Solved: Why You Should Cover Gable Vents | Ep. 79

Gable vent on a house
Gable vents can actually produce more ventilation and moisture problems. (DepositPhotos)

If your home has a ridge vent and gable vents, and you plan to install soffit vents, should you cover the gable vents?

Yes. You’ll want to install soffit vents and close those gable vents. Otherwise, gable vents can alter the air flow around the ridge vent. This is especially a problem when wind blows parallel to the ridge. This can reverse the airflow, pulling air, rain and snow through the ridge vent.

So, once you install soffit vents, close the gable vents. Soffit vents and ridge vents provide optimal attic ventilation.

Now, what should you do next? You can leave the gable vents in place and cover them with plywood from the inside, making them ineffective. Or you can replace them with decorative, non-venting gable vents made of plastic. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!

  • [2:39] “I’ve read online that I should cover the gable vents because it could ‘short-circuit’ the soffit-ridge vent system. Looking for a trusted opinion on this matter.”
  • [7:31] Best New Product: Apollo PEX Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge
  • [9:27] “Is there any way to cover wall tile that goes halfway up our bathroom wall instead of taking it out?”
  • [14:10] “I have some cracks in my concrete driveway. I repaired these about four years ago. The repairs did well for a couple of years, now the same crack lines are back. Help!”
  • [23:36] Simple Solution: Joe’s formula for a safe, non-toxic mosquito repellant
  • [25:30] Question of the Week: “I had the bright idea of cleaning my ceiling in the kitchen, because I had grease accumulation from years of cooking. Now I have a white spot where I cleaned. Help!”

Simple Solutions

Natural Bug Repellent — Here’s a nontoxic way to repel mosquitoes:

• Place two sprigs of rosemary in a mason jar

• Fill the jar 3/4 full with water

• Add 10 drops of lemon eucalyptus oil, then swirl the oil into the water 
• Place one slice each of lemon and lime into the jar

• Add more water if needed to raise the level to full

• Place a floating tea light candle on top

• Set the jar outside, and light the candle

• Replace tea lights as needed and discard the fruit and liquid after three days

Dust Catcher Tip — When you need to drill just one or two holes in a wall, try this trick to catch the dust: Slightly dampen about 4 to 6 inches along the edge of a single sheet of newspaper or paper towel. Then, stick the damp paper to the wall. Raise the bottom (dry) half of the sheet to create a trough, and drill the hole. The dust will fall into the paper. 

Question of the Week

Q: “I had the bright idea of cleaning my ceiling in the kitchen, because I had grease accumulation from years of cooking. Now I have a white spot where I cleaned. Help!”

A: Lay some plastic drop cloths on the floor and then clean the rest of the ceiling with a citrus degreaser and trisodium phosphate, or TSP. Then, evaluate whether the ceiling looks like one solid color. If the color doesn’t look consistent, either paint it or have it painted.

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