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Old 06-20-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
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Old home - Ridge vs Hat+Gables?


Having finally insulated our walls and air sealed + insulated our attic, I'm looking to move on to airflow. At about 800sqft, we've got a total of 3 gable vents (~6sqft/each). One has a fan blowing air out (I think it's set for ~120-F). There have been no problems that I've seen with mold or leaking in the roof. Obviously, It's hot up there, and it's hot in the home (~90 degree weather lately). But I want to make sure that ventilation is more than adequate to ensure the longevity of our shingles. Looking around the block, I see many of our neighbors have either installed ridge vents, mushrooms, hats, or combinations.

SO! The question becomes this: spend ~$700 to install 6-8 hat vents -OR- pay ~$1500 to get the gable vents sealed, the ridge vents installed, and soffit ventilation installed.

Are ridge vents truly superior? I can see the advantage in design, but will hat vents + gables accomplish the same thing?

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Old 06-20-2012, 03:17 PM   #2
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Old home - Ridge vs Hat+Gables?


You need an intake and an exhaust. Soffits would be your intake, and the ridge vent your exhaust. These combined provide an even and continuous path for ventilation. Gable and gravity vents ('hat' vents as you call them) work as exhaust also, but aren't as continuous, are another place for leakage, and in my opinion don't look very good. Gravity vents cannot be used for intake and anyone who installs them as such did not read the instructions.

Yes ridge vents are superior, yes gravity+gable vents accomplish almost the same thing. Neither will work without soffit venting.

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Old 06-20-2012, 03:24 PM   #3
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Old home - Ridge vs Hat+Gables?


Thanks shaza.

Yep, I realize that we'll need soffit intake for the ridge exhaust. And because we have old open-tail, closed up soffits, it ends up costing quite a bit more than adding hat vents.

I realize mushroom/hat vents are all venues of exhaust. But don't they provide a way for the radiant heat that builds up in the attic to exhaust? I'm simply wondering if they are just as effective, or if we'll notice any difference (in the lives of our shingles).

I realize adding more holes in the roof equates to more risk of water intrusion as well. But it seems like ridge vents also get their fair share of leaks as well.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:32 PM   #4
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Old home - Ridge vs Hat+Gables?


Well I feel I've probably asked a stupid questions.
Add more exhaust without intake? Or install more intake and upgrade the exhaust?

I think I'll probably be getting the ridge vents installed along with the custom soffit intakes. Not exactly cheap, but better safe than sorry I suppose. Although I'm a little stunned that only 1 year labor warranties are being offered? It seems odd that something as important and prone to leaking would only be covered for one year.

I'm caught between choosing between ShingleVentII, and Snow&Country. From what I've gathered the two both have their supporters, but I'm leaning towards the ShingleVentII's.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:47 AM   #5
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Old home - Ridge vs Hat+Gables?


Ideal ventilation is a balanced combination of soffit and ridge venting as you suspect.

Shingle Vent II is just as good as any other one out there.
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