You may think that a homeowner’s choice in roofing material is a matter of personal preference. People pick the style that looks the best and stays within their budget, right?
Personal taste and affordability are only two considerations that determine the right roofing materials. The real determining factor is the roof pitch. When you are thinking about updating your roof in the Greater St. Louis area, it is crucial that you keep the pitch in mind.
Roof pitch refers to the angle or slope of the roof on a particular house. If the pitch is too high or low for a specific material, it simply will not offer the same level of protection.
We think of pitch as a ratio of vertical height to horizontal length. To make things easy, we always measure the length in units of 12 feet. Therefore, a pitch of 5:12, for example, means that a roof has five vertical feet for every 12 horizontal feet.
A roof with a lower pitch of 2:12 has relatively little slope compared to a more dramatically angled roof with a pitch of 18:12. Most of today’s residential roofs are constructed with pitches between 4:12 and 8:12.
Here is a quick reference for which roofing materials are best suited for common pitches, from nearly flat roofs to ones with angles of 45 degrees and below:
.25:12 – 3:12 Built-up (Tar and Gravel) Roofing, Rubber Membrane (EPDM), Torch-Down, and Standing-Seam Metal
2.5:12 – 19:12 Clay or Cement Tiles
4:12 – 20:12 Asphalt (Composite) Shingles
5:12 – 12:12 Wood or Slate Shingles
Learn more about the best way to choose a roof in the Greater St. Louis area. The pitch of your roof will determine the best materials to use.