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What Are Ridge Cap Shingles And Why Are They Important?

Posted on October 12, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 6 Min.

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What Are Ridge Cap Shingles And Why Are They Important?

Ridge cap shingles are one of the most overlooked but essential components of your roofing system, and are made to protect and increase the functionality of the roof ridge. If you want to know what ridge cap shingles are and how important they are for your roof, you are in the right place. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about ridge cap shingles, including the materials they can be made of and the top products on the market. Keep reading through the end so you make the right decision for your roof. 

Understanding Ridge Cap Shingles In Depth

ridge cap shingles

Ridge cap shingles, as the name suggests, are specially designed shingles for the ridge of the roof, which is one of the most vulnerable areas on a roof. 

A ridge forms when two sloping planes of the roof meet at the peak, creating a finished and aesthetically pleasing look. Apart from the fact that the roof ridge enhances the beauty of a home, they also serve various roles that impact your entire home. One feature of a roof ridge is the ridge vent, which is one of the ways fresh air enters your home and warm, moist air exits. 

While being the most important section of your roof, the roof ridge is also the most critical area. Rain, debris, and hail can directly enter your home if the ridge isn’t properly installed and maintained. 

So, to keep the roof ridge working at its best, specially designed shingles are installed over it. These shingles are thicker, more durable, longer lasting, and more aesthetically pleasing than regular shingles. Ridge cap shingles can be made of the same material as the rest of the roof. They can be made of asphalt, metal, or tile. 

The Importance of Ridge Cap Shingles

1. Superior Weather Protection

Roof ridge shingles are designed to provide superior weather protection to this vulnerable section of the roof. They serve as a robust barrier against rain, snow, hail, and wind. Without them, your ridge would be at risk of water infiltration, leading to potential leaks and structural damage.

2. Aesthetic Appeal

Beyond their functional benefits, ridge cap shingles add an element of beauty to your roof. They are specifically designed to complement the overall appearance of your roofing system. This attention to detail results in a polished, finished look that elevates your home’s curb appeal.

3. Longevity

Properly installed ridge cap shingles can significantly enhance the lifespan of your roof. If the roof ridge isn’t properly covered by durable shingles, it will always be vulnerable to damage. Their superior weather protection and ventilation features reduce the risk of damage, ensuring that your roof remains structurally sound for years to come. Improperly installed shingles on the ridge can cause problems with the ridge vent and the home interior. 

How Ridge Cap Shingles Differ From Regular Shingles

There is a huge debate about whether you can use regular shingles instead of ridge cap shingles. To save on the cost of ridge cap shingles, many homeowners cut 3-tab shingles for their ridge caps instead of using the proper shingles. However, ridge cap shingles are different from regular shingles 3-tab shingles, and the two are not interchangeable. Here are some of the key differences between regular shingles and ridge cap shingles. 

1. Material And Thickness

While ridge cap roofing shingles are usually made of the same materials as regular shingles, such as asphalt, wood, or metal,  they are slightly thicker and are more durable to withstand the conditions at the roof’s peak.

Regular shingles, on the other hand, come in various materials and thicknesses depending on the climate and specific needs of the roof.

2. Design

Ridge cap shingles are narrower and have a distinct curved design to fit the contours of the roof’s ridge. They are specifically formed to create a watertight seal along the ridge.

In contrast, regular shingles are larger, rectangular, or square, and come in a variety of styles, such as 3-tab or architectural shingles. They are designed to completely cover the main area of the roof.

3. Ease of Installation

Installing ridge cap roofing shingles is more straightforward than installing regular shingles when done by a professional roofer. Since they are constructed a certain way, they typically fit over the ridge of the roof perfectly, overlapping the surrounding shingles. 

Installing regular shingles over the ridge will require you to cut them to size and bend them, which may result in gaps or insufficient coverage against the elements. This may also damage the shingle depending on what type it is.

Types of Materials Ridge Cap Shingles Can Be Made From

Roof ridge shingles can be made of different materials, which you can choose depending on the type of roof you have, the local weather, and the aesthetic appeal you want. Here are some of the options available: 

1. Asphalt Ridge Cap Shingles: Affordable and Durable

Asphalt ridge cap shingles are a popular choice among homeowners for several reasons. They are affordable and readily available, making them a cost-effective option for roofing projects. Moreover, they are known for their durability, which means they can withstand the test of time and protect your roof effectively.

2. Metal Ridge Cap Shingles: Modern and Sleek 

On a metal roof, metal ridge caps will offer an elegant and rustic appeal, presenting a more harmonious look. Metal ridge caps also come in various materials like aluminum, steel, or copper, giving you the flexibility to match your roof’s style. 

3. Wooden Ridge Cap Shingles: A Classic and Timeless Look

For a classic and timeless appearance, wooden ridge cap shingles are a fantastic choice. Wood adds a warm and rustic charm to your roof. Cedar and redwood are common choices due to their natural resistance to decay and insects. 

4. Tile Ridge Cap Shingles: Long Lasting Beauty

Tile ridge caps, often made of materials like clay, concrete, or terracotta, offer a timeless and elegant option. They provide a Mediterranean or Spanish-style appearance that’s both beautiful and long lasting. 

5. Composite Ridge Cap Shingles: Versatility and Durability

Composite ridge cap shingles are made of a blend of various materials, such as fiberglass and asphalt, and offer versatility and durability. These shingles can mimic the look of wood, slate, or other materials while being more affordable and easier to maintain.

Top Ridge Cap Shingles On The Market

1. TimberTex® Premium Ridge Cap Shingles By GAF 

ridge cap shingles
Source : gaf.com

With a wide 12-inch design, these shingles are compatible with most ridge vents, ensuring efficient ventilation. What sets TimberTex Premium Ridge Shingles apart is its color blended, double layer construction, making it up to 195% thicker than 3-tab shingles. This increased size not only enhances durability but also contributes to a cohesive appearance that complements your entire roof. 

2. DuraRidge® Hip & Ridge Shingles by Owens Corning 

ridge cap shingles
Source : owenscorning.com

DuraRidge shingles incorporate Owens Corning’s patented SureNail® Technology, providing exceptional adhesive power and the ability to withstand winds up to 130 mph. This advanced technology makes them a reliable choice for areas prone to strong winds and challenging weather conditions.

3. Shadow Ridge® by CertainTeed

ridge cap shingles
Source : certainteed.com

Shadow Ridge by CertainTeed is a specialized roofing accessory designed to finish the hips and ridges of a roof, providing a polished and cohesive look. These shingles are created to work seamlessly with CertainTeed’s Landmark® TL and Landmark® Series shingles, ensuring a uniform appearance for your roofing project.

4. Hip & Ridge 12™/Hip & Ridge Class 4 by IKO

ridge cap shingles
Source : iko.com

Hip & Ridge 12 and Hip & Ridge Class 4 shingles by IKO are designed to enhance both the aesthetics and performance of IKO roofs. What sets them apart is their built in algae prevention, which includes special algae-resistant granules on their surface. This feature helps inhibit the growth of blue-green algae, which can cause unattractive black stains, streaks, and discoloration on roofs.

Pro Tip: At the time of purchase from any of the mentioned manufacturers, make sure you carefully review the ridge cap shingle warranties and the guidelines for installation. Failure to adhere to these guidelines could void your warranty, so it’s essential to hire experienced roofing professionals who are familiar with the specific ridge cap shingles you’ve chosen and their installation requirements.

Hire Experienced Roofing Professionals For Your Roof Replacement In Tulsa, OK!

Now that you know how installing the right ridge cap shingles can impact the overall performance of the entire roofing system, you can make the right decision. While ridge cap shingles are often overlooked because of less expensive alternatives, their importance has led to an increase in their installation. 

So, if you are ready to replace your roof in Tulsa, OK, hire the top-performing and skilled roofers at A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing. We are the top roofing service provider for the entire Tulsa area. We have gained a reputation over the years for our credibility and trustworthiness, so contact us today at (918) 402-7167 and consult with a professional about your roofing needs.