How to Remove a Gable Vent

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An extension ladder works best for reaching the vent.
An extension ladder works best for reaching the vent. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Gable vents allow an attic to ventilate hot and cold air. When a vent gets broken or needs to be removed for attic repairs, the job can be done within an hour or less. A vent sits inside a hole cut through the siding of a home and has an outer flange through-which the screws fasten. The vent can come in different geometrical shapes, but each has the outer flange. If the screw heads aren't visible, then a screw cap needs to be removed to access the screws.

Things You'll Need

  • Extension ladder
  • Ladder-stabilizing assistant
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Crosshead screwdriver
  • Claw hammer (if applicable)
  • Wasp or hornet spray (if applicable)

Extend an extension ladder until the top rung is high enough to reach the bottom of the vent. Lean the ladder against the wall and level the legs to ensure stability. Ask an assistant to hold the ladder while you climb it.

Climb up to the vent and inspect the vent flange to find out what type of screws hold it in place. If you can't see any screws, look for little plastic circle caps in the flange. Remove these caps by pulling them out with a pair of needle nose pliers or the tip of a flathead screwdriver.

Remove the screws with the appropriate screwdriver. Flathead and crosshead are the most common.

Pull the vent out of the hole in the gable. You might have to slide a screwdriver behind the outer flange and pry it out. Work out the top corners and then the bottom ones.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some gable vents are fastened with nails, instead of screws. If this is the case, remove the nails with a claw hammer.
  • Hornets or wasps will often build their nests in gable vents and so look for these before removing the vent. Spray a hornet- or wasp-killing insecticide on the nest to kill them.

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