Recommended Roofing Materials for Various Roof Pitches

Jun 18, 2021 | Whats New

Roof pitch plays an integral role in the type of material you choose for your home or property. In fact, it is one of the most influential factors. Continue reading to learn why, as well as, which roof materials work best with which pitches.

You wouldn’t think that something like pitch would matter when it comes to choosing a roofing material for your home. However, it is actually one of the most important factors to consider in the roof replacement process. There are numerous material options on the market, from metal roofing and asphalt composite, to built-up roofing, rubber roofing, wood shakes, and more. Choosing one can feel quite overwhelming, so narrowing down your options according to pitch is an excellent way to take control and find a viable starting place.

Measuring Your Pitch

Roof pitch must be measure by a professional. You should not grab a ladder and attempt to spread a tape measure across the surface of your roof. This is incredibly dangerous for anyone who is not experienced in roof work. Instead, ask your trusted roofing contractor to provide you information regarding your roof’s specific pitch measurements, and then use their findings to match a suitable roofing material for your home or property.

Roof Pitch Values

Roof pitches are read as a fraction or ratio, usually using the number 12 as the denominator. The numerator is the vertical height of the roof, and the denominator is the horizontal length (i.e. 4/12 = for every 12 horizontal feet, the roof drops (or rises) 4 feet).

Here are some recommended roofing materials for some of the more common roof pitches in Indiana:

1:12 to 3:12

These pitch values are in the lower range. Conventional shingles are not recommended for low pitched roofing systems because of the risk of moisture accumulation, which can lead to a long list of roof damages, including mold, mildew, algae, and moss growth. Low-pitched roofs have reduced water draining capabilities, which prevents shingles from being able to dry out thoroughly. Instead, you would need a water-tight seal, which can be achieved with a built-up and “torch-down” roofing, or standing seam metal roofs.

4:12 to 12:12

In this range, roofs are not too flat or too steep. They are comfortably in the middle range. For this reason, the most suitable materials for roof pitches in this range are asphalt and composite shingles. These are popular for a number of reasons, particularly for their cost-effectiveness, ease of installation, and low maintenance.

5:12 to 12:12

For these values, it is common to see wood shakes or slate shingles. They are more inclined to leakages since they do not lay completely flat or secure tightly together, which is why they are not recommended for flatter roof types. This means they are best for steep sloped tops with good water drainage.


How to Patch a Leaky Shipping Container Roof

How to Patch a Leaky Shipping Container Roof

In an earlier article we looked at elastomeric roof coatings like Kool Seal to perform some preventative maintenance and to seal small pin holes on shipping container roofs. In addition, the light color roof coatings also reduce the heat island effect and the heat...

Roofing: A Guide to Lead Valley Installation

Roofing: A Guide to Lead Valley Installation

Roof valleys are a frequent source of leaks in older houses. Installation procedures differ depending on the roof type and materials used. We will look here at the basic installation of an open lead lined roof valley.A roof valley is basically a gutter set between two...

How to Make Your Own Clay Roof Tiles

How to Make Your Own Clay Roof Tiles

All too often we tend to look at manufactured products today, and just assume that they were made using some type of complex machinery or, processes that are out of our reach. The truth is however, that quite often this just isn't so, and clay roof tiles are a fine...