The ridge vent on top of a roof acts like an exhaust vent for the attic, letting air flow through the attic in order to keep it cool. Ridge vents also prevent humidity from building up inside the attic, which protects it from mildew and mold growth.
Ridge vents are protected from the elements by shingles called ridge caps. The ridge caps are exposed to the strongest winds during a storm, and this makes them more prone to blowing off in high winds compared to shingles lower on your roof. If your ridge caps are commonly coming off of your roof, you'll need to have the problem repaired in order to protect your ridge vent from rain and ultraviolet light from the sun. To help you fix the problem, read on to learn three ways you can stop your ridge caps from being blown off your roof.
1. Install Longer Nails
When ridge caps are installed with nails that are too short, they can be blown off of a roof in even moderate winds. Ridge caps require longer nails than the other shingles on your roof. The nail needs to penetrate all the way through the ridge vent in order to secure the ridge cap to your roof sheathing. If the nail doesn't reach the sheathing, there's very little force holding it to your roof.
A roofing contractor can inspect the nails that were used when installing your ridge caps. If they're too short, they can quickly remove the ridge caps and install them using properly sized nails. In very windy areas, you may also want to consider switching to wood screws instead of continuing to use nails. Wood screws provide more friction to hold them in the roof sheathing compared to nails, which helps the attached ridge caps resist high winds.
2. Reorient the Ridge Caps Towards the Wind
Another way you can improve your ridge caps' wind resistance is to have them removed and reoriented. The edge of the shingle that's nailed into your roof should be facing the direction where the wind usually comes from in your area. The nailed edge won't lift up when it faces high winds, which prevents the strongest winds from getting underneath the shingle and tearing it off of your roof.
3. Upgrade to Wind-Resistant Shingles
If you're using older shingles for your ridge caps, you may simply need to upgrade them to a shingle that's meant for high-speed winds. Wind-resistant shingles are heavier, and they also have a stronger adhesive bonding adjacent shingles together. Both of these factors help wind-resistant shingles avoid being lifted up during severe storms. Upgrading the shingles used for your ridge caps will help keep them on your roof during heavy winds.
Combining all of the above options will give you the best results. Installing wind-resistant shingles on your ridge vent using wood screws will keep them firmly secured, even during the heaviest storms. Orienting them towards the wind will provide even greater wind resistance. If the shingles on your ridge vent keep coming off during storms, call a roofing contractor in your area and have them inspected. They'll come up with a plan to make them more resilient during severe storms, making sure that they're able to keep protecting your ridge vent.