How does your roof look after this winter?

Evaluating your sloped roof.

Roofing Basics

Most sloped roofs in Ottawa and surrounding areas have Asphalt Shingles.  These are easily identifiable by the 3 tabs visible on the shingle.  Becoming more popular are Composite Shingles or as they are sometimes called, Architectural Shingles.  This type of shingle employs the same principle as “organic” asphalt shingles in that they have a granular shell.  The shell protects the substrate of the shingle, be it felt paper or fibre-glass from the suns destructive UV rays.

3 Tab Asphalt Shingle


Composite Shingle










What keeps the rain out of your home is not the granular outer surface of the shingle but the asphalt coating of the felt mat or fibre-glass mat.  The granular coating is very important and therefore what you should be monitoring.  When the granular is missing or worn off, the sun dries out the asphalt and you loose the water shedding attributes of the shingle.

What conditions should you watch for?  

There are four conditions that are easy to spot:  Shingles that have no or little granular coating remaining, curling, cupping, clawing and missing shingles.  All of these conditions can be seen from the ground.  You shouldn’t risk going on your sloped roof.  Using binoculars is very effective for seeing what you need to on most roofs.

Missing granular


Cupping and curling


The implications of these conditions ultimately is leaking.  On sloped roofs the leaks through the shingle may not appear in the house where the leak originated.  Water runs downhill and always takes the route of the least resistance.  For example;  You notice a leak at the ceiling of a second floor bedroom.  That leak may have started closer to the ridge of the roof and run down the rafters to the space above the water stain you see on the inside.

What should you do if you notice these conditions? 

First of all, don’t panic.  Nothing we put on our roofs to keep the weather out lasts forever.  Roof shingles are sold based on a year warranty for example: 20 yr, 25 yr or 30 yr.  If you see any or all of the above conditions on your roof it may be time to re-shingle.  There are many components to a roof system.  The largest is the shingling but there are equally other important components such as valley flashing or chimney flashing.  These have to be done properly and it is not worth cutting corners on them to save money.  We suggest that you get quotes from 3 contractors that specialise in roofing and be sure to check the references.  If you are unsure about the state of your roof, feel free to contact us for a System Inspection.

Your roof protects the structure, insulation, interior finishing and  your contents from the weather.  It is therefore important to keep an eye on the health of it.

Posted by Jeremy Scratch

Leave a Reply