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Old 12-20-2011, 05:24 PM   #1
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Repairing ridge vent


I have a moisture spot on my upstairs bedroom ceiling which is right in the center of the room. I suspected the ridge vent immediately because of the location of the spot. I went on the roof and there are a few nails missing and a few popped on the ridge vent directly over the bedroom. My intention is to go up and repair it. I am looking for recommendations as to what type of sealant to use on the threads of the screws I run into the rafters to re fasten the ridge vent. I was thinking of using black jack and using stainless steel screws instead of just nails. I am going to go the full length of the ridge vent and replace any nails that look suspect with screws dipped in the sealant. The roof shingles are in very good condition so I just want to repair the vent leaks. Any hints would be appreciated.

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Old 12-20-2011, 09:08 PM   #2
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Repairing ridge vent


I would go into my attic and see if you notice any water marks on the underside of the decking.It sounds safe to assume that the nails you speak of should be replaced and repaired.

RidgeVent is fastened in other areas of the vent itself other than a rafter shot.I have seen people use screws to fasten the ridgevent itself but never on the ridge cap.Also if you are using the screw route make sure you have one with a flat head on it.

I have seen Ridgevent screwed in and later it pop's out because of the head size.I use 3" hand drive typical roofing nails for RidgeVent.I have never had an issue with RidgeVent pop's.

I have never been a real fan of just refastening ridge cap or shingles.I like to replace the entire shingle or ridge cap with new.Before setting the cap I recommend using a Vulkem or blackjack sealant.Cut your opening of the tube about 1/4" and make a circular motion and create a nickle sized dab on the nail hole.

Set your new ridge over the sealant then refasten.

When climbing your roof remember.Don't walk in your valley's to access the area you wish to work.With the cold temperatures you will crack/bust/walkout your valley.Then your next post might be about how to replace a valley.

I would try to locate the leak in the attic then match it with the area of roof.If someone goes nuts with the sealant and tar.It tends to complicate a proper diagnosis of roof issues.

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Last edited by Roofmaster417; 12-20-2011 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:29 AM   #3
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Repairing ridge vent


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Originally Posted by Roofmaster417
I would go into my attic and see if you notice any water marks on the underside of the decking.It sounds safe to assume that the nails you speak of should be replaced and repaired.

RidgeVent is fastened in other areas of the vent itself other than a rafter shot.I have seen people use screws to fasten the ridgevent itself but never on the ridge cap.Also if you are using the screw route make sure you have one with a flat head on it.

I have seen Ridgevent screwed in and later it pop's out because of the head size.I use 3" hand drive typical roofing nails for RidgeVent.I have never had an issue with RidgeVent pop's.

I have never been a real fan of just refastening ridge cap or shingles.I like to replace the entire shingle or ridge cap with new.Before setting the cap I recommend using a Vulkem or blackjack sealant.Cut your opening of the tube about 1/4" and make a circular motion and create a nickle sized dab on the nail hole.

Set your new ridge over the sealant then refasten.

When climbing your roof remember.Don't walk in your valley's to access the area you wish to work.With the cold temperatures you will crack/bust/walkout your valley.Then your next post might be about how to replace a valley.

I would try to locate the leak in the attic then match it with the area of roof.If someone goes nuts with the sealant and tar.It tends to complicate a proper diagnosis of roof issues.
Walking in the valley between my garage and the house roof is the only way I can get to the peak of the roof. Its a very steep angle You are saying I should avoid using screws? Should I just fill the holes the missing nails created or drive a thicker nail or screw into the existing hole? I'm certain the water is coming in there. I have gone into the attic to confirm.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:29 AM   #4
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Repairing ridge vent


Do not walk the roof if it is that steep. Pay a roofer or at least harness off to one side of the home for security.

Screws are good but a good 3" ring shank nail will grab the framing too.

Most ridge vents come off because roofers used the shorter nails and didn't get a good bite on them.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:01 AM   #5
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Repairing ridge vent


I agree ^, sounds dangerous, especially if you're not used to walking on roofs. A roofer will be a lot cheaper than a ER visit.

I'm guessing you have metal ridge vent from your description. If that's the case you wouldn't need 3" nails like you would with shingle-over style. 1.25 or 1.5 inch would be fine. I would use ring shank nails rather than screws, because the roofers who tear off next time won't have a drill up there and might pry the screws out with tear off tools.

I generally remove the loose ones and put a new nail next to it, then seal the old hole and new nail head. I wouldn't use standard black jack or any other plastic roof cement as they become brittle quickly. Black Jack does have a neoprene based sealant that would be a better choice (next to the regular BJ in one of the big box stores). The best sealant would come from a roofing/siding supplier if you happen to have one nearby, e.g. Geocel, Solar Seal, Vulkem.

Good luck and think safety.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jmiller
I agree ^, sounds dangerous, especially if you're not used to walking on roofs. A roofer will be a lot cheaper than a ER visit.

I'm guessing you have metal ridge vent from your description. If that's the case you wouldn't need 3" nails like you would with shingle-over style. 1.25 or 1.5 inch would be fine. I would use ring shank nails rather than screws, because the roofers who tear off next time won't have a drill up there and might pry the screws out with tear off tools.

I generally remove the loose ones and put a new nail next to it, then seal the old hole and new nail head. I wouldn't use standard black jack or any other plastic roof cement as they become brittle quickly. Black Jack does have a neoprene based sealant that would be a better choice (next to the regular BJ in one of the big box stores). The best sealant would come from a roofing/siding supplier if you happen to have one nearby, e.g. Geocel, Solar Seal, Vulkem.

Good luck and think safety.
Got the job done today. I went to a roofing supplier in my area and described the situation to the guy in there. He recommended galvanized screws with sealing washers already attached. He even had brown screws to match the ridge vent. I used Geocel sealant in the holes from any missing or popped nails I removed. There were not many but the ones I found were directly over the areas where I had moisture on my upstairs ceiling. I also sealed around the rubber end caps on the vent. As far as it being dangerous, I believe if you aren't terrified of heights, use common sense, have a good and properly set up ladder, there is no reason to be afraid of doing a simple job like this. Every roofer goes up on a roof the first time. They didn't get hurt or killed or they wouldn't be roofers now.

Last edited by Jimbo65; 12-21-2011 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:46 PM   #7
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Repairing ridge vent


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Originally Posted by Jimbo65 View Post
Got the job done today. I went to a roofing supplier in my area and described the situation to the guy in there. He recommended galvanized screws with sealing washers already attached. He even had brown ounces to match the ridge vent. I used Geocel sealant in the holes from any missing or popped nails I removed. There were not many but the ones I found were directly over the areas where I had moisture on my upstairs ceiling. I also sealed around the rubber end caps on the vent. As far as it being dangerous, I believe if you aren't terrified of heights, use common sense, have a good and properly set up ladder, there is no reason to be afraid of doing a simple job like this. Every roofer goes up on a roof the first time. They didn't get hurt or killed or they wouldn't be roofers now.
That was a good idea to use a sheet metal screw. The advice and pro products make it worth googling a supplier.

Sorry to preach, but it sounds like you're already pretty comfortable being up there, and getting comfortable can be dangerous. I had foot surgery monday from getting comfortable with ladder placement having set it up 10x a day for the last ten years, which lead to some major discomfort and a 4-6 month time-out on the ladder.

I would encourage DIY'ers getting on the roof or using a ladder 6+ feet off the ground to be familiar with OSHA safety guidelines, and have somebody near by who can, god forbid, call 911.
http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...IVES&p_id=2288
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:11 PM   #8
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Repairing ridge vent


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Originally Posted by jmiller

That was a good idea to use a sheet metal screw. The advice and pro products make it worth googling a supplier.

Sorry to preach, but it sounds like you're already pretty comfortable being up there, and getting comfortable can be dangerous. I had foot surgery monday from getting comfortable with ladder placement having set it up 10x a day for the last ten years, which lead to some major discomfort and a 4-6 month time-out on the ladder.

I would encourage DIY'ers getting on the roof or using a ladder 6+ feet off the ground to be familiar with OSHA safety guidelines, and have somebody near by who can, god forbid, call 911.
http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...IVES&p_id=2288
Sorry to hear about your injury. I didn't mean to sound like I am comfortable on a roof. Believe me. I'm not. I just like to save money on a project if I think it's within my capabilities. I got it from my father. If he called someone to fix something at the house it was a certain admission of defeat. He rarely did call he was a crafty and extremely creative man. I wish I had half of his talent but I do what I can do. I of course like saving money but also like the personal satisfaction of fixing almost anything. This is the first time I have been on my roof. Hopefully the last.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:25 PM   #9
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Repairing ridge vent


Sorry to hear about that Jmiller. Been there, done that. Need any advice or anything, let me know. Best thing I learned is listen to the Doc and take as much time as needed and more, before trying to work again. I know a few guys who pushed it too early using pain killers and just made things worse and lengthened their down time.

jmiller's pic is exactly why the disclaimer is at the bottom of the page, and it's why we charge what we do. Not many take the risks that Construction workers take everyday to make a living.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:52 PM   #10
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Repairing ridge vent


+1

Sorry to hear about your injury Jmiller.

Heal up fast.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:06 PM   #11
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Repairing ridge vent


I have a 12x12 pitch roof and need a vent stack put through but can't get a roofer or plumber to go up there so I might have to do it myself.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:48 AM   #12
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Repairing ridge vent


You can get someone up there, you are just going to need to pay someone properly for the access.

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