Cambridge Roofing: Article About Roof Pitch and Roofing Materials

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There are many available roofing materials, from asphalt shingles to wood shakes. Not all materials are appropriate for all roofs, however, and roof pitch has a big impact on what materials are suitable for a given house. Massachusetts homeowners in need of a new roof should consult with a Cambridge roofing company to determine the best roofing materials for their home.

A roof's pitch is a measurement of how steep it is. Pitch varies greatly depending on the style of a house, and can range from almost flat to very sharp. The roofs on Victorian houses, for example, have a particularly high incline, and will have different roof requirements than a contemporary home with a flat roof.

Pitch is calculated by dividing the height of the roof by the length of the roof. Pitch is typically expressed in fractions like 7/12, which means that the roof rises seven feet for every 12 feet of length. Most roofs have a pitch that falls somewhere between 4/12 and 8/12.

If a roof has a pitch between 0 and 3/12, it is flat or nearly flat in appearance. This style of roof is typically seen in modern homes, urban areas and industrial buildings. Shingles, one of the most popular roofing materials, are not appropriate for flat roofs. Because the roof has little to no incline, the water does not run off fast enough to accommodate shingles.

The expert roofers at Capital Construction of Cambridge can assist you with any questions regarding windows and doors or carpentry.

If shingles were installed on a flat roof, water would seep through, damaging the roof and the interior of the house. Flat and low incline roofs need to be watertight. The best roofing materials for flat roofs are tar and gravel, modified bitumen and rubber membrane. These materials are all waterproof, but they vary in price and longevity.

Homes with medium pitched roofs have a wide selection of roofing materials from which to choose. Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material, as they are durable and relatively inexpensive. Fiberglass shingles are another option. They are more expensive than asphalt shingles, but they last longer and come in a wider variety of styles. Tile shingles are one of the most durable roofing materials, and they imbue any home with a distinct Mediterranean flavor. They are one of the most expensive options, however, and are most appropriate for homes in warmer climates.

If a roof has a particularly steep incline, wood shakes are ideal. They are more difficult to maintain than asphalt shingles, but they give any home a natural beauty. Metal roofs are also a popular choice for steep roofs, and they can last up to 50 years.

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