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Old 08-14-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
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A question on the right way to ventilate


I am the president of a condo association and I would like to have a ridge vent installed in the attics, here are the specifics:

The building is 50 years old, it is stick framed with 2 main floors, basements/crawlspaces underneath and attics above. The attics are typical, like a normal house except the gable ends are cinderblock firewalls instead of exterior walls. The attics have ventilation in the soffits and a couple of passive vents in the roof. The passive vents only have a 6" X 6" hole cut in the plywood, it is very small and I can't imagine that much air flows thru them. They are only halfway up the roof so the hot air probably puddles up above them.

The attics get extremely hot, they feel hotter than most of the other attics I have been in (I'm an electrician, I spend a lot of time in people's attics). We had a new roof put on about 4 years ago, but I wasn't on the board of directors yet so I didn't get a chance to recommend a ridge vent be installed at that time. During certain times of the day I can see the roofing shingles sort of lift up a bit and become wavy. I also don't like having so much heat build up in the attic because I believe it is making the second floor units hotter in the Summer, even with the insulation in the floor.

I would like to have a ridge vent installed across the entire roof now. I was wondering if I should have the existing passive vents sealed off, I don't want them to negatively effect the flow from the soffit vents to the new ridge vent.

What do you think? Is there anything else I should be worried about?

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Old 08-14-2012, 12:17 PM   #2
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A question on the right way to ventilate


Your right ridge vents would work best.
Are you 100% sure those other vents are not connected to bathroom fans or something else? Just look and see if anything connected to them.

Get rid of them if there just air vents, there in the wrong area if there real air vents.
You also need vented soffits of the ridge will not be very effective.

If there is what looks like vent soffits make 100% sure not just for looks and really are open to the attic.
Also make sure there not covered up with insulation.
Speaking of which has the attic ever been air sealed, and how much is up there?

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Old 08-14-2012, 12:34 PM   #3
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A question on the right way to ventilate


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Your right ridge vents would work best.
Are you 100% sure those other vents are not connected to bathroom fans or something else? Just look and see if anything connected to them.
Yes sir, they are not connected. Currently there are only 2 units in the building that have bathroom exhaust fans, they are ventilated to the attic. I don't really like this and after the ridge vent is installed I would like to force the owners to have the bathroom exhausts ventilated outside thru the existing roof vent, if that's ok. I was going to ask that question next. The reason why I say "force" the owners is because the attic is a common area, not owned by the unit owner, and the association would be responsible for any mold or damage due to moisture accumulation. Both fans were added by the owners without association permission, I have no problem with that as long as they are ventilated outside.
Quote:
Get rid of them if there just air vents, there in the wrong area if there real air vents.
You also need vented soffits of the ridge will not be very effective.
If there is what looks like vent soffits make 100% sure not just for looks and really are open to the attic.
Also make sure there not covered up with insulation.
The soffits are vented. The soffits have panels that are about 6" wide and every 3rd panel is perforated with vent holes. From the attic you can see the light coming in from the holes, there is a rim joist around the attic that the rafters sit on, so the insulation won't fall into the soffit and bloc the vents. It seems like everything else is setup well except for the lack of a ridge vent.

Quote:
Speaking of which has the attic ever been air sealed, and how much is up there?
I air sealed my own attic and added an additional layer of insulation. There was 3.5" of paper faced batts up there, I added another 3.5" layer of fiberglass on top which brought the height up to the top of the 2X8" joists. I then put a 3/4" plywood floor on top. The insulation may not be as good as recommended today, but I believe it's enough since the results diminish rapidly after R25 or so. If anything, the units are too hot in the Winter while we have a relatively low gas bill. My main concern is ventilating the attic because of the Summer heat.
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