Roofing Ridge Vents: What Are They and How Do They Work?

Sep 2, 2023

WRITTEN BY:

Viking Contractors

CATEGORY:

Roof Repair

POSTED ON:

September 2, 2023

UPDATED ON:

May 10, 2024

Got Questions?

One of the most important aspects you need to take care of is your roof ventilation. When done properly, it cools your home, prevents water damage, and reduces power bills. To do that, you need to install roofing ridge vents.

But what are they? And how do they work? Continue reading as we explore these ventilation systems.

Also, if you need professional help with anything related to your roof, you can contact us and ask for an online quote.

 

What Are Roofing Ridge Vents?

These ridge vents are ventilation systems installed along the ridge or roof peak to control airflow in your attic by removing warm, moist air and pulling in cool, dry air. 

Roofing contractors install them over an air slot cut directly into your roof’s deck, running the entire length. 

How Do Ridge Vents Work?

When the wind blows across your roof, it creates a pressure difference between its sides. The force created pulls air through the attic, from the soffit vents (intake vents) to the ridge vents (exhaust vents), releasing hot air into the atmosphere. 

Ridge vents mix wind and thermal action to keep the air flowing in and out of your attic, preventing heat buildup, condensation, and mold growth. 

 

Why You Should Install a Roof Ridge Vent

Here are some reasons why you may need these vents on your property:

Balances Air Temperature

When warm air rises, it collects in the attic. Without proper ventilation, the hot air builds up, raising your home’s temperature. This is where a ridge vent comes into play. It directs hot air out of your attic while fresh air flows through the air slots, cooling your home in the summer.

In the winter, your home loses more heat to the environment through the roof. Ridge vents also play a role here. They allow cold air to flow into your attic through the soffit vents and mix with warm air, lowering temperatures.

Lowers Energy Bills

When your attic’s ventilation system is poor, your HVAC system will work harder to cool your home in the summer, raising energy bills. On the other hand, when you have a properly ventilated roof (using a ridge vent), hot air will be removed more efficiently, saving you money on power bills. 

Keeps Critters Out

Installing ridge vents ensures critters like rats, bats, raccoons, and squirrels won’t enter your attic. This is because these systems are installed without leaving any gaps or holes that animals like mice can squeeze through. They’re also made using material like metal, making it difficult for squirrels and raccoons to chew through your roof. 

For extra protection, you can install a mesh screen over the vent. It should be small enough to prevent critters from crawling through but large enough to improve airflow. You may also install ridge vent covers with built-in screens instead of mesh.

 

Types of Ridge Vents

Now, let’s discuss the two main types of ridge vents available: with and without baffle. 

  • Ridge Vent With Baffle: A baffle is a metal or plastic strip that runs the length of the vent, directing airflow and preventing air from flowing back into your attic. It’s ideal for roofs with an active ventilation system in windy climates, like coastal areas. 
  • Ridge Vent Without Baffle: This system relies on natural airflow to draw air through the vent. It’s suitable for passive ventilation systems in low-wind areas and is more affordable than a ridge vent with a baffle. However, it’s less efficient than its baffle counterpart.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Which Is Better, Ridge Vents or Roof Vents?

Ridge vents are better than roof vents because they provide more airflow and are less likely to leak. They’re also easier to install since you don’t have to drill holes in your roof deck and are better at reducing heat buildup in your attic.

What Is the Difference Between a Ridge Cap and a Ridge Vent?

A ridge cap is placed over a roof ridge to protect it from the elements and critters that can squeeze into your attic. A ridge vent, on the other hand, is a roof ventilation system made of porous materials that lets hot air flow out of your attic. 

 

Conclusion

Roofing ridge vents are small features that play a big role in making your home more comfortable. They’ll help you balance your air temperature, lower your energy bills, and more. 

If you want a reliable ridge vent installation, contact us today. We deal in all kinds of ventilation systems in the roofing industry, from intake vents to turbines.

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