The Best Tiles For A Low Pitched Roof

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The Best Tiles For A Low Pitched Roof

When surveying or planning for commercial roofing projects, understanding the roof pitch and the impacts this will have on the roofs performance is crucial.

Slates and tiles are designed to ensure water flows down these, either over the laps or through channels and into guttering. The purpose of creating a pitched roof, is to shed the precipitation away from the building.

You will notice that in countries where rainfall is less frequent, roof pitches are typically shallower than in areas where precipitation is greater.

In this article, we focus on low pitched roofs and investigate what tiles and slates are suitable for a low pitched roof.

Installing an unsuitable slate or tile on a low pitched roof will result in water actually pushing up the tile and onto the underlay through capillary action. During cold weather, any water caught between the slates or tiles can freeze causing them to crack and break.

Overtime these issues will lead to premature failure and most likely the requirement for a new roof.

What is a low pitched roof slope?

Generally speaking, roof slopes shallower than 22.5 degrees are considered to be a low pitched roof.

However ensuring that the pitch of the roof is correctly measured before specifying any particular product is extremely important. If you are in any doubt, our surveying teams are able to assist.

The exact roof pitch will inevitably determine which system is best suited, and as importantly allow you are ascertain which one to avoid.

In many cases specifying a “like for like” replacement, may in fact not be suitable. Our teams on many occasions have undertaken surveys on leaking commercial properties, to conclude the issues are solely down to the incorrect covering having been installed. Therefore “like for like” will NOT fix the problems.

What tiles are suitable for a low pitched roof?

Under 22.5 degrees, slates and plain tiles should not be considered, there are systems that can be incorporated into the design which can make such covering perform, but generally speaking you need to be looking towards larger concrete or clay interlocking tiles.

These large format tiles interlock with each other and have anti-capillary features along their bottom edge, ensuring driving rain isn’t forced behind the system.

It is important however to note that a number of interlocking tiles are not suitable for pitched even as low as 22.5 degrees, therefore ensuring you conduct your research prior is vital.

What tiles are suitable for a very low pitched roof?

When considering a “very low” pitched roof, we are referring to roof pitches under 12.5 degrees.

For slopes as low as this there are still a wide range of products suitable for low pitch roofs varying from very deep bold profiles to flat surfaced tiles, some of which can be mistaken for slates.

Another option for a low pitch roofs is to use a pressed metal roof tile. These are made by pressing steel sheets to form a panel containing a series of tile profiles and the surface is coated with a mineral finish to give the appearance of a normal roof tile or slate.

These systems can be used on roof slopes as low as 5 degrees. They are also vandal proof and so lend themselves to places where this might be a problem, such as single storey buildings in public areas like sports pavilions or public conveniences in parks.

Before specifying or selecting a tile for a low pitched roof, the first thing to ensure is that the roof pitch has been correctly measured, do not rely on the old coverings. Thereafter check, and check again that what you are proposing is suitable for the existing roof pitch.

Our teams work with hundreds of clients, surveying practices and building consultancies annually, and provide unbiased and professional advice on the suitability of various pitched roof coverings. If there’s anything we can help with, get in touch with the team.

This article, as with all other articles we produce, is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute formal advice and should not be relied upon as such. For bespoke, unbiased advice relating to your commercial roofing project please contact us and we would be pleased to assist.

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