Ridge Vent Problems Opening ImageWe have written two articles on the roof ridge vent but havn’t touched on some of the problems that some experience with the vent. In this article, I wanted to touch on these can be avoided or rectified should they ever happen to you. The ridge vent is quite a stable vent compared to many others but are not completely devoid of problems, especially when not installed correctly. Let’s get into it or feel free to select one of the options below to just directly to one of the problems that may be plaguing you.

  1. Get a completely free quote of this roof, without any obligations.
  2. Are there any issues with leaking?
  3. Should you be concerned about blow off?
  4. How long would it take for cracks to form?
  5. Non-efficient pairing with other vents
  6. Risks of improper installation

Should you be concerned about a ridge vent leaking?

This seems to be the most common problem I could find while researching this topic. This is, I am sure, a major concern for everyone looking at installing ventilation for their roof or attic, the very thing that is meant to keep moisture out of your attic is, in fact, letting it in.

So what might be causing leaking? By far the most common cause is an improperly installed vent. This can either be from the wrong nails being used to fix the vent onto your roof or the vents have incorrect spacing between the vents.

Using nails that are too short for your roof type will mean that the vent is not fixed securely, this could also lead to blowing off completely or leaving just enough space for water to get through and wreak havoc inside your attic.

Improperly spacing your vents can also lead to some serious leaking. To make matters worse if your top cap is not covering this gap that was left water is able to flow freely into your attic or roof. It is still a huge risk even if your top cap is covering most of the gap between vents, if you are in an area that receives snow at any time during the year, it is very easy for it to make it into your attic.

You can see this is not an inherent problem with the ridge vent itself, but very often a problem with the installation and not being installed correctly. It is imperative that you get a trusted roofing expert to install any vent for your roof to ensure that it is done correctly to avoid future problems down the line.

Is blow off a potential issue in your area?

Ridge Vent On Steep RoofBlow off is a serious concern for all that have or are considering installing a ridge vent. While often times it can be a simple fix like using longer nails during install to ensure the vent is properly fixed to your roof, this does not always help in areas that experience very high wind speeds.

Ridge vents that are installed in coastal areas with higher wind speeds will be installed differently to a vent that is installed in areas where wind speed is quite low year round. Texas, for example, on average experience the highest wind speeds, often times getting close to or just over 12mph, if you are in these areas you should consult a local roofing expert to see what they would recommend for ventilating your roof.

To avoid blow off on your roof it is recommended that you use the right nails for the job, ensure that you get a good fixture from your vent into your roof.

Could cracks form on early on?

With most ridge vents being made out of durable plastic, after a long time from heating and cooling, this plastic can start to crack and degrade. While this is a real concern, all vents that you can install for cooling your attic will have some amount of wear and tear.

Ridge vents are some of the best and easy to maintain vents when used correctly. Cracks may be something to be worried about, but this is not common and usually only happens after a long life span. If we look at other vents such as the drum vent, after some time you will have to replace the bearings, and if this vent has started to rust, you will have to replace the whole vent.

If you are very worried about cracks forming on your ridge vent, an easy solution would be to get metal ridge vents instead of the more common plastic vents. These are more durable and do have a longer life span in general.

Paired With Other Vents
Metal Ridge Vent Example
Ridge Vent Shallow Roof Gradient

Non-efficient pairing with other vents

This seems to be a very common mistake made when installing ridge vents onto a new house. Just like with any other non-motorized roof ventilation system, there needs to be a balance of intake with an outtake. The perfect balance would be 50% intake with 50% outtake, however often this is not followed through correctly.

This problem is an easy fix as you can close older vents that you do not need and create more soffit vents as needed.

When installing a ridge vent it is recommended that you only pair these vents up with under eave soffit vents and block off other vents such as gable vents. Reason being, these could hinder the efficiency of cooling your roof by letting in hot air through your gable vents and slowing down the vacuum effect that your ridge and soffit vents create.

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Shingled Ridge Vent

Improper installation

As you can see from this article, most of the time there is a problem with a ridge vent, it is due to improper installation. It is really not worth the risk of doing the install yourself, even though we have written about how to install one of these vents, it is always better to go with a local roofing professional.

Problems can arise when installing this vent if the nails you use are too short to firmly fix the vent to your roof, if your end caps are not installed, if the gap for the vent is too wide, if the gap is too narrow, not enough soffit vents installed, too many soffit vents installed.

This is really a job for someone that knows what they are doing and I would highly recommend you hire someone to do this job properly.

Hi there! My name is Jonathan and I absolutely love writing DIY roofing guides. If you have any questions, I invite you to leave them below in the comment section and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If you enjoy my work, please follow me on social media or share this post on yours. All this information has been double checked for accuracy, but please let me know if  I have missed anything!