Slope Matters: What’s the Best Roofing Material for a Low Pitch Roof?

According to a 2018 write-up, the average homeowner will dip into their savings to drop over $6000 per year on home renovations.

A lot of that money, as it turns out, goes towards fixing, patching, and “beautifying” roofs. While getting roofing touched up is an easy enough project, things can get a lot trickier when dealing with a low pitch roof.

A low pitch roof is a roof that features a nominal slope, making it look more flat than your standard pointed roof. In this post, we discuss the best roofing material for a low pitch roof since this unique roof style requires special considerations to ensure its efficacy.

Keep reading to learn more about low pitch roofs, their drawbacks, and how best to work with them.

The Problem With Low Pitches

The reason why people need to take the time to read about the best roofing material for a low pitch roof is that low pitch roofs have unique issues that require special attention.

One of the primary problems we see with low pitches is water drainage. Traditional roofs, which come to a steep point, can better shed water into gutters which lessens the chances of puddles forming. Low pitches, given their soft slopes, pool much more easily which can lead to leaks, rotting, and other problems.

In addition to water problems, low pitches see more sun exposure since their flat facade does not create shade. High sun exposure over prolonged periods leads to a more rapid rate of deterioration in roofing materials which again, disqualifies several types of traditional roofing from being pragmatic.

Roofing Materials That Help

If you prefer (or are paired with) a low pitch roof, take heart in knowing that with the right kind of roofing material, you can circumvent many of the problems low pitches feature. Here’s what you should consider installing:

PVC

When you talk to roofers about the best roofing material for a low pitch roof, the first thing they’re likely to mention is PVC. PVC roofing is capable of heat welding which makes it easy for contractors to use and seal slabs together. It can also withstand a range of chemicals which helps it side-step erosion issues when you clean it or when it’s exposed to adverse weather.

You’ll commonly see PVC on low pitch roofs that have frequently used vents/chimneys (restaurant roofs are a prime example).

TPO

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) has been picking up steam in the low pitch roofing market and in many cases, is replacing PVC.

We love TPO because it’s durable, withstands adverse weather wonderfully, and is not susceptible to expansion or contraction that can occur in some roofing types when temperatures fluctuate. TPO is also puncture resistant which is helpful if your area experiences hail storms.

APP

If you’re looking to save money and you’d like additional color options, look into Atactic Polypropylene (APP). This low pitch roofing go-to comes from asphalt and is rolled out over your roof while being torched on the bottom so it can stick.

Working with APP, while less expensive and aesthetically flexible, does come at a cost. Since it’s not plastic-based, it won’t hold up as well to water as our other recommendations. That won’t be an issue if it doesn’t rain much in your area but if it does, you’ll be replacing your APP roof frequently.

Note that some people refer to APP roofs as “mod bit” roofs.

BUT

Sometimes, there’s no beating the classics. When it comes to roofing possibilities for low pitch roofs, you can’t go any more classic than the “built-up” roof.

Built-up roofs are made from tar and gravel. Leveraging tar and gravel as a roofing material will get you UV and puncture protection, both of which are important to low pitches. As a negative, installing built-up roofing can present dangers as this material needs to be super-heated and melted before application. You’ll want to make sure whichever contractor is managing that process is well-qualified to do so to avoid fires and injuries.

When done right, a built-up roof can save you money and will last for years.

Consider Going White

Whichever best roofing material you choose to go with, one of the best renovation tips we can give you is to go with as light a color as possible, when possible.

White reflects light. The more light reflection you get out of your roof, the better it’ll hold up and the cooler you’ll keep your house.

Remember, low pitch roofing conducts heat much more fiercely than standard pitches. By going white with your roofing material, you can increase the durability of your roof which will save you money by lessening the pace at which it’ll need to be replaced.

You’ll also considerably lower your energy bill during hot summers.

You Now Know the Best Roofing Material for a Low Pitch Roof

Knowledge is power when it comes to successfully managing a home improvement project. Now that you know the best roofing material for a low pitch roof, we implore you to stick to the materials we’ve suggested and avoid traditional roofing materials, however more affordable, easy to install, and attractive they may be.

Roofing projects can be expensive. By sticking to safe choices for your low pitch roof, you’ll save yourself money in the long run while also enjoying a roof look you’ll love.

If you find yourself in need of additional real estate advice, we’ve got you covered! Check out more of the helpful content on our blog to continue fulfilling your need to know.

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