What is a Pitch Pocket?
First let’s start with its use. A pitch pocket is used on both flat and sloped roofs to provide a water-tight seal around columns or other roof penetrations. On traditional installations metal boots or pipe sleeves are used for water-tight protection but often a specialty flashing is required, this is also called a pitch pocket. A pitch pocket is usually made from sheet metal such as aluminum or steel and is fitted around the rooftop penetration to protect the roof from moisture.
Any type of flat roof penetration can compromise the integrity and weather-resistance of an entire roof. These openings can allow moisture to get in to the insulation and framing below the roof membrane which can lead to rotting, mold, and other roof problems. Whenever a penetration or installation is made on a flat roof, metal flashing and counter flashings are installed.
A traditional pitch pocket resembles a top hat with an open top and bottom. The flanges at the bottom of the pitch pocket are fastened to the top of the roof structure with vertical sections that are fitted around the unit, pipes or other rooftop equipment installed on the roof. The open seam is aligned using built in connectors or grooves. At Roof Maintenance.ca we usually build and install custom pitch pocket models which will require welding or specialty adhesive to ensure a water-tight seal. Some pitch pockets models can also be hammered together using an interlocking seam.
Coal or tar pitch used to be the material of choice to seal equipment to the roof decking which is where the name “pitch pocket” comes from. Currently hot asphalt or grout is poured into the top of the pitch pocket to form a tight seal. Filling in the gaps between the base of the pocket and the roof is what prevents water from leaking into the roof so a roofing expert must know the right material to use for each different type of roofing system.
At Roof Maintenance.ca, we also install rooftop equipment as well as pitch pocket installation afterwards. We understand that a pitch pocket is not designed to prevent shifting or movement of a rooftop object; the rooftop equipment must be installed properly first.
If it is deemed necessary due to the rooftop equipment or age of the roof, a storm collar or other type of counter flashing can be installed to ensure there are no roof leaks. A storm collar is fitted tightly around the protruding pipe and extended out the base covering the top of the pitch pocket.
Pitch pocket services Roof Maintenance.ca offers:
- pitch pocket repair
- pitch pocket installation
- pitch pocket reinforcement
- pitch pocket replacement
- rooftop equipment installation