How to Replace Gable Vents

What You'll Need
Gable vents
Screw driver set
Utility knife
Staples and stapler
Tape measure
Acrylic caulk and caulk gun

When gable vents are not operating properly, the quality of air in the attic might become compromised. It is therefore necessary to inspect the vents regularly and make changes if they are damaged or worn out. Gable vents improve ventilation but they are not the most ideal solution as they do not offer even airflow across the attic. However, this can be corrected by installing at least two devices with a power fan behind them.

Damaged or spoiled gable vents are easy to replace using the following steps.

Step 1 – Prepare Materials

It is recommended to install copolymer gable vents as they offer the greatest durability. Also known for their visual appeal, copolymer is available in a wide range of colors, designs, sizes and shapes. Make sure that the new gable vent is an exact fit for the available space.

Step 2 – Remove Old Gable Vent

Use a chisel and rubber mallet to remove caulk from the vent’s mounting flange. Use a nail puller to remove nails from the flange. A screwdriver can be used to loosen and remove screws from the flange.

Carefully lift the frame vent from the mounting surface and place it on a safe area. Use a screw driver or chisel to remove staples from the building paper. Remove all traces of caulk as well from the surface.

Step 3 – Prepare Mounting Surface

Use a stiff brush to remove particles, pieces of building paper and other debris from the surface. Sweep it thoroughly until it is clean. Inspect the surface and make repairs on cracks or gaps. Prepare caulk and apply on the surface to even and smooth the imperfections, give it time to dry.

Step 4 – Install Vent Framing

Depending on the size of the vent, install a rough frame between gable end studs and fasten it using 16-pen nails. The frame should be square and provide a vent clearance at least 1/8 inch on all sides

To be able to locate corners of the rough opening from outside the house, drill 3/8 inch holes through the sheathing and the sliding.

Step 5 – Cut Rough Opening

Outline the rough opening by connecting the holes and cut it out using a saw. Plumb and shim the vent, use nails to secure it to the rough opening.

To keep out moisture from getting in, align flashing around the opening. It is advisable to use building paper, layering the pieces carefully and making sure that the upper pieces overlap those beneath by at least 2 inches.

Use staples to secure the building paper on the surface, carefully fold excess paper that overlaps the opening.

Step 6 – Mount Gable Vent

Before mounting the vent, install the metal cap flashing up under both the siding and the new paper. This should be done at the top of the opening. Apply caulk on the mounting surface and install the vent. Push it in and make sure the entire vents sits in comfortably, use a plumb to make sure it is level.

Secure it in place using nails or screws and insure that it is fastened correctly.