What many people don’t understand is that the roof structure of their homes is one of the most important parts to keep well-maintained. In order to ensure that your shingles don’t become brittle and prone to damage and to ensure a stable roof deck, the ventilation of the roof is absolutely essential.
Why is this the case?
Well, when you have a properly installed ventilation system, air flows up and through the roof so that the heat and moisture build-up is greatly reduced. As a result, you have less moisture-based rot, less ice damming, and less shingle deterioration.
How Ridgeline Vents Compare to Other Vent Systems
While there are multiple options for ventilation in a modern home, most professionals agree that ridge vent systems really are the way to go because of their coverage and reliability.
Let’s take a look at how these types of vents compare to other roof ventilation systems:
|Box Vents||Wind Turbines||Power Vents||Ridge Vents|
|Design||Also called turtle vents, this vent is a non-powered vent that rests at several points on your roof.||These chef's hat-looking turbines rely on the wind to move air out of your attic area.||These devices use motors to move air out of your attic.||This is a static vent system without any moving parts. Air just moves upwards out of the attic and through the vents.|
|Strengths||They have no moving parts.||They move a lot of air on windier days.||You can purchase them with solar power, which reduces the cost.||Ridge vents are present atop the entire upper edge of your roof, and as a result, have the ability to move a lot of air.|
|Weaknesses||They don't provide maximum coverage.||Cheaper variations will generate squeaking noises.||Conditioned air is also pushed out of the attic, which can be costly. Also, if the vent fails, it's hard to detect.||There are very few weaknesses for this vent, and most weaknesses are due to poor installation.|
For a ridge vent, you don’t necessarily need a roofing specialist, but installation can be tricky since you’ll be installing this ridge venting system at the peak of your home’s roof.
Additional Benefits of Adding a Ridge Vent to Your Home
In addition to the aforementioned benefits, there are additional benefits to using the ridge vent in your home’s ventilation system.
It’s crucial that you understand exactly how this type of venting option can help keep your home looking nice and operating efficiently. Let’s take a look at some key advantages:
- Ridge vents, since they are built to be as flat as possible, also blend in well with most roofs. In fact, since they look somewhat like a flattened book along the ridge of your roof, they tend to be nearly invisible from the ground.
- Since these vents are present across the entire cap of the roof, moisture buildup is almost completely inhibited so that condensation doesn’t become a problem.
- These ventilation systems require no external power like wind or electricity and are designed to work year-round.
- Ridge vents are even effective when there’s heavy snowfall because warm air, which works its way outside of the house via the vents, will melt the snow and ensure proper air flow.
- Some other ventilation systems leave hot and cold zones throughout the roof’s surface, but a ridge vent ensures that there is an even temperature distribution throughout the roof’s surface.
- Some vents like wind turbines and power vents require external power sources like the wind and electricity; a ridge vent uses the natural convection of air, which means that the vents will work year-round with minimal interaction by you, the homeowner.
Some of the More Popular Ridgeline Vent Brands
So, where do you begin?
Well, fortunately, there are quite a few manufacturers that are well-known for offering quality ridge vent products that you can use to improve the ventilation of your attic and home.
Here are a few brands that are considered the best ridge vent manufacturers:
- GAF Cobra
- Air Vent, Inc.
- Owens Corning
- Builders Edge
The Installation Process
For this process you’ll need:
- A hammer
- Circular saws
- Nail gun or hammer and 8d nails
- Roofing nails
- Utility knife
- A pry bar
- Caulk for sealing
- Ridge shingles
- Shingle caps
If you’re going to opt to install these vents along the ridgeline of your roof, it’s crucial that you exercise every safety precaution.
To start, you must remove the cap shingles that are in the area where you’ll be placing the vents.
Next, using chalk, establish where you’ll be cutting. Once this is established, using a circular saw, cut away the sheathing in this area.
In just about every case, you must leave at least three inches of uncut sheathing on each side of the roof. For products like Cobra, it’s actually recommended to leave about six inches uncut. When cutting, make sure not to cut into the trusses or the ridge board.
Next, remove the sheathing and start the ridge ventilation installation process by rolling out the ridge vent across the area that has been cut.
Using a hammer or a nail gun, nail the vent to the peak of the roof so it’s firmly attached in place. When doing this, many ridge vent products have clear demarcations where you can insert nails. After the nailing stage, make sure that you cap or seal the ends of the vent.
Finally, install weatherproofing on the ridge vent. In some cases, you may add ridge cap shingles that will make the ridge appear seamless.
Other Things to Consider
While installing ridge vents, there are other things you can include so that your cooling and your roof are well managed. Here are a few steps that you can take:
- Install intake vents – Intake vents that are installed under the roof make airflow much more efficient. What many don’t understand is that installing intake soffit vents can create airflow that you’ll easily notice in your attic.
- Don’t be afraid of premium products – The last thing you want is a product that starts to wear quickly or just doesn’t do the job. For this reason, don’t cost-cut when it comes to ridge venting – the more premium products just tend to perform better and last longer.
When you’re considering these vents, remember that proper installation is crucial. In most cases, it is best to find a roofer to execute the vent installation because they have extensive experience installing these ridge vents.
In any case, proper installation is very important, especially if you want to have maximized performance out of your ridgeline ventilation system.