Ridge Vent Issues?

 
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:48 PM   #1
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Ridge Vent Issues?


Okay, I looked at an interesting situation today. Just want to share and maybe get some feedback.

Customer calls requesting that I take a look at the ridgeventing installed as a part of a new roof project a couple of years ago. Apparently confidence in the contractor was lost, so they want a second opinion.

This is a one story, old house. 2" x 4" rafters, 2' on center. Main ridge runs north to south. Looks like this was an addition to the original structure which has a ridge running perpendicular (east-west).

The customer pulls down the folding stairway, and I climb up into an attic storage area. These are conventional rafters, with way too much span. I can see light being introduced to the attic from the soffitt venting. (every other panel is vented - about an 8" overhang.) The ridgevent is not baffled, and not all of the roof boards have been cut to allow the ridge vent to breath.

The complaint was that the ridgvent was leaking, but something else is going on.

I observed a whole house fan louvered panel in the kitchen cieling which would vent into this attic area. There's also an old stove pipe collar (stove and pipe are long gone) which the customer informed me has a box in the attic blocking it off.

Customer also mentioned that they had a humidifier running to help with the dry air in the house this winter. Humidifier was parked immediately below the afore mentioned louvered panel and stove pipe collar.

Customer is concerned about "white mold" forming on the underside of the roof boards AND that the boards on the floor of the attic storage area are wet in places. Also mentioned that the boxes were "getting dripped on".

I made the following recommendations and comments.

1. There is plenty of soffitt venting (both side of the house, soffit is 100% open, every other panel is 100% perforated)

2. The ridge vent should be removed, the roof boards at the ridge should be cut to ridgevent manufacturer spec. and ShingleVent II should be installed.

3. That the (un-used, non-functional) louvered panel should be removed and the resulting hole be finished off as part of the cieling.

4. That the stove pipe flange be removed and the cieling be finished off.

One other note: The range hood does NOT vent to the outside of the kitchen. The customer's husband has it venting into the kitchen. Looks to me as if there's alot of humidity with nowhere to go - - - but into the attic area immediately above the kitchen - - - where co-incidentally (or not) the problem wet boards are.

Okay, boys and girls and fellow classmates, how did I do? What am I not seeing? Ideas?

Thanks,

Andy
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Old 05-07-2007, 10:03 PM   #2
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Re: Ridge Vent Issues?


Without personally being a witness to the exact scenarios, I think you advised appropriately. Eliminate the humidifier from the interior and you will eliminate alot of unneccessary moisture build up.

Was there a vapor barrier under the attic insulation?

What approximately was the R-Value of the insulation in the attic?

Are there any other gaps which could allow moisture to permeate into the attic?

I am going to add more to this via an edit, but I have to get another link.

In the mean time sit back and enjoy reading the articles on mold by the following inspector. He has many good articles relating to mold and good and bad ventilation, so read them all when you get the opportunity.

http://www.ronhungarter.com/articles.html

Ed

Okay, I'm back. Read through the following Alcoa article and then see which soffit ventilation
panel most closely resembles the ones on you homeowners house. You stated that only every other panel was a perforated venting paney and that the width of the soffit was 8", which is 2/3 square foot per lineal foot of eave, and since only the alternate panels are vented, that diminishes the intake potential in half. Also, are any of the lanced or perforations clogged up with insulation or dirt debris?

http://www.alcoa.com/alcoahomes/Lear...ionSoffit.aspx

Ed

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Last edited by Ed the Roofer; 05-07-2007 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 05-07-2007, 10:39 PM   #3
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Re: Ridge Vent Issues?


With the info available, sounds like you made a reasonably accurrate assesment.

However, I wouldn't take on the responsibility of the attic venting desigb, by making specific reccomendations. I would refer the customer to the IBC/IRC attic ventilation minimum requirements, and offer to provide a specific detail, and advise the customer contact an engineer or a HVAC contractor for a total attic structure designed vent system. Otherwise, you could be in for quite a ride later on, should mold or the like become an issue.
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Old 05-08-2007, 05:43 PM   #4
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Re: Ridge Vent Issues?


Okay! Thanks for the responses.

The insulation in the ceiling is very old. Has the consistency of crumbly cork, if you get my drift. This stuff is filled between the joists, under a wood floor installed for storage. Joists are probably no more than 2x4's. Clear shot to the roof boards and rafters. This is a 3 to 4 pitch roof at best, so just room to crawl on hands and knees down the center of the attic area.

Ed, the ventilated soffitt is a vynle (sp?), with drilled holes and not even close to the density of holes that the alcoa product has. Thinking about it now, I'll just bet part of the solution is going to be replacing that whole soffitt with a quality, high flow ventilated product.

Good idea on getting specific information on venting requirements. These people are internet users, so I also pointed them to the AirVent website as a starting place.

No evidence that there was any blockage what-so-ever, as the siding was done at the same time as the roof. No insulation has been done since the soffitt was installed. I did a little poking around, and above the soffitt is a clear shot into the attic.

I'm probably not going to contract any repairs here. Best that they either do the work themselved (Mr. Homeowner is very handy and the eves are no more than 8' off the ground) or they go back to the contractor to get the proper ridge venting installation.

I wanted to put this out there more as a learning experience than any thing else.

Used to be all my grandfather and father taught me was to nail shingles correctly. This industry has certainley moved a long ways beyond that.
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:46 PM   #5
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Re: Ridge Vent Issues?


Any bathroom fans venting directly into the attic? Is there any evidence to suggest this was a problem before the new roofing and siding was installed? Without seeing the situation I'd think if the range hood and other mentioned items existed before the new roofing was installed this problem isn't new.

If the HO is handy and semi-knowledgeable then he'd be willing to monitor the problem.....does it leak when it's raining, with a snow load, when it's sunny and dry, humid etc...

One quick way to find out is to have someone in the attic while another runs a garden hose over the ridge vent in question to check for leaks.
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