Flat Roof Ventilation Dos and Don'ts

When you are dealing with a flat roof versus a slanted roof, you are dealing with different types of roof vents as well. A flat roof vent needs to allow the air out for ventilation purposes while leaving the rain out. There are vents designed especially for flat roofing projects as opposed to those with openings on the slant for ventilation and drainage on slanted roof vents. There are certain techniques that you will use on some vents while others are a complete no-no. This article should help you to determine a few of each.

Flat Roof Vent Types

Choosing the correct type of vent is defiantly a do rather than a don’t. Some of the most popular types of flat roof vents are turbine vents and mushroom vents. The turbine vent is a vent that looks like an odd shaped ball of metal with slashes that are angled. When the breeze catches these metal slash like surfaces it treats it like a windmill and starts to turn the vent top. This can help to bring fresh air into a facility as well as let bad air escape. A mushroom vent is pretty simple, it is basically a tubular structure with a top on it that is larger than the base, forming a mushroom type look. Turbine vents are not decorative at all, but you can find some mushroom vents that are very decorative to match existing structure. Make certain that when you are choosing your vent that you verify that it is for a flat roof design and not a slanted roof.

Installation Methods

Some installers and manufacturers prefer to use flashing with all vents. Some styles do not call for it and in many flat roof designs they are not called for at all. It is recommended that you check with the manufacturer for the particular vent that you choose to see if flashing is recommended. In many cases you will find that you use a roofing tar as well as a roof caulking that allows for flexibility when the pipe might move a bit back and forth.

Roof Shingles

If you are installing a vent on a roof that has shingles, make sure to replace the shingles in a manner that will not force any water back towards the vent. Do not add shingles to a flat roof that previously had rocks or just a tar surface. The design of the roof might be compromised, contact a roofing engineer before you change a major function of the roof like that.

When you have a flat roof and are checking out the existing venting system or if you are getting ready to add more vents to your home or attic, you will want to be sure of what is required. Many people accidentally install a slanted roof vent and over time (or right away) you can end up with a leak that leads into the attic or into the area that the vent leads to. The best do versus don’t that can be given is to choose the correct vent and follow the instructions for that vent.