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How Wide Should Ridge Vent Opening Be?

A ridge vent is one essential roofing component because it lets air properly flow from the attic. Its material is porous, which contractors place underneath the last layer of roof shingles or over a metal roofing panel. And after much research about ridge vents, we have determined how wide their openings should be.

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If you want to ensure your roof has enough airflow, it would be best to leave an opening at least two inches wide when installing your ridge vent. 

Please keep reading as we further elaborate on ridge vents and how to install one for your metal or shingle roofs.

Aerial view of roof work done on a home. - How Wide Should Ridge Vent Opening Be?

What Size Should Ridge Vent Opening Be?

If you want your ridge vent to force stale air out of the attic and let new air come through to keep the attic cool and dry, it is highly advisable to ensure proper ridge vent installation. So, following the standard two inches opening is a must. 

Ridge cap vent installed on a shingle roof for passive attic ventilation on a residential house.

Another benefit you can obtain with properly installed ridge vents is that they can lower your electricity consumption and prevent damage to your roof simultaneously.

Furthermore, keep in mind that if you want consistent air circulation along your home's whole horizontal ridge, nothing except ridge vents will do the trick.

Are Ridge Vents Worth It?

Ridge cap vent installed on a shingle roof for passive attic ventilation on a residential house

Even though other roof vents do their job, professionals agree that ridge vents are the best choice due to their superior efficiency and low cost. Thus, ridge vents are a valuable addition to a new roof.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Ridge Vents?

Although we have mentioned that ridge vents are worth it, you still need to know their advantages and disadvantages to be sure. Check these out!

Advantages:

  • One of its most significant advantages is that it can reduce your use of the HVAC system. Thus, it also reduces your power consumption. 
  • Ridge vents can aid in preventing pests from entering and infesting your attic. These pests include wasps, mice, rats, and bats.
  • It reduces the likelihood of costly roof, attic, and wall damage caused by ice dams.
  • It can lower the heat accumulation in the attic area, making your entire home cooler and more comfortable.
  • It reduces the possibility of leaks because it can stop moisture accumulation.
  • Because ridge vents allow heat and moisture to exit from your attic and roof, expect that it can prolong the lifespan of roof shingles.

Disadvantages:

  • If you happen to reside in a warmer region, a ridge vent might not be the most excellent choice for your home because it is ineffective in keeping out excessive heat.
  • When it rains hard, water can seep in through the ridge vents. The only way to stop leaks is to have new vents that are less likely to let water in.
  • Depending on how energy-efficient a house is, ridge vents might not be able to provide enough airflow.

How To Install Ridge Vents?

Ridge cap vent installed on a shingle roof for passive attic ventilation on a residential house.

If you want to have an idea about how to install ridge vents properly, you can check these installation methods below:

Installing Ridge Vents On Metal Roofs

  1. Ventilation is essential, so make sure there's a gap of at least two inches in width at the ridge. Keep in mind that for a successful setup, this factor is essential.
  2. You should begin the process by rolling out the ridge vent, extending through opposite sides of the ridge cap. Note that you should start this step at one end of the ridge.
  3. Mount the ridge cap in place.
  4. It is advisable to clean the roof panel's exterior. A dirt-free surface can aid in making the adhesive adhere correctly.
  5. Install a ProfileVent, but make sure that you position its bottom edge an inch upslope from the ridge cap.
  6. The standard length for a roll of ProfileVent ridge vent is 50 feet. More than 50 feet of ridge length necessitates butting the ends.

Installing Ridge Vents On Shingle Roofs

Man using nail gun to attach asphalt shingles to roof

Before installing a ridge vent on your shingle roof, you should check for adequate ventilation in the attic. After ensuring this, you can comply with the following steps:

  1. Detach the shingle or ridge caps by removing the nails that secure them.
  2. Check for the wood sheathing and detach it. Keep in mind that for you to improve ventilation through the ridge vent and aperture, it's necessary to remove the wood sheathing from that area.
  3. Use a chalk line to outline where you want to make cuts in the roof. Additionally, you must pry all nails in the framing along the chalk lines. You can use a hammer and a pry bar for this step.
  4. Set up the ridge vent by positioning it on the outline you made.
  5. Secure the ridge vent to the decking on opposite sides by correctly nailing it. It would be best to follow the manufacturer's directions if you are unsure how to do it.
  6. After that, utilize the advised nails for ridge vents to put an asphalt shingle cap on the top of the vent. 

One question that may arise is whether or not the ridge vent should run the whole span of the roof. Note that you can put the vent cap on the border before the ridge vent.

What Are The Common Issues Of Ridge Vents?

Like other things, it is also inevitable for a ridge vent to obtain issues. Please check the following and be aware of these problems and their solutions.

Clogging Issues

One of the ridge vents issues that need immediate action is clogging. In the event that your ridge vent obtains obstructions, you could have issues such as:

  • Fire hazards might increase.
  • Inevitable formation of ice dams.
  • Expect a rise in moisture levels and temperatures when there is decreased ventilation.
  • The roofing materials might also obtain damage.

Solution:

Regularly cleaning your ridge vents is the only preventative measure and solution for this one. 

On the other hand, if you notice that the clogging is too challenging for you to handle, it would be best to ask for the help of a roofing professional. The roofer has complete tools and equipment for cleaning and repair that can immediately fix the issues. 

Incorrect Installation 

Even though it is not challenging to establish ridge vents in a roof, there are still some instances when a contractor makes errors. One common mistake is using the wrong nails, which would not properly secure your ridge vents. 

Regardless of the origin, a property with faulty ridge vents is at risk for a number of issues, like the following:

  • It might not let out hot air and moisture in your attic.
  • Improper installation of ridge vents might facilitate the entry of pests and insects.
  • It might let water into your attic, which could breed algae, mold, and mildew.
  • The ridge vent will come loose from the deck as time passes and powerful gusts hit it.

Solution:

The only thing you can do here is to contact another roofing professional and let them check your ridge vents; they might need repair or re-installation. 

Condensation Issues

When it rains heavily, condensation can form. The moisture in attic air becomes liquid due to the temperature discrepancy between the attic itself and the rest of the house. That leads to rot and mold, among other issues.

Solution:

If you live somewhere that gets lots of rain, it would be best to check the condition of your ridge vent regularly. Condensation from the warm, humid atmosphere in the attic may be to blame for any algae, mold, and mildew you see up there.

So, if you want to prevent warm, damp air from building up in your attic, it is a must always check if your ridge vent is functioning correctly.

Incorrect Sealing

There is a sealant that is widely available only for ridge vents. It fills in all the cracks and crevices in the ridge vent so that no air or moisture can get in.

In most cases, though, the roofing contractor overlooks this vital step. If there are even little openings in the seams where they have applied the sealant, expect moisture to seep in and cause significant issues like ice dams.

Solution:

If you want to have an adequately sealed ridge, have a professional roofer do it. For you to avoid these and other problems associated with ridge installation, it would be best always to choose a reliable roofing professional. 

Additionally, you may need to perform regular, in-depth ridge vent inspections. Let a roofing professional perform this for you to avoid damaging the sealant.

You may also have to carry out a detailed inspection of your ridge vent regularly. 

Cracks Occurring

Constant exposure to the elements promotes deterioration. Know that your ridge vent is vulnerable to wear and tear from the weather's heating and cooling cycles. Its surface will start developing tiny fissures, which quickly expand into gaping holes.

Solution:

It's hopeless to keep the ridge vent from breaking down over time. However, you can choose metal ridge vents over plastic ones to postpone the inevitable.

Wrapping It All Up

A properly installed ridge vent is important for your roof, especially if you don't want any issues to happen. So, as discussed, it is necessary to keep in mind that the ridge vent opening should be at least two inches. If you encounter issues like those mentioned above, you should follow the solutions we have provided carefully. 

You have finally made it to the end! We hope you find this post helpful. If you wish to continue reading, check these roof-related posts out!

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