How to fix ridge tiles to a roof

Image showing Ridgefast system details

How to fix ridge tiles to a roof

Traditionally, ridge tiles were fixed using mortar to hold them in place. However, this method was complicated - getting mortar up to a rooftop is not a simple task - and it has been deemed an unsafe practice since mortar crumbles and fails over time and ridge tiles can become loose and/or dislodged, posing a potential risk to people on the ground below.

Providing a polished aesthetic and also contributing to the overall weather tightness of a structure, ridge tiles are an important element to a pitched roof construction. Get them right, and you have a roof that looks good, is sealed against water ingress and is also safe and secure. But get it wrong, and the roof is likely to leak, and it could be a safety hazard.

Today, mechanical ridge fixing is required by the building regulations for both new-build and refurbishment projects. Updates to BS 5534 in 2014 effectively banned the use of mortar as a primary fixing, leading to the need of additional mechanical fixings, while further updates to the standard in 2018 provided clarification on the scope of the standard and requirements for compliance.

Installing ridge tiles using mechanical and dry-fix methods

While mechanical fixing is a must for all roofing applications today (save a few historic properties that may be exempt from the requirement), there is still an option to combine the mechanical fixing with mortar. However, most installers now opt for dry fixing methods both for ease of installation and superior performance.

Marley’s Ridgefast system, for example, is a simple and rapidly installed dry-fixed ridge ventilation system suitable for duo-pitch roof applications.

To install ridge tiles using this system, begin by laying the roof underlay and battens in the normal manner, leaving a 5mm continuous gap in the underlay at the roof apex. Before fixing the top course tiling batten, fix the ridge batten brackets to each rafter at the required height setting where needed. Then attach the top course tiling battens over the brackets.

Next, fix the ridge battens along the length of the ridge using the brackets to hold them in place. On securing the ridge batten, you can complete tiling the roof as usual.

Once the top course of roof tiles is in place, roll the RidgeFast roll out centrally, along the entire length of the ridge overlapping the product by 100mm at joints, and fix it at approximately 2m centres. Remove the paper covering the butyl strip and firmly press the corrugations onto the roof tiles starting with the profiles and moving to the troughs.

Now you can start fixing the ridge tiles. Lay the first ridge tile in the correct position and secure it to the batten. Connect the next ridge tile using a ridge union and union clamp. Push it firmly into position, fix it in place and repeat the process along the ridgeline.

Mortar-bedded ridge tiles 

For those who prefer the traditional look of mortar bedding or have projects that stipulate it, we also offer the Mortar Bedded Security Ridge system. This combines mortar fixing techniques and a mechanical fixing system to ensure compliance with BS 5534.

Marley’s complete roofing system

The Marley ridge tile fixing systems are compatible with a wide range of roofing materials, including products from other manufacturers. However, if you’re looking for an easy way to specify a compliant roof, along with the convenience and peace of mind that comes from a full system guarantee, we recommend our bespoke roofing system. This offers convenience, ensuring all components work together seamlessly and that the finished roof looks good, is safe, weather-resistant and adequately ventilated.

For more information, and detailed instructions on how to fix ridge tiles safely and securely, please download our Universal RidgeFast fixing guide.

Category: FAQs Roofing