Ridges- What are they?
The ridge is the apex of roof. This is the upper part where the two pitches meet at the top. Ridges are designed to close off the top of the roof and prevent water getting in and the wind lifting the upper rows of tiling. Roofs tend to get ignored if they are working. But when they fail a rapid response is required. So why not get to know yours.
Traditionally these have been held in place with sand and cement or mortar. Depending on the quality of the mix used lasts between 20-25 years. Although we recently found one that had lasted some 45 years. The quality and life expectancy does seem to have dropped in recent years due to workmanship. The NHBC supports this with well over half of all claims on its warrantees coming from failure of mortar used on roofing. The first signs of failure often form with small sections becoming detached and cracks forming between the tile and the mortar. Often this can be hidden by moss growth. The other sign of failure is when standing far away daylight can be seen between the vertical gaps between the tiles. This is normally the sand and cement washing away due to a weak mix.
Storms and insurance
During Storms such as the recent Storm Arwen, the main areas of damage are normally the ridges. This is due to the failure of the sand and cement holding it in place. Many insurers will decline this as “storm” damage as the storm has uncovered a weakness in the sand and cement rather than being the cause of the weakness. Hence wear and tear. This is supported by many case studies from the financial ombudsman service. These case studies are interesting reading and if you are thinking of making an insurance claim for storm you would be well advised to read some on this link. Before making a claim.
Driven by the insurance industry there have been changes to the British Standard for pitched roofing. One interesting change involves the ridge tiles. The newer standard bought into force on March 1st 2015. This states that sand and cement alone is not sufficient to hold ridge tiles in place. They refer to mechanically fixed systems. These dry systems limit the need for repointing the roof every 20-25 years. They hold the tile in a plastic clip screwed into place. Below these are a comb type detail designed to help ventilate the roof as well.