What is bedding and pointing of ridge capping?

Tiled roofs have ridge capping.

These are the upside down Vee shaped elements at the top (ridge) and sloping side edges (hips) of your tiled roof.

These images show various stages of removing the old bedding and installing a new bed…

Bedding and pointing on a main ridge
Fresh bedding on a bedding rack prior to ridge installation

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.

Then ‘flexible pointing’ was introduced. One of the first in the market was “FLEXIPOINT”.The original flexipoint for pointing tile roofs

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…

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.


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


Another video on re-pointing below.
Shows what your ridge capping should look like after they have been prepared for re-pointing, then re-pointed with “Flexipoint”:



42 Responses to “What is bedding and pointing of ridge capping?”

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  1. paul jackson says:

    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

    • jackyuen says:

      Flexipoint will bridge a 10mm gap and if applied correctly, will stick quite well and hold over time.
      However, I I not so sure that it will do much for your leak – if you are just going to fill the gap under the slates to the valley. This is meant to be left open to drain water out.


  2. louise says:

    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.

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Louise,
      Many years ago, when I was starting up in the roofing business, I remember an old roofer telling me that “.. a tile roof needs a repoint every 15 years…”.
      In my experience, this ‘old timer’ is pretty much correct.
      There are certain areas of ridging that suffers more from tile movement (due to un-anchored cut tiles). The bottoms of hips and the top of valleys are two of these areas.
      A good roofer will prepare the bedding a bit better so that the pointing has a better chance of bonding to the edges of the capping and to the tiles. This will lead to a longer lasting pointing job.

      Hope this helps.


  3. Wayne says:

    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?

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Wayne,

      You can try this:
      Get a chisel. A cold chisel or an old wood chisel.
      Cut into the pointing along the bottom edge of the ridge capping (hammer and chisel trick).
      Also cut into the pointing at the collars.

      Once you have done enough cutting along the bottom edge of the capping, you will find that you can get the chisel further into the bedding and the pressure will start lifting the cap off. (a bit of levering helps also).

      Good luck.


  4. Colleen says:

    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,

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Colleen,

      It depends on how loose the bedding is and also the ‘shape’ of the bedding under the starters (the pointy ridges) and the adjacent capping at the hips.

      If the bedding is quite loose and there is ‘bulky’ bedding (from previous repairs) at the bottom of the hips – then I would recommend removing the old bedding and replacing it with fresh bedding. This will make for a cleaner job and have a much better chance for the pointing to bind the corners together.

      Pointing is very ‘flowing’ and it will ‘slump’ if you try to use it as bedding. It will not ‘stand up’ and support the capping.

      If the bedding is slightly loose (and in good ‘shape’), then you can enlarge the crack between the bedding and capping by chipping the thin wedge away. Then apply the pointing. Enlarging the crack allows for more surface area for the pointing to bind the old bedding and the sides of the capping together.

      Application of pointing to achieve a smooth and clean finish takes years of practice (and even then, some tilers are more skilled than others at pointing).

      So, don’t be too hard on yourself if the end result is not very ‘professional’ looking.

      All the best…


  5. Mel says:

    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

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Mel,

      When I was starting out, an old roofer told me that a roof should be re-pointed every 15 years.
      Flexible pointing can start peeling off the edge of the ridge capping after a year or so – if it has not been applied correctly.
      The bedding should remain solid – even if the pointing starts to fail.

      In my experience, the old timer is pretty accurate with his 15 years….


  6. Michelle says:

    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

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Michelle,
      Generally, a roof can be re-pointed a couple of times before it gets too awkward to point and a fresh start (removal of capping and bedding all the ridge capping on new bedding).

      During re-points, removal of local bedding and pointing (that is very loose) is the usual preparation work before the fresh flexible pointing is applied.

      The main purpose of the pointing is to cover the bedding and to form a ‘bind’ between the capping and the roof tiles. Some local peeling of the new pointing can happen – but it may not necessarily mean that the whole roof needs to be re-pointed again. Unless you have blocked (or absent) weep holes, the peeling does not affect the waterproofing of the roof…

      Hope this helps.


  7. Peter says:

    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!

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Peter,

      You will find that the pointing material is not stiff enough to ‘stand up’ and support the ridges. You will need to bed with a sand/cement mix first and then point after the bedding has been smoothed off and is stiff enough….

  8. Nagzy says:

    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?

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Nagzy,
      If you can carefully remove the cracked ridge capping and replace them with EXACTLY the same sized (same brand and manufacture period) ridge, then you can usually get away from a full re-bed. You will still need to point the replaced ridges with flexible pointing – and also ensure that there are clear weep holes (if the ridge capping is on a horizontal ridge line).
      Otherwise, it is best to remove the bedding locally and re-bed locally.

      Hope this helps.


  9. Steve says:

    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?

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Steve,
      My take on re-bedding and re-pointing is this:
      – The sole purpose of the bedding (sand/cement mix) is to hold the ridge capping in position and to provide a surface for the application of the pointing.
      – The sole purpose of the pointing is to bind the edge of the ridge capping to the surface of the roof tile (and also to provide a cosmetic coloured finish on the edge of the ridges.
      – There are some roofers who advocate that a ridge capping repair should be a full re-bed (remove all the ridge capping and the old bedding and starting again) followed by a re-point. I disagree. There is no technical need for it. If the old bedding is holding the ridge cap in position and it has sufficient surface area to allow for the application of the flexible pointing ….. then it is doing its job.
      – The bottoms of the hips usually suffer from a lot of movement and cracking of the bedding. In this instance, I support the full re-bedding of the bottom ridge caps on a hip to enable a better bind of the pointing to prevent future slippage.
      – elsewhere along the hips, there will be local gaps if the old bedding has dislodged. Pointing will not fill large gaps. Therefore local insertion of bedding mortar is needed to fill in the gaps prior to the pointing process.
      – On the horizontal ridges, we have to be mindful of the need for weep holes. For most concrete roof tiles and terracotta roof tiles that have a cut course under the capping, weep holes are necessary. Any re-pointing will need to involve re-establishment of existing weep holes. Or, if no weep holes are present, then the horizontal ridges have to be fully re-bedded with weep holes before pointing.

      Hope this makes things a bit easier to understand…


  10. Steve says:

    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?

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Steve,
      I have not seen anyone just pressure clean the ridge caps. It would have the same possibility of leakage during cleaning as a roof clean (but to a lesser amount obviously).
      We normally steel brush the lichen off before pointing…. concentrating on the edge of the ridge and the top of the tile.
      Remember that the main purpose of the pointing is to hold the ridge to the tile roof by binding the edge of the cap to the top of the tile. So, the two most important areas to clean off is just the thin edge of the side of the capping and the small area on top of the tile along the edge of the bedding.
      The cleanliness of the bulk of the bedding is not that important. It could be full of Lichen and the pointing can go over it (in theory)…

      It is the same with old bedding/pointing. If any old mortar gets in the way of the two critical areas, they should be removed. Otherwise, it is not that important.

      Hope this helps.

  11. Steve says:

    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.

  12. Christopher Hill says:

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

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Chris,
      Sorry, I don’t mix with a lot of roofers and I do not have anyone I know in Melbourne.
      There must be some good ones there. It just takes a bit of hunting down.

      All the best.


  13. Deb says:

    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

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Deb,

      Different states in Australia have slightly different ways of doing things.
      The design wind speed for Sydney (Category A at 41m/s) is the same as for Adelaide/south Australia.

      In Sydney, we do not usually nail down the ridge capping.
      Most roofers here prefer to use flexible pointing to secure the ridge capping down onto the tiles (and flexible pointing (used correctly) satisfies the ridge anchoring requirements for cyclonic winds up to c3 – 65m/s wind speed).

      So, you may have a ‘storm in a teacup’ situation there?????

      Hope this helps.


  14. Jinny says:

    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

  15. jinny says:

    Thanks anyway, sorry to have bothered you.

  16. Connie says:

    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.


    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Connie,
      1. Your roofer is correct about the valley tiles. They should not be bedded to the valley. The wind should not be a problem.
      2. It does not look like your roofer has quoted to re-bed the gables. Only a repoint. Normally, bedded gables have timber fascias – not colorbond.
      Gables should be bedded on a metal ‘Z’ flashing/fibro strip. And then pointed.
      3. Normally, a ‘collar’ is where adjacent ridge caps overlap. This overlap should be pointed.

      Hope this helps/


  17. Sam says:

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

  18. Jon says:

    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.


    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Jon,

      We have not tried the 2 in 1 bedding/pointing products that are starting to come onto the market.
      From what I can piece together, these ‘new’ products mimic the old way of bedding and pointing…. The only difference is that the product is pre-mixed and contains additives that make it ‘stickier’ and more flexible.
      In the ‘old days’ – roofers would mix their own bedding using their own sand/cement/lime/additives…
      The ridge capping would be set into position on this bedding.
      Then the roofers would come back with a similar mix (except it would have oxides to create a particular colour and more water to make it more ‘workable’) to point up the ridge capping.

      …. with the new 2 in 1 product, it is the same process. The ‘bedding use’ of the product would be quite stiff and you would not be able to get a very smooth finish. Plus it would not be in the colour you prefer.
      You will need to add oxide to the product if you want a particular colour (to match the ridge colour) and use this to do the pointing.
      The reason for using slightly more water for this ‘pointing use’ of the product is to make it more workable and you can get a smooth finish.

      The main thing that you must do is to provide weep holes at all the top ridges.

      Hope this helps,


  19. Andrew says:

    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 ?

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Andrew,
      1). If you don’t break the ridge, just knock off the old collar pointing and clean up the edges of the ridge and it will go right back in the hip.
      2) The tile sizing is quite critical. Flip your roof tile over and there should be a name(s) stamped on the underside. Take a picture. If you are in Sydney, then contact Grant at Roof tile recyclers in Smithfield (02) 9756 3350. He will ask you for the name on the underside.
      You can sometimes find roof tiles on ‘Gumtree’ for sale.
      3) We use just plain 3:1 sand cement (often going to 4:1). No additives. The bedding does not need to be very hard or strong. It is the pointing that does all the work of holding the cap down to the tiles.
      4) We have gotten sick of hand wire brushing the edges of the ridge caps and nowadays find it easier (and more effective) to use a diamond blade on a battery powered angle grinder to clean up the edges of the ridge capping prior to re=pointing.

      Hope this helps.


  20. Max says:

    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.

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Max,

      We do not often rebed all the ridge caps on a re-point job. We often locally rebed ridges where the old bedding has fallen way or very loose. We will rebed the horizontal ridges if we need to weep hole them (old bedding has no weep ho;es).

      The bedding is only meant to hold the ridge capping in place so that the pointing can be applied to bind the edge of the ridge cap to the top of the tiles. It does not matter if the bedding has cracks. Even new bedding will often crack as it dries.

      It is the pointing that does the job of holding the ridge caps together and keep the water out… not the bedding.

      Every now and then, I recommend a full re-bed if the roof has been repointed many times previously and it is too ‘fat’ under the ridges. It becomes too difficult to get the new pointing to bind the edges of the caps and have a neat finish.

      If you want a very good looking re=point …. then it can only be achieved by a full rebed and point. This is why some roofers push for this.

      If you want a re-point that works and looks quite good … then often there is no need for a full rebed.

      Hope this helps.


  21. Joe says:

    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,

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Joe,
      I don’t know a lot about removing the lichen.
      There is a product on the market called ‘wet and forget’. It will probably work better than your ‘home brew’.
      Good luck.


  22. Trevor Cant says:

    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

    • Jack Yuen says:

      Hi Trevor,
      You will probably need to put in extra course of tiles at the ridge if the gap between the top row of tiles is too large.
      You may be able to source wider caps also.


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