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The Advantages of a Ridge Vent

Attic ventilation is important for proper home maintenance. It reduces the buildup of heat and moisture in the attic. If the air in your attic is much warmer than the air outside, then the moisture in the attic air will condense. This condensation can ruin insulation, rust metal nails and screws, damage wood and drywall, and cause ideal conditions for the growth of mold and mildew. Unventilated attics can cause ice dams in the winter, which pose an even greater hazard to the roof and all that is underneath it. There are a number of different options when it comes to attic ventilation. Of these options, ridge ventilators offer a number of distinct advantages.
  1. Form

    • A ridge vent is basically a series of vent holes 3 to 4 inches wide that are installed along the ridge of the roof. Hot air rises, and so the hottest air will float directly up to and out of the vent. These holes are usually covered with shingles to prevent rain from getting in, leaving a gap between the shingles and the vent for the air to escape.

    Advantages of Other Ventilators

    • Ridge vents have certain advantages over other types of vents. Unlike electric fan-driven vents, they require no power to operate. They are not limited to daytime functioning as solar fan driven ventilators are. Because they are built into the roof itself, they cannot be torn away by severe storms, leaving a gaping hole in your roof, as turbine ventilators and mushroom pot ventilators can.

    Proper Function

    • In order for ridge vents to function properly, you also need vents installed along your eaves. These eave vents, called soffits, pull new cooler air into your attic to replace the hot air as it escapes the ridge vent. Without the soffits, the hot air will not be able to move out of the top of the attic. Instead it will be held back by vacuum pressure, in much the same way that you need to open the air intake hole on a gas can or drip irrigator to get the liquid to flow out.


    • Ridge ventilators do have some drawbacks, however. Because they are covered by shingles to keep the rain out, the hot air must move downwards for several inches after escaping the vent, and that is not something that hot air naturally does. This can impede the performance of ridge vents. Additionally, they may not cycle the air as quickly as a turbine or electric ventilator.