What Is a Ridge Vent?

When you are having a new roof installed on your home in the Durham and Greensboro area, you’ll be confronted with many different decisions. You’ll have to decide on the roofing material, aesthetics, gutters, and more. One of the decisions you’ll have to make is what kind of roof ventilation to invest in for your roof. Ridge vents are just one of the options that you have in Greensboro, NC, for roof ventilation. We are here to answer some of the questions you may have about ridge vents.

What Is a Ridge Vent?

A ridge vent is a ventilation system that is installed along the entirety of the peak of your roof. They allow for hot air to escape out of your attic while making sure that weather and pests don’t make their way in. They are different from box vents which are placed at strategic locations along the top of the roof. 

Ridge vents can be installed on many different types of roofs including asphalt shingles, metal, tile, and more. When ridge vents are installed, vents are also necessary under the eave or soffit to naturally allow air to flow through the attic. These systems use the natural flow of hot and cool air to ventilate the attic space without having to invest in an electrical ventilation system. 

Ridge vents work in two different ways. They utilize the fact that hot air naturally rises. When the warm air inside the attic rises, it exits through the ridge vents. This creates a vacuum that draws cooler air from the lower soffit vents into the attic. When the wind blows across the top of your roof, it creates additional suction, causing the hot air to be pulled from your attic.  Neither of these processes requires energy to work which helps keep your energy bills low. 

Why Is Roof Ventilation Important? 

If you’re interested in a new roof, you might be wondering if roof ventilation is worth the investment. Roof ventilation is important for many different reasons. It can help protect your home and family and keep everyone more comfortable. Here are a few reasons why roof ventilation should be installed on every roof. 

Ventilation Reduces Moisture Build-Up

When a roof doesn’t have ventilation, moisture doesn’t have anywhere to go. It will end up trapped in the attic where it can cause mold and rot. Your roofing insulation can also get wet and become ineffective at insulating your house. When you install ridge vents, you’ll be protecting your family from the health effects of mold and you’ll prevent premature roof replacements. 

Ventilation Protects the Roof

Excess heat can cause shingles to break down faster, and trapped moisture can cause your roof to begin to rot and degrade. When you have roof ventilation, you’ll be protecting your roof from the effects of both moisture and warm air. 

Ventilation Makes Your Home More Comfortable

When hot air sits in the attic, it makes the rest of your home hot, too. Ventilation can make everyone in your house much more comfortable because the temperature inside will be easier to regulate. 

Ventilation Prevents Ice Dams

Ice dams happen when a warm attic causes snow to melt faster on the top of the roof than at the edges. When the melted snow melts, it refreezes on the overhang on your roof. This is called an ice dam and it’s dangerous for your roof. It can cause roof damage and leaks. With a properly ventilated roof, your attic will stay cold during the winter, allowing the snow on your roof to melt at the same rate as the snow on the overhang, preventing ice dams. 

Ventilation Protects Your AC System

When you have a hot attic that is making the rest of the home hot, your air conditioner is going to have to work overtime just to keep the home at a bearable temperature. That can result in an AC that needs more repairs or that will need to be replaced sooner than it would have needed to be otherwise. Roof ventilation will allow your air conditioner to get a little break and to have a longer lifespan. 

Ridge Vent vs Box Vent: Which Is Better?

If you’re trying to make a decision between ridge vents and box vents for your roof, we would love to help with the decision. While box vents are still a good option and are certainly better than opting for no ventilation at all, we recommend ridge vents in most situations. Here’s why:

Ridge Vents Don’t Leak As Often

When compared to box vents, the risk of leaks is much lower with ridge vents. Box vents are installed over holes in the roof and are screwed in place. While the screws and box vent itself are properly sealed when installed by a reliable roofer, there is still the possibility of leaking over time. Ridge vents are designed to keep the rain out while allowing for the free flow of air. The most effective ridge vents are the ones that are installed with a baffle system that creates a barrier that rain can’t get through. 

Ridge Vents Look Better

Ridge vents blend in much better with the surrounding roof. Box vents sit on top of the roof and can easily be seen from the ground. Ridge vents are disguised underneath a ridge cap that is made of the same material as the rest of the roof. 

Ridge Vents Don’t Rust

Box vents can rust over time. This is because they’re made of metal and have contact with rain and snow. Ridge vents are protected from the elements by the ridge cap, and they are often made from materials that don’t rust such as plastic. 

Ridge Vents Keep the Pests Out

Most roofers have been surprised at one time or another by critters that have made their homes in box vents. Bees, wasps, birds, and even squirrels have been found huddling inside box vents to find protection from the weather. If you don’t want to share your home with these creatures, you can consider ridge vents. This type of roof ventilation has protection against critters, big and small. 

Ridge Vents Are More Efficient

When the heat rises, it makes its way to the very top of your roof. Since ridge vents are installed right at the very top, they take the most advantage of this principle. Box vents are installed slightly lower than the peak of the roof so they are less efficient. 

Are Ridge Vents Right For You? 

While ridge vents are one of the most efficient ways to ventilate an attic space, they aren’t perfect for every home. There are certain situations where you’ll want a different type of ventilation. Ridge vents are the best for attic spaces that are not finished or used as living spaces. If you plan on using your attic space this way, you may have to consider ventilation that uses electricity or solar power to regulate heat and moisture. If you aren’t sure whether your home would benefit from ridge vents or not, you can always call your local roofer and ask them what they would recommend. 

What to Find Out More? Call Carolina Home Specialists!

At Carolina Home Specialists, we know how hard it can be to make good decisions for your home. We would love to help you find out more information about ridge vents and whether they would work well in your home. Give us a call to talk to one of our friendly roofing experts in Greensboro, Durham, and the surrounding areas!

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