There are many ways to ventilate your home and one of the most common is with a box vent. That said, your choice of box vent is essential when it comes to the preservation of your roof and your home along with it. Installing the wrong box vent could lead to dangerous leaks and unnecessary repair costs.
Box vents are square-shaped exhaust vents made for expelling hot air from your home. They are installed high on your roof but not on the ridge. They are non-mechanical, meaning they rely on natural airflow and wind to rid your home of hot air. Most roofs will require multiple box vents to ensure that no dangerous hot air remains in your attic. Their ability to be placed anywhere on a roof makes them ideal for houses with complicated roofing systems where ridge vents may not be feasible.
Ventilation is an often-overlooked element when one is thinking about building a home or even replacing a roof. Just like a person, a house needs to be able to breathe to remain healthy. Fresh air must be coming in while dirty air is expelled. Box vents work on the latter side and ensure that no hot, polluted air is contaminating your home. Without this exhaust system, your home would be exposed to leaks, roof damage, peeling paint, and an overburdened HVAC system. Not to mention unhealthy air quality for you to breathe, too.
Many places will try to sell you on why a plastic box vent is the way to go because it is cheap and allegedly less likely to dent than a metal box vent. While this is true — a metal box vent will cost around fifteen dollars more than your typical plastic vent and metal may dent when impacted — the key is that metal does not crack as easily as plastic.
The biggest flaw in plastic box vents is their ability to crack. Large hail may dent a metal vent, but it will not destroy its ability to function. A cracked plastic vent will succumb to the elements, particularly in the winter. In the summer, however, plastic has the tendency to curl and discolor. This not only allows for debris and water to get into your home but also stands out as an ugly blemish on your roof.
The simple fact is that a plastic box vent is built to last around 10 to 15 years. A metal vent built out of aluminum can easily last as long as 50 years. This means that it will most likely outlive your roof since it is recyclable and can be used on your next roof. Yes, metal box vents are more expensive than plastic, but if you want your vent to beat the elements, then they are the superior way to go.