What is the importance of roof pitch?
Simply put, roof pitch is the measurement of the angle, or the steepness, of your roof. Because it is one of the many key elements that determine the safety of the roof over your head, there is a very good reason to understand the purpose of roof pitch.
The pitch of your roof is determined by the measurement of the vertical rise by the horizontal run. That is to say, the roof pitch (expressed as a ratio) tells you how many inches the roof rises for every 12 inches of depth. So, let’s say a roof rises 6 inches for every 12 inches in depth towards the peak. The roof pitch would be described as a 6:12 pitch.
The primary reason roof pitch exists in the first place is to redirect water. It is an essential element to ensure water drains properly off of your roof. The pitch of your roof also helps determine the type of materials that can be used on your roofing system. Roofing materials are designed specifically to be compatible with the pitch of the roof. Special application processes are used depending upon the roof’s pitch. In addition, roof pitch determines the walkability of your roof, which is very important when roof maintenance is required.
There are two main types of roof pitch to choose from when deciding what roof will be best for your home: low pitch and high pitch roofs. Below, we detail common pros and cons of each roof pitch variation. These factors are important to consider before moving forward with the building of your roof.
Low Pitch Roof
- Since a low pitch roof doesn’t require as many shingles, more often than not, a low pitch roof will end up being more cost-efficient during installation.
- The lower pitch of the roof means greater walkability. Low pitch roofs are safer and easier to access when maintenance and/or repairs are needed.
- Especially for homes in the south, a low pitch roof means a cooler interior. There isn’t as much extra space to heat and cool with lower pitched roofs, so it easier to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
- Due to the gradual low slope of this type of roof, rainfall will not drain as effectively. This may eventually cause leaks and other damage.
- Since the pitch of the roof is lower, it can act as a catch-all for tree limbs and other debris. Care must be given so that debris does not collect and thus cause damage.
- The ratio between width and height is much smaller with a low pitch roof. Therefore, attic space can be at a premium with a low pitch roof.
High Pitch Roof
- Although walkability is lower with high pitched roofs, overall, they require less maintenance and upkeep. This helps offset the slightly higher installation price tag of a high pitched roof.
- The greater height to width ratio of high pitch roofs allows water to drain easier. This keeps moisture and tree rubbish, like branches, from collecting on your roof and causing damage.
- Along with being more aesthetically pleasing in residential areas, higher pitched roofs mean more space for attic storage, a second story loft, or decorative gables.
- Due to a steeper grade of roof pitch, high pitch roofs are not as easy and safe to access when maintenance/inspection is required. This can make maintenance costs a bit higher for high pitched roofs. A tradeoff for fewer maintenance calls, compared to their low pitch counterparts.
- High pitch roofs require more shingles to fully cover the roofs’ surface. This means that generally speaking, high pitch roofs are more expensive to install.
- With more attic space comes more space to heat and cool. This can mean it is difficult, and often times more expensive to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
It is important to consider the various aspects of your roof in order to make an informed decision. No matter the pitch of your roof, it is always best to choose an insured, experienced, reputable company to help address your roofing needs. If you live in the greater Athens area, DeLaurier Roofing & Renovation would love the opportunity to serve you in such a way.