or the like) installed between the roof deck and insulation down at the soffit end, this stops the insulation from blocking airflow from soffit vent into the attic space and out the ridge vents. Durovents are cheap at less than a couple of bucks a piece install very easily and forever solve the issue.

    The gable vent verses the soffit vent is often argued over, in reality correct soffit vents and a ridge vent is the absolute best for attic ventilation, this brings fresh air in low and exits it out high creating a good constant cycle, gable vents are close to the ridge vent this creates air movement from high in the attic to high in the attic, leaving moisture trapped low.

    If it were me I'd do like previously mentioned and install soffit vents on the side that has none, this can be as easy as cutting holes in the existing soffit and installing square or rectangle vents (available at lowes/HD etc...for a couple of bucks each) and install durovents inside the attic to keep the airway open between insulation and roof deck.

    Ideally what your looking for is 1 square foot of entrance air for every 150 square feet of attic space. Obviously you need the same (or more) exit area.
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
    Every day is a learning day.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the information. For right now I am going to leave the soffit vents blocked and go with the Gable & Ridge vents. In the early winter (when moisture/mold is more of a concern) I will check the gable & ridge vents for flow of air and if it's warm...I will also check when the ridge vents are covered for snow.
    - Thanks again!!

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