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What Is A Low Pitch Roof

The Trouble With Low Roof Pitch

How to install shingles on low slope roofs

The primary advantage of a low roof pitch is maximizing space. It will allow you to utilize the space in your area all the way up to the top. This can create a number of advantages. Heating and cooling are easier in a building with a flatter roof, for example. However, low-slope roofs come with disadvantages that dont trouble steeper roofs. The primary problem with a low slope has to do with drainage: water damages roofs, and water can begin to pool on a roof with too low of a slope. Ice and snow can also be a problem, depending on the climate. If water accumulates on your roof and cant drain properly, it will eventually cause decay.

Direct sunlight can be another problem for a low-pitch roof, although this is certainly not an issue unique to these types of roofs. In fact, ultraviolet light can do a number on any type of roof, unless the proper materials are used.

This brings us to the primary disadvantage of a low slope roof: you are somewhat limited in the materials you can use to construct them. This is because of the importance of waterproofing. On a roof with a higher pitch, water will easily roll off, and that means you dont need to concern yourself as much with waterproof materials. A low-pitch roof, on the other hand, absolutely must be waterproofed.

Why Choosing The Right Profile For Low Slope Matters

Many different standing seam roof profiles look similar to one another on the surface, such as a snap-lock, mechanical lock, or fastener flange systems. However, they are not all suitable for low slope situations.

So why does choosing the right profile based on the slope make a difference?

With a roof system, you obviously want to look youre going for, but its all about shedding water and making sure the profile chosen doesnt get overrun with water that has nowhere to drain. As you probably guessed, lower-sloped systems dont shed water as quickly as a steep-slope roof. This means that low-slope roofs are more susceptible to leaking due to water backing up or not shedding from the roofing system fast enough, particularly in a driving rain storm. Springing a leak is the number one metal roofing problem that can cause significant damage and lead to high repair costs. Thats why its critical to choose a profile where the seam provides the extra weather-tightness required in a lower slope system.

What Is The Minimum Roof Pitch For Asphalt Shingles

President at Bill Ragan Roofing Company

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material in the country. But there are certain situations where they cant be installed.

One of these situations has to do with a low slope roof pitch. So, that begs the question, Whats the minimum roof pitch for asphalt shingles?

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped thousands of homeowners in the Nashville area find the right roofing material that fits their budget and situation. Now we want to do the same for you.

Well begin this article with a quick overview of what roof pitch is. After that, well get to the minimum roof pitch for asphalt shingles and the reasons why you cant use them on a low slope pitch.

To finish this article off, youll learn the 4 best roofing materials for a low slope or flat roof since shingles wont be an option. And at the very end, youll get a complete roof replacement guide that gives you all the information you need to know about a replacement.

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The Guide You Need For Your Roof Replacement

Now you know the 4 best roofing materials for a low slope or flat roof. If you have a roof thats 2:12 or steeper, youre good to go with your asphalt shingle installation.

But before you do, theres a lot you need to know/learn for your upcoming roofing project. Wouldnt it be great if things like cost, roofing material options, the components that make up a roof, and more were all in one place?

If your answer is yes, then we have just the guide you need. The Complete Guide to Purchasing a Roof has all the information you need for your roof replacement and ensures you make all the right buying decisions.

Dont go into the roof replacement process blind get your free buyers guide below.

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided high-quality roofing services to residents in Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, and other surrounding Middle Tennessee areas since 1990. Weve provided thousands of homeowners with an experience rare in the roofing industry, and we know we can do the same for you.

Heres Your Complete Guide to Purchasing a Roof, so youre able to make all the right decisions for your upcoming roof replacement.

Low Pitch Roof Solutions: Which Tiles And Slates Are Best For My Roof

Low Pitch Roof QD5

Low pitched roofs are commonly used on domestic extensions, and having a range of low-pitch roofing solutions is, therefore, more important to our customers than ever.

There are currently many different options on the market that are ideal for those looking to tile a low pitch roof, including clay and concrete tiles as well as felt and cedar shingles.

Understanding the range of materials available as well as the different options will help customers select the optimum tiles or alternatives to protect their roof and create an aesthetically pleasing finish.

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Can You Use Shingles On A Low Slope Or Flat Roof

Shingles wont work on a flat roof or a low slope roof with a pitch of less than 2:12. As we discussed above, shingles need gravity to work. They overlap each other from roof peak to eaves, with gravity carrying the water over each overlap until it reaches the eaves of the home and falls either into a gutter or onto the ground below.

Without a substantial pitch in the roof, water will instead collect on the roof instead of running off it, seeping under the shingles and ultimately causing roof leaks. Even though a roof with a slight pitch will cause water to run in one direction, this pitch will not carry water away fast enough during a downpour or even a steady rain to prevent water from flowing back into the seams between each overlap.

Snowfall and any debris from nearby trees that may collect on a flat or low slope roof only exacerbate this problem by creating dams that cause water to pool on the roof.

If you have a low slope or flat roof, consider other roofing options, including metal roofing, PVC, rubber, or tar and gravel roofing.

Testing Of Low Slope Metal Roofing Systems

Low-slope and steep-slope roofing systems have different industry standard testing requirements. Low-slope metal roof systems are tested to ASTM E2140 standards, a water penetration test evaluating the resistance of roof panels vertical seams.

During this test, the roof panel system is completely submerged under six inches of water for approximately six hours. Static water pressure is then applied to the outside face of the roof panel, which tests the roofs ability as a water barrier. This method is intended to evaluate the water barrier of roof systems with a pitch below 3/12.

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Very Low Roof Pitches: 25/12 To 3/12

Roof pitches with lower angles, such as 1/12 up to 3/12 are found in more urban, contemporary style houses and in industrial buildings and shacks. It was fashionable for modern-style homes built in the 1960s to have little pitch, just a barely negligible slope to help drain water. Visually, this roof appears flat. This pitch might be as low as 1/12. The flat roofing materials most appropriate to these shallow-sloped roofs include:

  • Built-Up Roofing: Sometimes calledtar-and-gravel, or BUR, the modern form of this kind of roof consists of alternating layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabrics.
  • Torch-Down Roofing: This is a single layer membrane-style roofing material that is heat-activated by a torch during installation.
  • Rubber Membrane: EPDM is a true rubber that can be applied to a roof with glue or mechanical anchors.
  • Standing Seam Metal: These roofs are made from panels of aluminum or steel joined together in raised seams. They can be used on roofs with pitches as low as .25 /12. They are also used on much steeper roofs.

Veluxs Low Pitch Roof Window Is The Perfect Product For New And Existing Projects With A Roof Pitch Between 10

Flat Roof vs Low Pitch Roof vs Steep Pitch Roof

The Velux Low Pitch roof window range has a bespoke glass-to-edge design allowing water to run off the roof window easily. And as you can see from the image above the Low Pitch roof window provides a stylish seamless finish with a quality streamline fit as well as offering the usual level of daylight and fresh air associate with Velux windows backed by a 10-year guarantee.

Suitable for profiled tiles from 15mm up to 120mm.

Available Size

CK04, MK04, MK06, MK08, PK04, SK01, SK06

Finishes and Operation

You can currently purchase the Velux Low Pitch roof window in a manual opening white painted pine finish with the option to convert to an electric Velux Integra and Velux Active to operate with your smartphone.


Need free installation training?

JJ Roofing Supplies has partnered with Velux to offer a range of exclusive free online training courses including a Velux Low Pitched roof windows session. Book your place free by .

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Low Roof Pitch Options For Your Building

A roof has a low pitch if it slopes anywhere from 2/12 to 4/12 inchesmeaning that for every foot the roof extends horizontally, the level of the roof rises two to four vertical inches. Some roofs have extremely low slopes and appear to be nearly flat. No roof, of course, should actually be completely flat. If it is, puddles of water will accumulate on the roof and ultimately damage it.

Low-slope roofs are seen on both commercial and residential buildings, although they are primarily associated with businesses. There is a reason for this: in commercial buildings, it is generally considered more prudent to maximize the use of space, leading to a flatter roof. Residential homes, on the other hand, tend to have a much steeper incline for cosmetic reasons.

Regardless of whether youre looking for low roof pitch options for your home or your place of business, youll need to consider what materials are best. In this article, well take a look at the choices available to you and other variables to consider when putting in a roof.

What Is The Normal Slope Of A Roof

For residential buildings in North America, the normal slope has historically been between 4:12 and 9:12. 4:12, said as four in twelve, means a rise of four inches over a run of 12 inches. Meanwhile, a slope of nine in twelve means a rise of nine inches over a run of 12 inches.

For asphalt shingles, which is the most common roofing material, the minimum slope is 2:12. The reason for this minimum slope is gravity. Water that collects on the roof will run off with this minimum slope of 2:12.

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Standing Seam Metal Roof

A standing seam metal roof system is a series of metal panels that are locked together at the seams or seamed mechanically. This allows for panels to expand and contract freely when the metal panels go through thermal expansion.

A standing seam metal roof is a great roofing material for a flat roof. It has better aesthetics with more color options and is longer-lasting than the membrane roof systems.

As long as its properly installed and your attic is adequately ventilated, theres no reason you shouldnt get at least 30 years out of your standing seam metal flat roof. Under the ideal conditions, a standing seam metal flat roof could last for 50 years.

But this extra life and aesthetics comes at a higher price and is more expensive than all 3 types of roof membranes.

Water Pooling And Moisture Problems

Low Pitched Roofing

A low-slope roof without proper drainage will form water pools on the uneven flat spots or divots of the roof. Pooling can destroy the integrity of the roof system, leading to expensive repairs and early replacement.

  • Pooling adds weight to the roof, leading to possible roof collapse.
  • Pooling degrades the integrity of your roof by encouraging the growth of damaging mold.
  • In warm weather, pooling degrades the roofs coating and membrane by intensifying the harmful UV rays, leading to photo-oxidation deterioration.
  • An aggregate roof surface can erode from the action of pool freezing and thawing.
  • Pooling water can easily make its way into weak points of the roof more than moving water.
  • Pooling water can cause the roofs metal parts to rust, damage concrete components, and weaken wood features.

To protect long-term durability and prevent leaks, you must ensure water removal from your roofs surface within 48 hours of accumulation.

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What To Do With Your Roof Pitch

Now that you have your roof pitch calculated, you can share this with your roofer so they can determine the amount of materials needed for a new roof, roof repair, or updates that you need to your shingle roof. Measuring the steepness of your roof pitch is rather simple if you have the tools on hand, with just a level and a measuring tape you can quickly determine the ârise over runâ of your roof.

Brava Synthetic Roof Tiles A Superior Productfor Low

Brava synthetic roof tiles are the best roofing material for low-slope roofs. Lightweight, colorfast, and eco-friendly Brava synthetic tiles replicate the appearance of beautiful natural slate, Spanish tile, and cedar shake shingles. Brava roof tiles protect against damage from pooling on low-pitch roofs because the tiles do not absorb water and in fact, resist mold. Brava tiles, installed over an ice and water shield and 30 lbs. of asphalt-saturated and coated organic felt base sheets further contribute to a waterproof roofing system for a low-pitch roof.

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At Tornado Roofing We Comply With Florida Building Codes

At Tornado Roofing, we are compliant with all Florida Building codes and offer reliable roofing installation and repair services. We will perform a new roofing installation, depending on your needs, at affordable costs, and offer expert advice on all your roofing needs. Contact us and get your roofing solution.

A low pitch roof requires materials with special functionalities, including cooling roofing, to make it more effective. Low pitch roofs are susceptible to water clogging and leaking, which can lead to constant repair and frustration. Installing a new low-slope system from the start with the help of experts guarantees quality results and gives you peace of mind. Feel free to share your roofing needs with us.

What Is A Low Slope Roof

Forticrete Low Pitch Roof Window System

Now that you know about roof pitch, youre ready to learn what a low slope roof is. A low slope roof is a roof that is not steep enough, per the shingle manufacturers or codes, to put shingles on it.

Remember, roof pitch is how steep your roof is. A roof is considered a low slope when the roofs pitch is below a 2:12. This means your roof is less than 2 vertical units up for every 12 horizontal units out.

Because shingles cant be installed on low slope roofs you wont be able to get the commonly used asphalt shingles. However, there are still great options for your low slope roof.

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Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Standing seam metal roofing is sheet metal that has a flat appearance in the center and vertical ribs at the panel edges, creating a smooth, streamlined appearance.

Low slope standing seam roof

Its the most weather-tight metal roofing system because its attached with concealed fasteners and does not have screws penetrating the surface like corrugated metal roofing does.

There are three different types of standing seam panels. For a low slope roof application, a double lock mechanically seamed system should be used for maximum weathertightness. This type of standing seam roof is an excellent choice in climates that have extreme weather conditions.

For more information on the different standing seam roofing systems, click the banner below:

Types Of Material For A Low

For a low-pitch roof, not all materials can be used and as such you will need to consider alternatives. Each type of roofing material comes with its own benefits. Choosing the right type will depend on what you desire in the function of the material and your overall budget. Heres an overview of the different types you can find within our collection.

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Low Pitch Roof Systems And Steep Slope Roof Systems

There are two types of roofing systems Low slope roofing systems and steep slope roofing systems. Steep slope roofing systems are also known as residential roofing systems, and in their classification, they are roofs with a slope of 21:12 and higher.

This roofing system is residential roofing system, simply because it is usually adopted in constructing the residential units. It is common to find it as the predominant system in most homes, apartment complexes, duplexes etc.

One notable thing about steep slope roofs is they are visually appealing, adding aesthetics to the residential units. For instance, the roof for most residential buildings usually constitute up to 40% in volume of the external visual appearance of the house.

Steep slope roofing is also known to last much longer than low slope roof systems, like low slope metal roofing.

These roofs are efficient, because they redirect water more efficiently, and they have less exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun, so they can last longer than flat roofs.


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