Introduction to Roofing Shingles

The decision to install or replace a roof as a homeowner is a major investment and requires careful consideration. The weight of your chosen roofing shingles is one of the most important factors. This comprehensive guide will explain the impact of the weight of your roofing shingles on the overall structure of your home, the installation process, and long-term durability.

Different Types of Roofing Shingles

Roof shingles are made from a wide range of materials, each with its own characteristics and weight. The most common types include:

  • Asphalt Shingles: These are a popular and affordable choice, weighing typically between 200 to 500 pounds per 100 square feet.
  • Cedar Shakes: These shingles, also known as cedar shingles, can weigh between 300 and 600 pounds per square.
  • Slate Shingles: Considered a premium choice, slate shingles weigh up to 1,500 pounds per square.
  • Metal Shingles: Durable and lightweight, metal shingles typically weigh between 100 and 200 pounds per square.
  • Tile Shingles: These shingles are made of clay or concrete and can weigh between 700 and 1,200 pounds per square.

When planning a roofing project, it is important to understand the weight of different types of shingles.

Considerations When Selecting Roofing Shingles

There are many factors to consider when selecting roofing shingles:

  • Durability and lifespan
  • Climate and weather resistance
  • Design and aesthetic appeal
  • Energy efficiency
  • Installation requirements
  • Maintenance and repair requirements
  • Budget and cost considerations

By carefully weighing all of these factors, you can make a well-informed decision that not only meets your needs but also guarantees the integrity of your roof for years to come.

Understanding the Weight of Roofing Shingles

The weight of roofing shingles is usually measured in pounds per 100 square feet, but it can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer and material. The weight of the roof is a crucial factor to consider, as it will affect the structure of the home, the installation process, and long-term performance.

The Importance of the Weight of Roofing Shingles

  • Structural Integrity: The weight and size of the shingles will affect the roof structure’s load-bearing capacity. It must also be designed to withstand additional factors like snow, rain, and wind.
  • Considerations for Installation: Heavy shingles can require specialized equipment and labor, impacting your project’s cost and timeline.
  • Durability & Lifespan: The weight and thickness of the shingles will also affect their performance over time, including their resistance to weathering and wear. This can ultimately impact the lifespan of your roofing.

How Weight Affects Installation

The weight of the roofing shingles will impact how they are installed. The roof framing may need to be reinforced to support heavier shingles such as slates or tiles, making the installation more complex and expensive.

The weight of the shingles also affects how easy they are to handle and place during the installation. Lighter shingles such as asphalt or metal are easier to handle and require less labor to install.

The Impact of Roofing Shingle Weight on the Structure

The weight of roofing shingles plays a crucial role in the structural integrity and strength of your roof. Heavier shingles like slate or tiles can exert a significant downward force on the roof framing. The framing must be designed to withstand the added load.

If the roof structure cannot handle the weight, it can lead to roof collapse. This not only compromises the safety of your house but can also lead to costly repairs or even devalue your property.

Lifespan and Durability of Roofing Shingles Based on Weight

Weight can also affect the durability and life expectancy of roofing shingles. Heavier shingles such as slate and tile are more resistant to wear and tear, weathering, and impact. With proper maintenance, they can last several decades.

Lighter shingles, such as asphalt or metal, can have a shorter life expectancy due to their increased vulnerability to environmental damage. Understanding the durability of different types of shingles based on their weight can help you make an informed choice that balances both your budget and roofing needs.

Considerations on Cost Based on the Weight and Size of Shingles

The weight of roofing shingles will also affect the cost of your roofing project. Heavier shingles such as slate and tile require more specialized equipment and installation techniques, leading to higher labor and material costs.

The weight of the shingles may also require structural reinforcements, adding to the project costs. In contrast, lighter shingles like metal or asphalt may be cheaper initially but could require more frequent replacements in the long run.


Understanding the weight of roofing shingles is an important aspect of any roofing job. By considering factors such as durability, installation requirements, and structural impact, you can make an informed choice.

This post was written by Ted Williams! Ted is the owner of, one of the best roofing companies in Saint Petersburg, FL! Ted is a Master Elite Weather Stopper GAF Roofing Contractor, a double award winner of Best Steep-Slope Contractor from GAF and achiever of Master Elite Consumer Protection Excellence from GAF. He has been serving the Pinellas County area since 1978.  Old Time Roofing has a tradition of quality workmanship, servicing residential and commercial properties.


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