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Roof with ridge cap installed by Best Choice Roofing

Roof Ridge Caps: What They Do and How They Protect Your Home

When you have two roof planes that come together at an angle, a peak or a valley results. Lots of water flows through roof valleys over their lifetime, so they need extensive roof flashing to keep your roof dry and free from leaks. Likewise, your roof peaks require a ridge cap to shield your home from moisture intrusion, pests, and rodents.

A ridge cap safeguards what is under it from the elements. Let’s explore the importance of ridge caps and why they need to stay intact.

Ridge Caps 101

Ridge caps block damaging moisture from penetrating into your home, but they also help protect other elements of your roofing system that you may not be aware of. Here are some of the basics on ridge caps so you can be well informed when it comes to your roof repairs or roof replacement.

Prevent roof leaks

A roof leak is a significant problem, and one that’s wise to avoid. When roofing systems are not installed properly, roof leaks and costly repairs result.

Leaks occur primarily at the seams in your roof—where materials are lined up together and there is a natural space or gap. Roofing companies use a variety of techniques to protect those seams, including:

  • Ridge caps
  • Overlapping roof shingles
  • Caulking
  • Adding layers of flashing

Roof seams can sustain damage over time and result in holes, cracks, and exposed areas where water can infiltrate and create problems. Why do roofs leak? Natural wear and tear, poor roofing installation, lack of proper maintenance, harsh weather, and too much walking on your roof can all cause roof leaks.

But leaks can be prevented! And ridge caps are part of the equation.

Why ridge caps are so important

The very top of your roof gets excessive sun and wind exposure. If it isn’t covered, moisture will sneak in through the seam at your roof’s peak. Moisture penetration can cause expensive damage such as unhealthy mold, mildew, rot, and more. The very top of your roof (your roof ridge) needs added protection. A ridge cap is fitted over it to safeguard your home from the elements.

Here are some of the top benefits of ridge caps:

  • Prevent damaging moisture intrusion
  • Extend the life of your roof
  • Increase your home’s protection
  • Safeguard your roof deck from damage

Without a ridge cap, the wind would eventually pry off your shingles starting at the top, and rain would work its way under your roof shingles and enter your attic space.

Ridge cap makeup

Asphalt shingle roofing systems usually have asphalt ridge caps. While roofing companies can create a ridge cap with ordinary shingles, prefabricated ridge caps are stronger, more durable, and more reliable over the years, giving you peace of mind that your biggest investment is well protected. Prefabricated ridge caps can be made of:

  • Asphalt
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Plastic

The ridge cap can be treated so its color and style blend in with your roofing system.

Ridge cap installation

This essential part of your roofing system needs to be installed properly and maintained well to block damaging moisture from seeping into your home. Your roof is vital, so make sure you hire a reputable roofer with a track record of successful installations to install your new roof.

Your roof must be installed with precision and attention to detail so you get the high performance and protection you deserve over its lifetime. The primary places roofing professionals miss it when it comes to ridge caps include:

  • They fail to install a ridge cap at all, leaving seams exposed to the elements.
  • They mix different brands and styles of roof shingles leading to inconsistent wear and tear and decreased performance.
  • They use improper nailing techniques that cause portions of roofing to loosen and lift up, exposing wood to damaging moisture.
  • They only install ridge caps where visible, but omit them on vulnerable areas that may be hard to see—like the rooftop.

The importance of inspecting your ridge cap

Regular roofing inspections are important in order to catch any problems early before they cascade into more costly situations. Ridge caps can wear down faster than other parts of your roofing system (such as roof shingles or flashing) because they come into direct contact with the weather elements.

Be sure to have a professional roofing contractor (like us!) carefully inspect your ridge cap in case it needs to be replaced. It’s not unusual for it to need replacement sooner than the rest of your roof. Installing a new one is simple and convenient

Note: When you replace your roof, be sure to have a high-quality brand ridge cap installed that will stand up against the elements and protect your home.

How ridge caps protect your ridge vents

A ridge cap fits right on top of a ridge vent. Ridge vents prevent moisture from penetrating your home. They use an upside-down V that allows gravity to guide water down your roofing system, protecting your home from leaks. Ridge vents also keep dirt, leaves, and debris from your home. If they have a mesh screen as part of their makeup, your home will also be protected from insects and rodents.

Boosting the ventilation in your attic keeps attic temperatures down in the summer, increasing your home’s energy efficiency and decreasing the workload on your heating and air conditioning unit. One way to increase your home’s ventilation is by installing a ridge vent to keep the fresh air circulating into your attic space.

Trusted Roofing Installation for Your Home

Owens Corning PlatinumThere’s nothing like the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home is well protected.

When your roofing system wears out, your biggest investment is at risk. Safeguard your home from moisture intrusion with a trustworthy roof replacement from a reputable contractor.

At Best Choice Roofing, as an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor since 2011, we’re recognized as a top 1% performer and have been awarded the National Volume Award seven times in its short history. We provide high-quality roofing to protect your biggest investment.

Learn more about our roofing services.

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