One key factor in determining the type of roofing material to be used on a home or building is the slope of its roof. Not every material can be installed by a roofing company on every building. Although both low and steep slope designs offer a number of benefits, roofers find that steeper slopes generally provide greater benefit, especially in home design.
Low and Steep Slopes - What Is the Difference?
The angle of a roof’s pitch is known as its slope. Most single-family homes are designed with a steep pitch. Yet some, such as duplexes and attached homes in urban areas, may have flat or technically a low sloping design. Low or no-slope designs are those with 14 degrees or less slope.
Steep designs are those with angles of greater than 14 degrees up to as great as 45 degrees. Therefore, the type of roofing materials that a roofing company will install on a structure differ based on a number of pitch-related pros and cons.
Steep Roofing - Pros
Following are some of the benefits of steep roofing:
- Pitched home roof designs have been around since the beginning of home building as this is an effective design to keep moisture out. The greater the structural angle of the roof, the faster it sheds rain and snow, allowing the roofing material to dry out faster.
- Generally speaking, the steeper a design is, the lower the chances that you will experience ice damming with shingles when water rolls right off your house. Easier water shedding also reduces the likelihood of mold or algae growth or shingle rot due to high moisture conditions. Most roofers also find that steep slope structures that are properly kept up require less cleaning maintenance than lower slope roofs.
- Steep slope design can be more energy efficient than low slope since the sun beats down indirectly at an angle, as opposed to directly overhead on low slope installations. As a result, decomposition due to UV exposure is somewhat reduced in comparison to low slopes, which require more preventive maintenance by a roofing company to protect them.
- Steep pitch design also gives homeowners the widest choice of materials for roofers to install. Pitched systems made from asphalt shingles, wood shingles and shakes, ceramic or concrete tile, metal panels and shingles, and a variety of synthetic materials can all be used on steep pitches, which promotes fast water drainage.
Steep Roofing - Cons
Following are some of the disadvantages of steep roofing:
- The biggest downside with this type of roof is that roofing materials can be harder to install compared to a low slope roof.
- Pitched design allows for less usable space inside a building. The space inside the pitch is normally sectioned off as an attic, while a building with low slope construction would have a full, usable floor. Overall, these negatives are minimal when compared to the many benefits that steep slope design offers.
Based on the above findings, it is easy to see why steep slope roofing is preferable for so many homes. It is easier to control moisture, which can be damaging to roofs in a wide variety of ways. Steep sloped design is also more energy efficient, especially when roofers install green materials like ceramic tile or energy efficient shingles.
Added to this is the fact that homeowners have a much wider choice in attractive and suitable materials that most any professional roofing company can install!