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Question DetailsAsked on 1/30/2014

SHOULD METAL RIDGE VENTS BE CAPPED WITH SHINGLES

OK I AM A 59 YEAR OLD MAN WHO IS BASICALLY ALONE, MY FAMILY HAS PASSED AWAY AND I AM LEFT LEARNING THINGS THE WRONG WAY, OK I HAVE A COLONIAL WITH METAL RIDGE VENTS 5 YEARS AGO SNOW MELTED AND CAUSED A STAIN ON MY 2ND FLOOR, WELL SINCE THEN WE HAD 2 HURRICANES AND NOT ONE DROP OF WATER CAME IN, OK LAST WEEK WE HAD A POWDERY 8 INCHES OF WIND DRIVEN SNOW AND I HAD ANOTHER STAIN THE SAME EXACT SPOT, A FRIEND OF MINE WENT INTO THE ATTIC AND SEEN A PILE OF SNOW ABOUT 2 BUCKETS FULL, SHOULD MY RIDGE VENT BE CAPPED WITH SHINGLES, I GOT A WSTIMATE FOR 600.00 TO REPLACE THE 20FOOT SECTION AND CAPPED WITH SHINGLES ANY ADVICE FOR A DUMMY IS GRATEFUL

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Sounds like you have the type of ridge vent that is basically an open hood - great for ventilation, but as you found out lets dry windblown snow in. The first time you had water I bet it was not from the snow melting outside on the roof and leaking in - it was probably dry snow that had blown in and then melted in the attic.

Shingles over the top will make no difference - that it done for aesthetic purposes to help make the ridge vent less obvious, and to protect plastic vents from sun damage.

I recommned you get the type ridge vent that has internal snow baffles or labyrinthe and drainage - basically a deflector outside to keep the wind from blowing straight up into the vent along the roof, and a deflector or labyrinthe up and over into a larger chamber where the snow drops out, melts, and runs back to the roof over the solid base of the vent.

Lot of different makes - here is one http://www.domtek.ca/roofline_vent.htm

that shows pretty clearly a wind deflector to keep the wind from blowing directly up into the vent, and a mesh baffle to stop the snow before it gets into the vent. This stops snow well, but the mesh reduces airflow through the attic year around.

Another that I personally like better, uses baffles like these to maintain an open air flow path -

http://www.airvent.com/homeowner/prod...

https://tamlyn.com/MofloRidgeVent.html

Personally, I have not seen good results with the roll-out type and especially not the thin layer of mesh type, though the GAF Cobra gets pretty good reviews and a lot of roofers like it - but maybedue to ease of installation more than anything else. The higher profile rigid sectional type lets far greater flow through due to less resistance, and seem be more resistant (if the baffled type) to snow infiltration. The ones that are fire rated (to keep sparks out) seem to work the best at keeping snow out, but of course also are more expensive.

I would get a couple more estimates, and look at sample pieces of what they are proposing to install - looking for durability, external wind deflector, and interior baffling or mesh to stop blowing dry snow. I would recommend ridge shingles be put on top, because all plastics (which almost all ridge vents are these days) break down upon prolonged exposure to sun, and a cracked vent would let rain fall straight into the attic.

Not knowing what type of ridge vent he proposed I can't really comment on price other than to say for a normal about 50 foot long vent that would be OK but on the high side in my area, and would include cutting the ridge slot for a new installation, which you already have so I would think $400's or low 500's would be more in the mid-range for full length. For a 20 foot section $600 is definitely on the high side. Material cost including shingles is only about $3-4/LF and with the slot already there would only take about 2 manhours for an entire ridge installation.

I would question why 20 feet unless you have a gabled roof and that is the total ridge length - a ridge vent should cover all rafter bays or it is only doing its job on half the roof - every bay needs venting, but NOT the gable overhang. It can be extended over the gable overhang area for looks if you prefer a continuous ridge line, just don't cut the ridge slot there.

You can find other comments on ridge venting in the Home > Roofing category of Browse Projects at lower left.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD




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