Have you ever felt like your attic is about to take off like a hot air balloon? Sweltering summer heat, frigid winters, nauseating, stagnant air, and skyrocketing energy bills aren’t the only detrimental consequences of a poorly ventilated attic. Poor attic ventilation also chips away at your roof’s longevity.
The remedy you’re yearning for? A ridge vent. There’s a dilemma, though. Is retrofitting a ridge vent onto a roof that’s seen 15+ years of service a viable solution, or should you take the opportunity to replace your entire roof?
This quick guide walks you through the factors that shape the answer — so you can transform your home into a cool, energy-efficient, and perfectly ventilated oasis.
What Is a Ridge Vent?
A ridge vent, also called a continuous vent, is a roof ventilation system installed at the peak (ridge) of your roof. These vents work magic by letting stagnant air out of the attic and providing a continuous influx of fresh air. Ridge vents keep pests, rainwater, snow, and debris at bay without ever impacting the aesthetics of your roof.
Why Would You Want a Ridge Vent?
It’s easy to fall in love with ridge vents once you see what they can do — these systems are amazing multi-taskers! A professionally-installed ridge vent:
- Promotes natural airflow within the attic, preventing moisture and heat from building up and keeping the temperature steady.
- Increases your roof’s lifespan by combating ice dams and shingle deterioration.
- Prevents pests, like rodents and insects, from entering your attic.
- Reduces indoor air pollution levels, contributing to a healthy home.
- Can help homeowners keep their energy bills down — by contributing to keeping the home cool in summer and toasty in winter.
Sounds pretty “cool,” right?
Ridge Vents vs Box Vents
Box vents are rectangular or square vents usually installed near a roof’s peak, in strategic locations. While box vents allow warm air to escape from the attic, ridge vents offer continuous airflow along the entire ridge, fighting hot spots and moisture buildup throughout the attic. Together with vents on the side of the house, like the crawl space and basement vents, ridge vents effectively address airflow issues within the home.
Adding a Ridge Vent to an Older Roof vs Total Roof Replacement
Do you have an older roof that’s been in service for 15 years or more? Ridge vents can be added to existing roofs — and, in fact, you can think of retrofitting a ridge vent as roof rejuvenation. This continuous ventilation system slows the rate of shingle deterioration down significantly while also reducing the risk of weather-related damage.
Not every aging roof is a suitable candidate, though — and here are the crucial factors homeowners should take into account:
- Take a look at your roofing materials. While asphalt shingle roofs typically reach the end of their life after 25 years or so, slate, tile, and metal roofs can last significantly longer — sometimes even over 100 years.
- Your existing roof structure and sheathing may have to be modified for a metal ridge vent to be installed, as ridge vents require an opening. Flashing and sealing are other pain points to think about, because they work to keep your roof waterproof.
- Ridge vents should work together with other ventilation solutions like soffit or gable vents.
Ready to Make a Decision?Let’s Work it Out Together!
Are you already leaning toward a ridge vent, but have some questions? Perhaps you’re worried your aging roof is due for a complete overhaul, but you still hold out hope that a ridge vent could prolong its lifespan?
Don’t hesitate to give the Gutter & Roof Solutions team a call today! As an experienced roofing company in Auburn, we are here to assess your aging roof and determine if it’s a good candidate for a ridge vent retrofit. We’re here to provide the guidance you need, and here’s our promise to you — we’re not here to push you into a costly roof replacement if we can help your existing one last a little longer.
We’re at your service — so reach out whenever you’re ready. We’ll help you stop dabbling in theoretical situations and give you the answers your roof has been waiting for.