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Why Are Shingles Important for Your Roof?


The roof is the protective and decorative hat of your house, helping to weather the storms while bringing character and charm. With that comes shingles, which are a crucial part of the roof, responsible for shielding from rainwater, wind, and the outside elements. 

What Are Roofing Shingles and Why Do You Need Them?

Roofing shingles are small tiles typically used on slanted or pitched roofs and layered like steps on a staircase to allow the water to run down each step, into the gutters, down the downspouts, and away from your home. You’ll see roof shingles in different colors and styles made from several roofing materials, including asphalt, wood, and slate.

The Protective Functions of Roof Shingles

The layered pattern and strong roofing materials used to make shingles provide an important waterproof barrier that protects against harsh weather conditions. Depending on the material, some shingles are more suitable for certain climates and locations than others.

It’s also a good idea to have a synthetic underlayment—the layer of synthetic material or man-made polymers placed over the roof deck and under the shingles for extra insulation and waterproof protection.

What Are the Different Types of Roof Shingles?

Here are some of the most commonly used types of roof shingles:

Textured asphalt roof shingles are made by compressing layers of tar, fiberglass, and natural granules. Asphalt roofing is affordable, sturdy, long-lasting, and available in a range of colors and sizes. You can even find asphalt roofing made from recycled materials for the environmentally conscious.


Wood shingles have a long history, a unique rustic look, and a warm, cottagey feel. They last for decades and are usually machine-cut from pine, spruce, or cedar. Wood shingles can be subject to termite damage and rot, and damaged shingles usually have to be replaced rather than repaired. They have a higher price point than asphalt shingle roofs. The shingle roof cost of traditional hand-made wood shingles is more expensive than manufactured ones.

Strong metal roof shingles reflect sunlight and have a modern, sleek look. They’re manufactured by stamping aluminum, copper, steel, or an alloy into various shapes, and they come in many styles and colors. They usually have a higher price point than wood or asphalt shingle roofs. The metal can be recycled and is especially resistant to rain, wind, and rot. Rain hammering on metal roof shingles can sound louder, so choosing a synthetic underlayment for added insulation is best. When your roof needs an upgrade, and you’re thinking about installing metal roof panels over shingles, professional roofers like our All Coast Roofing team are here to help.

Slate is a heavy and robust material milled or rived by hand into shingles that have a majestic and classic look and come in a smaller selection of natural colors. Natural slate costs more than most other types of shingles. A slate roof in good condition can last for over a century and is especially resistant to moisture, heat, and hail.

Clay tile shingles date back thousands of years and bring a Mediterranean and timeless look with natural, earthy colors that remain vibrant for decades. The merging of clay and fire results in an attractive, waterproof shingle that can last for over a century. Clay tile shingles are heavier and often made into rectangular planar or barrel shapes. The shingle roof cost of clay is more expensive than other materials like metal or asphalt.

grey shingles
frost on roof shingles

How Long Does a Shingle Roof Last?

The biggest factors influencing the longevity of shingles are the quality and type of material, how well they’re installed and taken care of, and the climate they’re in.

Here’s an idea of roughly how long you can expect shingles to last:

  • Asphalt – 15 to 30 years (3-tab asphalt roof shingles may last 10 to 20 years)
  • Wood – 25 to 40 years
  • Metal – 25 to 40 years (some metal roofs can last 50 years or longer)
  • Slate – 50 to 100 years
  • Clay tile – 50 to 100 years

How Often Do Shingles Need to Be Replaced?

You can carefully inspect your roof for cracked or torn shingles or hire a roofing professional like All Coast Roofing to assess your roof for you. Our team provides careful high-caliber installations so your roof lasts for the full expected lifespan of the material.

How Do You Maintain Roof Shingles?

Maintaining roof shingles requires performing inspections and cleaning the roof every now and again when needed. Trim back any nearby trees and plants that could fall and damage them, and be sure to replace any badly cracked or broken shingles as soon as possible to prevent leaks.

How Do You Repair Roof Shingles?

If you’re wondering about shingle roof repair, some cracks can be repaired using roofing sealant. Always make sure your roof is completely dry, and use a harness, roofer’s ladder, and other safety gear if you plan on DIY. You might feel more comfortable hiring a roofing professional like All Coast Roofing for expert repairs. We also offer emergency roof repairs with fast response times.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Good Roof?

A good roof provides multiple benefits, including:

  • Adding value to your home.
  • Adding beauty, charm, and character to the building.
  • Protecting your family and the interior and structural integrity of your home from harsh weather and the outside elements.
  • Reducing the risk of water damage and mold illness.
  • Reducing the risk of mold growth and improving the air quality inside your home.
  • Making your home more energy-efficient and contributing to lower heating and cooling costs.
  • It’s a worthwhile investment that lasts for decades.

Finding Roofing Contractors in Vancouver

Finding reliable roofing contractors in Vancouver is easier said than done. Our team at All Coast Roofing Services wants you to have the peace of mind that your shingle roof repair, inspection, or installation is in the hands of professionals with decades of experience and a commitment to safety, efficiency, knowledge, and high-quality workmanship. If you’re looking for the best roof shingles brand in Canada, our customers would say you’ve come to the right place. Since 1984, we’ve been providing free estimates, excellent customer service, and meticulous craftsmanship that will have your house wanting to tip its hat. Reach out for your free estimate.

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