Is my ridge vent actually venting?

Discussion in 'Roofing and Siding' started by kjjb0204, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Dec 12, 2011 #1

    kjjb0204

    kjjb0204

    kjjb0204

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    Hi all. New member here. I'm finding out so many things about our house that it's becoming very frustrating. Typical colonial in New England, hip roof, blown fiberglass in the attic. The problem is the major ice dams forming every winter that have forced me to repair several ceilings and walls throughout the home over the past couple of winters. Anyhow, I have soffit vents and a ridge vent, but I'm doubting if either are installed properly. There is no light coming from the soffit areas in the attic, so I pulled off a couple soffit vents, pulled back the insulation and can now see plenty of light coming through. The problem now is that the ridge vent doesn't look like I think it should. The gap is there but it looks like it's completely sealed with what I think are shingles? I held an incense stick all around the ridge vent and there is no air movement whatsoever. Could it be the builder just didn't cut out the paper or shingles above the opening and I can do that? I'll try to add a photo later when I'm home.

    As a result of my horrible attic ventilation, I have horrible ice dams on the outside and plenty of signs of moisture inside. Home built in 2002. Lesson for me here is that I did not have an inspection done when we bought it because we had already lived here for 3 years as renters and my agent said I probably would have noticed any issues after living there so long.

    Anyhow, any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Dec 12, 2011 #2

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    You should be able to see light from the sofit when the suns out. Yes it is entirely possible that the vent was never cut out, was not cut out properly or the shingles were run up and over the ridge. You should see the bottom of the plastic vent, not shingles.

    Oh, and :welcome: to House Repair Talk!
     
  3. Dec 12, 2011 #3

    kjjb0204

    kjjb0204

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    Thanks. Here's a pic of the vent. The black material looks like those green 3m scrubby pads, only black. Underside of the shingles?

    roooof.jpg.jpg
     
  4. Dec 12, 2011 #4

    oldognewtrick

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    No that looks like the bottom of Cobra roll vent. I don't like that type of vent, our experience with it is that it doesn't work well.
     
  5. Dec 13, 2011 #5

    kjjb0204

    kjjb0204

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    If it's the Cobra vent, would it be normal then for there to be no actual gap anywhere along that cutout between the black material and the plywood? I've only cleaned up 4 of the 60 soffit vent spaces, so maybe once I open them all up I'll notice some air movement up and out the ridge vent? Right now the smoke from the incense stick just hovers when I hold it up there.
     
  6. Dec 13, 2011 #6

    kjjb0204

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    Sorry, not sure if I should post this here or in the insulation topic thread. Figured since it's all part of the same attic venting problem it might be ok here. You can see where I've removed two of the soffit vents and pulled the insulation back so now I can see light coming through. Any reason why I shouldn't just do that all the way around?

    IMG-20111212-00044.jpg
     
  7. Dec 13, 2011 #7

    nealtw

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    What you need is some batt insulation to hold thoses shoots in place and stop the loose insulation from falling into to soffit area.
     
  8. Dec 13, 2011 #8

    kjjb0204

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    There actually is some batt insulation in there, it's just buried under the loose stuff. It's just one small piece between rafters at the end. I think they tried to do it the right way when the built the house, but I'm just going to take out all of those vents and pull any insulation away from the soffits. If that doesn't fix the poor ventilation then it must be the ridge vent. I find it amazing that the house is only 9 years old and wasn't built to more exacting specifications.
     
  9. Dec 13, 2011 #9

    nealtw

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    I get that your trying to get the vents working, but when you have that solved you still need insulation above the outside wall or you will cause ice damming and roof leaks. To check for air movement I would think a couple 100 watt lights close to the ridge for a few hours would cause enough heat to do the test with smoke. Even with good venting air dosn't always move, adding heat will help.
     
  10. Dec 13, 2011 #10

    BridgeMan

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    A few years ago, my neighbor in Colorado had a similar situation. He complained about his ridge vent not doing much venting, even on a warm, windy day with lots of sunshine. I went up into his attic, where it had to be more than 125 degrees F., like an oven. The underside of his vent looked identical to yours. Soffit vents were open, with deep baffles in all of them to keep the insulation from blocking air flow. On the roof, there was no sign of any warm air exiting the ridge vent.

    I suggested he buy a few rectangular box vents to install at each end of the roof. He bought either 3 or 4, and the next day I made the sheathing cut to install the first one. When the plywood broke free, the face full of sawdust and blast of hot air told me that the ridge vent hadn't been functional at all.
     
  11. Dec 13, 2011 #11

    oldognewtrick

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    PLEASE! Do NOT mix and match ridge vent with any other exhaust ventilation. Have someone take off the roll vent and put a functional, rigid shingle over ridge vent on.
     
  12. Dec 13, 2011 #12

    Roofmaster417

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    IMO that CoraVent is a junk product.Alot of times when the roll is used it is installed with a nail gun.Sometimes you have an installer that either is inexperienced or just don't care about setting the air pressure to insure a even and proper fastener seating.

    If the vent itself is applied with improper fastener seating or over nailing the product by the time you add the ridge cap the product is smashed closed.

    I really appreciate the solid 4' sections of RidgeVent.CoraVent has the 4' sections too but if the fasteners are over driven then the vent would fail.So in reality it isn't product failure as much as it is installation error.

    I install only hand driven RidgeVent.It is more time consuming but at least I know my installers are not overdriving.

    BTW those are some short fasteners for the ridge cap.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  13. Dec 14, 2011 #13

    kjjb0204

    kjjb0204

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    Well, hopefully once I open up all the soffit vents there will be some airflow. You know what's funny? The original builder of the house (and the other 4 homes on the street) lives two doors down and his house is the only one that doesn't get ice dams. All built in 2002. I should walk over there and see if he would send a guy up on the roof to check the vent installation. The house between us gets wicked bad ice dams - basically the same house as mine but with a gable roof instead of hip. That house has a double-hung window on each end of the house in the attic and they are wide open all winter and still gets ice dams. This cobra vent must not be installed right on any of our houses on the street. Nice.
     

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