How Roof Pitch Affects Your Choice of Roofing Materials

How Roof Pitch Affects Your Choice of Roofing Materials

Choosing roofing materials goes beyond aesthetics and economics. The angle of the roof, commonly referred to as the pitch, can impact which materials will have the best performance. To make an informed decision, a homeowner should learn how roof pitch relates to the choice of roofing material.

Basics of Roof Pitch

Roof pitch refers to the steepness (angle, slope, or slant) of a roof. The pitch is shown by a fraction, where the numerator represents the height and the denominator refers to the width. For instance, a roof pitch of 4/12 means there’s a 4-inch rise in height for every 12 inches of width.

In most residential properties, pitch ranges from 4/12 (a moderate pitch) slope up to 8/12 (a fairly steep roof pitch). However, some properties have nearly flat roofs or an extremely steep roof. An extremely steep roof pitch is great for keeping water off, but it can be difficult to repair. A flat roof, on the other hand, requires a special drainage system, which can be costly.

Roof Pitch and Roofing Materials

The roof pitch dictates the ideal roofing material for a structure. It is often one of the first things a roofing contractor considers when recommending a new roof. The roof slope also affects the quantity of roofing materials and, therefore, the overall cost. Here are the best roofing materials for different roof slopes.

  • Low-pitch roofs: A low-pitch roof can go as low as 0.25/12. These are easy to maintain, often less expensive to install, but prone to pooling water. A flat or low-pitch roof works best with commercial-grade roofing applications, including built-up roofing (BUR), "torch-down" roofing, tar and gravel, rubber, or standing seam metal.
  • Average-pitch roof: Most residential properties have an average-pitch roof, which ranges from 4/12 to 8/12. The best materials for this type of roof pitch include wood and slate shingles, asphalt composite shingles, clay, or cement tiles.
  • High-pitch roofs: High-pitch roofs, which range from 9/12 to 18/12, are the most expensive roof systems to install and maintain. High-pitch roofs are more efficient for drainage but are impractical for larger buildings. Steep roofs require lighter and cheaper materials to cover the larger roof area. The best roofing materials for this roof pitch include clay or cement tiles and composite or asphalt shingles. These materials lock tightly and are also light.

If you are looking for dependable roofing services in Billerica, MA or the surrounding areas, you can rely on the fully licensed and insured professionals of Action Roofing. We offer quality roofing solutions for both residential and commercial clients, and we’re GAF Master Elite Certified. Contact us today for a free roofing quote.

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