Roof Ridge Vent Question


Hello:
Live in New England, and have the typical split level.
Attic has those louvred attic vents in each side of the house providing direct ventillation to the attic. They seem to be of pretty decent size, not those really small ones you see sometimes. Attic is quite cold in winter.
Will be having a new roofing job.
Some of the roofers who have come in for estimates say that if the attic is cold in the winter, these side vents are working to provide enough air flow and that you do not need a Ridge-Vent.
Others say that you "also" need a Ridge Vent.
Frankly, installing a roof ridge vent makes me a bit uneasy, as we get a lot of snow and rain up here, and I guess I am a bit concerned about any, no matter how small the amount, of it getting into the attic via a ridge roof vent, and hence possibly to the insullation on the attic floor.
Would sure appreciate any thoughts on.
Thanks, Bob
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I'm in Michigan, and have the same, 2 gable vents and a ridge vent, no leaks, I'd be more worried about the quality of the installation than the actual ridge vent itself.
Dave
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I'd go with a ridge vent too. They are widely used. Just about all new construction here in NJ has them. If snow/rain were a significant problem, I think it would be known by now. A ridge vent provides uniform venting across most of the attic, as opposed to gable vents. You want air rising from the soffits across the whole attic, then exiting.
There are two theories regarding what to do with the existing gable vents. Many say to block them off, based on the idea that air will short circuit. By that, I mean it will come in the gables and go out the ridge, providing little cooling. The other theory is that hot air rises and will rise from the soffit vents and make it's way out both the gables and ridge. Personally, I think the latter is probably more likely correct. I've seen lots of opinions on this, but no actual test data, which should be fairly easy to measure.
Don't forget to make sure there is adequate soffit venting. And verfiy that it is not blocked by insulation. If it is, there are plastic baffles available that you can staple to the underside of the roof to keep it open.
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Robert11 wrote:

There are no hard fast rules other than you do want to meet local building codes.
If what you have is working, it likely would continue to work. What I would do, and have done, is to add the ridge vents IF I had sufficient soffit vents. Frankly if I did not have enough soffit vents, I think I would add them. The extra cost of ridge vents is minimal. Adding them to an existing roof with no other work is expensive. I would do it while you have the chance.
--
Joseph Meehan

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wrote:

If you're not currently experiencing any problems with the venting, then you don't need to change anything.
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The real test is a hot summer sun.
Is the attic more than 15 degrees warmer than the outside? ridge venting allows heat escape at the ridge, where its need the most.
Ridge vents dont cause troubles, I would add them at re roof.
lower attic temps less AC needed in living space, longer roof life.
No downsides for ridghe vents, I have had them on 2 homes NEVER caused a problem!
Ridge vents also keep moisture levels low in attic in winter so insulation works better
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wrote:

imho:
I believe for ridge vents to properly function, keeping roof sheathing cool, you need an equal amount of air inflow from the soffets. The lowest part of attic space. Also, no options for air flow to bypass areas, which means gable vents need to be blocked.
This is what my roofer told me, gables or ridge, not both.
tom @ www.FreeCreditCheckGuide.com
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Well in our case no soffit vents possible, gable and ridge works well, WAY better than gable only.
So they can work together.
We have NO soffits for soffit vents to be in
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wrote:

That's sad. Someone should contact the Christian Soffits Fund. Homeless soffit vents should be helped.
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wrote:

Guess then you might want to talk to a roofer about power venting too.
tom
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wrote:

Why? Given that he isn't reporting any problems with the roof as it is, the only reason for changing it would be to conform with the new religion of orthodox roof-ventology.
Did the old roof expire 5 years early? If it didn't, then the current arrangement is perfectly adequate. --Goedjn
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imho:
I have learned when someone raises an issue, or is thinking about upgrading, there might be a larger underlining problem. This is why I believe that having a professional involved could be a good thing. Maybe more ventilation is needed, from some roofer's options, so rather than adding a ridge vent, maybe having a small fan at one gable end is a better choice than breaking the integrity of the roof.
Just a guess....
tom
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Extra ventilation can do no harm provided its properly installed.
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I seriously doubt any attic is going to be well ventilated during a hot summer with only two gable vents. That means the attic will get hotter and the heat will stay there longer, which means A/C will consume more energy and it can also affect the life of the shingles and sheathing. I see no downside to putting in a ridge vent while doing new shingles.
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Most importantly in many places is to remove the covering of plant life which can make even your current soffits very unuseful. After 15 years, I found a layer almost as thick as the lint on my dryer screen. Must have made the soffits less than 50% effective. It came off with a brush, as a thin sheet.
wrote:

To properly function, I agree.
But assuming an indadquate amount of soffits, I can't help thinking that there will still be more ventilation with a ridge vent than without one.
Sort of like there is more current in a series circuit with a 10 ohm and a 5 ohm resistor, than there is with a 10 ohm and a 20 ohm resistor. The 10 ohm represents the soffits, the 5 ohm the ridge vent and gables, and the 20 ohm only the gables. (With enough lint on the soffit, I'd make them 20 or 30 ohms.)

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get rid of the gable vents! and absolutley install the ridge vent, it will work much better and the gable vents will interfere with the natural convection of the ridge vent. the ridge vent will not leak if installed properly. i have installed them on a two pitch over cedar shake roof with no leaks

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Add ridge vent leave the gable end vents then this summer when its HOT, try covering the gable vents from inside.
Compare attic temps both ways and leave them whichever is best, coolest:)
simple easy solution
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That's an interesting idea. To get any reasonable data, he's have to measure it either on days with identical temps, sun and wind. Doubt you could get good data on one day, by changing it for an hour or two, because the attic/roof will be warming up as the day goes on.
I'm surprised no one has actually done this as a real test. Would be easy to do and would help settle the debate. If they have, I've never seen it. I tend to favor the idea that hot air rises, more ventilation is better, and leaving the gables open is fine.
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wrote:

The OP said something about no soffets, and no soffet vents.
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.info

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