Continuous Venting Ridge vs Static/Box Vents: Which is better?

Regardless of the situation, all roofs need to be properly ventilated. There are a few differences between Static vents and Continuous Ridge Vents. Deciding which one to put on your roof depends on which one better fits the type and design of your roof.  Either option requires adequate intake ventilation.

Historically, the most common type of roof ventilation is the “Static” or “Box” vent. This type of vent is exactly what it sounds like: box shaped vents that remove damaging heat and moisture from the attic. One reason that they are so popular is because they provide a very economical way to ventilate your attic. Box vents are ideal whenever you have an open attic.  The vents must be placed very close to the ridge of your roof.  Installation is simple, quick, and easy.

Continuous venting ridge is a type of ventilation that allows outward air flow along the ridge or peak of a roof. An opening is cut along the desired ridge line and the continuous ridge vent is laid over the opening and sealed with standard ridge cap shingles. Having the entire ridge line open for venting allows more air to flow out and, in turn, will allow better ventilation of the attic space. Installation is more difficult,  time consuming, and expensive; but the performance and more finished look speaks for itself.

                                          Static/Box Vents

 

      Ridge Vent

 

                      Performance

             X

                                                   X

                 Ease of Installation

 

                                                   X

                           Cost

 
 

                  Cosmetic Value

             X

Roofing manufacturers’ warranties require a minimum of one square foot of ventilation for every 150sf of attic space for traditional systems, but only one square foot of ventilation for every 300sf when the ridge vent system is used. That is a good indication of the difference in efficiency. Using the continuous venting ridge system, when installed properly, can prolong the life of your roof and cut down on energy costs. When applicable, Ridge Vent is the way to go!  

John Rhoden

John got his start in the roofing business while working at ABC Supply Co, the largest distributor of roofing materials in the world, on his summers off from college at the University of San Diego.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    What about box and ridge vents together if the box vents are near the top of the ridge? I’m really struggling on this debate between roofing companies?

  2. John Rhoden

    Paul,

    Thanks for your inquiry. Under most circumstances, you should not mix two different types of exhaust vents on a roof. Ridge Vent and Box Vents are both considered exhaust vents. The reason you do not mix them is that the ridge vent can turn the box vents into intake vents. You do not want a box vent acting as in intake vent b/c it will suck air in and can also suck in rain or snow with it. This can cause a leak. The intake vent should be at the bottom of the roof whether it is a soffit vent or an edge vent. I hope this helps.

  3. Avatar

    Can ridge vents be used on townhome units containing firewalls? Roof replacement contractor wants to remove box vents for ridge vent. I understood the firewalls prohibited this. Please advise.

  4. John Rhoden

    Kathy,

    Without having seen the structure, I can not definitively answer your question. That being said, your contractor should be able to cut in the ridge vent so it is only venting the attic space between the firewalls without any issue. Then start a new ridge vent for the next section of attic space that is fire-walled off so they do not share the same exhaust vent between the 2 separate attic spaces. If you have any more questions, please feel free to reach out to our office and ask for me, John Rhoden. Thanks for your question.

  5. Avatar

    The ridge vent on my detached garage looks bumpy and it is a cobra ridge vent ( two rolls the roofer said). Is that a box vent? It covers only 60% of the ridge so it is not aesthetically pleasing as the house garage it opposes goes the whole ridge almost one foot from the end. My house has a continous ridge on the main ridge over the attic and then several “fake” ridge vent for aesthitics. If you could help me understand if that is a box vent on the detached and that is why it is bumpy looking?
    Thank you, Michele

    1. John Rhoden

      Michele,

      The rolled ridge vent is not our preferred ridge vent to install b/c it can get that bumpy look that is not aesthetically pleasing and it does not ventilate the attic space nearly as well as the 4 foot rigid pieces of ridge vent. The rolled ridge vent is soft and will change shape while the more rigid 4 foot pieces do not have that issue you are experiencing.

      Neither of these ridge vents would be considered a box vent. They are both ridge vents. If you would like to reach out with any additional questions or get a quote, please call the office at 316-927-2233 and ask for John Rhoden. Thanks!!

      P.S. Ridge Vents and Box Vents should never be mixed to ventilate the same attic space.

  6. Avatar

    Would a Ridge Vent be desirable on an old house (1928) with narrow eaves and no soffit vents? Or are box vents a better way to go.

    1. John Rhoden

      Ridge Vent is much better at ventilating the attic space than box vents in almost all cases. Even without having a soffit to install soffit vents, you can still install intake vents on the roof.

      AirVent makes a product calledthe Edge Vent http://www.airvent.com/products/intake-vents/the-edge-vent

      Lomanco makes a product called Deck-Air. https://www.lomanco.com/vents/intake-vents

      Having a balanced system of intake vents and outtake vents is definitely the best way to get air moving through the entire attic. Feel free to reach out with any additional questions. My name is John Rhoden and our office line is 316-927-2233.

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