The Importance of Roof Pitch

Most people know that the roof is an integral part of a structure. We know it provides shelter and safeguards from the elements, but many of us have never heard of roof pitch and do not realize the importance that it has. So, what exactly is roof pitch? In simple terms, how steep the roof is.

How to Determine Roof Pitch

How do you determine your roof pitch? In mathematical terms, it is expressed as a ratio or fraction (the vertical rise by the horizontal run). In residential homes, the most common roof pitch is 4:12 or 4/12 when shown as a fraction. The first number represents the vertical rise while the second number shows the horizontal run. The run should always be about a foot long. The larger the vertical rise number, the steeper the roof.

Why Pitch is Important

Now that you are able to calculate your roof’s pitch, you may be wondering, why is it important? Roof pitch is necessary to make sure that water is draining effectively from your roof. Standing or puddling water left unchecked can cause major damage. In colder climates, improper pitch may be susceptible to failure under the weight of heavy ice and snow. Fortunately, those are two elements we normally do not face here on the Gulf Coast, therefore, high sloped roofs are not a necessity, although some people may still choose them for their aesthetic appeal. Knowing what pitch is best for your structure and catching standing water issues early are two things that should be addressed by licensed professionals. Freeman Roofing has many years of experience in these areas as well as others.

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How Steep Should you Go?

Which roof is better, a steeper (high) pitch or one with a lower pitch? How do you determine which option is the perfect pitch for you?

Steep Pitched Roofs

Steeply pitched roofs do have many assets. First, they provide a wow factor and are very aesthetically appealing. A high roof pitch catches the eye allowing the materials used to be showcased in a dramatic fashion. It also allows for decorative cutouts and gables. There are more advantages to a steep roof than just aesthetic appeal. They also provide space for ample attic room and a possible second story. Who does not like the idea of additional space? Steep pitches also help ensure the roof drains properly. Rain, ice and snow will drip off a high- pitched roof quickly. Steep roofs will cover a larger area and consequently, material costs will be higher. They also are more dangerous to work on and may require more skilled labor.

Low Pitched Roofs

Low pitched roofs are a popular option for ranch and modern style homes or for those looking to save some cash. This type of roof will use fewer materials than one with a high pitch, therefore making it more cost-effective. Low pitch roofs make adding extra room very difficult and are slower to drain. They may sometimes lack the pizazz and boldness that steeper roofs possess resulting in less curb appeal.

Understanding Your Options

Picking your roof pitch is an important decision. Cost, curb appeal, climate and resale value should all be taken into consideration when deciding. Understanding the differences between low pitch and high pitch roofs is something you need a firm grasp on before making a final choice. Fortunately, it is not something you have to go into blindly. Local and family-owned Freeman Roofing can help guide you and ensure that you fully understand the features and benefits associated with both. We have been meeting the Gulf Coast’s roofing needs for over 40 years.  Call our experts today and let us help you decide which pitch will be perfect for you.