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6 Common Roof Ridge Vent Problems (And How To Avoid Them)

Posted on June 20, 2024

roof ridge vent problems

As a homeowner, you know that proper attic ventilation is crucial for maintaining a comfortable and energy-efficient home. One of the key components of an effective attic ventilation system is the ridge vent, which allows hot air to escape from the attic space. However, like any other part of your home, ridge vents can develop problems over time, leading to potential issues with your roof and attic. In this blog post, we’ll explore six common roof ridge vent problems that every homeowner should be aware of.

Roof Ridge Vent
Roof Ridge Vent

#1 Blocked or Clogged Ridge Vents

One of the most common issues with ridge vents is they can get clogged. Over time, debris such as leaves and twigs, can accumulate in the ridge vent openings, preventing proper airflow. Sometimes animals and birds also get in between the vents. This blockage can lead to poor ventilation, causing your attic to become too hot during the summer months or too cold during the winter. Blocked ridge vents can also contribute to the growth of mildew and mold in attic space.

#2 Damage from Severe Weather

Wisconsin is no stranger to harsh weather conditions. Severe weather events, such as high winds, hail storms, or even falling tree branches, are not only bad for your roofing system but can also cause significant damage to your ridge vent. 

Strong winds can lift or dislodge ridge vent caps, allowing water and debris to enter the attic space. Hail storms can create dents or punctures in the vent, compromising its ability to ventilate properly. In these cases, it’s crucial to have your ridge vent inspected and repaired or replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

#3 Incorrect Installation

Ridge vents work best when they are installed exactly as the manufacturer instructs and according to the local building codes. Even the slightest deviation from the recommended installation procedures can compromise the ridge vent’s performance and longevity. An improperly installed ridge vent may fail to provide sufficient ventilation, leading to trapped hot air, moisture buildup, and potential energy inefficiency. 

Worse yet, incorrect installation can create gaps or openings that allow rainwater inside, putting your roof and attic at risk of mold growth and water infiltration. To avoid these issues, it’s crucial to hire a reputable, experienced roofing contractor who specializes in ridge vent installation and follows all guidelines to the letter. 

#4 Incorrect Sizing Of The Ridge Vent 

If the ridge vent is not sized correctly or is inadequately matched with intake vents, it can result in insufficient ventilation. This can cause heat and moisture to build up in the attic, leading to increased energy costs, premature aging of roofing materials, and potential mold and mildew growth. Consulting with a roofing contractor can help ensure your ridge vent is the correct size for your home. 

#5 Animal Intrusion

Ridge vents are meant to allow air to flow through your attic. But sometimes, animals like birds, squirrels, rats, and other pests can get inside through the ridge vent openings. These animals are attracted to the warm, dry space in your attic and may decide to make it their home.

Once inside, they can cause a lot of damage. They may chew on wires or insulation, leaving droppings and nesting materials behind. This can be unsanitary and even spread diseases. Their nests and droppings can also block the ridge vents, preventing proper airflow. Rats and mice are especially troublesome. They can gnaw holes and create new entry points into your attic, making the problem even worse.

#6 Age and Wear

Like any other component of your home, ridge vents can wear out over time due to exposure to the elements. The constant exposure to sunlight, rain, snow, and temperature fluctuations can cause the materials to deteriorate, leading to cracks, warping, or other forms of damage. When ridge vents reach the end of their lifespan, they may no longer function effectively and replacement may be necessary.

How to Avoid Common Ridge Vent Problems

Roof Ridge Vent
Roof Ridge Vent

A ridge vent is an important part of your roof and it’s crucial to take preventative measures to avoid these ridge vent problems from occurring in the first place. 

In this section, we have listed some proactive steps that can help ensure your ridge vent remains in good condition and continues to provide effective ventilation for years to come.

Regular Roof Inspections and Proactive Maintenance

One of the best ways to avoid ridge vent problems, or most roofing problems, is to schedule regular inspections with a professional roofing contractor. During these visits, the roofer will check for any signs of wear, damage, or blockages, and create a detailed report so that you can address them before they escalate into bigger issues.

Trimm Overhanging Trees and Branches

Overhanging trees and branches can be a significant source of debris that can clog or damage your ridge vents. Make sure to trim any trees or branches that hang over your roof, especially before the fall when leaves and twigs are more likely to accumulate.

Install a Baffle or Vent Cover

Investing in ridge vents with built-in baffles can help prevent debris from entering your attic. These protective barriers keep leaves, twigs, and other materials from accumulating in the vents, reducing the risk of blockages. These covers are also designed to keep out unwanted critters, such as birds, squirrels, or rodents.

Choose Durable and High-Quality Ridge Vents

When it’s time to replace your ridge vents, choose durable, high-quality products that are designed to withstand the weather conditions prevalent in Northeastern Wisconsin and last for many years. Look for ridge vents made from sturdy materials like aluminum or galvanized steel, and choose reputable brands with good warranties.

Here are some top choices: 

Proper Installation and Adherence to Building Codes

Ensure your ridge vents are installed correctly by a professional roofing contractor who follows all local building codes and manufacturer’s instructions. Improper installation can lead to a variety of problems, including leaks, inadequate ventilation, and premature wear and tear.

Improve Ventilation With Our Ridge Vent Installation

Are you tired of dealing with poor ventilation, mold growth in the attic, and high energy bills? We can help. At Prestige Roofing, our highly recommended ridge vent installation service is the solution you need for a more durable and efficient roof. 
With our expertise, we install quality roof ridge vents from the best brands, ensuring proper airflow, preventing moisture buildup, and extending the lifespan of your roof. Say goodbye to premature roof replacements and enjoy a cooler, healthier, and more energy-efficient home. Contact us today at (920) 791-0414 to schedule your free roof inspection and take the first step towards a worry-free roofing system!