Ridge Tiles, Valleys, Verges (Gables) and Maintenance
Introduction"Look after the detail and the roof will look after itself."
The edges of a roof are what we normally call "detail"
Any area of a roof that changes direction or meets a wall, another roof or a penetration will usually mean the roof covering has to be cut and terminated at that point.
It's especially important that more care is taken in these areas as they are usually always the weaker areas of a roof.
A typical roof is made up of the following areas:
- Eaves - This is usually the edge of the roof that is directly on the guttering at the bottom of the roof
- Verge - This is the open edge of the roof, often referred to as gables.
- Ridge - This is the top of the roof, the pointed part of the triangle
- Hip - This is where 2 roofs meet at 90 degrees on an external corner and the hip goes from the bottom of the triangle, up to the top.
- Valley - This is where 2 roofs meet at 90 degrees on an internal corner and the valley goes from the bottom of the triangle, up to the top
- Side Abutment - The roof meets an abutment, usually a wall on a building or chimney
- Top Abutment - The roof meets an abutment, usually a wall on a building or chimney
- Back-gutter - The rear leadwork when a chimney is positioned in the centre of a roof slope.
Modern technology has now developed new methods of fitting the edge detail which increases fixability and reduces the risk of weather decay and wind uplift.
Maintenance-free, Dry-fixed detail kits now mean that mortar is rarely used to point the ridge, hips, verges and valleys.
Instead, PVC and non-rusting metal is used with fixing clips to ensure that the tiles are fixed down strong enough to withstand stormy weather, and PVC capping systems reduce the need for cement based mortar.
Dry ridge and hip kitsMortar failure on ridge & hip tiles is the most common cause of ridge failure.
This is the most exposed area of a roof and mortar will fail at some point usually when over 10 years old.
Risks are ridge/hip tiles blowing off and causing damage to the roof, building, vehicles and people on their way to the ground.
Instead of having to bed ridge and hip tiles down in mortar onto the top tile, dry-fixed ridge kits allow us to lay out a breathable gortex style membrane over the top courses of tiles, and then place the ridge tiles on top, securing each ridge tile with a stainless steel fixing clip and screw.
No mortar, no pointing, no risk and a stronger ridge that will not need re-bedding in another 10-15 years.
This method is much faster than the traditional method of wet bedding in mortar saving both time and money.
back to top ^
Dry verge kitsMortar failure on the pointed tiles/slates to the verges. This often cracks up and falls out leaving gaps and risk of injury. Nail fatigue can cause loose tiles and slates in these areas.
Wind uplift can dislodge tiles/slates on verges especially if they are incorrectly fixed or have no fixings in at all.
PVC verge closers are now being used on most new-build houses and existing roofs are using them to replace old mortar too.
No more falling mortar on your drive or patio. No risk of damage or injury.
When fitted correctly, these caps will be fitted onto a timber batten and will not blow off as seen below!
These verge closers have been screwed over the old mortar which is not a strong enough backing to withstand the harsh British wind that can intensify as it is forced between buildings.
We take off the tiles to the verge, remove the old mortar and repair any weaknesses in the roofing felt and the tile battens before we fit the new verge closers.
Quite often, the old battens are not strong enough to fix the new closers to, so a new tanalised batten is fitted to ensure a strong bond.
Dry valley kitsThe tiles that are cut into valleys are often filled (pointed) with sand-and-cement mortar to block off the open cavities that allow wind, rain and birds into the roof.
This is a neat finish and looks strong until after a few years the lead starts to move, the tiles move, the sun, rain and frost weakens the mortar, and you end up with mortar blocking up your gutters and holes in your roof.
The modern solution to this is to strip out the tiles to each side of the lead, remove the lead and fit a new GRP fibreglass dry valley tray to the valley.
The tray has a central rib that the newly cut tiles butts up to meaning that we do not need to point the cut tiles using mortar.
This system is commonly used on both tiles and slates on new buildings all over the UK.
back to top ^
Eave refurbishment kitsThe old bitumen roofing felt often collapses behind the fascia causing water to collect and leak into the building or behind the fascia boards. Birds can get under tiles through gaps in the roll of the tile or gaps in the eaves.
We take off the tiles to the eaves and make any repair to the felt and battens where needed.
We then fit a thick PVC tray to the bottom of the roof to ensure the bottom of the felt is protected and allows any water to pass freely onto the guttering.
Some types of eave tray have PCV combs attached to them to stop birds getting under the rolls of some pantiles.
Looking after the perimeter of your roof will ensure that the main areas of tiles can continue to keep the rain out and your money safe!