There are many different roofing materials and systems that roofing services can install. When trying to choose the best type of roof for your home, you naturally want something durable and attractive that needs low maintenance. First you must consider the pitch of your roof. Pitch is one of the important factors contractors must consider when determining which materials to use for a new roof installation.
What Is Roof Pitch?
Pitch is the angle of the sides or slopes of your roof. In designating pitch, roofing services refer to a ratio of two numbers, the vertical height or numerator and the horizontal length or denominator.
By using this formula to determine a pitch measurement of n:d; or for example, 5:12. This means that for every 12 horizontal length, the surface lowers (or raises) by 5 feet. A pitch of 2:12 is nearly flat, while 10:12 is an extreme angle. With this formula, contractors can measure the pitch of your roof and use appropriate materials for your installation.
How Does Pitch Affect Performance?
The two main factors that affect the performance of roofing materials and the type of maintenance they require are water and wind resistance. The higher the pitch and the greater the angle, the more easily the installation can shed water. So a flatter installation must be more watertight, while a higher pitch can be breathable.
Oppositely, a taller pitch is affected by high winds while a flatter one is not. To compensate for such issues, roofing services are limited as to the material they can use on different building types so it performs well and remains protective.
Different Materials for Different Pitches
Based on the different ways that wind and moisture affect materials at different pitches, there are some basic rules to follow when choosing material. Flat and low-slope installations require a membrane or built up system that protects against slowly draining water by forming a complete barrier over the top of the building. This type of system is not suitable for pitches over 3:12 because there is no effective way to attach them.
Shingles and metal panels can be installed whenever there is a pitch of 4:12 or greater, which facilitates water drainage. Because they are more susceptible to leaks and roofing maintenance issues than asphalt shingles, wood shakes and slate shingles should only be installed on pitches of 5:12 or greater.
Wind and Roof Pitch
When considering wind resistance, mid-range pitches experience the least effect from wind, while both taller and lower pitches may experience greater effects. In these cases, contractors can choose from a variety of systems with varying degrees of wind resistance to match the pitch and withstand stronger winds.
When you need to arrange for a new roof installation on your home, be sure to discuss options with experienced roofing services that understand roof pitch. Depending on the architecture of your home and if strong winds are a concern, you can choose material that will protect and stand up to the elements. Materials chosen based on pitch and angle will perform better, reducing the need for extra roofing maintenance as the roof will stay dry and functional through its service life!