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graybeard48 04-22-2011 04:43 PM

Smart Vent or Edge Vent ?
I need to have some eaves ventilation installed with my new roof. Any opinions or ideas on whether to use Smart Vent by DCI or Edge Vent by Air Vent?

Ed the Roofer 04-22-2011 11:56 PM

I prefer the lower profile provided by the Smart Vent from DCI Procucts, versus the Edge Vent from Air Vent, along with the slot line being cut at the 6" to 7" above eave edge mark instead of the 5" to 6" point with the Edge Vent.

It has worked extremely well for me since 2001.


graybeard48 04-23-2011 09:42 AM

Thanks Ed.

I'm having trouble finding a roofer in this area ( Eastern Indiana) that has had much experience with either product.

I pretty much settled on having Lowes do the install. They gave me a quote using the Edge Vent as that is what they sell.
I asked if they would install the Smart Vent instead. The sales guy reluctantly said "Probably", but I'm concerned about them not honoring their warranty if anything goes wrong because of not using their specified product. Am also concerned about the contractor's lack of experience with installing either one.

While I'm rattling on here, let me pose another question, or two.
One area of my roof (about 20' by 20') with about 5 or 6 /12 pitch is over a small (second story) storage room (8' by 10') that cannot be insulated.

That is the area where I have the most problem with ice dams.
Do you think this would be a good place for eaves vents?

The ice and snow really piles up in the gutters and on the edge of the roof over this area. Since there is no insulation under this area, I know there will be melting above any opening for an eaves vent. I don't know if the water will flow into the vent openings.
Can I put mushroom vents down low on the roof for added ventilation?

Any alternatives?

This whole ventilation problem is getting complicated.

I appreciate any input.

mem 04-23-2011 11:32 AM

Why are you unable to insulate that area? That would probably be the most effective starting point to stopping the ice dams.

For more on attic ventilation check out the building science web site:

It's a wealth of information that should either clarify some issues or confuse you further.

graybeard48 04-23-2011 02:57 PM

It would involve some major renovations to insulate the storage room.
I did read the link you provided and it did clarify things.
Thanks for your post.

Ed the Roofer 04-23-2011 08:49 PM

Without having any insulation R-Value in that area, the heat loss and encapsulation of the same in that interior area must be tremendous, which would magnify the ice-damming effects on that roof area.

If that is in fact accurate, I would most definitely advise installing as much Eave Intake Ventilation and Ridge Exhaust Ventilation as possible over that area.


mem 04-24-2011 09:46 AM

Maximizing the attic ventilation above may help alleviate the ice dams but will also magnify the heat loss from below.

Depending on what you store in that area, perhaps the most economical solution to your ice dams would be to shut off the heat source to the storage area.

Got any pics? Sounds like you have a major problem and, as such, major renovations might be in order.

graybeard48 04-24-2011 04:56 PM

Just finished the Easter egg hunt (for the grandkids of course,) whew!

Anyway, thanks to both Ed and mem for taking the time to respond.

I don't have pics. The storage room is not heated, but is above a heated room, so the heat loss is not quite as bad as I had previously implied.

However, I think I'm going to bite the bullet and spend some money to insulate it.

I do have two more questions.

Can I place mushroom vents (3 or 4 across a 12" span) down low on the roof instead of using Edge or Smart Vent on the eaves? I'm having a ridge vent installed with the new roof.

Also, what do you think of fascia venting, the kind shown on the Smart Vent web site. This looks like it would be less suseptible to melting water from ice build up in the gutter finding its way back through the vent opening.


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