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Ridge cap shingles on peak of roof.

New Garage Roof:

Replacing Asphalt Shingles:
Part 3
Ridge Cap And Installation Details At The Peak

In This Article:

The final rows of 3-tab shingles are installed. A zinc strip is installed to prevent moss and fungi from growing on the roof. The ridge cap shingles are cut and installed. Also see Notes on Material Cost for this project.

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Skill Level:
3+ (Intermediate)
Time Taken:
About 4 Hours
Project Date:
September 2008
Start >>


This is the final page of a 3-part article.

In Part 1, I tore off the old shingles and installed tar paper.

In Part 2, I installed shingles up to the peak.


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Fastening asphalt shingles with roofing nailer.

I spent about 2 full days shingling the roof of my garage. This type of work goes pretty fast, even when doing this by myself.

A roofing nail gun makes the work faster and easier, but even hand-nailing shingles doesn't take too long on a small project like this.


Installing shingles was simple... until I reached the peak of the roof. Then it was time to determine how to make the ridge cap shingles fit well and look good.

The top edge of the last row of full exposure shingles just reached the peak. (There will be another row of shingles, but the top edge will be folded over the peak.)

I fastened these second-last rows about an inch lower than the normal pattern. I snapped a chalk line 4 inches above the previous row, instead of the normal exposure of 5-1/8".

Top of roof with shingling almost complete.


Testing the fit of a ridge cap shingle on a new roof.

I placed a ridge cap shingle in position... it didn't cover the tar strips of those uppermost rows of shingles, so I'll need another row of shingles.

Even when I tried laying out that row of shingles at the normal 5-1/8 inch exposure, the cap shingles were about an inch shy of covering the tar strips. Hence, I knew that I needed to install two rows of shingles, with reduced exposure, to complete the roof before installing the ridge cap shingles.


I snapped another set of chalk lines to mark the lower edge of the final row of shingles.

Snapping more chalk lines to position the final row of shingles.


Preventing Moss, Mildew and Fungus From Growing On The Roof:

 Master Flow Moss and Fungus Preventer zinc strip, applied near peak of roof.

This is a roll of 99% pure zinc, which is sold as a moss and fungus preventer. This roll cost about $32 at Home Depot.

I have also used 4-foot long zinc strips for this purpose, but they cost a little more.


I fastened the end of the roll at the edge of the roof, using a 1¼ inch galvanized roofing nail.

I applied a bead of roof cement (red arrow) just below the chalk line that I made earlier. I unrolled the zinc strip so it was half above the line and half below.

Bead of tar used for installing zinc strip to prevent mildew and algae on roof shingles.


Nailing the zinc strip to the roof.

I unrolled the coil of zinc and nailed it about a half-inch below the top edge.

I placed my tin snips in front of the coil to keep it from sliding and unraveling as I pounded the nails in.

When I reached the end of the roof, I used the tin snips to cut the zinc about an inch from the edge.


The two zinc strips after I nailed them in place.

I snapped another chalk line 4 inches above the lower edge of that uppermost row of shingles. This line will mark the lower edge of the final row.

Zinc strips after installation near top of roof.


Can A Zinc Strip Be Added To An Existing Roof?

Installing a strip of zinc on an existing roof should be possible, if the shingle tabs can be lifted up without breaking. When asphalt shingles are warm they seem to bend without problems. On a warm day this task should be straightforward. During cold weather a heat gun could be used to warm the shingles.

Once the shingles are lifted up, the zinc can be nailed in place. It might help to cut the zinc into shorter pieces.

Removing Moss, Lichen, Mildew and Fungus From An Existing Roof:

A few years ago a homeowner asked me to apply a moss-remover product she had bought at a hardware store. This product came in a sprayer bottle that connected to a garden hose. I just sprayed the product over the roof and let it dry for a day. Then the moss and lichen curled up and most of it brushed it off with a broom. Repeat applications may be necessary.


The Final Rows Of Shingles:

Final row of shingles at peak of roof.

I "fogged-out" portions of these pictures to make them easier to understand.

I installed the final row of shingles on the north side.


Then I installed the final row on the south side.

Instead of letting these shingles fold over the peak, I just cut then narrower. Too many layers might interfere with installing the ridge shingles.

In hindsight, I should have cut the previous row of shingles and let this row fold over the peak. It doesn't matter... this will all be covered by the ridge cap.

Last row of roof shingles needed to be trimmed.


Cutting 3-Tab Shingles To Make Ridge Cap Shingles:

Cutting 3-tab shingles to make ridge cap shingles.

I placed a shingle upside-down on a work table and made a series of angled cuts to create the ridge cap shingles.


I marked up this photo to show the approximate locations of the cuts.

Location of cuts on a 3-tab shingle used for ridge cap.


Ridge cap shingles nailed to peak of roof.

I started installing the ridge cap shingles at the east end of the roof.

Each shingle was nailed in two places, just behind the tar strip.

I applied a small dab of tar under both exposed corners of each cap shingle.


When I reached the west end, the second-last shingle needed to be trimmed a few inches short.

But there is still one more piece to be applied.

End of the row of ridge cap shingles.


Cutting cap shingle for the final piece.

For the last cap shingle, I cut the visible part off a shingle tab.


I ran a large bead of tar over the area to be covered.

Applying tar to cement last cap shingle to roof.


Face-nailing final cap shingle on ridge of garage roof.

Then I set the last shingle in place and nailed it at all 4 corners.

But the roof could leak at these nails... I covered the nail heads with clear silicone.

Silicone can withstand sunlight far better than tar or other caulk materials. I've seen silicone that was exposed to sunlight for decades and it was still intact and flexible.

Applying silicone caulk over exposed nail heads at the end of the ridge cap.


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Completed roof shingling project as seen from the peak.

The completed ridge cap with two shiny strips of zinc that are supposed to prevent moss and fungal growth.

Those strips won't remain shiny for long. Besides, you really can't see them from the ground.


To prevent the wind from lifting up the shingles near the peak, I applied some tar under the tabs of the top row.

I also applied tar to all the shingles at the sides and the lower edge. I've seen strong winds lift up the shingle tabs all around the perimeter of a roof, including the peak, so I cemented around all the edges.

Extra touch: Applying tar under the tabs of upper row of shingles.



Garage with completed re-roofing job.

My garage with a new roof.

This job took me a week, but I worked slow and only for 4-6 hours a day. My back and knees ached a lot for the first couple of days, so I decided to take it easy. Plus I had to stop and take pictures, write down notes, etc.

With some helpers a job like this can probably be completed in a weekend.


Notes On Material Cost:

I plan to replace this garage with something much bigger and better, but that won't happen for a long time. Consequently, I didn't want to pour too much money into this structure, yet I was willing to spend a few bucks to maintain it and make some minor improvements.

I would have preferred to use architectural shingles, but the brand and style I wanted cost $27 a bundle (in fall 2008). The price of asphalt shingles has gone up dramatically as the price of petroleum as risen. To keep the cost under control, I chose lower-cost 3-tab shingles from IKO, which cost just over $18 a bundle at Menard's. This decision saved me over $200.


Item Unit Price Quantity Subtotal
Shingles, 3-Tab $18.15 per bundle 23 $417.45
15# Felt $23.50 2 $47.00
Roof Cement (Tar) $2.37 per tube 4 $9.48
Coil Roofing Nails   1 Box $34.76
Zinc Strip     $31.74
Staples, 1/4" $2.67 2 $5.34
Roofing Nails, 1¼"   About 1 pound * $5.00
Starter Strip $10.50 for 33 feet 2 * $21.00
Shingle Disposal $32 per cubic yard 2 $64.00
    TOTAL: (Before sales tax) $635.77

* Since I already had these items, my total cost for the new garage roof was $610, plus sales tax. So I spent less than 650 bucks to replace a 730 square foot roof.

I only used about half of the box of coil roofing nails.

Note that these prices may not reflect what you would find in your area. These prices were paid in September of 2008.


More Info:
Tools Used:
  • Basic Carpentry Tools
  • Speed Square
  • Utility Knife
  • Chalk Line
  • Pneumatic Roofing Nailer
  • Air Compressor
  • Ladders
Materials Used:
  • 3-Tab Fiberglass 25 Year Shingles, IKO CRC Superglass 25, Color: Slate (23 Bundles)
  • Coil Roofing Nails, 1¼", About 22 Coils (Approx. 2600 nails)
  • Galvanized Roofing Nails, 1¼" (Approx. 1 Pound)
  • Roof Cement in Caulk Tubes (4)
  • Zinc Moss/Fungus Preventer
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