A roof with a high pitch is commonly 6/12 - or 6 inches in height for every 12 inches across. When making roof decisions, many people think these roofs require more materials and cost more money. Thus, they are often tempted to go with a low slope. However, 6/12 and higher rooftops are valuable—and for good reason. Here are several nut-and-bolt advantages of having a steep roof:
1. There's less danger of pooling water: On high-slope rooftops, gravity makes short work of any moisture—as the roof quickly channels the water down into gutters. The lower the slope, the longer moisture lingers on the rooftop where it degrades materials and turns weak spots into leaks. Flat rooftops and poorly designed valleys ultimately have problems with pooling water, which is very dangerous for a roof.
2. Better energy management: Here's one benefit you probably weren't expecting. A cold roof system is designed to allow for easy air flow into the eaves and out of the ridge. This helps prevent ice buildup in cold areas and reduces cooling bills in warm areas. This will help you save when it comes to both money and roof wear. What does a cold roof system require? You guessed it - a steep roof pitch that allows plenty of air inside.
3. More options for style and decoration: One reason that steep rooftops are so popular is that they are more visible. Not only do they make a house look bigger and more ornate, they also allow for more experimentation with gables, decorative caps, and inventive designs. From a professional standpoint, a steep roof is also a lot easier to check for any warning signs (without having to pull out the ladder).
4. Storage space: All that space under a steep roof pitch is good for more than just air! A steep roof encourages the development of larger attic spaces that are great for seasonal or long-term storage. The best part? This storage room often has very low installation costs, as the space is already there.
5. Fewer snow worries: Even without a cold roof system, a steep roof is generally better in a snowy environment (which is why you see those dramatic A-frame homes in colder areas). They encourage snow to slide off before it builds up too high. Ice melts more easily on a steep slope, preventing the build-up of ice patches or dams that can force moisture down into your roof.
6. Less debris: When needles, leaves, branches and dirt hit a low-slope roof, they tend to stay there easier than they would on a roof with a high pitch. That steep slope will keep your roof looking clean, even after storms.
7. More durability: What happens when a roof doesn't struggle with pooling water, lingering debris, or ice problems? It lasts a lot longer. Steep rooftops typically have a longer lifespan and need fewer repairs than a flat or low-slope rooftop.