Ridge vent installation begins by removing a small portion of the roof peak along the entire length of the house. The ridge vent apparatus is installed directly over the opening. Ridge vent construction directs air over the surface of the vent creating an area of negative air pressure. The negative air pressure draws air up, removing heat, cold or humidity from the attic space. An increase in exterior wind speed can also accelerate the process by drawing out warm air and moisture at a higher rate.
Adding house ridge vents removes warm air from the attic, keeping your house cooler in the summer. Conversely, they prevent a buildup of damaging humidity and moisture during cold weather months. Ridge vent design provides even ventilation along the entire underside of the roof. These types of vents produce a greater volume of circulation per square foot than other fixed vent systems. House ridge vents do not contain moving parts or motors thus requiring little or no maintenance. Unlike other home ventilation systems, low profile ridge vents follow the peak of the roof making them virtually undetectable from the ground.
The type of roof vent you choose will depend on factors such as the style of roof, the size of your house, the number of adjacent trees and structures, historical home regulations and local building codes. Look for ridge vents that include an external baffle to create the necessary low pressure level and an internal filter to prevent weather and debris from entering the attic.
Fiber mesh, flexible corrugated plastic and channeled PVC are common types of synthetic roll ridge vents. They are the easiest to install, but provide the least amount of circulation. Roll ridge vents require an overlay of shingle material to cover and protect the ridge vent material.
Metal ridge vents supply the greatest amount of air circulation. Attic air migrates easily up through the vent and to the outside. Galvanized or aluminum ridge vents are inexpensive and relatively easy to install, but lack curb appeal. Consider pricier zinc and copper ridge vents as a unique architectural element.
Unlike metal venting systems, rigid plastic ridge vents do not dent. They are typically capped with shingles to blend with the rest of the roof. While plastic or PVC segmented ridge vents provide efficient airflow, the installation process can be difficult and time consuming. Each panel must be secured separately along the length of the ridge peak.
Ridge vents offer optimum performance and visual appeal when installed the entire length of the ridge. Adding secondary soffit or intake vents under the eaves will boost the airflow created by house ridge vents.