The Difference Between Pitch and Slope

Screen_Shot_2014-12-15_at_4.34.54_PMAlthough the terms “pitch” and “slope” are often used interchangeably, they have two different meanings. The pitch is the measurement of the rise of the roof to the span of the roof and is expressed as a fraction. The span of the roof is the distance from one wall’s top plate to another wall’s top plate, stretching across the length of the roof. The slope is the measurement of the rise of the roof to the run of the roof, and is expressed as inches per foot in a ratio format. The run is the measurement from the outside of one wall’s top plate to a point directly below the center of the ridge (picture a right triangle). The pitch of the roof pertains more to the actual construction of the house whereas the slope is more relevant to the roofing of your house.

Understanding Your Roof’s Pitch and Slope

By knowing the pitch of your roof, you will know what type of products can be used and the best ways to go about applying them. For example, a roof with a pitch of 2/12 – 3/12 will work best with 3 Tab shingles, the roofing most commonly found on homes in Jacksonville. Roofs with pitches above 3/12 often use architectural shingles or modified bitumen materials. Also, the pitch is what is taken into consideration when determining if your roof follows the building codes.

As a homeowner, it’s not crucial to know the exact measurement of your roof’s slope. The important things to know are the effects of a low slope roof and a steep slope roof.

  • Low Slope: These types of roofs (anything under 3:12) have increasingly shown Jacksonville homeowners issues. While low slope roofs are less susceptible to wind damage, they are prone to water damage because it takes longer for rainfall to shed off the roof. Modified, TPO and metal roofing are ideal materials for low slope roofs. If you have a flat roof, you can install an ISO board. An ISO board is a structural piece that provides insulation and makes the slope tapered. Homeowners often find the addition of an ISO board prolongs the lifespan of the roof.

  • Steep Slope: While the cost of the materials and labor to reroof a steep slope roof is more expensive, the longevity is incomparable to that of a low slope roof. Water sheds off these roofs quickly due to the steepness which means there is a decreased chance of water damage and leakage. However, these roofs are susceptible to wind damage because wind will often go underneath the shingles. Homeowners with steep slope roofs have more of a variety in roofing materials than homeowners with low slope roofs.

Custom Metal Roofing

21.jpgRegardless of the pitch or slope of your roof, custom metal work is a great choice in roofing material. AJ Wells Roofing Contractors is one of the few companies in Northeast Florida, and the only one in Jacksonville, that offers fabricate standing seam metal roofing panels on site. Custom work ensures homeowners that their roofing was designed and installed specifically to meet their home’s needs. Some of the benefits of metal roofs are:

  • Most panels are compatible with low slope roof systems

  • Energy efficiency

  • Sustainability

  • Fire and wind resistant

  • Lightweight

  • Durability

  • Available in a variety of colors

Our team of contractors are well equipped and knowledgeable on all kinds of roofs, of all pitches and slopes. You can trust our team to provide you with quality roofing services and do our best to meet your expectations. If you are ready to schedule a service appointment or a free roofing estimate contact us here or give us a call at 904-553-0069.

Get Your Roof Inspected for FREE

Request a FREE roof inspection, and protect your family and your home investment this hurricane season.