What Not to Do When Shingling Your Roof

General Roofing Systems Canada provides installs shingles throughout Canada. Shingle installations are completed in the following cities: Toronto, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler and points between.

Before you shingle the roof on your home, please starting by reading our article below on “How to Shingle a Roof”  the right way and search our blog on tips for re-roofing your home.

WARNING: This may hurt egos and feelings, please be patient, we’re just trying to help (and keep the mood light).

We see countless homeowners every year have to re- shingle their home only years or months after having shingled their home themselves.

When homeowners get the idea to shingle their own roof, on one hand we stand back with admiration (because it takes hard work!) and on the other hand we get concerned because the shingle packaging (which gives specifications to the experienced shingle installer), the Home Depot or Lowes clerk that sold you the shingles, and the relevant YouTube videos don’t always tell you everything you need to know to successfully shingle your roof. The important words here…. “successfully shingle your roof”.

Because we see the story of “how to shingle a roof properly” unfold in front of our eyes every year, and because the errors cost homeowners real money, stress, embarrassment, etc, we’ve decided to write a bit on What Not to Do When You Decide to Shingle Your Own Roof. This will follow up on articles about how to Re Roof Shingles Properly (simply search the topic in the search box in the right hand top part of our blog and a number of articles will come up on re roofing the shingles on your home). Our main website also has articles at the following link in the right hand column of the page.


Here’s what we see this time of year: it’s summer time and the kids are out of school and dad says “it’s cheaper for me to shingle my roof than it is to hire a roofing company to do it”.

TRUE … If the roof on the home you shingled yourself lasts. FALSE, if it lasts less than 10 years.

Here’s suggestion Number 1. Ask a reputable roof shingle company to come and consult you on site. It will cost you a nominal amount of money to have an expert consult you on shingle choice, roof specifications, and installation of the shingles correctly. Heck, a lot of shingle experts will even come by when you are working on your home and correct what’s a little “off” and you will be so glad you took our advice and did this one small inexpensive step.

DO NOT re roof your home with shingles without an expert shingler on your roof or consulting you.

What we see every year is folks that want to save money on the re-roof of their home – which we totally get. Instead of asking for help with HOW TO SHINGLE YOUR ROOF PROPERLY, they go out, buy their shingles at the local hardware store, and then shingle their home without prior guidance.

Here’s what happens, and it happens a lot. We could tell you story after story after story where homeowners re-roofed their own home and this occurred…

  1. The shingles, the shingle underlay, the shingle flashings, etc….. are improperly installed and the shingle manufacturers warranty is now void.
  2. Because the shingles are engineered to be installed a certain way to shed the water and the homeowner didn’t install the shingles the correct way, THE ROOF IS NOW LEAKING.

  3. The homeowner then attempts to repair the shingles to save face, hoping to save hundreds/thousands of dollars that could be used otherwise

  4. It rains again, and the SHINGLES ARE LEAKING AGAIN. You see what’s coming?

  5. You fix the shingles again. Only this time, things are getting tense because you are now reminded of the $2,000 repair to the interior of your home (and you are not even going to believe that there is more damage in the attic space itself).

  6. It rains again, and you are praying like mad the shingles won’t leak … and here we go, THE SHINGLES ARE LEAKING AGAIN.

  7. I won’t scare you so much that you now click out of your internet browser… so you can conjure up what occurs at stage 7 in the “how to shingle your roof with success drama”.

  8. You finally give in……. and you call the ROOFING EXPERTS TO FIX YOUR SHINGLES while YOUR ROOF LEAKS AGAIN.

  9. The roofer voices their opinion on the previous installer’s ineptitude, (but you don’t let it hurt your feelings … much).

  10. After having incurred the cost of the shingles that you didn’t install properly, you now have to buy the shingles all over again.

The lesson…. have a professional roofer install your shingles OR hire a professional to at least consult you on how to shingle a roof properly.

I will guarantee that you will be happy you did.

So if you want to shingle your own roof – all the power to you, just call and get a hand with doing it right.

Until next time,
The Roofers at GRS


General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)
24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.


Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

Low Slope Roofing: Metal, Shingles

Low Slope Flat Roof & Metal Roof
Low Slope Flat Roof & Metal Roof

General Roofing Systems Canada installed low slope roofing systems throughout Canada. Roof installation; Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

When re-roofing low slope roofing systems it is important to be sure you are using the right material for the right roof slope, local building code, and roof material manufacturer specification.

Below we provide a guideline for low slope shingles, roof membranes of flat roofs, and metal roofing.

Low Slope Roofing Shingles

Serious consideration is required when you are considering re-roofing a sloped system that is less than a 4/12 pitch.

For roofing with a 3/12 pitch, regular shingles can usually be installed with a two-ply 15 lb. roofing felt paper as underlay.

The GRS specification for installing roofing shingles is to never use felt paper. Instead, we use Ice & Water protector on eaves, valleys, around chimney flashing, etc. and use synthetic roof underlay such as titanium. In this instance (with a 3/12 roof), I would consider seriously using only an Ice & Water membrane versus the two-ply roofing felt. This is especially important around chimney and skylight flashing, and any roof vents, valleys, and openings.

A roof that has a 2/12 – 3/12 slope is more tentative and the risk increases. Some shingle manufacturers such as IKO with the Cambridge shingle will put a 12-year warranty on low slope roofs. Malarkey shingles will honour a 30-year warranty.Malarkey Roofing

A roof that is 2/12 or less in slope should have a “flat roof” or traditional “low slope membrane” installed. We like to see any roof that is less than a 4/12 slope get a low slope membrane that is fully adhered, mechanically fastened, or ballasted.

Other information (PDF):

Malarkey Shingle Installation Guide – Includes Install Instruction for Low Slope 2/12 – 4/12

IKO Low Slope Shingle Bulletin – Installation of Asphalt Shingles on Low Sloped Roofs

IKO Roofing – Applying Asphalt Shingles on Low Slopes (covers 3 tab shingles, eave protection, etc)

IKO Shingles
IKO Shingles

Low Slope Roof Membranes (Flat Roofing)

Low slope membranes for flat roofing come in a few categories:

  1. Single-ply membranes in the form of EPDM (rubber), TPO (thermal plastic), or PVC (polyvinyl chloride). They are either fully adhered, mechanically fastened, or ballasted.
  2. Two-ply membrane, the primary choice being SBS modified bitumen that can be torched down or cold applied.
  3. Built-up roofing (BUR). Another way of describing multilayer roofing. An examples would be the traditional tar and gravel roofs, or flat-top tar roofs.
  4. New BUR. More recently, modern technologies have advanced the built-up roof so that they utilize environmentally friendly products and modifiers versus the tar or bitumen commonly used in tar roof systems. These newer versions are extremely tough, will outlast almost any other roof (in our opinion), and are VOC-free, making them sustainable offerings to low slope roof assemblies. The GRS liquid rubber built-up flat roof is an example of a modern system with 800% elasticity and environmentally-friendly synthetic fabric between layers, as opposed to employing the use of traditional tar felt paper.
  5. Spray Foam Roofing.
Low Slope Roof
Low Slope Roof

Low Slope Metal Roofing

Low slope metal roofing (steel, cladding, standing seam) has been used primarily in industrial and commercial settings for decades.

With residential roofing, metal is more typically found on steeper residential roofs. We install a lot of metal systems at mountains villages like Squanism, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Fernie, etc. We also do a lot of residential metal roof shingle installations in cities like Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. Residential metal panel and shingle installations are growing in popularity, but the greatest volume of metal work is on industrial facilities by far.

Low Slope Metal Roof
Low Slope Metal Roof

At issue with metal roofing is that no other form of roofing material expands or contracts as much as metal does. The seams between roof panels, the fasteners, roof openings at vents, chimneys, flashings, and skylights are expanding and contracting all the time. Ultimately, metal roofing leaks due to this expansion and contraction.

Also, condensation with metal or steel roof systems can be an extremely frustrating situation. Many roof leaks with homes or businesses are actually not leaky roofs. Instead, it is water coming through the ceiling as a result of condensation.

Dealing with the potential leak or condensation issues with metal roofing in advance of installing a new system is key.

We solve the problem of metal roof leaks with installing a premium roof membrane under the metal roof system, using a premium caulking tape at the seams, and installing hidden fasteners. If you really want to solve the potential of leaks or condensation in advance, torch an SBS modified membrane or spray liquid rubber in advance of putting the metal roof on.

For commercial roofing and industrial roofing that already has a metal roof on that is leaking, typically we will coat the roof with liquid rubber and it will be good for another 10 years or more. Trying to locate metal roof leaks and deal with them in an isolated way is not usually a good investment of time. Click here to visit the roof coating section of our website.

Until next time,

The Team at GRS


General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)
24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.


British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario


Asphalt Roof Shingles: Choices and Reviews

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) Offers Asphalt Roof Shingle Replacement, Repair, and Maintenance in Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

Asphalt Shingle Re-Roof Material We Use and Review Below

IKO Shingles:

GRS repairs and replaces IKO roof shingles on a daily basis.

IKO Roofing Shingles

IKO has a full choice range of shingle materials and has representation in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan (IKO started in Calgary). IKO shingles are readily in stock at suppliers and retail stores like Rona. The quality is very consistent as well. The Cambridge, Royal Estate, Grandeur, Armourshake, and Crowne Slate are some of our roofer favourites.

IKO Armourshake Shingles
IKO Armourshake Shingles

From the IKO roofing website, “IKO believes the success and longevity of their company is attributed to three key ingredients: Top quality products, continuous innovation and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. A family-owned company now for three generations, IKO intends to be around for many more. IKO products are found on distinctive residential, commercial and engineering structures in more than 50 countries. IKO operates over 20 manufacturing plants globally.” [ Source: www.iko.com ]

GAF Shingles:

GAF was founded in 1886, GAF is North America’s largest manufacturer for commercial and residential roofing.


From the GAF Roofing Website, “GAF attributes its success to be a unique philosophy of: Helping property owners & architects to make their best and safest roofing choices, helping supportive distributors and roofing contractors to build their businesses and avoid hassles.” [ Source: www.gaf.com ]

GAF Tru Slate - Slate Roof
GAF Tru Slate – Slate Roof

The roofers at GRS consistently rate GAF offerings (complete line) to be of excellent quality. GAF also provides specific solutions for various roofing requirements. They manufacture a premium asphalt roof shingle with a wide range of options for shingle style, texture, colour, and optional material that can be used for re-roofing your home (for example, GAF Tru Slate).

Certainteed Shingles:


From the Certainteed Website, “CertainTeed is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, one of the top 100 industrial companies in the world. Saint-Gobain employs approximately 22,000 people in North America and more than 109,000 people in 64 countries world-wide.” [ Source: www.certainteed.com ]

Certainteed Roofing has a comprehensive offering of quality asphalt roof shingles. Some of them are known as top performers in their specific categories.

The reviews and ratings of asphalt roof shingles from the roofers at GRS reflect this statement as well. The Presidential, Landmark, and GrandManor Certainteed shingles compete extremely well in their respective categories. Our roofers consistently report the quality to be consistent. We have had excellent commercial and residential roofing success when re-roofing with Certainteed shingles like the Presidential, especially in areas where a shake-looking shingle is the only option (beyond real cedar shake) to comply with the architectural controls of a residential neighbourhood.

Malarkey Shingles

From the Malarkey Website, “Since 1956, Malarkey Roofing Products™ has operated as a family owned, professionally managed, privately held company, headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Malarkey believes in creating long-term value for customers and business partners. Striving for excellence propels Malarkey to new heights in polymerization and the development of long lasting products.” [ Source: malarkeyroofing.com ]

If you know anything about GRS and the position or ratings our shinglers take with respect to Malarkey, you will know that the reviews from our roofers are always positive.

Malarkey shingles are, in our estimation, one of the best alternatives to more traditional or popular asphalt roofing shingles like the BP Harmony, IKO Cambridge, etc. Not that these examples are poor shingles – they are very good asphalMalarkey Roofingt shingles in their respectively categories. It also is not fair to compare a Malarkey Legacy with the Zone nailing strip and the modified rubber polymers in the shingle versus an asphalt-based shingle in a completely different category. However, what we do try, whenever possible, is to move our customers that would normally consider something along the lines of a BP Harmony or IKO Cambridge into a more premium SBS rubber-based IKO or Malarkey product (such as the Malarkey legacy shingle). Comparing a Malarkey Legacy versus an IKO Cambridge is not a reality; you have to compare a

Malarkey Legacy Shingle
Malarkey Legacy Shingle

Malarkey Legacy versus an IKO rubber shingle, not an asphalt one. The reason we try to move our customers up just one step in pricing is that the price difference is nominal for the premium quality you receive. Instead of a “good” asphalt shingle, you get a “great” one with SBS rubber modifiers.

Calgary, Alberta recently experienced two wind storms that blew shingle off approximately 25,000 – 50,000 rooftops in Calgary and Southern Alberta. We experienced not one blow off with the Malarkey Legacy shingles. Now that, in our opinion deserves a high rating!

Owens Corning Shingles


From the Owens Corning Website, “Owens Corning is a global residential and commercial building material provider. A Fortune® 500 Company for 57 consecutive years, Owens Corning is driving sustainability by delivering solutions, transforming markets and enhancing lives.” [ Source: www.owenscorning.com ]

Owens Corning asphalt shingles are now represented and readily available in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan at roofing suppliers and retail stores such as Lowes. The quality of the Owens Corning asphalt shingle has always been good, alongside a comprehensive choice of colours, models, and textures.

Owens Corning Colonial Slate
Owens Corning Colonial Slate

Our experience with Owens Corning is more limited than with BP, IKO, Malarkey, GAF, and Certainteed but all indications are from the ratings and reviews from our shinglers is that they are a good quality asphalt shingle.

BP Shingles:

The BP asphalt shingle line-up is well represented in Western Canada and includes the Manoir, Everest, Mystique, Harmony, Mirage, Yukon, and Dakota. The Harmony shingle is the most popular of the BP shingles and it is available in a wide selection of colors. [ Source: www.bpcan.com ]

Cedar Roof Shake Looking Textured Shingles:

Metro Metal Shingle
Metro Metal Shingle

Designer asphalt shingles such as the Certainteed Landmark TL, Certainteed Presidential TL Ultimate, GAF Elk Grande Prestique, Certainteed Presidential Shake, GAF ELK Grand Sequioa, GAF ELK Grand Canyon, GAF ELK Country Mansion, GAF ELK Camelot, Certainteed Carriage House, Grand Manor, and the IKO Royal Estate and Armourshake shingles are examples of designer materials that achieve textured roof profiles.

For asphalt roof repair or replacement pricing call us at +1.877.497.3528 or click here for an online re-roof price estimate request form.

Until next time,

The Team at GRS

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)

24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.


British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario


Residential Roofing: Material Choices

Residential Roofing Contractors

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) provides Residential Roofing to Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Residential Roofers in Toronto, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, and points between.

Residential Roofing
Residential Roofing

Residential Roofing offers a number of choices for the home-owner.

Flat Roof (Low Slope Membrane) Residential Roofing

There are a number of membranes available when considering flat roofing or low slope membranes for your home. The flat roofing section of our main website explains the various membranes available and this blog has a number of flat roof articles for your home roof that you can search.

Residential Flat Roofing
Residential Flat Roofing

Flat roof membranes fall into one of these categories:

  1. Single-ply roof membranes such as TPO, PVC, or EPDM.
  2. Two-ply membranes such as two-ply SBS modified torch-on (or cold applied).
  3. Multiple-ply built up roof such as the traditional Tar & Gravel or the newer TOUGH ROOF, or multi-ply liquid rubber coated roof.
  4. Spray-on roofing such as liquid rubber or spray foam.
  5. Metal roofing.

For flat roof inspection, maintenance, and repair, our website contains a checklist for homeowners.

Low Slope Residential Roofing

General Roofing Systems Canada - Flat Roof Repair and Maintenance
Low Slope Membrane

If you have a low slope roof (4/12 slope or less), you will want to consider either low-slope membranes used on flat roof systems or a low slope shingle application. Most shingle manufacturers have considerations for low slope shingle application. Some, like Malarkey, also have warranties for such applications.

If you have a low slope residential roof and you are choosing shingles versus a low slope membrane, be sure to check with your local building codes, the shingle manufacturer toward warrant, and be sure your roofing contractors installs the roofing shingles in accordance to the specifications required.

Roofing Shingles, Cedar Shakes, Concrete Tile, Slate, Rubber, Metal, etc.

GAF Laminate Shingle
GAF Timberline Shingle
Hardie Siding 3
Residential Roofing Shingles, Tile, Cedar, Slate, Rubber

The typical covering for residential roofing is to have roof shingles, cedar roofing, some form of roofing tile, or metal roofing installed.

Roofing shingles are now available in hundreds of material types, styles, colours, textures, and are available in speciality types for moss, high wind, UV, hail impact, rubber, etc. Standard types of shingles are made by IKO, BP, Malarkey, Certainteed, GAF, and Owens Corning.

Speciality residential roof coverings such as cedar roofing, rubber tile, concrete tile, metal panels, slate, etc. typically require more research and due diligence than when choosing asphalt shingles. Homeowners have to be even more cautious with selecting the right roofing material and contractor. Failure to choose the right contractor could be a considerable error.

Our blog has a number of articles about selection of specialty residential roofing and our website can assist with a checklist for choosing roofing contractors, roofing contractor accreditationroofing contractor workmanship guarantees, and it also contains overviews of residential roofing materials available.

We also have a section on how to shingle a roof so that homeowners can learn about the right way to install shingles. Be sure to keep it handy if you ever have a contractor on-site so you can check if they are performing the installation correctly.

For residential roofing roof repair or replacement pricing call us at +1.877.497.3528 or click here for an online residential roofing cost estimate request form.

Until next time,

The Team at GRS

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)

24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free. info@grscanadainc.com.

British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario