When replacing a roof, many homeowners forget about the sneaky costs of debris removal. If you’re reading this article then it’s likely you’re in one of two situations…
First (and most commonly), you’re trying to calculate what size dumpster you’ll need to fit all the shingles removed from your old roof. 95% of people searching for how much a bundle of shingles weighs are in this camp. So if this is you, it’s important to not just know the weight of the shingle bundles being removed, but also any extra debris that will go in the dumpster.
Accurately calculating total removal weight is important to avoid either a surcharge from the dumpster company, or renting the incorrect dumpster size allt ogether! In the article below, we will outline how to best estimate how much debris will be associated with your roof project and how to use that to choose which dumpster size to order.
If you’d like to skip all the headaches all together, hire Roof Hub for your roof replacement. On top of the roof replacement and lifetime shingle warranty, we’ll take care of 100% of the debris removal, dumpster rental and haul away. Click here to start your estimate or give us a call: (857) 237-7648
Besides using shingle bundle weight to predict the needed dumpster size, about 5% of homeowners want to know how much bundles of shingles weigh for another reason. The reason could be because they’re transporting the shingles in their car or truck and don’t want them to be too heavy, because they will need to carry the shingles up a ladder and would like to plan accordingly, or because they’re simply curious about the answer.
To satisfy all of these cases, we’ve included some simple weight calculations at the bottom of this page based on common roof sizes and common roofing shingle manufacturers and brands. Use the table below if you’d like to skip to this list.
Table of Contents
- Quick calculation for shingle bundle weight
- What is a square of shingles?
- How much debris will my roof replacement create?
- Factors That Affect Individual Shingle Bundle Weight
- 3 Dumpster Ordering Considerations
Quick calculation for shingle bundle weight
If you don’t have a few minutes to read and just want the quick answer, here it is:
Most bundles of modern architectural shingles weigh between 60 pounds and 80 pounds. You can use these figures to calculate a weight range if you want to know how much your new shingles will weigh because most homeowners replace their roofs with architectural shingles these days.
Three tab shingles often weigh less than architectural shingles, coming in between 45 pounds and 60 pounds per bundle. How much a bundle of 3tab shingles weighs will likely be more helpful for you if you’re trying to calculate removal debris because many shingles being removed are of the 3-tab variety.
The number ranges above are just enough to get you started, so don’t let them be the “end all-be all” answer to how much the roofing material you’re tearing off your house will weigh. It’ll be hard to guesstimate the final number because you first need to know your roof size, and then need to consider a variety of other factors that will determine the total removal weight.
What is a square of shingles?
One square of roof shingles, or a ‘roof square’ is short hand for the amount of roofing material that’s needed to cover 100 square feet of roofing area. This “roofing square” phrase is used by roofing industry professionals (like contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers) to approximate the amount of materials needed for a given project.
A 1,500 square foot roof is approximately 15 square and a 2,000 square foot roof is ‘20 square.’ It is common for roofers to round up to the nearest hundred to account for waste. For example, a 1,650 square foot roof would be 17 square. An 1,800 square foot roof, of course, is exactly 18 square.
Bundles per roofing square
The amount of shingle bundles needed to cover one roofing square is an important factor in determining the weight of a roof square. In most cases, you will need approximately 3 bundles of shingles to replace one square of roofing.
Roofing square weight
To calculate the weight of a roofing square, we’ll combine the facts discussed above:
- One bundle of architectural shingles weighs between 60 and 80 pounds (while 1 bundle of 3 tab shingles weighs between 45-60 lbs.)
- You need 3 bundles of shingles to cover one square of roofing.
Using these facts, one bundle of common architectural style shingles weights between 180-240 pounds while one bundle of traditional 3-tab shingles weights a bit less in most cases, between 135-180 pounds.
How much debris will my roof replacement create?
If you’re handling the roof replacement process yourself and need to order a dumpster, then you certainly need the most accurate assessment of roofing debris possible in order to make the cleanup go smoothly. In order to do this, please note the 3 common factors that contribute to individual shingle bundle weight fluctuations as well as the 3 non-shingle considerations that will affect which dumpster size to order.
Factors That Affect Individual Shingle Bundle Weight
Not all shingles are created equal…
The type of shingle you order (or which shingle type you’re removing from your roof) can influence how much debris will be created.
Which is shingle type is heaviest: asphalt vs. slate vs. cedar shake shingle
Earlier we covered the weight of architectural asphalt shingles and three tab asphalt shingles. But what if you’re removing a roof that isn’t made of asphalt? In this case, you may want to know the weight of slate shingles or wood shingles, commonly referred to as ‘cedar shakes.’
Slate shingle weight
Slate shingles are essentially rocks, so it’s no wonder that they’re the heaviest shingle out there. Much like cedar shingles, slate is a natural material that greatly varies in weight depending on the slate sheets used to create the materials.
In many cases, the slate shingles that will be removed from your roof are over 100 years old! They’re extremely heavy, often weighing upwards of 1,000 pounds per square. Because all slate roofs are different, you can use this as a “best guess” for your weight calculations.
If you’re stuck between two sizes when ordering a dumpster for slate roof removal, we always recommend going with the larger dumpster. Make sure the contractor removing the slate is experienced and insured, too. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact Roof Hub.
Wood shingle weight (cedar shake roofing)
The weight of wood shingles varies in the same way slate weight varies. Unlike asphalt, the shingle material is natural and not uniform. This is especially true with older roofs that were first installed 75, 100, or even 150+ years ago. Since it’s impossible to know the exact weight, we recommend airing on the side of caution and estimating heavier rather than lighter.
Wood shingles you can buy today can weigh as low as 200 pounds per bundle or as high as 700 pounds per bundle. Because you may need 3+ bundles of wood shingles per square of roofing, the total weight per square is quite the wide range; between 600 and 2,100 pounds per square.
If you’re calculating the weight for removal of wood shingles, be careful when determining how many layers of shingles are up there on the roof. It may look like just one from the ground, but most homes have at least 2 layers of wood shingles installed. More on this later!
Shingle quality and weight (architectural shingles vs three tab)
It’s no secret why most roofing contractors recommend architectural shingles. They’re stronger, more durable, and have better curb appeal than their three tab counterparts…
They also weigh more. As discussed above, the average bundle of architectural shingles weighs about 20 pounds more than the same size bundle of three tab.
Yes, “higher quality” shingles often weigh more than lower quality.
Differences between top brands
The manufacturer you choose can make a small difference in a bundle’s weight.
For examples of specific manufacturers’ top-rated shingles, see the comparison table at the bottom of this page.
3 Dumpster Ordering Considerations
Variations in shingle type are certainly a factor in overall weight of debris, but it is not the only factor to consider when choosing which size dumpster to order. The three factors below are equally, if not more important than shingle type.
- How many shingle layers are on the roof?
The quickest way to guestimate how many layers of shingles are on your roof is to view it from the side. If there’s only one layer, the shingles will appear flush with the wood underneath.
If there is more than one layer, the shingles will appear much thicker. If this is the case, you can often count how many layers are stacked on top of each other. And if you need a closer inspection, grab a ladder and get a better view. When you’re up there, you will be able to slightly pull each layer back to see if there’s another under it.
Multiple layers of shingles will almost double your dumpster need
When you get an estimate from roofing companies, they often include 1-2 layers of shingle removal at no additional cost. When there are more than two layers, however, the costs really start to add up! Why? Because each extra layer creates almost double the amount of debris. If you have 2 layers on your roof, that’s double the amount of shingles than 1 layer.
If you’re planning to complete the re-roofing and removal process yourself, then make sure you know exactly how many layers of shingles you’re removing so you don’t encounter a big surprise and a big added cost in the middle of the project.
- Planning for Damaged or Rotted Plywood Decking
After you pull all the shingles off your roof, there’s a chance that you’ll encounter some rotted plywood underneath. In many cases, the amount of rot you’ll find is minor. Most times there’s less than 100 square feet of wood that needs to be replaced, which is why Roof Hub includes this amount for free with every roofing project.
Our advice is to plan for (at the very minimum) 100 square feet of extra wood in your dumpster. But to be safe, try to give yourself an attic inspection before the dumpster contract is finalized. If you see large patches of damaged plywood inside the attic, then you can count on extra damaged wood for your dumpster.
- Account for Dumpster Company Surcharges & Weight Limits
Just because a dumpster technically fits a certain tonage of shingles/debris does not mean filling it to it’s maximum capacity is allowed by your dumpster company.
Many dumpster companies have weight limits that fall below the actual amount a dumpster can hold. If you exceed these limits, you will be hit with unwanted surcharges after your dumpster is hauled away. To protect yourself, make sure you check with the company you’re renting from to get a list of any possible surcharges.