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What’s the Difference Between a Dry Ridge Roofing System and Traditional Mortar?

Fixing ridge tiles to your roof can be done in two different ways; by using the traditional mortar method, or by using a dry ridge roofing system. Each one has its own unique method of applications, and its own benefits and drawbacks. In this article, we’ll be outlining the key differences between dry ridge roofing and traditional mortar to help you make an informed decision.


What is the Traditional Mortar Method?

Using mortar has been the traditional, and historical, way of fixing ridge tiles to a roof. And while most properties could benefit from a dry ridge upgrade, there are still certain properties where a mortar touch is suitable; e.g. historical properties, or those trying to preserve their heritage. Whilst some mortar is affected by weak mixes and environmental factors, there are ways to lessen these issues by ensuring the mix is of the highest quality.

However, despite this, there have been concerns raised about the longevity of the mortar method, which has lead to the development of the modern dry ridge system.


What is a Dry Ridge System?

A dry ridge system is a method of using screws or other mechanical fixings to attach ridge tiles to a roof. This eliminates the need to use mortar for bonding. Screws or other mechanical fixings attach clamps between the joins of each and every roof tile, which then clamp the tiles to the roof. Underneath the screws lie waterproof unions which catch and disperse rainfall that falls on them.

Benefits of dry ridge systems include:


  • Easier to install. When it comes to the process of installing a dry ridge system, the process is much more straightforward and hassle-free than its mortar counterpart.
  • They are sturdy. During high winds or storms, the likelihood of dry ridge system tiles blowing off is very unlikely and this therefore reduces the risk of damage to your roof, and anything below your house that a tile could blow onto.
  • Low maintenance. Whilst mortar can degrade over time, dry ridge systems retain their quality for years to come without the need for maintenance.
  • Can withstand movement more easily. You may not realise that roofs move as a result of nearby vibrations such as roads, train tracks, and runways, or through natural processes of expansion and contraction. Dry ridge systems allow for better and more flexible movement.
  • Better ventilation properties. The dry ridge system can help combat buildup of condensation by offering ventilation properties.


Another thing to bear in mind is that dry ridge systems are now being installed on most new builds. Further to this, currently, under new British standards, any mortar located on the ridge, verge or hip of a roof must now be reinforced by some sort of mechanical fixing.

It certainly seems like dry ridge roofing is a new trend that is here to stay, so consider this before making your final decision.

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Whichever technique you choose, the team at Abbey Roofing are experienced in providing both dry ridge systems and traditional mortar roofing. Using our 20 years’ roofing experience, we can install, replace and repair many different styles of roofs for both domestic and commercial properties alike. To find out more, simply get in touch with us today.

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