The roof is one of the most vital parts of a house. At some point, it will need to be replaced, and the first step in this process is the measurement of the entire roofing area. The area, along with the pitch, are parts of the total cost and can be calculated using mathematical equations. This will provide the estimated price of the new roof. The following explains how to measure the square footage of a roof.

Ground Dimensions

Before going up on the roof, the ground dimensions of the house must be measured first. Multiplying the width by the length will provide the ground area of the structure. When the house is not a perfect square or rectangle, its sections can be measured separately and then added together to discover the ground dimensions.

Conversion to Squares

After measuring and figuring the ground area, it is time to convert that number to roofing squares. Every 100 square feet of roof is a square. Dividing the ground dimensions number by 100 provides the total roofing squares.

Pitch Estimation

The next step is estimating the roof’s pitch. Typically, a roof will have a pitch that is high, medium or low. A high pitch rises nine inches for every foot of horizontal length at the base. Medium pitch is six to nine inches of rise in relation to 12 inches of length, and low pitch is three inches for every foot. The pitch can be estimated by eye or by the use of a level.

Measuring the Pitch

This is done by climbing a ladder to the roof’s starting point. The level is placed one foot above the roof’s bottom edge. The roof is then measured starting at the 12-inch mark of the level. If this measurement is over nine inches, the roof has a high pitch. When the number is six to nine inches, the roof has a medium pitch. A low pitch is indicated by a number of less than six inches.

Final Calculation

The square footage is found by multiplying the number of squares by the roof pitch. In the case of a high-pitch roof, this calculation is squares times 1.3 to 1.42. For a medium-pitch roof, it is squares times 1.12 to 1.25. A low-pitch roof is squares times 1.06 to 1.08 to arrive at the final measurement.

Safety First

While measuring a roof is a necessary step before moving ahead with replacement, it is a risky job that is best done by professionals. Any homeowner who decides to take on the measuring alone should use caution with ladder placement and ensure that there is no wind or bad weather in the area that could pose a danger. In most cases, it is best practice to call an experienced roofer to take the measurements and provide an estimate.

Roof replacement is a large investment, which is why precise measurements are so important. Whether it is performed by the homeowner or a roofing company, knowing how to measure the square footage of a roof will keep the job on schedule and within budget.

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