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What Is The Minimum Pitch For Shingle Roofs In Wisconsin?

Posted on April 21, 2024

What Is The Minimum Pitch For Shingle Roofs In Wisconsin?

Roof slope or pitch is one of the most critical topics for homeowners because it affects the functionality and longevity of your roof. Knowing your roof’s pitch is essential in places like Wisconsin, where severe winters and heavy snowfall are typical. Along the same lines, understanding the minimum pitch requirements for shingle roofs is essential for ensuring the effectiveness of your home’s roofing system. 

This blog post will discuss the minimum pitch for shingle roofs for Wisconsin homeowners. 

What Is Roof Pitch?

Before understanding the minimum pitch for shingle roofs, it is essential to know what a roof pitch is. A roof’s pitch is determined by comparing its vertical rise to its horizontal span. Basically, the pitch represents the inclination of the roof and is commonly measured in inches and represented as a ratio. A larger first number in this ratio indicates a steeper slope. For example, 8:12 is a steeper slope compared to 3:12. 

This measurement significantly impacts how well a roof drains rain and snow, preventing damage and possible structural failure. 

What Is The Minimum Roof Pitch For Shingle Roofs In Wisconsin?

The recommended minimum pitch for asphalt shingle roofs in Wisconsin is 2:12 or greater, meaning the roof should rise 2-inches for every 12-inches of horizontal run. This guideline, often found in installation instructions and building codes, is crucial to prevent water damage, as shingles are not built to hold standing water. 

Though a pitch of 2:12 is the minimum for a shingle roof, most contractors will not install them on a pitch of less than 4:12 due to the slow water drainage on very low-sloped roofs, which can lead to water seepage around shingle overlaps. 

Below 2:12 to 4:12 for standard shingle installation, it’s advised to install a high-quality, waterproof underlayment to further protect against water intrusion. During re-roofing or a new roof installation, ensuring a pitch of 2:12 is essential to avoid issues.

Recommended Minimum Pitch For Asphalt Shingle Roofs in Wisconsin is 2:12
Recommended Minimum Pitch For Asphalt Shingle Roofs in Wisconsin is 2:12

Why Is It Important To Understand The Minimum Pitch For Shingle Roofs?

1. Water Drainage:

The roof pitch determines how effectively water drains off the roof’s surface during rainstorms. This prevents water accumulation, which can cause damage, leaks, and premature wear of the roof material.

2. Roof Performance and Durability:

The roof pitch affects the performance and durability of the roof, influencing factors such as longevity, integrity, and resilience to wind and snow loads.

3. Proper Installation and Warranty:

Knowing the minimum pitch required ensures proper installation of the shingles. Manufacturers often specify warranties based on pitch requirements to avoid issues like premature material failure or inadequate water runoff.

4. Structural Integrity:

Understanding the minimum pitch maintains the roof’s structural integrity, preventing water-related damage and ensuring the longevity of the roofing material.

What Are The Consequences Of An Incorrect Roof Pitch?

1. Leaking Roof

If the roof isn’t sloped correctly, water can sneak in when it rains heavily. This can damage the inside of the building, such as the walls and ceiling.

2. Damage to the Building Structure

Water damage can weaken a building over time. It can cause wood rot, rust, and wet insulation, and fixing this kind of damage can be very expensive.

3. Mold Growth

When water leaks in, it can create the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow. This can make people sick and can be hard to get rid of.

4. Wasted Energy

An improper roof slope can make it harder to keep the inside of the building warm or cool. This can raise energy bills as the HVAC system works harder to maintain a consistent temperature.

5. Lower Property Value

All these problems can make the building less valuable. If someone wants to buy it, they might pay less because of the possibility of future damage.

6. Shorter Roof Life

A roof that’s not sloped correctly may not last as long. Water damage can wear it out faster, and it might not hold up well against strong winds or snow.

7. Violation of Building Codes

Building codes often state the minimum pitch required for a roof. If your roof is pitched incorrectly, it can lead to fines or legal action down the road.

8. More Expensive Insurance

Insurance companies might charge more if the roof is improperly pitched. They see it as a more significant risk, causing your rates to increase.

Standard Roof Designs in Wisconsin and Their Pitch Requirements

Various roof types, each with specific style and angle requirements, can be found all over Wisconsin. Knowledge about these roof types can help you choose the right roofing material and technique for building or repairing them.

1. Gable Roofs: Gable roofs are a common roof design in Wisconsin. The pitch of a gable roof generally ranges from moderately sloping (3:12) to steeper (9:12).

2. Hip Roofs: In Wisconsin, hipped roofs are also a popular roofing style. Their pitch varies from a mildly sloping 4:12 to a slightly more steep 5:12.

3. Flat Roofs: Modern buildings in Wisconsin are increasingly utilizing flat roofs. Typically, their slope is 1:12 or less, giving the impression that they are almost flat.

4. Mansard Roofs: Although less prevalent, mansard roofs can be seen on European or historic homes. Their pitch is typically steeper at a minimum of 7:12.

Asphalt Shingle Roof
Asphalt Shingle Roof


Knowing Wisconsin’s minimum pitch requirements for shingle roofs is essential to preserving the longevity and integrity of your home’s roofing system. You should also consider building codes and the local climate to ensure drainage and weather resistance. Following these guidelines and avoiding typical pitfalls will increase the lifespan of your roof, protect your home from potential water damage, and improve the visual appeal and value of your property. 

If you are unsure of your roof’s pitch or need help with maintenance or repairs, trust Prestige Roofing for professional services. Our skilled roofers will provide personalized advice and solutions to fulfill your unique requirements and guarantee your peace of mind. With over 50 years of combined experience, our team is ready to handle all your asphalt shingle roof installation needs with our customer centric approach and 10-year labor warranty. Call us at (920) 791-0414 and schedule your free estimate today.