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Old 08-24-2011, 11:47 PM   #1
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very difficult house to vent roof help please


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My house is in RI and the house was built in 1910. I am about to put on a new roof and need advice re venting. Right now there are only 2 small gable vents in the attic. There is a small crawl space attic at the top. Below that on the finished third floor there are insulated slanting ceilings right under the existing roof decking. The existing roof decking has spaces between the old boards--original roof was shakes or slate. The house has decorative exposed rafter tails, no soffits at all, an eyebrow dormer on the front main roof, and a small regular dormer on the back of the main roof. My gutters are wooden and sit directly on the decorative rafter tails. Roofers tell me they must put on new 1/2" plywood decking on top of the old decking, then the new 30-year architectural asphalt shingles.
A local architect and friends tell me to just go ahead have the old roof ripped off, new decking nailed on, then the new shingles, and perhaps add a ridge vent on top. They think there is enough leaking of air in this old house, walls not insulated, 43 old windows, that the house is already venting. I do not have a mold or moisture problem now. I do have ice dams, with water coming in one room on 2nd floor where the roof edge meets the vertical wall of the house. On the other hand some roofers tell me I must add ventilation because with the new solid decking and rockwool insulation right between the roof and 3rd floor slanting ceilings, it will be more tight and bring mold and shorten the life of the shingles. I can't put baffles in because of the way the way the house is made--lots of blocked off areas that are not accessible on third floor. I looked into spray foam but it will not work either here. The roofer I am now probably going to hire brought out a Certainteed rep who suggested I put 3/4 inch furring strips over the old decking and then put the new decking on top of the furring strips creating a cold roof, with a ridge vent added at top and some venting for intake. The roofer planned to use Air Vent's ventilated drip edge to create space for the intake. I just received samples of both this Air Vent ventilated drip edge and a The Edge vent. I am leaning toward using the furring strip spacing approach but I don't like any of the intake methods. I am concerned the vent drip edge won't fit right and won't work right with my wooden gutters. I am not liking the Edge vent or Smart vent much from what I've read on the web. I am in a Historic District carefully controlled by a HD Commission. I would love to get some help with this complicated issue of how to vent the new roof. I am atttaching a few photos. Also the roofer wants to use an open valley flashing where the eyebrow dormer meets the main roof on the front--does that make sense? Feel welcome to suggest new paint colors
Marlowe

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Old 08-25-2011, 01:29 AM   #2
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very difficult house to vent roof help please


How about this past comment for the Smart Vent.

Seems similar, but notice the approvals on the website, even against ice damming.

"the edge" edge vents

Now, they seem similar, so perhaps Ed the Roofer is still around to explain what exactly is different that he sees one better than the other.

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Old 08-25-2011, 08:15 AM   #3
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very difficult house to vent roof help please


The furring strip idea is definitely good. On the current roof deck, is there room between the box gutters and the wall to cut out a strip of the current deck to use as your intake?
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:28 AM   #4
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very difficult house to vent roof help please


I like the idea of the continious ridge vent,combined with eave block vents in each rafter bay.to add the eave block venting requires an angle drill w/6" long bit(1 1/2")and a scaffold set up.than a screen face frame over the new holes.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:54 AM   #5
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very difficult house to vent roof help please


That is a tough call, but the factory rep had the best idea. basically raising the roof via furring strips and using a foil back deck, you can fade much of the heat from the roof. However, this doesn't address the mold issue in the attic. You may need to cut into the siding on either side of the chimney and place gable vents to increase flow.
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:25 PM   #6
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very difficult house to vent roof help please


Sorry to be late replying. Thank you for your ideas. I have done more research. I conclude that this 1914 house cannot be properly vented. Given the structure of the wooden gutters and area around them, I don't have any place to add vents, or to put on the furring strips to create an air space. The furring strips would mean the water wouldn't flow into the gutters, and the plan to use 3/4 inch furring strips would not add enough air intake. Plus the AIRVENT ventilated drip edge would not fit. The only thing I can do is enlarge the gable vents and add a fan on one end to help the attic at the very top of the roof. I'm debating whether or not to add a ridge vent. I am leaning against the idea, because I cannot create intake air, and it seems a ridge vent would only disrupt the gable vent flow. I cannot add additional gable vents lower because there is no through-space across the interior of the house below the attic itself. I haven't finalized the contract yet but hope to do so shortly. It is almost a 20k job and I hate to go ahead without proper venting, but I must replace the roof. The house is not at all tight--there are lots of air leaks, and I haven't had a problem yet with mold or premature shingle failure. I'm hoping that adding the 1/2 cdx fir roof decking and new shingles will not make things worse. The old shingles will be stripped off. The old roof boards (with spaces between them) will stay, and the new decking will be nailed to the old roof boards. I plan to put ice and water shield everywhere. If anyone has any more thoughts on all this please reply! thanks!
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:53 PM   #7
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very difficult house to vent roof help please


Install the DCI Smartvent. Problem solved.
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:57 AM   #8
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very difficult house to vent roof help please


Hi,
I have rockwool insulation directly under the roof and directly above slanting third floor ceilings. There is no way to get an air flow from top to bottom even with a smart vent. I've looked into adding baffles, removing all the ceilings, or putting in icynene foam, or furring strips to raise the new roof, but none of those will work on this house. It is only in the small attic area above the third floor that the area below the roof boards is open.
I hope my description is clear enough...thanks very much for your help.

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