20 Apr Choosing a Ridge Vent Material
In the house hosts review features and benefits of various ridge vent materials.
Max: I’m getting ready to re-roof my home soon and now I’m beginning to wonder about ridge vents for attic ventilation. My roof already has a slot in place up there for a ridge vent, but there are so many different kinds available now—some with shingles, others made from plastic or different metals. Is there a difference in how much air each kind lets in and out?
Jim: Obviously ventilation is very important to any attic. Let me provide some background so our listeners will better understand my answer to your question. When your attic is well ventilated you are adding to the life of your shingle roof and likely helping to lower your air conditioning bill. Ridge vents are considered static ventilation since they do not have any mechanical moving parts or require electrical or solar power to operate. For most of the roofs out there, the best place to install static ventilation is at the ridge.
The amount of air that a shingle-over-ridge vent and aluminum ridge vent move is not a big difference. While the most obvious difference between the two is aesthetic, they also differ in maintenance requirements. The shingle-over-ridge vent is a nicer, more consistent look compared to the aluminum vents, which are very susceptible to leaks further down the road because all of the fasteners are exposed–they go right through the surface of the vent and into the roof. To prevent leaks from happening around aluminum vent fasteners you have to use a sealant and then re-apply it as a part of your regular roof maintenance. When shingle-over-ridge vents are nailed into place, shingles are placed over top covering the nails with petroleum-based sealant in the overlap which does not require regular reapplication.
Some shingle-over-ridge vents are better than their standard counterparts and allow better ventilation. The better ones have a baffle system that keeps water from backing up into and leaking over the ridge into the attic. It basically serves as a dam that will keep water from getting in while allowing sufficient air flow. This is something you want to keep in mind when you’re shopping around for shingle-over-ridge vents; does it have a baffle system? You also want to make sure it has a nice, large opening and that the vent can be easily fastened. Some will even have marks exactly where to put the nail through for installation.
Jared: When you are looking into roof ventilation systems you’ll find that contractors often offer the same ventilation solution for every roof type and style because that’s what they’re familiar with. But not every roof is suited to the same ventilation system. For instance, depending on if it’s a hip style roof or if there are different levels to the roof, many times the ridge vent system won’t work properly to ventilate that space.
At Universal Roof & Contracting we examine each house individually, calculating how much ventilation is required to properly ventilate it, and we narrow down the options to the best solution for that particular home. I would say the most common, and often most effective, style of ventilation to the majority of homes out there is shingle over ridge vent, but it’s still not always the right solution for every house. Universal Roof & Contracting offers free estimates and roof inspections to find out what options are available to you. If you’re interested in scheduling one of our guys to come out and take look to see what ventilation system would be most effective for your home then contact us at 407-295-7403.
Max: Thank you so much. You’ve been a great help.
Jared: We appreciate your call, Max, and good luck with your project.
Listen Saturday mornings to “In the House with Ken & Jared”. Get more Home Tips and show info at the In the House website. For a free Electrical Inspection and a free estimate on your next Home Improvement Project, visit Universal Roof & Contracting or call now. Orlando: 407-295-7403 Jacksonville: 904-647-3907