Your Complete Guide To Your Roof

Have you ever wondered when should I replace my roof? How do you know if it’s in good condition or not? It’s okay if you don’t know the answer, chances are many people have no idea of the state of their roof. Often, it’s not something we check on a regular basis, it’s just pretty much there keeping us dry. Unless there are obvious damages, such as cracks or leaks, it’s one of those things that is easy to forget about. 

Whether you’re buying, selling or a homeowner who just simply wants to know if your roof is in good shape or not, this article will help! 

First, let us start by saying that there are so many different types of roofing materials. We’ve seen metal/tin, asphalt, wood, cedar, slate, clay and more. Given how many options there are, it is important to consider what is the best solution for you and for your wallet. The type of roof installed will vary depending on a number of different factors. These may include, location, budget, style and building codes. In Ontario, Asphalt are among the most popular. 

Roof line of a house with gabels

Asphalt Shingles

Life Expectancy: 15-20 years (or more) 

Pricing: $2 to $6 per square foot

There are a few different types of asphalt shingles, but the two main styles are basic or architectural. Architectural are the more durable of the two solutions. Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing shingle in Canada because of their durability. They can withstand heavy weather and extreme temperature fluctuations. It is also typically the most affordable option and relatively easy to repair as well not to mention being fire resistant. Asphalt shingles come in a variety of different colours and styles and are customizable to fit any home exterior aesthetics. 

Unfortunately, there are a few cons with asphalt shingles. While they are quite durable, harsh Canadian winters can cause craps and chips. It is good to be prepared for repairs before the 15 years are up. 

Large beautiful Classic ninties home exterior with cedar roof in Northwest USA.

Wood or Cedar Shakes

Life Expectancy: 30 to 50 years

Pricing: $8 to $15 per square foot 

Wood or cedar shakes are extremely durable, not to mention they are resistant to harsh weather and insects. For these benefits and more, this type of roof can include a warranty of up to 50 years – depending, of course, on who you buy from. For homes in colder climate and heavy rainfall areas, wood or cedar shakes are an excellent choice because they prevent moisture buildup and they’re naturally insulating. 

One of the biggest problems with Wood or cedar shakes besides the high upfront cost is that the material is not fire resistant. You will need to apply an additional treatment to get a Class A rating. Moss build up can also occur on wood or cedar shakes if they’re not cleaned regularly. 


Metal Roof

Life Expectancy: 40 to 70 years

Pricing: $6 to $20 per square foot 

Metal roofs, whether aluminum, tin, copper or steel can offer an unparalleled level of longevity. Unlike asphalt shingles, metal roofs require little to no maintenance. You may never have to repair or replace this type of roofing, provided it is properly installed. Metal roofs are great in high snowfall areas because the ice and snow can easily slide off. 

Metal roofs are quite expensive, typically they cost slightly more than wood or cedar, and can be 10 times the price of asphalt shingles. They’re also prone to be noisy during extreme weather conditions. From an aesthetic standpoint, they are not always favoured as it can be difficult to maintain colour consistency across the entire roof. Although, there have been significant advancements in this area recently. 

What upkeep is required to maximize a roof’s life expectancy? 

Keeping it clear: checking your roof on a regular basis to make sure it is always free of debris, including leaves, sticks, branches and other naturally occurring particles that can, over time, contribute to the roofs wear and tear 

Don’t ignore the landscaping: Always make sure that trees and shrubs are free from your roof and gutters. Falling branches can cause severe damage to your roof. 

Clean the gutters: this is a regular maintenance tip that should happen at least once a year. This will prevent water from rain and snow from pooling and causing damages. 

Inspect regularly: Again, this is not something that we typically do but should always consider. Having your roof checked regularly is so important. If you know what to do and look for, go a head. If you’re not sure, it’s always best to leave it to a professional. 

It’s also a good idea to replace this stuff once every year, check the expiry and best before dates to make sure everything is okay before eating. 


How can you tell if your roof needs repair or replacing? 


  • Water spots, streaks, discolouration on ceilings and walls;
  • A sagging ceiling;
  • Cracked or curled shingles;
  • Decaying or paint peeling from eavestrough;
  • Missing asphalt granules;
  • Mould or moss growth;
  • Spots without snow, which could indicate a leak;
  • Light come through from outside;
  • Damaged roof deck or flashing (the material that directs water away); or
  • Loose roof tiles


In most cases, the above issues can be easily fixed. The trick is catching them early enough. Problems like leaks can be repaired by sealing the crack or replacing some of the shingles. However, if the roof is old or damage is extensive, you may want to consider replacing the roof altogether. 

When buying or selling, it’s always important to check the roof. When we tour properties with clients we are always paying attention to these little details that are often over looked. If you have any questions about roofing solutions or what you should look for when purchasing a property, contact us today! 


Lion Crest Real Estate represents so much more than just buying or selling a house. we are a team of Realtors based in Hamilton, Ontario who are client driven with a passion for all things real estate. We don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk.

We are dedicated to assisting you in one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. Buying or selling your home shouldn’t be a stressful experience and we are here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. Real estate should be comfortable.

Let us know how we can assist you.