Ridge vents are very common to see on shingled Indianapolis roofing systems. Chances are, your home has a ridge vent installed, though you may have never paid attention – and you may not until it starts to leak. So let’s prevent that and talk about why a ridge vent would leak, how to identify it and then how to repair it.
What is a ridge vent and how does it work?
Ridge vent is a cost-effective attic ventilation system that provides a superior performance and appearance compared to power fans or box vents. The ridge ventilation is installed at the peak of sloped roofs and its purpose is to allow hot, humid air to escape from your attic. At the same time, cooler air can be sucked back into the attic. This circulation of air ensures that your attic stays dry and keeps the decking and other wood in your attic from warping. As the icing on the cake, this type of ventilation will make your home more efficient and cut down on your energy bills in the Summer.
Why does a ridge vent leak?
One of the biggest causes behind a ridge vent leak is an improper roof installation to begin with.
Proper installation for a shingle over style ridge vent requires 3″ nails. We have repaired several ridge vents where we’ve seen 1.5 to 2″ nails being used. The nail is simply not long enough to grab onto the decking and the wind pulls it right off. This issue is very easy to prevent, but many contractors unfortunately fail to do so.
Another issue that we commonly see with aluminum ridge vents is that the pieces are not overlapping. Aluminum ridge vent comes in 10′ pieces and needs to be overlapped by 1.5″ and then caulk the joints. In many scenarios we’ve seen, the installation contractor has simply lined them up end-to-end leaving several vulnerabilities down the length of the roof.
Inspecting and Repairing Ridge Vent
We recommend that you have your roof inspected at least once every year. Twice annually is really a good idea, but in the fall before winter is imperative. During this inspection, we would look for all types of issues like nail pops, rotted pipe boots, missing shingle tabs, and of course your ridge vent.
When inspecting your ridge vent, you can walk along the length of the vent and slightly pull the vent upward to look for the fasteners, which you should be able to see. If any are loose or the vent seems to disconnect from the roof, you need to repair the issue immediately. There should also not be any exposed nails or fasteners.
You can check for these things yourself, though we don’t recommend it. Crawling around on your roof is a risky job, but our professionals have been doing it for years and know all of the safety precautions.
After all, our inspections are free so why not take advantage?