DIYs & How-To's

Houston Roof Pitch and How to Measure It!

Tile RoofBasically, Houston roof pitch is a numerical measure and defined as the degree of roof inclination expressed in a rational fraction. The pitch of the roof differs from one place to another; this is primarily due to the climates existing in that particular region. Its ultimate purpose is to shed off rain and prevent snow build-up in winter. The houses in low rainfall areas have roofs with low-slopes while in heavy rainfall areas, they have very steep roofs.

In order to correctly measure the roof pitch, there are a few terminologies that one will need to understand. Knowledge of these important roofing terms will help homeowners understand the details and choose the perfect roof design.

  • Roof Gable – This is a triangle formed by a steep-sloped roof. Gables can be seen in a building either on the front or on the side much like a cross-gabled house.
  • Dormers – Dormers are architectural roofing designs that project from a sloping roof system. Dormers are added to design a usable space in the top floors and promote ventilation. There are different types of roofs such as gable fronted, hipped, shed, and link. All of these have varying degrees of inclination.
  • Hipped roofs – In modern architectural designs, this represents comfort and practicality. All sides have a low-slope downward to the walls. It is more like a pyramid but has a low degree of inclination. Almost all hipped roofs have the same roof pitch.
  • Gambrel Roof – This is the type of Houston roof with two sides that are symmetrical. The roof has two side slopes; a low angle is on the upper slope while a higher angle is on the lower slope.

Measuring Roof Pitch

For easy measurement of the roof pitch, owners need a carpenter’s level, tape measure and writing material.

  • Carefully climb up on the roof using a ladder, bringing the carpenter’s level and tape measure.
  • Put the end of the level on the roof and position it horizontally, ensuring that the bubble is centered.
  • If the carpenter’s level is two feet long, divide it by two to get 12-inches (run) from the end of the level where it touches the roof. From that point, using the tape measure get the distance (rise) from the bottom of the level to the roof surface.
  • Note the measurements. Let say, run = 12 inches and rise = 6; therefore, the roof pitch can be illustrated as 6:12 or 6/12.

For a home remodeling or repair, an owner can decide the degree of inclination or roof pitch. Many homeowners consider a steeper roof as more attractive compared to a less-sloped roof. On the other hand, studies show that a steeper roof can last longer, especially in regions where there are frequent rain and snow. The elements can easily slide down and prevent damage to the structure due to water absorption. Factors to consider when dealing with roof pitches include: location, aesthetics and price.

Having knowledge of Houston roof terms and the correct way of measuring roof pitch will help every homeowner get a rough estimate of the size before consulting roofing contractors.  Know how to measure the roof and save money!