While most people do not select a home based on how flat or steeply the rooftop is sloped, a roof's pitch is important when considering the roofing system's longevity, durability and maintenance needs. The ability to calculate the roof's pitch allows property owners to work with a trustworthy Houston roofing company to make good decisions for material selection, repair and replacement projects.
Many people remember the old geometry concept of "rise over run." This is exactly how the slope of a roof is calculated. In construction terminology, the pitch is how many inches the roof rises for every 12 inches it extends or runs. To calculate an individual home's pitch, a laser level, pencil, ladder and tape measure are the only necessary supplies.
Homeowners should plan to access their roofs on a dry, clear day to avoid injuries or damage to the shingles or tiles. To begin, the homeowner should mark a 12 inch section on the roof with the pencil, starting at the roof's edge. Then the owner can climb up the ladder. Ladders resting against a side of a home should always be placed on a hard, level surface. The level should be positioned horizontally on the roof.
The experts from Houston Restoration Services of Houston roofing companies would be happy to answer any question you have about storm damage or commercial roofing.
Measuring the inches down from the top of the roof to the 12 inch mark will reveal the roof's rise. Care should be taken to measure from the bottom of the shingle layers, as specialty shingles, such as random tab shingles, may have their own separate slope that differs from that of the overall roof.
If the roof is uneven or is made from clay tiles or other materials that make exterior measurements too difficult to obtain, accurate results can be achieved by measuring on the attic side of the roof from rafter to rafter. Another option is to measure the entire rise of the roof over the entire run. These numbers will need to be divided by 12 to put them into standard construction measurements.
If a homeowner finds it too difficult to try to manage these tools while on a ladder, there are some specialty tools available that can make the calculation within a few seconds. The end result should be measured as x over 12 inches, such as 4/12 or 8/12. These fractions are not reduced, as home builders and roofers use the standard 12 for ordering supplies and for other needs. Knowing the roof's exact pitch is helpful for determining drainage capability. It is also important in estimating how much weight the roof can hold before caving and how much wind it can withstand.