Hip and Ridge Shingles

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Ridge cap that has not been properly trimmed off and is misaligned.

Hip and Ridge Shingles Installed Properly Over All Ridges

To better understand this process the following points will be addressed:

  1. Types of Premium Ridge Cap Shingles
  2. Warranties and Ridge Caps
  3. Ridge Cap Shingle Exposure
  4. Straight Ridge Cap Rows
  5. Ridge Caps and Insurance

1. Types of Premium Ridge Cap Shingles

Litespeed Construction has four main lines of products we offer. GAF, Atlas, IKO and Owens Corning. Each company has their own Ridge Cap Shingle to match their product line. The types of shingles offered are 3 tab, standard manufactured and high profile. The 3-tab are your older and cheaper alternative to the other two new shingle types. High Profiles are essentially dimensional versions of standard manufactured shingles. Below are a list of the types of Ridge Caps  offered by the companies Litespeed Construction works with:

GAF: Litespeed Gold Package

GAF has three options. The most basic is the three tab. This gets the job done, but is not going to come with the same level of wind warranty as the other two options.

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Timbertex is thicker than Seal-A -Ridge (shown below) and by some is considered more aesthetically pleasing just because it pops a bit more and is thicker, but it is really a personal preference. In every other way Timbertex is the same, having the same wind warranties as Seal-A-Ridge. In short, Timbertex is considered the high profile option of GAF while Seal-A-Ridge would be the standard profile option. It is very common for manufacturing companies to have a standard Ridge Cap option that they offer and an upgraded high profile Ridge Cap option too. Litespeed Construction uses Seal-A-Ridge as our standard for out Gold Package, click here to learn more about our Gold Package.

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Seal-a-ridge is a lower profile Ridge Cap and will also have the same 130 mph wind warranty as the Timbertex but without the thicker look that the Timbertex has.

Atlas: Litespeed Silver Package

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The Pro-Cut Hip & Ridge featuring Scotchgard™ Protector shingle “has a Core4™ Technology seal-down strip for high wind performance, long life and easier installation in cold weather.” This not only means the Ridge Cap is streak resistant from the Scotch Guard, but that it is built to last, and provides a smooth installation process throughout the rough winter months.

Atlas products are utilized in Litespeed Construction’s Silver Package. Click here to learn more about Silver.

IKO: Litespeed Constructions Bronze Package

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IKO Ultra Ridge Caps provide a dimensional high profile textured look to the roofline. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing IKO Ultra Ridge Caps also are “…engineered with a multi-layer construction for superior tear-strength values, including additional protection from a polymer-modified asphalt coating…..With an 8-1/4″ exposure, Ultra HP Ridge Cap Shingles also offer nearly 30 percent more coverage than with a traditional ridge cap shingle.”

Litespeed Construction uses IKO products for our Bronze package. In the case of the Hip and Ridge we use three tab shingles for our Bronze package. The bronze package is designed to save our customers money without compromising on a reliable product. Three tab was the standard for many years and only recently have we seen an insurgence of dimensional shingles as the newest thing to have with three tab still being considered a reliable alternative.

Owens Corning

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Owens corning ProEdge Ridge Cap is algae resistant and has an added shadow line to make the Ridge Cap more aesthetically pleasing. They are self-sealing to provide exceptional protection

And color formulated to complement a wide range of Owens Corning roofing shingles. Warranty is concurrent with the Owens Corning roofing shingle installed.

Litespeed Construction uses Owens Corning Shingles on their “Pink” package labeled for its namesake icon of the Pink Panther. Click here for more information on our “Pink” package.

2. Warranties and Ridge Caps

Three Tab shingles can meet a manufacturer’s warranty standards as they have been used for Ridge Cap shingles for many years.  The concept of premium Ridge Cap shingles is a much newer product, emerging over the past 10 years or so. In short, the Three Tab shingles do work very well for Ridge Caps, however, manufacturers will not not always provide premium warranties when Three tab is used. In the case of GAF for example, in order to receive their high wind rating protection one of their premium ridge caps is required to be used.

3. Ridge Cap Shingle Exposure

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Improper Nail Exposure on a Ridge Cap

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Misinstalled Ridge Cap

In our page “Shingle Rows and Exposures” we talk in depth about the importance of shingle exposures. But there is another side that is important to consider regarding exposures too. This is the exposure of the Ridge Cap. In order for a Ridge Cap to be put on correctly the nails from the previous Ridge Cap should be covered. This helps to prevent leaks at the nail sites. The last nails on the final Ridge Cap should be covered in cement to assure they do not leak. To learn more about improper nailing in general please visit our page called “Exposed Nail Heads”.

Another area of concern is that the Ridge Cap is placed on the roof facing eastward, not westward. Many of the most extreme winds come bearing down from the westward direction. Therefore it has been found that there is a “right” and “wrong” direction to put a Ridge Cap on in order to achieve the most efficient long term placement

4. Straight Ridge Cap Rows

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The first step to proper installation is to ensure the shingles are warm enough. The typical temperature needed to proper installation is usually 40 degrees fahrenheit or above. These shingles get bent across the ridge, so it is important that they be flexible enough to use. Chalk lines are the next critical item. Visit our page “Shingle Rows and Exposures” for more detail on this. 

In short, chalk lines are string that can be run from side to side of the roofing area and used to leave a chalk mark on the roof ensuring a clean straight line is made to lay down the shingles on. Straight Ridge Cap rows are important for a couple of reasons. For one they are the top point of your home. The aesthetics of this point can be defining in the overall look of the whole home. But another reason they are critical is because how well the ventilation out of the ridge vents works along with possible leak areas around nails are both reliant on proper ridge cap layering.

5. Ridge Caps and Insurance

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Insurance does not typically pay for Ridge Caps. The reason why is because insurance companies look at Ridge Cap as coming from “waste”. This habit started back with the use of Three Tab shingles. With Three Tab shingles you could use leftover shingles or “waste” to form your Ridge Cap. However, these days dimensional shingles are much more common and the preferred method of shingling over Three tab. But dimensional shingles are not truly designed to be used as a Ridge Cap. Because of this there would not be dimensional shingle waste that one could use for Ridge Caps. In these situations it is necessary to buy new Ridge Cap shingle bundles instead to use for Ridge Cap. As a result a contractor must make the insurance company aware of the need for this to be paid for. Supplementing is a good option for assisting in getting the extra supplies paid for.


Another item to aid in this process is to provide a copy of the Eagleview to the insurance company. Eagleview is essentially a report used by contractors and insurance companies alike to accurately measure a roof. Eagleview also clearly states that Starter shingle and Ridge Cap are not counted as waste. Since Eagleview was first created by an insurance company, it is well respected by insurance companies and is a great tool to use to make an argument for evidence of why Ridge Cap is not waste and should be paid for.