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Panorama Frame Multi-family Home With Dark Pitched Roof

Different Types of Roof Pitches

The roof design on your residential or commercial property impacts its appearance and functionality. Choosing the right roofing system to match the pitch is critical for its longevity and functions like shedding water and snow.

Understanding which roofing system to choose to match its pitch may seem confusing. You can rely on our professional team to assess your roof and recommend the right design for the structure.

Roof Pitch Explained

diagram of roof slope showing various pitches

The roof pitch is the measurement of the slope of the roof. We express the pitch as a ratio. For instance, if you have a 4-in-12 roof pitch, the roof’s slope rises four inches for every 12-inches of horizontal distance.

Why Does the Roof Pitch Matter?

The roof pitch determines which type of roofing system you can apply to your home or commercial property. It also provides a guideline for the kinds of materials you can use for the roof and the building’s architecture.

The roof pitch doesn’t have anything to do with its aesthetics. However, being that it determines the type of roofing systems available, it impacts your property’s overall look and aesthetic. The roof pitch controls how it sheds water and snow and its service life.

Flat or low-slope roofs are common in commercial roofing projects. However, they are also common in residential apartment buildings and complexes that feature homes with contemporary designs. The increase in solar roof installations in the United States means that most new construction features flat or low-slope roofs to accommodate solar panel installations.

A low-slope roof has a rise of three inches or less per horizontal foot. Roofing systems for these applications include hot-mopped bitumen and cap sheet layers, with gravel coatings to assist with UV protection and water evaporation.

Roof Pitch Determines the Roofing System

A few roofing systems don’t suit installation on roofs with a pitch under 3:12. Tile roofs and composition shingles are not suitable for roof slopes under 3:12. These systems typically require modified peel-and-stick protection or double underlayment for slopes ranging from 3:12 to 4:12.

The roof’s inability to shed water on these slopes may cause a backup of the water, causing ponding under the tile. Modified cap sheets and single-ply roofs withstand water ponding, with single-ply systems capable of withstanding water ponding for longer periods.

Tile roofs and composition tiles don’t have a design that withstands water ponding, resulting in damage. These systems are only suitable for roofs with larger slopes than 3:12.

Curb Appeal

The roof pitch can affect the curb appeal and aesthetic of your home. A roof with a steep slope may seem more visually appealing to buyers and homeowners than shallow-pitch roofs.

Water Run Off

A roof with a steep pitch sheds snow and water more efficiently than shallow-pitched roofs. If you reside in areas that experience heavy snowfall or rainstorms, steep pitches are the better option to prevent water ponding and damage to the roof structure, reducing its longevity.

Roof Longevity

A shallow-pitched roof is susceptible to damage from extreme weather events compared to a roof with a steep pitch. A roof with a steep pitch has a longer life span, requiring less maintenance and repair over the years, especially in areas with severe weather conditions and high wind speeds.

What are the Types of Roof Pitch?


A flat roof pitch is a roof with a 2:12 ratio. These roofs are ineffective at shedding water and snow, leading to ponding water that damages the roof structure. These systems are also predisposed to damage from extreme weather and wind.


Low-slope roofs feature pitches between 2:12 and 4:12. These roofs have better water and sb=now shedding properties than low-slope or flat roofs. However, they may be affected by high wind speeds and extreme weather.


These roofs have a pitch above the 4:12 ratio. These roofs effectively shed snow and water. They’re durable and can easily withstand severe weather events and high winds better than flat or low-slope roofs.

Work with Professional Roofing Contractors

If you need a new roof for your residential property, contact the Jacksonville roofing contractors at Prime Roofing. Our roofing experts offer you free advice and estimates on your new roof. We’ll walk you through your options for the perfect roofing system to match its pitch.

Our work is guaranteed, and we have testimonials from homeowners and commercial building managers across Jacksonville, Florida, and surrounding areas. You can rely on us to deliver a long-lasting roofing solution that adds curb appeal and value to your property.

Contact our team at (904) 530-1446 for a competitive quote and an outstanding service experience. We’re confident we have the right roofing solution to suit your roof pitch and the look of your property. You can rely on Prime Roofing to deliver the roofing system that’s a perfect fit for your home or commercial building.

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