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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    235

    Default Ridge vent applications

    My house has a four-sided pyramid roof over most of the structure and only a short peak with any part that is actually parallel to the ground.
    Can a ridge vent be used in the sloped edges of my pyramid? I only see them running parallel to the ground in straight applications.
    My house has some big issues with being too warm on the second floor in summer and winter months, and I want to ask for the same thing from each roofer so I compare apples to apples.
    Should ridge vents not be an option I am considering a gable fan with a thermostat and a bunch of roof hawks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Ridge vent applications

    Yes you can. The installation of hip ridge is not exactly the same as top ridge, so make sure your roofer knows what he's doing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Ridge vent applications

    Personally I'd be weary of using hip ridge vents and question if they don't cause short circuit air flow at the plane of the ridge only.
    Also,considering they follow the water flow plane I'd be concerened of leakage along with snow infiltration during winter. Whereas ridge vents at peaks don't have these concerns.
    If you have soffits and vents then standard roof mounted vents (correct number and properly orientated ) do and should work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Ridge vent applications

    I forgot to mention the fact that there are other ways to vent efficiently, for the type of roof you have.

    Around my city, turbine vents and dormers are very popular, because they are easy to install and are pretty effective.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Ridge vent applications

    The disadvantage of powered vents; they create hot spots. But since your roof is pyramid shaped, you're running out of options. A powered vent near the top will work nicely, provided it cannot be seen from the street - if you're in the historic district. If you are in the district, you're limited to ridge venting on the hips.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,583

    Default Re: Ridge vent applications

    If you go with a powered vent, it is really important that the intake vents are adequate. If not, a negative air pressure is created. If the intake vents are inadequate, the powered vent will try to suck air out of the living space through every crack and gap available. This can be an expensive mistake if you have an air-conditioned house. Very few homes are truly air tight to the attic.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: Ridge vent applications

    Intake vents, how amusing. Next you'll tell me I should have hardware cloth in my crawl space to keep the rats and the squirrels from eating their acorns in my attic.

    Seriously though, no soffit vents, just balloon framing to suck up the air from the crawl space into the attic. I'm not entirely sure if soffit vents will even provide air into the attic or if the overhangs are just dead spaces. Air can easily be sucked out of the living space into the attic as access to the attic is via a full size closet door with a very poor seal. I need to work on that as well, some trim and weatherstripping will solve that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,583

    Default Re: Ridge vent applications

    Function,

    If you have a turn of the century (1900's) "four square" house with true balloon frame construction, it is entirely possible that the attic is being ventilated from way down below. Balloon frame would commonly not even have a fire stop, nor any type of insulation. If this is the case, the attic is getting ventilation from practically the entire perimeter. You would be even getting a "stack effect", that is the warm air rising through the walls and trying to exit the attic.

    Old balloon framed structures rarely had serious rot because there was just too much air moving throughout the framing. Any wetness could rapidly dry out. It is wood that remains wet that presents problems.

    My preference would be for more natural venting toward the peak of the attic.

    You don't state what type and how much insulation you have in the attic. That could be a large part of the upstairs being warmer during summer and winter. Without adequate insulation, the sun is warming the upstairs year round. Of course, warm air in the house just naturally migrates to the upper level too. That is partially why homes of this age had doors on almost every opening trying to control heat flow.

    Your access door to the attic should be treated as if it were an exterior door - weatherstripped and even insulated.

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