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Installing a Metal Roof Ridge Cap: A Simplified Guide

If you’re considering enhancing the durability and appearance of your metal roof, installing a ridge cap is an essential step. A ridge cap not only seals the roof’s peak against water infiltration but also provides a polished, finished look to your roofing project.

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast tackling a home improvement project or a professional roofer seeking a quick refresher, this guide will walk you through the process of installing a metal roof ridge cap with precision and ease.

From gathering the necessary tools to ensuring a secure fit, we’ll cover everything you need to know to achieve a seamless and weather-tight finish. Let’s dive in and transform your roof’s ridge into a robust and attractive feature.

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Installing a Metal Roof Ridge Cap – Installation Steps:

1] Prepare the Ridge:

– Center a piece of ridge cap on the peak and mark its bottom edges on both sides. Repeat every 15 feet or so along the ridge.

– Snap a chalk line between the marks on both sides of the ridge.

Install Closures (Optional):

– These strips prevent debris and water from entering under the ridge cap.

– Choose between solid closures (for complete sealing) or vented closures (for airflow).

Follow the closure manufacturer’s instructions for installation.

2] Apply Sealant Tape:

– Run two strips of sealant tape along the ridge, about 1 inch above the chalk line on each side.

3] Install Ridge Cap:

– Starting at the end of the ridge, position the first cap piece centered and squared on the ridge, following the chalk lines.

– Make sure it doesn’t touch the sealant tape.

– Secure the cap with screws following the recommended pattern (usually through the center of every other major roof panel rib).

Continue Down the Ridge:

– Overlap each subsequent cap piece by 6 inches over the previous one.

Repeat until you reach the end, trimming the final cap if needed.


Always refer to the specific instructions provided with your metal roofing system for any variations in the installation process.

This guide is a general overview for common metal roof and ridge cap designs. There might be additional steps for specific types like standing seam panels or skylight ridge caps.

Here’s a Good Video on installing Metal Ridge Cap

Can I Use a Metal Ridge Cap on a Shingle Roof?

Yes, you can use a metal ridge cap on a shingle roof.  In fact, it’s a perfectly acceptable and sometimes preferred choice.

Here’s why:

Durability… Metal is generally more durable than asphalt shingles, especially against wind and hail. It can withstand harsher weather conditions and provide better protection for the peak of your roof.

Longevity… A metal ridge cap can last as long as, or even longer than, your asphalt shingles, reducing the need for repairs or replacements over time.

Aesthetics… Metal offers a clean and modern look that can complement asphalt shingles. You can find metal caps in various colors to match your shingles or create a contrasting accent.

Here are some things to consider when using a metal ridge cap on a shingle roof:

Compatibility… Ensure the metal you choose is compatible with asphalt shingles. Aluminum is a common and safe option.

Installation… Installing a metal ridge cap on a shingle roof requires proper flashing techniques to ensure a watertight seal. It’s recommended to consult a professional roofer for proper installation.

Cost… Metal ridge caps are generally more expensive than shingle ridge caps. However, their durability and longevity can offset the initial cost in the long run.

If you’re looking for a strong, long-lasting, and stylish option for your shingle roof, a metal ridge cap is a great choice. Just make sure it’s properly installed for optimal performance.

How Many Types of Metal Ridge Cap Are There?

There are several types of metal ridge caps, but they can be categorized into two main groups based on function and some additional variations:

By Function:

Standard Ridge Cap… This is the most common type, designed to cover the peak of the roof and provide a finished look. It comes in various lengths and materials like aluminum, steel, or copper.

Vented Ridge Cap… This type allows for air circulation under the cap, helping to prevent moisture buildup and improve attic ventilation. It’s particularly useful in climates with high humidity or snow.

Additional Variations:

Standing Seam Ridge Cap… This cap integrates with standing seam metal roof panels, creating a smooth and low-profile look.

Shingle-Style Ridge Cap… This design mimics the appearance of shingles, offering a more traditional aesthetic for roofs with asphalt shingles below.

Skylight Ridge Cap… This specialized cap is designed to accommodate skylights installed along the roof peak.

Formed Ridge Cap… This type is custom-made to fit the specific profile of your roof panels, ensuring a perfect fit.

While these are the main types, there might be additional variations available depending on the manufacturer or roofing system you choose. It’s always best to consult the specific product information or a professional roofer for details on available ridge cap options for your roof.

How to Install End Caps on Metal Ridge Cap

There isn’t a universally recommended method for installing end caps on metal ridge caps.

Here’s why:

– Many caps don’t require end caps: Often, metal ridge caps are designed to be bent or folded over at the ends to create a clean finish. This eliminates the need for separate end caps altogether.

– Manufacturer-specific installation: If your ridge cap system does include end caps, the installation method will depend on the specific product. The manufacturer’s instructions will provide the most accurate and recommended way to install them.

Here’s what you can do to find the proper installation method:

– Check the Manufacturer’s Instructions: The instructions that came with your metal ridge cap system should have a section on installing end caps, if they are included. This will be the most reliable source of information.

– Search Online by Brand and Model: If you can’t locate the physical instructions, try searching online for the specific brand and model of your ridge cap system. You might find installation guides or videos on the manufacturer’s website or other roofing resource sites.

– Consult a Roofer: If you’re still unsure about how to install the end caps, it’s best to consult a professional roofer. They can advise you on the proper technique based on your specific ridge cap system and ensure a secure and weatherproof installation.

What Are the Sizes of Metal Ridge Cap?

Metal ridge caps come in standard lengths and a variety of widths, but not necessarily thicknesses.

Here’s a breakdown of the typical sizes:

Length… The most common pre-cut lengths for metal ridge caps are 10′ and 12′. These lengths are designed to be overlapped during installation, providing some flexibility for fitting the cap to your specific roof ridge.

Width… Metal ridge caps come in various widths, typically ranging from 12 inches to  24 inches. The width you choose depends on a few factors:

Roof Pitch… Steeper roof pitches may require wider caps for better coverage and a more finished look.

Roof Panel Profile… The profile (shape) of your metal roof panels can influence the recommended width for the ridge cap. For example, a deep-ribbed panel might require a wider cap to adequately cover the gaps between the ribs.

Aesthetics… Wider caps can provide a more prominent and substantial look, while narrower caps offer a sleeker and more subtle appearance.

Here are some additional points to consider about metal ridge cap sizes:

Customizable Lengths… While pre-cut lengths are common, some manufacturers might offer custom lengths for your specific needs.

Thickness… Metal ridge caps are usually described by gauge (e.g., 26-gauge, 29-gauge), which refers to the thickness of the metal sheet. Thicker gauges (lower numbers) indicate a more durable material but might be slightly more difficult to bend or work with during installation.

Material Impact… The material of the ridge cap (aluminum, steel, etc.) can also influence the available sizes. Lighter materials like aluminum might come in wider options for better rigidity.

It’s important to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations or a professional roofer when choosing the right size metal ridge cap for your project. They can help you consider factors like roof pitch, panel profile, and desired aesthetics to ensure a functional and visually appealing installation.

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Is it The Same Metal Ridge Cap for All Types of Metal Roofing?

No, not all metal ridge caps are universal for every type of metal roofing. While some standard ridge caps might work with various metal roof panel profiles, there are instances where specific cap designs are recommended for optimal performance and aesthetics.

Here’s why a one-size-fits-all approach for metal ridge caps doesn’t always work:

– Compatibility with Panel Profile: Metal roof panels come in various profiles, with features like ribs, squares, or shingles. A standard ridge cap might not adequately cover the gaps or sit flush on certain panel profiles.

– Waterproofing and Sealing: The design of the ridge cap should ensure a proper watertight seal at the peak of the roof. Caps with specific bends or profiles might be necessary to achieve this depending on the underlying metal panels.

– Aesthetics: Some metal roof systems are designed to have a specific finished look. Special ridge caps might be available to complement the overall design of the panels, creating a seamless and visually cohesive roof.

Here are some examples of metal ridge caps designed for specific applications:

– Standing Seam Ridge Cap: This low-profile cap integrates seamlessly with standing seam metal roof panels, creating a clean and modern look.

– Shingle-Style Ridge Cap: This design mimics the appearance of shingles, offering a more traditional aesthetic for roofs with asphalt shingles below.

So, when choosing a metal ridge cap, consider these factors:

– The type of metal roofing panels you have: Match the cap design to the profile of your panels for proper coverage and sealing.

– Manufacturer’s recommendations: The manufacturer of your metal roofing system might offer specific ridge cap options designed to work best with their panels.

– Desired aesthetics: Choose a cap style that complements the overall design of your roof.

If you’re unsure about which metal ridge cap is right for your roof, consult the manufacturer’s instructions or a professional roofer. They can guide you towards the most suitable and functional option for your specific metal roofing system.

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What Colors Do Metal Ridge Cap Come In?

Metal ridge caps come in a wide variety of colors, allowing you to match them to your existing roof or create a contrasting accent.

Here’s a breakdown of the typical color options:

Standard Colors… Many manufacturers offer metal ridge caps in standard colors that match popular metal roofing panel colors. These might include:


Charcoal Gray



Galvalume (a steel alloy with a silver-gray finish)

Custom Colors… Some manufacturers offer custom color options for metal ridge caps, allowing you to choose a specific color to match your unique needs. This can be helpful if you have a non-standard roof color or a specific design vision.

Material Impact… The material of the ridge cap can influence the available colors. Here’s a general idea:

Painted Metals… Aluminum and steel ridge caps are commonly painted in a wide variety of colors.

Natural Metals… Copper and certain zinc alloy ridge caps might come in natural finishes that develop a patina over time.

Here are some additional things to consider about metal ridge cap colors:

Color Availability… The specific colors available will depend on the manufacturer you choose. It’s always best to check their website or product catalogs for current color options.

Durability… Paint used on metal ridge caps should be formulated for outdoor exposure and resist fading or chalking over time.

Matching… Consider how the ridge cap color will complement the color of your roof panels, siding, and overall exterior design.

Local Restrictions… Some municipalities might have building code restrictions on roof colors. Check with your local building department before finalizing your choice.

Tips for Choosing a Metal Ridge Cap Color:

– Match your roof panels: This creates a clean and cohesive look.

– Complement your siding: Choose a color that harmonizes with your house’s exterior color scheme.

– Consider the accent effect: A contrasting color can add visual interest to your roof.

– Think about the environment: Lighter colors might reflect more sunlight and heat, potentially reducing attic temperatures in hot climates.

By considering these factors and exploring the color options available from different manufacturers, you can choose a metal ridge cap color that enhances the aesthetics and functionality of your roof.

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How to Square Off a Metal Roof

How Many Types of Roofing Shingles are There?

Is a Metal Roof Cheaper Than Shingles?

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Can Metal Roof Panels Be Used as Siding on a Shed?