If you take a serious look around at different homes in your community, you will likely figure out quite quickly that the roofs are made of various materials. You might look at them and think that the decision was made purely for design purposes, or perhaps with a budget in mind, but that is not necessarily the case. There are actually many things that need to be considered when determining which type of roofing materials should be used.

The pitch, or slope, of the roof should be one of the most important consideration here. You might want composite shingles on your roof, but if the pitch of the building is below a particular ratio, then that might be out the window. You will need to look at another material for your roof. A standing seam metal roof might be a better approach.

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Roof Pitch Defined and Explained

Pitch refers to the angle or slant of your roof. The number designations are made up of a ratio, which is indicated by a division, or slash, symbol. An example would be 2/12. Alternatively, a colon can replace the slash. The first number refers to the height vertically of the roof, while the second number denotes the length the roof horizontally. A roof pitch calculator can get you the number that you need.

How to Calculate Roof Pitch

As long as you understand how ratios work, calculating the actual pitch of your roof is quite easy. First, the ratio will tell you much the roof rises over a horizontal distance of 12 units. For example, let’s say you have a pitch of 5/12. That would mean that the roof changes 5 feet vertically for every 12 feet horizontally. Most residential homes have a roof pitch of between 4/12 and 8/12, but there are exceptions. You can use a roof pitch calculator to determine this.

High and Low Pitch Examples

A low pitched home was popular in the 1960s. The modern homes during this era tended to have a very slight pitch, often just enough for water to drain properly. The pitch on these homes often went as low as 1/12. Victorian-era houses are a good example of high-pitched roofs, complete with the sharp angles and steep pitch.

.25/12 to 3/12 Pitches

This would be considered a roof with a low angle, and are found more often in urban and contemporary style homes. You will also find this type of pitch on an industrial building. Standing seam metal or rubber membrane are common materials used with these roof pitches.

.25/12 to 9/12 Pitches

This type of roof will commonly have clay of cement tiles being used. If the pitch is between 2.5/12 to 4/12, a the installers will need to add a double underlayment. Most contractors do not recommend going above 19/12, as the tiles would begin to rattle on such a steep slope.

4/12 to 20/12 Pitches

Many modern-day residential roofs will fall within these ratios. The most common type of roofing material used today on these roofs is asphalt. The shingles can be used for a pitch all the way down to 4/12, and as high as 12/12. These roofs are not flat and not steep. They just have a moderate rise associated with them.

5/12 to 12/12 Pitches

If you have a pitch within these ratios, you will want to look at using wood or slate shingles. Keep in mind that these types of shingles do not lock together like you would like, leaving some gaps. That makes them more prone to leaks over time.

Roof Pitch Conclusion

If you’re looking to have your roof repaired or replaced, give us a call at 318-639-9513.

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