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Question DetailsAsked on 8/8/2014

15 sq of roof shingles covers how many feet

we had our roof replaced with 15 square of shingles I need to know how many feet this covers.

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1 Answer


A "square", in roofing parlance, in 100 square feet - so 15 "squares" of roofing is 1500 SF, measured on the actual sloping roof surface being covered, not in flat plan footage, and including the overhangs and such so after considering overhang and slope distance, your roofing "squares" will commonly be 1/4-1/3 or more larger than the footprint of the house, especially if you have a 3-4 foot overhang all around.

If you mean how much area will shingles cover, the answer is more complex. Generally a bundle of shingles (asphalt) covers 1/3 or 1/4 of a square, so 33 or 25 square feet - different with different brands and with different shingle weights - an economy lightweight shingle will cover more area in a bundle (commonly 3 bundles per square) than a thick, heavy multi-layer architectural or hail and hurricane rated shingle (which can be up to 5 or 6 bundles per square), for instance, because they make the bundles small enough that a large number of them can reasonably be carried by a worker on the job site, and many tried to keep the weight down so they did not exceed the old OSHA listing limit of 70 pounds per person, which led to 70 pounds or a bit less being the standard bundle size - though heavy-weight single bundles can be more than that at times.

Also, the coverage for the shingles is based on the manufacturer's rated "exposure" - how much of the shingle sticks out under the row above it, because typically only about half the shingle is "exposed", so there are two layers of shingle protecting your roof at every point to keep water from running down under the roofing through the slits in the tabs and the gaps between shingle strips. However, in severe conditions like hurricane or heavy snow with icing conditions or chronic heavy blowing wind areas like beach houses or houses exposed on bluffs or mountaintops, the exposure of the shingles might be reduced so there is less of the "tab" sticking out on each shingle, which provides more coverage on the roof and less exposure of the tabs for the wind to catch and lift and break off, and can even reach in extreme cases a situation where you have three thicknesses of shingle rather than two at every point on the roof. So, if a shingle is rated for the more or less standard 5 inch exposure but you apply them with a 2-1/2" exposure (which would be extreme but is done at some high wind areas), you would need twice as many shingles and your coverage on the roof would be half as much per bundle as it says on the packaging.

One other thing to consider if you are comparing shingles bought versus area covered is the usual "loss" due to making starter course shingles if not bought separately, ridge caps, valley and edge cutoffs, etc - which make up at least 5% and as high as 25% wastage depending on roof complexity, number of valleys and ridges, etc.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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