What Makes Good Quality Roofing Shingles?

What a shingle is made of.

Ever wonder what makes good quality roofing shingles good?

The composition of all asphalt shingles available in the Canadian market is basically the same. The main difference between good quality roofing shingles and ones of lesser quality is the grade and amount of asphalt used in the body of the shingle and how many layers the shingle has.

To understand asphalt’s importance, you need to understand that a shingle is made up of only three parts:

quality roofing shingles

Quality roofing shingles and the typical asphalt shingle composition.

  1. There is a base material, which is typically a fiberglass mat. In the past, an organic felt was used, but fibreglass is more durable, lighter and thinner.
  2. The body of the shingle is made up of an asphalt coating, which can be of lesser quality in cheaper shingles. This is the ingredient that provides waterproofing and weight, resisting the elements. It’s important to have a layer of high grade asphalt if you want your roof system to withstand the elements for its lifespan.
  3. A laminated shingle has an extra layer under its lower half, making it twice as thick and durable as a regular 3-tab shingle.
  4. Finally, the top layer of the shingle is made up of surfacing granules that protect the asphalt from breaking down due to UV rays. Without this coating, the asphalt would quickly dry out and deteriorate.

As can be seen, the importance of the layers in the body of the shingle, and the grade and amount of asphalt within the body, is what makes a good quality shingle.

We only use good quality roofing shingles from Certainteed.

My go-to shingle is CertainTeed’s Landmark line, which is superior to all other shingles in the same price range. This is mostly due to the high grade of asphalt and the extra laminated layer, which is what the Landmark shingles are: architectural laminate shingles. You can’t cheat with the weight and quality of asphalt.

I urge my clients to see the shingles they want to install on their roof in person, that way they can hold a superior shingle like CertainTeed’s in one hand and a competitor’s of equal value in the other hand and they will instantly see which one is of better quality, heavier and more durable.


I’m not a salesman for CertainTeed, nor do I receive any bonuses if I install their line, but I do care about my client’s homes and I care about the environment.

To see roofs fail after a few years of regular wear due to a cheap or even counterfeit roofing shingle and having to haul away tons of unwarranted garbage that will never break down in my lifetime is disheartening. It’s also something I try to mitigate by installing products that will stand the test of time.

Typical size of shingle waste hauled from one roof

Typical size of shingle waste hauled from one roof.

Why we love to do roofing in Toronto.

One of the reasons why I love working in Toronto (and continue to do business only in this area) is because people invest in their homes. By this I mean people tend to settle in an area for a lifetime and typically don;t bother with flipping homes (with the cheapest outfittings) to make a quick buck.

Even when working as a contractor with my father, it was mainly in Toronto that owners insisted on better buidling and roofing materials. They also insisted on paying fair wages to the craftsmen finishing their homes. This is a way of life that is good for people and good for the environment, as our hard work is not wasted when materials start to fail prematurely.

The fact of the matter is, CertainTeed’s line of roofing products has proven itself to me on the countless roofs that Archer Roofing has installed in Toronto. I have personally handled all of the shingles available in the market they are top of the line for the money. They are sturdy, heavy and will not lift. Even when Toronto’s weather turns foul. And Toronto’s weather turns foul a lot.

As Toronto’s premium roofing contractor, we are conscientious about our reputation and carefully select the best products to install on our client’s roofs. Call me to discuss the differences between shingle manufacturers and their varieties at 416-427-2437.


Hire Us & We'll Treat Your Roof Like Our Own!