6 Common Ridge Vent Problems Every Informed Homeowner Should Know About
Proper ventilation is crucial to maintaining a safe and comfortable home for your family.
With the right ventilation system, you can prevent moisture buildup, keep your roofing materials in good condition, and maintain a pleasant indoor environment for your family.
Without proper ventilation, your home can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew, impacting your home’s and your family’s health!
Today, SnapZ has an article reviewing six of the most common ridge vent problems you might encounter. Once you’ve read this article, you’ll know more about these problems so you can avoid them and maintain a safe home for your family.
Ready to get started?
What Is A Ridge Vent?
If you are reading this article, you likely already know what a ridge vent is and why you need a ridge vent. But just in case you don’t, here’s the simple definition:
A ridge vent is a way to let air in and out of your attic so the temperature is regulated and moisture doesn’t build up.
When roofers build your roof, they leave a gap in the materials at the top. The ridge vent is a piece of metal or plastic that goes overtop of the gap. It has slots on the sides that go down to the edges, and air travels up through the gap in the roof and out the slots. A ridge cap is installed overtop of the ridge vent to finish off the roof.
Since hot air rises, the ridge is the perfect spot on your roof to install a vent. Hot air rises to the top and escapes out the vent, which means you don’t get hit with a wall of baking hot air every time you go up in your attic!
Ridge vents work best in conjunction with soffit vents, which are installed along the soffit of your home, in other words, all around the outside of your home right under the overhand of your roof. Soffit vents allow cool outside air to enter your attic at the bottom, and ridge vents allow hot air to pass out at the top. Together, they make an excellent system for ventilating your attic.
Why Is A Ridge Vent Important?
Proper ventilation is absolutely crucial to the overall health of your home. Ventilation allows you to:
- Regulate the temperature in your attic
- Prolong the life of your roofing materials
- Prevent rot, mold, and mildew
- Improve the efficiency of your home
- Prevent ice dams and icicles in the winter
If you don’t have ventilation, or if your ventilation isn’t working well, you’ll have hot, humid air in your attic. This can lead to nasty mold and mildew problems, which can pose health hazards for your family.
There are more types of ventilation systems than just ridge vents, and some are cheaper to install. However, a high-quality ventilation system is a worthwhile investment since overly warm attics can also cause your shingles and other roofing materials to deteriorate more quickly than you wish. A sound ventilation system keeps your roof in better shape for longer.
6 Common Ridge Vent Problems
We know how frustrating it can be to troubleshoot problems with your home! Most of us have had to go through one thing or the other.
Here are six common problems you may have to troubleshoot with your ridge vent:
1 - Leaking
Any opening in your roof is a place where water could potentially get in–including your ridge vent. Ridge vents are designed to be weatherproof, but extreme weather, deterioration over time, or improper installation can still cause your vent to leak.
For example, if your ridge cap becomes loose or blows away in strong wind, water can enter your attic through your ridge vent. Or the fasteners may come loose over time and cause ridge vent problems.
The best ways to prevent leaks are:
- Make sure your ridge vent is properly installed!
- Check your vent regularly, especially after high winds and storms, to ensure nothing has blown loose.
In really extreme weather, water can sometimes blow in even through a well-installed ridge vent, but in most cases, well-installed vents should be weatherproof, and you shouldn’t have to worry too much about their being damaged by wind. For example, at SnapZ our ridge vents are designed to withstand winds up to 110 mph.
2 - Pests
Like with leaking, any opening in your roof is a potential doorway for bugs, bats, and other unwanted visitors. And once they’ve come in and made themselves at home, they won’t want to leave, so it’s best to prevent critter entry at once!
Again, properly installed vents should not allow pests into your home–most types of ridge vents are designed with critter control measures such as mesh coverings. However, sometimes installers make a cut at the wrong place, gaps form as fasteners come loose, mesh gets damaged, or end-blockers fall out. Then the visitors start arriving!
The best way to prevent pest infestation is to choose a vent with good mesh for critter control and ensure it is well-installed. If you have pest issues, a pest control company can help diagnose your problems.
3 - Clogging
Your ventilation system will not work if it’s clogged by mold, dust, moss, or wasp nests. A clogged vent is not doing its job, and you may end up with a hot attic, which leads to moisture buildup, rot, mold, and mildew.
If your vents do get clogged, you can clean them yourself using a water hose, or you can call a professional to do it for you.
4 - Heat loss
Vent systems effectively guide all the heat out of your attic–which is great if it’s just the heat in your attic (which you don’t want.) But you don’t want your interior heat (which you paid to generate) rising out of your roof.
The heat from your living space could be sucked up into your attic and escape if:
- You don’t have adequate insulation between your attic and your living space.
- You don’t have soffit vents installed, in which case the updraft from the heat escaping your attic draws the air up from below.
The best way to prevent heat loss is to install soffit vents to let new air into your attic and have good insulation between your living space and the attic.
5 - Cracking
Some ridge vents are made of plastic specifically made to withstand the elements. This plastic normally holds up pretty well, but over time it may start to form small cracks, which can lead to leaking problems or pest infestation.
You can’t prevent the inevitable wear and tear of time, but you can avoid cracking by choosing a metal ridge vent system instead of plastic.
6 - Wind damage
High winds can cause havoc on your ridge cap and vent, especially if they are not nailed down with long enough nails. If you live in an especially windy area, you’ll want to take extra precautions to make sure your ridge vent is properly installed.
You will want to fix wind damage as soon as possible to avoid a leaking roof and further ridge vent problems.
Now we’ve discussed how to troubleshoot common issues with your ridge vent, it may seem a little depressing. But don’t worry. Properly installed and maintained ridge vents should last for years without too many issues.
Proper ventilation is crucial to keep your home safe and healthy for your family. We hope this article helps you diagnose your ridge vent problems and keep your ridge vent in good working condition.
If you want to know more, contact us here at SnapZ!
We are a leading producer of metal standing seam ridge vents. We do our best to make sure our vents are weatherproof, critter-proof, and fail-proof.