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Roof Vents: Ridge Vents vs. Fan or Turbine Vents

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Kenny in South Carolina has got a leaky roof. What can we do for you?

    KENNY: I’ve got a problem with the twirly-bird fans that sit on top of the roof.

    TOM: The twirly-bird fans.

    KENNY: And they seem to be leaking when either one of two things; either we have no wind whatsoever – which is almost never –

    TOM and LESLIE: OK.

    KENNY: – or when we have a really, really, really hard rain.

    TOM: OK. Is it your sense that the rain is blowing through the fan or is it a leak where the fan attaches to the roof?

    KENNY: It’s blowing through the fan.

    TOM: Through the fan. OK. Well, first of all, those spinny, fan types of vent devices don’t really work that well as a venting strategy. You’re almost better off not having them …

    KENNY: Wow. (Leslie chuckles)

    TOM: … and, instead, having something called a ridge-and-soffit-vent system, where the peak of the roof essentially becomes the vent.

    KENNY: Right.

    TOM: Those vents are just not that efficient at really doing what they’re supposed to do, which is to carry heat out of the roof in the summer and moisture out of the roof in the winter.

    LESLIE: Wait, and won’t those turbine vents not even work unless you have a soffit vent as well?

    TOM: Right, because they have to pull air from somewhere; otherwise they’re just going to exhaust in between themselves, so to speak, from one to the next. So if they’re giving you a hard time, I would suggest that you think about replacing them and go with either a plain square roof vent or, better yet, with a ridge vent.

    KENNY: Thanks, Tom; thanks, Leslie. I really appreciate this.

    TOM: You’ve very, very welcome, Kenny.

    LESLIE: Our pleasure.

    TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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