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Basic Roofing Question - When to Replace Builder Grade Roofing?

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  • Jul 12th, 2020 1:08 am
[OP]
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Mar 1, 2020
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GTA West

Basic Roofing Question - When to Replace Builder Grade Roofing?

Just a few quick questions if you guys don't mind:

a) My house is still on "builder" grade shingles for the past decade -- I read these things have to be replaced within 10-15 yrs as they're obviously of "cheaper" quality - I don't know what type of shingles the builder used...

b) I've had a few shingles repaired/replaced once in the past (as a windstorm "folded" them in 2018 along with the entire street/neighborhood - at least ours didn't see wood underneath then vs the neighborhood's)... they literally folded presumably the adhesive couldn't hold the shingle in place and made it fold LOL...

c) It "Looks" decent now - but there is no way for me to tell whether it needs replacement -- I've seen some in the neighborhood look decent but being replaced the past few years... When is a good "idea" to just replace everything? (Obviously, not worth waiting for a leak, but at the same time, it's hard to tell when a shingle needs to be replaced just prior to a leak happening)

i guess bottom line is:

a) what's a good rule of thumb to use to replace "builder shingles"?

b) as well, if a few get blown away say, come winter (or within the 1-3 yrs prior to 15 yrs builder grade life) do you still bother repairing them or just replace the whole thing now that the roof/ builder shingles are at least a decade old?

might as well do some research now while i have the time (and look around the neighborhood for roofers and their quality of work as i do run outside 4-5x a week these days) rather than wait for last minute... many thanks
12 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 16, 2008
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Vaughan
A. 12 years, to be safe for builder’s grade shingles
B. Replace whole thing if budget allows

I replaced my shingles 3 years back from builder shingles to Certainteed. The house is almost 19 years.
...
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
Do you have pictures of your roof? Find someone in your neighbourhood that recently had the roof done and compare it to yours.

Not sure what builder grade shingles are. As far as I know, they hire contractors to build houses. Same contractors you would use to redo your roof.

As a general rule, I would look at replacing the shingles at the 15 to 20 year mark. Obviously, sooner if you see wear.
Deal Expert
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Jun 12, 2007
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London
The shingle life problem wasn't so much around "builder's grade" as it was around "organic" base shingle. Shingles used to be made with an asbestos cloth base coated with asphalt. When asbestos got banned, the manufacturers switched to a base made of heavy cotton .

Somewhere along the line, some ingenious guy decided that cotton was too expensive and switched to a wood fibre base (like heavy duty cardboard). These "organic" shingles didn't last as long as they should have. These are the shingles everyone complained about. Manufacturers eventually got sued and settled a big class action lawsuit.

The problem organic shingles were made from around 1985 to as late as 2010, depending on manufacturer. Shingles are now made from with a fibreglass cloth base and last a lot longer compared those organic shingles. Also, everyone is now using fancy "architectural" shingles that are a lot more wind resistant than the old traditional 3 tab shingles.

Of course, all this depends on the quality of installation. It doesn't matter how great the shingles are if the installation is junk. After the big windstorm in 2018, there were a lot of fly-by-night installers working in the GTA. Also, sub contract roofing crews working for builders are paid piece meal so the emphasis is on fast speed, not quality
Last edited by l69norm on Jul 11th, 2020 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
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Toronto
LPGA2020 wrote: ...presumably the adhesive couldn't hold the shingle in place and made it fold LOL...
Just FYI there is no adhesive used when installing shingles.
Sr. Member
Oct 22, 2016
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Comox Valley
l69norm wrote: The shingle life problem wasn't so much around "builder's grade" as it was around "organic" base shingle. Shingles used to be made with an asbestos cloth base coated with asphalt. When asbestos got banned, the manufacturers switched to a base made of heavy cotton .

Somewhere along the line, some ingenious guy decided that cotton was too expensive and switched to a wood fibre base (like heavy duty cardboard). These "organic" shingles didn't last as long as they should have. These are the shingles everyone complained about. Manufacturers eventually got sued and settled a big class action lawsuit.

The problem organic shingles were made from around 1985 to as late as 2010, depending on manufacturer. Shingles are now made from with a fibreglass cloth base and last a lot longer compared those organic shingles. Also, everyone is now using fancy "architectural" shingles that are a lot more wind resistant than the old traditional 3 tab shingles.

Of course, all this depends on the quality of installation. It doesn't matter how great the shingles are if the installation is junk. After the big windstorm in 2018, there were a lot of fly-by-night installers working in the GTA. Also, sub contract roofing crews working for builders are paid piece meal so the emphasis is on fast speed, not quality
Comments made here, is bang on the money, and 100% correct.

I think you can get more years out of it, than you thought. Photos do help. If you do not want to go on the roof, see if a buddy has a drone that can look at it.

Manufacturer of shingles might be IKO, as they are large volume, and usually not as the other brands you remarked on.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2015
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Canada, Eh!!
Look at it from all sides.

Our builder grade shingles looked great on one side of house but the other side were curling badly.

The cost to fix any leaks not worth it so we had them replaced few years back even though could probably have gotten 2-3 more years out of them.
2022: BOC raised 6 times and MCAP raised its prime next day.
2017 to 2018: BOC raised rates 5 times and MCAP raised its prime next day each time.
2020: BOC dropped rates 3 times and MCAP waited to drop its prime to include all 3 drops.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 1, 2020
844 posts
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GTA West
georvu wrote: Look at it from all sides.

Our builder grade shingles looked great on one side of house but the other side were curling badly.

The cost to fix any leaks not worth it so we had them replaced few years back even though could probably have gotten 2-3 more years out of them.
Thank you. I'll see if I can check all sides as I'll prolly need to ask permission from back neighbor to look.

How long did your builder shingles last? Eg how did you know it still has 2-3 yrs? That's what I'm trying to figure out -- I might just have it entirely replaced in 2 yrs as someone said to be conservative - by then the shingles would've been 12 yrs+ since installation... I doubt I wanna risk 20 yrs based on what I read eg installation by builders is most likely subpar
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2015
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Canada, Eh!!
LPGA2020 wrote: Thank you. I'll see if I can check all sides as I'll prolly need to ask permission from back neighbor to look.

How long did your builder shingles last? Eg how did you know it still has 2-3 yrs? That's what I'm trying to figure out -- I might just have it entirely replaced in 2 yrs as someone said to be conservative - by then the shingles would've been 12 yrs+ since installation... I doubt I wanna risk 20 yrs based on what I read eg installation by builders is most likely subpar

Replaced at about 15 years... many houses with same waited few more years hence guesstimate that we could have waited to replace BUT one bad roof leak and that waiting costs MORE money.

If have good video drone can use.

Go to neighbours and take good pics.

Get some estimates and have them show pics of areas of concern. One roofer actually suggested to us to only do one side... that how different states they were in but that would have been more costly after doing both sides.
2022: BOC raised 6 times and MCAP raised its prime next day.
2017 to 2018: BOC raised rates 5 times and MCAP raised its prime next day each time.
2020: BOC dropped rates 3 times and MCAP waited to drop its prime to include all 3 drops.
Deal Guru
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GTA
Grab some binoculars if you can :)
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 1, 2020
844 posts
236 upvotes
GTA West
georvu wrote: Replaced at about 15 years... many houses with same waited few more years hence guesstimate that we could have waited to replace BUT one bad roof leak and that waiting costs MORE money.

If have good video drone can use.

Go to neighbours and take good pics.

Get some estimates and have them show pics of areas of concern. One roofer actually suggested to us to only do one side... that how different states they were in but that would have been more costly after doing both sides.
Thanks! So it does seem to be GOOD rule of thumb : 12-15 yrs for builder installed shingles... I'll just decide based on "comfort level" which exact year since this seems more art than science esp as I have no clue how good (or bad) the installation was 10 yrs ago. (Eg I think dominion roofing were the roofers but again that was the builder who chose them and even then, it might've been subcontracted)... Thanks again for sharing your experience...
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2015
8658 posts
4899 upvotes
Canada, Eh!!
LPGA2020 wrote: Thanks! So it does seem to be GOOD rule of thumb : 12-15 yrs for builder installed shingles... I'll just decide based on "comfort level" which exact year since this seems more art than science esp as I have no clue how good (or bad) the installation was 10 yrs ago. (Eg I think dominion roofing were the roofers but again that was the builder who chose them and even then, it might've been subcontracted)... Thanks again for sharing your experience...
First thing is to see how entire roof is [from various views using drone, camera, binoculars, neighbour's yard]. We could tell part of our roof shingles was deteriorating.

Have any one else in your area replaced their roof that is similar to yours?

If no issues with your roof [leaks, curling, missing shingles] then all good. :)
2022: BOC raised 6 times and MCAP raised its prime next day.
2017 to 2018: BOC raised rates 5 times and MCAP raised its prime next day each time.
2020: BOC dropped rates 3 times and MCAP waited to drop its prime to include all 3 drops.
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Feb 11, 2007
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GTA
Don't forget to take a look in the attic for any leaks or other issues.
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