There are terms that we hear a lot during construction but don’t really understand their significance. This is probably the case with the ridge cap. This strange name refers to a special type of tile created to cover the gap, formed at the peak of the roof due to the meeting of the two waters.
Still hard to visualize, isn’t it? For this reason, we have prepared this post especially for you. This way, you will know exactly what a ridge cap is, what its importance is for construction sites, and the main types. Read on!
What is a ridge cap?
The vast majority of roofs require several accessories to improve the functionality and aesthetics of the structure. Among them is the ridge, which is essential for the triangular-shaped models that form a prism. Thus, one edge stands above the entire structure, forming a peak. This area is particularly sensitive to damage, such as leaks. After all, it is not possible to make a perfect fit between the tiles, and a gap remains between them.
Technically speaking, the ridge serves to protect the gap that is formed by the meeting of the two waters of a scissor roof. To get around this problem, a special type of tile, the ridge tile, was created. It is very interesting because it has a special shape to fit on the edge, avoiding the formation of this space that can accumulate water, attract animals looking for shelter, compromise the thermal efficiency of the construction, etc.
In addition, they have an aesthetic function, especially in residential roofing projects. There are several decorative models that look very beautiful and give a special charm to the construction.
Therefore, they can also be considered a kind of finishing. In this sense, they differ from copings, another structure with the purpose of covering the gaps formed by the inclination of two sheets of tiles. The cap is merely functional, having no aesthetic effect on the construction.
That said, it is important to remember that ridges are unnecessary in roofing projects that do not form angles or edges, such as inlaid. After all, they only make sense when the tiles form significant angles to each other.
What are the types of ridge caps?
Because they are such an indispensable part of roofing, ridge caps come in many different models. Therefore, you need to know each one well enough to make the right decision for each case. Below, we will present the main ones.
Flat Shed ridge
This type of ridge was created for the finishing of saw-shaped roofs, which is very common in factories and warehouses. In recent years, they have also been explored in residential projects. The shed is considered smooth because it does not show any undulation or serration unlike the tiles on which they are applied.
The profile ridge is wavy and its main objective is to fit perfectly on the tiles with the same specification. In this way it is possible to create a more discreet effect without drawing too much attention to the ridge itself. It is a way to make the roof stand out on its own.
The flat ridge is very similar to the shed, but it cannot be used on the side of the porch. The effect on the roof is practically the same, and they are capable of overcoming various types of undulation.
Notched Shed Ridge
This is also a porch-type ridge, i.e. one that is attached between the side and top of a building. In this case it is notched, and can therefore fit on the corrugations of shingles to the same effect.
Smooth notched ridge
This type of ridge has a smooth surface, but is considered notched, because it does not have a triangular shape, but a pentagonal one.
What are the main materials of the ridges?
The ridge tops are made of various materials. Generally, they are the same materials used in roof tiles. Check them out below!
PVC is one of the main materials used in the ridge caps. It has several advantages, such as the diversity of colors and models, high impermeability, durability, resistance, lightness, etc. However, it may not be aesthetically adequate for some projects.
Fiber-cement is generally only used on summits when the tiles are made of the same material. After all, there are fewer color options and, because they are not glazed, the irregular details of the surface can stand out on a smoother roof.
Metals are an excellent option when you use a galvanized or galvalume roof. Likewise, they can easily be used for the profiled ridge. Enameled options allow for greater color diversity and extra protection against physical and chemical damage.
Ceramic ridge tops only make sense when installed together with tiles of the same material. Here there are more artistic options, since there are manufacturers (mostly handmade) of pieces with different designs.
Finally, we cannot stop talking about ecological materials, since the sustainable ideal has been very important in the construction industry. So, when you use materials that minimally harm the environment and adopt less harmful processes, you improve the company’s image, especially in the more educated and engaged sectors.
How important is the ridge cap?
The main function of the ridge cap is to prevent the gap generated by the meeting of two roof waters from being exposed. After all, it is an important source of infiltration, since rain tends to accumulate easily in any gap. Over time, the roof is compromised, causing leaks and other problems in buildings.
When is it necessary to use a ridge cap?
As we explained, the ridges are not necessary in all projects. They are indispensable only in cases where edges form at the peak in the roof model that we technically call scissor roof.
How to lay the ridges?
The laying of the ridge depends on the type chosen. If you choose ceramic tiles, it is done by fitting, just like the tiles of this material. On the other hand, in the case of PVC, metal and ecological tiles, they will probably be nailed to the roof rafters or other support structures.
Therefore, if you want a beautiful look on your roof, be sure to consider beautiful ridge models to give that amazing finish to the construction. In addition, these pieces also help in protection, avoiding leaks and infiltrations.