Does a Roof Need to Be a Certain Pitch to Install Shingles?
When in the market for new roofing materials, the possibilities seem endless — asphalt or composite shingles, metal roofing or cedar wood shingles. Before deciding on your home's new roofing material, it's essential to understand how the qualities of your roof affect the materials you can consider. While cedar shingles are a dynamic, durable and attractive roofing option, the angle of your roof's pitch may affect your ability to use them.
Understanding minimum roof pitch requirements is crucial to ensure your roof provides adequate protection and adheres to building codes. When you have an existing cedar roof, the professionals at Cedar Roof Coatings can inspect and repair your cedar shingles to help protect your home and preserve your roof's natural beauty.
Below, we'll discuss roof pitch, how to calculate it and the minimum pitch for a shingle roof.
What Is Roof Pitch?
The roof pitch is the angle, slope or slant of your roof. The roof's pitch helps roofing professionals estimate the number of materials needed to complete the roofing and decide on the best roofing materials for the job.
There are two main types of roofing slopes — a steep slope and a low slope. Most homes are considered steep pitch, ranging from four-pitch to nine-pitch, but more dramatic rooflines may have roof slopes of 10-pitch to 21-pitch.
Low slopes are more typically used in commercial properties, but in the 1960s, it was trendy to build homes with low-pitch roofs with just a bit of slope to allow for drainage. A low-pitched roof will appear flat or with a faintly perceptible slope, while a high-pitched roof will have a steep, sharply angled roofing with peaks, such as those featured in Victorian homes.
For determining how much material your roof will require, typically for steep slopes, the cedar shingles will have greater exposure to weather, and the roofer will want to purchase more materials so each shingle has lessened exposure.
How to Calculate Roof Pitch
The roof pitch is the angle of a roof given in a fraction, determined by its slope or rise over run. To calculate roof pitch, professionals use a simple algebra equation for calculating slope. When it comes to the slope of a cedar roof, the pitch is determined by how many inches the slope rises every 12 horizontal inches.
By dividing the rise by the run and multiplying it by 12 (or rise/run x 12), you can determine its pitch. For example, if the roof increases in height by 4 inches over a span of 1 horizontal foot, then you have a four-in-12 pitch or just a four-pitch. The greater the rise, the steeper the pitch of the roof. Whereas a roof with a 2/12 pitch has a very small pitch, a 12/12 roof will have a very steep pitch.
While it may be simple to calculate slope, taking measurements from a roof can be challenging. Attempting it is also dangerous and unhelpful, as you'll need to measure the run and rise instead of the length of the roofline to get an accurate number.
The best and safest way to do this is to call professionals like Cedar Roof Coatings. We can determine your roof's pitch by examining the rafters and ceiling joints that create your roof's shape from the attic or safely inspect it from the roof. With the correct measurements, professionals can employ the equation above to determine the best roofing materials and the amount needed for the job.
What Is the Minimum Pitch for a Shingle Roof?
The minimum slope for a shingle roof ranges from three-pitch to nine-pitch. Shingles require a specific pitch to work correctly. In fact, the National Roofing Contractors Association advises only using shingles on roofs within this range to prevent leaks and protect roofs, especially in regions that experience high annual snowfall and rain.
Wood shingles are more susceptible to leaks than composite or asphalt shingles because they don’t lock as tightly or lay as flat as traditional shingles. The shingles overlap and therefore require a steeper pitch to allow water to flow in a single downward direction.
A steeper roof pitch will prevent the buildup of snow, sleet and ice on the roof. A flat roof can cause snow and ice to gather rather than slide off as it melts. A buildup can lead to structural damage and even cause the roof to collapse, making it essential to understand minimum roof pitch codes and regulations in your area and call upon professionals like Cedar Roof Coatings for professional routine roof maintenance.
A cedar roof in the nine- to 12-pitch range is ideal for preventing water from entering your home. At the same time, low-slope roofs are becoming more popular as they're safer to maintain and repair. For instance, a cedar roof with a minimum roof pitch of 5/12 is ideal for many homeowners because it allows professionals to provide maintenance and repairs safely.
Call for Professional Cedar Roofing Solutions
If your home features a low-slope roof with a minimum roof pitch of 5/12, you can still install the cedar roof of your dreams. In high-moisture climates, low-slope roofs require additional care and maintenance from professionals like Cedar Roof Coatings to ensure excess water does not enter your home.
Maintenance is essential to prevent pine needles, leaves and other debris from accumulating and promoting algae or moss growth, which can damage your roof. Periodic cedar roof cleaning and treatments can help avoid these issues.
We can also repair damaged shingles to ensure your roof looks stunning while protecting your family from the elements.
Cedar Roof Maintenance and Repair With Cedar Roof Coatings
Knowing the pitch of a roof is crucial to choosing the suitable roofing material, from asphalt to metal or cedar roof shingles. Whether you've installed cedar shingles on a 5/12 roof or a 9/12 roof, professionals can routinely inspect it and repair it as needed to help it look brand new.
At Cedar Roof Coatings, we want to help you maintain a beautiful cedar roof that will let your home stand out in the neighborhood. We’re a family-owned and operated company working with residents throughout Fairfield County, CT, Westchester County, NY and beyond. We specialize in cedar roof inspections, repair, maintenance and preservation.
We guarantee you’ll receive responsive and friendly services from local experts utilizing the best tools and knowledge in the industry. Get started with your new cedar roofing project today by calling us at 203-847-5740 or completing our online contact form to receive a free project estimate.