What kind of attic vent is best?

It’s always good to have lots of attic ventilation, and re-roofing offers the perfect time to make this happen. Increasing air flow lowers the risk that damaging levels of attic condensation will develop, and reduces the possibility of ice dams developing in winter. A cooler roof in summer also increases shingle life. The only question is how best to boost attic ventilation? Spinning, wind-powered attic vents are certainly effective, but they’re not going to win any beauty contests. Regular, mushroom-shaped roof vents don’t look much better, and that’s why I like ridge vents. They’re made by several manufacturers, but all work on the same principle. A louvred, low-profile plastic vent is installed along the entire peak of the roof, after the shingles have been removed and the roof sheathing cut away for about an inch on each side of the ridge. This space allows air to move in and out of the attic freely. When shingles are installed over top of the ridge vent strip, the louvred openings on the sides remain clear. All you see is a slightly raised ridge profile, while still enjoying lots of ventilation surface area. Unless your roof has a particularly short ridge, this is the kind of vent system I recommend.

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