What Exactly is a Roof Pitch?
The Denver area is prone to falling leaves in autumn, construction debris from all the new apartments popping up on the skyline, snow in the winter, and hail storms, which can come throughout most of the year.
Due to these factors, your roof’s pitch is essential to the structure, but understanding it is the first step to getting things right.
Your roof pitch is composed of the roof’s slant, slope, and angle.
The pitch of your roof is calculated by measuring the rise in inches next to every horizontal distance in length.
How to Properly Calculate Roof Pitch
A residential roof rising 6 inches for every horizontal foot would be considered a roof pitch of 6/12 when expressed as a ratio.
You can actually take these measurements from inside the attic by measuring the roof rafter length!
First, you will want to measure the bottom of your rafter and then measure again vertically from the initial level to the roof rafter.
If that seems to be complicated, then you can efficiently utilize a roof pitch calculator to determine the vertical rise of your roof pitch, but selecting the correct pitch of a roof is done considering multiple factors, planned roofing materials, projected lifespan of the roof surface, maintenance required, costs, and the overall aesthetics!
How to Know How Much the Roof Rises
Trying to calculate the details can be a little bit tricky when you are not familiar with the process.
But generally, if you are considering roof replacements or new installation, leaning on licensed roofing companies near me is the trick to securing the proper roof pitch and the perfect structure for your property!
What are the Most Common Roof Pitches?
The most typical roof pitch options depend on the roof you are constructing.
Residential roofs usually have conventional slope roofs, meaning the roof slope will sit somewhere between 4/12 and push up towards 9/12.
While this is the average for the fundamental residential roof pitch, some homes can maintain steep slope roofing, anything that exceeds 9/12!
The Average Roof Pitch for Commercial Buildings
A commercial roof generally requires low slope roofs, meaning they have a roof pitch of 2/12 to 4/12.
Any roof under 2/12 is a flat roof, another popular option for commercial buildings throughout the Denver area and large properties across the country, as they are lower-cost options.
Most commercial roof deck options need a minimum pitch of 1/4 inch per foot to have proper drainage options because if things are completely flat, your roof will succumb to the mountain of issues.
The Relationship Established Between Roofing Materials and Roof Pitch
Your roofing material options are tied into the roof slope, and all roof structure components need to work in unison to end up with the perfect system.
Finalizing your roofing materials will always rely on your projected roof pitch. How much your roof rises, whether steep when expressed as a ratio or not, will directly affect which materials work best for the finished product.
- Single-ply options aren’t great when you are planning a steep slope ratio.
- If you are thinking of using asphalt shingles or wood shingles, you will likely want to keep your tape measure in hand because higher-pitch roofs are better.
- Tile is another viable option for a steep-pitch roof, but remember how heavy snowfall and high wind rolling through the Rockies may affect your structure.
While all of these attributes depend on one another, they are also related to outside factors because a residential roof in Littleton will require a steeper pitch than a new high-rise apartment complex going up in Arvada.
How Does Roof Slope Affect Roofing Materials?
When looking at how many inches your roof pitch will be about local building codes and your projected needs – materials play a significant role in the process.
- Modified Bitumen, PVC, TPO, and EPDM are all typical materials for commercial roofing options, but you cannot calculate roof pitch higher than 2/12 for these options.
- Concrete roof tiles and clay roof tiles should see roof rises between 2/12 and 4/12 for adequate stability.
- Asphalt shingles are a traditional option that roofing manufacturers have been creating for many decades. Working with asphalt shingles also provides the most extensive range of vertical rise for your roof pitch. You will generally see these materials used within standard pitches of 4/12 to 9/12.
- Metal roofing remains a popular option for modern households, and most new construction opt for metal roofing materials. Still, you must ensure that your minimum roof pitch sits at least 3.5/12.
How to Know How Much the Roof Rises
Calculating the details can be tricky when you are unfamiliar with the process, but your rise is the vertical leg or measurement from a certain point of your roof to the next.
It is not the same as a horizontal measurement.
You can figure out these details by looking at a right triangle because the rise will be the vertical components, and the run will remain the horizontal ones.
You can simply take measurements from the gutter line up to the 12-inch mark to find the vertical rise!
If you are considering roof replacements or new installations, leaning on licensed roofing companies near me is the trick to securing the proper roof pitch and the perfect structure for your property!
How Does Colorado Weather Affect Roof Pitch?
Many businesses and homeowners across the Denver area are interested in designing a roof that can shed snow and actively avoid a roof damaged by a storm.
The Centennial State’s weather is yet another factor you must consider when attempting to designate the perfect roof pitch.
- Colorado is at a higher altitude than other states, which will affect the structure of your roof.
- Your roof slope is directly related to your roof’s ability to drain water properly, and in CO, we are accustomed to snow, rain, sleet, and hail, so these are significant things to factor in.
Why Opt For a Steeper Slope?
Choosing a steeper slope in the Mile High State can help water, melting snow, and ice to drain quickly.
Your roof pitch essentially creates its own drainage ramp for everything to run into the gutters, but your materials, insulation, and maintenance all play a part in the procedures.
Some clients will opt for roof coverings for the deck to avoid internal roof hail damage.
But keep in mind that low-pitch or low-slope roofs are typically easier to work on for roofing professionals, and the steeper things get, the more complicated they can be and the more materials they require.
What is the Suggested Minimum Roof Pitch for Snow?
Lower-slope roofs will obtain considerable snow because that snow has nowhere to go!
And you don’t want to end up with an ice dam that could have been easily avoided and have to commit to roof repair options.
Most Denverites need a roof pitch of at least 1/12, but find the optimal pitch range between 4/12 and 9/12!
Does A Flat Roof Have Pitches?
Any roofing structure will have a pitch fraction, so yes, even flat roofs have a pitch.
However, you can end up with a minimum slope ratio for flat roofs at .25/12, which is about as flat as things get and makes it difficult to avoid leaks and other forms of roof damage.
Flat roofs typically still have a lower pitch measurement even with commercial property, and paying attention to these measurements and the standard pitch of other commercial buildings in the downtown Denver area is essential when scouring the internet for roofers near me to assist in the project.
Common Roof Pitch Mistakes in the Denver Metro Area
Residents and business owners in the great state of Colorado are not necessarily roofing experts, and that is why leaning on the local experts in your neighborhood is beneficial if you are hoping to install or replace your roof or make changes to your current roof slope.
Paying attention to these habitual mistakes that others have made on their roof pitch may help you in your own journey:
- Choosing roof materials that don’t match your roof pitch.
- Assuming a slope that works for your neighbor will also work for you.
- Ignoring how weather patterns, climate, and altitude affect your roof pitch.
- Trying to take things into your own hands or choosing inexperienced roofers for the installation process.
How to Get a Stress-Free Estimate for Low Slope Roofs?
Looking for roof inspectors nearby is the first step to finding the perfect pitch, materials, and whatever you hope for out of your roofing structure.
Denver Roofing offers estimates for low-slope roofs, standard-slope roofing, and steep-pitch options, too!
Our roofers service residential and commercial clients in the Denver Metroplex and surrounding areas to create seamless, safe, and sturdy roofs that will offer protection for many decades to come.
Contact the Best Roofing Contractors in Denver
Your roof covers your household, family, friends, workplace, employees, and customers daily.
It is meant to protect people and the rest of your property, so it is crucial to ensure every detail is ironed out before committing to major changes, repairs, or installation.
Denver Roofing is a local, licensed, and experienced roofing contractor in the Mile High City.
Our roofing crew will ensure your roof pitch is perfect as we specialize in low and steep-slope roofs of various materials.
Contact our roofers to schedule your free roof inspection and roofing solutions that ensure the right pitch and materials for you!
Common FAQs Within the Roofing Industry
What is an example of a pitched roof?
The roof pitch is commonly referred to as the roof slope, which examines the vertical rise per inch in contrast to the horizontal distance per foot.
An example would be 4/12 roof pitch meaning the roof is rising 4 inches vertically for each foot of length horizontally!
What is the purpose of a pitched roof?
Having a pitched roof affects all aspects of the roof’s functions and helps with drainage, dirt, debris, etc.
A steep slope offers more stability in rain, sleet, and snow!
What is the disadvantage of a pitched roof?
There are always pros and cons to steeper pitches, but evaluating them is crucial when deciding on your roof rise.
- Pitched roofs will often be more vulnerable to leaks than a flat surface.
- They also commonly end up with moss, algae, and other plant growth on the roof surface.
- Roof flashing can easily become damaged and create further issues for the structure.
Are pitched roofs expensive?
Pitched roof systems are inevitably more expensive than a low slope roof.
While cost comparisons can be similar, there is typically more surface area for flat roofs as they are used for commercial properties and less for residential, depending on the building stats.
Building a minimum roof pitch or low slop options requires fewer materials and less complexity, producing a faster timeline and fewer labor costs to complete the project.
What is the average pitch of a roof in Colorado?
The average roof pitch in Colorado is the conventional pitch across the country from 4/12 to 9/12.
However, another 7/12 is considered a steep slope ratio, which can include additional costs.
Is a single-pitch roof cheaper?
Roofs can have multiple pitches, and a single-pitch roof signifies one surface area for the entire roof, which is common in contemporary architecture.
It is the most logical roof style economically if you work on a confined budget because the construction is simple.
How much does it cost to slope a roof?
If you are asking yourself – does roof pitch seem like a better option for me?
Considering how it may affect your wallet, it is essential.
On average, transforming a flat roof into a pitched option can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $57,000.
What is the most attractive roof pitch?
While a basic roof pitch calculator cannot determine what is most aesthetically pleasing to you, the answer to this question is entirely subjective.
Most people throughout the Denver metroplex and surrounding suburbs from Boulder to Parker rate a roof slope 4/12 as the most attractive option.
What is the standard slope for a roof?
There isn’t necessarily one set standard pitch for roofs nationwide.
However, in snow-prone regions and states like Colorado, you will see common roof pitches from 3/12 to 6/12 inches.
What is a good roof slope?
Determining a good slope for your roof type will usually fall somewhere between 4/12 and 9/12.
Still, the final slope or slopes chosen should be carefully formulated for your property with a roofing professional like Denver Roofing!
What does a 4/12 roof slope mean?
If your roof slope is 4/12, this means that your roof has a vertical change of 4 inches upon rising for every 12 inches of run.
What is the standard inclination of a roof?
The standard inclination of your roof is simply the standard pitch of the average home or commercial building.
These standards have been developed through the experience of the roofs that have come before yours and can vary moderately depending on the region you live in, roofing materials, environmental impacts, etc.