Slate roof terracotta hip and ridge cap re-cementing and repairs
For expert repairs contact : John 0403022137
Many of Melbourne’s slate roofed Edwardian and Queen Anne period homes have their hips and ridges weather proofed with terracotta capping. Along the hips there is always plain terracotta caps with a collar that laps over the cap below making the join water tight. Along the top ridges you may have plain terracotta capping installed as just described, or you may have fancy picket ridges that are installed “butt together” style with a mortar slip between them for water proofing.
Most of these homes are now around 100 years old and still have their original mortar holding the cappings on. On many of these homes, this mortar is actually not securely holding the cappings on anymore – they are merely sitting loosely on top of the cement work.
Loose slate roof terracotta capping
It is quite true that when the cappings are sitting properly in place, the slate roof wont leak through the hips and ridges. This is all good and well when it’s only raining but it’s wind storms that can cause the real damage.
What can and often does happen when strong winds are coming from the right direction is that the capping slips slightly off the hips or ridges and exposes the join below. It can be difficult to notice that these caps have moved slightly until the next time it rains steadily and the roof begins to leak.
Also what does happen quite a lot in really strong winds, is that the cappings are blown completely off the roof. This creates the problem of the capping breaking and needing to be replaced. Cappings can be hard to find and match, and some types of old ones can add up to be very costly expense.
As well as the cost of replacing the broken capping, another and more dangerous scenario is that the caps themselves can become flying missiles. They can cause much damage to yours and neighboring property, not to mention the injury they can inflict on people.
Inspection of the caps and ridge tiles on your slate roof
Take a close look at the terracotta cappings, ridges and finials on your slate roof…what do you see ? Is there loose or missing mortar ? Chunks of mortar or little pieces of terracotta tile laying on the slates nearby. Maybe the caps aren’t sitting quite right… a bit up or a bit sideways. Maybe they’re still in position but are split along the upper edge length ways or fractured across the collars. All these are good signs that all is not well with the cappings and maybe some repairs are needed sooner rather than later.
If you have a slate roof with terracotta capping and you’d like expert assistance, we can help. We’ve been doing slate roof capping re-bedding and pointing for over 30 years. We also keep a good stock of old reclaimed terracotta caps, finials and picket ridges for repair work.
Contact us for a free inspection and estimate : 0403022137