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Ridge Vent 101: Everything You Need to Know

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

A house with several ridge vents

If you’re viewing this, you’ve most likely heard about ridge vents. Or, someone may have suggested that you install them. But, what exactly are ridge vents and why are they beneficial to your home? Wonder no more, because we are going to provide you with all the information you need to make your decision.

What is a Ridge Vent?

Roofing contractors installing ridge vents on a roof

A ridge vent is a non-powered ventilation system with a low profile. They provide equal amounts of cooling along your home's roof deck. You install them from one end to the other, and they're not too noticeable. They work in combination with the other vents you may already have to provide an outlet for hot air inside your home. They are capable of lowering your energy costs while also prolonging the life of your shingles and preventing weather damage. Ridge vents pull air from the perimeter of your attic and release it through the vent at the top. It almost works like flushing a toilet because it provides a constant uniform pull of warm air through an outlet covering all sides.

What Can It Do For My Home?

Picture of a ridge vent installed on a roof

Ridge vents are popular among homeowners because they help control the accumulation of hot air in your home. You probably know that hot air rises. Most of the time, it rises into your attic. When you install ridge vents, the excess hot air releases through them, therefore keeping your attic as near to the temperature outside as possible. It will also assist in energy savings when it comes to using your heating and cooling system. You might be thinking that they would be an excellent thing to have during the summer, but what can they do in the winter months? They can still assist in controlling the temperature. If you’re worried about snow clogging the vents, you shouldn’t be. The hot air coming from inside your house will melt the snow or ice within a few days. So, your vents remain functional all year around. Depending on how old your home is, you might have gable or soffit vents. While the ridge vent manufacturer recommends closing your gable vents off, it’s not necessary. The more vents, the better. It will only contribute to the effectiveness of the ridge vents. Even if you have soffit vents, they may not be large enough, or you may not have enough of them to assist the ridge vents functionality adequately. Roofing ventilation systems are not only essential to providing your home with an economical approach regarding the amount of energy they use, but they can also prolong the life of your roof. The combination of the temperature of the air trapped in the attic and the outside weather conditions is critical to how long your roof will last.

How They’re Installed

Roofing contractor removing cap shingles along a roof’s ridgeline

There is a process to install ridge vents, and it begins with removing cap shingles along your roof’s ridgeline. Take some chalk and run it down the center. The product instructions should specify how big to cut the slots based on your roof’s support system. Snap parallel lines on either side of the peak. You should mark the end of the slot 6 inches from the inside of each end wall. Then, cut the shingles within this area with a utility knife and remove the remaining scrap. Once finished with these steps, you are ready to cut through the wood sheathing, and one step closer to installing your ridge vent.

The wood sheathing underneath the shingles on the ridge must be cut through to install your ridge vent. To do this, set the saw depth to the correct number based on how deep the wood and remaining shingles are. Be careful not to cut through the trusses or wood board.

Finally, you are ready to install the ridge vents. Start by inserting an end plug into the first section of the ridge vent. Use the alignment guides to center the vent and for the best look, align the end of the vent with the end of the house. Use two-inch roofing nails to pre-fasten the first section through pre-drilled holes. You can then attach the remaining sections. Cut the last section to the correct length with a utility knife and insert an end plug. You should then cut the cap shingles and nail them into place with two-inch roofing nails.

The process is complete, and you now have ridge vents that will save you money in the future.

Price Range

Quote sheet for home renovation

Materials for installing ridge vents typically range from $100 to $200. The labor will cost you all together with the materials around $400 to $600. Contact Zups Construction for information on what we charge to install ridge vents on your Minnesota home.

Where To Purchase

Two men picking out items at an home improvement store

You can purchase ridge vents at a local home improvement store such as Lowes or Home Depot.

Who Can Install Them

Photo of a professional roofing contractor

Although you can install ridge vents on your own, they’re not your typical do it yourself home improvement project and can subject you to various safety hazards. We would recommend hiring a professional roofing contractor to install them if you don't have experience. If your home is in or around the St. Paul Minnesota area, Zups Construction would love the opportunity to speak with you about installing the ventilation system in your home.

Having roof vents can make a huge difference in your life. It will save you money on energy costs, as well as prolong the life of your roof. Ridge vents are excellent additions to the gable and soffit vents your home may already have. It’s not extremely expensive to install ridge vents, but it does take a few Ben Franklin’s. While they can be relatively easy to install, it does pose some safety concerns since you’ll be on top of your house working with power tools. We recommend leaving this type of job to the professionals.

Here at Zups Construction, we strive to provide our clients with quality results. If you’re interested in installing ridge vents on your Minnesota home, contact us. We look forward to speaking with you.

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