When it comes to home repair, nothing is more important than the roof. It provides shelter from rain and snow, keeps out pests and excess heat in the summertime, and protects against fire damage–in short, your roof is a crucial part of your home’s infrastructure. When it comes to roofing, with so many different types and styles to choose from, it can be difficult to know which is right for your home.
And while most homeowners are familiar with traditional shingled roofs, a less common but equally important type of roofing is pitch hopper roofing. In this article, we’ll take a close look at pitch hopper roofing, explaining what it is, its benefits and drawbacks, and whether or not it’s the right choice for your home.
What Is Pitch Hopper Roofing?
Pitch hopper roofing is a type of built-up roofing that uses gravel or stone to provide ballast and protection against UV rays. It is composed of multiple layers of tar paper or felt that are laminated together with asphalt. The top layer is then covered with gravel or stone.
Pitch hopper roofing got its name from the fact that the original roofs were made by pouring hot asphalt onto a bed of rocks or gravel (known as a “hopper”), then spreading it evenly with a pitchfork. Today, most pitch hopper roofs are made with a machine that evenly distributes the asphalt over the tar paper or felt.
Pitch hopper roofing is most commonly used on commercial and industrial buildings, but it can also be used on residential homes. More and more homeowners are choosing pitch hopper roofing for its durability and long lifespan. However, because it is not as common as shingled roofing, it can be more difficult to find a contractor who specializes in pitch hopper roofing installation.
Pitch Hopper Roof Installation
Pitch hopper roofing is a complex roofing system, and as such, it is best installed by a professional contractor who has experience with this type of roof. As explained by folk from Top Notch Roofing, pitch hopper roofing is not a do-it-yourself job. The process is messy, and it’s easy to make mistakes that will shorten the lifespan of your roof. Once you’ve found a contractor you trust, they will work with you to determine the best type of pitch hopper roofing for your home and budget.
In general, the first step in installing a pitch hopper roof is to inspect the decking (the wooden framework that supports the roof) to ensure that it is in good condition and can support the weight of the new roof. Next, a layer of tar paper or felt is laid down over the decking. This will act as a vapor barrier and help to prevent moisture damage. The next step is to install the asphalt-impregnated tar paper or felt. This material is available in rolls, and it is applied in a similar manner to traditional shingle roofing.
Once the asphalt-impregnated tar paper or felt is in place, the next step is to install the gravel or stone ballast. This is usually done with a machine that evenly distributes the gravel over the surface of the roof. Once the ballast is in place, it is important to compact it so that it doesn’t shift or move over time. This step is crucial to the longevity of your roof. The final phase is to install the top layer of tar paper or felt. This will help to protect the ballast from UV rays and weather damage.
Pitch Hopper Roofing Materials
The most common material used in pitch hopper roofing is asphalt. Asphalt is a durable, weather-resistant material that can withstand high temperatures and extreme weather conditions. It is also relatively inexpensive, making it a popular choice for homeowners and businesses alike. Other common materials used in pitch hopper roofing include tar paper, felt, gravel, and stone. However, if you live in an area with high winds, you may want to consider using a different type of ballast, such as concrete pavers or interlocking tiles.
Types of Pitch Hopper Roofing
There are two main types of pitch hopper roofing: built-up roofing (BUR) and modified bitumen roofing (MBR). BUR is the most common type of pitch hopper roofing, and it is made with multiple layers of tar paper or felt that are laminated together with asphalt. The top layer is then covered with gravel or stone. MBR is similar to BUR, but it uses a reinforcing layer of fiberglass or polyester to add strength and durability.
Depending on the climate in your area and the type of building you are roofing, your contractor will help you choose the best type of pitch hopper roofing for your needs. For example, if you live in an area with high winds, you may want to opt for MBR, as it is less likely to be damaged by wind than BUR. On the other hand, if you are roofing a commercial building, BUR may be the better option, as it is more fire-resistant than MBR.
Pitch Hopper Roofing Maintenance
Unlike other types of roofs, pitch hopper roofs do not require much in the way of maintenance. This is because they are designed to shed water quickly and efficiently. However, it is still important to have your roof inspected on a regular basis. Professional contractors will be able to spot any potential problems and make repairs before they cause serious damage. In addition, you should clear away any debris, such as leaves or branches, that could clog the drains and cause water to back up onto the roof.
Benefits of Pitch Hopper Roofing
There are many benefits to pitch hopper roofing, both in terms of function and aesthetics. One of the most important benefits is that pitch hopper roofing is extremely durable and long-lasting. With proper installation and maintenance, a pitch hopper roof can last for decades. In fact, many commercial buildings have pitch hopper roofs that are over 50 years old.
Pitch hopper roofing is also low-maintenance. Unlike shingle roofs, which need to be replaced every 15-20 years, pitch hopper roofs only need to be inspected and maintained every few years. And because they are made with multiple layers of tar paper or felt, they are better able to withstand severe weather conditions like high winds and hail.
Pitch hopper roofing is also environmentally friendly. Because it is made with natural materials like gravel or stone, it is completely recyclable. And because it lasts so long, it doesn’t need to be replaced as often as shingle roofs, which reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
If you’re looking for a durable, low-maintenance, and environmentally friendly roofing option, pitch hopper roofing may be the right choice for you. But because it is not as common as shingle roofing, it’s important to find a qualified contractor who has experience installing this type of roof. With proper installation and maintenance, your pitch hopper roof will provide years of protection.