Low Slope Roofing

As crazy as it sounds, not all reputable roofing companies know what they are doing.

Come to think of it, perhaps that can be said about every trade.

Not all reputable _____________ (fill in the trade name) companies know what they are doing.

It may even be possible to apply this to every reputable company everywhere!

In any event, with regard to roofers, my point here is probably more noticeable than other types of trades because of the way that mistakes with regard to this particular trade tend to show their face – most notably in the form of water leaking into one’s home or business!

There are many different ways in which one may experience the unfortunate feeling of a roofing snafu.

From my observations, the majority of roof issues do not stem from the shingles themselves, but the way that penetrations (chimneys, dormers, sewer venting pipes, etc.) are flashed into the roof.

One of the instances that I do however run into somewhat often with finish roofing materials, is the incorrect finishing materials used for a given application.

Knowing this could translate into many focuses, what I would like to zero in on here are low pitch roofs and the proper finish materials to utilize on them.

In roof jargon, anything below a 3 pitch should have some type of low slope roofing material on it as its finish.

“Pitch” refers to the rise & run of the roof.

A ‘3 pitch’ would mean that the roof rises 3 inches for every 12 inches of its horizontal run.

This ‘pitch’ talk may sound confusing, but it is a main focal point within the roofing industry as a whole.

From ordering material to determining overall cost of replacement, this ‘pitch’ concept is extraordinarily important.

Though there are different options as to what one can utilize on a low slope roof, there is actually a type of roofing material that within the roofing industry is referred to as ‘low slope’.

While rubber and various types of roof coatings are certainly terrific options, temperature plays a big role as to whether or not a specific version of these can be used.

Sometimes roofers refer to periods of the year when the temperature is consistently in the 50s (Fahrenheit) as ‘rubber season’, because that is the time period of the year where it is typically viewed as the ideal time period that the glue which is used with rubber roofing systems will “take” best.

Although one has an approximate 10 degree greater lower temperature parameter with many types of ‘paintable’ roof coatings, the go-to when temperatures are truly a concern is the low slope (many times referred to as ‘rolled roofing’).

This type of roofing can be installed in the same temperatures that regular asphalt shingles are installed at and because of this, embodies an attractive quality in certain cooler periods of the year where temperature may otherwise be a concern.

What eats me up inside is when I see regular architectural (or even 3-tab) roof shingles used on a roof area where low slope roofing of some type should have been utilized.

This is a disaster waiting to happen and when I receive pictures from a concerned Client who is wondering why they are having some type of challenge with a roof area such as this one described, I usually close my eyes really tight and grimace.

The crazy thing is that I have run into scenarios where some really highly thought of companies in our area have done something along these lines.

Whether due to laziness or a particular crew member’s degree of incompetence and/or lack of supervision, this situation can happen to the very best roofing company if they are not carefully staying on top of things.

Regardless of the reasoning, if this type of thing does occur, the office end of the business may be fast tracking on its way to being blind-sided by a service call at some point in the not too distant future after the roof has been completed.

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