hot ridge roof air
Sunday, October 28 2007
Since I built its main structures over a year ago, the solar deck annex, which is cantilevered southward over the laboratory's steep gabled roof, has sagged between an eighth and a quarter inch, just enough for its main east-west beam to begin rubbing on the shingles of the roof ridge beneath it. Today I decided to attach it to the roof ridge to provide it more support and to keep it from moving with respect to the house. This necessitated tearing away a few square inches of shingle from the roof ridge in hopes of finding some lumber to attach the annex beam to. This didn't concern me as much as other places where I've penetrated the shingles, since the roof ridge is the part of the roof least vulnerable to leaks.
After inserting a small block of wood and bolting it to both the annex beam and the roof ridge, I spent some time cutting up and folding aluminum flashing to prevent rain from going down into the new hole.
As I worked I around the new hole, I could feel solar-heated air rushing up out of it and I found myself wondering if there was way that air could somehow be gathered and used. It's common on modern houses to provide air circulation beneath roof sheathing, mostly to keep it cold when snow accumulates on to, thereby preventing ice dams and other problems that shorten roof life. On our roof there are vents at the bottom soffits to collect cold air and vents on either side of the roof ridge to let that air escape. But (especially on a crisp autumn day like today) it seemed like a terrible waste for it to just vanish into the atmosphere.
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