We all know that our roofs are critical to our home’s safety and stability. If you’ve decided that it’s finally time to have yours replaced, you’ll need to carefully research your options. When it comes to shingles, there are 5 materials that are most commonly used for Canadian homes. Here’s what you need to know about each one.
1. Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are very popular due to their affordable price point, ease of installation and energy efficiency. There are two kinds of asphalt shingles: organic and fibreglass. Organic shingles are flexible, easy to install in cold temperatures, and can mitigate issues with the inner layers of your roof. Canadians should also note that these shingles are relatively heavy, meaning they can withstand strong winds and fluctuations in temperature.
Fibreglass shingles are more modern versions of their organic counterparts. Fibreglass shingles use glass fibres instead of the paper layers used in organic shingles. They are lighter, more resistant to heat, and less expensive than organic asphalt shingles. Before you can install these shingles, your roofer will need to add a layer of felt to your roof, making the replacement process slightly more involved.
Sub-types of these shingles have varying levels of durability, but for the most part, asphalt shingles will need to be replaced every 20 years. To ensure your roof makes it to the 20-year mark, you’ll need to find the right sub-type for your home’s design and local weather conditions. A pro will be able to make the right recommendation for your home.
2. Metal Roofs
Metal roofing is ideal for homes with steep roofs. Metal roofs come in two forms: solid metal or individual tiles. Tiles and sheeting are typically made of either galvanized or stainless steel, copper, titanium or aluminium. These roofs are typically at the higher end of the cost spectrum, though the cost of your project will depend on the type of metal used and the grade of your roof. The benefit of these roofs is their durability – they will usually last around 50 years.
3. Wood Shingles
There are two types of wooden shingles available: cedar and pressure-treated lumber. Cedar shingles are popular amongst homeowners looking to add rustic charm to their home’s design. These shingles are rot-proof, insect resistant, and come in a wide variety of shades. Cedar shingles are expensive to purchase and install and require a fair bit of maintenance. With proper care, they will typically last 30 years before they need to be replaced.
4. Slate Shingles
Slate roofs are made of natural stone and are extremely durable. It’s unlikely that you will need to replace a slate roof within your lifetime. These shingles can come in a variety of colours and are very aesthetically pleasing.
One aspect to note is that slate roofs are very heavy, meaning some homes won’t be able to support the weight of a slate roof. You’ll also need to hire a slate specialist to install your new roof — be sure to call references prior to hiring.
While these shingles are costly to purchase and install, they won’t require any maintenance and often come with a 100-year warranty. Slate will not absorb water, grow mold or fungus, is non-flammable and is a great option for homes in extreme climates.
5. Tile Shingles
Tile shingles are not as popular amongst Canadian homeowners, likely due to their distinctive colour and price point. That said, they are extremely durable and only need to be replaced every 50 years. Similar to slate shingles, some roofs are not built with enough support to accommodate heavy tile shingles. A pro will be able to advise on whether tile shingles are a good option for your home.
Below are the average costs of Roofing services across different cities in Canada:
*Costs based on 12850 verified Canadian homeowner reviews as of March 202
Now that you’re more familiar with your options, it’s time to find a roofer specializing in the shingles you’re interested in. Use the banner below to connect with a roofing specialist in your area, and be sure to read reviews before you hire!
Article updated June 2022.