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Articles Archive for the Interstate Roofing blog. We serve the Portland & Vancouver metro areas with residential, commercial and repair, call 503 684-5611

Do Roof Pitch Styles Affect Material Options or Installation?

Upgrading your roof isn’t something you do every day. Depending on the roof materials you select, you might only invest in a new roof once in a lifetime.

That makes your roof selection an important process.

For many homeowners, the process starts by looking at materials or color. And while both of those are important to create curb appeal, the final selection also depends on your home’s style.

You have many choices when it comes to roofing material selection: asphalt, composite, wood shake, rubber, tile, metal, and more. But it’s more than an economic or color decision; it also depends on roof pitch styles or the slope of the roof of your home.

What is pitch?

Pitch is the term used in the roofing industry to describe the angle or slope of your roof. Roof pitch is comprised of two numbers in the form of a ratio. You’ll see it expressed either with a slash – 5/12 or 8/12 – or with a colon – 5:12 or 8:12. Either way, the numerator and denominator work together to tell you the pitch of the roof.

The numerator refers to the height of the roof.

The denominator refers to the length measurement of the roof.

To keep everything relatable, the industry will always rank with a denominator of 12. Therefore a roof pitch will always be referred to as how much rise there is in the roof over a 12 unit horizontal distance.

For the roof pitch styles from above, for example, the 5/12 means that for every 12 horizontal feet of change, the roof rises 5 feet vertically. For the 8/12, it moves 8 feet in vertical rise for every 12 feet of horizontal space.

With most homes, roof pitch styles range from 4/12 to 8/12, with the lower being a moderate rise and 8/12 being a fairly steep ratio. But roof pitch can have a lot more variation.

A 1/2/12 roof would be almost flat. You might find a low pitched roof on a modern home where the slope is barely there; just enough to allow water to flow. A 12/12 roof would slope at a 45-degree angle. Old Victorian homes often have sharply angled roofs with a steep pitch and, in some cases, they can even move beyond the 12/12 ratio.

Why roof pitch is important?

The roof pitch is important for two reasons.

One, in order to estimate correctly for the amount of material needed for the job, you must have an accurate measurement of the pitch of the roof.

Two, not all materials are suited for the roof. By knowing the pitch, you’ll have a better understanding of the roofing materials that will work best on your home over time.

When a roof is perfectly flat, the calculation for materials is simple: width times length.

As a roof rises, the different pitches require more material to compensate for the slope. The industry has tables for slope factor based on the angles of your home to help determine the extra materials needed. In our examples above, a 5/12 pitch would have a slope factor of 1.085. Use this to multiply with your answer from width times length and you’ll have an accurate measurement of how much material you’ll need.

Roof shapes have evolved over time. Head back hundreds or even thousands of years and you’ll find roofs were made from very simple materials. Straw, mud, grass, wood – only gradually did they start learning the benefits of using different materials and to gently slope the roof for protection.

Flat roofs make sense on some structures. But if you make it perfectly flat, water has nowhere to go. Even a gentle slope is needed for proper drainage. Angles help control the elements and give a building style. But no matter how much you like a particular material, some homes simply aren’t meant for some types of roofs.

Roof Pitch Styles

Low Pitch – these are the safest roofs. They are easy to walk around on and easy to perform maintenance. But they are also more prone to leaks and require more frequent inspections. That’s why you won’t find a lot of low pitched roofs where weather is extreme – both water and snow buildup can be detrimental and put a building at risk. Low pitch is usually the design of choice on modern, sleek, contemporary homes.

Flat roofs cannot be covered with traditional materials such as shakes or asphalt shingles since there isn’t enough pitch to combat damage from wind. Flat roofs are limited to more commercial-grade roofing applications, such as tar and gravel, rubber, or roll roofing.

Medium Pitch – this is where most home roofing systems lie. A medium-pitch gives you ample choices in materials while providing enough slope to keep rain and snow from accumulating on the roof. While it still needs periodic inspections, this is where most roofing choices exist.

If you prefer clay or cement tiles, they can be installed on roof pitches from 2.5/12 up to 20/12. However, for flatter roofs 2.5/12 to 4/12, it is recommended that they are installed with an underlayment to handle the extra weight.

A vast amount of the choices fall into the 4/12 to 20/12 range. This is where asphalt or composite shingles are, which are the most popular types of roofing options on the market today.

If you like the look of wood or slate shingles, they need a more gentle sloping roof, with roof pitches in the 5/12 to 12/12 angles working best.

High Pitch – these are the most expensive roofs to install, but also give dramatic architectural elements. A contractor cannot work on a high pitch slope without safety gear, so more cost will go into it for both repairs and renovation.

Other Considerations

Your final selection will also determine which warranties are in place and how long your roofing materials will last. Be sure to ask about both material and workmanship warranties as the two are often separate.

If green building is important, roof pitch can impact your final selection. Consider both the shingle material and any underlayment necessary to complete the job.

Also investigate fire ratings for the different types of roof pitch styles, especially if you are in an at-risk area.

So what type of house do you currently own? What type of roofing are you interested in? Knowing the roof pitch plays an important part in the selection process; what questions can we answer to help you make your final selection?

What to Expect After Scheduling an Appointment for Roof Repair in Portland

Is your roof a mess and in need of a repair? If so, you’ve likely scheduled an appointment with a roofing contractor. So what comes next? With three decades of experience providing roof repair in Portland, Interstate Roofing has developed a refined process for answering a call for service. We’ll tell you what to expect after you’ve scheduled an appointment with us. We’re an upfront company that will leave you with no hidden surprises.

Emergency Service

The first thing you can expect is quick service. Interstate Roofing is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days out of the year. Emergency rates may apply, but we will be there for you whenever you need assistance.

If you’re sleeping soundly in bed and awake to a leaky roof that’s dripping on you in the middle of the night, we’ll be there in no time. We’ll provide a quick and thorough solution to the problem so that you can sleep soundly with the peace of mind that you won’t experience a repeat episode anytime soon.

Consistent Pricing

In addition to prompt attention and quick repair service, you can also expect consistent pricing. Interstate Roofing understands how frustrating it can be when you place a call for service and have no idea how much the total bill will be. We’ve been in business for a while so we’ve developed consistent pricing so that our customers have a better idea of how much they’ll pay.

Here’s a quick overview. The first thing to know is that we do not offer free estimates for minor repairs. The good news is that we can guarantee the cost of minor repairs will be under $725. Our minimum service call charge is $275, which covers the first hour of labor. So for minor repairs, you can expect to pay between $275 to $725. If we go beyond the first hour of labor, we will charge $150 for our standard two-man crew. Materials are an additional charge.

Interstate Roofing will provide a quote for larger repairs or roof replacement. However, it’s important to note that Interstate Roofing cannot guarantee repair on a roof that was not initially installed by us. However, if our initial repair work doesn’t fix the issue, we’ll reassess the situation and each additional hour of work will be billed at the $150 rate (the minimum service call charge of $275 will be waived).

Quality Work & Professional Service

In addition to full disclosure of our pricing, we can guarantee quality work and professional service. There’s a reason we’ve been in business for three decades. It’s because of the exceptional level of service and repair work that we provide. With Interstate Roofing, you can expect honest, professional advice and quality repairs that stand the test of time. Just take a look at some of our reviews here. We also have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau so you can be confident in hiring us to perform your roof repair.

So what if your leaky roof isn’t a quick fix? Wondering what you’ll do in the meantime? Not to worry. We’ll find a temporary fix while we work on a more permanent solution. For instance, we may tarp the area to prevent further water damage while we assess the issue to determine the best way to proceed. We’ll talk you through your available options.

If a more costly repair is necessary, such as a roof replacement, we’ll provide you with a thorough estimate. We’ll also provide you with a time frame for the project completion. We’ll communicate with you every step of the way so you know exactly what the project will entail.

Set Expectations

Once you’ve selected us for your roof repair in Portland, there are a few things to keep in mind as we begin work on your roof. The first thing to know is that there’s likely to be some noise. You’ll want to arrange for us to do the work at a time that’s least disruptive to you and your family.

If you’re sensitive to noise or vibrations, you may even want to consider spending some time in another location while we work to repair your roof. You should also remove any valuable artwork or photos from the walls so that they are not damaged or disturbed by any vibrations or movement during the repair work.

In addition to protecting items on the walls, you’ll also want to protect any patio furniture or belongings that you keep outdoors. We will take precautions to protect your valuables by covering items with tarps and other protective materials. However, you should take extra care with valuable items like cars, boats, lawn mowers, and anything else you want to ensure is kept free from harm’s way. The same goes for any valuables you have in your attic. You can expect that there will be some debris during the project so it’s best to protect your belongings before the repairs get started.

In general, during the project, you should be extra cautious when moving around your house. While we take every safety precaution, you should be aware of your surroundings since your property will essentially be a construction zone during the duration of the project. If you have any concerns, address them with your roofing contractor before the project begins or as soon as your concerns arise.

Roof repair work is a major undertaking and one that’s best left to the professionals. Working on a roof can be dangerous and isn’t worth risking your safety. Instead, hire a trusted company to do the repair work.

Given our extensive experience in roof repair in Portland, we’re sure we’re the right contractor for the job. If you have additional questions, give us a call. We’re here for you every step of the way, even before your roof repair work begins.