My roofer is recommending a ridge vent with my roof replacement next week. However, I have heating, hot and cold water pipes running the length of my attic to a bathroom (former screened porch) at the opposite end of my ranch house from by boiler (in the garage). The house is on a slab with radiant heat in everything except that bathroom, hence the heat, hot and cold water pipes running through the attic. Will a ridge vent cause much colder air in the attic so that my pipes are at a greater risk of freezing during our Connecticut winters? I worry about them every winter as it is and I surely do not want burst pipes. Anyone?
If the pipes run close to the ceiling joists or attic floor, my inclination would be to run as much insulation as possible over them and minimize the amount of insulation between them and the ceiling below; that way, the heat from the interior of the house should keep them warm enough. If they run close together, that's even better, since the heat from the heating and hot water pipes will keep the cold water pipe warmer. Of course, this might have already been done when the bathroom was installed; if not, the roofer should know how to deal with it or find someone to do it.
Well the roof expert doing the job for you should have some sort of knowledge concerning this issue, correct? What did he say? Personally the insulation approach should work, but it will not work miracles. If there is a problem and it persists, you should look into maybe re-piping the attic piping with a more durable type of tubing for the cold, such as PEX. PEX is freeze-resistant, and offers all the same advantages of copper.