What is a ridge vent in roofing?

Published March 1st, 2022 in Blog
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What is a ridge vent in roofing?

A ridge vent plays a part in keeping your roof healthy. Other materials that protect and make up your roof include shingles or metal, nails, underlayment. You may want to understand all of the different parts that work together to keep it safe and functioning well. You may be thinking of things like your foundation, HVAC system, and water pipes – but what about your roof? The roof is one of the most important parts of a house as it’s the barrier between you and the outdoors.

A great example of what ridge vent is not. Roofing contractors caulked the ridge vent.First off, what ventilation is not!

One of our sales representatives found this on a roof he was inspecting from a competitor in the area. Yikes!

Ventilation Overview 

Roof ventilation is a combination of intake and outtake vents that work together to keep air circulating throughout your attic and roof. This consistent air circulation helps prevent the roof from overheating and sustaining heat damage. It also helps to prevent moisture and condensation from building up, which can lead to water damage and leaks later on. 

 

There are many different types of roof vents to choose from, depending on the type of roof you have and the ventilation needs that it has. In many cases, a combination of several different vents is what will work best. 

 

Picture of an air vent installed on this home in LynchburgCommon roof vents include:

  • Box vents 
  • Wind Turbines 
  • Power vents 
  • Ridge vents 
  • Soffit vents 

 

Ridge Vent on top of this home in the NRV areaWhat Is A Ridge Vent? 

A ridge vent is a static vent specifically designed to fit along the ridge (the highest point) of the roof. They usually are the whole length of the roof and can be made to blend into the roofline so they are barely noticeable. Ridge vents must always be paired with another type of vent to ensure good airflow throughout the attic. 

 

What Is the Purpose of a Ridge Vent on Your Roof? 

The purpose is to provide a way for air to enter or escape from your roofing system. This helps to keep the roof cool, avoids condensation build-up, prevents heat and moisture damage in the future.

 

Is a Ridge Vent Necessary on a Roof? 

The short answer to this question is “it depends”. Some form of ventilation is necessary for every roof, and a ridge vent is one of the most common ventilation options. However, depending on your specific roof, one of the other types of roof vents may be a better choice. A professional roofing contractor will be able to assess your roof and help guide you toward the best options. 

 

color blend asphalt shingles on a Lynchburg Home replaced by Cenvar RoofingWhy Are Ridge Vents Helpful? 

Ridge vents are helpful because they help facilitate airflow throughout your roof and attic. When they’re combined with other types of vents, they help keep your roof safe and protected from heat and water damage. 

 

Signs of Inadequate Ventilation

If your roof lacks enough ventilation there may be some tell-tale signs. Some of these signs may include: 

 

  • A sudden increase in your heating or cooling bill is unexplained. This can happen if your attic insulation becomes wet due to condensation. 
  • A noticeable buildup of ice along your roof edge during the winter season.
  • A rippled or warped appearance to your shingles and roof. 
  • Rust or corrosion on metal pieces in the attic, like nail heads, electrical boxes, and HVAC components 
  • Water stains, dampness, or frost in your attic. 
  • Signs of mold or water damage to the attic side of your roof.

 

If you notice these signs, a professional roof inspection should be your next step. A roofing contractor will inspect your roof and attic for any signs of heat or moisture damage, leaks, and other potential problems. They will also inspect the current ventilation system of your roof and determine whether it is adequate. 

 

From there, they will be able to help you understand what the best course of action is, and form a plan to get your roof back into great shape. 

 

If you are in need of a Virginia roofing contractor in the area, Cenvar Roofing would love to serve you! We are a professional roofing company with branches throughout central Virginia. Visit our website to schedule a free estimate today, and one of our team members will be in touch with you soon.