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What You Need to Know About Roof Pitches

HS RoofClad

The Concept

Due to varying styles of available roofs, the concept behind a roof pitch is to calculate the measurements of steepness prior to construction, as to determine whether it will be flat or in some way elevated.

 

Design and Construction

When it comes to designing and constructing either a new building or a new roof for an existing building, the roof pitch is an aspect that requires serious consideration. Certain factors will need to be well thought out such as the geographical location of your building, the materials that are required and the aesthetics that are going to give the desired results.

As a minimum, a roof pitch should be at 15°, however this is dependent on your geographical location and the materials proposed to be used. Any roof structure with a pitch exceeding 70° will technically be referred to as a wall, and a roof structure with a pitch of 6° or lower will be considered a flat roof.

 

The Preferred Roof Type

Roofing contractors will commonly prefer to construct a pitched roof over a flat roof, and this is mainly due to the prevention of rainwater pooling on the roof space – this can occur occasionally when a blockage in the rainwater system is apparent on a flat roofing structure.

 

Helpful Terminology

Many contractors will use different terminology and you may have heard roof pitch being discussed with terms such as ‘incline angle’ or ‘slope’, which both also describe the measurement of steepness. The preferred industry term is ‘pitch’ and is commonly used with inches, i.e. the roof pitch is determined by how many inches the slope rises for every 12 inches that it runs horizontally.

When discussing the minimum roof pitch, this refers to the lowest angle at which a roof can be constructed to ensure that it remains watertight. As materials are selected, is important to note the specific recommendations of pitch that are established by manufacturers to protect the roof from water penetration.

Another industry term is ‘mono-pitched’ and this commonly refers to a roof addition that is generally smaller than the existing roof. Mono-pitched roofs are commonly located at a similar height to the ceiling and in many scenarios the ceiling line will be raked to follow the roof pitch maximising the use of space – this is where the association of the name ‘lean-to’ is derived from.

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