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How Steep is Your Roof?

Last updated 6 years ago

When you are ready to call Fortress Roofing for a free estimate on your roofing project, one of the questions you will be asked is how steep your roof is, or if you know what the “pitch” is. This is not something that most homeowners know about their roof. We would not advise that you take any unnecessary risks to find out (we will be prepared to measure your roof regardless of whether or not you know the pitch!), but as we’ve had people ask us how they can determine this, we thought we’d share this brief tutorial!

The pitch, or slope, of a roof is simply the length of vertical rise of a roof over a 12” horizontal distance.


The pitch of your roof can be easily calculated if you take a few safety precautions. There are two ways to measure the pitch: from the top of the roof (you should NOT be on the roof if using this method – just stand on a secured ladder that easily reaches the top of your roof), or from underneath the rafters. The latter method is often a more accurate measurement because the layers of roofing material such as shingles can distort the actual measurement.

To measure the slope from the top of your roof, mark a level at 12”. Hold it perfectly level, and use a tape measure to measure the distance from the roof to the 12” mark on your level.

To measure from underneath the rafters, there are three places from which to take measurements: from the underside of the rafter on an overhang, from the underside of a rafter in the attic, or from the underside of a barge rafter on the end of a gable.

Whether your roof is very steep or flat, Fortress has the tools, knowledge and manpower to complete any job to your complete satisfaction. Call us today to speak to one of our knowledgeable estimators about your roofing project!


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