How Much Do Shingles Weigh?

In the business of Roofing there are several expenses. Shingle disposal is one of them. Since disposal costs are determined by volume and weight, the question is HOW MUCH?

Don’t Get Scared… Math Required

Let’s take a look at the differences in determining how much.

A couple of the measurement options would be square footage, shingle size, new shingle weight and every other item you could wrap your head around but the way we need to determine weight in a tear off is by Roofing Squares.

Square Footage / 100 = Roofing Squares

Roofing square vs. square footage

One square is equal to 100 square feet. For example, a 2,000 square foot roof is equal to 20 square.

Knowing approximately how many squares of shingles you have to dispose of makes it easier to communicate that info to the dumpster rental company, who can then recommend the right sized container.

What size dumpster do I need for “X” amount of shingles?

Deciding whether a 10, 20, 30, or 40 yard dumpster is the right size for your re-roofing project depends on the type of shingle and how much of it you have.

  1. What is the square footage of the roof you are tearing off?
  2. How many roofing square is that?   Square footage/100=Squares
  3. How many layers are begin torn off?

For example, a 20 square roof with two layers of shingles will actually produce shingle waste equal to 40 squares.

Know how many layers of existing shingles are on your roof prior to ordering the dumpster to ensure you choose the right one and avoid having to get a second dumpster later.

Let’s look at some examples…

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Now that we have figured out how many squares of shingles we have, we need to know how much space they will take up in a dumpster and how much that will weigh. Shown in this photo are 3-tab shingles, let’s see the estimates on this style of shingle.

# of SquaresApproximate WeightRecommended Dumpster
10 Squares1.5 Tons15 Cubic Yard
20 Squares3 Tons15 or 20 Cubic Yard
30 Squares4.5 Tons20 or 30 Cubic Yard
40 Squares6 Tons30 Cubic Yard
50 Squares7.5 Tons30 or 40 Cubic Yard
60 Squares9 tons40 Cubic Yard

Architectural shingles weigh about 400 lbs per square

Architectural-style roofing shingles are heavier and take up a bit more space compared to 3-tab shingles, so you’ll need a slightly larger dumpster to accommodate the extra bulk.

  • 10 square of roofing shingles = 2 tons of total weight: Go with a 15 yard dumpster
  • 20 square of roofing shingles = 4 tons of total weight: Go with an 15 to 20 yard dumpster
  • 30 square of roofing shingles = 6 tons of total weight: Go with a 30 yard dumpster
  • 40 square of roofing shingles = 8 tons of total weight: Go with a 30 to 40 yard dumpster
  • 50 square of roofing shingles = 10 tons of total weight: Go with a 40 yard dumpster
  • 60 square of roofing shingles = 12 tons of total weight: Go with a 40 yard dumpster

If you are tearing off a roof that is 1820 square feet and the roof has 2 layers of 3 Tab Shingles

1820 sq ft/100= (18.2 squares) x 2 layers = 36.4 squares

Plan to round up. For a job of 40 squares of roofing shingles we will be in the ballpark of 6 tons and get a 30 Cubic Yard Dumpster.

Western Disposal Pricing shows that a 30 yard container in Albuquerque is $350 (2016.) This pricing includes 3.5 tons with additional tonnage being $30 per.

I will estimate the disposal costs on this project to be $350 (base) + $75 (additional tonnage) + $30.54 (tax) = $455.54.

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