Graphical Construction Glossary >> Roofs and roofing. >> Roof Features >> Gable Vent

Gable Vent
A vent in a gable wall. Usually in modern construction with louvres and insect screening.

a malay house

A small plastic gable vent
a larger more open vent

The photos here are taken in the tropics with lowering temperature as the main reason for venting the roof spaces, but colder climates also use roof vents to control dampness that can lead to fungus and rot in the roof timbers.

This traditional Malay house near Malacca has been upgraded to use modern roofing. The modernisation did not extend to sealing the gable walls. People living in the tropics have long known the cooling advantages of having high or no ceilings at all, and good ventilation in the roof space.

The small mass produced plastic vent is typical of houses that contains air conditioned space with the emphasis being on keeping the roof space aired to prevent dampness and mildew in high humidity conditions, but not in any real way to reduce temperatures. Roof insulation has to do that.

The larger vent with wider openings is a good compromise between the two extremes. A good breeze hitting the gable would provide a positive flow of fresh air though the roof space, cooling it down considerably. There would have to be a corresponding vent on the opposite wall of course.

Note the different attitudes of the architects to the overhang of the roofs at the gable.

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