EZ-Flow Roof Eave Vent system


Greetings,
I have a 60-year-old 1,000 SF brick-and-block raised ranch in northwestern Illinois. About 17 years ago the original drafty wood windows were replaced with good quality vinyl and caulked well. Shortly after that a tear-off roof replacement was done, and an attic fan and roof vents were added, for a total of 10 vents. There are no eaves/soffits on the house save for one small overhang at the front entry. The west elevation (front) is gabled with no vents, the other 3 are hip. The new shingles curled much earlier than anticipated on the house; the detached brick garages shingles, installed at the same time, are fine. Due to the lack of intake vents there is a definite ventilation/moisture issue, and a roofer has suggested a system called EZ-Flow Eave Vents, supposedly designed for houses like mine. The brochure for this system is linked below does anyone have any comments on the efficacy of this system?
http://mulroepc.com/ezflow.pdf As the gutters are aged and in mild disrepair my thought is to do a tear-off on the house and gutters, install this EZ-Flow system (run of 116), a new roof and gutters at the same time. (The garage is fine but to color match I may add a second layer.) Additionally, there is a bathroom exhaust fan that is piped and hanging directly underneath a roof vent nearer the gutter than the roof ridge. Is it advisable to vent this differently as long as all this other work is being done? Ditto a kitchen ceiling exhaust fan. Should I scale back the number of roof vents if I install this EZ-Flow system, as dont the intake and exhaust areas need to be balanced? I realize a good roofer should make recommendations about this but being a single mom, it helps to be educated in advance. Thanks for any comments.
~JMA
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outlets should be basically equal, there is no advantage to decreasing a larger to match a smaller.
Don Young
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Check out:
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Roofing-1598/eave-vents.htm
Here's the text:
Expert: Stan Skarbek Date: 5/2/2007 Subject: eave vents
Question I like your answer about roof vents. Adding ridge vent to gable vent . I am in Michigan where we get snow what do you recomend for adding eave vents to a house with no eave overhange .
Answer Hi Mike, If there are no eave overhangs, I recommend that you don't add eave vents. Even if you're able to install them between the rafters, with no eaves, the rain and snow will blow into the vents.
What you can do, if you have an open attic (as opposed to cathedral style ceilings) is to install some eyebrow style attic vents in the roof, down low, near the edge of the roof. Putting a few of those vents down low on each side of the house will accomplish the same thing as regular eave vents. I recommend installing one vent every 10' to 15' along the bottom edge of the roof.
I hope that helps. Feel free to follow up in the future.
Your roofer with a keyboard, Stan Skarbek
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we have gable end vents and newer ridge vent, no low eve vents.
have never had snow or rain problem, and attic temperatures much lower in summer than before the ridge vent was installed
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wrote:

Thanks. I do currently have 9 pot vents distributed between three elevations. Two high and two low on both sides of the house and on the back there's one near the top. Are pots that much less efficient than eyebrows? I also have a thermostat-controlled exhaust fan smack in the center of the X made by four of those aforementioned vents. I found this mentioned in many places:
*** When attic fans remove more air than is drawn in by soffit vents, the vacuum created in the attic can draw air from the house rather than the outside. ***
I believe that may be the problem, and while half of those pot vents were installed low in an attempt to overcome the lack of soffit vents, I just don't think it's enough, hence my moisture problem. Last winter was bad and I had ice dams in a few places, one in the vicinity of the kitchen exhaust fan. Coincidence? Feh.
Between 3 teens showering innumerable times daily in a one-bathroom house, gas appliances and heat, plus a huge vent-free gas fireplace in the basement... we produce a ton of moisture. Heck, evaporation from the bath towels alone is frightening!
I've totally bought into the need-for-ventilation thing -- just not sure how to best accomplish it in my soffitless home.
~JMA
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Ice dams are caused by poor insulation and/or vapor barrier in the walls - common in older houses. Warm air gets into the wall cavity and rises up towards the attic. While the top plates (2 x 4 cross pieces)prevent a direct connection enough heat gets up close to the tops of the walls and leaks into the attic at the lowest part of the roof. It melts the snow and causes ice dams. Since there is only a little heat it can only melt snow in the winter warm spells. That's why the dams are worse in warmer winters.
Your high low vent pattern is on the right track - add a few more, especially low ones near the ice dam locations. Naturally snow can block these vents so you may have to take a snow rake to the areas around them. In our city, Winnipeg and very cold, many people use heating wires along the low parts of the roofs to melt ice dams or prevent them from occurring.
The shingles curling is a summer over-heating problem which could also be addressed with more vents strategically placed.
Are the kitchen and bathroom vents through the walls? If so you could add short (just enough to extend past the eave) extensions so the warm air isn't near the roof. Use 90 degree elbows pointed downwards to prevent reverse airflow into the house. The fans have enough power to blow the air out and down.
Your house moisture problem could be solved by addition of an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) to the furnace. These have 2 fans and blow outside air in and inside air out. They recover about 75% to 85% of the heat from the outgoing air and put it into the incoming air. Since outside air is dryer than indoor air they dry out a house nicely. Our house is now too dry if we run the HRV's too much in the winter. The best way to install them is to draw the air from the wet rooms like the bathroom and kitchen. The incoming air can just be routed to the return air duct or any of the other rooms. They come with dehumidistats so you can set the moisture level. Ours can also be set for continous Min, continous Max or 20 minutes of every hour.
HRV's are about 150 cfm - 3 times the flow of a small bathroom fan or the same as a large fan. This is relatively low flow so they run for long periods of time.
You can check out the specs and efficiencies of most HVAC products at this site;
http://www.hvi.org/assets/pdfs/CPD/CPDFull.01July08.pdf
Section III has the good descriptions of how they work plus all the data for HRV's.
Our house was new construction so we could install ducts from the bathrooms and kitchen but that is too expensive for retrofit. I think HRV's can be installed in attics but I am not sure if that applies to very cold winter areas. Check with a good HVAC company. If they can work in the attic and duct through the ceilings it may work at reasonable cost - over $1500, maybe $2,000 but that is a wild guess. Units cost around $850 to $1,000 but labor is tough to guess at. Needs electrical wiring, etc. Wouldn't hurt to get a quote.
HRV's can be easily installed in basements near the furnace. Use 2 pipes through walls. This method just gets at the whole house air. Trouble with that method is that you don't get the wettest air from the wet rooms unless you can somehow duct to them. Don't know if it would be adquate to just dry out the house as a unit, might be. If the basement ceiling is open it may be possible to intercept ducts to or from the bathroom to focus on that location.
Another option that should be cheaper is a dehumidifier. If you have space you could put one in the bathroom. The cheapest ones need you to empty the tank manually. The better ones have a small pump but you need to connect the drain tube to the plumbing. Most costly would be a ducted dehumidifier somewhere, perhaps basement. Run a duct through bathroom floor to get the wet air. Best is to route exhaust upstairs somewhere but you could just let it exhaust into basement. That would force basement air with it's odors upstairs. Would dry out basement nicely. Install drain to floor drain or plumbing pipe.
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[...]

Through the celing to nearest attic pot vents. Thinking about adding dedicated roof vents for both of these and insulating the runs.

Interesting. Looks to be out of my short-term budget at the moment but at least I've a dropped ceiling in the basement that provides good access to the ductwork. I have a sheet metal buddy that might be able to help with the labor.
[...]

Do have a pump model, however it's in the shop right now for a warranty repair to its fancy schmancy computer panel. It does help but the heat it generates in the summer makes me shove it in a back corner of the laundry room.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I'm on information overload at the moment -- so much to think about -- but much better prepared for the roofing estimators due out over the next few days. I often get patronized or condescended to by contractors as being a dumb blonde so getting some facts in hand first keeps me from wasting time with the jerk specimens. ;P
~JMA
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On Jul 23, 8:28pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The product to go next to the fascia looks interesting. From the brochure, I can't picture exactly how it gets installed on existing construction to get air access into the attic. Seems you would have to cut a tricky slot somehow.
But some type of continuous soffit vent system combines with a high vent, typically ridge, is recognized as the best solution. Also, if you go this way, make sure that attic insulation is not blocking the vents. They have plastic baffles that are like chutes that you can staple to the underside of the roofing, where the rafters meet the walls to keep it open.
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On Thu, 24 Jul 2008 05:39:39 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

You're exactly right. A thin horizontal cut of is made at the top of the fascia board. I was provided with references and after speaking with two very satisfied customers decided to go with this system.

This is precisely what was recommended; install the EZ-Flow vent around the entire perimeter, eliminate all the pot vents and exhaust fan, and install a ridge vent. Also going to directly exhuast both the bath and kitchen fans with damper vents in the roof. I was conflicted about removing the fan but he said due to the small size of my roof area there's no good placement spot for the fan that wouldn't risk short-circuiting the low->high ventilation.
Last thing I'll do is reinsulate the attic and then I should be good to go.
Thanks for all the help.
~JMA
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