What is a Square in Roofing Measurements?

You just received a quote for your roofing project, and you are wondering, “What is a square in roofing?” Simply put, it’s a unit used to measure the size of a roof. It helps homeowners and roofers figure out the amount of roofing material needed for a roof.

As a homeowner, it’s imperative to understand the meaning of “square” in roofing. Most roofers will frequently use the term when giving quotes for roofing projects, whether it is a new roofing installation, roof repairs, or a reroofing project.

So, what is a square for roofing? This guide explores the basics of roof measurements, including the meaning of the term “square.” You’ll also learn how to measure roof sizes.

What is a Roofing Square?

A roofing square is an expression for 100 square feet. Roofers use it mainly to simplify the grouping or ordering of roofing materials like tiles, shingles, and other supplies. It makes calculations easier than if you would have to use square feet or yards.

To find out the number of roofing squares on your roof, you need to divide its total square footage by 100. However, the calculation is not as simple as it seems. You need to know your roof’s slope and the size of the planes of the roof.

Note that roofing square measurements are only applicable in roofing and construction industries. While you can use the unit yourself to estimate the cost of re-shingling your house, such tasks are best left to a professional roofing contractor

Even if you are confident enough to measure your roof’s size and the number of roofing materials required, there are steps you must take before giving it a try. Before you start, ensure your safety by using a stable ladder and wearing work boots with proper traction.

How to Measure Your Roof’s Number of Squares

If you want to measure the number of roofing squares on your roof, you should first find out the total square footage of the roof. You’ll then use the figure to calculate the roofing squares. The calculation methods depend on the number of panels on your rooftop.

Here are the steps to help you determine the number of squares on your roof.

Step 1: Get All Your Tools Ready

The first step is to get all the essential tools and equipment to measure the size of your roof. For your safety, consider getting a sturdy ladder and secure it on your roof. Also, wear shoes with better traction to protect you from slipping while working on the roof.

Most importantly, bring a tape measure that can measure your roof’s size accurately. If you plan to record the measurements manually, get a pencil and a small notebook.

Step 2: Measure the Size of the Roof

You need to find your roof’s square footage by measuring the length and width of every plane on your roof. Climb onto the rooftop using a ladder and take the measurements. Note that the number of planes can vary depending on the design of your roof.

Some of the roof features that may increase the number of planes on your roof include:

  • Dormer windows
  • Covered porches
  • Protruding garage
  • Skylights

As you take the measurements, document the number of skylights, chimneys, or other obstructions on the roof. You’ll also need to determine the roof’s pitch to get the correct measurements. We’ll look at how to determine your roof pitch later in this guide.

Step 3: Calculate the Roof’s Square Footage

Once you’ve measured the length and width of each plane on the roof, calculate the roof’s square footage. To do that, multiply every plane’s length by width and add all the area totals to get the overall square footage of the roof. 

Calculating the total square footage for a standard gable roof is easier than complicated roofing designs. Thankfully, you can find the formulas for calculating different roofing configurations, including complex roof designs like the cross-gabled roof.

Step 4: Determine the Number of Roofing Squares

Now that you know the total square feet of your roof, you need to convert the figures to roofing squares. It’s the most straightforward part of the calculation process as all you have to do is divide the total square footage by 100.

For example, if your roof’s total square footage is 1,500 square feet, the number of roofing squares on your rooftop is 15.

Other Factors to Consider

Note that the roofing squares is not the only information needed to estimate the required amount of roofing materials. You also need to factor in the roof pitch when doing the calculations as it also affects the total cost of materials required for the entire job.

The higher the roof pitch, the more roofing materials you’ll need to cover the entire roof effectively. If the roof also has many complex elements like valleys and dormers, it will need specialized materials to ensure that they are reinforced against damages or leaks.

How to Measure Your Roof Pitch 

Calculating the roof pitch is the most dangerous part of taking the roof measurements. So, we do recommend that you hire roofing professionals like Roof Master. But if you have to do it yourself, consider following the steps below.

  1. Inspect your roof and estimate its pitch, whether it’s low, medium, or high.
  2. Climb to the roof’s peak, bringing along a two-foot level. Hold the level outward at the peak, ensuring the bubble is at the center of the indicator glass.
  3. Using a tape measure, determine the distance between the center of the level and the roof.
  4. Multiply the estimated roofing squares by the digits below.
  • High Pitch: 1.36
  • Medium Pitch: 1.185
  • Low Pitch: 1.07

Final Words

Now that you know what a square in roofing is, you will find it easy to determine the number of roofing materials required on your roof. To get the most out of your investment in roofing, consider working with a reputable roofing contractor like Roof Master. We will help you measure your roof and provide accurate estimations.

Connect with us today to talk to one of our roofing experts.

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