Keep an Eye Out for Worn Shingles on Roof Peak

A house inspector offers tips for replacing worn or damaged roof cap shingles.

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Deteriorating ridge cap shingles caused the problems in the home in Laguna, Calif. Because these shingles cover the peak of the roof, where two angles meet, they are important to help keep rain and snow from leaking into the house. And because the ridge cap shingle is bent over the roof, it can deteriorate more quickly than the rest of the roof surface.

Ridge cap shingles are usually made of the same material as the roof, and the good news is that if ridge cap shingles deteriorate first, they can be replaced without replacing the entire roof. Inspect the roof and ridge cap shingles once a year for damage. If your asphalt ridge caps are damaged or missing, here are some tips on how to cap the gap:

  • Cut and bend the shingle to conform to the shape of the peak of the roof.
  • Hammer a roofing nail on each side of the shingle, 5 inches from the bottom edges, and 1 inch from the side edge.
  • Overlap the shingles to cover the nails on the side edges, and use roofing cement to cover the nail heads on the shingle at the end of the roof.
  • If you have a fear of heights or don’t feel comfortable climbing on your roof, call a professional.

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