How to Install a Roof Vent

Roof vents are devices that allow the moisture in a house to escape, which prevents the growth of mold and mildew. Roof vents also help to keep wood rot, which is a form of fungal decay, from developing in the house. Roof vents are made of plastic or metal, and are also known as turbine vents. You can buy the materials needed to install a roof vent at a home improvement or hardware store. Use these tips to install a roof vent.


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    Determine the number of roof vents. Measure the square feet of your attic floor. For each section of 150 square feet (14 m2), you should install a roof vent that measures 1 square foot (.1 m2). If the floor of your attic is 450 square feet (41.8 m2), you will need 3 1-square-foot (.1 m2) roof vents.
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    Decide where to place the roof vents.
    • Hammer a nail into the ceiling of the attic where you would like to install the roof vent. Hammer the nail from the inside of the attic. When you go onto the outside of the roof, you will see the nail sticking out of the roof.
    • Space the roof vents evenly.
    • Position the roof vents at least 2 feet (.6 m) below the ridge of the roof.
    • Ensure that there are no electrical wires or cables where you want to install your roof vent.
    • Avoid placing a roof vent over a rafter.
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    Mark the location of the roof vent on the roof. Use a pencil to mark the dimensions of the roof vent. Use the nail poking up from the roof as the center point from which to measure.
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    Remove the shingles.
    • Take off the shingles that lie where the roof vent will go. Cut off the loose part of the shingles with a utility knife.
    • Pull the nailed portion of the shingles off with a pry bar.
    • Use a pry bar to pull any remaining nails out of the area where you will install the roof vent.
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    Make the hole for the roof vent. Use a reciprocating saw to cut away the area that you have marked and freed of shingles. The hole should be the same size as the aperture in the roof vent that you will use.
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    Loosen the surrounding shingles. Draw up the sides and tops of the shingles that lie around the cut hole.
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    Apply caulk. Place caulk onto the roof vent's flange. The flange extends outward from the bottom of the roof vent. The flange provides a surface with which to attach the vent to the roof, and also helps to prevent leaks between the vent and the surface of the roof.
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    Insert the flange.
    • Slip the back and side parts of the roof vent's flange beneath the loosened shingles.
    • Allow the front part of the flange to lie over the shingles.
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    Secure the roof vent.
    • Use a hammer and nails to secure the roof vent's flange to the roof.
    • Place caulk on and around the nails.
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    Secure the shingles.
    • Apply roofing cement to the underside of the detached shingles. Apply the roofing cement only to the shingles covering the back and sides of the roof vent's flange.
    • Press the back and side shingles onto the roof vent flange. Do not apply so much pressure that you bend or dent the flange.
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    Install the remaining roof vents. Repeat the process for the rest of the roof vents that you want to install.
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    Clean the roof.
    • Use a broom to brush any dirt or leftover materials off of the roof.
    • Dispose of any leftover materials.


  • Wear safety goggles, work gloves and a dust mask when installing roof vents.


  • Do not install roof vents in rainy, icy or inclement weather.

Things You'll Need

  • Roof vent
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Roofing shingles
  • Caulk
  • Hammer
  • Roofing nails
  • Roofing cement
  • Broom

Article Info

Categories: Exterior Walls and Roof