Commercial, Mixed-Use and Strata Roof Maintenance in Vancouver, B.C.

All You Need To Know About The 11 Types Of Roof Vents

All You Need To Know About The 11 Types Of Roof Vents

The roof vents are f you solely responsible for the ventilation of your roof’s attic. However, many homeowners do not know that there are different types of vents. If you wish to know more about roof vents this article may be the best place to start.

There are two types of vents; Intake and Exhaust. Each of these vents has several subtypes.

In this article, we will learn about these subtypes in great detail. Along with how the roof’s ventilation system really works. I have also answered some of the most common questions about roof vents and their ventilation process.

What Is Attic Ventilation And How Does It Work?

Attic Ventilation is the flow of air throughout the attic. If there is a constant flow of fresh air into the attic, we could say that the attic is well-ventilated. However, without external help attics are generally cold, condensed and musty.

Attic ventilation works in two parts, it typically involves two main processes – intake and exhaust.

There are intake vents that allow fresh air into the attic, while exhaust vents draw stale air out. This process creates a natural flow of air throughout the attic, maintaining the temperature of the home.

What Are The Two Main Types Of Roof Vents?

There are two main types of roof vents: Exhaust and Intake.

Intake Vents

Intake vents let fresh air into the attic. They do this by creating negative pressure in the attic, allowing outside air to flow freely into the attic.

Exhaust Vents

Exhaust vents provide an efficient route for air to escape from the attic. Exhaust vents ensure that moisture and heat do not get trapped in the attic, leading to mold and rot.

Types of Exhaust Vents

The type, size and position in which the exhaust vents are placed depend on the size of the attic. Below are the types of exhaust vents you should know about.

Ridge Vents.

Ridge vents are installed at the highest point of your roof. They usually sit at the peak or ridge and run through the entire span of the roof. This offers ample space for air to flow freely out of the attic.

The installation process of these vents is a bit complicated. So, it’s best to let the professionals do it.

Ridge vents are typically made from plastic or metal, making them durable and long-lasting.

Off Ridge Vents.

Although Off ridge vents and ridge vents may seem similar to many, they are in fact very different. The only similarity between them is their positioning which is extremely close to the crest of the roof.  These vents are much similar to box vents.

Off-ridge vents are often not the primary choice of vents. It is installed only if the roof has minimum ridges and no other type of vents can be installed.

The installation process is similar to that of the box vents, by cutting holes in the roof.

Off-ridge vents are made up of mostly metal or sometimes plastic. Before installing these vents remember to consult a roofing professional.

Hard-Wired Powered Attic Vents.

Hard-wired power vents are similar to fans that draw warm air from the attic by using electricity to power a motorized impeller or propeller.

Hard-wired powered vents are extremely effective in maintaining the temperature of the attic and in turn the entire house. However, the only trade-off is the high power consumption, which could make these vents a bit expensive.

If you have a solar-powered home this cost could be easily eliminated.

These vents are made up of metal and are quite durable.

Roof Turbines

Roof turbines are exhaust vents which rely on natural wind energy instead of electricity in order to function.

Roof turbines need a minimum of 5 to 6 per hour wind to work. This means these vents won’t function if there is a light breeze or no wind at all.

Which makes roof turbines unreliable exhaust vents as the hot air will not be sucked out of the attic.

Roof turbines are made up of metal.

Box Vents (Louver Vents)

Similar to off-ridge vents, box vents to are used when having a ridge vent installed is not possible.

Box vents, also known as louvre vents, are square in shape and have slatted sides with adjustable blades to allow for greater control over airflow. These adjustable blades can be opened or closed depending on the desired level of ventilation.

Only a single box vent is not enough to ventilate an average-sized roof. These vents need to be installed strategically in places that heat up the most.

These vents are one of the most common types of exhaust vents along with ridge vents.

Additionally, these vents help keep rainwater and debris out while allowing air to flow freely through them.

They are made up of metal to make them durable.

Cupola Vents.

Cupola Vents are probably one of the oldest vents out there. Initially, these vents worked as intake as well as exhaust vents. They were not designed for homes or factories, but rather for barns.

These vents are extremely rare nowadays as better exhaust vent options are available.

However, these vents are categorized under exhaust vents these days. They have sliding panels similar to box vents. Cupola vents not only ventilate the attic they also offer a path for natural light to enter the house.

These vents are made up of wood or metal. Property owners usually go for these vents if they want to add a unique element to the roof and increase the aesthetic appeal of the house.

Solar-powered attic Vents.

Solar-powered attic vents are a great substitute for Hard-Wired Powered Attic Vents, as they harness solar energy to function.

Their working is similar to that of Hard-Wired Powered Attic Vents. However, these vents do not work for all types of roofs as it’s tough to adjust the fan speed of these vents.

They are mostly made up of metal. It’s advisable to consult a roofing professional before installing these vents.

Types of Intake Vents.

Intake vents allow the inflow of air into the attic, there are several types of intake vents and all of them are explained in detail below.

Gable Vents.

Gable vents are an outdated type of roof intake vents as they heavily rely on the concept of cross ventilation. A gale vent is installed on each side of the roof. Originally these vents were designed to function as intake as well as exhaust vents. Therefore, the air may enter from one gable went and exit the attic from another.

These vents are not so practical nowadays but are still an available option. They are mostly made up of wood, vinyl or metal. They come in several sizes and shapes with the triangle being the most common one.

Soffit Vents.

Soffit vents are the most common and most effective type of intake vents. They are often clubbed with ridge vents to complete the attic ventilation.

These vents sit on the eaves of a roof, they are generally long allowing the maximum amount of air to enter the attic.

These vents are located in such a position that debris and dirt cannot enter the attic through them. These vents are installed in almost 50% of all the modern constructions built.

Soffit vents are made up of wood, metal and sometimes plastic too. They are durable and easy to clean and maintain. They come in many colors and textures.

Over Fascia Vents.

Over fascia vents or fascia, vents are a type of intake vents designed for houses with little to no eaves to fit the soffit vent.

This vent is installed right above the gutter to help water drain into the gutter more easily. These vents are placed in a position where the air hits the roof head-on. So, that fresh air can enter the vent easily.

These vents are generally combined with another type of intake vents as well to ventilate the attic effectively. As fascia vents alone are insufficient to ventilate an average-sized or a big attic.

Drip Edge Vents.

Drip edge vents are normal drip edges with built-in ventilation. They are designed to help the water drip directly into the gutter.

Their work is much similar to the fascia vents. They push the air taken in towards the exhaust vents.

The installation of these vents is complex and must be administered by a roofing professional. These vents are made up of mental.

What Is The Need For Intake And Exhaust Vents For My Attic?

Having ample ventilation in the attic is of paramount importance and can be achieved through the use of intake and exhaust vents. Having an effective air circulation system is crucial for any home, as it helps to regulate the temperature and maintain a healthy environment.


Should My Roof Have Vents?

Yes! Without, sufficient roof ventilation, your attic remains hot. This may damage and crack the shingles much before they should. Also, follow the current. Roof vents provide appropriate air movement, which decreases moisture buildup in attics.

What Happens If You Don’t Ventilate Your Roof?

Excess moisture and condensation can cause dampness, mold, and mildew. As well as structural damage, in the building. This is especially problematic in roof spaces, which is why effective roof ventilation is critical.

Does A Roof Space Need To Be Vented?

Yes! Without, sufficient ventilation, your roof space can become extremely hot (up to 70°C). Radiating heat down into your living quarters. This heat also reduces the efficiency of air conditioning, since it needs to work considerably more to pump cool air into and around your warmed-up rooms.

Are Roof Vents Good?

Roof vents are crucial because they help to extend the life of your roof, save money on energy, and prevent internal temperature extremes. They also protect your shingles and keep them from cracking.

Does A Roof Need To Breathe?

Yes! One of the most crucial aspects of constructing a roofing system is proper attic ventilation. While higher-quality shingles and other roofing components survive longer than cheaper alternatives, their life expectancy is reduced if the attic ventilation is inadequate. In short, your roof needs to breathe.

Does A Roof With No Attic Need Ventilation?

Yes! Despite the lack of a separate attic vent, air circulation is still required to prevent heat from accumulating between the underside of the roof deck and the inside drywall finish.

Do All Attics Need Vents?

Yes! Every 300 square feet of attic space requires at least one square foot of ventilation. That means the normal attic area-to-ventilation ratio is 300-to-1. Exhaust vents should account for half of your ventilation, while intake vents should account for the other half.

How Much Do Roof Vents Cost?

Roof vent installation typically costs between $300 and $550, including labour and materials. Rates vary depending on the type, size, and number of units installed and can range from $150 to $2,000.


Roof vents are an integral part of the roofing system. I hope this article had helped you understand the ventilation system of the attic in detail. If you have any further questions, please comment in the comment section. We would love to answer all of them.

Also, if you need a trusted roofing partner to take a look at your roof vents, contact us Today!

Leak-Stop is a one-stop destination to meet your roofing-related requirements. We offer roof repair, replacement, maintenance and inspection services all over GVRD (Greater Vancouver Regional District).

We offer a free inspection to first-time clients. Connect with us TODAY at 1 866 777 0084 for immediate assistance!

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