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Old 12-06-2007, 10:35 AM   #1
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Fixing Attic Ventilation


Hey everyone,

I have a narrowline ranch (25x40) with a combo roof (Gable & Hip). Everything was fine until I have the roof replaced 3 years ago. I don't know why I didn't notice the condensation until this past weekend, but it's there along with black mold. The attics ventilation before the new roof was a power house gable fan, two turtle exhaust vents and some soffit vents. When I bought the home the roof looked fine, but when the new roof was put on (1 month after I bought it) all the sheathing on the north side of the roof was replace (the old sheathing was rotting).

The in addition to the new sheathing the roofer added a ridge vent. I had no idea about proper ventilation, so I thought that the added vent would help. (looks like a mesh type). I also had the house vinyl sided. The contractor said he was going to put more soffit vents in, but when I took down some of the vinyl soffit covering, I didn't see any in a 4 foot span.

Well now I'm getting this condesation/mold problem. From what I read, you should never have a gable vent and a ridge vent(or any other type of exhaust ventilation) together. I figured I can close up the gable vent from the inside (I don't use it anymore since I have central A/C) and add more soffit ventilation. Could anyone please help me out?

One last thing, the ridge vent is only 16 feet long. The roof ridge is ~28 feet.

Thanks!


Last edited by Nemeth27; 12-06-2007 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:51 PM   #2
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Fixing Attic Ventilation


Your roofing contractor and your soffit/siding contractor both short changed you, either by lack of knowledge or lack of doing what they knew needed to be done.

Remove all additional exhaust and gable vents and seal them tight. Remove that flimsy Cobra Vent, (Thats what it sounds like.), and install a complete ridge vent the entire length of the ridge. Use a ridge vent that has an external baffle and an internal filter such as Shingle Vent II or Cobra Snow Country. Have 100 % of your soffits redone with 100 % continuous intake ventilation.

If they did not do it already, remove the powered attiv ventilator.

Not enough intake or exhaust ventilation along with being short circuited.

Your home is a prime example of what others claim to be only a theory, but as you can clearly see, their are many negative consequences of mixing and short-changing ventilation for the attic area.

Ed

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Old 12-06-2007, 03:14 PM   #3
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Fixing Attic Ventilation


Thanks Ed,

Unfortunately, with all the vinyl capping I can't get a circular saw in there, so I think I just have to do it with a jigsaw on something else. (how big should I make the holes? (4x12?) Also, where can I find the Shingle vent II? I guess that moto if you want it done right, do it yourself is in the works!!!

One question, can I just seal off the turtle vents for the inside and leave them in? I rather not mess around with taking them off the roof and squeezing the shingles in.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemeth27 View Post
Thanks Ed,

Unfortunately, with all the vinyl capping I can't get a circular saw in there, so I think I just have to do it with a jigsaw on something else. (how big should I make the holes? (4x12?) Also, where can I find the Shingle vent II? I guess that moto if you want it done right, do it yourself is in the works!!!

One question, can I just seal off the turtle vents for the inside and leave them in? I rather not mess around with taking them off the roof and squeezing the shingles in.

Thanks again!
A small 5" cordless DeWalt circular saw may fit in. The wood cut out needs to be completely removed wherever the soffit panel vents are.

Yes, you can seal the turtle, (mushroom), vents from the interior.

Ed

Last edited by Ed the Roofer; 12-07-2007 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:10 PM   #5
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Fixing Attic Ventilation


Nemeth27, any chance you can take some pictures of the biology experiment you've got going on? As Ed mentioned, some people don't believe it's possible to experience what you have. This may be one case study that shows at least a few of the consequences of poor ventilation.

Having said that, it is also true that one can get away from having a vented roof under certain conditions. If there is adequate insulation, effective vapour barrier, and thorough sealing, one can have an un-vented but completely functional roof. But few know how to do this well enough for it to work.
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:09 AM   #6
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Fixing Attic Ventilation


Pgriz,

I agree that the unvented attic scenario is possible, but I think in terms of the crews that do new home constuction.

They are the lowest bidders and from reading through homeowners dissatisfaction forums, the problems run the full gamut of a lack of quality control.

These problems arise from the most basic tract builder rubber stamp type homes usually. You would think that the repetition would increase the quality control, yet that seems to be the opposite case. The more they do, the more corners get cut.

For the sealed and unvented scenario to work, their is NO room for any margin of error in the installation process.

Therefor, I find the acceptance of that method to be totally real worl environment unrealistic.

I have many photos from jobs I have done that show the severity of mold intrusion, from the kraft paper on the top of the insulation batts, to the rafter and other structural members to the soffit wood and the underside of the deck sheathing.

I have them posted in a very deeply introspective thread about ventilation on a site called Nachi.org if you would like to read through all of the posts. One guy strongly supports and provides significant documentation voicing the Pro's of the unventilated attic premise, named Brian McNeish.

Ed
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:41 AM   #7
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I'll post pictures over the weekend. Where can you purchase Shingle Vent II? Is it just through there website or is it sold in local stores?

thanks!
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:09 PM   #8
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See if you have a local roofing supply store in your area, or a nationally based one;

ABC Supply
Bradco Roofing Supply
Allied Building Materials
Shelter Distribution


Ed
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Old 12-08-2007, 07:20 AM   #9
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Hi Ed,

Went to the site but didn't find the thread. What was the thread number or title?

Thanks,

Paul
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:07 PM   #10
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Pgriz,

I will go there right now and copy the link for you. It is probably on the 2nd or 3rd page back in the exteriors sub-forum. A motherload of information and links are contained in there.

Ed

Here you go. It was all the way back on the 6th page in exteriors and contains 80 posts.
http://www.nachi.org/forum/showthread.php?t=19078
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:19 AM   #11
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Thanks for the info, Ed. That is an interesting discussion. I've spent the morning downloading the various references (and tangents) from the various sites. Some I already have seen, others are new. Havn't finished looking at it all, but it will probably take several days of careful reading to properly assimilate it. You have obviously spent some time thinking about the issues. I think you are right in pointing out there's a world of difference between theory and practice. Too many builders and contractors pay lip service to doing things right, but don't deliver.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:25 AM   #12
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Sorry about the thread hijack, but at least the link I posted earlier will provide just about every point of view I have ever heard and debated regarding ventilation, so I guess this conversation is still topical.

Pgriz,

Last year, I started to put together a voluminous resource link page, but I get detracted from the project when my old computer crashed in March. Now that winter is truly upon us here in Chicago, I can start putting the resources and links "Book" back together again.

I want to delve into every aspect of residential roofing questions and answers providing insight into both the pros and cons of every item I can think of, starting from the initial query from a consumer and how to go about making a determination on which contractors should be called to invite to provide a proposal and what types of questions should be asked to a proper esimating procewdure and what a descriptive proposal should include and the types of questions to be inquired about in the contractor/home owner interview process.

Then I wish to discuss every item and the various options available from step 1 to final job conclusion and what should be interpreted as a warranty item and what should be considered routine maintenance.

Whe I am putting together these items, I probably will be starting a new thread topic on various forums to broaden the perspective and acquire geographical differences in points of view.

Thanks for the compliment about the extensiveness of the understanding of reakity versus theory. You know, there is always a more proper method that someone will say that something can be done, but no one except for the individual doing the task at the time knows what obstacles were present at the time a decision needed to be made, as to why one method was chosen over another method, besides the substantial amount of either unknowledgeable or uncaring tradesmen supposedly providing the crafts.

Ed
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:53 PM   #13
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Fixing Attic Ventilation


So this weekend I took off the soffits in the front on the house. There was only a 1/2" hole in each bay. That's not even the worst part. On the side of the house where the mold and condesation are....not one soffit vent!!! Let's just say I was pretty pissed. Well now there is plenty of soffit venting! Now I need to fix the exhaust.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:54 AM   #14
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Could you still post the photos of the lack of ventilation at the soffits and the mold that was caused because of the minimal only mushroom vents.

Photos of what happens with a lack of ventilation would help other people who do not agree with the proper theory.

Ed
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:42 PM   #15
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sounds like you`re missing having the proper amount of insulation(r-30-38),when you have enough insulation,the heat doesn`t escape and condense on the bottom of the roof sheathing,all of the ventilation info is spot on but it should be done in conjunction w/proper insulation,and waterproofing,where you have mold,I would suggest spraying thoroughly w/spray nine which will kill most if not all of it,this is how I treat the old gable vents on my jobs

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