Installing a ridge vent requires removal of the cap shingles, cutting a slot at the roof ridge, removing the sheeting from the slot and installing the metal ridge vent. For the ridge vent to work correctly, the home must have intake vents that allow cool air to enter the attic.
Owners install ridge vents at the peak of the roof so they allow the maximum airflow to exhaust hot air from the attic. When combined with soffit vents, they expel heat and moisture from the attic. Reducing the heat helps to protect roofing from curling and other damage due to high temperatures in the attic. Eliminating excess moisture protects the home from potential mold growth.
For ridge vents to work correctly, the amount of net free vent space at the ridge should equal that of the soffits. The total square footage of the roof determines the amount of vent space the attic requires.
Reducing the attic temperature also helps to reduce the cost of cooling the home. The heat from the attic often radiates through insulation to increase the temperatures inside. The natural cooling of exhausting hot air reduces the amount of heat radiation to increase comfort. During the winter, exhausting the excess heat helps to prevent the melting and freezing of snow on the roof that causes ice dams.