Roofing/ridge vent leaks

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Question
Dear Bruce:  We rebuilt our home, raised the main floor up, added onto the side and put a three car garage and partial living area below.  We insulated very well. Our ridge vents started to have water back up in them and run down our rafters.
We only noticed this because all four of our skylights started leaking and when I went into the attic, you could see the water running down the rafter and hitting the first stop point, thus where the skylights were, the water came.  I crawled onto the roof three years ago when we had a winter with 70" of snow and cleaned the roof off and the vents and the water stopped.  Now this year we only had about two inches so far and the vents started leaking again, with me going a a extremely slippery roof to clear them out. There was water up there alright and with that little snow it covered the ridge vent and allowed the melt back into the roof.  So after this happened the first time two years ago, I had four more vents put in near the ridge vents and yet this year with that little 2 inch snow fall it ran right in.
We have to reshingle this spring due to hail damage and I would like to get a good ventilation system, maybe get rid of that ridge vent.  What do you suggest?  I am too old to be getting on that roof, and its only nine years old.
One company said putting the extra roof vents up there was bad, and another company said we still would draw out ok because heat rises.  I would like good ventilation without leakeage.

Answer
Roger,

Check out ridge vents by cor-a-vent, particularly the types with the fabric back on them as this is intended to stop blowing snow from entering the attic space.  You could also eliminate the ridge vent and utilize flanged 'mushroom' type vents that I assume are the style of the four others you had added recently.  These typically perform better with snow and rain in my opinion.  And as it sounds like you live in a unique climate, you might consider building a raised vent on the ridge that will serve as a wind break and stop water from rolling right in.  

Regards,

Bruce Ryan II, RRO
Professional Roof Consultants, Inc.

Roofing

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Bruce A. Ryan II, RRO

Expertise

I offer solid knowlege of all types of Commercial and Residential Roofing, Waterproofing, and, Building Envelope systems. Experience ranges across low slope and steep slope roof systems. I am also well versed in matters regarding condensation and ventilation. I enjoy donating some of my time and knowledge to the betterment of others.

Experience

Bruce Ryan has 20 years of roofing, waterproofing, and building envelope consulting experience with PRC, with 5 years of commercial roofing experience prior to joining the firm. He became Vice President of the company in 1998. Bruce Ryan plays a key role in the development of practical, long-term roofing and waterproofing solutions, along with implementation of on-site forensic studies. Bruce also has a high level of experience with regard to the impacts of roofing materials and construction for demanding clients with heavily occupied structures.

Organizations
Oregon Construction Contractors Board Construction Specifiers Institute National Roofing Contractors Association The Institute of Roofing, Waterproofing, & Building Envelope Professionals Oregon Board of Investigators Installation Masters

Education/Credentials
University of Maryland BS Business & Administration Registered Roof Observer - RCI Private Investigator Certified EIFS inspector - Northwest Wall and Ceiling Bureau Certified InstallationMaster™ - The Installation Masters™ Training and Certification Program (developed by American Architectural Manufacturers Association)

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