What is a “Square” of Roofing?

February 15, 2019

While many homeowners like to take on do-it-yourself projects in their home renovations or repairs, the roof can be a tricky and dangerous portion to DIY, especially if you’ve never done it before. There’s a lot to keep in mind, including knowing how much material to purchase for your project. If you don’t get enough shingles, you’ll have an unfinished roof while you wait for more to arrive. But too many and you might be stuck with a pallet of shingles in your garage for the next 20 years!

When looking at roofing materials, or even speaking with roofing contractors, you may have heard the term “roofing square”. It might sound like we’re talking about your roof in square-feet or square-yards, but in fact, one roofing square equals to 100 square feet. As you can imagine, not knowing the true value of the roofing square size could cause problems when ordering roofing materials.

You can figure out how many roofing squares you’ll need for your roofing project by measuring the length, width, and slope of your roof. However, getting those measurements can be dangerous. We always recommend hiring a professional roofing contractor to help measure and work on your roof. However, if you decide to do it on your own, make sure to always take the proper safety precautions to avoid serious injury.

Measuring Your Roof

To figure out how many roofing squares you’ll need, you must calculate the measurements of your roof. Getting the most basic measurements of your roof is pretty straightforward: take the length and width of each roofing plane, including dormers, and multiply them together (L x W). After you’ve calculated the square footage of all your roofing planes, add the numbers together and divide by 100 to convert the square footage to roofing squares.

For example, 2500 square feet of roof = 25 roofing squares.

Account For Slope

After you’ve gotten your roof’s basic measurements, you still have to consider the pitch, or slope, of your roof. Basically, the steeper the roof, the more materials you’ll need. The slope of a roof is calculated by rise over run, and you can calculate this using a level and tape measure.

At the peak of your roof, hold your level horizontally from your roof in a straight line. This is the run. Then use your tape measure to measure the vertical distance, or rise, between the middle of your level and your roof. Once you have the slope measurements, there are many free roofing square calculators online that will help determine how much materials you’ll need for your roof.

You can avoid the hassle (and dangers) of calculating the size of your roof by calling a certified roofing contractor. Whether you’re in Vancouver, WA, Portland, OR, or the surrounding area, IBEX Roofing is here for you! We’ll go over your roofing project with you and take care of everything, from ordering the right amount of materials to cleaning up the debris at the end of the project. Call our Vancouver office at (360) 218-3108 or our Lacey office at (360) 352-1885 to get a free estimate today!

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