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Fort Worth Roofing: Article About Steep Slope Roofing and Materials

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Steep slope or high pitched roofs are calculated by the number of inches in vertical rise for every 12 horizontal inches. It is a primary part of roofing design, affecting interior volume, style, drainage and material for a roofing project. The easiest pitches to walk on are 4:12 and 5:12. It is recommended to use toe boards at the eaves on pitches over 5:12. This is the point where safety and navigation get harder. They provide a final obstacle from sliding off the roof. Roof pitch over 9/12 falls into the steeper slope category, and styles with this pitch include A frames, Carpenter Gothic or Victorian Gothic Revival.

The steeper the slope, the more difficult construction and repair can be and the bigger the strain on the homeowner's budget. On dramatic slope roofs higher than 12:12, simple operations become puzzles to solve on the ground before starting. Labor becomes more intensive and personal safety and muscle strength is compromised. Many roofers will not do steeper slope or dramatic pitched roofs. The right Fort Worth roofing contractor is critical in helping with steep slope roofing projects. These roofs will mainly be located in historical districts and built in the 1800s.

Professional roofers will tell homeowners inclined to take on a reroofing project that anything over a 5:12 pitch makes it necessary to call in professionals. When reaching pitches of 9:12, experienced laborers will have skills similar to rock climbing, and the use of specialty safety harnesses, catch and aerial platforms, hoists, forklifts, debris netting and chutes are required.

The expert roofers at Total Roofing of Fort Worth can answer questions about emergency repairs or roof maintenance.

The cost of construction or repair on these roofs can be two to six times greater than other kinds of roofs.

Steep slope materials are primarily more aesthetic components for residential construction because they can comprise up to 40 percent of the appearance of the home. A benefit to higher slope is that roofs usually last longer, because these roofs shed water more effectively and there is less direct UV damage. However, other related maintenance costs will go up.

Shingle, slate and tile are common steep pitch materials on roofs with a 3:12 slope or more. Slate is a hard but brittle rock composed of clay minerals and used predominantly on much steeper roofs, and terra cotta tile is glazed or unglazed fired clay.

Metal roofing is also used because it's dense, flexible and fusible, usually with a glossy finish. Some have standing seams between each sheet of material to fold or interlock them. Copper weathers well and is used for both roofing and flashing. Aluminum doesn't rust and is also easy to work with in roofing as well as flashing. Galvanized steel is coated with zinc to resist corrosion, and steel is pliable as well, made of iron and carbon melted and refined.

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