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What Is A Ridge Vent And Why Is It So Important?

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

Attic ventilation is an important component when it comes to your roof.

Ridge vent, attic ventilation, exhaust vent

The intent of roof ventilation varies depending on the type of climate. In an area, like New Jersey, where there are very cold winters and extremely warm summers the ventilation will serve both purposes depending on the season.

During the winter season (cold climate), the primary purpose of ventilation is to maintain a uniform cool roof temperature from the gutters to the peak, to avoid ice dams created by melting snow and to vent any moisture that moves from the heat inside of your home up into the attic.

During the summer (warm climate), the primary purpose of ventilation is to prevent the sun from cooking your shingles from the inside-out and keep the hot air out of your attic to reduce the strain on air-conditioning systems.

“My home doesn’t have any soffit vents. Can I get a ridge vent?”

This is a common question and the simple answer is No. If your home has no overhangs or maybe very small overhangs where your gutters are, then your roofing contractor should not install a ridge vent.

Installing a ridge vent with limited or no intake vents will void your roofing warranty immediately.

There are attic ventilation alternatives for homes with limited intake vents. Most of the major roofing manufacturers have solar powered roof exhaust fans to manually ventilate the attic. The solar fans do not require any electrical installation and are extremely quiet.

Pro tip: Confirm with your roofing contractor the number of solar power exhaust fans will be necessary for your particular attic size. Homes with a larger attic area will require two power fans to adequately vent the roof.

“My roofing contractor installed a ridge vent and A power fan on my roof. Is that okay?”

If your roof has both a ridge vent and a power exhaust fan, you are privy to baking your shingles in the summer and severe ice damming in the winter here in New Jersey. Having both a ridge vent and a power fan is like poking a hole in a straw. One of the vents will naturally start to operate like an intake vent and leave you vulnerable to leaks from

rain and snow.

If you‘re not sure which one you have (ridge vent / power fan) or maybe you’re nervous that you may have neither or maybe even both, give Grapevine Construction a call for a 39 point inspection at (732) 335-7770.

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