Ridge Capping a Roof: A How-To Guide Ridge Capping a Roof: A How-To Guide

What You'll Need
Gloves and eye protection
Roofing shingles
Hammer
Ladder
Roofing tar
Utility knife
Chalk line
Roofing nails

Sloping roofs need to be secured with ridge capping. Most sloped roofs have two sides that meet in the middle along the apex of the roof. This line-of-contact is called the roof ridge line or roof ridge. Ridge capping is essentially a process of securing the ridge line. This is vital since un-ridged roofs are very vulnerable. Such roofs hamper the thermal performance of the house, leaking-away energy from the interior of the house. Ridge capping ensures that water, snow or dust isn't able to seep inside the house. A properly-installed ridge cap also improves the aesthetic appearance of the roofline. Roof shingles are among the most recommended ridge-capping materials. Roofing shingles are a proven roofing material. Furthermore, they have an overlapping structure. This makes it easier to carve-out a ridge capping from a shingle. Secondly, the flat layout of the shingles makes them easier-to-handle. You can install ridge capping on a roof by using the following information.

Step 1—Procuring Shingles

Pre-cut shingle ridge caps are also available in the market, but they are slightly expensive. Retailed ridge caps may not be very compatible with the ridge line of your roof. However, you can easily prepare ridge caps at home. Any kind of roofing shingle that is durable against water and weather changes can be used. It is recommended that you use the three-tab shingle for this purpose. These are the most commonly-used and affordable shingles available in the market.

Step 2—Getting Prepared

Prepare yourself by wearing the proper protection gear. This includes gloves and some form of eye protection. You can use goggles or sunglasses too. Rotate the shingle to identify the joining line of the tabs within the shingle.

Step 3—Making Ridge Caps from Shingles

Using the utility knife, start cutting along the edge/lining of the shingle. Ensure that you slice the tab at an angle of about 30 degree, i.e. 30 degrees from the outer edge of the tab to the inner side. This has to be done on either sides of the tab, up to an approximately equal length. From here, cut the tab in a straight line towards the base of the tab. Once the surrounding edges of the tab falls off, the resulting piece should appear like the home plate used in a baseball field, i.e. a pentangular or five-sided tab. This is your ridge cap. Usually, every average-sized shingle yields about three ridge caps.

Step 4—Creating Ridge Capping Installation Layout

Secure yourself atop the roof along the ridge line by using a ladder. Place one of the sliced, ridge cap shingle at either ends of the ridge line. Draw a chalk-line between the outer edges of these two ridge caps. Repeat this on the other side of the ridge line.

Step 5—Completing Ridge Capping

Start placing the ridge cap shingles along the chalk line. You should align the front edge or the pointed edge of the ridge cap along the chalk-line. Secure each ridge cap by hammering a roofing nail at its either ends. It is better to dab the hammered nail-heads with roofing tar. This protects the nails against rusting.

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