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What’s the Difference?
Over the past 20 years the best complaint I think I have ever heard a customer spew was “I have nothing to complain about”.
Customer satisfaction is the immediate goal of all contractors to get that quick paycheck. Yet, the professionals we deal with everyday want better. They do not mind paying a bit more to provide piece of mind to their customers for years. A product that lasts one year has done its job since contractors have only to warranty their work for 365 days. But the professionals are now giving warranties as long as the provided product life. This means they will return if your product or their labor fails to withstand time. This is a good assurance that they care about their job and their customers. A happy customer will probably never call unless they have need of more of your services.
With gable vents this means stronger and longer lasting products. If you purchase a gable vent just because it is quick and cheap, that is probably what you get. Manufacturers are using more 0.019 trim coil now to construct gable vents because the coil already matches the siding products the contractors are using. This makes since, but the design of the gable vent was originally for a thicker metal (galvanized). With a thinner metal, you get a weaker vent.
The original design called for a single hem on the bottom of the louver and a raw edge on the top of the louver. In 0.019 trim coil, this makes for a real flimsy louver. We use a four-fold system on the bottom of the louver and even hem the top of the louver. This brings the stiffness back to the equality of a galvanized gable vent. It costs more in material and time to manufacture, but it will stand the test of time.
Does the framing need to change on the gable vent? Yes. The galvanized vent louvers were mounted on a track system and the louvers shoved into this track and pop riveted in. Wind and vibration occasionally knock these pop rivets out and a louver can sag. With 0.019 trim coil, the louvers are too thin to properly hold a pop rivet for any real length of time. The metal is so soft, the pop rivets will wallow the holes till they are large enough to release.
We use a rail system. It is similar but in reverse. With the louver locked onto the rail system and sandwiched, the louver can be supported by a pop rivet and the louver has no room to vibrate the pop rivet loose.
Other manufacturers have tried to solve this problem with wood framing in their vent walls. As we all know, thin pieces of wood can warp and soon rots out from the metal being right on it so the wood cannot breathe. Others also use staples to hold the metal to the wood. These soon rust out and leave the gable vent hanging. We have even seen treated lumber used for framing gable vents. This is the worst idea. You think treated lumber has a longer life but when it is used with aluminum it makes for a bad mix. The chemicals in the treated lumber mix with the aluminum and causes the oxidation. Oxidation is rust for aluminum. The oxidation first shows with the paint peeling off the gable vent. Next comes the holes. Yes, it eventually eats holes in the aluminum.
Others have also tried to use vinyl to make the vent in one continuous piece. Great idea if vinyl was heat rated for the temperatures coming from your attic. Your attic gets too hot and wants to breathe, it will through any hole available. Your gable vent is usually the easiest access. When 160 degrees plus comes billowing out, most vinyl gable vents cannot handle the task. They will warp and deform to the point of not venting the recommended net free area. And if your contractor has used vented soffit to cover your gable vent, your attic is not breathing at all. Vinyl soffit was designed to slowly allow cool air to enter your overhangs, not to allow hot air out.
In closing, a gable vent should meet three major criteria. One: Gable vent quality is tested by the manufacturer for the time the vent should last. All gable vents should last at least 50 years for a lifetime warranty. Two: Net free air supply needed to properly vent your attic. Three: The gable vent should complement your home, not take away from the look.
So when you get ready to purchase any product from any manufacturer, ask yourself, “What’s the difference?”
As our selection is vast, we can walk you through to get to the aluminum product you are looking for.
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Louvered Gable Vents including triangle louvered gable vents, round louvered gable vents, square louvered gable vents, all shapes and depths
Decorative Gable Vents including the Sunburst, Rising Sun, Sunrise, Egyptian and many others
Half Round Window Trim smooth half round window trim and striated half round window trim