Do you know how many vents you have on your roof? Do you know what they are for? Your roof vents are there for a purpose and if covered over, removed, broken off or disconnected; they can have a direct effect on the well-being of your home or even your family.
Since a roof-over is no longer acceptable, all re-roofing projects are to begin with the tearing off of the old roof. This is where the full count of all your roof vents can get lost. The most important thing the roofer is thinking about after he tears off the old roof is to get you covered back up and dried-in. If there is impending rain, he will be in a hurry to get the underlayment down tight. It is easy to cover over your vents at this time if he does not mark their location or replace and seal each one as he installs the underlayment.
The first vent misplaced usually is your dryer vent. It is a small 4" to 6" goose-neck styled vent. If it penetrates through the roof and becomes covered over, you will not be aware until you notice your dryer has ceased to dry your wet laundry. If you don't know where it penetrates the roof, ask the roofer. Then before the roofer completes the project run a load of laundry through to be sure the dryer is working at its optimum.
Another type of vent that is easily covered over is the bathroom vent. This looks identical in appearance to your roof mounted dryer vent. They are typically called "fart fans". The best way to determine if they are covered over is to turn them on each day while the roofer is there to see if they suddenly sound quiet and muffled or loaded up with debris.
One other type of vent that could become covered is your range hood vent or kitchen vent-a-hood vent. It is typically a 10" goose neck, a 10" square topped vent or a large 24" powered range vent. If it is covered or loaded with debris, it will not draw smoke or vapor up from your stove top and/or range top. It is easy to determine if it is functioning fine. Just turn it on and you should feel a draw of air rising up into the fan. Also notice whether the fan seems to be operating quietly.
The other vents are your plumbing stacks. They are the PVC pipes that stick up through your roof from your toilets, showers and your sinks. The vent stack flashings for them are generally lead. These vents don't get covered over unless they become disconnected or broken off. These are important because if they are removed or covered, they can release sewer gases into your attic area. In this event, you will have a health hazard on your hands that must be corrected. If this happens, the roofer is required to ask for access into your attic so that he can reconnect the vent piping or add an extension to it.
Attic ventilation vents are quite different and are discussed by you and your roofer during the bidding as to whether you need them, need more of them or to change the type from a passive vent to a powered vent. These are located up near the ridge portions of your roof and generally on the backside because of their unsightly appearance.
The best way to know if all the proper vents were installed in their proper locations is to walk around your
home before the start of your new roof and write down each vent and its size in each area of your roof. Recheck this list at the end of the project before the roofer leaves and count each vent at the various locations. You should also turn on all of the fans and listen for any debris rattling in the piping. If during the tearing off of your old roof, debris falls into the vent piping or ducts; the roofer will need to clean them out. Don't hesitate to question your roofer about the condition of any vent he intends to reuse and if you should expect any maintenance to them in the future. Do not reuse rusty vents!
We will be glad to go through your vent systems and assure you if they are all in proper order.