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Roofing/peaked roof with unusual ventilation sysem


Glad I spotted this site and look forward to your comments. I have a 30 year old cedar shake roof on a cathedral ceiling roof system. I have something like 2 by 12 joints which have 2 by 2 strapping across them and plywood so a 2 inch cross ventilation space above joists and then paper, shakes. But I do not have ridge venting or soffit vents, roof is peaked and vent is along the entire gable top to bottom on the underside or the peaks and air passes aross the roof that way. I am considering replacing shakes with other material as they are too much maintenace but concerned about heat if I go to another product. I know shakes do not tranfer much heat to the underside of the roof so ventilation may be fine, but what if I install a metal roof or dark architectual shingle will heat be excessive. Should I be able to just add ridge vents and soffit vents and be good or will this mess up the whole flow of air with current design. I haven't seen my roof ventilation system before, was custom built home but bought it used. To view house it is on google streetsview at 244 middletown rd. hamilton, ontario, canada. thanks for any comments. Reg

ANSWER: Good question, Reg. And you're correct, your wood roof is fairly efficient.

I think if you closed off the gable vents with your new roof and added eave soffit vents and a ridge vent, you will be okay.

If you go with a metal roof, also, look for one that is Energy Star rated.

I hope this is helpful.

Contact me anytime.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Wow that was fast! Thanks for the reply. I was hoping to get a sense of whether the ventlation system I have is a reliable one or does it rely to much o cross wind to ventilate the roof or will convection do it all by itself. Have you ever seen this type of roof system or know of someone who may? I just concerned about hiring a roofer who does not know what to do with this type of roof because it is different. Thanks again.Reg

Sorry. your roof is unique to me.  It does sound like it depends on a cross wind because it would not allow for convection. However, the fact that you have a wood shingle roof helps a lot because it is a very breathable roof -- air actually passes between the shakes.

I do not think your current ventilation system would be effective / adequate with other types of roofing.

Hopefully changing to more traditional venting will not be a big issue.

All Best.


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Todd E. Miller


I am available to answer any questions pertaining to residential (or other sloped) metal roofing. I have knowledge of most available products but I like to approach projects from a "needs" basis and analyze them individually. Additionally, I can answer most questions about building ventilation.


I have worked for a manufacturer of residential metal roofing since 1980. I currently serve as President and have been involved with a wide variety of projects of all types across the world.

I am a board member for Metal Construction Association, Metal Roofing Alliance, the local United Way, our church, and our son's school.

Over the years, I have had articles appear in several trade journals including RSI, Remodeling, and Qualified Remodeler.

I have a B.A. in Communications and have also completed three years of training with the E-Myth Academy.

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