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How to Replace a Roof Vent

Roof ventilation manages temperature differences between the inside and outside of your home. A roof without adequate ventilation will leave your home vulnerable to condensation and mold growth. Roof venting starts with a vent to create an inflow of air at the bottom of the roof. Higher up the roof, you need exhaust vents to allow air to exit. The directions below for how to replace a roof vent address both locations.

How to Replace a Roof Vent Steps

  1. If your home did not have sufficient soffit vents to begin with, you’ll need to cut new venting locations.
  2. Enter your attic and find places between rafters along the soffit that are clear of wiring.
    1. Move aside insulation as necessary.
    2. Drill a hole in the center of where you’ll cut a rectangle to receive a vent.
  3. With a straight edge and pencil, mark a rectangle the size needed for your new vent on the soffit outside.
  4. Drill holes in the rectangle’s corners.
  5. Position a jigsaw blade in a corner hole and start cutting the rectangle.
  6. Cover hole with window screen to block entry of rodents.
  7. Fit the new vent into the hole and secure with wood screws, starting at the corners.
  8. Repeat soffit vent installation approximately every 4 feet.
  9. Go up on the roof and remove old exhaust vents or cut holes for new ones.
  10. If cutting a new hole, enter the attic and send a nail up through the roof to mark the cutting location.
  11. With a claw hammer and utility knife clear away and trim shingles as necessary to expose the work area.
  12. Outline a circle or rectangle the size needed for the new vent.
  13. Cut opening with a circular or reciprocating saw without damaging rafters.
  14. Apply caulk or roofing tar around hole and press vent into position.
  15. Secure vent flange with nails.
  16. Cut shingles as needed with a utility knife to fit them around the vent.
  17. Glue shingles in place over and around vent flange and then nail them.

Tools & Materials

If you don't own every power tool on this list, they might be available to rent from a local home store.
  • Ladder
  • Safety glasses
  • Power drill
  • Straight edge
  • Drill and screwdriver bits
  • Jigsaw
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Circular saw
  • Utility knife
  • Caulking gun
  • Claw hammer

Get a Quote for Professional Installation

The expert roofers at PJ Fitzpatrick can evaluate your roof ventilation needs and complete repairs or upgrades quickly. The convenience of professional service could compare well to doing it yourself. Ask us for an estimate today.

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