Answers to Common Roofing Questions

At Tony William Roofing & Exteriors, we get a lot of questions about roofing materials, and the replacement process. Here are five common questions that might help to understand the issues involved in Calgary roof replacement.

When Do Asphalt Shingles Need Replacing?

While high-quality materials like metal roofing, rubber and some high-performance laminated architectural shingles can last decades or more, most older style asphalt shingles have a useful life of less than 20 years. If your shingles are more than two decades old, they most likely need to be replaced. With Calgary’s harsh winters and strong sun exposure in the summer, many lower quality roofing shingles will need replacing sooner than that.

There are many signs of roof deterioration to keep a look out for. Missing, curling, cracked or worn out shingles definitely need to be replaced. Asphalt granules in your downspout after a rain is another sign that your shingles are wearing out. There may be isolated damage from falling debris or there could be wider spread deterioration over the entire roof. In general, south facing slopes or sections with heavy wind exposure will deteriorate faster. We don’t recommend climbing on your roof, so inspect from ground level. You can even use binoculars for more detail. 


What is Roof Flashing?

Flashing is a metal material, typically made of galvanized steel or aluminum, that is used to protect joints in your roof from water penetration. You’ll typically see flashing around the chimney, skylights, pipes, dormer windows and where two sections of your roof butt up against each other. Flashing is generally very durable so problems will likely involve heavy wind damage that has pulled it away from your roof, or damage from ice dams caused by water getting under the flashing and freezing.

What is Tar Paper?

Tar paper, also known as felt paper or asphalt paper, is a material placed on top of the wooden roof sheathing and under shingles as an extra layer of protection. It is called tar paper because of the black, asphalt coating that helps it form a strong bond between your shingles and the wood sheathing. There are now synthetic materials known as roofing underlayment that serve the same purpose. All provide a separation from the chemicals in shingles penetrating into the wood sheathing and protect against water, heat and even sound.



With the exception of commercial and flat roof projects, we are currently quoting residential projects to commence in 2021. Thank you for your understanding. 

Tony William Roofing & Exteriors Inc.
 Suite 300 - 160 Quarry Park Blvd SE 
Calgary, AB T2C 3G3 Open M - F | 8:00am - 4:00pm 

Do Old Shingles Need to be Removed?

While it might seem that adding an extra layer of shingles on your home will offer added protection, it is highly advisable to remove the old shingles. At Tony William we always remove old shingles on every roof replacement. That is the only way to inspect and repair damage to the roof sheathing and structure of your home. Most shingle manufacturers require old shingles to be removed for their product warranties to be valid. Also, extra layers of shingles add more weight that can tax the structure of your home. This is an especially important consideration in a high snowfall city like Calgary. Of course, one layer of shingles will also look much better.

Why Do Icicles Form on My Eavestroughs?

Icicles on your gutters are often a sign of a poorly functioning roofing system. Your roof needs to be adequately vented and properly insulated to ensure that the heat from your home is not melting snow on your roof. Melting snow leads to frozen water in your eavestroughs, icicle formations, and ice dams. All of which can damage your shingles and roof. Your roof will last longer with proper ventilation and insulation.

Check Out Our Calgary Roofing Guide

We have a very thorough roofing guide that is a great overview of key roofing terminology, roofing materials, the roof replacement process and more. If you are considering a roof replacement, it is a great start to understanding all the options and issues. Of course, our roofing experts at Tony William are always a phone call or email away if you have any more questions. Feel free to contact us at any time.


  • Company was recommended by a neighbor. I had estimates by two companies.Tony Williams was well under Gutter Doctor. Work was completed when promised. Crew was friendly and efficient. I would certainly recommend this company.

    David Ritch

    Google Review

  • We were very impressed with the service and workmanship Tony Williams Roofing & Exteriors provided us this past spring. We will be contacting them for any further renovation project we may have in the future.

    Rick in Calgary

  • This company came in as the best value for our money, they were on time, professional and answered any questions we had. The workers were great, cleaned up after and were done on time. Was very happy with this company!

    Kara & Brad

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Tony William Roofing & Exteriors Inc.
Suite 300 - 160 Quarry Park Blvd SE,
Calgary, AB T2C 3G3

(403) 454-1366

Calgary | Airdrie | Langdon | Okotoks

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