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What is a Roof Ridge? (& 3 Things to Know About the Ridge of a Roof)

October 15th, 2021 | 5 min. read

What is a Roof Ridge? (& 3 Things to Know About the Ridge of a Roof)

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Understanding your roof is the first step to any roofing project. One of the things to understand is the ridge of a roof. 

While this might seem straightforward to some people, a lot of homeowners know nothing about a roof ridge. We understand that you don’t have time in your day-to-day life to think about the little aspects of roofing, including the ridge of your roof. 

That’s exactly what the team at Bill Ragan Roofing is here for. That’s why we will use our 30 plus years of expertise to break down what the ridge of a roof is.

In this article, you’ll learn what a roof ridge is and 3 things you need to know about a roof ridge. 

What is a roof ridge?

A roof ridge is the highest point of a roof. It’s where two roof slopes meet and come together to form a peak at the top of your roof. 

roof ridge

When looking at your roof, the ridge is the horizontal line that runs the length at the top of the two roof slopes. It can run the length of the entire roof, or it can be cut up based on your roof’s complexity. 

Be aware; some homeowners confuse a hip with a ridge because they both require capping. However, a hip is where two roof facets come together to form an exterior vertical angle. 

ridge vs. hip

To avoid confusion, remember a ridge will always be horizontal and the highest point of your roof. 

3 things to know about the ridge of a roof

Now you know what a roof ridge is. However, there’s more to know about it besides what it looks like and the definition. 

Let’s get to 3 more things you need to know about the ridge of a roof. 

1. A roof can have multiple ridges

I already mentioned a roof ridge can run the length of your entire roof. If you have a straight up and over roof, this applies to you.

However, if you have a complex roof that’s cut up with multiple roof facets, you’ll have multiple ridges. With all the different facets coming together, the ridge won’t be straight across the entire roof. 

multiple roof ridges

Each peak will have its own ridge wherever two slopes meet throughout your roof. This might not seem important, but it will factor into the cost of your new roof

This is because the more complex your roof is, the more expensive your roof replacement will be. The installers will have to spend more time working on multiple ridges instead of one straight across ridge on an up and over.  

2. The type of roof vent for a roof ridge

One of the most popular roof vents homeowners have today is installed in the ridge of a roof. It’s appropriately called a ridge vent. 

roof ridge vent

A ridge vent is cut into the ridge of a roof and runs the entire length of the ridge. Ridge vents are extremely popular because they’re not noticeable from the ground. 

While there are two types of ridge vents, the specific type your roof will have depends on your attic’s ventilation system

For an active ventilation system, there’s a ridge vent with a baffle (chutes that provide a channel for air flow in your attic). For a passive ventilation system, there’s a ridge vent without a baffle (no chutes for air flow). 

While both do the job, a ridge vent without a baffle allows debris, rain, snow, insects, etc., to enter your attic. This is just something to keep in mind when choosing the type of vent you want for your roof replacement. 

3. The roofing material accessory that goes on a roof ridge

When the two slopes of a roof meet to form a ridge, it needs a specific material installed over it. Like ridge vents, this material is appropriately called ridge capping.

ridge capping

Ridge capping is the trim installed on the ridge of your roof. Your ridge capping will be an accessory that matches the roofing material you choose (asphalt, metal, etc.). 

Let’s use an architectural asphalt shingle roof as an example. The ridge capping is thicker than regular architectural shingles and pre-bent so they can form to the ridges. 

After your shingles are installed up to the ridge, then the ridge capping is installed to seal the roof at the very top. Unfortunately, some roofing contractors use 3-tab asphalt shingles as ridge capping to cut down their costs for an asphalt roof. 

They’re not designed to be used as ridge capping, and doing this leads to a roof leak. That’s why it’s crucial to use the manufacturer’s ridge capping accessory when getting an architectural or luxury asphalt roof.

No matter what type of roofing material you have, it’s crucial to use the ridge capping recommended by the manufacturer of your materials. 

Learn the different layers your a roof 

Now you know 3 things to know about the ridge of your roof. Remember, the ridge of your roof is the highest point of your roof. 

With a roof ridge being the highest point, there’s a whole lot of materials below it. That’s why you need to know the different layers of your roof, from the ridge down to the gutter line. 

Because every homeowner needs to know about the different materials and components that make up a roof, we wrote another article breaking down the layers of your roof system. 

Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners in the Nashville area with all of their roofing needs. No matter what the roofing project is, we ensure our customers are the most educated in the roofing industry. 

Check out The Different Layers of a Roof (& What You Need to Know About Them) to continue your learning journey about all things roofing.

checklist of questions to ask a roofing contractor

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