All we had for years was the three tab shingle cut up into ridge. Sure GAF made a ridge for Timberline but it was more expensive but worse than a three tab. Some specialty ridges came along but Elk hit big time with the "Z" ridge, a product still popular today. That makes it somewhere around 20 years old. Chuck Arista says Elk in 1989 or 90 so my guess was good.
Gaf fought back with a copy but it failed. GAF's Timbertex has been around for years too and now GAF and Elk are one.
There was a company called Ridge Manufacturing that made Dura Ridge, which failed miserable. Then came Ridgeglass, which made a class IV in colors for everybody's color. GAF bought Ridgeglass and now limits it to California.
Now that there are a lot of different styles of shingle with variations of those brands there are specialty ridges for these too for color purposes.
All roofing except three tabs, whether it be concrete, metal, clay, or glop, have a specific set of ridges to choose from.
Probably your class IV lifetime roof has a 20 year three tab just like the roof in McKinney that the fence contractor did on Silverlake Drive, McKinney. What a pity that people get done that way. A class IV roof must be class IV from top to bottom. No cheaping out. Ever hear of "the weak link breaks the chain?" Here in Dallas the roofs get hammered with wind and hail.
With wood roofing there are shingles and shakes. Shakes are the bigger of the two. Wood shingle ridge is pretty lame and susceptible to wind damage. Thus we put shake ridge on our shingle roofs. It looks great, costs the same (don't know why), and reduces callbacks. A win win that rarely happens.
Refer to my blog on "Why Roofers get Ridge Wrong."
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