Is a Low-Slope Roof More Likely to Leak?

August 13, 2021

When you are having a roof installed or repaired, one of the biggest fears is probably having a leak occur soon after. Leaks in roofing can cause serious damage to not only the roof itself but the room and property the roof is covering. Issues like leaks can happen to any type of roof, but if you have a low-slope roof, you may be wondering if yours is more likely to experience this unfortunate situation.

Low-slope roofs have many benefits, but they also have a few potential risks. One of those risks is being more susceptible to leaking. Leaking can be more common in these types of roofs simply due to the way they are built.

Even though there’s a slightly higher risk than a roof with a greater slope, there are many things you can do to ensure that your low-slope roof remains leak-free, like working with the right professionals. People who work with experts like Interstate Roofing to have their roofs installed, repaired, and maintained can attest to the difference it makes when you have knowledgeable and skilled people to assist you.
Read on to learn more about low-slope roofs and how to keep them from experiencing leakage.

What Is a Low-Slope Roof?

After hearing that low-slope roofs may be more susceptible to leaking, you’re probably wondering if your roof is considered low-slope. Not many people know what kind of roof their house or property has, but knowing can help you to take preventative measures against leaks.
When you’re trying to figure out if you have a low-slope roof, you need to know what a roof pitch is. Roof pitch is the angle of your roof, and that angle relates to how much of a slope your roof has. Though it may be tempting to get on the roof and figure this measurement out yourself, you should avoid doing anything you don’t have the skills or equipment to do safely. A professional will be able to tell you what your roof pitch is and determine if it’s a low-slope roof.

A low-slope roof is one that is not steep enough to put shingles on and has below a 3:12 roof pitch. This ratio means that for every horizontal foot that the roof measures, it goes up no more than three inches vertically. If your professional roofing company tells you that your roof is measuring to this size or lower, then you’ll know you have a low-slope roof.

What Causes Leaks in Low-Slope Roofs?

There are a variety of reasons why leaks can occur more often in low-slope roofs. One of the most common causes is poor drainage. Unlike roofs with a high slope ratio, low-slope roofs are more prone to having water or snow sit on their surfaces. The lack of slope makes it easier for liquids to collect on the roof and can cause damage to an area. As the water pools in one spot, that spot of the roof becomes weaker and weaker, breaks down the roof’s compounds, and eventually finds its way into your home.

Another reason why low-slope roofs can be prone to leaking is due to a damaged membrane. When not taken care of properly and as a roof ages, it can form cracks and splits on its surfaces. These cracks are the perfect space for water to seep through to the insulation of the roof. As that liquid builds up in the insulation, leaking will begin to happen indoors.

How Can I Decrease My Risk?

One way to help decrease the risk of leaking for your low-slope roof is to schedule regular maintenance. Professional roofing companies often have maintenance programs available for customers so that their roofs can be thoroughly inspected on a semi-regular basis. At Interstate Roofing, the maintenance agreement program is designed to help customers prolong the life of their roofs through preventative maintenance.

For instance, if there is water pooling on your roof or damaged material, having preventative maintenance can help to catch that problem before any serious damage occurs. Without having those frequent checkups, home and building owners often don’t realize there is an issue until costly damage has been done and the roof is in need of large, expensive repairs.

Joining a maintenance program has other benefits too that can come in handy when it comes to leaking roofs. Many roofs and their materials have the option to be under warranty, which protects you in the case of an emergency. Though those warranties are useful, they often have requirements to remain active, and those requirements usually include maintaining some kind of regular maintenance or having an inspection of the roof completed. These types of programs protect your roof and your warranty, which may help you to avoid costly repairs down the road.

How to Find the Right Professionals

Because one of the reasons low-slope roof leaking occurs is due to poor installation, finding the right professionals to install, repair, and maintain your roof is important. Not everyone with a ladder and some tools is qualified to do work on your roof, so going through a thorough vetting process when searching for a roofing company is in your best interest.

When looking for a professional roofing company to work in your area, you should start by looking into how long they’ve been in business. Local businesses typically don’t last long in an area if they aren’t doing good work, so having a few decades of experience can speak greatly to the reputation and quality of a company.

Another thing you can look into is what type of credentials they have. A good roofing company will often have certificates, awards, and certifications that they readily boast about on their website. Lastly, you can rely on the reviews of others to help you make a decision. Ask your friends and neighbors who they use for their roofing needs and if they have been satisfied with their work. You can also check online for reviews from customers and testimonials on the business’s website.