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Roof Ridge Vent – Are They Necessary?

No doubt if you’ve ever needed to replace a roof, the contractor would have talked to you about ventilation for your roof. Well, I am excited to tell you why a ridge vent is a great option for your roofing ventilation. Let’s get started.

  1. Get a completely free quote of this roof, without any obligations.
  2. Why is roof ventilation important and do vents actually help?
  3. What is the best roof vent for your home?
  4. What is a ridge vent and how does it work?
  5. Do gable vents and ridge vents work together?
  6. What is the average price (per foot) for this type of vent?
  7. Step by step guide to install a ridge vent and the tools needed

Why is roof ventilation important and do roof vents actually help?

You probably know that almost all roofs and attics are ventilated. A scary thing to note is that a lot of these are not properly ventilated, costing you more in energy bills and possibly causing damage to your home.

Roof ventilation is imperative for keeping air flowing through your roof, as letting this hot air sit stagnant can cause many problems for the health of your roof. Air is taken through soffits under your overhanging eaves that flows through your roof and escapes out of a ridge vent located on the top of your roof, this all creates a perfect balance, if done right, of air in your roof. A lack of this ventilation can cause a whole lot of problems for you and your family.

If done right, proper roof ventilation can extend the life of your roof and even lower your energy costs.

What is the best roof vent for a house?

I think we can all agree that reliability and cutting costs on energy are top priorities when trying to find a great ventilation system for your roof. Good ventilation protects your home from damage not only by cooling down your roof and lowering energy costs but also by removing excess moisture that can damage your roof.

While all roof vents perform similarly, some just don’t seem to help at all, in fact, most turbine vents do very little but spin until the bearings give out or rust settles in. When it comes to roof ventilation, it can sometimes be challenging to find a balance of the inlet and outlet of your roof vents.

This is why I recommend the ridge vent. This vent is great for roof ventilation. It finds that perfect balance of inlet and outlet for your roof that allows the hot air to easily escape the topmost point of your roof.

PRO TIP: Ridge vents are by far the best non-powered roof vents out and their low maintenance cost and efficiency put them in a league of their own when installed correctly.

What is a ridge vent and how does it work?

Basically, a roof ridge vent is a vent that is installed on the peak of your roof which allows, when installed along with soffit vents, for hot and humid air to escape your roof by drawing in cool air through your soffit vents and pushing that hot air through your ridge vent. You can also have a continuous ridge vent that runs along the entire apex of a roof.

Ridge vents are most commonly installed on houses with shingle tiles on the roof and an adequate angle on your roof. That angle being a pitch greater than 3/12.

Do gable vents and ridge vents work together?

To answer this, lets first look at how ridge vents work. Ridge vents and soffit vents work in a fantastic way. By allowing hot air to escape out of your ridge vents, a vacuum is created, pulling in cooler air from your soffit vents. Allowing constant air flow up through your roof is important in keeping it cool. As long as you have sufficient and unobstructed soffit vents, your ridge vent will outperform any other non-motorized ventilation system.

Now if you were to have gable vents as well as ridge vents, these gable vents can get in the way of this perfect balance that your soffit and ridge vents have. Gable vents create a cross breeze through your roof, this cross breeze could push hot air back down into your roof inhibiting the effectiveness of your ridge vents. While this might not be true for some gable vents that are very small, larger gable vents will certainly inhibit the work that your ridge vents will be doing.

PRO TIP: What you can do when upgrading to a ridge vent, is to seal your gable vents from the inside and not trying to remove them completely. Sealing your Gable vents from the inside means you will not have the extra cost of removing them or doing any extra siding work outside.

Special Offer: Get a Free Roofing Quote (United States Only)

Networx has kindly offered to provide all my blog readers a free quote on all your roofing needs. I would highly recommend you take advantage of this generous offer by clicking here and getting your free quote for your ridge vent install or repair. You will not be charged at all for the quote!

How much does a roof ridge vent cost?

Installing a ridge vent, without doing any other major work on your roof, can cost between $400 – $600. The materials themselves will cost about $150 with the rest going towards labor. This price will vary greatly if there is any other work that needs to be done on top of installing ridge vents. It is common for some to want to remove their gable vents completely, thus requiring some siding work to be done.

Bear in mind that prices may vary depending on the length of your roof and competition in your area for materials or for labor. Prepare to pay about $3 per foot of ridge venting.

PRO TIP: While it will end up being a lot cheaper for you to do all the work yourself, you need to ensure that you have the technical know-how so that you do not run into any problems down the line. Incorrectly installed ridge vents can cause leaking or a buildup of moisture in your roof damaging rafters and your insulation.

A quick overview of installing a ridge vent

Installing a ridge vent correctly is imperative to your warranty and performance of your ventilation.
Before installation is done, make absolutely sure you have to correct roof pitch. Anything between 3/12 and 16/12 pitches. (This means basically the roof rises 3″ to every 12″ inward for a 3/12 roof pitch) Make sure you have adequate intake ventilation for a balanced system, 50% intake, and 50% exhaust. Make sure you have plugged or removed any existing ventilation, such as turbine vents, gable vents or power fans.

So with that being said let’s get to it on how to install a ridge vent.

What tools will you need?
  • Hammer
  • Utility Knife
  • Circular Saw
  • Chalk Line
  • Roofing Nails
  • Your new ridge vent

Step 1 If this is for an existing roof, remove cap shingles. Mark your slot width at both ends of your ridge. Make sure you use your slot guides that are on your ridge vent and make sure that you cut your slots within 12 inches of your chimney if you have one.

Step 2 Snap your chalk line on both sides of your ridge and cut your slot with your circular saw. Ensure that it is a plumb cut if possible. (This is a cut in a vertical plane) Then adjust the depth of your blade to avoid cutting any of your trusses or rafters. Make sure to remove all debris and clean up the slot.

Step 3 Next, Center your newly purchased roof ridge vent over your clean cutout slot. It is very important that your plugins be absolutely flush with the end of your roof. This needs to be done correctly, because if they are not, this can cause all kinds of trouble, such as leaking or improper air flow through your roof.

Step 4 Pre-fasten the first section using your roofing nails through pre-formed nail bosses on your ridge vent. From here continue pre-fastening the remaining sections and make sure the support ribs are flush with your roof slope. Please ensure that the filter in your ridge vent is centered and secured between the shingles and vent before cap nailing. If you are installing the ridge vent in warm weather, leave no gaps at all, however, in cold weather leave a 1/8th-inch gap between ridge vent ends to allow for any expansion that may occur during warmer weather.

Step 5 Use your utility knife to cut the final ridge vent section to length, the final section should be oriented so the built-in ventilating end plug is flush with the end of the roof.

Step 6 Use the nailing lines on the vent to nail the cap shingles in place with roofing nails. Make sure that you have roofing nails that are long enough to penetrate your roof sheathing. Also make sure that you are not over or under nailing, over nailing will make your roof vent buckle under the pressure and under nailing could allow the nails to back out of the deck. All nails must penetrate the underside of the roof deck.


In conclusion, you can see the ridge vent is a great choice for your roof ventilation needs, and you can see why I would recommend it for my readers. It is very eco-friendly, looks great and is resilient to many things where other roof vents fall short. The ridge vent is also affordable when compared to a lot of its competitors, saving you money on your energy bill and its low maintenance is a massive bonus. Please feel free to claim your free roofing quote above, I have absolute confidence that Networx will be happy to help with any of your roofing needs. If you have got a roof ridge vent and would like to include a review, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will be sure to add it to our review list.

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