Installing Ridge Vents Opposite to Storm Wind Direction

Ridge vents are normally installed with the downslope of the top shingle covers in the same direction as storm wind. Unfortunately, ours were installed backwards. As a result, a strong rain in a storm wind would shoot rain up the bottom of the ridge vent shingle. How serious a problem is this?
Short of taking it all out and starting over from scratch, is there anything that can be done to address the ridge vent facing into storm wind 180 opposite of what it should be?
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W



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I am not quite sure what you mean. The downslope of the top shingle covers? I can't follow that. The shingles covering a ridge vent are centered over the ridge vent and the openings are on both sides, so from either direction the ridge is pulling air. The design of the ridge vent itself is what prevents water from getting through to the inside. If that doesn't address what you mean, please rephrase what you're trying to say.
R
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wrote:

anything
Our ridge vent is a plastic piece with vents on either side of the roof. On top of each ridge vent, there is a shingle cover/cap. The shingle cover/cap matches the other tiles on the roof, and it provides some protection to the plastic ridge vent.
Observe this photo:
http://www.greenupaustin.com/Ridge_Vent_op_800x533.jpg
View the length of the ridge vent from the side. The shingle covers overlap each other like this:
\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ <<< storm wind moves any rain left direction over shingle covers
The idea is to have the exposed edges of the shingle cover face away from the direction of storm wind. Presumably if you reverse the shingle cover orientation, then rain blows up into the overlapping edge of each shingle cover.
They installed our shingle covers so that the prevailing storm wind is opposite from the above diagram (e.g., storm wind comes from the right). I am just asking does this represent a serious risk for water intrusion into the attic.
--
W




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On 4/11/2011 7:09 AM, W wrote:

Do you currently have a water/moisture problem there? You say 'serious risk' which implies you are worried but don't have a problem. If you want things to worry about, there are many, many other things that are better.
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I
into
The ridge vent was just installed so how could I measure if we have a problem yet?
This is a low humidity environment, but we get plenty of rain in winter.
--



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No. What it represents is that you have issues with your ridge vent for some unknown reasons. From your posts it appears from the cheap seats that you don't really understand how they work and what constitutes a problem. You have suggested modifications to a ridge vent that would very possibly cause greater problems than what you are imagining is happening.
So what's the deal? Are you pissed off at the roofer or something? Have you had bad experiences with ridge vents? Maybe you heard a story about problems, I don't know, but you're tilting at windmills on this one. Stop worrying and pick a real battle where your efforts will have a beneficial effect.
R
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I
into
We live in a very low humidity environment. The home had no ridge vent for over 30 years and in that time never once had any problem with humidity or water collecting in the attic. That is why I am sure that if the ridge vent could be closed that it would not cause humidity damage. Since there is no easy way to close off a ridge vent, I was no longer pursuing that thread of conversation.
I am not having "issues" with the ridge vent. I am simply asking if the orientation of the shingle caps into the rain would allow rain to pass through. If answer is no fine.

The roofer who installed the ridge vents in the wrong orientation is the one who pointed out to me that the problem existed. I am simply checking is that something I should be worried about.
--
W



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On 4/11/2011 11:48 AM, W wrote:

Stop worrying...
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No, you don't have anything to worry about. There. Is. Nothing. To. Worry. About.
I really have absolutely no idea what the roofer is talking about as far as the cap shingle orientation, and it certainly isn't a problem. Wind blows in all directions. Much stronger winds than usual can come from odd angles. Wind swirls around due to the turbulence at the peak of a roof. The idea that you can pick one direction to lay the cap shingles, and that will prevent water entering under all conditions is simply absurd. A roof needs to be watertight no matter the direction the wind blows.
In a 'freestanding' ridge, with both ends terminating in open air, cap shingle laying starts at both ends and progresses towards the center. Where the two opposing runs meet, and where the final cap shingle lands, is a matter of aesthetics and nothing more. If you want to be a prick about it, or if you feel the roofer knows he did something else wrong and is picking an odd way of breaking it to you gently, then have him go back and 'fix' what he thinks he did wrong.
R
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On 4/11/2011 5:58 PM, RicodJour wrote:

Also one must realize that the shingles are more cosmetic/solar protection and not for rain/moisture protection...
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snipped-for-privacy@spamarrest.com says...

shingle
As Rico has pointed out, the direction the cap shingles face is just a best guess to cover the most common wind direction.
Furthermore, all the ridge vents I have installed form a complete cover over the ridge, the shingles are just there to look good. They would not leak if there were no shingles.
Now, that said, I don't think your cap shingles are installed correctly anyway. Not because of the direction they face, but because they do not have the proper overlap. There should always be at least two layers of shingles at any point. Your roofer cheaped out, and spaced the shingles way too far apart, so there is only single coverage with minimum overlap. We set them with a 5" exposure, your roofer has about 8" or 9".
*That* is why they may let rain through.
He also skipped the step where you cut the tails at a slight angle to present a neat appearance
--
DT



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says...

The photo I put up was a manufacturer's product display photo of a random ridge vent product. It's kind of scary if the manufacturer did not install his own product correctly.
The actual roof uses a GAF ELK Ridglass style "Weathered Wood" and Item #0871900FR. This ridge cap shingle is a pre-made kit.
You initially said that the roof cap shingle is decorative only. But the next paragraph says that you need to always have two layers of shingles at any point. What is the function of minimizing the overlap? Is that to strengthen against wind exposure?
Do you think the 5" exposure guidance applies to the product above?
--
W



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says...

Note that the Ridglass instructions here seem to imply an 8 inch exposure:
http://www.gaf.com/Roofing/Residential/Products/Ridge-Cap-Shingles/RidGlass-Ridge-Cap-Shingles/Documents/Ridglass__Ridge_Cap_Shingles_-_Application_Instructions-278-338-v1.pdf
You would still recommend 5 inch?
--



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What would I recommend? I would recommend not installing those cap shingles. They've elevated looks over water-tightness - a particularly stupid idea in any roofing product. As I mentioned earlier, prevailing winds does not equate to the _only_ wind direction. Air is by definition a turbulent medium. If I had a gun to my head and had to install those cap shingles, I would use roofing cement over each nail head, additional dabs to adhere the caps to one another, and charge the owner through the nose.
I still maintain that the leak potential is minimal in a standard cap shingle installation that is done correctly, regardless of wind direction, but the caps you are asking about is another matter and only time will tell. If the roofer knew he put them on incorrectly and told you about it, he's an odd bird. Some would have not told you and hoped for the best, and others wouldn't have told you and just replaced them on their own. The better roofers would have read the instructions and either complied or talked you out of the those cap shingles.
R
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wrote:

exposure:
The contractor in question has done a lot of work for me and has always been extremely diligent and extremely honest, which is why I keep using him. He may have chosen an inferior product here, and I guess at this point we have to hope what he chose holds up to our moderate climate. Fortunately, this is not a rainforest climate, but we do get the occasional good storm, so any reinforcement I can do on the install now is probably time well spent.
Which ridge vent products and cap shingles do you like to use?
--
W



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I agree that you should hang on to good contractors you're comfortable with, and I'm not thrilled with the cap shingle you've got that requires a specific orientation to the wind, but it sounds like your contractor didn't pick up on the installation direction requirement until after the fact.

Certainteed makes nice stuff.
R
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