First post but have been reading a lot all over the web. I have a custom-manufactured ridge vent sitting on a 12/12 roof that leaks horribly in stormy weather. This does not surprise me, when looking at the design. Here in SoCal, there is a lack of experience with ridge vents. So the general contractor had a custom metal shop fabricate this thing, which has no baffles, is very high profile, and is really just like an elevated roof over the peak of the house with perforated metal running down the length of it (something they added when it leaked even worse during construction.)
After all my research, I think I know more now than most of the roofers around here. Anyway, it’s up in the local mountains, and we get wind driven snow and rain (40-50 MPH). I believe it’s collecting snow, which then melts and the result is leaks all along the peak of the ceiling. I’ve personally witnessed a very direct cause and effect relationship here from a recent storm.
At this point I think the general contractor and roofer are in agreement that this thing has to come off, that it’s a failure, and they are now educated enough to agree that I need a GAF Snow Country or similar product (and if they aren’t, I will be educating them). The only battle left is with the custom metal guy, who seems to think he’s got a great product that just couldn’t possibly be allowing in moisture. Take a look and judge for yourselves…
Pics of the current vent:
My recollection is that the cutout at the peak is also enormous, probably 4+ inches on each side, so they’ll be adding more decking when they fix this.
Let’s now assume that time has passed, this change has occurred, and I’ve got a manufactured, tested, warrantied product on my roof, which stops snow and rain intrusion. My next problem is that I have only the ridge vent and nothing more, as fire codes instituted after the cedar fire (that big fire that burned 2500+ homes down here in San Diego) don’t allow soffit vents due to them sucking sparks into the attic which leads to fire. Now, that’s not to say I can’t do something myself now that the home is complete… (and I’m less concerned with the 100 year fire than I am the every year moisture/heat…)
The place has cathedral ceilings throughout, and it doesn’t have soffits, it has eaves with corbel tails. I could drill the ol’ 2" holes into the blocking, which would have to be done on every section due to the cathedral ceilings, but then it seems to me that the wind-driven snow would get pushed straight up into the attic (and sucked in by the ridge vent creating negative pressure) and I’d still have water problems. As an example, consider these pictures:
In those you can see the snow has stuck up under the eaves from the pressure of the wind. The wind strikes this wall/roof at 90 degrees - head on. For the same reason, I’d be concerned about putting vents in the roof deck, seems like snow and/or rain would be driven right in. Since this place sits in a pass, it’s also common to have 40 MPH dense “fog” blowing past (ie, it sits in the clouds). In terms of snowfall, it’s usually only a few inches at a time, a couple times a year, and it melts off between storms. The problem is that it’s driven hard by wind when it does come along, same as the rain, hail, etc.
Any reaonsably simple solutions? Or am I looking at drilling holes and then covering them with some kind of foam and then covering that with some kind of fascia that blocks the direct wind force? I almost wonder if I’d be better off just sealing the whole attic up, but then from what I read around here, the shingles won’t last…?