Ridge caps are an essential roofing material that you install over the part of the roof where two sides meet. They have several purposes, including making your roof look aesthetically pleasing and preventing water from leaking through and causing damage to the roof.
However, how do you install ridge caps?
Our ridge cap guide will detail the installation process and what you must do before and after installation.
What Tools Do You Need to Install Roof Ridge Caps
Before installing ridge caps, you must have all the necessary tools. Doing this is crucial because it can save you time during the installation process and ensure that you’re safe while on the roof.
Here are all the crucial tools you need to install roof ridge caps:
- Safety gear to ensure you don’t injure yourself during the installation process. Some of this equipment includes a harness, safety gloves and goggles, non-slip shoes and a hard hat.
- Tools to measure the roof and mark the installation points. You will need a long tape measure, chalk to mark the installation points and a level to ensure you get accurate cuts on the ridge caps.
- Tools to cut the ridge caps like a circular saw.
- Tools to secure the ridge caps like an electric drill or screwdriver and screws/nails.
- A roof ladder.
- Sealant to finish the installation.
You must also have all the necessary materials like the ridge caps, fasteners and underlayment.
What Safety Precautions Must You Take Before Installing Ridge Caps on the Roof?
Remember, without all the safety equipment, you won’t be safe while working on the roof. Create a checklist of all the needed equipment to help you remember.
As well as equipment, there are other things you must do to remain safe on the roof.
First, when using a roof ladder, always ensure it is sturdy and utterly secure before climbing on it. To do this, placing the ladder on a flat surface is the best idea.
Also, you must be completely aware of your surroundings when working on the roof. For example, stopping work before adverse weather like rain or high winds.
How Do You Prepare Your Roof Before Ridge Cap Installation?
Once you have the necessary equipment, you may think you’re ready to install ridge caps, but you must prepare your roof first.
The first thing you must do is clear any debris from the roof like leaves and tree branches.
After this, you need to inspect the condition of your roof to see if the debris caused any damage, like cracks in the shingles. If you see any water damage (or any other damage type), you must repair it before installing ridge caps.
Finally, once the rest of the roof is clean, you need to inspect the ridge, remove debris from it and clean it before installation. Doing this involves scraping off mould and moss from the ridge line.
Finally, your ridge caps won’t have a long life without excellent ventilation on your roof. Therefore, you must check the ventilation on the roof to see if anything is blocking it.
How Do You Measure and Cut Ridge Caps?
Before installing ridge caps, you must cut them to the perfect size.
The first step is measuring the ridge line on your roof. The measurements must be accurate, so you should measure more than once to be safe. After this, mark the ridge line lengths on the ridge caps so you know exactly where to cut.
The tool you should use for cutting ridge caps depends on the material. For example, use a high-quality circular saw for shingles and shears for metal caps. There are multiple common types of ridge caps, so, naturally, there are numerous ways to cut them.
Finally, place the ridge caps along the ridge line to ensure they fit.
How Do You Install Underlayment on the Roof?
The final thing you must do before installing ridge caps is install the underlayment.
Once you prepare the roof ridge by cleaning it, roll out the underlayment and cover the edges so you cover every part of the ridge line.
After rolling out the underlayment, you must secure it to the roof using nails or a sticky adhesive.
Finally, if any seams stick out, roll new layers of underlayment over them to create a seal that will keep water out. Ideally, you should use a waterproof underlayment because it will offer the most protection to your home.
How Do You Attach Ridge Caps to the Roof?
Now that everything else is ready, you can attach the underlayment to the roof. To do this, you should first put the ridge caps in the correct place; place them in the centre of the ridge line.
There are multiple ways you can attach the ridge caps to the roof.
For example, you can fasten them from the outside with nails or screws. If you do it this way, ensure you space the nails evenly so there are no weak points in the ridge caps.
The other method is using a sticky adhesive to attach the ridge caps. Be generous with the amount of adhesive you use, and press on it to ensure it sticks to the roof.
Once you attach the first ridge cap, you must overlap it with the second one. Make sure both ridge caps align to make your roof to look neat. Continue to overlap, align and secure until you fasten all the layers.
Do You Need to Seal Roof Ridge Caps?
Once you fasten the ridge caps to your roof, the finishing touch is to seal them to ensure that no water can leak through.
You need to apply the sealant evenly across the entire length of the ridge cap, ensuring that you leave no gaps. Once you apply the sealant, smooth it over so it adheres to the roof ridge properly.
If there is excess sealant on the roof, remove it before it hardens.
Once you apply all the sealant, inspect it to see if it’s all uniform and leave it to harden for 24-48 hours.
How Do You Maintain Roof Ridge Caps After Installing Them?
No matter how well you install your ridge caps, if you don’t maintain them, debris could damage them, shortening their lifespan. Because of this, you must inspect the ridge line regularly for cracks or peeling ridge caps.
If you spot any damage on the ridge caps, re-seal or fill the cracks to maintain them.
Final Thoughts on the Best Way to Install Ridge Caps
In summary, while attaching the ridge caps to the roof is important, you must remember all the other steps. These include getting the suitable materials, cutting the ridge caps, preparing the roof and installing the underlayment.
When you install ridge caps, you must make your safety a priority, especially when working on the roof.
You can find more tips on roof material installation on Roofstuff!