Installing a ridge vent may be a key step in making your home more comfortable. It’s a great way to remove all the humid air from your home, especially during warm and humid days. Choosing the right material also plays a significant role in the outcome. For example, shingle-over ridge vents are easier to maintain and offer more aesthetics compared to aluminum ridge vents.
We recommend having your ridge vent installed by a professional. However, installing it yourself is also possible. It’s fairly easy to do as long as the process is done carefully and accurately. If you’re planning to install a ridge vent in your home in the future, then feel free to use this step-by-step guide as a reference throughout the process.
What To Consider Before Beginning
Make sure that you’re taking the appropriate safety measures before attempting to install a ridge vent. Always ensure that you’re working in good weather conditions. Prepare fall-arresting equipment beforehand to protect yourself in case any accidents or unexpected dilemmas occur. Installing a ridge vent may be a lengthy process, so it’s best to spread out all the steps over time and work at a comfortable pace so that you don’t overexert your body.
Equipment and Materials Needed
You must prepare the following materials and tools before installing your ridge vent:
- Ridge Vent
- Pry Bars (cats paw and flat)
- Circular Saw
- Chalk line
- Utility knife with Hook Blade
- Roofing nails (1 ½ inch or 1 ¾ inch)
- Standard roof shingles
- Shingle caps
- Polyurethane caulk
- 8d nails
Follow the steps below to install a ridge vent. Proceed with caution and execute with care.
Step 1: Removing the Shingle Caps
- You can start by removing the shingle caps. First, loosen the nails that are keeping the ridge cap shingles secure. Take note that there are two nails for each one, so there will most likely be one on both sides of the ridge.
- From there, begin removing them. Start with the last cap shingle that is overlapping at the end.
- You can loosen the nail by using the flat pry bar. Slide the flat pry bar underneath the shingle cap and raise both the shingle and the nail head. This will loosen the nail, which will allow you to remove it easily. After that, remove the shingle cap.
- You can use the utility knife with a hook blade to cut the shingles. The amount you need to cut depends on what the manufacturer recommends, but 3 inches is a good estimated amount. Remove the felt paper from the ridge to reveal the wood decking.
Step 2: Make Room for the Ventilation Opening
- In this step, you will be cutting the wood decking along the ridge. The standard size you need to cut should be a minimum of one inch on both sides of the ridge board. This provides an entryway for the air to flow into the opening and through the vent. The one-inch minimum also stands, even if you do not have a ridge board to work with. You can create at least an inch-sized opening, even on truss-framed roofs.
- Use the chalk line to measure both sides of the ridge, creating cutting lines for reference later on. You can start removing all of the framing nails that are above or below the chalk lines. This can be performed using the pry bar (cat’s paw) and a hammer. From there, begin driving the 8d nails into the roof rafters into the sections below the chalk lines. Try to optimize the depth of the blade and avoid cutting through the rafters or trusses.
Step 3: Installing the Shingles
- Begin installing the new shingles over the wood decking. In this step, you can also reattach the existing shingles with nails to secure them properly.
Step 4: Installing the Ridge Vent
Shingle-over Ridge Vent
- Check the manufacturer’s recommended distance for the ridge line and mark it. You can create a reference line by snapping the chalk line through the marks. From there, place the shingle-over ridge vent over the line you just made and nail it down securely. Repeat the same steps for the other side.
- Place the asphalt shingles over the vent. Check manufacturer’s recommendations for nails.
Aluminum Ridge Vent
- Check the manufacturer’s recommended distance for the ridge line and mark it. You can create a reference line by snapping the chalk line through the marks. From there, place the polyurethane caulk on the underside of the flange for both sides of the ridge vent.
- Secure the aluminum ridge vent over your reference line by fastening it to the roof decking and rafter. Fasten the nails down the flange for both sides. Check the manufacturer’s recommendation for nail spacing.
- Place the connectors and end caps to seal.
Get Professional Assistance
Installing your ridge vent is easy and efficient as long as you follow the above steps. However, if you require professional assistance or have any questions about the process, then feel free to contact us today. We offer professional roofing services, ensuring that all renovations and structures are built safely and securely.