How to Stack Shingles on a Roof Like a Boss

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Contractors save time by stacking several bundles of shingles on a roof before installing them. However, if stacked poorly, the shingles (or roof) can become damaged, which will adversely affect the overall longevity of the roof. Read on for some tips and tricks for stacking shingles on a roof.

The Essentials

Some essentials for stacking asphalt shingles and architectural shingles:

  • Lightly lay the shingles on the roof flat. Leave them in the package for extra protection and so they stay together.
  • With three tab shingles, which are thinner and lighter, you can lay them over hips or roof ridges. Be careful not to lay too many in one place, as this could create too much weight that might weaken the roof. If you are using laminate shingles (also known as architectural shingles), try not to lay them over ridges. Because they are thicker and heavier, they are more likely to compromise the integrity of the roof. Laminate shingles also have two-layers, which give them dimension. However, it also makes them more resistant to bending, and more likely to be damaged or misaligned between their two layers if dropped or bent over a ridge.
  • A typical bundle weighs 75-80 pounds, which can quickly lead to a lot of pressure if you stack them on top of each other. Another reason to avoid stacking too many is to not risk them toppling over and becoming damaged. If you are using asphalt composite shingles, 9 stacked bundles is probably the limit.
  • If a roof has a high pitch, nail a board below where you’ll put the shingles to prevent them from sliding down, being a safety hazard, or knocking into other tiles and damaging them. Try not to stack your bundles in vulnerable places on your roof, such as in valleys. You will increase risk of damage.

  • Lay your bundles in all different locations on the roof. This will both distribute the weight evenly to prevent damage, and make the shingles easier to access during your process, improving your workflow.

Breaking the Bundles

Some roofers stack bundles over ridges with the intention of separating the asphalt shingles from each other. This is called “breaking the bundles.” It is crucial that this still be done gently, as the bundles could harm the roof if it is done forcefully.  

Heat’s Effect on Stacking Shingles

Hot weather affects composite, asphalt, 3-tab shingles by making them more pliable. The shingle sealant is in the center of the bundle and is also heat activated. This might be problematic if it sets and makes the shingles stick together. Laminate shingles don’t tend to have this same problem since they have adhesive towards the edges. If you lay the asphalt shingles granule side up, the adhesive won’t stick as much and might help in being able to remove individual shingles from the bundle.

A tip for working in hot weather

Keep your shingle bundles in the shade. When it is time to bring them on top of the roof, try to keep them in the shade (i.e. a chimney or shaded area of the roof) if it’s available.

The Effect of Cold on Stacking Shingles

Cold weather has the opposite effect on shingles. It tends to make them more brittle and less flexible. Cap shingles that cover hips and ridges become especially sensitive to breakage if it’s cold.

A tip for working in cold weather

Keep your bundles in a warm truck cab for as long as possible before use. Even better, get a bulk material warmer that will keep your shingles and adhesive warm enough to use around the clock.

Wind’s Effect on Stacking Shingles

You might initially start laying shingles on a clean surface, but make sure to be aware of any dirt or debris that might fly up onto the roof. If it gets into the adhesive, it will diminish its wind resistance significantly. Read more about wind damaged shingles here.


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