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The Inspector's Journal

Factory Ridge Caps


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I busted a house recently on which the roofer used dimensional shingles as ridge caps. The buyer is getting pushback from the builder, who says dimensional shingles are fine for the ridge.

So . . . I've spent the last 1/2 hour looking at Certainteed and O/C installation instructions, but none of them expressly prohibit dimensional shingles on ridges. The instructions simply explain how to fasten the cap shingles and have accompanying diagrams.

If anyone has some sort of definitive literature that states dimensional shingles MUST NOT be used for ridge caps, I would LOVE to have it for ammunition.

(And please don't tell me how to handle t'ings with the buyer 'cause I understand all about that.)

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Well, in general, installation instructions don't describe what *not* to do. I just read through the instructions from a few different manufacturers and not a single one said that I can't use use round steaks for the shingle caps. Heck, the Certainteed Master Shingle Applicator Manual is about the right size, I could use a bunch of them for ridge caps. Or some of my old Birkenstocks. Nothing in the instructions says I can't.

I think I'd ask the builder what his definition of "fine" is. Does it include looking like crap and having little corners sticking up in the air like Sally Field's hat in the The Flying Nun? Does it include having corners of laminated asphalt sloughing off of the caps? Ask him to point you to a few 20-year old installations that were done like this and are still "fine."

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Ask him to point you to a few 20-year old installations that were done like this and are still "fine."

While I wouldn't do it now, I've put on dozens of roofs with dimensional ridge caps. My own house has dimensional ridge caps......(ummmm, we were in a hurry.....) They work fine if you know how to do it.

We used to sit around in a circle trimming shingles for the ridge; nip off the corners so they don't look like Sally Field's hat, and they work.

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