Designing your roof to prevent leaks

Look around the world at roof design and you will find that the weather conditions have dictated the traditional shape of roofs.

Generally speaking, the more rain there is, the steeper the pitch of a roof will be.  Houses in areas of low rainfall will frequently have roofs of low pitch, while those in areas of high rainfall (and snow) have steep roofs.

In some tropical areas you will see the roofs on traditional houses sweeping almost to the ground.  Steeply pitched roofs are a characteristic of Germany and Holland where there is high snowfall, and in some parts of North America and Canada building regulations demand a minimum pitch of 30 degrees.

In the UK we also have high rainfall, which is why we have developed a style of architecture that incorporates a pitched roof.   Even roofs that appear to be flat (on extensions, or commercial buildings) will need to have pitch of some sort to prevent water pooling on the surface and causing leaks.

Styles vary depending on the age of the property, but generally speaking, a pitch of between 30 and 45 degrees is considered normal.  And if you want any evidence to show how much this style of roof is embedded in our way of thinking, ask a five-year-old to draw a house.

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