Shingles are a very popular roofing material used in residential areas. In fact, asphalt shingle roofs are the most common roof type for homes to have due to their lifespan and pricing. For lots of people, shingle roofs are great and provide exactly what the homeowner is searching for. Others, however, may run into difficulties when trying to have this type of roof installed. People with flat roofs or roofs with a lower-than-average slope should reconsider installing shingles and instead opt for another option. Today we will be talking about why these roof types do not make a good fit for shingles as well as what alternatives there are.
At Liberty Roofworks we believe that all homeowners should be able to educate themselves with accurate information about all areas of their home, and that includes roofing. That is why we created our Learning Hub where we post new roofing-related content on a variety of different sub-topics every single week. Whether you are curious about how insurance claims work or what upkeep is suggested for your roof type, we have you covered. Educating yourself on the realm of roofing not only helps you make the best choices for your home and situation, but it also helps you to avoid scams and notice red flags as they appear. Check out our Learning Hub to learn more!
How is the slope of a roof determined?
For shingles to be successfully installed and for you to get your money’s worth out of it, a roof with a higher pitch is required. When roofers talk about the pitch of a roof they are really referring to how steep the roof itself is. The concept of a roof pitch can be a bit confusing at first but essentially it is the number of inches the roof rises up for every 12 inches of depth. To put things into perspective, most standard residential homes have a pitch of anywhere from 4/12 to 9/12 making them suitable for shingles.
Homes that have a roof pitch lower than 2/12 are considered low-slope and should not have shingles installed. The same goes for flat roofs or roofs with hardly any pitch at all. The easiest way to figure out the pitch of your roof is to have a reputable roofing contractor perform an inspection and calculate it themselves. It is always best to have a professional do this task as it can be dangerous and they are more likely to provide you with an accurate answer.
Why can’t shingles be installed on all roof types?
Roofs with higher slopes are designed to have water run down them to the gutters. This means that during a storm there are no areas for water to pool up, limiting how long shingles actually sit submerged in water. Roofs with low slopes on the other hand will experience water pooling up since there is nothing for it to run down. Shingles are not designed to sit in water for extended periods of time which makes flat roofs and low-slope roofs an issue. When shingles are submerged in water, over time they will take on damage and need replacing much sooner than they should. No reputable roofer should ever suggest installing shingles on a roof with a low slope or a flat roof.
There are still plenty of different roofing options available for roofs with a lower slope or ones that are flat. Some of the best options include various types of membrane roofing and even metal roofs. These roofing materials are designed to withstand water without taking on damage. To get the best idea of how much a roof like this would cost we suggest having a local reputable roofer come and perform an inspection and give you a quote. Never be afraid to get multiple quotes and opinions before making a decision for your home.
More about membrane and metal roofs
Membrane roofing is what most homeowners with flat or low-sloped decide to go with. There are a few different types of membrane roofing types available but they are all very similar. TPO membrane roofing tends to be one of the more popular options for both residential and commercial buildings.
TPO membrane roofing is resistant to water and can withstand any water pools that may form on your roof during storms. This specific type of membrane roof can last roughly 25 years when properly installed and maintained.
Metal roofing is another popular option, though it tends to be more on the expensive side and can require a unique skill set to properly install. Metal roofs are also great at withstanding water without taking on damage and require very little maintenance. While it is more expensive to install, it is important to think long-term since metal roofing can last up to 50 years.
When it comes to deciding which roof type is the best for you, it really comes down to your personal opinion and financial situation. Both membrane roofs and metal roofs will do an excellent job of keeping your home safe and damage-free. Aside from getting an inspector’s opinion, it’s important to do your own research as well! We even have some metal roof articles published on our Learning Hub which may be helpful for reference.
Wrapping it up
Shingle roofs may be the most popular roofing material amongst residential homes, but sadly they do not work with every type of roof. It is always important to do your research about areas of your home such as your roof so that you can make the best decisions for your home. Remember, if you are unsure what the pitch of your roof is or what roofing material is best for your house you can always have a professional come to perform an inspection. The right roofing company would be more than happy to help you out and answer any questions you may have. We hope that you now have a better understanding of what determines a roof’s slope, why shingles do not work for low-slope and flat roofs, and what some of the alternative roofing material options are.
We are here to help!
At Liberty Roofworks we understand how important it is that you trust the people who are hired to work on your home. That is why customer service is our top priority and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have. This family-owned and operated business has been running for over twenty years and that number just keeps growing. All of our wonderful contractors are professionally trained, licensed, and insured meaning only the finest of roofers will be working on your roof.
Whether you are in need of a basic roof repair or a full replacement, we got you covered. We have experience working with all types of roofs, flat and low-slope ones included. We work with each of our customers to formulate a roofing plan that works best for them and we keep them updated throughout the entire process.
Are you or someone you know in need of any roof work? Contact us and we will gladly send one of our professional roofers out to perform a thorough inspection of your roof and go over their findings with you. With us, roofing is easy!
Frequently Asked Questions about Roof Types
We just talked a lot about roofing and it is perfectly normal to have some questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about flat roofs and roofs with low slopes. If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to personally answer them for you! Remember to also check out our Learning Hub to learn more about the different areas of roofing and what might be best for your roof.
Q: Is it true flat roofs leak more?
A: Without the proper roofing material, yes this can be true. However, with a metal or membrane roof, pooling water during storms will be more of an issue and your home will be leak-free! With the proper care and the right materials, flat roofs should not negatively impact your life at all.
Q: How long will a standing seam metal roof last on my flat roof?
A: Standing seam metal roofs are the most popular metal roof type and can last anywhere from 30 to 50 years. As long as it was installed professionally and maintained if needed, it would last a long time.
Q: Can I install my new room by myself?
A: While you technically can, we strongly advise against that. Professional roofers know what they are doing and are far less likely to have any huge mistakes. Professionally installed roofs also come with a warranty that would otherwise not be there should you install the roof yourself. Roof work in general is a dangerous task unless experienced. Overall, leave it to the professionals as it can save you a lot of money and stress down the line.