Differentiating Steep-Slope Roofing and Low-Slope Roofing

When you’re getting a place, you’re given a choice on what kind of roof you want to have. This protector for your property can come in many different variations. Some of the most popular variations for most households are sloped. Two very talked-about terms that you can ask the best roofers about are steep-slope and low-slope roofing.

Although some may interchange the terms, they aren’t actually the same. Steep-slope roofs are what most people can picture for residences, where the design is often at 18 degrees or more in its pitch. Low-slope roofing is much flatter in its angle, going lower than the standard 18 degrees. This type of design is used more for commercial spaces.

The appearance and usage can be the main way to differentiate steep-slope and low-slope roofs. However, there are plenty of other factors where they can go head to head on. Which roofing type is better during the winters? Which one holds more benefits for the home’s systems? Which one is a more cost-effective option as time passes on?

Here’s a list of functions where you can see their other points of difference:

1) Water Flow

In areas where it’s a bit rainier, steep-slope roofs may have the upper hand over low-slope. This is because of the pitch angle that the roof has. Low-slope roofs may have the water collect in a certain area, especially when it’s at a zero-degree angle. 

Steep-slope roofs are slightly more favorable as the water will likely trickle off the top and through different water channels. The decreased chances of leaks and water damage to the rest of the building make steep-slope a victor compared to low-slope roofs.

2) Ice Buildup

The same principle with water flow applies to buildups in the winter. When that ice or snow starts to melt, it will be just a big source of water. Pitched roofs like a steep slope will have a definite advantage in guiding the water away from the property.

Plus, even during that freezing weather, it’s better not to let the ice and snow pile up in one spot. Having everything accumulate and weaken the structural integrity of the roof is more likely to happen with low-slopes.

3) HVAC Perks

When people run their heater or air conditioner, most wouldn’t even think that that roof would ever impact the temperature or costs. However, different roofs can influence the amount of air that gets into the building, affecting the place’s insulation. Low-slope roofing is much more effective when it comes to that regard compared to steep-slopes.

4) Storage

Steep-slope roofs often provide a bit more room due to the angle it’s settled at. This opens up opportunities for creating an attic, which can never be achieved with a low-slope roof unless the extra space was architected beforehand. Whether it’s going to be a spare room in the household or just a space for older memorabilia, it can be handy to have.

5) Installation

Lastly, when it comes to installation, low-slope roofs are significantly easier to install. They’re much more affordable as there are fewer building materials involved compared to steep-slope roofs too. Low-slope roofs are certainly cost-effective when it comes to that initial price point, but both are an excellent investment to make though when weighing both against the other.


Steep-slope and low-slope roofing both have their own pros and cons. When you’re differentiating and choosing between the two of them, try to place a higher priority on what kind of structure you’re making it for and what the priorities are when it comes down to things long-term.

In need of the best roofers? Three Mountain Roofing in Vermont provides residents and business owners with a selection of roofing services, entertaining both steep-slope and low-slope projects. Contact us today!



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