An introduction to roofing

Ongoing home maintenance and repairs are a seemingly endless expense and while some repairs can wait, a leak in your roof is something that needs immediate attention. Curled, cracked or displaced shingles are a sure sign that your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan and if it’s avoided, it can spell disaster to your home.

We highly suggest dedicating 5 minutes towards learning about how a roof really works so you can get a better understanding of the known problem areas that could leak and how to prevent them. To help you get started, our team has put together a complete roofing overview beginning with a couple of great images that explain the different parts of a roof.

Layers of a roofing system

In the first image, you’ll see a basic side-view blueprint that should help you identify all the layers of a shingled roof and understand the roles they play in protecting your home.

Anatomy of roofing layers by Rydel Roofing in Ottawa

Anatomy of a roof

This second image identifies the different parts of a roof like a gable, dormer, ridge, hip, flashing and valleys.

Complete anatomy of a roof built for weather in Ottawa

Roofing Terminology

  1. Shingles – The top layer of a roof generally made from Asphalt shingles, metal or steel, cedar shakes, rubber or tile.
  2. Vent Pipe – Protruding from the roof and allowing fresh air to enter the plumbing system, a vent pipe helps tubs, sinks and toilets drain efficiently while preventing gas buildup.
  3. Chimney – Generally made from brick or stone, a chimney is a noncombustible structure that redirects extreme heat from fireplaces above the roofline.
  4. Chimney Cap – Constructed from stone, concrete or metal, the purpose of a chimney cap is to block rain, snow and hail from entering the chimney.
  5. Ridge – Equipped with a vent that runs along the length of a roof to allow hot air to exit the attic, the ridge is the highest point of a sloped roof.
  6. Hip – The hip of a roof is the top section that runs from the ridge to the outside wall or eave.
  7. Gable – A gable or gable roof is the most common shape of a roof and can be thought of the way most kids would envision a roof. Two slopes going in opposite directions.
  8. Rake – The slanted edge of a gable roof that runs along the wall of a house.
  9. Dormer – A roofing structure that overhangs windows or vents. The most common forms of dormer are known as eye-brow, gabled, flared gable, pedimented and hipped.
  10. Valley – The V shaped section lined with metal flashing that separates two sections of a roof.
  11. Flashing – A metal that is laid over joints in a roof to prevent and divert the flow of water. Flashing is most commonly found around chimneys, skylights, vents and pipes or inside valleys or dormers.

Do you need a new roof?

Before we get into figuring out which is the right shingle for your home, let’s take a few minutes to do a quick inspection, ask a couple of questions and figure out if you actually need a new roof. There’s a chance that all you really need is a simple roof repair and regular maintenance.

When was your existing roof installed?
A roof constructed from classic 3-tab shingles were designed to last 8-12 years. If your roof was built before 2011, there is a high likelihood that it is ready to be replaced

Was your roof installed by a reputable company?
Hiring a reputable company is arguably the most important part of a great roof. It may seem like a simple process but installing a roof takes patience, attention to detail and quality craftsmanship. If you hired someone from Kijiji or Craiglist without doing a background check on their reputation, there is a high likelihood that your roof wasn’t installed correctly. Over 60% of roofing issues are a result of improper installing!

What kind of shingles are on your roof and how long were they expected to last?
Recent advancements in the asphalt shingle industry have made modern shingles far more durable than the old shingles found on your grampa’s house.

Are you experience leaking and if so, for how long?
There are lots of reasons why your roof could be leaking. It could be caused by improper flashing installation, high-nailing, wear and tear and more. A leaky roof should be dealt with urgency by local professionals.

How to inspect your roof

Rather than taking a safety risk and jumping onto your roof, grab a pair of binoculars and look for signs of cracked, curled or missing shingles or call your local roofing pros to come to take a look. Check the flashing located around chimneys, skylights, rubber boots around vents and the roof valleys for signs of cracking seals. Finally, pop your head into your attic on a bright sunny day to look for light protrusions and signs of previous leaks like watermarks in the plywood. All of this should give you a good idea of the current condition of your roof.

If you have found a leak and believe your home requires a new roof, we highly suggest reaching out to a team of certified roofing professionals. Here at Rydel Roofing we are not only highly trained to inspect, repair and install roofing systems but we also train our teams to identify the actual cause of the problem.

I need a new roof!

Ok, so your roof is aging, you have decided that it’s time to hire a roofing contractor near you to replace it but you don’t know where to start when it comes to shingle selection or how to find a great roofing contractor. Let’s dive into the basics!

The first decision you will need to make is what kind of shingle you are looking for. Here at Rydel Roofing we have been certified as professional installers of asphalt shingles from IKO, CertainTeed, Owens Corning and BP.  We have also been certified as roofing installers for metal roofing systems by Wakefield Bridge, Junior H-F, Heritage and rubber roofing systems EuroShield. Every shingle has its advantages. We carry only the best brands and do our best to avoid having a biased opinion towards any of them. It’s really just a matter of figuring out what is best for you and your home.

Introduction to asphalt roofing shingles

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the right shingle for your home. Shingles have come a long way over the past decade and whether its colour, durability, warranty support or texture, each brand has something different to offer. Understanding the warranties alone can be nothing short of confusing. Some boast 50-year limited warranties, others boast 10-year non-prorated warranties. Some companies offer shingles that are unlimited transferrable between homeowners which could be important if you plan on selling your home and some offer only a single transfer or even no ownership transfer options.

As you read on, we will dive into what all this means to you as the buyer. Every buyer has their own set of needs and our goal is simply to help you identify them and figure out what your best options are.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt-based shingles, also known as fibreglass laminate shingles are the most widely used method for covering a roof in Canada. They are relatively inexpensive compared to metal or rubber alternatives and quick to install. Our teams of certified professionals can generally complete a roofing job from start to finish in under 48 hours.

IKO Wind Test

IKO Performance Shingles

IKO is one of the worlds biggest roofing shingle brands and offers a wide variety of colours and levels of durability. The biggest selling feature with IKO is the nailing strip known as The ArmourZone. This rugged, rip-resistant reinforcement tape is built into the shingle and provides higher resistance to nail pull-through during high-wind storms.  IKO performance shingles come in a wide variety of colours and are broken up into three different collections.

  • IKO Dynasty
    • Available in 11 different colours, IKO Dynasty shingles are designed to resist most storms and boast a limited warranty that covers winds up to 130 miles per hour (210km/hr).
    • IKO Dynasty shingles are backed by a 15 year Iron Clad warranty as well as a limited lifetime warranty.
    • Download the IKO Dynasty ArmourZone Brochure or check out our IKO shingles product info for additional details
  • IKO Cambridge IR
    • Available in 6 colours, the IKO Cambridge IR shingles are designed with a resilient, ultra-durable fiberglass mat that is reinforced with IKO polymer-modified asphalt that gives them great flexibility and additional resistance to tearing and nail pull-through. This flexibility also makes the IKO Cambridge IR shingle more resistant to hail or falling debris boasting a Class 4 Impact Resistance rating.
    • The IKO Cambridge shingle is also equipped with ArmourZone protection to increase resistance to nail pull-through and high-nailing.
  • IKO Nordic
    • Available in 9 great colours and designed for life in Canada (Ottawa), the new IKO Nordic shingle collection are widely considered to be the pound-for-pound roofing champion for homeowners in the Great White North.
    • Fortified with ArmourZone protection and engineered to resist wind uplift, these shingle carry a Limited High-Wind warranty for winds up to 210km/hr. To give you an idea of how strong these shingles are, the 2018 Tornado that shredded through Arlington Woods in Ottawa held wind speeds up to 210km per hour. So while your roof may have ended up on the other side of the road, the shingles would have still been holding on strong. 😉
    • What truly makes these shingles so great is its heavyweight fibreglass mat that is reinforced with Polymer-Modified Asphalt. This adds an incomparable level of flexibility that acts as a shock absorber, earning the IKO Nordic a Class 4 Impact Resistance rating against hail and falling debris.

Patented SureNail® Technology Roofing Shingles

Owens Corning Duration Shingles

Owens Corning has been a staple of the roofing industry since 1938 when prohibition and a struggling glass industry presented them with an opportunity that led them to invent Fiberglass. Since then, they have consistently been at the forefront of roofing technology advancements most recently with their SureNail technology found in the TruDefinition collection of asphalt shingles.

Available in 16 great colours, Owens Corning TruDefinition shingles with SureNail technology feature ultra-durable curb appeal and are backed with a Limited Lifetime Warranty 130mph wind resistance. While they look great and are often the top choice of architects and housing developers, the key feature is their patented SureNail technology. Also known as a nailing strip, this breakthrough design features a durable woven engineered fabric that bonds directly with overlapping shingles using what is referred to as Tru-Bond.

Choosing the right shingle with CertainTeed

CertainTeed Roofing Shingles

CertainTeed offers an impeccable balance of durability and design. Featuring a dual-layered design, Landmark asphalt shingles boast heavy-weight durability and the largest colour selection in their class. Backed by an industry-leading lifetime limited warranty, CertainTeed shingles carry a legacy of trusted performance and are the only shingle manufacturer who backs their warranty in-house rather than through a third party.

  • Certified as meeting the industry’s toughest third-party (UL) manufacturing quality standards
  • Dual-layered construction provides extra protection from the elements
  • Ten year StreakFighter® algae-resistance warranty
  • Class A fire-resistance rating

Roofing Shingle Warranties Explained

If you have started gathering estimates and meeting with sales reps, you have probably noticed that roofing installation companies often sell products on the perceived warranty that backs them up rather than the actuality of the product. Often referred to as a “Limited Lifetime Warranty”, it can give homeowners the impression that the product is meant to last a lifetime. This is sadly not the case.

So how long do shingles actually last and what is a Limited Lifetime Warranty vs a Prorated Warranty or an IronClad Warranty?

In this post, we will do our best to break down all the elements that one might find in a roofing warranty and what it means to you and your home.

The first thing to know and understand is that the manufacturer warranty generally refers to protection against product defects while the vast majority of roofing issues are related to improper installation, cracking in flashing seals, shingle blowoff, warping or granule loss. In order for a roof to be covered by warranty, it must be installed correctly and while some roofing companies boast having 50-year warranties, read the fine print and you will quickly see that most warranties are really only any good for 5,10 or 15 years depending on the brand you select.

What is a Limited Lifetime Warranty?

Limited Lifetime Warranties can vary from company to company but a couple of things they do have in common that are definitely worth noting are non-prorated periods, product installation requirements and coverage against blowoff and wind damage. Some manufacturers also implement requirements for you or your installation company to use a minimum quantity of their products that can include underlayments, roof caps, vents or flashing.

Here at Rydel Roofing, we are proudly certified as professional installers for 5 out of 6 of the industries leading shingle brands and we do believe that while they have pros and cons, they all make great products. Below we have added links to the warranty pages for all 6 of the leading shingle manufacturers for you to compare.

  1. IKO
  2. Owens Corning
  3. CertainTeed
  4. BP
  5. Malarkey
  6. GAF