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How To Install A Turbine Roof Vent

If your house stays too hot in the summer, consider installing a turbine roof vent. Hot air rises, and it often gets trapped in the attic, and a turbine vent, or whirlybird, helps release the air. Air that stays trapped in the attic increases moisture, which makes the area a breeding ground for mold. Here are some tips to install a roof turbine vent.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • rubber
  • sole shoes
  • tool belt
  • extension ladder
  • tape measure
  • felt-tip marker
  • hammer  
  • utility knife
  • drill
  • sheet metal screws
  • tar paper or roof sealant
  • reciprocating saw
  • turbine vent kit

Choose an optimal location for the turbine vent, which is commonly the back side of the roof not visible to traffic. Measure the attic floor in sq ft, and allow one square foot vent per 150 ft of floor space. For example, if your attic floor measures 600 sq ft, you need four roof vents.

Cut the Holes

Hold the neck of the turbine against the underside of the roof, and trace the edges of the vent with the marker. Drilling the hole on the underside of the roof helps you avoid cutting into rafters.

Use the tape measure to find the middle of the shape. Wearing safety glasses and work gloves, drill the hole in the center working through felt and tiles. Repeat for the remaining turbine vents.

Install the Turbine Vent

Place your equipment in the tool belt, and if possible, access the roof through a window. Otherwise, set an extension ladder on even ground. If the ground is not level, place plywood under it to make it even, or get someone to hold it for you. Wear rubber sole shoes to walk on roofs for better traction.

Set the turbine vent in the center of the hole you drilled, and use the utility knife to cut the hole. Remove shingles, felt, and roofing nails in the hole with a hammer until you reach decking. Cut the decking with the reciprocating saw.

Attach the base boot to the turbine base, insert the vent in the hole, then secure it with sheet metal screws. If your turbine vent doesn't have a base boot, apply roof sealant or tar paper to seal seams. Replace felt, and the shingles trimming them to fit around the turbine vent.

Installing a turbine roof vent helps your air conditioner work more efficiently. Working on roofs requires following safety procedures. If you have a steep roof, or you don't trust your skill, hire a professional roofer like D.S. Bahr Construction, Inc.