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How Does A Roof Ridge Vent Work

Ridge Vents Dont Allow For Consistent Ventilation

Ridge Vent: How It Works

When youre going to the trouble of installing a vent, you want the airflow to be consistent. How well ridge vents work depends highly on the energy-efficiency of the home.

You have to have air movement towards the vent for it to work correctly. If not, youre going to run into more problems down the line.

If the rest of your house doesnt have circulation, a ridge vent isnt going to be your best option. Something to consider is whether or not you have baffles installed in your home.

If you dont, a ridge vent will provide you with no ventilation. Another part of the ventilation issue is that you have to have air crossing over the vent for it to work.

This is why youll find ridge vents on roofs, which brings me to the next issue.

Why Is Roof Ventilation Important And Do Roof Vents Actually Help

You probably know that almost all roofs and attics are ventilated. A scary thing to note is that a lot of these are not properly ventilated, costing you more in energy bills and possibly causing damage to your home.

Roof ventilation is imperative for keeping air flowing through your roof, as letting this hot air sit stagnant can cause many problems for the health of your roof. Air is taken through soffits under your overhanging eaves that flows through your roof and escapes out of a ridge vent located on the top of your roof, this all creates a perfect balance, if done right, of air in your roof. A lack of this ventilation can cause a whole lot of problems for you and your family.

If done right, proper roof ventilation can extend the life of your roof and even lower your energy costs.

What Is A Roof Ridge Vent

A ridge vent is a ventilation system that is installed across the ridge of a roof. Covered by shingle caps, this type of vent not only works well but also has an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Some people may refer to this type of roof vent as a continuous vent.

Roof line with ridge vent installed.

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How Are Box Vents Installed

This type of vent is installed over a hole cut in the roof. From the ground, they look like a low-profile metal box sitting on top of the shingles. Unlike a singular ridge vent, you will likely need to install more than one box vent depending on the square footage of your attic.

Similar to ridge vents, box vents rely on the natural wind and air pressure to remove warm air and moisture from the attic. One advantage of box vents is the reduced cost of investment.

Roof Ventilation At Work

Do ridge vents really work?  AskARoofer

Roof ventilation systems are unique to every home. Factors such as code requirements, regional climate and roof and ceiling designs all need to be considered when venting your roof.

There are two main types of roof ventilation:

Exhaust vents: These vents allow exhaust to escape.

The most common type of exhaust vents are ridge vents. They are installed at the intersection of two roof planes . They are typically made of molded, high-impact copolymer and are installed underneath a final layer of shingles to give a seamless look to the roof. To the untrained eye, ridge vents can be almost invisible.

Roof louvers, gable louvers, wind turbines and power attic ventilators are all visible exhaust vents that are mounted on the outside of your roof. Like ridge vents, roof louvers and gable louvers work without the use of electricity.

Wind turbines also work without a power source, but they work best with a constant source of wind and are not as effective as ridge vents.

Power attic ventilators, which run on a power source, are an exhaust vent option for certain roof designs or areas without much wind.

Intake vents: These vents can be even harder to spot.

Now that weve reviewed how ventilation works and how a roof can be properly vented, lets expand on the benefits of roof ventilation.

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Do You Need A Hood Vent With Induction Ranges

You need a range hood over your induction cooktop to vent cooking grease, oils, smoke, and strong cooking smells from your home. A range hood also keeps you and your family healthy. You dont want to breathe in all the fumes produced from your cooking. It can cause headaches, disorientation, and other similar symptoms.

Roofing Felt Obstructed Ridge Vents

Its less common for us to find that a builder cut away plywood for the ridge vent, but that s/he installed building paper or more likely roofing felt over the opening before installing the ridge vent.

In this case just cut away the building paper to expose the underside of the plastic ridge vent mesh, plastic Cor-A-Vent material

or the opening into the aluminum ridge vent .

Check that the ridge vent material itself is not blocked by building paper .

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A Quick Overview Of Installing A Ridge Vent

Installing a ridge vent correctly is imperative to your warranty and performance of your ventilation.Before installation is done, make absolutely sure you have to correct roof pitch. Anything between 3/12 and 16/12 pitches. Make sure you have adequate intake ventilation for a balanced system, 50% intake, and 50% exhaust. Make sure you have plugged or removed any existing ventilation, such as turbine vents, gable vents or power fans.

So with that being said lets get to it on how to install a ridge vent.

Do I Need An Attic Fan If I Have A Ridge Vent

Roofing Ventilation – Why Roof Ridge Vents Are Important!

Combining an attic power vent fan with a ridge vent is usually not recommended because: It could reverse the natural flow of hot air out the ridge vent. If air is drawn in through the ridge vent while it’s raining, it might pull rainwater in with it, which could lead to leaking or mold in the attic.

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Hard Wired Powered Attic Vents

Powered attic vents are powered by a motor-powered fan and controlled by a switch or preferably a humidistat. The fans can circulate the air in the attic or similar confined space or move hot out of the area through a roof vent.

Powered attic vents are well suited to applications where you must expel high volumes of air. The powered vents are used extensively in factory or warehouse environments, often in conjunction with ridge vents.

The downside of this system is that the fan-created noise may cause discomfort in some applications and, secondly, being hard-wired to the electrical supply costs money to run.

Various designs of power attic vents are available for commercial and domestic use. Selecting which will suit your particular application may require advice from a professional.

A hard-wired powered attic vent is essentially just an exhaust vent. They require ample inlet vents to prevent a negative pressure buildup in the attic.

Powered attic vents often have a louver-type grid or downward-facing exhaust pipe that expels attic air from the roof and, simultaneously, ensures that the opening in the roof remains weatherproof.

Ridge Vent Sources & Installation Instructions

Illustration: showing the proper cut-out opening dimensions for a typical ridge vent exerpted & adapted from CertainTeed ridge vent installation manual cited below. The company recommends a cutout width giving a 3/4″ wide opening on either side of a ridge board making the total cutout width about 3″. A Benjamin Obdyke roll-vent type ridge vent requires a 3 1/2 inch slot at the ridge, giving a 1″ opening on either side of a typical 1 1/2″ thick ridge board .

The cutout for the ridge vent usually stops 6″ from the end of the ridge, from an abutting vertical end-wall, or from the abutment to a hip on a hipped roof.

  • Air Vent, CRV ALUMINUM RIDGE VENT INSTLLATION INSTRUCTIONS Air Vent Inc., 3000 W. Commerce St., Dallas TC 75212 USA, Tel: 1 800-247-8368 – retrieved 2021/02/16 original source: ventilation-resources/literature-sales-tools/ installation/52-crv-ridge-vent-installation-instructions/file
  • Benjamin Obdyke ROLL VENT INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS Benjamin Obdyke Co., 400 Babylon Rd., Suite A., Horsham PA 19044 USA , Tel: 8000-523-5261, website: – retrieved 2021/02/16, original source: uploads/2020/11/ Roll_Vent_Installation_Instructions_092817_web.pdf This product can be used to provide roof ventilation openings – at the ridge

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How Does The Ridge Vent In An Attic Work

Ridge vents are not simply openings at the top of your roof they are connected to a system of internal ventilation that roots hot air from parts of the house and from outside to go out the top. This movement of air lowers the house temperature and prevents the top of the house from overheating.

Ridge vents work the best when you have a living space at the top of your house, as there will be less ventilation between the roof and the room located herecreating more potential for heat to get stuck in this area and cause a drastic overheating as time passes.

We always recommend that you have the ridge vent screened off as well, as critters and birds will try to make a nest in the space if they can gain access. However, the ridge vent will exhaust hot air from the house structure, cooling everything down and balancing pressure.

How To Install A Ridge Vent For A Metal Roof

Roofing Services

If you have a vented ridge cap it will require aridge ventsuch as ProfileVent®.

Here are some easy to followinstallation instructions.

  • Ensure that there is a 2 inch wide opening at the ridge for ventilation. This is needed for proper installation.
  • Start from the end of the ridge and start rolling out the ridge vent along the length of both sides of the ridge cap.
  • Install the ridge cap.
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    Different Roof And Attic Vent Options

    Below are four alternative options for roof and attic vents. Ive included a handful of pros and cons for each one to give you a better idea of what will work for you. Hopefully, this is a helpful tool that you can use to find what you need.

    Vent Type
    • Causes you to rely on weather
    • Can be made low-quality
    • Less powerful than motorized fan
    Box Vents
    • Doesnt take up a lot of room
    • Not as powerful as motorized vents
    Ridge Vents
    • Blends in with the roof
    • Easily reduces air pollutants
    • Doesnt work with warmer climates
    • Can be more expensive
    • Can cause leaks from rain

    Fiction: Having Vents In My Attic Will Let The Cold Air In And Cool The House Down

    And lastly, we want to reiterate that your roof vents are meant to circulate air in your attic and not your home. If your home and attic are well insulated on top of well ventilated, you should have no issues with heat or cold escaping from or entering your home. You will have more issues with high energy bills and inconsistent temperature with fewer attic vents and poor ventilation.

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    Should Ridge Vent Go All The Way Across Roof

    The answer is strictly one of aesthetics. The venting in the roof should never be cut all the way to the edge but that doesnt mean you cant install the vent cap all the way to the edge. If you are considering a roofing, siding or window or painting project we always provide a free, no-pressure estimate.

    How Many Vents Should A House Have

    How Soffit and Ridge Vents Work

    But how many roof vents does one home really need? A general guideline is homeowners need one square foot of roof vent for every 300 square feet of ceiling space, if your home has a roof with a vapor barrier, or 1:300. If not, you should have one square foot of roof vent for every 150 square feet, or 1:150.

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    Save Money On Your Metal Roofing Panels

    Its always a good idea to get quotes from more than one company. Metal roofing quotes vary quite a bit. It could cost fifty percent more with one metal roofing supplier versus a different company. If you have not already purchased your metal roofing panels our online form is quick and easy to fill out. We would like to offer you a free quote.

    When you purchase metal roofing from Western States Metal Roofing you are buying manufacturer direct. There are no middle men involved. This will save you 15% to 50%. We offer inexpensive delivery throughout the entire United States and will provide excellent customer service.

    What Are The Benefits Of A Ridge Vent On A Metal Roof

  • Allows the heat to escape the attic which will prevent damage caused by snow, ice, and moisture.
  • Lowers energy costs.
  • Continuous airflow which increases energy efficiency
  • Ridge vents for a metal roof are inexpensive.
  • No maintenance.
  • Ridge vents cannot be seen because they sit underneath the metal ridge cap.
  • Fits under any ridge cap.
  • Easy and quick installation.
  • Prevents insects from getting into the attic.
  • Wont clog from airborne dust.
  • Made from fire resistant material.
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    What Is The Best Roof Vent For A House

    I think we can all agree that reliability and cutting costs on energy are top priorities when trying to find a great ventilation system for your roof. Good ventilation protects your home from damage not only by cooling down your roof and lowering energy costs but also by removing excess moisture that can damage your roof.

    While all roof vents perform similarly, some just dont seem to help at all, in fact, most turbine vents do very little but spin until the bearings give out or rust settles in. When it comes to roof ventilation, it can sometimes be challenging to find a balance of the inlet and outlet of your roof vents.

    This is why I recommend the ridge vent. This vent is great for roof ventilation. It finds that perfect balance of inlet and outlet for your roof that allows the hot air to easily escape the topmost point of your roof.

    What Are The Supply Costs For A Roof Vent

    Venting a Wood

    Well now look at the supply or material costs only of having a roof vent installed.

    These costs exclude the price of labour and other expenses such as any waste removal.

    In general, the supply cost of fitting a roof vent makes up about half of the overall cost.

    As a result, it would cost around £180 to £220 to purchase four tile vents, £130 to £170 for four ride vents, or £100 to £150 to get twenty eaves vents.

    The material costs of four ridge and twenty eaves vents would be about £230 to £270, whereas the standalone cost of four tiles + 20 eaves vents or four ridge and four tile vents would be approximately £280 to £320.

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    How Does A Ridge Vent Work

    Now, how exactly does a ridge vent allow the hot and humid air to escape the attic of your house? What is the working of it? Lets see that in detail.

    With the help of some basic principles, a ridge vent carries out a natural exchange of air by letting the hot and humid air escape from the vent-like structure.

    First of all, you might already know that hot air rises on its own. So, when you have a roof ridge vent installed, it facilitates the release of this hot air from the vent-like openings found in these ridge vents.

    Then, once the hot air has escaped, the fresh and cool air is pulled in with the help of soffits, another type of part present in your roof.

    Hence, this way, a roof ridge vent facilitates removing hot and humid air from your attic and allows the fresh and cool air to enter.

    Preferred Method: The Air Temperature Test

    Doing this test is by far one of the best ways to test the ridge vent however, you will have to purchase something that can measure air temperature, such as an infrared thermometer. I use a Klien Tools Infrared Thermometer, which is available at Amazon. By measuring the temperature at the soffit vents, then measuring the temperature inside the attic at the ridge vent, you can see if it is working.

    An active ridge vent will have the attic or roof be closer to the same temperatures as the rest of the house as the warmer air exits through the ridge. Suppose your ridge vent was not working or was slow to work. In that case, the attic temperature difference will be dramatic, with your roof or attic being almost double the temperature of everywhere else.

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    Advantages Of Proper Roofing Ventilation

    Although there are many different types of roof vents to choose from, ensuring you have the right number of both intake and exhaust vents is a central part of roof design. Proper attic ventilation offers numerous advantages to the homeowner:

    As the ventilation helps moderate the temperatures in the attic, this may also help moderate the temperature in the rest of the home

    It helps prevent moisture buildup in your attic, which, during colder months, can help prevent condensation issues that can affect the materials in the attic space, especially insulation.

    By preventing excess heat buildup, proper ventilation promotes energy efficiency in the home, so your heating costs may be lower

    It helps protect the life of the roofing materials

    It helps you remain compliant with most local building codes, which often require proper attic ventilation in homes

    How To Install A Static Vent


    First, from inside the attic, your roofer will drive a nail through the roof structure to mark spots for the vents. on the topside of the roof. The roofer will mark these spots between the rafters evenly along the roof. From the roof they will then draw a guide hole the size the diameter of each vent. These holes will likely be installed closer to the ridge but manufacturer instructions should always be followed.

    From the roof, the roofer will remove shingles around the guide hole and about one inch back on the upper side of the hole. They will use a saber saw to cut through the underlayment and decking of each marked hole.

    To install the vent, the roofer slips the flange under shingles at the upper part of the hole and rests the flange on top of the shingles at the down-slope part of the hole.

    To secure, your roofer will likely use roofing nails, ensuring these are long enough to penetrate through the unit, the shingles and the decking.

    The final step is waterproofing the vent, which will be done by applying manufacturer-recommended material around the flange.

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