When people talk about the pitch of your roof, they’re talking about the angle. Some roofs have very sharp angles, while others are entirely flat. No matter what type of roof you have, there are certain benefits and drawbacks to the design that affect how you’ll care for the roof. Take a look at a few of the most common roof types to find out how the different pitches affect roof maintenance, and find out what they have in common.
Gabled roofs are some of the most common residential roofs. Chances are you’ve lived in a home with a gable roof at some point in your life, or you’ve seen one in your neighborhood – you’ll recognize them as the triangular-shaped roofs. There are several different types of gabled roofs, including side, front, and crossed gables.
Gabled roofs have a very steep pitch, which is good news when it comes to rain or snow – because of the sharp angle, these roofs will easily slough off the falling water or ice, and you won’t have to worry much about water pooling on your roof. However, it’s important to keep your gutters clear, as clogged gutters can force water underneath shingles or tiles, causing leaks.
On the other hand, these roofs need to be carefully constructed and braced in order to withstand high winds. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or tornadoes, it’s vital to get regular roof inspections to ensure that your gabled roof remains strong and able to withstand heavy winds.
Flat roofs are more common on commercial buildings than residential buildings, but they can be found on residential homes as well. In fact, they offer a few important benefits to the homeowner. Flat roofs tend to be easier and less expensive to construct, so they keep building costs down. Furthermore, a flat roof is a great way to add living space to your home – you can add a rooftop patio, garden, or penthouse room to the space.
The major risk when it comes to a flat roof is that water, snow or ice will pool on the top of the roof, weakening or rotting the roofing material and leading to leaks. For this reason, most flat roofs are not completely flat. They may appear to be flat, but they will have a slight slope to allow for runoff. Maintaining effective gutter systems for water drainage – something important with any roof – is even more crucial with a flat roof.
A saltbox roof is a variation on a colonial or Cape Cod roofing design. They’re asymmetrical, with one side resembling a flat roof with a slight slope, and the other side more of an angled lean-to. This design combines some of the benefits of gabled and flat roofs. Like a gabled roof, it’s easier for water to run off a saltbox design, and like a flat roof, it’s quite durable. This design also tends to increase indoor living space.
Saltbox roofs are often more expensive than other roof designs. And because the roof can be tricky to build, it’s also tricky to repair. Therefore, homeowners with saltbox roofs need to be on top of small roof maintenance tasks like keeping the gutters clean, as well as routine inspections, to avoid paying expensive repair costs for larger problems down the road.
No matter what type of roof you have, keeping the gutters clear of debris is an important part of roof maintenance. Luckily, Gutter Helmet’s gutter guards can be installed on most styles of roof, and they help keep debris out of your gutters and keep water flowing freely, so that you don’t have to worry as much about gutter and roof problems.
Written by Del Thebaud