As homeowners, we are often unaware of the intricate details of our roofs. In a roofing system, many parts come together to create an efficient and protective roof structure that looks great and keeps the home secure.
One aspect crucial to your roof’s protection and longevity is ridge capping.
Let’s explore the basics of roof ridge capping, discover its importance, the different types of ridge capping available, and how to install and maintain it effectively.
What is Ridge Capping?
Roof ridge capping refers to the material or structure that covers the joint where two roof surfaces meet – in Australian homes, this is typically at the peak of a pitched roof.
This ridge capping protects the roof from weather damage, leaks, and little animals and other pests getting into your roof cavity. The ridge capping covers the ridge, and it’s designed to form a watertight seal to prevent leaks from rain, hail, or other environmental factors.
As with many elements of your roofing system, ridge capping is one of many critical components that work together as an essential barrier against damage that could result in costly repairs and replacements. Water damage, in particular, is the prime enemy of your roof structure, so the chief function of a ridge cap is to prevent those damaging water leaks.
Why Are Ridge Caps Important?
Ridge caps are essential for the protection of your home and family. Water can seep into the roof without proper ridge capping, leading to mould growth and a weakened roof structure.
The mould growth can actually lead to various health concerns for you and your family, while the accumulative effect of moisture in your roof structure over time can lead to costly repairs and maintenance.
When seen this way, proper installation and maintenance of ridge capping can prolong the life of your roof and keep your home and family safe. It may sound rather grandiose, but that solitary ridge cap that covers the area where two tiled roof surfaces meet can be the difference between thousands of dollars in repairs saved.
Different Types of Ridge Cap
In Australia, metal and cement are the two main types of ridge capping that homeowners can choose from. Metal ridge capping is a popular choice because it’s durable, can withstand weather damage, and requires little maintenance once installed.
It’s available in various metals, such as zinc, aluminium, or steel, and you can install it in multiple styles and colours to fit any roof type and aesthetic. The fact that metal ridge capping comes in different colours to match your roof’s colour scheme means it is an extremely versatile option.
On the other hand, cement ridge capping is made from a mixture of cement and sand and is moulded to fit your roof’s ridge. While it’s also durable and can resist weather damage, cement ridge capping may need more maintenance than metal ridge capping over time.
In Australia, there’s been a gradual shift to metal ridge caps and away from cement ridge caps due to the many advantages of metal ridge capping.
Metal ridge capping is more durable, requires less maintenance, and can withstand a wider range of weather conditions than cement ridge capping.
What Types of Ridge Caps Can You Use with Different Roofing Materials?
Different roofing materials may require different types of ridge caps to ensure proper installation, functionality, and a clean look that keeps your roof looking nice and coherent. Here are some examples:
Tile roofs typically require a “tile-over” ridge cap that’s designed to match the shape and colour of the tiles in the traditional style. You install these ridge caps on top of the tiles as top ridge capping to be both waterproof and durable.
For metal roofs like corrugated steel roofs, roofers typically use a ridge cap made of the same material as the roof panels. So, match an aluminium roof with an aluminium ridge cap, for instance. This ensures a seamless appearance to corrugated roofing and also provides adequate protection against weather damage.
Asphalt shingle roofs
With asphalt shingle roofs, there are two main types of ridge caps that can be used – 3-tab and architectural. 3-tab ridge caps are designed to match the appearance of the shingles, while architectural ridge caps have a more dimensional appearance.
Colorbond roofs are a popular choice in Australia and require a specially designed ridge cap that’s compatible with the Colorbond material. These ridge caps are typically made from the same material as the roofing panels and are available in various colours to match the roof.
How to Install and Maintain Ridge Capping
Installing roof ridge caps is best done by professionals to make sure it’s done right. First, they’ll remove any old or damaged capping before putting the new capping in place. Then, they’ll use screws or nails to secure it and apply a waterproof sealant to ensure it’s watertight.
To keep it in good shape, you’ll need to check it regularly for any damage or signs of wear and tear. If you notice any problems, it’s essential to get them fixed promptly to prevent water from getting in. And, don’t forget to give your capping a good cleaning every once in a while to keep any debris, like fallen tree branches and such, from causing damage over time.
Dry Fixed Ridge Capping From EvoBuild
The RapidRidge dry fixed system is an example of the newer form of ridge capping that’s increasingly popular across Australia.
The RapidRidge system is made up of three components that work together to hold the ridge caps in place securely. A UV-stabilised ridge flashing is positioned over the ridge and secured to the tiles using butyl strips. The ridge tiles are then fixed in place with mechanical clips instead of traditional mortar, eliminating the need for more complicated and outdated bonding methods.
These clips are designed specifically to suit Australian houses and are highly durable, ensuring that the ridge caps are held securely in place. The batten holders, which can be bent and split by hand to suit various heights and rafter alignments, hold the ridge batten firmly in place.
This system is available in black or terracotta and produces a professional-looking roof that requires minimal ongoing maintenance compared to traditional methods. With no mortar to mix, the installation process is also quicker and can be done in all weather conditions. Consider using RapidRidge for your next roof installation to take advantage of the latest roof mapping technology and protect your home.