Why are plastic vents better?

September 8, 2016 canplas


When is the last time you threw a baseball at one of your roof vents?

We do it all the time.

This is how we learned that when you throw a baseball at your average metal vent, it will most likely become bent out of shape. We also learned that more durable plastic vents won’t bend or break—as demonstrated in the video below.

Along with being virtually unaffected by the impact of a baseball bat, there are a number of reasons for choosing plastic vents over metal vents.

Some of the metal vents—a lot of people are using aluminum—even when you take the product out of the box, it can curl or bend,” said Donna Burtch, Duraflo product manager at Canplas adding that plastic vents are a lot lighter and easier to install.

One good reason to choose plastic is safety, because metal has sharp edges,” said Burtch. Metal vents have seams, rivets and welding. These give more potential for water to get in, or for an installer to injure themselves.

Metal also lends to more condensation with temperature changes. This is why in more humid climates such as British Columbia, you will see moss growing around metal roof vents. This also means that the metal will start to corrode and rust.

If you’re in a place like downtown Toronto, people are concerned that raccoons will chew through the plastic—but they’ll do this with metal too,” explained Burtch. “The raccoon will actually lean up against the metal until it caves in.”

Using plastic is important, but it’s also important to choose the right type of plastic. With a Duraflo roof vent made from polypropylene (PP), you’re getting a product that won’t crack in temperatures up to -40 degrees Celsius. 

Alternatively, polyethylene (PE) resins won’t last in colder climates, and will often crack. At Duraflo, we also include a UV protective additives in our proprietary material formulation in our roof vents to make sure our products will not be damaged by the elements.

You can read more about the different types of roof vent, and what works best for your application in our blog here.

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