Ridge Vents – Everything You Need to Know
If you want to keep your roof in tip-top shape, it’s essential to maintain proper ventilation. For this reason, you should find the ideal vents for your roof. They come in various shapes and sizes, but they have one common goal: to let your home breathe.
One of the most cost-effective ways to achieve your roof goals is to use ridge vents. They increase your roof’s energy efficiency and prolong its life. Additionally, they’re one of the best types of attic ventilation you can find anywhere.
This article will discuss what ridge vents are, how they work, and ultimately, if they’re worth the investment. Read on to discover if they’re a viable solution for your ventilation needs.
Best Ridge Vents
Below is a list of some of the best ridge vents for your reference. To achieve the best results, choose the brand that addresses your particular needs.
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GAF 2005 Cobra Ridge Vent
The GAF 2005 Cobra Ridge Vent offers unmatched protection during the hottest days of the year. Plus, because of its flexible, easy-to-cut material, you can use it to seal roof gaps that attract bats and rodents.
We recommend using nails on this vent instead of screws for a more convenient installation. Also, make sure to use enough product to achieve desired results.
Owens Corning VentSure
If you’re a fan of do-it-yourself projects, we recommend using Owens Corning VentSure. It’s a lightweight and malleable product that comes with a set of nails. A 20-square-inch piece should be enough to ventilate four feet of living space.
Certainteed Ridge Vent
We recommend the Certainteed Ridge Vent for homeowners who value aesthetics. It uses a high-impact copolymer with a slim profile, making it easy to blend with various design preferences.
This product installs at the roof’s peak, allowing ventilation across the roofline. It also contains ten pre-formed nail bosses for convenient positioning.
Quarrix Shingle Ridge Vent
The Quarrix Shingle Ridge Vent is ideal for contractors and homeowners alike. This 20-foot roll enables quick insulation and top-quality ventilation. Clients rave about how this product can drop attic temperatures by up to 50°C on extremely hot days.
Air Vent Ridge Vent
The Air Vent Ridge Vent is one of the top U.S.-made roofing products. The brand offers unmatched convenience through its nail gun-friendly features and clean, uncluttered rooflines. Additionally, users appreciate its lifetime warranty.
What Is a Ridge Vent?
A ridge vent is an air exhaust homeowners install on roofs to allow humid air to pass. Usually, these products are flexible enough to plug gaps and cracks filling materials cannot cover.
Using this ventilation system provides users with continuous exhaust at the peak of the attic. Its goal is to enhance home ventilation, preserve roofing systems, and keep attics from collecting moisture. As a bonus, it can also keep rain, snow, and insects at bay.
How Does a Ridge Vent Work?
There are two essential components to a ridge vent’s capabilities. First, this product allows hot air from the attic to exit through the exhaust and pulls in cool air from below. In turn, this process creates a negative pressure across the house’s ridge to bring in cool air from the soffits.
For a ridge vent to perform its tasks properly, air should enter and exit the attic to ensure continuous airflow. The vents will then allow dry air to replace the warm. This passive system is an efficient way to ventilate your home because it doesn’t require any energy.
What Does a Ridge Vent Look Like?
A ridge vent is a continuous strip — often four feet in length — installed at the highest portion of the roof. It needs two to three inches of opening across the roof’s peak and a continuous air supply from both ends to work.
It may look like a simple contraption but it’s really a state-of-the-art ventilation system. This tool uses the sun to accelerate the airflow inside the house, aiming to maintain the roof’s temperature to match the air outside.
Because of the strip’s shape, roofers don’t have to cut cap shingles individually to fit it. Also, if you install it correctly, you shouldn’t have to worry about an eyesore on your roof.
How Do You Install a Ridge Vent?
One of the most popular ways to boost an attic’s ventilation is using a ridge vent. This product is an ideal low-profile alternative to raised vents that interrupt the roofline. The best part about it is that it’s almost unnoticeable.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing a ridge vent on an existing shingle roof:
Step 1: Remove the Shingle Caps
First, remove the nails holding the shingles down. In most cases, you will find two nails per ridge cap. Afterward, remove the nails and the shingle cap.
Step 2: Cut the Ventilation
The next step is to cut the shingles back from the ridge as recommended by the manufacturer. Take off all underlayment from the ridge to expose three inches of wood decking. Next, mark your cutting lines.
Afterward, take off all nails across the chalk lines using a hammer and cat’s paw pry bar. Then, secure the decking under each chalk line with new 8d nails. With a circular saw, cut the decking without damaging the rafters or trusses.
Step 3: Install New Shingles
If necessary, install new shingles to cover any exposed decking. Afterward, reattach existing shingles with roofing nails.
Step 4: Install the Ridge Vent
Whether you prefer a shingle-over or aluminum ridge-style vent, the process is virtually the same. First, measure the manufacturer’s recommended distance from the ridge and mark it with chalk. Place the vent over the reference line and nail it accordingly.
Roof Ridge Vent Pros and Cons
Many roofers consider roof ridge vents an essential part of modern homes. However, they may still not be the ideal ventilation solution for you. We created a list of pros and cons to help you decide if you should invest in this system.
Let’s go through the advantages of installing roof ridge vents first.
Balance Home Temperature
Whether you need a new roof or a replacement for an old one, a ridge vent moves the hot and cold air around your home to balance the temperature. This feature keeps your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter.
Minimize Energy Bills
With proper installation, you can boost your home’s energy efficiency. Using ridge vents is one of the most convenient ways to minimize your electric bills.
Prolong Roof Life
Ridge vents protect your roof against moisture and prevent mold and rot formation. If you want to stop your roof’s premature aging, we recommend installing these ventilation systems.
Match Exterior Aesthetics
Modern ridge vents have a sleek design that you’ll hardly notice from the ground. In most cases, it won’t affect your roof structure.
Keep Animals Out
Ridge vents are flexible materials that seal roof gaps and keep rats, bats, raccoons, and other pests out. We recommend installing them if you’ve noticed animal droppings in your attics.
Now, it’s time to check some of the disadvantages of installing ridge vents.
Sometimes, homes get in the way of storms. During these instances, the wind may damage ridge vents and cause water damage in the attic.
Work Better in Cool Climates
Most roofing ventilation systems don’t work as well in warmer climates. Generally, the colder an area is, the more attics benefit from ventilation systems.
Need a Roof Peak
Homes with a flat roof will not benefit from ridge vents. We only recommend using this product if you have a slanted pitch on your roof.
Common Ridge Vent Problems
Before investing in ridge vents, discover some of the common problems consumers experience when using them.
- Wrong installation: If you don’t install your ridge vent properly, you won’t achieve desired results.
- Improper sealing: Ridge vents use a special sealant to complete installation. It ensures that contaminants and moisture cannot seep into your attic.
- Product cracks: Most ridge vents use high-quality materials that withstand the elements. However, after years of use, plastic ridge vents can crack.
Ridge vents are some of the most efficient and cost-effective solutions to achieve ideal ventilation levels for your roof and attic. Additionally, they balance your home temperature, minimize your energy bills, and prolong your roof’s life.
If you’re ready to elevate your living situation, invest in these items now. They can keep your home safe and comfortable for several years.
Before you invest in one, choose the ideal brand and install it correctly. Contact our experts now to identify the best ventilation solutions for your home.