If you are having the roof of your property replaced or are having a new home built, your building and/or roofing contractors will have discussed the issue of the proposed roof pitch. But what is roof pitch and why is it so important to the overall well being of your roof?
What is Roof Pitch?
The pitch of a roof is, in basic terms a measurement of its slope by reference to the angle between the walls of the house and the roof. In other words, it is a measurement of the roof’s steepness. The pitch of a roof is measured by reference to the degree of its vertical elevation against the horizontal plane. For instance, if a particular roof goes up be three inches per foot, its pitch would be expressed as 3:12. This is expressed as such because the roof would rise by four inches over ever 12 inches.
The Importance of Pitch
Certain roofing materials are designed with a particular pitch in mind. Constructing a roof with a pitch that is incompatible with the specification of the roofing system not only risks leaving the property with a roof that will be ineffective, causing widespread damage, but may also have the effect of invalidating any applicable guarantees. In general terms, the higher the pitch of a roof, the longer he roof is likely to survive without the need for repair, renovation or replacement. There are three main reasons for this. Firstly, rain tends to run off a steep roof more quickly than roofs of a lesser pitch. Secondly, a steep roof is less exposed to the effects of UV rays. Finally, a roof with a steep pitch is more likely to withstand strong winds. It is no surprise that many of the buildings that survive hurricane conditions are those with steeper roofs. (This may explain why churches (which historically have steep roofs) often survive where other buildings do not.
What About Flat Roofs?
In fact, there is no such thing as a flat roof. All roofs need some degree of slope to drain water from them. The smallest pitch for a roof is around one quarter of an inch per foot and whilst a roof with such a small pitch might lookflat, in reality it is not. Even such a small pitch still allows for water to drain off the roof. If you have a flat roof but water is not draining from it you risk damage to both the roof and the interior of your home and it is advisable to contact a local roofing contractor to carry out an early inspection.
If you are having your roof replaced it is important to raise the issue of pitch with your roofing contractor. Ask about the proposed pitch and why this is considered to be appropriate to your specific roofing project. A professional roofer will be quite happy to explain this to you so that you can be satisfied that the issue of the roof’s pitch has been given thought and the right decision made for your individual roofing system.
If you have any concerns about your roof or are considering having a replacement roof installed, do not hesitate to contact our South Devon Roofers for a free no obligation inspection.