Ridge vent in existing barn roof and other cooling ideas

Has anybody added a ridge vent to an existing barn roof? How expensive was it? We are having really high temperatures these days. My barn has a 20 + foot ceiling but the builder did not add a ridge vent in the shingled roof like he was supposed to ( long story). I had thought about getting spray foam insulation on the top of the inside roof to block the heat of the sun’s rays. I got somebody out to measure the area but they have not gotten back to me with an estimate. But now I think I need a ridge vent more.

However part of the heat problem is that even though the roof is high there is no way for the heat to vent out. The barn is very open and I have multiple fans running but it is still hot in there. I am probably going to need to reshingle the roof in a couple of years and I could add a ridge vent but I sure would like to cool things off until then.

The other idea was to put spray foam insulation to block the heat from the sun. I have trees up against one side of the barn and they provide shade on that side until late afternoon so the overhang out there stays cooler than the main barn. The next idea was to staple up a radiant heat barrier at the top of the ceiling to deflect the heat. I figured up some costs of single bubble radiant barrier but I don’t know how well that will work. The cost didn’t seem to be that bad but the company is pushing a double bubble heat barrier that I am not sure I need. I am not trying to encapsulate the area - just block the sun’s rays heating up the roof and ceiling. Due to the open structure of the barn I do not have dampness or condensation issues. Just the hot sun radiating heat that can’t escape. I need to find a budget friendly solution to this problem. I HATE summer!

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I think installing a solar attic type vent van, maybe 2 depending on the length of your barn, would be much cheaper than ripping your roof open all the way down the line to put a ridge vent in. Jmo. Call a couple roofers in your area to come out and bounce around ideas and see if any of them mention an attic solar fan type thing and what they would charge to install?

That sounds like a good idea. The roof is 70 feet long if that makes a difference. I do probably need to talk to somebody that understands what is entailed in putting in a ridge vent,

You can put a couple of cupola’s on there- they are attractive, and useful. Also, you could add gable venting. It would be must less money that the ridge vent, as they do not have to remove roofing (shingles and sheathing) in order to install. Agree with fans.


Paralysis by analysis. Looking at all the options and trying to decide which is best. Do I add two solar powered attic type vents and only put two holes in the roof or do a ridge vent and open up the roof all the way lengthwise? Would gable vents/ fans be effective with 70 foot length? Have to ask some roof people I guess.

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I rented a barn that was over 70 feet long. I was a mostly enclosed concrete block barn that got warm and stuffy in the summer. At one end there was a window in the peak in an attic area over the tack rooms with an 18" fan (size approx) at the end of the aisle near ceiling that vented into that attic area. Opening the window and turning on the fan it kept the barn much cooler.

The fan is behind the access door above the people door in the picture, the window was about 15 feet past that. The other end of the barn was a large, open door.

I your case I would consider fans in the peak of the end walls and/or fans built into the roof, possibly with cupolas.

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We have a cupola with an exhaust built into it. Works great.

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Seconding the idea of a powerful exhaust fan (hard wired, not solar) in the gable at the end of the barn. Mine came from Farmtek and has a sealed motor and moves a lot of air out up at ceiling level. I mostly use mine at night to get all the day’s heat out. It works well.

How old is the roof? I’d probably plan to do the ridge vent when the roof shingles need replacing.

Can you post some pictures of the exterior short end, and the underside of the roof construction?

Without seeing anything I would look at a powerful exhaust fans in the gable ends.

We have DIY’d spray foam before on walls. For a ceiling I would pay to have it done. It needs to be covered though, so depending on how the roof is constructed, that may be difficult.

I have a high ceiling but you can see how the hot air can get trapped at the top of the roof. I THINK having fans at both ends could move some of that hot air out of the ceiling in spite of it being a relatively long barn. It is a very open barn but that hot air needs some help getting moved on out.

The roof is about 20 plus years old so i am looking at redoing the shingles in a few years even though it still looks good. It sounds like it would be wise to wait for the roof to be replaced before I put in a ridge vent. I still want to do one but I think that maybe fans up high might help somewhat. And I am pretty sure I need some sort of insulation besides venting the heat. I can tell the difference when the sun goes under a cloud so I am getting a good bit of radiated heat. What I don’t know is if I can just tack up some heat barrier insulation or go with spray foam which might be more costly. I am pretty sure I will need some experienced people with the right equipment to do spray foam.

Seeing that picture I would put a big exhaust fan above the door on the hot end of the barn to move the hot air out. Something like this



Oh hell woman, I would:

  1. Get an attic/exhaust fan at both ends, maybe a smaller one in the middle or bigger in the middle n smaller on the sides.
  2. If you have electricity, and do not mind the higher bill in the summer, look into the Big Ass Fans line of outdoor fans n get one installed smack dab in the middle of the barn!! Holy smokes that would look awesome and probably push a crapton of air out for you! Yes once a yr you probably will have to dust it with a big ladder, but if I had that kinda barn I would totally do it!!!
  3. I concur with above poster saying do the ridgevent thing when shingles need to be replaced. No point in ripping up your roof twice!

I am adding other ideas, what if you had those horizontal vents added at the front and back triangle areas above your doorways? My house has them, it is 90ft long. We still need an attic fan I think tho, one of me n hubs constant arguments…I pay the elect bill, ugh.

Do not do spray foam. Birds still get in it and if you need shingles replaced, there goes the foam if any boards get redone. You CAN ask the roofers to put down a layer of insulation like the shiny silver stuff between the boards and shingles when you get the roof redone I believe. I wanted spray foam in my little carport barn to the tune of around 3k for a 20x36 buildings roof…the guy noticed it has bird access n told me do not waste the money lady. Thank goodness for the few honest contractors still around!

Is there a hayloft on both sides of your aisle?! A friend of mine has her ceilings like that, but the ceiling, aka hayloft floor, goes the whole area of the barn, on both front n back sides of the hayloft she has sliding smaller doors so the hay can be loaded into the loft via hay elevator, it also makes a huge difference in the summer with ventilation of that top area and the temp in the entire barn, even with the ceiling ‘floor’ that the hay is on.

I wanna see pics when you decide on a plan and live vicariously thru you!!! :grin::grin::grin::blush::blush: