Where should the Fundi hit the nail on your Mabati when roofing? How do you ensure that the Mabatis aren’t left with big, gaping holes by the fundi? These are just some of the common questions we get daily from our customers.


To begin with, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the below terms since your fundi will often use them during roofing.

  1. Ribs;  


The term rib is used to refer to the top, raised parts of your Mabati. Fundis will often hammer the nails on top of the ribs in order to prevent water leaks and to enhance drainage.

  1. Crest;


This is the vertical distance from one Mabati ‘joint’ to another. This should not be confused with the overall length; Mabatis can be cut to any length depending on the meters you want. But the crest is uniform; the distance from one crest to another is approximately 300 mm.

  1. Truss;


Roofing trusses can either be wooden or made of steel. While wooden trusses are cheaper and more common, steel ones have their advantages too; they’re more durable, plus in case of a fire, the damage isn’t as severe as with wooden trusses.

Roofing Tips;

  1. Always ensure that the Fundi is nailing the Mabati on top of the rib (not between ribs).
  2. It’s very advisable to include rubber washers on every nail; this helps prevent water from leaking through.
  3. For aesthetic and uniformity purposes, ensure that the rubber washers are of the same colour as your Mabati.
  4. You’re probably doing your roofing on a tight budget, don’t want to spend too much on nails and Mabatis, right? Well, the standard practice is to nail your Mabati after every two crests, i.e after every 600 mm (remember we said one crest is 300 mm).


There you have it, hope you’ll be more informed the next time you go inspecting your Mjengo! Take a moment to ensure that all nails are being hammered on top of the ribs and that the Fundi is nailing the Mabatis after every two crests!

What questions or common challenges have you experienced when roofing? Please feel free to ask; Royal Mabati isn’t just your best provider of affordable, modern Mabatis. Our roofing experts are here to answer any and all of your roofing queries!