Just like the tires on your car, the roof of your home can only take so much wear and tear before it needs to be replaced. Whether it's from damaged shingles, water damage, or mold, the average roof should last about 15-30 years before it inevitably gives way to old age.
But what do you do when it comes time to replace your roof?
Like any major project, it helps to break down the process step by step. Replacing your roof is a major project for several reasons:
New roofs are expensive. According to Forbes the average cost of a new roof nationally is around $8,000. Of course, several things factor into the cost including location, size of the roof, and roofing materials.
Requires planning. From deciding what materials your new roof should consist of, preparing your property, securing permits, and renting a dumpster for old roofing materials.
New roofing checklist for homeowners:
Trim your lawn: roofers remove nails and old roofing materials that create a lot of debris. It will be easier to clean up if your lawn is mowed
Clear your driveway and surrounding property: this helps protect your car and other belongings from falling debris when the old roof is torn off
Cover flowerbeds and landscaping: just like the lawn, flowerbeds and other landscaped areas will likely be collecting debris while the old roof is torn off. Keep these areas safe from damage by covering them with a tarp.
Let your neighbors know: replacing a roof can be noisy, and oftentimes contractors start early in the morning to avoid the heat. Let your neighbors know so they can expect some noise temporarily while the roof is being replaced.
Make room for a dumpster: Depending on the size of your building, you’ll need a dedicated dumpster for the roofers to dispose of the old roofing materials. A dumpster suitable for roofing projects can range from 10-22 feet in length and about 7-8 feet in width.
How often do I replace my roof?
Keeping your roof up-to-date and in good condition is important for many reasons. First, it helps protect your home from the elements. Whether it's rain, snow, or heat resistance, a good roof should protect your house from water leaks and provide insulation.
Like nearly everything in your house, at some point, your roof will begin to show signs of wearing and need to be replaced.
The material your roof is made of will determine on average how often it will need to be replaced.
Asphalt shingles: replace every 15-30 years
Metal roofs: replace every 25-50 years
Wood shingles: replace every 20-25 years
The severity of the damage and the natural lifespan of the shingles will also help determine whether or not a new roof is necessary.
Here are some common considerations:
Damage from rain or hail
While not all damage will require an entirely new roof, its important to address any issues you notice immediately to avoid long-term issues like structural damage to your property.
Types of roofing materials
Determining the type of roofing is another important decision. Depending on where you live, certain types of roofing might be better suited for your home or business.
To determine the best material, consider the intricacies of your current roof. For example, are there many slopes and peaks?
You’ll also want to consider the style of the building, climate, and relative costs to other roofing materials.
Asphalt shingles: Popular for low cost, durability, and variety of styles. Asphalt shingles a generally waterproof and fireproof and sustainable in multiple climates including snow.
Wood shingles: Often a good choice for a more natural-looking roof. Wood shingles are more expensive than asphalt shingles and more prone to fires in warmer climates.
Metal shingles: While metal shingles are more expensive than wood or asphalt shingles, they are lightweight, long-lasting, and can keep homes cooler as they reflect sunlight.
Slate shingles: Often manufactured to mimic the natural look of wood shingles. Slate shingles are the most durable and have the longest lifespan but come with an added cost.
Clay and concrete shingles: Most popular on Spanish-style homes. Clay and concrete shingles are energy efficient and noncombustible but much heavier than other shingle types which may require additional structural modifications
Composite shingles: Great for buildings in a variety of climates and mimic the aesthetic of natural materials like wood. Like metal, composite shingles come with an added cost.
Roof dimensions & weight
Aside from the materials you choose for your new roof, the size of the roof will be a major factor in determining the overall cost. Obviously, the larger the roof, the more you can expect to pay for materials and labor.
When calculating the costs of a dumpster for your old roof, it helps to know some basic calculations to determine the overall volume and expected weight (in tons) to know what size roofing dumpster you’ll need to rent.
A roofing square is the most common unit of measurement for roofs while shingles are measured in bundles. Let’s break these measurements down below.
What is a roofing square?
A roofing square is the equivalent of 100 square feet. To calculate the roofing squares needed for a house, you would take the square footage and divide it by 100.
For example, a 3,200 square foot roof would be the equivalent of about 32 roofing square (3,200 ÷ 100 = 32). It's common for roofing contractors to add an additional 10%-20% to that calculation to allow room for the trim.
How much does a roofing square weigh?
The best way to calculate the weight of a roofing square is to first determine the weight of a bundle of shingles. A bundle will generally cover 33 square feet and contains 15-30 shingles of any material (asphalt shingles, wood shingles, etc.).
A simple calculation for the weight of a roofing square would be (bundle weight * the number of bundles * 3).
Here are some common bundle weights for different types of shingles you can use for estimates when calculating the weight of your roofing squares.
Using the rough calculations above and common weights below, you can get a better idea of the size of dumpster you’ll need when you tear off your old roof.
Asphalt: 50-80 (lbs)
Clay: 200-300 (lbs)
Metal: 50-100 (lbs)
Concrete: 200-300 (lbs)
Whether you’re determining the cost of a new roof, the amount of materials you’ll need, or estimating other costs involved in replacing your roof, it helps to have simple tools to help estimate your calculations.
While these calculators aren’t precise in that materials may vary in weight by manufacturer, they should give you a ballpark estimate for both your new roofing cost of materials as well as the cost to rent a roofing dumpster.
Calculator.net- this is a great website for all types of calculations from financial to health and fitness. They have a great tool for calculating roof area and material cost calculations.
Inchcalculator.com - another great resource that offers calculators for more than just roofing but can also help calculate roofing bundles, materials, shingles, and squares.
After reading this article you should have a good understanding of whether or not you need a new roof and how to calculate the weights of roofing squares and bundles for specific materials. Now that you have a better understanding you’ll need the right dumpster size for the old roof!
Dumpster for clay and concrete roofs Given clay and concrete roofs are much heavier than their rivals, we’d recommend a lowboy dumpster.
The lowboy dumpsters are best suited for dirt or concrete projects and able to accommodate loads that take up less volume but are generally much heavier compared to other types of debris.
Dumpster for roofing If your roof is wood, asphalt, or composite shingles, we’d recommend a 40-yard dumpster. You might be able to get away with a smaller dumpster (20-yard dumpster or 30-yard dumpster).
But, when it comes to large projects it's always best to have more than enough room to account for the miscellaneous debris and avoid the cost of having to rent an additional dumpster if you erred on the smaller side. Ordering a larger dumpster can save you both time and money in the long run.