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Installing Gable Vents


Installing Gable Vents Keeps the Heat out of the Attic in Summer and the Moist Air out in the Winter


By Mark J. Donovan


Installing Gable vents are a great alternative, or an addition, to your home’s ventilation system. Gable vents typically reside near the peak of your roof, on the gable ends of the house. Frequently gable vents are used as the sole means for keeping the air moving in your attic, however sometimes they are used in conjunction with ridge vents and soffits vents.


It is important that your home’s attic have a venting system to help bleed off the heat and humidity in the attic during the summer months, and moist stagnant air during the winter months. The heat of the summer, if left in the attic, will counterbalance the effort of the air conditioning system on the upper level, and can cause structural damage to the home.


Installing Gable vents can be just the Solution

If the attic heat is not removed, the life of the roof shingles can be dramatically shortened, which could lead to roof leaks and water damage to the home. Also, anything stored in the attic can become damaged due to the excessive heat build up.

If the stagnant moist air is not taken out of the attic during the winter months, condensation can form in the attic. This condensation can then cause mold and mildew to grow in the attic. The formation of mold and mildew in the home can cause health problems for the occupants and can be extremely expensive to remove.


Installing Gable Vents - Types

Installing gable vents are a great alternative to ridge vents, as they can add some charm to the home. Gable vents are passive venting systems that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Rectangular and octagon shaped ones are fairly common. Gable vents are constructed out of wood, vinyl or metal and have slats or louvers on them to help prevent wind, rain and snow from entering the attic. In addition, they typically have an insect screen on the back side of them (the side that faces the attic) to prevent insects, bats and other rodents from entering the attic space.


Some of the more elaborate models have fans that sit on the backside of them to help push the attic air out of the home, and to draw new air into it. For example, one side of the home may have a gable vent that sucks new air into the attic, and the other side, a gable vent to push air out of the attic.


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Installing Gable Vents


Installing gable vents is preferably done when the house is being framed. However, installing gable vents on an existing home can also be done. It just involves a little more work. To install gable vents in an existing home, you will need to build a 2x4 / 2x6 frame structure for it into the existing gable end of the house. You then will need to cut out the home siding and sheathing to slide the gable vent into the framed in opening. After installing the gable vent you will have a little work in re-attaching siding to the home and installing flashing and caulking around the gable vent.


For help on Attic Conversion and Attic Renovation Projects, see HomeAdditionPlus.com's Attic Conversion Bid sheet. The Attic Conversion Bid sheet will help to ensure that you hire the right contractor so that your attic conversion project is built correctly, on time and budget.


How to Finance your Attic Project -  can help provide funds for your new home improvement project if financing is required.

Related Attic Information








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