Types of roof ridge vents

Written by justin mitchell
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Types of roof ridge vents
Ridge vents can be installed along the top of a house's roof. (PHOTO 24/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Roof ridge vents are one of the two major ways to ventilate the attic of a house. Ridge vents are so named because they consist of a long opening installed along the top ridge of the roof. Roof vents are useful if you want to maintain a good exchange of air from the inside and outside of houses. Bad air exchange leads to problems ranging from shingle nails popping to the fogging up of windows. Should you decide to install roof vents, become aware of the types available.

Continuous Ridge Vents

Continuous ridge vents cover the entirety of the roof's ridge. They are the most common type of ridge vents and are located at the very peak, or "ridge" of the roof. Continuous ridge vents are made from several types of materials.

Prefabricated Aluminum Ridge Vents

Prefabricated aluminium is the least expensive choice. These vents come in lengths of 8 or 10 feet and can be installed using roofing nails. Aluminium ridge vents are easy to install, but they are not very pleasing to the eye and do not stand up to weathering very well, easily coming loose.

Segmented Ridge Vents

Segmented ridge vents are usually made from plastic or PVC. They take more time and effort to install but can be more pleasing in appearance. They also provide a high level of airflow. However, plastic air vents are not suited for all types of roofs. When a roof has a very steep pitch, the plastic doesn't always mould to it properly.

External Wind Baffle Ridge Vents

External wind baffle ridge vents are one of the most common types of ridge vents. They function by deflecting the wind up and over the vent, which creates low pressure that pulls air out of the attic. This system helps facilitate air exchange while at the same time preventing snow or windblown rain from entering the attic.

Unbaffled Ridge Vents

Unbaffled ridge vents do not have the design feature of an external baffle. They allow wind, rain and/or snow direct access to blow through the vent and into the roof. This air could create additional pressure that may prevent stale air from escaping the attic.

Synthetic Roll Ridge Vents

Synthetic roll ridge vents are very easy to install. They work better on roofs with steep pitches. They simply roll out over the top and are flexible. However, they do not provide optimal protection.

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