Why Ridge Cap Is An Important Piece To Your Roofing System?

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Why Ridge Cap Is An Important Piece To Your Roofing System?

Why Ridge Cap Is An Important Piece To Your Roofing System?

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It’s common knowledge that without a strong and stable roof, your home won’t be fully protected from harsh winds and storms.

However, did you know that a ridge cap is an essential part of any roofing installation?

This roofing element not only protects your home from leaks but also adds an architectural design element to your roof.

ridge cap

What Is a Ridge Cap?

Ridge cap is a special shingle that was designed for the harsh wind that hits the ridge of a roof. A ridge cap will not only be thicker than a regular shingle, they are also pre-bent.

A cheap roofer will try and use 3-tab shingles which will crack over time due to the bend.

That’s why they are typically pre-bent and thicker than regular roof shingles, which tend to crack when folded over the ridge

Metal Roofing Ridge Cap

If you have a metal roof, you’ll need a roofing closure installed between the roof panels and the ridge cap for extra protection against dirt, debris, and water.

You can choose between a solid closure, which is both watertight and airtight, and a vented closure, which allows hot air to escape—this is preferable when you have a room or attic by the roof.

Once the closure has been installed, you can now place the ridge cap on top. This usually comes in pieces that are 10 feet long and 6-12 inches wide, but they can easily be adjusted to fit your roof peak.

metal ridge cap

Asphalt Roofing Ridge Cap Shingles

On the other hand, an asphalt shingle roof will require ridge cap shingles.

Since asphalt shingles are more prone to wear and tear compared to metal roofing, it’s even more critical to have ridge cap shingles in place to stop rain and moisture from penetrating.

For unique roof designs and sizes, it’s possible to cut regular shingles to create special ridge caps. If you want to save time and money, though, it’s best to go with prefabricated ridge cap shingles.

How Do You Install a Ridge Cap?

To install a ridge cap, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Place a ridge cap on the roof peak. Mark both ends on the roof with a piece of chalk.
  2. Put sealant tape along both sides of the ridge, around 1 inch above the chalk lines. Then, set down the closure strips on top. These should be placed 1/4th of an inch above your chalk lines.
  3. Layer on another strip of sealant tape on top of the closures for your ridge caps.
  4. Center the ridge cap, and press it firmly down onto the installed closures.
  5. Fasten the ridge cap on the ridge vent using screws or roofing nails using a recommended roofing hammer.
  6. Repeat with the other ridge caps to cover the whole roof. Make sure they overlap at the right position to hide the nails/screws.
  7. If necessary, trim any excess ridge cap to fit your roof length.


For ridge cap shingles without closures, you can skip to step 5. It may be necessary to apply roofing cement first before fastening the ridge cap shingles for better adhesion.

While you can certainly DIY this, one of your options is to hire professionals to do the job for you.

Besides installation, they can also take care of any necessary repairs or inspections. For customer service and pricing, contact your local roofing contractor for an estimate.

Remember, because the roof ridge is the most exposed to sun, wind, and harsh weather conditions, it gets damaged much quicker than other roofing elements.

Thus, it’s important to regularly check if your ridge caps and shingles need replacing.

It’s always best to make sure all your materials are high quality and that everything’s installed properly, so you don’t encounter more serious problems down the line.

It might cost more upfront, but you’ll also be saving on potential repairs and maintenance in the future.

Adding a Ridge Vent

Now, what is a ridge vent for?

If you have an attic, it’s ideal for increasing ventilation for energy efficiency and lower electricity costs.

When heat builds up with nowhere to go, you could face issues such as rapidly deteriorating shingles and mold. A ridge vent is also designed to keep leaks, dirt, and debris from entering your home.

To install this, a hole must be cut along the roof ridge.

The vent is first placed on top of the shingles before the ridge cap is added on top. Most ridge vents should fit prefabricated ridge caps that are sold in the market.

How Do You Calculate Ridge Cap?

Calculating Ridge Cap is a very basic math exercise. Follow these next few steps and you will “nail it” perfectly.

  1. Measure the length of your ridge. The safest way to do this is to use google earth. Zoom in on your house and then use the lineal measuring tool.
  2. Once you have your lineal feet, add 10% for waste as you will be cutting the ridge. Also, there will be a few bad shingles you can’t use.
  3. From there, check the manufacture package but each package of ridge cap (GAF for example) should have 25 feet.

Final Thoughts

Even if they may be unnoticeable, ridge caps and vents are significant additions to your roofing structure, as they keep it sturdy and sound.

With that said, if you want your home to withstand excessive exposure to the natural elements, be sure to invest in them!

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