Roof pitch vs. roofing material choice

Posted By : Alex , on Jul, 2014


When you look at the materials that are available for use as roofing in Loveland CO it appears that there is a broad choice; asphalt. Slate, composite, wood shakes, etc. Although all these materials and more are readily available they are not all suitable for use on your home, one factor that must be taken into account when roofing material is chosen is the pitch of the roof.

Pitch is the term that measures the angle of the roof of your house. Take two examples to give you an idea of what pitch is. Houses that were built in the early 60s had almost zero pitch, other than for a slight slope to drain water off the roof, the roof was flat. Now look at the other extreme, roofs on Victorian era houses were very steeply pitched.

Measuring roof pitch:

You will hear such terms as 2/12 or 7/12 when you are discussing the pitch of a roof. The first number is the vertical height while the second number is the horizontal width. A very common roof pitch is 5/12, this simply means that for every 12 feet of horizontal roof span the roof rises or drops five feet. There will always be extremes but the norm lies somewhere between 4/12 through 8/12.

Low pitch roofs:

Many contemporary style homes found in suburbia as well as industrial buildings and outbuildings will have a pitch of no more than 3/12. The types of roofing in Loveland CO that you will often find on these low roof pitch buildings will be what are called a built-up roof which is composed of tar paper and hot tar. The reason that conventional asphalt shingles are not suitable is that the roof is so low pitched it cannot shed water fast enough thus allowing water to permeate the roof. When water drains slow off a roof there must be a watertight seal.

Medium pitch roofs:

The normal roofing material for a house with a medium pitch roof; 4/12 through 8/12 is asphalt shingles, they are very serviceable, available in a wide range of colors and reasonably inexpensive.

Steep pitch roofs:

Wood shakes, often cedar are more susceptible to leaking than other types of roofs as they do not lock tightly together nor do they lay as flat as asphalt or composite shingles. It has also be found over the years that wood shakes do not weather as well on low and medium pitch roofs.

These are just a few examples of how the pitch on the roof of the house has an impact on the type of shingles that are best suited and will give the best service life.

If you need repairs or totally new roofing in Loveland CO then you are invited to contact Jerry’s Roofing, LLC. With over 25 years of experience, homeowners in Northern Colorado have learned to trust the experts at Jerry’s. Click here to know more.

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