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New clay capsHomeowners in other parts of the country might be surprised to see clay caps on a residential asphalt shingle roofing project, but folks around here in Lafayette, LA, take this in stride. It’s not an unusual sight here, and there’s a story behind that.

Sibley Construction Services recently completed two roof replacement projects in upscale neighborhoods in Lafayette, LA, one of which is pictured here. Both jobs were made necessary by hail and wind damage to the prior roof. We’ve talked before about how vulnerable a hail-damaged roof is and how important it is to have the damaged roof repaired or replaced as quickly as possible.

For the roof replacements on both of these homes we used high-quality architectural roofing shingles and clay caps along the ridge lines.

Architectural roofing shingles are also known as laminated or dimensional shingles. These shingles, which have only been around since the 1980s, offer exceptional weather protection because they are made with such heavy mats. Architectural roofing shingles have a heavy fiberglass mat base and include ceramic-coated mineral granules, which are tightly embedded in water-resistant asphalt. These shingles look very distinctive, as you can see from these photos of the finished roof replacement.

Lafayette LA Roof Replacement From Wind and Hail

To complete these two re-roofing projects, we used clay caps along the ridge lines. Shingles—or in this case, caps—along the ridge line are the first defense in keeping water from seeping in through the roof where two sides of the roof meet at the peak. Clay tile caps are chosen for their durability and their commanding appearance.

Lafayette LA Roof Replacement From Wind and Hail

That brings us to an interesting story about why you’re likely to see these clay caps on roofs in Louisiana and especially southern Louisiana. In the early days of this country, New Orleans was one of the largest United States ports, and ships coming here from England carried these V-shaped tiles, along with other construction materials, as ballast. They also brought slate shingles from Wales, so new homes in the young city of New Orleans were shingled with Welsh slate. The roofs were then capped with the V-shaped clay caps on the ridge lines.

Welsh tile with clay capping is evident throughout historic New Orleans, even today.

Welsh slate roofs with clay capping are evident throughout historic New Orleans, even today.

While most of the slate shingles have since disappeared, some of the clay ridge caps have been re-used and are still seen around New Orleans. Plenty of them have been damaged by hurricanes, however, so a few companies in the United States produce similar clay ridge tiles today. Once used primarily for historic replacements, the clay caps add character and charm to an asphalt roof and can be seen in high-end subdivisions.

Sibley ConstructionWhen hailstones cause storm damage to your property, look to Sibley Construction Services for professional storm damage assessment and, when necessary, roof repair or replacement. Contact Sibley Construction Services today at (337) 264-9238.



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