5 Common Roof Turbine Problems And Their Solutions

Your attic’s well-being is the well-being of your entire house. Throughout the different seasons, air from the base can rise upwards and if it’s not released outside, there can be problems. This air comprises moisture that will result in mold, wood rot, and mildew. The roof you have laid must have a high cost and is probably precious to you. So, there must be something that protects your roof both in winters and summers, and when required creates automatic ventilation. 

Much like the rest of attic ventilation solutions, turbines are not free from defects. This article will discuss both the common and rare problems existing in your roof turbine vents which can cause dysfunctions when ignored. These problems can potentially cause harm to your roof and affect the ventilation system of your house. But keep in mind, with problems comes solutions! 

Here are some of the most commonly faced problems of roof turbines along with their solutions:

1. Blocking/rusting

The weather can be windy sometimes and even the slightest breeze can apply force to your turbine. Due to the force of breezes, the turbine vent spins. As a result of this spinning, air blowing from the turbine vent is quite strong and can easily blow away rainwater not allowing them to enter the gap between the fins of the vent. But if there is an accumulation of rust on the vent, it will not allow the movement of fins and may cause stickiness. This may lead to the entrance of water from rain known as water infiltration. Another root of the same problem can be obstacles or objects blocking the rotational movement of the turbine vent. 

Inspection is necessary, first inspect the problem and see what’s causing the turbine’s dysfunctional spin. 

  1. Remove any object blocking the movement to achieve proper functionality of the vent.
  2. Remove rust with the help of WD40 spray or any other rust-removing solution.
  3. Replace the turbine vents if no solution works since comprise over quality is not acceptable.

Loose connection between the portions

Again, high winds/breeze can apply force on the turbine vent and may loosen it from its base which is the standpipe. This results in the problem of water entering the vent easily. There are two portions in the turbine vent:

  • Fins area
  • Standpipe base

These two portions fit together with the help of friction. A flange is usually used to connect the standpipe to the sheathing of the roof. If this is not correctly connected, then water can easily enter the system.

Inspect the problem at first. Check whether the rotational part of the turbine vent is properly connected to the standpipe base with the help of sheet metallic screws. Roofing nails or rust-resistant screws can be utilized here to tighten the flashing against your roof. Another solution is to cover the exposed fastener heads with seals or roofing cement.

2. Fasteners & unsealed joints

Water penetration might occur due to unsealed joints. The base of the vent is the point where the flashing joins the stack. The bead and the nail heads join the top and bottom sections. Vertical seams are always sealed with the help of roofing cement and sometimes silicone caulk. However, space may be created between these joints due to seals wearing out with time. The solution is to replace these seals with new ones to maximize the efficiency of roof turbine vents.

3. Squeaky noises

The roof turbine can make squeaky noises which can be frustrating. The source of noise is hard to find and if not solved, these noises can become immensely loud. The basic suspicion of these noises in roof turbine vents is due to the drying of lubricants in the bearings. This leads to the rubbing of metal parts. Hence producing these noises. If you are lucky, these can be easily fixed by yourself but we must know the science behind the problem first.

Several parts work based on moving over each other in the roof turbine vent. To cut it short, the movement of the roof turbine vent must be independent of the fins’ movement. Since this allows the air to exit from the turbine as discussed above. Bearings are usually utilized to achieve the smooth spinning function of the turbine.

The inner and outer rings are carefully locked into two separate parts of the vent. That is how the two parts can rotate easily independently. With the passage of time and usability, lubricants in the bearings dry out. Hence, this results in the forced movement of bearings causing the loud squeaky noise. To solve this problem, use WD-40 spray or any other lubricant on the bearings occasionally. Lubrication is the solution to all the squeaky noises in your roof turbine vent.

4. Roof turbine bearings are worn out

Bearings inside the roof turbine often fail after facing extreme weather conditions. In this case, replacing the worn-out bearings is the only solution.

To replace the bearings few important steps must be under consideration:

  1. Pull the mounting nails out of the roof.
  2. Lift the turbine.
  3. Measure the attic hole in diameter
  4. Replace the turbine by applying screws.
  5. Apply roofing cement.

Although you will likely need an expert for this job, the above steps are not that hard to follow if you’re familiar with installing vents. Nonetheless, we would still recommend a professional because vents can be complicated.

5. Damaged blades/fins of turbines

You might be properly maintaining each part of your roof turbine but unfortunately, the fins of your roof turbine have a designated lifetime. These will eventually wear out with time due to weather conditions and other parameters too. In this case too, replacement is the only solution.

Here is a detailed video showing how to replace damaged roof turbine blades;

Replace damaged roof turbine blades

Why you should maintain your roof turbines

We all know something called roof ventilation, right? But why is proper ventilation so important? Anyone who has an attic knows the dryness of the attic is crucial at all times. But this is one-half of the information they possess. The other half comprises that roof vents are the key to keeping the moisture out of your attics, and roof turbines are one of the best for this job. So, the folks who concentrated in school have this small chunk of knowledge that warm air rises & cold air settles down or sinks. To keep this thing in continuous motion, we utilize a combination of intake and exhaust vents on your roof. If this isn’t done properly, then roof turbines won’t bring many benefits to you.

Air moves naturally in two ways: in and out. Roof venting is critically dependent on the movement of air, and it comprises two types of movements, exhaust, and intake. You want to get rid of hot air from inside your attic through your venting system since the hot air comprises the moisture that can harm the attic. This part of the job is done by the exhaust system. If it fails to do so, be ready to welcome pests, insects, mold, mildew, and all other types of fungi in your attic because they follow where humidity leads them. 

The rotational motion of the turbine creates the phenomenon of suction that helps the hot moist air out of the attic. Roof turbines do not need much maintenance in many cases, but problems can occur due to design, environment, weather, and not checking up on the vents occasionally.

To wrap it up

Any machine humans use may wear out with time or start to work ineffectively, and this includes roof turbines. Proper lubrication, maintenance, and attention every once in a while is the requirement for the smooth operation of these vents. You can try the solutions provided in this article but if the problem doesn’t go away, then a replacement might be the only solution.

Charles John

Experienced HVAC technician with 8 years of experience in the industry. Capable of handling all sorts of heating and cooling equipment as well as proficient in operational management, construction-related techniques such as preventative maintenance, electrical troubleshooting and AutoCAD

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