Ridge Vents vs. Roof Vents

Ventilation is an essential aspect of buildings. Free flow of air, particularly around the roof section, aids in temperature regulation. Warm air is continuously pushed out of the building by the cold air flowing in through the vents. Ridge and roof vents are some of the commonly used ventilation options.

What are ridge and roof vents?

Ridge vents are special kinds of vents commonly used on sloped roofs. The flue is placed strategically at the peak of the roof. The warm, humid air in the attic section of the roof is light as compared to the cold air in the environment. Therefore, it rises and escapes through the ridge vent. Ridge vents can run through the entire section of the roof. Apart from the vent, they can also come equipped with extra baffles, external weather filter, and an extra under eave venting provision to enhance ventilation. Ridge vents are common in areas with hot and humid conditions.

Roof vents, on the other hand, are primarily used to allow the entry and exit of outside air from the attics and ventilation systems within a building. The design of the vents incorporates the use of several intake and exhaust vents that are located strategically on the roof area. The number of vents and intakes depends on the size of the roof space.

Why are ridge and roof vents necessary?

Roofs help protect our homes from the elements. Without the free flow of air within the roof section, the air becomes humid, providing an ideal environment for mold and even fungus to grow, leading to wood rot. The spores emitted by some of the fungi may be toxic and cause respiratory problems for people in the building. Proper ventilation is therefore critical in buildings, hence the need for vents.

 Vents help in temperature regulation. Due to heating from the sun, the air in the attic and ventilation systems heats up. The warm air has an overall effect of raising the temperatures within a building. Ridge and roof vents aid in releasing the warm air to the environment. The intake vents allow fresh air into the building. In winter when temperatures drop, circulation of air around the vents allows for heat to escape. The roof section remains colder, minimizing the possibility of ice dams forming around the roof section.


Tips for selecting a ventilation system


Have your facts right

Before settling on a ventilation option, conduct a proper background check. Several roof ventilation options are available, and they include the use of box vents, wind turbines, or even power vents.  

The cost of each varies depending on the size of the roof, the overall cost of installation and the nature of the building. For buildings designed for industrial use and warehouses, wind turbines and power vents may be the ideal option due to their efficiency in ventilating large volumes of air in a short time. Ridge vents, on the other hand, will commonly be the best pick for shingled residential buildings.

Get a professional to do the installation

The installation process of the ventilation system is critical. Having an expert do this for you will ensure the installation process is done without damaging the roof. A watchful eye is also essential to ensure the system is done using genuine parts. Use of genuine parts will minimize the risk of corrosion or even total failure of vents before the maintenance period is due. When installing ridge vents, they should overlap by at least 1.5 inches. Proper sealing should also be done to prevent caulking.

Maintenance free

You really don’t need to maintain your vents at all. If you get a significant amount debris on them, it could cut off airflow, but as long as things are reasonably clean, you should never have to maintain your vents until it comes time to replace the roof.

With correct installation, a ventilation system is bound to stand the test of time. You are guaranteed fresh clean air flowing into the building at all times.