Ridge Ventm, but no Soffets?

moosbruggerNovember 25, 2013

I've got an 1880's colonial. Someone suggested that I put in a ridge vent on the higher roof (left of the picture). However, I don't see any soffets or other vents that would allow air to flow up and out.

I don't really understand how all this works, but aren't soffets necessary for ridge vents?

There is a semi-finished attic under the roof. The "living" area has a plaster ceiling. There are knee walls with raw space behind them. Kind of like this:


But I don't see any spaces for the air to flow up around the "living space".

any thoughts?

This post was edited by dstone on Mon, Nov 25, 13 at 10:45

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ridge vents operate on the warm air rises principle.that means they need area for air to be drawn into the attic space to function.

The space between rafter tails is usually utilized when the rafters overhang the sides of the structure by utilizing soffit vents. If soffits are part of the roof design but no venting is provided, vents can be cut in the soffits and covered with griloles.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 10:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Without soffit vents, the moisture will stay in the attic and rot it from the inside out. Attics MUST be vented properly. Cathedral ceilings can have a bit less insulation, but they've got to have air flow over that insulation and out the roof. If it's not done properly, the home will suffer.

The other option, if you are in a warm humid climate like the South, is an unvented attic. But, it has to be done properly, with the vapor barrier on the right side of construction, or again, the home will have moisture issues that will cause mold and decay.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 11:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

have you looked at soffit area to see if
ventilation can be added?

is there access at exterior into attic
where holes can be cut & screens/grills
a ridge vent without soffit vents won't work
well with out soffit vents.
is there no ventilation in attic at all?
no gable end vents?

any signs of excessive moisture in attic?

cold climate or hot climate?

beautiful home btw.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 4:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ok..call me a pemissist.
the house was built in the 1880's
not ridgevent..not sofit vent..

WHY do you need a ridgevent? oh..because someone thinks you do..
well..um..for the last 100+ year it didn't have one..why?? does it suddenly 'NEED' one?

do you still have gable vents?..keep them..forget the ridge vent..
its my opinion they don't work as well as claimed..they don't keep the attic cool.
sorry..I research into the matter..and to date..I've found no good evidence that ridge vents/soffit vents work.got a link?

we built our house in NC 18 yrs ago..it has ridge vents and soffit vents..100%
but the electric fan for venting still runs..its set for 115F..??
is runs after adding refletex insulation to the bottom of the rafters..

got links..to show otherwise..I'd like to see them.

forget the ridge vents..a waste of money on a 100+ year old house.
want to save money..insulate the upper floor ceilings..R38 or more.
walls? R15 or more
floor?? R19 or more
seal the air leaks..


    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 5:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Windows on Washington Ltd

You need a roofer that understands ventilation and how to make your system work as compared to just "putting in a ridge vent".

You do need soffits to make the ridge work but that doesn't mean that its the right application for your home.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 8:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The purpose of attic venting differs with the climate. Because we don't now where the house is located we can't provide a specific answer to the question.

In general, roof insulation is more effective than any kind of venting for cooling an attic.

In general, a ridge vent is more effective than gable vents or mechanical fans for reducing moisture in an attic.

Of primary concern is the possibility that strong venting will create a negative pressure and draw conditioned air into the unconditioned attic space.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 9:34PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
home ventilation system (EZ Breathe)
Hello! Has anyone out there had the EZ Breathe Ventilation...
Need advice for gap under door frame
Hi, We had a contractor install pre-hung interior doors,...
Door knob
My front door knob screws won't stay tight so if I...
how did gap between floor and wall close up by itself?
I have hardwood floors and there is/was a spot at the...
How to stop leak in flat low slope roof
We have a low slope roof over our sunroom and car port....
Sponsored Products
Splash Aegean One-Light 24.75-Inch Table Lamp
$221.95 | Bellacor
Ridgely Studio Works | Stick Pendant
$350.00 | YLighting
Mission Ridge Warm Mahogany Two-Light Bath Fixture
$136.00 | Bellacor
Glistening Ridge Rug 8' x 10' - NAVY
$2,499.00 | Horchow
Hillsdale Sonesta Swivel Counter Stool - Espresso - 5223-827
$269.00 | Hayneedle
Dale Tiffany Black Ridge Vase
$169.99 | LuxeDecor
Robert Abbey | Meurice Pendant
Trestle Sandy Ridge Tile
$17.95 | TileBar
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™