Gable Vent Installation Mistakes to Avoid

A white gable vent on a brick house.

A gable vent provides efficient ventilation in the attic, letting out heat and humidity during summer and moist air during winter. If left unventilated, heat may cause structural damage in the attic with time. Moist air on the other hand, will cause the formation of mold and mildew, which is a great health risk for the occupants of your home.

Installing a gable vent is a simple procedure that you can carry out by yourself. However, you need to ensure that you avoid certain mistakes that will compromise the effectiveness of your attic ventilation. Here are the main mistakes you'll want to avoid.

Assuming the Size of Gable Vent Needed

The gable vent you purchase should be sufficient for the size of your attic. It is a big mistake to assume that just any gable vent will work for your attic. The area of the vent is specified on the packaging as the “net free area.” The gable vent should provide 1 square inch of outlet and inlet area for every square foot of the attic.

At the same time, getting a vent that is too large for the attic is a mistake. A large vent will draw all hot air from the rest of the house and bring it up into the attic. The vent will then blow the air back into the home and leave the attic and the entire home hotter as opposed to cooling it off.

Purchasing a Substandard Vent

Purchasing a cheap, poor quality vent is another huge mistake. Such a gable vent will eventually cost you in repairs, as it will not perform as required. A bad vent will not control heat, humidity, and moist air effectively and could lead to structural damage of the attic.

Gable vents are made from a variety of materials that include metal, wood, and vinyl. All of these materials have different properties. To decide which one works for you, consider durability and appeal.

Using Improper Tools and Materials

Though installing a gable vent is relatively easy, it is a big mistake not to use the proper tools and materials to mount it. Another big mistake is to lack adequate insulation or intake ventilation before you install it.

Combining Exhaust Vents

Deciding to combine a gable vent with a different type of exhaust vent is another mistake you should avoid. When you install 2 exhaust vents in the attic, they draw air from each other, as opposed to drawing air from the intake vents. As a result, the attic ventilation will not be effective in cooling the area.

At the same time, you need to create a balance between the exhaust vents and the intake vents. To achieve proper ventilation in the attic, you must have enough intake vents to allow sufficient flow of air.