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Thread: Venting through a gable

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    Default Venting through a gable

    A member of my department showed us a picture of the house in the attachment. A concern that was raised happened to be ventilation. Someone suggested windows, however the option of taking the gable was brought up. What would be the best option? How easy is it to remove the gables? Would doing so cause any compromise to the structural integrity of the house?
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    That doesn't look like a gable vent as much as it does just part of the exterior wall above the window.

    Removing gables and exterior veneers in wood frame buildings does not compromise the structural integrity of the building.

    I would probably just use windows and PPV in this scenario.
    RK
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    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Is it a flow through gable already

    Opening it up is it that big of opening versus the effort to open it

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    How effective would removing a gable vent be in this situation if there was one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nr9306 View Post
    How effective would removing a gable vent be in this situation if there was one?
    Typically you are not going to get very much more ventilation through a gable end by tearing it out than you do with it in place - it is already designed to vent. Removing a few boards in the middle won't help much.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Typically you are not going to get very much more ventilation through a gable end by tearing it out than you do with it in place - it is already designed to vent. Removing a few boards in the middle won't help much.
    While the volume you see might not be much, when looking at ways to vent the heat from my attic I found some interesting information on this topic. I don't recall the exact numbers but the screen alone on the inside of a gable vent reduces it's efficiency by like 25%? In a high heat/smoke situation the overall opening will rarely be enough but it'll be better without any restriction. Of course we know that depending on the smoke, these screen (sized small for insects) will clog up and air flow with be minimal.

    In the A frame picture above, you likely will be better to just take the big glass and fight the fire coming up from below. The smoke and heat trapped above will reduce when their production stops and judging from the size of that space, there's not much chance of occupiable space up there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    I would probably just use windows and PPV in this scenario.
    Ditto.

    In this type of construction I doubt there is any sort of attic or other space, just the walls of the A-frame coming together at the peak. The lack of any sort of gable vent, roof vents or ridge vent is usually a good clue as to the lack of an enclosed attic space.

    Knock it down, open the windows and PPV it.
    Last edited by sfd1992; 07-16-2014 at 02:04 PM.

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    Why use a PPV?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nr9306 View Post
    Why use a PPV?
    Because it works.

    More to my original point - if you're going to throw a ladder and take the time to make a vent hole, instead of tearing out a gable end, just go to the roof.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Go to the roof? Why? By the time you make an EFFECTIVE vent hole in the roof, the fire is already out. Or at least it should be.

    Looks to be a large open area on first floor with a bath likely and possibly one bedroom. And most likely a partial sleeping loft on second floor. Not a particularly large home. Don't complicate this one. Get a charged line in place on first floor. Coordinate venting a few of the windows opposite the line. Put out the fire and perform searches. It's all over within a few short minutes.

    If you are light on staffing, get a charged line FLOWING SUFFICIENT WATER to front or back entrance and operate from doorway to cool the entire area. Ventilation can wait. Cutting holes and then waiting for a handline is the exact wrong thing to do. It will most likely intensify fire conditions at some point if sufficient water is not applied.

    There is probably no attic or very little attic in this home. I would not put to much emphasis on pre-control ventilation of the attic.
    Last edited by captnjak; 07-19-2014 at 03:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    Go to the roof? Why? By the time you make an EFFECTIVE vent hole in the roof, the fire is already out. Or at least it should be.
    I think you're having trouble keeping up today Cap!

    I believe the question of the original poster was IF you were going to vertically ventilate, would it be better to cut a hole or just tear out a gable end. To that end, IF you are going to vent the roof - cutting a hole is better over removing a gable end.

    I concur with your points that PPV as often a better tactic.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    I think you're having trouble keeping up today Cap!

    I believe the question of the original poster was IF you were going to vertically ventilate, would it be better to cut a hole or just tear out a gable end. To that end, IF you are going to vent the roof - cutting a hole is better over removing a gable end.

    I concur with your points that PPV as often a better tactic.
    I think I'm keeping up just fine! YOU suggested going to the roof, not the OP. I just responded to it.

    I've made no point whatsoever endorsing PPV. Just coordinated, natural/mechanical (hose stream), ventilation ahead of hose stream.

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    I didn't say I would go to the roof - especially with the pitch of this one. What I said is below. I meant it is a general statement, not necessarily specific to the roof in this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    More to my original point - if you're going to throw a ladder and take the time to make a vent hole, instead of tearing out a gable end, just go to the roof.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    I didn't say I would go to the roof - especially with the pitch of this one. What I said is below. I meant it is a general statement, not necessarily specific to the roof in this thread.
    All of my comments in this thread have been based on the pic attached by OP.

    OP never mentioned roof at all.

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    Threads evolve Cap. Like I said, try and keep up.
    slackjawedyokel likes this.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Being from Vermont - where the OP is - most of the A-Frame style homes have a loft type bedroom on floor 2, and knee walls to the sides to allow for closet space.

    In the few of these in our community, the ceiling over the bedroom is set down from the top of the roof to allow for some storage space. In the open space over the living/kitchen area, it's full height straight to the roof joist in many cases.

    Venting these is not hard. In most cases you will find that the fire is 99% contents, with limited risk for structural failures due to the size of the lumber used. Many of the homes are built so that the roof joist is supported at the bottom end, and is the primary load carrier for the residence. In many of these homes the front and rear wall are not load bearing. Caveat: This is from what I've seen LOCALLY - Your mileage may vary.

    Your hose team should be able to vent as they go. There is limited space interior, and your windows will be the quickest and most efficient avenue to vent.

    BUT... The Knee Walls. I would be very surprised if you don't find fire behind them, or have smoke coming from the bottom of the roof joist upon arrival. These buildings are notorious for the knee walls, because a 4 foot ceiling in a room ends up becoming non-used space.

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    Removing the gable vents, if present will not compromise the structural integrity as stated earlier. When I worked in a mountain community and a low-income community, we often removed the gables for attic fires and steamed-out most of the fire. As far as how easy they are to remove, they're super easy as we would ladder next to them (upwind) and then smash them with a rubbish hook. I've seen guys even cut along one corner and pry the metal out with the pick part of an axe.

    As far as best option, I've been on A-frames and they're crazy to cut a heat hole on; my suggestion, don't do it and use the windows or other building features to give you an exhaust opening and PPV.
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