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Ridge Vents

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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 186 Projects

If you need attic ventilation, installing a continuous ridge vent will get the job done. Since they’re installed along the entire ridge of the roof, they provide an even flow of air along the entire underside of the roof decking. Combined with continuous soffit vents, this is the most effective type of ventilation system. Since the vents are installed along the ridge, they’re practically invisible, eliminating any disruptions to the roof. Other vent types, such as roof louvers and turbines, often distract from the roof ’s aesthetics. Installing one continuous ridge vent is quicker and easier than installing other types of vents that need to be placed in several locations across the roof. It also saves you from having to make numerous cuts in your finished roof, which can disturb surrounding shingles.

How to Install a Ridge Vent

  1. HG0210_068_B

    Measure down from the peak the width of the manufacturer’s recommended opening, and mark each end of the roof. Snap a chalk line between the marks. Repeat for the other side of the peak. Remove any nails in your path.

  2. HG0210_068_C

    Set the blade depth of a circular saw to cut the sheathing but not the rafters. Cut along each chalk line, staying 12" from the edges of the roof. Remove the cut sheathing using a pry bar.

  3. HG0210_068_D

    Measure down from the peak half the width of the ridge vent, and make a mark on both ends of the roof. Snap a line between the marks. Do this on both sides of the peak.

  4. HG0210_068_E

    Center the ridge vent over the peak, aligning the edges with the chalk lines. Install using roofing nails that are long enough to penetrate the roof sheathing.

    TIP: If a chimney extends through the peak, leave 12" of sheathing around the chimney.

  5. HG0210_068_F

    Install vents across the entire peak, including the 12" sections at each end of the roof that were not cut away.

  6. HG0210_068_E

    Nail them with two 1 1⁄2" roofing nails per cap. Overlap the caps as you would on a normal ridge. If the caps you removed in step 1 are still in good shape, you can reuse them. Otherwise, use new ones.