How To Tell If Your Ridge Vent Is Installed Properly

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended.

Although the process of installing a ridge vent is relatively straightforward, errors occasionally occur. Your roofing technician may miss a simple step during the process. Such a seemingly minor error may result in significant problems, including leakages and blow-offs.

Here is how you can tell if your ridge vent is installed correctly.

Why should your Ridge Vent be Installed Correctly?

Your ridge vent serves a critical role: to let the damp and warm air that accumulates in your attic out. The warm and moist air from your house naturally rises and settles in the attic.

If the air is left in the attic for a long time, it causes all manner of problems. Molds will begin to grow in the attic. Besides, the wooden parts of your entire roof will begin to rot. Therefore, the vent must be appropriately installed for it to let the damp air out.

The ridge vent is a very delicate component of your roof. If it is not installed correctly, it may let in moisture from the outside. Such leakages may occur because of gaps that may be left between the vent and the roof.

What does a Ridge Vent Look Like from the Inside?

The way your ridge vent looks from the inside is determined by the nature of the house’s roofing. In some houses, the metal roof is directly installed on the roofing boards. The main of using this roofing approach is to allow the venting of the attic. If this is the case, you will see a small hole on the underside of the roof. Looking through this space allows you to see the underside of the ridge vent.

However, the roofs of some houses are designed differently. If the roofing technician left some space between the metal roofing and the boards, you would not see a space that may allow you to view the underside of the ridge vent from the inside of your house.

Checking for Shingle Obstructions

Shingle obstruction is one of the most common problems of ridge vent installation. Your roofing technician must be meticulous during the installation process to avoid committing any of the errors that usually cause shingle obstructions in ridge vents.

When inspecting your ridge vent from the inside of your attic, you are not supposed to see the underside of the roof shingle. If this happens, then there is a severe problem that you should investigate before things get out of hand. The most common error is that the roofing technician may have made the ridge vent longer than it should be.

Dealing with shingle obstructions is a complicated process. Let your roofing technician use established techniques to solve the problem. It is wrong to cut the extending shingles from the top side of the roof because this may cause leakages.

Checking for Roofing Felt Obstructions

The felt that is used in roofing procedures can obstruct your ridge vent. This error occurs when your technician installs felt of building paper over the opening created by removed plywood before placing the ridge vent. If this is the case, your ridge vent will be obstructed by the felt of building paper. The obstruction interferes with the performance of the ridge vent.

You can detect this error when inspecting your ridge vent from the inside of the attic. You will have to cut the building paper to examine the underside of the ridge vent mesh. Any certified roofing technician can help you solve this problem.

Attic Leakages

Leakage in the attic is one of the most common signs of improper ridge vent installation. Leakages occur when there is enough space to allow moisture to sip through the ridge vent into your attic. The moisture comes from precipitation.

Attic leakages are easy to detect because of their effect on your roof. When water droplets continually fall into your attic, they cause the wooden structures to start rotting. You will also detect the growth of mold because of attic leakages.

These signs can be easily detected during routine roof inspections. The leakage may be because your roofer did not use enough sealant properly when installing the ridge vent.

Should you See the Light Through a Ridge Vent?

Yes, you should see the light through your ridge vent; however, the light should be a faint ray. If lots of light are coming through your ridge vent, a technical problem needs to be identified and rectified.

You can check this by getting to your attic at night. Switch off all the lights in the attic and watch what happens. You should see a faint ray of light coming into your attic through the ridge vents. You should also see some rays of light at the eaves. The eaves are the terminal end of the rafters. It should not be more than this.

Should the Ridge Vent go All the Way Across the Roof?

It is possible to have your ridge vent go all the way across the roof. The decision on whether the ridge vent should go all the way across the roof is determined by two things: the code and aesthetics.

Different areas have specific building codes. The codes contain detailed rules that should be followed during the construction process. some codes dictate the minimum distance that should be allowed between ridge vents and other roofing components in buildings.

It is necessary to adhere to such regulations. If the regulations allow it, you can have your ridge vent go all the way across the roof of your building. Alternatively, you can leave spaces for aesthetics.

How to Install A Ridge Vent the right way

Installing a ridge vent need not be a complicated process if you understand the procedure and have all the necessary tools and materials. Here is a brief breakdown of the process for you.

Step 1: Removing the shingle caps

You can use a pry bar to loosen the nails and then remove them to expose the shingles. You can then use a utility knife with a hook to remove the shingles. Carefully removing the felt will expose about three inches of the decking on your roof. This procedure is applicable when you are using the shingle-over style of installing a ridge vent.

Step 2: Cutting the ventilation opening

You should mark the cutting lines on your ridge using chalk or any other tool that can make easy-to-see markings. Ideally, the cutting should be done to allow a minimum of one inch on both sides of the ridge board in your roof. Adhering to this measurement ensures that the air flows through the opening to the vent freely.

3. Covering exposed areas with new field shingles

Where the decking is exposed, apply new shingles to cover the openings. Also, ensure that the original shingles that were trimmed back during the previous step are fully secured.

4. Install the ridge vent

When installing the ridge vent on your roof, remember to place the shingle-over ridge vent carefully following the marking. Secure your ridge vent on the deck by using the appropriate type and size of nails.

You can then complete the process by installing the asphalt shingle caps over the vent. Refer to the recommendations and instructions of the manufacturer when you are unsure how to go about this step.


Improper installation of ridge vents can be quite costly. You may have to do with leakages in the attic, rotting parts of your roof, and even the ridge vents getting blown away by a strong wind.

When installing your ridge vents, strictly follow the instructions and recommendations of the manufacturer. Alternatively, get a certified roofing technician to complete the procedure for you.

Leave a Comment