Dry ridge is a modern method of mechanically fixing ridge tiles or hip ridge tiles to a roof without the use of traditional sand and cement mortar.
Dry ridge, rather than relying on mortar for a bond, instead employs a dry fix system that typically screws directly into the rafters of the roof, allowing the roof to flex and move without causing any problems. We attach clamps between the joints of every ridge tile, in turn clamping them to the roof. Beneath these screws are waterproof unions that take care of any small amounts of rainfall that may get through and direct it sideways back onto the roof itself.
Is a dry ridge system the best option?
Dry Ridge is now a building control requirement on all new roofs since BS 5534 was introduced, meaning unless the building is listed or in a conservation area then any new roof must have a dry ridge system. Although repairs to existing roofs are exempt.
The benefits of a dry ridge system are as follows:
Your ridges will not blow off – Dry ridge (if installed correctly) will not blow off in normal conditions, massively reducing the risk from storm damage. This is one of the main reasons it became a building control requirement. No more ridge tiles blowing off onto the floor, your car, your conservatory or more importantly your loved ones after high winds.
Maintenance – Unlike mortar there is nothing to maintain, a dry ridge system effectively leaves your ridges maintenance free.
Ventilation – Dry ridge provides discreet ventilation of the roof space and helps to stop any harmful buildup of condensation.
Movement – Believe it or not roofs move. This can be through vibration (near main roads or train tracks) or through natural expansion and contraction. Dry ridge allows for all types of movement. Your roof is built on a wooden structure, which constantly flexes and moves, a dry ridge system allows this to take place without the cracking and deteriation of traditional sand/cement finishes.
Different types of dry ridge systems
Dry ridge comes in two main ways, although similar to each other they can have their own dedicated fixing systems. As time moves on so does the technology we use and now good dry fix ridge kits are now available that work for both ridges and hip ridges, this is called a universal dry ridge system.
Dry ridge explained – Just as with non-dry fix systems ridge tiles can be either standard ridge tiles, or hip ridges. Your roof may have both ridges and hips.
What is dry ridge?
The ridge usually refers to the tiles located at the top of a roof. This could be for instance where the roof, or a section of the roof, would go straight up and down, from front to back. In this case we would require just a standard dry ridge kit, or the universal system would also be appropriate.
What is dry hip system?
There is only a small difference between the dry ridge system above and a dry hip ridge system. Hip ridges usually cover an external junction between two sloping sides of a roof, and these are usually seen on roofs with 3 sides or more, and at least one of those sides is usually in a triangular shape. Although it is not uncommon for roofs to have a combination of both ridges and hip ridges. In this case we would use a dry hip ridge system or a universal system.
Often when fitting hip ridges, you also install hip trays, or hip support trays this is the main difference between the two systems. This also adds additional waterproofing underneath the ridges and to help create a nice cosmetic visual line by providing gentle support to the underneath of the ridge tiles themselves. This is really useful in exposed weather locations, when not using them can not only make to ridge line look undulating and uneven, but can also compromise the waterproof unions.