Bedding and pointing at tile roof hip

Most of our roof repair work on tile roofs involve either just cleaning up the old loose ridge capping and doing a ‘re-point” – or removing all the old bedding and re-bedding back the old ridge capping onto fresh mortar… followed by pointing with Flexipoint.

The ridge capping is held in position on a ‘bed’ of cement mortar. This is the bedding part.

Then when the bedding has set, a thin layer of pointing is applied over the exposed edge of the bedding. This is the pointing part.

More on Bedding and Pointing?

The series of You tube videos below provides a more thorough look at what bedding and pointing is all about:

Firstly, the ridge capping is held down and supported by a “BED” of (sand and cement based) mortar. Unfortunately, the bedding will crack as it naturally shrinks and it does not bind the ridge capping very well. Also, the colour of the bedding does not blend in with the colour of the roof tiles or the ridges. And this is where the pointing comes in…

In the (not too distant) past,  the pointing was just a thin layer of oxide coloured sand/cement. The ‘cement’ pointing was put together relying on the skill of the roofer and the thin layer had a good chance of sticking onto the bedding without cracking.

The original flexipoint for pointing tile roofs

Then ‘flexible pointing’ was introduced. One of the first in the market was “FLEXIPOINT”.

With age and movement on the roof, the bedding (and attached pointing) would start to crack – and the ridge capping will then start to dislodge itself and sometimes slide off the roof. This is when the roof has to be “repointed” – to maintain the ridge security. Usually, only the very loose bedding is removed and fresh bedding installed locally to support the ridge capping. Then the rest of the existing (sometimes cracked) bedding is prepared to receive the new pointing.

Sometimes, when a main (horizontal) ridge has been laid without weep holes, A re-point will involve removing all the ridges and the old bedding.

This is to allow for the ridges to be freshly bedded to allow for weep holes to be correctly installed.

The video below shows the preparation work required just prior to the repointing process:

Once the old bedding has been prepared, it is repointed with flexible pointing. There are many brands of flexible pointing available nowadays – and we have used many of them. Nowadays, we have gone back to the original “FLEXIPOINT” – it just seems to work a bit better for us…

How to prepare for a terracotta repoint

An old You tube video that I made a few years ago shows how the pointing is applied:

Flexible pointing is leaps and bounds ahead of the oxide cement pointing that exists on all old roofs. It sticks a lot better, has some flexibility against cracking – and is actually designed to be an alternative to mechanical anchoring of ridge capping onto the roof. It is pretty strong stuff that is very difficult to remove.

…But preparation is still the key – since even the stickiest compound will not stick to an un-prepared surface. Then it is in how the pointing is applied. The combination of the two will determine how effective (and the life) of the repointing job.

How to repoint terracotta ridge capping

You can also see my blog post on ridge capping repair work and my old youtube  video below for a bit more information on ridge capping repair work:

Leaking tile roof capping repair

Below (in the video) is what your ridge capping should look like after they have been prepared for re-pointing, then re-pointed with “Flexipoint”:.

Terracotta ridge cap repointing

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paul jackson
paul jackson
7 years ago

Is it okay to use flexi point in a 5-10 millimetre gap between slate and a colourbond valley to block a small leak. Will it adhere properly and hold over time? Thanks Paul Jackson

louise
louise
5 years ago

Hi, how long should bedding and pointing last? I had my terricotta tile roof rebedded and pointed in 2009 and it’s cracking on the ridges, particularly in the meter closest to the gutters.

Wayne
Wayne
4 years ago

I’m doing some renovations and need to remove a section of ridge capping to access the structure – it is only about 3 years old and adhered quite well. Are there any tricks to getting the ridge capping off without breaking it?

Colleen
Colleen
4 years ago

Hi, I have a couple of capping tiles coming loose from the hips,(the mortar bedding is completely loose and coming away from the tiles) right next to the gutters on a couple of corners of our house. I picked up some Dunlop pointing from Bunnings and I said I needed to re bed the capping also, the lady helping me said I can just use the pointing mix as bedding as well. Would that be ok or would you recommend mixing up some mortar and using that as the bedding? Also, I’ve seen your video where you put drainage holes in the base of the mortar, do you put the drainage holes in the pointing as well and do you put them in the hip capping or just the ridge capping?
Many thanks,
Colleen

Mel
Mel
4 years ago

Hi Jack,

In your opinion, is it possible for a roof to require rebed and re-pointing just 3 years after it had been previously repaired and re-pointed? taking into consideration, there has been no trees or other heavy objects/debris nearby to cause damage.
Thank you

Michelle
Michelle
4 years ago

Hi jack
It’s only been a few years and we are having to get our roof re-pointed. The roofer quoted and said he would Rebed were needed and re-point. He has only removed some of the pointing and said he doesn’t remove it and redo it if it’s okay. Is this standard practice and will the new re-pointing adhere properly to the old stuff? Just not sure if he is doing a good job or not.. thanks

Peter
Peter
4 years ago

Hi Jack
I just had a couple of roof tiles I need to re-bed. Can I just use the pointing cement to do re-bedding so that I can do all in one hit?
Many thanks!
Peter.

Nagzy
Nagzy
3 years ago

Hi Jack,
Is it possible to just replace 2 separate ridge caps rather than removing the whole load and placing it with mortar? I have few caps which care cracked and wondering if I have to redo the whole lot?

Steve
Steve
3 years ago

Hi
I have a single level 4 bedroom house with Terracotta tiles. It is 24 years old. Never been rebedded or repointed. No leaks but I have just noticed that the mortar pointing on a verge over the part of the house which goes over the patio entrance at the front of the house has broken away from a board under the tiles leaving a gap. I have also noticed some of the ridge caps have small holes here and there where mortar has come away from the edge of the ridge cap.
Looking at getting quotes to inspect the whole roof and repair where necessary.
Can the repointing just be done where the mortar is either weak or come away or is it necessary to completely rebid and repoint?
Thanks

Steve
Steve
3 years ago

Thanks Jack
I have been told that I will need the roof pressured cleaned with a rotary brush cleaner before repointing is done. The tiles are 24 year old unglazed terracotta Monier. They are quite dirty and have lichen in lots of areas. I have some concerns about pressure cleaning as there is no sarking under the tiles. I am not concerned about the appearance only the practicality of ensuring my roof does not leak. Is it reasonable to only get the ridge caps cleaned? I will also need repointing on verges.
Also should the roofer remove all the old mortar pointing before repointing with flexipoint?
Thanks

Steve
Steve
3 years ago

Many thanks Jack
I totally agree with your recommendation. It makes no sense to pressure clean if you haven’t first repointed. Otherwise you are increasing the likelihood of water getting into the roof cavity. Obviously you would need to wait some time after repointing before you could pressure clean.
I think it is great that you are sharing your knowledge.

Christopher Hill
Christopher Hill
3 years ago

Do you recommend any roof repair/tiling repair company in Melbourne?

Deb
Deb
3 years ago

Hi Jack, can you advise if the ridge caps at the bottom of the hip should be secured with nails? We are in the process of getting quotes here in South Australia for a concrete tiled roof and have been told various things eg nailing or expansion joints, to fix the problem so were not sure who to use and what is the best method. Thanks in advance.
Kind regard
Deb

Jinny
Jinny
3 years ago

We have been told that 5 of our ridge caps need replacing – they are a rubber compound and when they become brittle the crows peck at them. Are these rubber compound ones readily available, or would we be better using something else? Thanks

jinny
jinny
3 years ago

Thanks anyway, sorry to have bothered you.

Connie
Connie
2 years ago

Hi Jack,

I am in Melbourne and I am hoping that you are able to resolve some queries in my mind regarding bedding and re-pointing.

My house roof is hipped roofs in combination of gabled roofs. I recently got someone to re-bed and re-point the roof and his quote includes:
1. re-bed ridge caps in mortar mix
2. re-point all ridge cap and gable in flexible pointing with collars and weep holes
3. replace 6 valleys in colourbond valley irons
4. replace broken tiles

I looked at the roof after his work and I am not sure if he did the right thing. I would like to know your opinion:

1. He did not put mortar and flexipointing between the roof tiles and the new Colourbond valley irons. He said it is the dry finish for Colourbond valley irons. He said mortar and flexipointing on Colourbond will cause rusting and it will void the ColourBond warranty.
I am a bit worry that rain water will be able to get into the roof as I am in a windy area of Melbourne. What would be the right thing to do with Colourbond valley irons?

2. He did not do any work on the gable tiles. I can see the old mortar under the gable tiles are a bit loose. Again, he said the mortar and flexipointing will cause rusting to the fascia.
Based on his written quote, my understanding was that he would mortar and repoint the gable tiles. Is bedding and flexipointing the gable tiles necessary?

3. Can you explain to me the meaning of ‘repointing with collars’.

Thanks you in advance.

Connie

Sam
Sam
2 years ago

Jack, can you please recommend a roofer in the Blue Mountains area.
Sam

Jon
Jon
2 years ago

Hi Jack,

I’m currently researching what’s involved in rebedding all of the ridge capping on the roof of my newly purchased house. The roof is around 30 years old, has Monier elebanar concrete tiles and doesn’t look like it’s ever been repointed or rebedded in it’s life as quite a lot of the bedding is loose and starting to fall away, although it’s currently not leaking anywhere.

My question is, if I use a 2in1 bedding/pointing compound, where you just mix in a different amount of water depending on if you are bedding or pointing, will I have to go back over the fresh bedding and point? From what I can tell, the pointing on traditional mortar bedding is to adhere the ridge tile, but in my case I will be applying an adhesive bedding, so if I get the edge of the bedding neat enough (and the correct color) I can’t see any real point in pointing (pardon the pun), other than at the ridge tile overlaps.

Cheers,
Jon.

Andrew
Andrew
1 year ago

Hi Jack,
I have read the above, very helpful! Maybe you can help with some questions I have:
1. If I remove a single hip ridge cap carefully from the middle of the hip can I reuse it ?
2. I need to replace some terracotta tiles that are fretting and getting holes in them but I am having trouble finding replacements. My tiles are unglazed and about 257mm wide and 430mm long. I have found similar tiles that are 270mm wide but these don’t fit properly as replacements. Any advice on where to get tiles to match mine ? I have looked on ebay.
3. When I rebed a ridge cap should I use just a plain 3:1 sand:cement ratio or should I use some additives for best performance ?
4. I plan to use a pre-mix flexible pointing compound for repointing. I have seen on youtube people suggest that the ridge cap edges should be roughened a little with an angle grinder so the pointing can stick well, do you think this is a good idea ?

Max
Max
1 year ago

Hi Jack.

How often would you come upon a job that needs every ridge cap rebedded?
A recent quote I got suggests a full rebed job as gap between cap a bed are over 3mm in places.
However I find most of the bedding in strong condition. I can remove caps off the bedging in alot of cases. But there is no crumbled bedding.
Question is if the bedding are structurally sound will repointing caps that can be removed but sufficient?
Seems like overkill to do everyone? Im guessing its to assist the warranty and guarantee of workmanship.

Joe
Joe
1 year ago

Hi Jack,
You are a star sharing all this knowledge! Thank you!
While i’ve repaired, re-bedded our terracotta (late 1940s or so, Wunderlich) roof tiles about 30 years ago i had no idea as to how to do it but did it anyway. Used 1:5:1 cement/sand/lime. Did last well but needs fixing again (that’s why i’ve come to your site :)) and glad that i did. At least i can do it properly now.
Some decades ago i treated the tiles with 3 water :1 Phenol (disinfectant commonly used in the past). Soaked the lichen with it on a stinking hot day and by about 6 months later the tiles looked like new -all clean.
This time, since i installed a rainwater tank, i pressure cleaned them to remove most of the lichen and then sprayed household bleach on with a garden sprayer – hopefully that will work as well?
Best wishes,
Joe

Trevor Cant
Trevor Cant
1 year ago

Hi Jack
Movement over time on my concrete tiled roof has made the gap in the ridge widen and the capping is now not sufficiently wide enough to prevent leaks. How could this be remedied? Could a colour bond capping be used on a tiled roof? Or is there a method to seal with the existing capping.
Thx Trevor

Jim Ball
6 months ago

G’day, Jack.

Is pointing mortar always water-proof?
I had my C.1978 concrete tile roof re-pointed about 2 years ago as I had leaking problem which seemed to be coming in near the side of the roof where the tiles and brick veneer meet, and appears to be a very old leak. It still leaks. I haven’t got the tiler’s details. The mortar does not completely cover the fibro bedding at some points. The mortar seems to be absorbing the rain rather than shedding it. Should it be water-proof? I have had a builder advise me about installing some metal flashing to cover the pointing work. I know this is a bit vague. Comments? Thanks. Jim Ball.

Jim Ball
6 months ago

Thankyou, Jack. It may well explain my situation. I have been able to locate the tiler who worked on the job and hope he can sort it. This is a great service of yours. I hope you get some compensation for your time.
Jim

Mario Muns
Mario Muns
5 months ago

Jack, just want to thank you for all the info & experience shared here.
I have only one question and it is in regards the weep holes. My roof (old Monier concrete tiles) does not have sarking, is there a reason in cases like mine to need the weep holes in the top ridge? I could see the logic behind it if there is sarking. not otherwise. Could you please clarify that?
Cheers, Mario

Mick
Mick
4 months ago

Hi Jack,
I am wondering how bad the bedding needs to be before replacing. I have a quote from a roofer and he says the bedding is fine, only a re-point is required. But when I get up there, I can see the bedding will easily pull away – it’s loose and essentially dislodged from the ridge on top and tile underneath. Can repoint in this situation still be ok?

Thanks a lot!

Mick

yun ping chau
yun ping chau
4 months ago

Hi Jack,
My roof has been around for 35 years, and I have never pointed it. Now there are several places where the old beds on the ridges are loose and can be taken out by hand. The roofer told me to re-beding and re-point the roof. What do you think? How many years will the roof be re-beding and re-pointed?
Thank you very much.

yun ping chau
yun ping chau
3 months ago

Hi Jack,
Thank you very much for your reply. I am sorry to have an appointment with a roofer without waiting for your reply. My roof is T-shaped. The cement between the two ridge caps and the roof tiles on the short roof has burst and loosened. You can take it out with your fingers. There is no cement burst or looseness on the long roof. The roofer came to check, he said that he had pulled the roof tile ridge cap is loose, and the entire roof ridge must be re bedding and pointing. 02/06 He only brought 6 pieces ridge caps of a different brand from mine. There is a 3 cm slot under the ridge cap, and the correct overlap between the ridge cap and the ridge cap is 3 cm. And he broke some ridge caps, so he only overlapped the ridge cap with the ridge cap by only 1 cm or 1.5 cm, and a few ridge caps were placed in the opposite direction. The original T-shaped roof junction has a slope shape on each side, allowing rainwater to flow into the gutter. Now roofer changes them to a vertical shape, and the rain rushes to the gutter.
May I ask you; is this kind of roof weak? Is there a problem with the quality? Do you think it needs to bedding and pointing again? Do you think the T-shaped roof joint should be modified?
Thank you very much.

Al Jane
Al Jane
3 months ago

Do you know of any good roof repairers in Wollongong?

Rawender Guron
Rawender Guron
2 months ago

Hi Jack,

I saw my neighbour’s roof ridge cap rebedding a couple of years ago and a metal tray (or flashing) was installed under the ridge tiles. Now, my house also need rebedding and repointing and I was wondering what purpose those metal trays under the ridge cap serve and whether it is a good idea to have them. I also need to know where can I get them and what are they called? A google search did not reveal much, quite likely because I may have used incorrect terms/names for them. Please point me to any further information about them if you know of any source.

Thanks

Christina
Christina
2 months ago

Hi Jack,
We have just had our 30 year old Terracotta tile roof repointed with Flexi-shield mortar by a roofing contractor.
After only a few days we have noticed two hairline cracks in the pointing along the ridge caps, in two separate areas.
Why would this be happening already?
Also we noticed there were no weepholes evident in the repointing along the ridge caps. We asked the roofing contracter and he was adamant that weepholes are not needed with terracotta tiles as they naturally drain any trapped water away from the roof ridge line. He said weepholes are only required with cement tiles.
This seems to contradict everything I have read here and elsewhere regarding weepholes.
Your thoughts?

Christina
Christina
2 months ago

Hi Jack,
Thanks so much for your excellent information.
Regarding cracks forming along the ridgeline pointing when the tiles under the ridge cap are not solidly supported… does this mean the bedding underneath has not been adequately prepared and smoothed back?
We are concerned that water may eventually enter through these cracks.
( Also Flexi – point is advertised as being a lot more fluid and flexible than standard mortar and much less likely to crack so we’re a little concerned to see these new cracks so soon . )
Regards
Christina

Christina
Christina
2 months ago

Thanks for your information, Jack.
Much appreciated.

Christina

Kevin
Kevin
2 months ago

Hi guys

Just wondering if ridge tile collars need to be pointed by code or not.

Cheers
Kev

Tony
Tony
2 months ago

Hi,
What is the best premixed roof tile bedding mortar to use?
Or what is the best cement to sand ratio to use? If I do mix it my self can you recommend what type of cement and what type of sand.
Thankyou

David Cannell
David Cannell
22 days ago

Jack, great information via you videos, well done.
Question – We have a glazed roof tile and where the valley is there is no bedding/pointing under or on these tiles.
Do they need bedding in the valley?

David Cannell
David Cannell
17 days ago
Reply to  Jack Yuen

Jack,
This helps a lot, thanks for your valuable time.
Dave