There are two common forms of ridge construction in use in the UK today, these are Ridge tiles and Bonnet tiles.
All ridges perform the same function of covering the join between two roof faces that are meeting at an angle.
They provide weather protection from water and wind and are a valuable component of helping to bond the roof. In addition, modern ridges can now contribute to the regulated ventilation process for the roof.
Types of Ridge
Standard Ridge tiles are the half round tiles that cap the top of the roof or any outside join between two roof faces such as the joining of the three faces of a hip roof.
For example, a typical semi-detached house with a three-sided hip roof would normally have three ridge tile runs:
One each down the angle of the join of the front to the side face and the rear to the side face, and one at the top of the roof linking the apex point to the neighbours apex point.
Whereas a typical two-sided roof (an ‘up and over’) would have only the top ridge capping the front and rear roof faces.
Additional ridges may be on apex dormer bedrooms or gables that are at right angles to the main body of the house.
Bonnet Ridge Tiles are a specially formed tile with an angle that allows them to be stacked down the hip ridge.
They form a continuous run for the roof tiles and are considered architecturally more attractive but are common predominantly in older properties.
However, they are making a come-back in new builds as architects incorporate them to create a very appealing roof appearance.
Not all tile designs have a bonnet tile in the range, and this can restrict what tiles are available for replacing a roof if bonnets are on the original, or are wanted as an alternative to standard ridge tiles.
WET FIX:- The traditional method of fixing both ridge tiles and bonnet ridges, using a form of cement called mastic cement. The tiles are fixed in place using a cement mix that incorporates a plasticiser to retain some flexibility and adhesion.
The plasticiser allows for movement in the roof and avoids that movement breaking the adhesive bond between the tiles.
On the plus side, this type of fix suits older properties where a traditional appearance is desired.
On the downside, the durability of the fix depended on the accuracy and consistency of the mix and how well it was applied.
Poor mixing and application can result in loose ridges falling during windy weather through poor adhesion or early drying out. It is also very labour intensive to apply.
The wet fix requires regular maintenance every 5-10years, re-mortaring to ensure the bond is retained.
If this is not carried out, the bond will weather, break and tiles will come loose.
Often, the first the homeowner knows is when a tile or loose mortar hits the drive (or car!).
Wet fixed Bonnet ridges also need this re-mortaring. If their mortar cracks and falls, the gap is even more exposed to the weather and the roof interior is more vulnerable.
Visual inspection of your ridges is recommended annually, in spring, to assess what work needs doing during the summer months to prepare for the coming winter.
From the ground, gaps in the cement fix, loose tiles and gaps in the pointing between tiles are often visible using the naked eye or, better still, a reasonable pair of binoculars.
DRY FIX:- For the past 30 years plus, this has been the preferred and most common method throughout Europe and increasingly in the UK, for fixing roofs and both types of the ridge.
For capped ridges, this involves the fixing of a plastic sheath to the ridge rafter that extends under the adjacent tiles and then has a ridge capping tile fixed to it with a series of clips.
The result is a strong, maintenance free ridge (we like to call it ‘fit and forget’) that also helps the roof to breathe and avoid tile movement due to pressure changes.
Bonnet ridges are also capable of being fixed using the dry fix method and offer the maintenance free benefit.
Most existing types of ridge are able to be repaired/ replaced independent of any main roof work, with just a few exceptions.
Prestige Midlands have extensive experience and skills in ridge work and with this expertise, we offer FREE, no-obligation quotes including detailed specifications and fixed pricing to all of our customers.
Please contact us to discuss your needs and arrange a no-obligation assessment visit.