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Why opt for a dry ridge system on your roof?

For years, roofers have used the traditional sand and cement mortar method to fix ridge and hip tiles to roofs. Ridge and hip tiles run across the peak of the roof, providing the perfect clean finish to a roof, so it is important that they are installed securely.

Dry ridge systems have become popular in recent years as an alternative method of fixing ridge and hip tiles to the roof, because the more traditional sand and cement method has a number of issues. Using mortar to fix roof ridge tiles is not only time consuming, but the mortar often cracks and falls out over time, partly due to temperature fluctuations and weather conditions. This leads to an unstable roof ridge that is exposed to the elements. Additionally, mortar-fixed ridge tiles require regular maintenance to prevent them from disconnecting and falling off.

Additionally, the British Standards, particularly BS5534 and BS 8216:2018, suggest that the traditional mortar method of fixing tiles onto roofs should only be used where absolutely necessary, for example in period or heritage properties, and for simple repairs.

What is a dry ridge system?

The dry ridge system simply involves fixing ridge and hip tiles to a roof without sand or cement mortar, but instead with screws and clamps, which fix each ridge tile to the roof, with waterproof unions beneath the screws to divert water away from the join.

One of the most popular forms of dry ridge systems is the roll out dry ridge system. The ridge roll is laid out along the ridge before the ridge tiles are installed, to provide a surface on which to connect the ridge tiles. The roll out ridge system provides ventilation through the roll of membrane, whilst also creating a waterproof and weatherproof roof ridge.

How to install a dry ridge system

Depending on the dry ridge system you choose, the installation process may vary slightly, and we’d always recommend following the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

  • Lay the roofing underlay as normal, and batten the roof up to the top course of roofing battens.
  •  Adjust the brackets to get them the appropriate height (this depends on your roof pitch and size of tiles). Fix a batten support bracket to the apex of each rafter with stainless steel ring shanked nails
  • Lay a timber batten between the support brackets, and then bend the upstands over the batten and fix in place.
  • Lay and fix the roofing tiles in place on each side as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • When the top course tiles are dry, roll the vent roll along the roof ridge. Tack the roll at intervals using staples or roof felt nails. Then remove the backing of the sealing strip, and push the sealing strips down to follow the contours of the roofing tiles.
  • Lay the ridge tiles along the ridge, inserting a ridge union in each gap between the tiles. Then screw the clamping plate over the ridge tile and into the batten.
  • Don’t forget to use an end cap or a block-end ridge at the end of the roof ridge.

The benefits of a dry ridge system

Dry ridge systems bring a number of benefits to your roofing project.

Installation

Firstly, the installation process is relatively quick and simple, which can result in big savings in labour and time costs.

Low maintenance

Secondly, once installed, a dry ridge system requires very little maintenance – unlike the traditional mortar based ridge system which requires regular maintenance to replace degraded mortar.

Weatherproof

The sturdiness of the dry ridge system is another of its major draws – during bad weather and strong winds you can be confident that your ridge tiles will not blow off and cause damage to your roof or anything below. Additionally, the system is waterproof, preventing water ingress into roof spaces, which can occur on damaged mortar-based ridge tile applications.

Flexibility

Dry ridge systems also provide your roof with a level of flexibility that is not achievable with mortar-based ridge systems. Roofs naturally experience some movement, whether it is from vibrations of nearby transport and machinery, or through thermal expansion and contraction. This movement was one of the causes of cracks appearing in mortar in the traditional ridge systems, but the dry verge system allows movement without the risk of damage.

Ventilation

Another feature of dry ridge systems is that they can provide a level of ventilation that is otherwise impossible with traditional ridge tiles. The roll out ridge can allow moisture to move out of the roof void, which helps to prevent the build up of condensation that may lead to rot and other issues that can lead to structural damage.


Ready to make the move to a dry ridge system? Here at Roofing Superstore we have a range of different dry ridge systems and components available, including products from Cembrit, Cromar, Klober, Marley, Redland and other reputable brands. If you have any questions or queries, give our team a call on 01752 692760 or use the live chat and they will be more than happy to help.

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