Ashphalt Shingles

Did you Know?

Every year, nearly 1.25 million tones of asphalt-based roofing materials end up in a landfill in Canada. Asphalt shingle recycling programs now offer builders, renovators and homeowners with a more productive alternative. Shredded asphalt shingles are now being mixed with aggregates and are used in cement and asphalt to pave roads, driveways, and patch potholes among other uses. If it is time for you to replace your shingles, contact the municipality, local hardware stores and recycling centers to find out where the asphalt shingle depots are located in your area.

Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material because they are relatively inexpensive, durable and easy to install and repair. Slight differences in the shade and colour of individual shingles is normal, even in shingles supplied by the same manufacturer. Asphalt shingles will fade over time and does not affect durability of the product.

Curling and Cupping

As shingles age, they will shrink and curl slightly; however, cooler temperatures can cause new shingles to curl or cup as well. As frost forms on shingles during cool weather, the temperature difference between the cool outer surface and warm underside of the shingle (due to heat transfer from the attic) can cause the shingle edges to lift or curl up slightly. This effect is noticeable in all shingle types and varies depending on age, attic ventilation, roof pitch, humidity, climate, colour, etc. This does not affect the performance of the shingles as they do not need to lie completely flat to deflect water.


Working on a roof is dangerous and requires special equipment and training. Consider hiring a professional roofing contractor to complete roof repairs. When performing ANY work on a roof or with ladders, whether it is routine inspections, maintenance, or repairs, always exercise extreme caution.

The following includes some cautionary ladder safety tips:

  • Use a ladder with a non-slip base;
  • Never let the ladder rest against windowpanes or glass doors;
  • Check the treads and side rails to make sure they are sound and tight;
  • Make sure your ladder is long enough – it should be at least two treads (or 3 feet) longer than where you need to climb;
  • If possible, have a helper hold the base of the ladder or the ladder off at the top;
  • Some work may be unsafe to do from a ladder – use scaffolding;
  • Always face the ladder and use both hands when climbing up or coming down;
  • Make sure ladders are secure and cannot slip before using them;
  • Never step on the top runs or on an adjacent window ledge;
  • Always try to keep one hand on the ladder and do not extend your reach;
  • Guard against hazards below – hang paint and other tools from your ladder so they cannot fall;
  • Raise or lower your materials and tools with a rope or sling;
  • Never leave a ladder standing or unattended – when you finish working with a ladder, put itaway.

General Maintenance

The top surface of asphalt shingles contain protective granules can easily be damaged by people walking on them. This is particularly true on warmer days when shingles are softer. If you must go on your roof during the summer months, it is best to do so in early morning while the shingles are still cool to the touch.

It is good practice to check for loose, broken or missing shingles following heavy windstorms. Maintenance repairs should be made as soon as possible where damages are identified to fix leaks and prevent water from entering your home. Storm-related damage is not the builderʼs responsibility.

Roofs can also be damaged when equipment such as satellite dishes are installed. Be careful when installing any equipment on your roof. Make sure screws, nails and attachments are properly sealed to prevent leaks and avoid damaging shingles. Always exercise great caution when performing any and all roof maintenance.