The Difference Between Steep and Low Slope Roofs

How do you choose the best roofing system for your property? There are several factors to consider, among them the specific roof type suitable for your needs.

In most cases, it’s always good to let comprehensive roofing services give you the best advice. However, it’s still good to understand the different types of commercial and residential roofs on the market.

We will be discussing steep slope and low slope roofs in San Antonio to help you choose better. Keep reading.

Is Just Any Roof a Roof?

The overall design of an effective roof covering may depend on several factors. But the most crucial consideration is choosing between sleep and low-pitched roofs. The slope of a residential roof system plays a crucial role in its performance.

Now, understand that there are different roofing solutions. For instance, a flat roof could still support the structure of your home.  

It takes a proper understanding of the different types that can help you choose the right now. Or you can let valuable home improvement services like Bison Roofing help you out.

Some people assume that all roofs are the same. After all, they perform the same functions, right?

The Difference Between Steep and Low Slope Roofing Explained

Steep Slope Roofs

You will see a steep slope roof on most residential homes. A steep slope roofing qualifies when it has a pitch of more than 18 degrees. Most homeowners will choose a steep roof because it’s the most common type.

There are different types of steep slope roofing. The most common design is asphalt shingles, which are durable and easier to maintain.

Other steep-sloped roofing options include metal, slate, wood shakes, and natural and composite tiles. As you can see, most steep-pitched roofing materials are metal, wood, or clay.

Metal roofs are better on a steeper slope compared to the other option. However, finding metal roofing on large commercial buildings is not easy. These properties require more advanced roofing systems, as discussed below.

Advantages of a steeply pitched roof

A steep pitch offers several advantages that should handle most of your residential roofing needs. The most significant benefit is when the rainy and snowy seasons begin.

Here is more about steep roofing advantages:

Better water flow

When water or ice falls on a steep roof, it falls right down. Ice, too, will flow down easily, eliminating any pressure from the roof.

 More attic space

A steeply sloped roof offers more space in the attic. It’s one of the most popular buildup systems for those who want to create an extra room in the attic. The roofs are built on an A-frame design, which creates a multipurpose roof. You can use the extra storage space for your old stuff.

A great view

The most popular roofing materials are found on steep slope roofs. This is because they promise a better curb appeal for residential structures. For instance, there are various types of metal roofs that you can choose from to give your house a great look.

Cons of steep slope roof

Even though steep slopes are incredible, they come with a few cons. Let’s list them here:

  • Higher labor costs. Installing a steep slope is more challenging due to the lack of accessibility. This increases the installation cost per square footage.
  • Generally, more expensive. More square footage material is needed compared to the low steep, which also makes maintenance costly.
  • They are not cost-effective for commercial buildings.

Low Slope Roofs

Steep slope vs. low slope roof simply compares the slanting angle. As the name suggests, low slope roofing covers a low-slop area. They may look like flat roofs from a distance, but they are not. Low-sloped roofs have a pitch of below 18 degrees, the opposite of steep-sloped roofs.

It’s no wonder most people refer to low slope roofs as flat roofs. The lowest slopes are quite distinguishable from steep roofs due to their specific pitch.

Any commercial building you meet in the cities will probably have a low-sloped roof. This is because commercial and industrial buildings require significantly more square footage than residential ones.

The specific roofing material also defines a low-pitched roof. The most common flat roofing materials are modified bitumen, PVC, EPDM, and TPO.

Advantages of a low slot roof design

Like any buildup roofs, low-slope roofs have several advantages. The biggest one is that they work on commercial roofs than steep roofs. Although they can still work well on a residential roof design to cover porches and decks, they are preferable in commercial buildings.

Consider these advantages:

They are more cost-effective

 Flat and low-sloped roofs don’t require the addition of complex systems for support, and they require fewer materials compared to steeper-sloped roofs. This reduces the cost of installation significantly.

Energy effective

The added space in the attic of steep sloped roofs creates additional air space, which can affect the heating and cooling of your house. On the other hand, low-slope roofs reduce this space, helping to warm up your house.

Multipurpose roof usage

The aesthetic value of a low-sloped roof is in its multipurpose usage. You can include a sun deck or install solar panels more easily on these roofs.


Here are a few cons of low-sloped roofs

  • Potential moss mildew development. Because a low-sloped roofing system does not allow for efficient drainage, it’s quite easy for mildew to form.
  • Limited on materials. You can’t use overlapping material like shingles on a low slope roof. And that is mainly why they are left to residential properties.
  • Ice buildup. If you live in a snowy region, expect snow to build up on the roof. This could lead to the collapse of the roof.

Low Slope vs. Steep Slope: Which One Is the Best

The roof slope plays a crucial role in its performance. Hence, you want to choose carefully. Obviously, you can have a shingle roof with low slopes. That means eliminating the low roof pitch if you are doing a commercial roof.

As seen in the advantages above, steep roofing is preferable for residential properties. The extra attic space could act as an additional living space for your expanding family. You can have the roof designed in such a way that makes that extra space useful.

Also, a steep slope roof allows you to add more things, like gutter guard installation, recreated covered porches, and much more. Some extra utility space can come in handy.

On the other hand, low slopes add insulation value to the property, apart from being a more affordable installation. Also, they are easier to maintain.

With these features in mind, we can’t say which roofing option is the best. As Bison Roofing advises, “choose the roof according to your needs.” Any can do, as long as it’s chosen for the right property.