Recommended Roof Pitches for the Different Roofing Materials

by | Sep 10, 2020 | Blog


When you’re having a roof installation project done, you have a wide range of options to consider when it comes to materials. After all, you’re more than free to choose materials such as asphalt shingles, clay tile, metal or even wood shakes when replacing your roof. Unfortunately, roofing experts say that you can’t actually just pick a material right off the bat. This is because you also need to think about what pitch you want your new roof to have as it is one of the factors that determine whether or not you make the most of your replacement project. With that in mind, it’s best that you learn what are the roof pitches that suit the roofing materials you can install on your roof.

In this article, the roofing experts of Hero Roofing discuss the recommended roof pitches for the different roofing materials available on the market.


0.25/12 to 3/12 Roof Pitches

Roof pitches with lower angles like 0.25/12 or 3/12 are often found in homes that have urban and contemporary styles as well as industrial buildings or shacks. This means that these roof pitches are suitable for flat roofing materials, which include Built-up Roofing or tar-and-gravel, which consists of alternating layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabric; torch-down roofing, a single layer membrane-style roof material that is heat activated with a torch when being installed; rubber membranes like EPDM or TPO; and standing seam metal roofing systems, which can be used on roofs with pitches as low as 0.25/12.

2.5/12 to 19/12 Roof Pitches

If your roof pitch is 2.5/12, you can use clay or cement tiles as your roofing material. However, according to roof repair and installation professionals, if you opt for this kind of material, you’ll need to install double underlayment to adequately protect it from the damages caused by water infiltration. If the slope is 19/12 and above, however, avoid using tiles for your roof as its steepness can cause your roofing system to rattle.

4/12 to 20/12 Roof Pitches

Most residential roofing systems often fall into this category of roof pitches and the roofing material often used for these pitches are asphalt shingles. Traditional 3-tab shingles with asphalt composites are the most popular type of roofing shingles that you can use as they are far more flexible in terms of adapting to the different kinds of roof pitches such as the 4/12 or 12/12 pitches. However, if you opt to install the traditional 3-tab shingles on your roof, expert roofers strongly recommend that you take the middle road for your pitch. That way, it won’t be too flat nor will it be too steep.

For assistance in installing the traditional 3-tab asphalt shingles on your roof, simply turn to the pros of Hero Roofing to get the job done.

5/12 to 12/12 Roof Pitches

Finally, if you opt for a roof pitch that’s 5/12 or 12/12, then you’re more than free to use wood and slate shingles as your roofing material alongside asphalt composite shingles. However, keep in mind that since these materials do not lock together as tightly as other shingles, they’re more likely to become more susceptible to leaking. Therefore, be sure to have all the necessary waterproofing measures put in place to prevent water infiltration and the subsequent damage it can cause.

How to Calculate Roof Pitch

Believe it or not, calculating a roof pitch is actually fairly simple to do, requiring you to refer to nothing more than a ratio that indicates how much rise there is in your roof over a 12-unit horizontal distance. For instance, if your roof pitch is 5/12, that means that for every 12 horizontal feet, your roof changes by 5 feet in vertical height. However, since a roof replacement or installation project is an incredibly delicate home improvement task, experts recommend that you avoid calculating the roof pitch on your own and hire a roofing professional to calculate the roof pitch for you instead. With a professional at the helm, you can be sure that your roof pitch is calculated correctly, allowing you to make the most of your roofing material of choice in turn as well.

Ready to take on a roof replacement project? Make your search for a roofing contractor easier by turning to Hero Roofing. When it comes to roof replacement and repair projects, we are the number one service provider to approach and we won’t let you down! Give us a call today at (833) 321-4376 or fill out our contact form to get a free estimate.