Louis Vuitton purse

The iconic Louis Vuitton purse-is it real or is it fake?- only the buyer will know

What Does Your Roof Have in Common With a Louis Vuitton Purse?

Take a look at the rooftops in your neighbourhood and check out everyone’s shingles. They probably look like regular shingles, right? Sadly, they might not be as counterfeit roofing shingles are popping up everywhere. Not surprisingly, the country that has been producing counterfeit purses and products by the containerful has begun manufacturing fake construction materials. And, yes, that includes every type of roofing shingle as well.

Counterfeit roofing shingles? Seriously?

It all started with counterfeit drywall.

What started with toxic counterfeit drywall has grown exponentially to encompass all areas of home building materials. As recently as ten years ago, China has been exporting fake window, doors and anything else that people will buy. They look and feel like just like the “Brand Names” sold by reputable companies, but they are never of the same quality. Actually, in a lot of cases, they are toxic, hazardous and downright dangerous.

Chinese counterfeit drywall toxic hazardous

Counterfeit drywall from China installed in homes has proven to be toxic and hazardous.

Not even the launch of thousands of class action lawsuits against these fraudulent offshore manufacturers for health and safety damage to unsuspecting Canadian homeowners has deterred the piracy of China’s unrestrained manufacturing plants.

Saving a bit of money just wasn’t worth it.

For example, most homes that installed counterfeit drywall from China will need to be gutted due to major health and safety concerns. Noxious fumes containing sulfurous gases are damaging both to the home’s occupants as well as the wiring between the walls. The initial cheap price of purchase of Chinese counterfeit products ends up costing the consumer more in the long run in one way or another. As a result, you will end up paying more to replace those inferior products and that’s not even taking into account the hidden costs to your health, time and the environment.

Can you tell the difference?

Just like a good but fake copy of a Louis Vuitton Purse, counterfeit building materials – including counterfeit roofing shingles – are becoming almost impossible to detect. An experienced installer with a good eye can usually tell the difference; for example, with roofing shingles, a low weight is a definite indicator of a counterfeit shingle product.

Yet an inexperienced homeowner will be hard pressed to see the difference. These shingles come packaged in look-alike brand name wraps, have supposed ‘factory’ stamped backings and come in the usual variety of colours and styles available from the original company. The shingle forgers have definitely studied their craft well! Not even Canadian laws will protect you, as only newly built homes require CSA certified roofing shingles. In a home renovation, this standard does not have to be adhered to, and anything goes.

Certified and authentic CertainTeed roofing shingles.

Archer Roofing only installs authentic, certified roofing products like these Landmark shingles from CertainTeed.

Sometimes they asked for it…

Sometimes, homeowners themselves will request a cheaper product and ask for those Chinese roofing products that “they heard about”. This is also the time I begin to back out the door. For me, and as a professional, this represents a clear sign that we will not be a good fit.

At Archer Roofing, we only install reputable roofing shingles such as CertainTeed. Yet some roofing contractors are game to meet a homeowner’s budget and have no qualms about installing such an inferior and illegal product. I usually tell these clients that it’s better if they save for another year and are able to afford genuine shingles that have passed Canadian certification than to have to replace that roof again in a few years.

And sometimes they didn’t…

The absolute worst thing that can happen, though, is when the homeowner thinks they are getting a reputable product. They pay extra for it, and are completely unaware that the roofing contractor has replaced their shingles with fake Chinese imports. The extra cash, of course, goes into that contractor’s pocket. It is only several years down the line, when the cheap shingles begin to fail, that a homeowner actually knows that they were cheated. By then, the fly-by-night roofing company they used will be long gone or not picking up their phone.

This is when the importance of not going with the lowest quote and choosing a trustworthy roofing company such as Archer Roofing, which has relied on homeowner referrals for over 25 years, comes into effect.

Counterfeit roofing shingles from China.

Only the owner – and sometimes not even – would know if this iconic Louis Vuitton purse is real or not. Would you know? Unfortunately for home owners, you’d almost never be able to tell where your roofing shingles came from.

So, who is to blame for all of this?

In a lot of ways, we all are.

In the end, who continues to drive the import of these counterfeit, harmful products? You know, the ones that damage our health, a company’s reputation and drive local business owners to ruin? It is we, the consumers, who want to own that Louis Vuitton Purse or renovate that basement on a shoe-string budget.

Want to replace that roof at half the cost? Who doesn’t?

As the saying goes, if the price is too good to be true, it usually is. You’re either paying for it with shoddy workmanship or counterfeit, inferior materials that have been proven to be toxic to your health and, in the end, your wallet.

I truly believe in the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ and when it’s your home and health on the line, you should take an informed, holistic approach to spending your hard earned money. Hire licensed, trustworthy roofing companies in Toronto like Archer Roofing that in turn use reputable, local suppliers and vendors.

Be suspicious of companies that are heavily discounted and offer unknown brands and tell you it’s all the same. You’ve handled that cheap, counterfeit purse; you know it’s not the same.

If you are ever in doubt and feeling pressured by anyone, please call us. We’ve dealt with this before and we will be glad to come out and help.

Article References:

Aaron, Bob. “Chinese drywall creating Crisis.” Toronto Star. August 13, 2015.

Caldwell, Alec. “Just what our industry needed next: Cheap, crappy Chinese shingles”. Canadian Contractor. August 13, 2015.

“Chinese Drywall”. Wikipedia. August 13, 2015.


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