The Best Roof Shingle Options For Homes in Canada


Canada is known for its northern climate and is often thought to be quite cold and snowy, but the climate can vary throughout the different regions. In the northern part of the country, very cold winters give way to short and cold summers whereas the central southern portion sees cold winters and hot summers.

Regardless of where they’re located in Canada, roofs must withstand extreme temperatures, wind, snow, ice, and sun exposure throughout the year. This means that roofing materials should be chosen for their ability to stand up to temperature variations and changing conditions throughout the year.

Climate Changes Create Wear And Tear

Each type of weather affects roofs differently. Temperature fluctuations can cause the roofing material to expand with warm weather and contract with cold weather, which can lead to cracks in the roof tiles. Wind, sun, ice, and snow each create wear and tear on a roof in their own way and can lead to cracks and fading over time. It’s important to choose roofing materials that will stand up to climate changes throughout the year and reduce the impact that temperature fluctuations have on them.

Signs It’s Time To Replace A Roof

Evaluating when to replace a roof can be tricky because a roof isn’t something that you get a good look at everyday. While you can inspect things like siding and porches relatively easily, inspecting a roof typically requires that you or a trained professional get a good look at the roof.

Roofs should be inspected regularly and maintenance should be performed as soon as issues arise.

Here are some things to look out for that indicate it’s time to repair or replace your roof:

  • Cracked, damaged, or broken shingles or tiles - Regardless of the type of roof you have — asphalt shingles, vinyl shingles, cedar shakes, slate, or clay — if shingles are cracked, broken, or damaged they should be repaired or replaced immediately. Sometimes cracks can be patched with roof sealant.

  • Missing shingles - If shingles are missing altogether, they need to be replaced right away. If shingles are missing (or broken), moisture can get to the underlying roofing materials or seep into neighboring shingles and cause them to deteriorate more quickly.

  • Weathering and aging - Shingles will naturally degrade over time as they’re exposed to the elements. Changes in coloring are a sign that it’s time to replace shingles. If asphalt shingles are losing their granules and becoming smooth, that’s also a sign that they are nearing the end of their life and should be replaced.

  • Water stains or leaks - If you notice water stains on your interior ceilings or there is water actually leaking from the ceiling, it’s definitely time to check your roof for damage.

Shingle Options For Canada Homes

When the time comes to replace your roof, there are a variety of roofing materials on the market:

Asphalt Shingles

When you think of shingles, you probably think of asphalt shingles. They can be seen on a variety of homes in a variety of climates. Asphalt shingles are reasonably affordable and offer a variety of colors and patterns. For the do-it-yourselfer, asphalt shingles are a DIY option.

Unfortunately, asphalt shingles are not as durable as other roofing materials and as they age, they can become brittle and crack, leaving the underlying roof material exposed and vulnerable to leaks. They are also prone to mold, mildew, and algae growth. Since they are such a common roofing material, they don’t create a unique aesthetic.

Vinyl Shingles

Vinyl shingles provide an affordable alternative to asphalt shingles that can mimic the look of cedar shake shingles or half-round shingles. They are relatively easy to clean. Vinyl shingles, however, are fragile and prone to cracks, especially in climates with large temperature fluctuations that cause the shingles to warm up and then cool down or freeze. They are also vulnerable to damage from inclimate weather like hail or other impacts like a fallen tree branch.

The color of vinyl shingles runs all the way through the shingle, so the color won’t chip or flake. It will fade over time, especially in more exposed areas, which can make the home look patchy.

Natural Cedar Shake Shingles

Natural cedar shake shingles are a beautiful option for Canadian homes, but they are heavy and expensive. In some areas, they aren’t accepted by building codes.

Traditional Slate Tiles

Slate is a natural material that creates a stunning, old world look, but it is also extremely heavy and prone to chipping and flaking over time. In the event that a shingle breaks and needs repair, it is not a DIY job. Hiring a roofing professional that specializes in slate roofing can be expensive, and repairs can be time consuming.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles, as with other natural roof time materials, have a long life expectancy, but they are heavy and require extra framing in order for the roof to hold their weight. Authentic clay tiles require specialized installation and professional inspection because clay tiles shouldn’t be walked on.

A Better Alternative For Canada Homes

Roof shingles in Canada need to be able to stand up to a variety of harsh weather conditions and Brava roof tiles do just that. Brava Cedar Shake, Old World Slate, and Spanish Barrel Tiles are the perfect option for Canada’s homeowners and builders because they require zero maintenance and recreate the look of traditional materials with none of the downsides.

Cedar Shake

Brava Cedar Shake tiles replicate the authentic beauty of natural cedar shakes with stunning color variation that mimics the natural weathering of cedar. Our collection of nine hues is inspired by Mother Nature herself and are cast from hand-spit Western Red Cedar to create an authentic look that you just can’t find elsewhere.

Slate Tile

Natural slate roof tiles are extremely heavy and prone to flaking and chipping over the years. They are also unique and beautiful. Brava Old World Slate captures the subtle nuances and variation in natural quarried slate, but it is durable enough to withstand any weather that Canada can throw at it. Plus, we infuse our product with natural minerals to give it a multi-toned texture that enhances its natural look and feel.

Spanish Barrel Tile

Our Spanish Barrel Tiles honor the historic tradition and craftsmanship of terra cotta Spanish tiles. The deep color and variation found in traditional terra cotta tiles is captured and enhanced in our line of unique and rich colors — from traditional Terra Cotta to dramatic Onyx, and everything in between.

Choose a Maintenance-Free Option For Your Canada Home

Brava offers a synthetic alternative for cedar shake, slate, and clay roofing tiles. Our beautifully authentic maintenance-free roofing allows you to create the perfect look for your home while withstanding Canada weather and looking beautiful for years to come.

Contact an expert at Brava today to request a quote and begin planning your beautiful new roof.