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Why You Shouldn't Install Shingles on a Flat Roof or Low Slope Roof


Flat roofing

When it comes to roofing materials, asphalt shingles are the go-to choice for most homeowners. However, they are not suitable for every type of roof. In particular, low slope or flat roofs should not be covered with shingles. Despite this, some contractors still make the mistake of installing shingles on these types of roofs. This not only puts the shingles at risk of damage, but also voids any warranties that may protect your investment. To avoid these issues, it's important to understand why shingles are not recommended for low slope roofs.


JNR Roofing is a trusted roofing company in Chesterfield that prioritizes honesty and transparency when it comes to helping homeowners make informed decisions about their roofs. They strongly advise against using shingles for low slope roofing and are dedicated to educating their clients on the reasons why. With their expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction, JNR Roofing is the go-to choice for all your roofing needs in Chesterfield.


This article covers the following topics:

  • What is considered a low slope or flat roof?

  • Why shouldn’t you install shingles on a low slope or flat roof?

What is considered a low slope or flat roof?


Roof pitch is the steepness (angle) of your roof or certain roof facets. Roof pitch is a ratio calculated by the number of inches or feet it rises vertically for every 12 inches or feet it extends horizontally.

For example, a roof with a 6/12 pitch will be 6 inches (or feet) up for every 12 inches (feet) out. With that in mind, a roof is considered low slope when the roof’s pitch is below a 2:12.

This means your roof is low slope if its pitch is less than 2 vertical units (inches or feet) up for every 12 horizontal units out. It should be pretty obvious if your roof or a roof facet is low slope.

But if you’re unsure, don’t risk your safety by getting on your roof to measure its pitch. You’ll learn your roof’s pitch after an inspection by a local roofing contractor for your roof replacement.


Why shouldn’t you install shingles on a low slope or flat roof?


(Red: low slope area that shouldn't have shingles; Green: good pitch to have shingles)



When it comes to roofing, it's important to choose the right materials for the slope of your roof. Shingles, for example, are not suitable for low slope or flat roofs because they are not designed to handle standing water. Without a steep enough pitch to allow water to flow to the gutters, flat roofs can develop pools of water that can damage shingles and lead to leaks. In fact, manufacturers typically won't warranty shingle installations on roofs with a pitch less than 2:12. To avoid problems and ensure your roof lasts as long as possible, it's important to choose the right materials for your roof's slope.


Why would a roofing contractor recommend installing shingles on a low slope or flat roof?


If you're searching for roofing companies near you, be wary of those who recommend installing shingles on a low slope or flat roof. This is not a mistake, but rather a tactic to lower their prices and win your business. However, this is a huge red flag and could lead to costly repairs in the long run. While membrane roof systems cost around $12.00 to $17.00 per square foot, architectural asphalt shingles only cost around $6.00 per square foot. But installing shingles on a flat or low slope roof will ultimately cost you more money in the long run. Don't let pricing be the only factor in your decision-making process when it comes to roofing. Choose a reputable contractor who will recommend the best materials for your specific roof type.


If you're in need of roofing services in Chesterfield and the surrounding areas, look no further than JNR Roofing. Our team specializes in low slope and flat roofing, and we're committed to providing top-notch workmanship. Plus, we stand behind our work with a

10 year craftsmanship guarantee, so you can have peace of mind knowing your roof is in good hands.

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