What Is a Ridge Vent on Roof & Why Your House Might Need One?

two pigeons on a roof vent

As anyone who has ever had a home in a warm location knows, heat tends to move up. It usually accumulates in the attic. On the one hand, this creates a less-than-ideal, uncomfortable environment to live in. On the other hand, it can cause actual damage to the roof by fostering humidity and, inevitably, mold. A properly installed ridge vent on roof functions as an effective ventilator by allowing damp, warm air out of the room. The present article will go into detail regarding the ridge vent on the roof. Additionally, it will discuss its advantages, disadvantages and other important things to consider before deciding on installation.

What Is a Ridge Vent on Roof?

Without a doubt, a ridge vent is an important part of any roofing system. Put simply, a ridge vent on roof is a non-powered type of ventilator that works by letting warm air out through the release vents. At the same time, the intake vents provide fresh and cool air into the attic. The simplicity of this product makes it possible to install it on a house’s roof. Once it has been correctly installed, a ridge vent on roof is capable of providing uniform cooling through the entire day. It will maintain a stable temperature inside. Additionally, it reduces the amount of humidity in the attic, reducing damage and prolonging the life of the roof.

There are two main types of ridge vents: metal ridge vents and shingle-over vents. However, both types serve the same function. It’s important to note that the place where the ridge vent is installed will be critical for its proper functioning. As was stated earlier, a ridge vent on roof needs to be installed in a place that provides an adequate intake of fresh, cool air. Additionally, there needs to be an even distribution through the entire roof. Also, you need a proper balance between the air intake and air expelled through the exhaust.

Pros and Cons of a Ridge Vent on Roof

a black ridge vent for roofs

Pros of a Ridge Vent on Roof

  • Uniform and Constant Ventilation: This kind of vent helps keep a uniformly cool temperature in a home’s attic without using electricity or any other expensive resource. Once installed, a ridge vent on roof will work on its own. It doesn’t need any adjustments. Moreover, it requires very little maintenance.
  • Energetically Efficient: Because it uses no electricity, using a ridge vent instead of other forms of ventilation increases energy efficiency in the home. This represents considerable savings in electricity bills. Additionally, it helps maintain and conserve the environment.
  • Prolonged Roof Life: By keeping the attic cool and dry, a ridge vent maintains the roof in tip-top condition, greatly prolonging its life. It also ensures there will be no proliferation of mold and other unwanted plagues that spread in damp and dark environments.
  • Simple and Elegant: Because of their straightforward design, ridge vents are not easy to notice. This fact enables homeowners to install ridge vents anywhere they see fit without worrying about ruining the visual style of their house.

Cons of a Ridge Vent on Roof

  • Roof Configuration Problems: All houses are different, which creates many variables when it’s time to install ridge vents. Depending on the type of roof they are installed on, ridge vents may work less than ideally. Additionally, some types of roof configuration do not allow the necessary air intake for ridge vents to work with efficiency. Without a doubt, they work best in sloped roofs that have a centralized attic. That way, the ridge vent can be placed at the peak of the roof, leading to higher performance.
  • More Expensive: Unfortunately, roof ridge vents are more expensive than other types of non-powered ventilation (such as turtle vents). However, their continuous efficiency and low maintenance costs compensate for their elevated price in the long run.
  • Water Leakage: If incorrectly installed, a ridge vent on roof may leak water into the attic. This should be taken as a clear sign that something is not working right and changes should be made. Sometimes, a change of location may do the trick.

What to Take Into Account When Installing a Ridge Vent on Roof

  • Space: Experts recommend having at least one square foot of ridge ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic floor space.
  • Location: In order to release the maximum amount of hot air possible, ridge vents should be placed at the top of the roof’s ridge. That way, they will create a vacuum effect that will suck the hottest air out of the attic.
  • Surface: It’s important that the field shingles that will act as supporting material for the ridge vent are in good condition. This means they are securely placed, dry and undamaged.
  • Looks: Even though they are not extremely prominent, ridge vents can affect the way your roof looks. For that reason, ridge vents come in different styles and colors. Try to choose the one that fits the overall look of your roof the most.
  • Cost: The prices for installing a ridge vent on a roof will, of course, vary according to a number of factors such as roof type, chosen materials, local taxes and the extension of the surface. However, the average price in the United States is between 400 and 500 dollars. This estimated price includes both the materials and the installation.

Drawing to a Close

Often in life, the simplest solutions are the best solutions. Installing a ridge vent on your roof is a simple and yet effective way to keep your attic (and the rest of your home) cool while preserving the integrity of your roof and saving on electricity. Indeed, many homes could benefit from such a modification. Of course, because every home is different, it’s important to get a professional opinion before deciding on anything. Have you had any experience installing ridge vents on a roof before? Let us know in the comments!

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