3 Expert Methods for Measuring Your Roof pitch

Don’t let a faulty roof bring you down – master the art of pitch measurement with our 3 expert methods.

Being a licensed roofer, I’ve been asked by a lot of individuals about the right way to measure the roof slope or roof pitch. Well, my particular article focus specifically on just the measurement and in our other article I’ve explained in detail what a roof pitch is or how to calculate the roof pitch. So, here’s only the measurement thing.

I’ll be showing three different methods for measuring the pitch of a roof: manually measuring from the ground, using a tape measure and a pitch and slope locator tool, and using a cell phone.

Manual Measurement

The first method is to measure the pitch of the roof manually from the ground. I can’t emphasize enough on the importance of using a level to ensure accuracy when measuring the pitch manually from the ground.

To measure the pitch manually, I suggest measuring from the ground, from wherever you’re going to stop on your rake of your roof, and then placing two or three dots in between wherever you’re measuring from so you get a straight line. It’s always better to get on the roof and be able to measure the roof pitch.

Here’re the steps for using a measuring tape.

  • First, gather the necessary tools: a measuring tape, a level, and a marker or pencil.
  • Position the level on the roof to ensure that the surface you are measuring is level.
  • Measure 12 inches from the level surface, and make a mark with a pencil or marker.
  • Measure the distance from the level surface to the peak of the roof at the 12-inch mark.
  • Divide the second measurement by 12 to calculate the pitch. For example, if the measurement is 3 inches, the pitch is 3/12 or 1/4.
  • Repeat the process at different points on the roof to ensure accuracy.
  • Write down the pitch measurements and you can use it to compare it with the standard measurement.
  • Repeat the process at different points on the roof to ensure accuracy.

Pitch and Slope Locator Tool

The next method is using a pitch and slope locator tool. I have been using the Johnson tool, which is made in the USA. The goal of using this tool is to get the pitch of the roof, which is typically measured between 1 and 18 over 12. So, basically the goal of measuring the pitch is to determine the slope or angle of the roof.

Here’re the steps to use the pitch and slope locator tool:

  • First, gather the necessary tools: a Pitch and Slope Locator Tool, a level.
  • Position the level on the roof to ensure that the surface you are measuring is level.
  • Place the Pitch and Slope Locator Tool on the roof surface and make sure it’s level.
  • Read the measurement shown on the tool, it will indicate the roof’s pitch in inches per foot or in degrees.
  • Take multiple measurements across the roof to ensure accuracy and take note of the measurements.
  • Compare the measurement with the standard measurement and calculate the average.

Cell Phone

Measuring the pitch of a roof is something very, very simple and it’s free as long as you have a smartphone. So, what you need to do is download the application called Pitch Gauge. It is available free to download on both Google Play Store and Apple store.

Once you’ve installed the app, and opened it, you’ll just have to go to Pitch Finder.

Now, you may need to calibrate the app. For that, you put it on an even surface. So, if you don’t put it on an even surface, it could be off a little bit on your calibration.

Obviously, it’s always great to be able to do this with two different devices, whether it’s with your tape, your pitch finder, manual pitch finder, or with your phone just to compare the two to make sure it’s right.

Download the Pitch Gauge app on your smartphone. It is available for free on Google Play and Apple downloads for iPhones.

  • Calibrate the app by placing it on an even surface.
  • Go to the roof and place the smartphone on the roof surface so that the camera is pointing straight up towards the peak of the roof.
  • Hold the phone level the app will then display the pitch of the roof in inches per foot or in degrees.
  • Compare the measurement taken with the app with manual measurements taken with a tape or other pitch finder, to ensure accuracy.
  • Record the measurement for reference and repeat the process for any other areas of the roof that you need to measure.

It is important to note that measuring the pitch of a roof is only one step in determining the overall structure of a roof. To calculate the roof rafters, you will also need to take into account factors such as the roof span, the type of roof, and the type of material being used. For more detailed information on calculating roof rafters, be sure to check out our other article on the subject

Conclusion

Measuring the pitch of a roof is an important task for any homeowner or a roofer. This article has provided three different methods for measuring the pitch of a roof: manually measuring from the ground, using a tape measure and a pitch and slope locator tool, and using a smartphone with the Pitch Gauge app.

Each method has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right method will depend on the specific needs of the job. The first method is to measure the pitch of the roof manually from the ground, using a level to ensure accuracy.

The second method is to use a pitch and slope locator tool, which gives an accurate measurement of the roof’s pitch in inches per foot or in degrees.

The last method is to use a smartphone with the Pitch Gauge app, which is a simple, easy, and free way to measure the pitch of a roof, as long as you have a smartphone. Remember to use safety equipment when climbing on the roof and to take measurements at a few different points on the roof for accuracy.

Leave a Comment