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Roof ridge vents?

Eddie Gates | Posted in General Questions on

I have a Cape built in 1945 in Queens New York City. My roof is 35 years old and I want to replace it. The second floor of my home consists of (2) bedrooms and a foyer. Roofing companies tell me they will cut my roof to install a ridge vent. I do not have an attic and I fear this will actually make the living space colder. Any advice?

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  1. Howard Gentler | | #1


    My advice would be for you to get more advice (which is why you asked the question!). If you have no attic you must have essentially a cathedral ceiling, which means whatever insulation you have, probably fiberglass batts, is in between the rafters. This implies there is a space above the insulation and below the roof deck, which, if the case, should have had ventilation all along. Perhaps there is more to the roofers plan. Maybe there is no insulation and adding some and venting is the plan. Read up on what links you will get here, and make sure you understand what the roofing people are planning.

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    My guess is that your existing roof is poorly insulated. You now have an excellent opportunity to install rigid foam above your roof sheathing -- a measure which will go a long way toward solving many problems that Capes suffer from.

    Here are links to relevant articles:

    How to Build an Insulated Cathedral Ceiling

    Insulating a Cape Cod House

    How to Install Rigid Foam On Top of Roof Sheathing

    If you decide to install rigid foam above your roof sheathing, you won't need a ridge vent (unless you decide to create ventilation channels above the rigid foam).

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