Fitting a Dry Ridge System
Dry ridges are an example of the improvements and developments that have been made to the way we build our roofs over time. They are much cleaner, more straightforward, and oftentimes more economical than many motor alternatives. Dry ridge systems have become the standard, with the majority of new builds now utilising this outstanding roofing method.
Below we will look at some of the most common questions asked when it comes to dry ridge systems and, more specifically, how to fit them yourself. We will look at the different products required, some of the methods that are utilised, and also cover some other commonly asked questions about dry ridge systems themselves.
- What Is a Dry Ridge System?
- What Will I Need to Fit a Dry Ridge System?
- Will I Need an Expert to Help?
- How Do I Fit a Dry Ridge System?
Put simply, a dry ridge system refers to a method of installing the ridges (the tiles that rest on the very peak) on your roof. More traditional methods include using cement to secure these tiles, but in more recent years this has come to be seen as impractical, as cement brings with it increased weight, and can erode over time.
Dry ridge fixing, on the other hand, involves the use of screws and other mechanical fixings to secure each tile piece without the need for cement or similar ‘wet fix’ methods. Some tile ranges also come with their very own specially made fixings designed for optimal performance with the accompanying tiles.
The most important products you’ll need for dry ridge fixing are the tiles you intend to use, the fixings they are to be installed with, and a suitable tool with which to apply these fixings. Different manufacturers will offer different fixings, and as stated above, they may or may not be compatible with certain tiles.
When it comes to preparing yourself for dry ridge installation, it is best to do your research first. Check the ranges offered by manufacturers (preferably the same make as the tiles you have used on other sections of your roof) as well as instructions provided on product pages and in manuals. This will help you get a good idea of what you will need and prep work that need be undertaken.
Below is a list of the most common items and accessories you’re likely to require carrying out a dry ridge fitting. Remember, however, that specific items may vary between makes of systems.
- Top courses of roof tiles
- Ridge tiles
- Ridge roll
- Staples/felt nails/fixings for the ridge roll
- Butyl tape
- Ridge tile fixings
There is no doubt that installing your ridge tiles with mechanical fixings is easier than doing so with cement. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the process itself is a simple and straightforward venture. This is particularly relevant if you are newer to roof work or to DIY in general.
The chances are that – even if you find the steps below to installing a dry ridge system fairly easy – you will find that the other aspects of building a roof can prove much more difficult. From underlays to tiles to guttering, there is a lot to tackle. This is why many choose instead to recruit a professional roofer to help out.
Don’t fret about asking for professional assistance – it is far preferable to a potentially unstable or unsafe roof that may cause you a plethora of problems down the line. As with any DIY task, just be sure to do your research beforehand – check reviews, compare prices, and ask friends, family, and neighbours if they’ve had similar work done and what their experiences were.
- Firstly, you will want to lay an underlay and batten the roof in order to prepare for the components that will make up your roof ridge. However, you will need to avoid fixing the top tiling batten at this stage.
- Make sure that the top roof batten is as close to your ridge batten as the tile nibs* will allow.
- Install a ridge batten by utilising a combination of tiling battens in order to get the height you need.
- Lay and fix the top few rows of tiles in the same way you will have done previously on lower sections of your roof. Make sure that the fixings are also consistent. If you have used mortar bedded verge tiles, continue to use this method of fixing.
- Be sure that all of your existing tiles or slates are dry, free from dust and debris and aren’t suffering from any problems that could cause problems later, including with the ridge roll or the butyl tape you will be using to secure it.
- Roll out your ridge roll along the centre of the ridge batten. Make sure it is flat, straight and consistent all the way along.
- Secure the ridge roll with staples, felt nails, or whichever fixings the manufacturer recommends.
- Take your butyl tape and peel off any protective strips. You will then want to press it down onto your slates or tiles and be sure that there is consistent surface contact.
- Take a ridge-to-ridge seal and position it under the open end of the first ridge tile. Then, place the next ridge tile over the seal.
- Take a ridge tile connector plate and position it over the joint, taking care to get it parallel to the ridge line. Next, push a plastic plug through the hole in the plate and into the ridge-to-ridge seal.
- Take your hammer and provided nails/chosen ridge fixings and apply securely through the hole and into the ridge batten. Ensure that the penetration into the batten is at least 40mm in length, though this may vary depending on the specific fixings you have used. Should you need to remove or tighten your nails, do so with a screwdriver.
- Continue this pattern along the length of the ridge for as long as needed, cutting the final ridge piece to ensure that it fits properly. Keep in mind that it should not be secured if it is less than 200mm long. You will need to cut the last 2 ridge tiles in this case. Do not place cut ridge tiles at the end of a ridge line.
*Projections on the underside of the tile
Have More Questions About Dry Ridge Systems?
Remember – ridge tile installation systems vary depending on the product – there is no sure-fire way to know that this particular process covers the installation of every accessory piece you may have received. If you are still unsure, be sure to check the instruction manuals either supplied with your chosen system or on the products page.
If you have any more questions about dry ridge products, then do not hesitate to contact us – our award-winning customer service team will help answer any questions you may have about dry ridge systems as well a point in the right direction if you are looking for one yourself. Simply call us on 01295 565565 or get in touch using our online chat below.