Low Slope Roofing Options

If you’re in the market for a new roof for your home, it may be wise to consider a low-slope roof. Read on to discover answers to questions and concerns regarding low-slope roofs—including roof types and which one is right for you as a homeowner.

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What exactly is a low-slope roof? And what benefits come with switching to a less-traditional roofing system for your property? Read on to learn all about low slope roofing, and how our specialized services can assist you with your repair needs.

What Is Roof Pitch?

Roof pitch refers to the steepness or the angle of your roof. The steepness is expressed in a ratio. The ratio tells how many inches your roof rises vertically for every 12 inches (or foot) it extends horizontally.

For example: If your roof has a ratio of 5:12, it climbs upwards five inches for every 12 inches it extends inwards towards the ridge.

If you don’t have a low-slope roof, you probably have one of the following roof types:

  • Gable Roofs: Gable roofs are easily recognizable, can shed water quickly, and are simple for contractors to install. However, they often don’t function well in extremely windy conditions.
  • Gambrel Roofs: Gambrel roofs have two slopes on each side, with the lower slope having a steeper angle than its counterpart. Despite their simple design, gambrel roofs are not well equipped for areas that receive lots of snow.
  • Hip Roofs: Hip roofs have slopes of equal length on all sides, forming a ridge. While they work well against high-wind pressure and snowfall, they are more costly to replace.

What You Need to Know About Low-Slope Roofs

A low-slope roof has very little steepness, meaning it appears more flat. Any roof with a ratio of 3:12 or less would have a low slope, meaning it would rise three inches or less for every foot of horizontal distance.

These types rely on membrane coverings that withstand still water. The membranes are either applied as continuous sheets or the sheets are joined with adhesives. They’re designed to operate well against both expansion and contraction, while remaining completely watertight.

They can also improve heating and cooling, as there is far less attic space that fills up with excess air. Because they’re prone to water damage without the right materials, they’re most commonly used in desert-like environments or areas with less precipitation.

The Different Types of Low-Slope Roofs

What are your low-slope roof options? While there are several, here are three types you should know about:


Also known as gravel roofs, built-up roofs consist of alternating layers. They are installed by using hot asphalt or cold adhesives—just make sure your contractor has experience layering these materials.

With this type, you receive multiple layers of asphalt over the roof deck. This multi-layer selection is popular for its durability and high resistance to water accumulation.

Modified Bitumen

What makes a modified bitumen roof unique is being composed of asphalt and modified with either rubber or plastic. As part of the installation process, your contractor should use flashings and cover granular surfaces with aluminum coating.

Asphalt for these is chemically modified and has a fiberglass mat to maximize strength. Because of their inherent thickness, modified bitumen roofs are popular among homeowners.


Single-ply roofs contain multiple sheets of synthetic polymer rolled over the surface of a roof and welded together. The result is a highly durable roof. One major benefit of single-ply is that they come in white, rendering them highly heat-resistant.

Single-ply can also self-extinguish, which adds to the roof’s fire resistance. Finally, the membranes used for single-ply roofs are more environmentally friendly than other selections.

Your Low-Slope Roofing Experts

So, which low-slope roofing is right for you?

Selecting the right roof type—and best materials—is crucial for minimizing potential damage while extending the life of a flat roof. You’ll want a selection that withstands stagnant water, resists extreme weather conditions, and lasts decades.

If you’re looking for a company that specializes in flat roof repairs and installation, American Roofing is your one-stop shop for your needs. Our area of expertise lies in conducting repairs for commercial, residential, and condominium properties throughout Utah.

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We specialize in commercial, residential, and condo repairs across Utah. Request a free quote to get started.