Shingles on a Low Pitch Roof: A Risky Proposition

Understanding the various aspects of your home’s design and construction is crucial, including the roof. Roof pitch is one of those factors that can significantly impact the performance and longevity of your roofing system. Let’s discuss the implications of using shingles on a low pitch roof and explain why it’s not a recommended practice.

  1. Understanding Roof Pitch

Roof pitch refers to the steepness or incline of your roof. It plays a vital role in determining the type of roofing material suitable for your home. A roof’s pitch is calculated as the vertical rise divided by the horizontal run. This is usually expressed as a ratio, such as 4:12. The higher the ratio, the steeper the roof. Typically, a low pitch roof is considered to have a pitch of 3:12 or less, while a high pitch roof has an angle of 6:12 or greater.

  1. The Problem with Shingles on Low Pitch Roofs

Shingles, particularly asphalt shingles, are designed to work optimally on roofs with a pitch of 4:12 or higher. The issue with shingles on a low pitch roof lies in the increased risk of water infiltration.

Since water drains more slowly on a low pitch roof, shingles may not adequately protect against moisture penetration. This can lead to a host of problems, including leaks, mold, and rot, which can ultimately compromise the structural integrity of your home.

  1. Alternative Roofing Materials for Low Pitch Roofs

Instead of shingles, it’s advisable to use roofing materials specifically designed for low pitch roofs. These materials include:

A. Modified Bitumen: A type of asphalt roofing that is designed for flat and low pitch roofs. Modified bitumen is applied in layers, creating a watertight seal that protects against water infiltration.

B. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) Membrane: A single-ply rubber roofing membrane highly resistant to water, UV radiation, and temperature fluctuations. EPDM is easy to install and has a long lifespan, making it a popular choice for low pitch roofs.

C. TPO (thermoplastic olefin) Membrane: A single-ply roofing membrane made from plastic and rubber materials. TPO is known for its durability, energy efficiency, and ease of installation. Making it another suitable option for low pitch roofs.

D. Metal Roofing: While metal roofing can be used on both low and high pitch roofs, choosing a style specifically designed for low pitch roofs is essential. Some metal roofing systems, such as standing seam or snap-lock panels, are well-suited for low pitch roofs due to their water-shedding properties.

Shingles on a low pitch roof are not recommended because of the increased risk of water infiltration and subsequent damage.

Instead, opt for alternative roofing materials like modified bitumen, EPDM, TPO, or metal roofing specifically designed to provide effective protection on low pitch roofs. By selecting the appropriate roofing material, you can ensure the longevity and performance of your roof, safeguarding your home against potential issues down the line.

Contact Shepherd Roofing and Renovations today to schedule an appointment for a thorough inspection and expert roofing services. Our experienced professionals and advanced equipment can quickly detect and address potential problems, ensuring your roof is in optimal condition and providing you with peace of mind. Trust us to provide reliable and efficient services for your home.