Learn More About Steep Sloped Roofs


Steep Sloped Roofs

Steep sloped roofs are used throughout the country for a number of different reasons. Most often they are used in areas that get lots of snow and rain, as well as for homes where they get lots of debris from overhead trees. The other reason for a steep sloped roof is for the simple aesthetics; homeowners like how they look and it fits the design of the home.

Roof Slope Definition

The roof slope or pitch is measured by comparing the vertical rise (measured in inches) to a 12" horizonal length or run. So for example, a flat roof has a 2" rise over every 12" length or run. A medium pitched roof has say a 6" rise over the 12" run, while a steep roofline will have a 12" or higher rise for each 12" length or run.

Good For Snow And Rain

Steep rooflines are often found in places that get severe weather that may include lots of snow and rain. In the case of snow, a steep roofline is important to help slough off the snow, which can be heavy and in some cases even cause the roof to cave in. This would be beyond costly, not to mention a scary and dangerous thing to have happen. In the case of rain, the steep roofline keeps the water moving down and away from the house, which is important, especially in combination with debris that can block water on less pitched roofs and cause it to collect and pool, which can then lead to leaks.

Sloughs Off Debris

Steep rooflines are often necessary for homes that get lots of debris on them from overhead trees. A low sloped roof or flat roof would collect all of this "falling matter" and the homeowner would have to frequently go up on the roof and clear it all off (or pay someone to do this). A steep roofline, on the other hand, is much better at sloughing off fallen debris, such as branches and needles. Homeowners who do live in these wooded areas are still going to have to clean off their roof periodically, but they will have to do so less often and the job is somewhat easier because of the steep roof. However, it should be noted, that going up on any roof with a significant slope to it is very dangerous.

Great Design Feature

Some homeowners opt for a steep roofline simply because they like the look of it and they are meant to have this overall aesthetic. There are certain home designs that lend themselves to a steep roofline and in these cases, it makes sense to follow tradition. Styles of homes that use this steep sloped roof design include colonial stlye homes, more contemporary brickfaced homes, farmhouses, and Georgian stlye homes.

Cost Considerations

Steep sloped roofs are more expensive to build and or replace than low sloped or flat roof homes. The reason is that steep sloped homes are more difficult to build and more dangerous. One of the biggest roofing contractor expenses is worker's compensation, which can account for up to 30% of the replacement bid price. Worker's comp is affected by a number of factors that includes the state and location where the contractor lives and operates their business. Steeply sloped roofs pose dangerous work environments for roofers and therefore carry "steep" costs in terms of the insurance that the contractor must pay. More on roofing costs per square foot.

Popular Materials

There are certain materials that lend themselves to steep rooflines. These include many types of metal roofs such as tin, zinc and stainless steel.

Related Topic: Metal Roofing Prices

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