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Question DetailsAsked on 6/29/2012

I have no attic; only ceiling, insulation and roof. I'm about to get a new roof and the roofer says I need ridge venting. Do I?

Will the ridge venting work by itself or do I need further venting to facilitate it? I'm confused. Does the warm air exit via the roof tiles?

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3 Answers


Let's talk about ridge vent really quickly... It's an excellent form of ventilation when installed in the proper manner, and when the ridge line is adequate. What is the proper manner and what is adequate? Well, ridge vent NEEDS equal or greater intake ventilation. This intake ventilation can come from the soffit, but if you don't have a soffit you can look at products like the edge vent or smart vent or a behind-the-gutter vent. All of which will allow intake.

If the ridge vent is too short, that's not good. I see alot of contractors installing ridge vent on all roofs, and that simply is not a good thing, because there are no one size fits all attic ventilation systems. Attic ventilation (and you do have an attic so to speak, I'll get to that in a minute) is a science that is unique to the architecture of each building. There are no one size fits all solutions. For example, on a hip roof ridge vent is usually not the way to go, on most hip roofs there simply isn't enough ridge length. However on straight gable roofs, ridge vent excels.

So onto your ceiling. I believe what you are describing is what we commonly call a cathedral or vaulted ceiling. There should be a space of dead air between the insulation and the bottom of the roof sheathing, this space is what we refer to as the attic though it's not really a traditional attic, it still needs to be vented like on. So regardless if you have access to your attic or not there still is an attic.

Warm air does not exit via the roof tiles, assuming you mean shingles. Shingles, as a requirement of the shingle manufacturer warranty, require a specific amount of ventilation. Typically 1 sq. ft. of Net Free Area (NFA) for every 150 sq ft of attic floor space, and when balancing the exhaust ventilation with intake the number is reduced to 1/300 at the intake and 1/300 at the exhaust. Shingles are engineered to take heat from only one side. When they take heat from both sides, this equates to burning the candle at both ends. The shingles will only last half as long. Attic ventilation is a necessity to the longevity of an asphalt shingle roofing system.... and is code in most areas too.


Answered 8 years ago by ReliableAmericanRoof


All the technical mumbo jumbo of the previous roofer is correct. In a word a ridge vent allows moisture and sometimes heat to escape from your cathedral ceiling, Moisture is great enemy of insulation effectiveness, so YES a continious ridge vent is the ultimate when re roofing. Air can not get out without getting in, hence the recs on soffit vents (various) to feed ridge vent. One fyi in a gabled end of the roof many roofers stop the vent when the roof extends over the soffit, I think it looks neater to extend vent the entire length of the peak.

Jim Casper

Gutter Cover Contractor and former Energy Conservation Expert

Ps Go to my blogs for some info on when your roof needs replacement


Answered 8 years ago by jccasper


The technical gobbly goop is correct from above.

How old is the home and did the roofer confirm that you have full length baffles installed?

Without those, the ventilation approach is going to be flawed to begin with.

Answered 6 years ago by WoWHomeSolutions

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