Roof pitch is another term for the inclination of your roof and how steep it is. For individuals who are not well-versed in roofing and architecture, the slant of a roof seems like a trivial matter to worry about, but it does play an important role in planning out and installing the right material and parts for your roof.
Of course, the inclination of your roof is one of the most visible parts of your roof and it will make a lasting impression on passers-by and visitors. However, roof pitch is different from just being a simple inclination, it is also a measurement of how steep your house’s roof can get which is based on your roof’s vertical rise in ratio towards your roof’s horizontal span.
In countries like the United States, roof pitch is determined through inches and is expressed using a ratio. If the first ratio is higher than the second one, the roof will have a steeper inclination. The second ratio is the horizontal area of the roof, which is usually 12 inches which is equivalent to one foot of your roof.
Importance of Roof Pitches
One of the functions of a roof and the various parts of it is to keep the house dry and protected from the forces of nature. Whether it’s rain, snow, or strong winds, roofs have kept most of these elements of nature at bay and one of the contributing factors to the strength of roofs is the steep inclinations of roof pitches.
Essentially, roof pitches make it easier for rain and snow to run off your roof and towards the appropriate gutter or downspout so that it can be discarded properly to the proper drainage systems. A well-planned and well-built roof can easily deter any accumulation of rainwater and snow while also stopping the formation of moss and mold from the roof’s interior.
The steepness of certain roofs is quite situational and will depend on the climate that the house is situated. If a house is located within a cold and wet climate, then there is a minimum inclination requirement on roofs which is dictated by law in most states in the United States. The pitch level in some roofs is designed to easily slide snow off towards the appropriate eaves.
However, homeowners are always recommended to seek the help of skilled roofers and insurance carriers to determine dangerous levels of snow accumulation from heavy snowfall.
Types of Roof Pitches
Roof pitches are not strictly categorized or defined, but it is still important to discern the different types of roof pitches.
- Flat Pitch – There will be buildings and houses that will feature flat roofs as part of their aesthetic and architecture. However, there’s really no so such thing as a roof that is completely flat since it will have some form of inclination to allow water drainage. This type of roof will usually have a pitch of ½:12
- Low Slope – These are roofs that will need special types of materials so that you can prevent leaks from happening. Usually, houses with lower inclinations and pitches can be easily walked on but water will not easily run off the edges. The inclinations of this roof will be from 1:12 to 4:12
- Medium Slope – These roofs will have a pitch of around 4:12 to 9:12. This type of roof is well-balanced since water can easily run off the roof and skilled roofers can still walk on the roof. However, the materials used for these roofs have to be carefully picked.
- Steep-Slope – These roofs will have a pitch of 9:12 and onwards. People walking on these roofs have to be extra cautious and the materials used will need firm and strong fasteners to hold them in place.
Asphalt Shingles and Roofs Below 2:12
Most homeowners and roofers are aware that asphalt shingles are one of the heavier types of materials that are used on roofs. When it comes to planning the pitches and inclinations of roofs, asphalt shingles should be used between the pitches of 2:12 and 4:12.
Why? These types of roofs are very vulnerable to water penetrating the interior of the roof’s main structure which can cause damage which will then cause ice dams to form and strong winds to easily pass towards the interior of the house.
One of the best solutions for making sure that your rooftop can stand against the different elements of nature would be to install a good roof sheathing system that can hold fasten your asphalt shingles in place while also providing a barrier between your shingles and the main framework of your roof.
Overall, asphalt shingles are good materials for roofs with a certain inclination, but they shouldn’t be installed on roofs that go above 4:12 in pitch. Homeowners are recommended on availing of the services of roofing Cherry Hill NJ. After all, good planning from professionals can lead to better results.