February 23, 2024
Being homeowner in the USA comes with a ton of responsibilities. One of those is getting educated the time arises, So that you can make wise decisions about protecting your home and family from harm. If you have ever asked yourself the question, “How Do Ridge Vents Work? Then you’re in the right place!
In this article, we will explain exactly how attic ventilation needs to work to doing its job and explain how roof ridge vents work in comparison to standard roof vents. Hopefully, this information will help you to make an educated decision when it comes time to decide what’s right for your home.
If you know about attic ventilation already, you can skip down to the section entitles “How Do Roof Ridge Vents Work? – An Easy Explanation With Diagram to learn about how ridge vents work…
Ok, and foremost, to understand roof ridge vents work to provide the proper amount of fresh air exchange in your attic, it would help to know a bit about roof ventilation first.
Roof Ventilation Basics – Why Does Roof Ventilation Matter?
No matter what type of roof vents you have in your home; roof static vents, low profile roof vents, or “louvered vents, ” gable vents, or roof ridge vents, every roof vent has one main purpose: And that is to keep a continual exchange of fresh air moving through your attic.
Without fresh air circulating through your attic, you are setting yourself up for a ton of issues, like; improper heating and cooling, higher energy bills, extra wear on your air conditioners, rust, moisture buildup, mold and mildew, ice dams, sagging or soft decking, premature deterioration of your roofing system, and more.
According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s Residential Building Code in Section R806 Roof Ventilation asphalt shingle roofs is required to have a minimum of one-foot net free ventilating area per 150ft. of vented space.
In the simplest of terms, the purpose of all roof ventilation is to provide adequate ventilation in your attic, to preserve the life of your roofing system and to keep your attic from collecting moisture, too hot in the summer, and getting too cold during the winter by providing consultant, fresh air exchange.
Now that we know the reasons why roof ventilation is important, let’s discuss your question, “How Do Ridge Vents Work?”
How Do Roof Ridge Vents Work? – An Easy Explanation With Diagram
To answer your question, “How does ridge vents work?” the process is really quite simple. Roof ridge vents work by creating a natural air exchange process that, when broken down, is the combination of a couple of basic principles that you may already be familiar with.
I’m sure that most of you have heard all ready that hot air rises naturally, right?
Well, when hot air in your attic rises and you have a roof ridge vent installed, the positive airflow across the ridge of roof exchanges air naturally by allowing the hot air that rises to escape from in the, vent-like openings in the ridge vents. That’s the small side portion of ridge vent that looks like a vent.
This natural airflow lets the hot air escape through the vents at the top, naturally pulling fresh air in to replace it through the soffits.
This process of natural air exchange then creates negative pressure in the attic, also known as the “venturi effect, ” the same effect that creates the suction in garden hoses and carburetors that fuel the engines in our cars.
Why Roof Ridge Vent?
One of the main advantages of using ridge vent instead of static or gable vents is that they provide a better and more evenly distributed airflow down the entire length of your roof, instead of other roof vent types that only introduce exchange in small areas when are the vents are installed.
Roof ridge vents are excellent at keeping pests out of the attic because of the tiny vent holes in the that big enough for them to enter, and low profile, even the design of roof ridge vents looks better aesthetically on many roof types.
Want to learn more about ridge vents? Keep reading to learn some things that pro roofers have to factor in when making a decision on which roof ventilation type is for your roofing system.
How Do Roofers Know Which Type of Roof Vent is Best for My Roof?
If you know nothing about roof ventilation, you may wonder why it matters which type roof vent you choose. Well, that would probably be the case, as long as the amount of airflow coincides with your total attic space…
But it gets tricky…
Things like wind direction, existing ventilation, the shape of the roof… Even the climate in your a sometimes must be factored in before making a decision. Especially in cases where a certain type of vent can have issues in extreme conditions.
Here some examples of why it’s always to get the opinion of a qualified, experienced roofer when you unsure about decisions that involve your roof.
Wind Direction: One thing roofers have to be alert to is wind direction. If you have a lot of trees behind your house, and wind primarily comes from one direction, the wind is a determining factor in deciding what of roof vent to go with.
Existing Air Flow: You may have heard at some point that wind, always follows the path of the least resistance.
This can become an issue in instances where there were previous cents installed, or in cases of improper roof installation, poorly placed roof vents can end up letting weather inside the because the airflow exits through a lower vent, forcing the higher ones to be intake vents.
This is why using two different types of roof vent is frowned on. The wind just what it does naturally and some of your vents end up unwillingly being used to pull air in because they get overpowered by the easiest path resistance.
Style, Shape, and Size: In where there are several peaks of different heights or several attics on different parts of the house, different techniques may call for to achieve proper attic ventilation.
Climate:: In with very heavy rain or snow during the winter, your local climate can become a factor in how your roof ventilation gets installed, and what type of roof vents are best for your roof.
Again, we are one call away and our opinion is always free!
How Do Ridge Vents Work? – Final Thoughts
Whether you are building your dream home or re-roofing your existing one, having a properly ventilated roof is an important part of protecting your home, your family. Making the right decision can extend the life of your roofing system.
Having the right amount of air exchange and a well thought out and professionally installed roof can preserve the lifespan of your roof and save you a ton of money in the long run.
If you have any options on which roof vents are best option for your roofing project on your home, or you are planning to re-roof your home and would like to review your options with an expert roofer, just give us a call at (651)703-2336 or click any of the buttons on our site to have a team member call you back to schedule a free inspection and estimate at your convenience!
As a reputable five star rated roofing contractor in Minneapolis, Sellers Roofing Company – New Brighton is proud to offer best in class roofing and remodeling services to all of the greater Minneapolis area!
How much does it cost to install a roof ridge vent?
Installing a roof ridge vent is typically most cost-effective when done during a complete roof replacement but can be added at any time. The overall cost of installing a ridge vent can vary based on several factors. The size of your roof, the type of vent being installed, and the labor costs charged by professionals will all contribute to the final price. To get a more accurate estimate, it is advisable to reach out to top-rated professionals and gather quotes specific to your project. This way, you can compare prices and select the best option for your needs.
It’s important to consider that while cost is an important factor, the quality of the installation should be prioritized to ensure optimal functionality and longevity of your ridge vent. Factors such as water damage or mold in the attic, ice dams in winter, cracked or loose shingles, excessive heat in the attic, and unusually high energy bills are signs that your roof might require additional ventilation. Addressing these issues promptly is key to preventing further damage and increasing the overall efficiency of your home. By consulting with reputable professionals and taking into account the various factors mentioned, you will be able to determine the cost of installing a roof ridge vent that suits your budget and provides effective ventilation for your roof.
When is the best time to install a roof ridge vent?
The best time to install a roof ridge vent is typically when the entire roof is being replaced, as this allows for seamless integration and ensures optimal efficiency. However, it is worth noting that roof ridge vents can also be added at any time, even if the roof is not being fully replaced. This offers flexibility to homeowners who may decide to upgrade their ventilation system later on, enhancing the overall functionality and longevity of their roof.
What are some signs that your roof may need more ventilation?
There are several indicators that suggest your roof may require additional ventilation. Some of the signs include:
1. Water damage or the presence of mold in the attic: Inadequate ventilation can lead to moisture buildup in the attic, resulting in water damage and the growth of mold or mildew.
2. Formation of ice dams during the winter season: Insufficient ventilation can contribute to the formation of ice dams on the roof, which occur when melted snow refreezes at the eaves. This can cause water to seep into the roof and potentially damage the underlying structure.
3. Cracked or loose shingles: Poor ventilation can expose your shingles to excessive heat and moisture, which can lead to the deterioration and loosening of the shingles. If you notice cracked or loose shingles, it may indicate that your roof lacks adequate ventilation.
4. Excessive heat in the attic: Proper ventilation helps in removing hot air trapped in the attic. If your attic is excessively hot, it could be an indication that there is not enough ventilation allowing heat to escape, leading to potential damage to the roof and reduced energy efficiency.
5. Unusually high energy bills: Inadequate ventilation can cause your home’s cooling system to work harder to maintain comfortable temperatures, leading to increased energy consumption and higher energy bills. If you notice a significant spike in your energy costs, it may be a sign that your roof lacks sufficient ventilation. Remember, any of these signs should be assessed and addressed by a professional roofing contractor to ensure that proper ventilation is installed to maintain the integrity and longevity of your roof.
What are the cons of roof ridge vents?
The cons of roof ridge vents include the potential for leaks during heavy rainstorms. While ridge vents allow for airflow, they can also let water enter the house if the rain is being driven by the wind at a certain angle. However, as long as the vents are properly installed, this is rarely a significant issue. It is important to consider the risks of installing ridge vents if you live in an area with frequent extreme weather. Another drawback is that ridge vents are not suitable for all types of roofs. They work best with gable roofs but are not a good fit for hip roofs.
Furthermore, ridge vents should ideally be installed along one main ridge at the top of the roof, rather than on multiple levels or ridge lines. If ridge vents are installed on multiple levels, they may work against each other, limiting optimal airflow and potentially causing issues like the suction of outside snow into the attic. Compared to other types of roof vents such as soffit vents, gable vents, or roof turbines, ridge vents have a higher upfront installation cost. However, the benefits they provide in terms of preventing damage can make them a cost-effective investment in the long run.
What are the types of ridge vents?
There are two main types of ridge vents that serve as exhaust systems for attics. The first type is the ridge vent with baffle. This particular design incorporates an external baffle, which serves to deflect rain, wind, snow, insects, and debris. By preventing these elements from entering the vent, the ridge vent with baffle successfully keeps them from infiltrating the attic space.
The second type is the ridge vent without baffle. This variant differs from the one with a baffle in that it does not employ an external deflector. Instead, ridge vents without baffles allow air to flow directly into the vent. This airflow prevents warm air from escaping the attic or, in some cases, permits it to escape from only one side of the vent. Consequently, ridge vents without baffles somewhat reduce the suction created by roof vents with baffles.
What is a roof ridge vent?
A roof ridge vent is a ventilation system that is installed along the peak, or ridge, of a roof. It is positioned at the highest point to effectively regulate airflow within the attic. The main function of a ridge vent is to extract warm air and moisture from the attic space, thereby promoting air circulation. To install a ridge vent, an air slot is cut directly into the roof deck along the entire length of the ridge. Once the vent is in place, it is covered with the same roofing material used on the rest of the roof, allowing it to seamlessly blend in. By facilitating the movement of air in the attic, a roof ridge vent plays a vital role in maintaining a well-ventilated and properly insulated roof, which can contribute to the overall energy efficiency and longevity of a building.