How To Properly Use Pitch Finder Apps

The slope, or pitch of a roof is one of the most important aspects to consider when estimating. If you miscalculate the pitch, it will likely throw off your labor & material quantities, as well as the labor rates themselves. Checking the pitch carefully & correctly will help you to prevent costly mistakes.

We used to get pitch with one of these bad boys & honestly, they’re still the most reliable way:


Just be sure to use a straight edge so the uneven surface of the roof doesn’t throw off the measurement. (Shingles are not a flat surface.)

With modern technology on the rise, pitch gauge / pitch finding apps are getting more & more popular. However, if not used correctly, they can yield very inaccurate results!

 Here are a couple of pictures showing traditional pitch gauges with accurate results:


The roof in the images has a pitch of 12/12, which is a 45 degree angle.

Now, we’ll show you what it should look like using the two most popular pitch finding apps on the App Store.

The proper way to use pitch finder apps is by placing them directly on the roof surface, or by standing back from a gable end of the roof, directly perpendicular to the rake edge.

Correct Way #1: Place your phone or tablet directly on the roof, or against the fascia. This requires climbing to the top of a ladder but will yield the most accurate results. Again, be sure that the surface is flat & be sure that your phone’s case doesn’t put it at an angle. This is the only way to measure pitch on Hip roofs as well.


Correct Way #2: Directly in front of the rake edge and standing back.


Incorrect Way #1: Directly in front of the rake edge, but too close & looking up at the roof. Results in pitch value being a couple of pitch values low. For this roof, we would be about 3 squares short.


Incorrect Way #2: Looking steeply up & towards the roof face. Results in a very low pitch reading. We’d be about 10 squares short here!


Incorrect Way #3: Looking steeply up & from the opposite side of the roof face. Results in very high pitch reading. For this roof, that’s about 7-20 squares over. Needless to say, you likely won’t be closing this sale.



You can also get pitch remotely using RoofSnap & aerial imagery. This is an accurate way to get pitch before you even show up on site. 

Curious about how this works? Contact us or try RoofSnap for free using the button below:


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