Basement Exit Window for Basement

Basement Exit Window for Bedroom Requirements

Although I have written a number of articles on this subject I still come across Realtor’s who will offer their opinion on Requirements for Basement Windows based on “hearsay” vs the Ontario Building Code.  This type of confusion is encountered a lot when individuals, without any formal training, start advising home buyers on Building Code requirements when purchasing a home.

The biggest mistake I find people make is stating that each bedroom requires an “EXIT WINDOW”.  This is simply not true.  Although there are  requirements for light and ventilation, this is not part of exit requirements.

The requirement for a properly-sized bedroom window has been around since 1980 and subsequent code changes since then have made it even easier to understand how a bedroom egress window is defined. As with any building project, a proper building permit is required and your drawings will be required to show location and size of windows. There is always some interpretation involved in Ontario Building Codes and Fire Codes, so to be safe consult with the Inspection Department and Fire Department prior to starting construction.

National Building Code of Canada
The National Building Code of Canada (NBCC), on which the Provincial Codes are based, has very clear requirements as it relates to bedroom windows and how the bedroom window serves three distinct purposes in the home:

  1. Light (at least five per cent of the floor area served)
  2. Ventilation (at least 0.28m² or 3 ft² or an adequate year-round mechanical ventilation)
  3. Emergency Escape: An Emergency Escape requires that each bedroom must have a door that leads directly to the exterior of the building or have a properly-sized egress window that can be opened from the inside without the use of keys, tools, hardware or special knowledge (unless this bedroom has a sprinkler system installed).

Ontario Building Code article establishes the general requirement that all bedrooms must have at least one window that is large enough to be used as an exit in an emergency. The specific requirements are as follows:

Ontario Exit Window Basement

  1. Except where the suite has a sprinkler, each bedroom or combination bedroom shall have at least one outside window or exterior door operable from the inside without the use of key, tools or special knowledge and without the removal of sashes or hardware.
  2. The window referred to in Sentence (1) shall provide and unobstructed opening of not less than 0.35 m² (542 in² or 3.8 ft²) in area with no dimension less than 380 mm (15 inches), and maintain the required opening during an emergency without the need for additional support.
  3. If the window referred to in Sentence (1) is provided with security bars, the security bars shall be operable from the inside without the use of any tools or special knowledge.

If a window well is required, it must be out from the window at least 550mm (about 22″) to provide safe passage. Awning style windows for example opening into a window well typically won’t work because they tend to obstruct clear passage unless the window well is unusually large.

It is further recommended that the bottom of any egress window opening or sill not be higher than 1.5m (5 feet) above the floor. Now this can be somewhat challenging for any bedroom in a basement, so some means of built-in furniture below the window to assist in the event of an emergency is required.

Egress Windows or Doors for Bedrooms (

  1. Except where a door on the same floor level as the bedroom provides direct access to the exterior, every floor level containing a bedroom in a suite shall be provided with at least one outside window that,
    1. is openable from the inside without the use of tools,
    2. provides an individual, unobstructed open portion having a minimum area of 0.35 m² (3.8 ft²) with no dimension less than 380 mm (15 inches), and
    3. maintains the required opening described in Clause (b) without the need for additional support.
  2. Except for basement areas, the window required in Sentence (1) shall have a maximum sill height of 1,000 mm (39 inches) above the floor.
  3. When sliding windows are used, the minimum dimension described in Sentence (1) shall apply to the openable portion of the window.
  4. Where the sleeping area within a live/work unit is on a mezzanine with no obstructions more than 1,070 mm above the floor, the window required in Sentence (1) may be provided on the main level of the live/work unit provided the mezzanine is not more than 25% of the area of the live/work unit or 20 m², whichever is less, and an unobstructed direct path of travel is provided from the mezzanine to this window.
  5. Where a window required in Sentence (1) opens into a window well, a clearance of not less than 550 mm (22 inches) shall be provided in front of the window.
  6. Where the sash of a window referred to in Sentence (5) swings towards the window well, the operation of the sash shall not reduce the clearance in a manner that would restrict escape in an emergency.
  7. Where a protective enclosure is installed over the window well referred to in Sentence (5), such enclosure shall be openable from the inside without the use of keys, tools or special knowledge of the opening mechanism.

Tthe required window size for egress is the same between the National Building Code and the Ontario Building code. Window well requirements are the same as well.

The significant difference between the National and Ontario codes is that a means of egress is required for each bedroom with the National Building Code, while only one means of egress per level is required with the Ontario Building Code. Also, the National Building Code requires the sill height from the floor to be no more than 1,500 mm (59 inches), while the Ontario Building Code requires the sill height to be no more than 1,000 mm (39 inches).

Check with your Building Inspection Department

Before starting any renovation project it is always best to check with your local Building Department for required permits and drawings.  You can also obtain advice on what you can legally do or not do.  When renovating it is always better and safer to follow required practices rather than having to redo work or create an unsafe environment for your family.

This information on Basement Window Egress Requirements is brought to you by Canada’s Largest Quit Smoking Directory.

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TSSA Above Ground Fuel Tanks

Property owners have a legal responsibility to maintain fuel oil storage tanks and to clean up any leaks or spills that may occur, whether the fuel oil tanks are situated TSSA Fuel Storage Tank Requirementsunderground, in a basement or above ground. Fuel oil leaks and spills can cause significant environmental damage and the costs to clean up contaminated soil and groundwater on the property and its surroundings can be extensive.

This legal responsibility and potential for legal liability has resulted in increased insurance claims made by property owners with underground fuel oil tanks. This has caused an increase in homeowners’ insurance concerns, including potential denial of coverage.

The most commonly used tanks for fuel oil are steel containers that hold about 1,000 litres of fuel. The problem with many metal fuel oil tanks is that they rust from the inside out as a result of condensation accumulation inside the tank over several years. It is difficult to tell if a tank is leaking and underground fuel oil tanks present a particular concern because of the inability to determine their condition (they are difficult to inspect) combined with the probability that they will leak (the older the tank; the stronger the likelihood that it will leak).

Fuel Oil Regulations and Codes

Ontario has strict regulations and codes governing the handling and storage of fuel oil that require registration of all existing underground fuel oil tanks and dictate their removal or upgrading according to a phased in four year schedule based on the age of the tank.

All underground fuel tank systems that have not been used for two or more years (and no longer intended to be used), must be removed, no matter what the age. Furthermore, all underground tanks over 5,000 litres are required to be leak tested annually (at least monthly, when level 2 or level 1 leak detection is used).

All existing aboveground and underground fuel oil tank systems are required to undergo annual maintenance (maintenance should also be in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions) and to have a comprehensive inspection at least once every ten years. The handling and storage of fuel oil is governed under the Technical Standards and Safety Act – Ontario Regulation 213/01 (“Fuel Oil Regulation”), and administered under the Ontario Installation Code for Oil Burning Equipment I (Based on CSA B139, with Ontario Amendments), Edition/2006 (“Ontario Fuel Oil Code”).

The Fuel Oil Regulation defines two types of fuel oil storage tanks and a tank system:

Aboveground tank – “means a tank that is installed at or above grade level within a building or within a secondary containment, but does not include a tank that is in direct contact with backfill material”. Free standing fuel oil tanks in basements that are not in direct contact with backfill material are considered, by the TSSA, as above ground tanks.

Underground tank – “means a buried tank or partially buried tank that is in direct contact with earth or backfill”. The TSSA does not consider fuel oil tanks that are in basements to be underground tanks unless they are in direct contact with backfill material. Tank system – “means an aboveground or underground tank, and includes all piping, valves, fittings, pumps and other equipment associated with the tank”.

Underground Fuel Oil Tanks

Under the Fuel Oil Regulation fuel oil distributors cannot supply fuel oil to an underground tank unless the tank is registered with the TSSA. This requirement has been in effect since May 1, 2002. There is no charge for registering an underground fuel oil tank and the application form (Application for an Ontario Registration to Operate/Install and Underground Fuel Oil Tank, Form No. 09143) is available by calling the TSSA 416-734-3300 or toll free at 1-877-682-8772 or online through the TSSA at http://www.tssa.org/regulated/fuels/fuelsForms.asp.Once the application form is processed, the applicant will receive a registration number from the TSSA. The registration number can then be provided to the fuel oil distributor, to ensure an uninterrupted supply of fuel oil.

Deadlines for Removal or Upgrade of Underground Fuel Oil Tank Systems

The requirements for removal or upgrade of underground fuel oil tank systems are set under the Ontario Fuel Oil Code. Removal – All existing single-wall steel underground tank systems that are 25 years old and more as of October 1, 2001, or of unknown age, and not cathodically protected, are required to be withdrawn from service and removed. All underground fuel tank systems that have not been used for two or more years (and no longer intended to be used), must be removed, no matter what the age. However, where removal of the tank is not feasible an application for Variance may be made to the TSSA.

Removal or upgrade – There are specific dates set by the Ontario Fuel Oil Code when underground fuel oil tank systems are required to be removed or upgraded based on the age of the tank, and outlined below:

Schedule for Upgrading Existing Underground Tank Systems:

Deadline to Remove or Upgrade*

Age of Tank

25 years and more, or unknown                 October 1, 2006

20-24   years                                              October 1, 2007

10-19    years                                             October 1, 2008

0-9       years                                              October 1, 2009


* Upgrade includes adding approved leak detection, corrosion protection, spill containment, and overfill protection device.

Requirements for Removal of Underground Fuel Oil Tank Systems

Property owners are responsible for the costs of removing their underground fuel oil tank. The removal must be performed by a TSSA registered fuel oil contractor holding a Petroleum Equipment Mechanic 2 (PM-2) license. The TSSA must be notified once the underground tank has been removed and the property owner must have an environmental assessment report completed by a Professional Engineer, a Professional Geoscientist, a Professional Agrologist, or a Chartered Chemist. If a leak of fuel oil is confirmed, the Spills Action Centre of the Ministry of the Environment must be notified of the leak and the property owner is responsible for the cost of the required clean up of contamination.

•A list of TSSA registered fuel oil contractors located in various municipalities can be found at: http://www.tssa.org/regulated/fuels/heating/heatingcontractors/default.asp

•To find a PM-2 Contractor in a specific municipality, contact the Ontario Petroleum Contractors’ Association (OPCA) at www.opcaonline.org or Phone: (705) 735-9437 or Toll Free: 1-866-360-6722

•To report a spill contact Spills Action Centre of the Ministry of the Environment at Phone: 416-325-3000 or Toll Free: 1-800-268-6060

Requirements for Upgrading Underground Fuel Oil Tank Systems

Some underground fuel oil tank systems may require an entirely new system in order to conform to the Ontario Fuel Oil Code; others may only need specific upgrades to the corrosion protection, overfill protection, spill containments, added leak detection, etc. Underground fuel oil tank systems that are not removed must be upgraded with approved overfill protection, corrosion protection, spill containment and leak detection. Prior to upgrading, an underground steel tank must be subjected to a precision leak test.

Application for Variance for Underground Fuel Oil Tank

The TSSA will consider an application for “Variance for abandonment of an underground fuel tank in place” where removal of an underground tank is not feasible due to certain circumstances, such as a structural consideration. An example of a structural consideration is where an underground tank is situated such that its removal would cause collapse of a retaining wall of a house.

However, the TSSA does not consider an underground tank situated beneath a driveway, back yard, front lawn, or garage, etc. to be a structural consideration. The Variance application process normally takes several weeks because it involves extensive review and research by the TSSA in order to determine whether the tank must be removed or it can remain in place, with conditions. The process begins with completion of the Variance Application (Application for a Variance/Deviation, Form No. 09533) and submission of the application fee and an environmental assessment report to the Environmental Services office of theTSSA. Further information, including the Variance Application form,”Environmental Info Sheet” and fee information can be found at http://www.tssa.org/regulated/fuels/environment/fuelsEnviron04.asp

Aboveground Fuel Oil Tanks

There are no age limit considerations specified in the code or regulation requirements to dictate the replacement of aboveground tanks, provided the tank is not leaking.

An existing aboveground tank is considered, by the TSSA, as “approved” provided the tank was installed in accordance with the Ontario Fuel Oil Code that was applicable at the time of installation. If an aboveground tank is not being used, the tank and all associated piping of fluid content must be emptied and vapour-free; but it does not have to be removed unless the tank is of a capacity greater than 2,500 litres and unused for more than 3 years.

If an aboveground fuel oil tank is removed, the TSSA must be notified; an assessment report must be completed setting out the extent of any fuel that has escaped to the surrounding environment; and any contamination must be cleaned up.

Annual Maintenance

All existing aboveground and underground fuel oil storage tank systems are required to undergo annual maintenance (unless otherwise specified by manufacturer’s instructions), performed by a TSSA certified oil burner technician (OBT); otherwise fuel oil distributors cannot supply fuel oil. Such services include visually inspecting the tank system for leaks and testing and servicing the oil burning equipment to ensure it is operating properly. It is the property owner’s responsibility to arrange for an inspection.

Leak test – When level 2 or level 1 leak detection is used, a leak test shall be conducted at least monthly.

Comprehensive inspection – All existing fuel oil storage tanks (aboveground and underground) and associated appliances (furnace, boiler, water heater, etc.) are required to undergo a comprehensive inspection by a TSSA certified oil burner technician at least once every 10 years, otherwise fuel oil distributors cannot supply fuel oil. Furthermore, a fuel oil distributor is required to prepare a report of each inspection made and retain the report until the next inspection and report are completed. Due to the large number of inspections that were required to be completed by fuel oil distributors, the TSSA approved the following deadlines for comprehensive inspections (from page 2 of the TSSA Update (Fuels Safety Edition) Spring 2006 http://www.tssa.org/CorpLibrary/ArticleFile.asp?Instance=136&ID=D03032E1DD95416D9CEE00F9844949CC):

May 1, 2004 – all fuel oil distributors required all new customers to undergo an immediate comprehensive inspection

May 1, 2006 – certain groups of fuel oil distributors required existing customers to undergo a comprehensive inspection

May 1, 2007 – all systems that previously underwent a basic inspection are required to undergo a follow up comprehensive inspection by May 1, 2007.If “unacceptable conditions” are found and there is an “immediate hazard”, the fuel oil distributor is required to immediately cease supplying fuel oil and to take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to shut off the supply of oil to the tank facility, system or appliance. If “unacceptable conditions” are found and they do not pose an “immediate hazard”, the fuel oil distributor may supply fuel oil provided that the owner of the property takes corrective actions, up to 90 days of receiving notice, to conform to the Code (Section 24 of the Fuel Oil Regulation). However, due to the high number of “unacceptable conditions” being found and the resulting backlog in correcting such conditions, the TSSA extended the 90 day time period to 365 days provided that a variance has been granted to extend the deadline – (TSSA Advisory, ref. no. FS-05505, dated November 8, 2005 -http://www.tssa.org/viewNews.asp?ID=61).


What Type of Home Inspection Do I Need?


When purchasing a home one of the most critical steps any buyer must take is to get a certified home inspector to perform different types of inspections on the property. These visual examinations not only aid in assessing the condition of the house but its performance as well. Also, it helps you verify whether the owner carried out any maintenance or necessary repairs on the asset. Ironically, many first-time buyers presume that the inspection is simply a formality aimed at identifying the flaws within the house.

Hence, they don’t give the inspection the seriousness it deserves. In a haste to own the home, the buyers skim over the inspection, only to end up incurring endless expenses on property maintenance once they occupy their new residence.

So, just what types of house inspections should you conduct to ensure you get your money’s worth when closing on a home? The following are a few critical ones.

7 Home Inspections You May Need

General Home Inspection

The general inspection is perhaps the most common type of assessment known to homeowners. Here, the inspector will focus on features like the plumbing, HVAC system’s efficiency, electrical wiring, structural features as well as roof installations. If the property was being managed professionally there’s a good chance a lot will be intact but if it wasn’t the general inspection will help reveal issues.

The whole aim of the exercise is to identify defects or inconsistencies, which need improving, to bring the property to a desirable state. If the inspector spots an anomaly, he or she might recommend renovations or ask you to go for more specialized inspections.

When conducting a general home inspection, it is prudent to look for an inspector certified by a state-run agency, or one who is a member of reputable national organizations like the National Association of Home Inspectors, or the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Termite or Wood destroying insects

If you live in areas with warm climates then conducting a termite or wood boring insect inspection is a must. The review will help to unearth evidence of structural damage caused by termites, powder post beetles, carpenter ants, and bark beetles. Additionally, the investigation will bring to light any real structural defects likely to be problematic in the future. For example, wood being in direct contact with the soil, which can cause wood decay or dry-rot. While the cost of a termite inspection might vary depending on the property size and the inspector’s fee, it averages between $100 and $ 200.

Chimney Inspection

Besides making the house look architecturally and aesthetically appealing, the chimney adds a sense of warmth, safety, and comfort to your home. It is, therefore, important that you inspect it to ensure it is working efficiently. The inspector will examine it to ascertain whether its joints, liners, flues, interior walls and connectors, have any defects such as cracks, which might inhibit the chimney’s effectiveness in discharging smoke. A chimney inspection costs approximately $ 75, and depending on the review findings; the inspector might recommend chimney restoration or maintenance services.

Foundation, Lot Size, and Boundaries Inspection

It is not surprising for a house to have a faulty and problematic foundation or lot size and boundary issues. Since such a property can cause legal and safety concerns, it is prudent to get an inspection report on these three elements. It will help to determine whether the house has any foundation issues, is sliding, sinking, or in the right location.

Radon Test and Harmful substances Inspections

No matter how attractive the property seems to be, you must obtain Radon Test and Harmful Substances inspection reports. You need to get these tested especially if the home is in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, or areas renown for radon prevalence. Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas is carcinogenic. Besides testing for radon, the inspector should probe the property for any presence of methane gas, Asbestos, Formaldehyde, and mold, all of which can lead to serious health issues. In fact, when inspecting the property, bearing in mind how grave the matter is, you must make sure the inspector has the right certification to perform the assessment.

Water Inspections

If the home you are interested in gets its water supply from a well, you need to test the quality of the water, its water table depth, and sanitation level. Some of the things you should also check for include; water portability, hardness, and pathogens like E. coli, Volatile Organic Compounds, and heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, and lead. Here too, you should only use a state-certified laboratory, preferably those listed on the EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) website.

Inspect the plumbing, septic, and sewer system

Even though you might have checked the plumbing during the general inspection you should find out from the plumber whether you need to replace the pipes, more so, if they are the galvanized type. These kinds tend to clog from time to time, meaning you might need to carry out frequenting plumbing maintenance. Similarly, get a sewer inspection to determine whether you home is connected to a sewer system or a septic tank.


When buying a houseyou should be adamant about getting your independent inspection reports, even if the property owner insists that he or she already has done the inspection. Even though it will cost you more, it might just save you a fortune in property repairs and maintenance costs in the long run.



WETT Inspections Barrie

WETT Inspections Barrie – Common Problems

Most problems with Fireplaces and Wood Stoves originate from not being properly inspected.  The masonry chimney is the one item that is prone to damage, from overheating or moisture penetration.  Water damage is the worst culprit when it comes to chimney damage.  Your chimney is constantly exposed to rain, snow and the ongoing freezing and thawing cycles.  Water will enter the smallest crack, and it becomes like a “little jackhammer” constantly freezing and expanding the crack.  Although a slow process, the water will continue downwards destroying everything in its path.

Barrie has many older homes that were built with old style fireplaces.  Many of these fireplaces are not safe to use and should be thoroughly cleaned and inspected prior to using.  A chimney that has not been used or inspected for a long period of time could have many serious defects that could cause a fire.  Water may have cracked your flue tile, birds may have nested in your chimney, the list is endless.

Older style chimney caps are no longer permitted.  They now have to be one piece caps with a “drip edge” installed. As you can see in the picture, the mortar is Old Style Chimney Capdeteriorating and cracking.  Water will soon start making its way through the brick and brick mortar.  Older home owners are not very likely to climb their roof to check their chimney.  This is where a WETT Inspection is invaluable for the protection and safety of the home.

Water penetration can cause interior and exterior damage to your home and masonry chimney including:
  • Rusted damper assemblies
  • Deteriorated metal or masonry firebox assemblies
  • Rusted fireplace accessories and glass doors
  • Rotting adjacent wood and ruined wall coverings
  • Water stained walls and ceiling
  • Clogged clean out area
  • Deteriorated central heating system
  • Stained chimney exterior
  • Decayed exterior mortar
  • Cracked or deteriorated flue lining system
  • Collapsed hearth support
  • Tilted or collapsed chimney structure
  • Chimney settlement

An ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure when it comes to your masonry chimney.  If you can see cracks at the side of your chimney cap then you know there will be cracks on the top.

Ember Protection

Ember protection is another requirement that has evolved over time.  A wood stove is required to have 18 inches of ember protection in front of the opening door.  Stoves that only require ember protection can be placed directly on floors of non-combustible construction, such as tile or brick.  Sheet metal and any other non-combustible product that has no gaps etc.   Custom Hearthpads are available for purchase and are ULC rated.

Most modern stoves do not require “heat protection” for the floor.  The stove legs are typically long enough to not require any protection.  It would be wise to double check for this when buying a wood stove.  The cost of installing a proper heat pad can be expensive.

Fireplace Hearth Extension

Fireplaces with less that 6 square feet ( 0.56 M2 ) of opening require a hearth that extends 16 inches to the front and 8 inches to the sides.

Fireplaces with over 6 square feet of opening require a hearth that extends 20 inches to the front and 12 inches to the sides.

A clear area in front of fireplaces of 48 inches is usually required to provide room for fueling and ash removal.

Inspect Your Wood Appliance Every Year Prior to Using


  • Look for loose or damaged bricks on chimney exterior
  • Make sure flashing (metal barrier at roof line) is intact and in-place
  • Check for cracks or leak lines on chimney crown
  • Clear chimney cap and grate (wire mesh) of debris; ensure tight fit
  • Clear path down flue through smoke chamber
  • Look for stains or leaks down flue
  • Make note of visible creosote buildup


  • Check for damage to floor and wall protection
  • Note rust damage
  • Look for smoke or leak stains
  • Check gaskets and gasket rope on doors; ensure tight fit
  • Inspect door and window seals
  • Check that glass window is crack-free; clean soot
  • Dump ash drawer; replace empty
  • Check fireplace screen for holes
  • Make sure damper (interior door into chimney throat) is clear of debris
  • Open damper for good oxygen flow
  • Clean dust off woodstove blower; ensure operable
  • Replace filters
  • Replace batteries in carbon dioxide and smoke detectors
  • Make sure fire extinguishers are current and easy to access

Hiring a WETT Certified Inspector

WETT Inspection Barrie is available 7 days a week for your convenience.  Call Roger today  705-795-8255

Wett Certified for Over 15 Years

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Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material used at present. The shingles consist of asphalt impregnated felt paper, coated with an additional layer of asphalt and covered with granular material.In 1960 fiberglass mat air-nailer-for-shingles - by Barrie Home Inspectionsbases were introduced with limited success, the lighter more flexible shingles proved to be more susceptible to wind damage particularly at freezing temperatures. Also in the 1960’s research into hail damage which was found to occur when hail reach a size larger than 1.5 inches..

Asphalt shingles were historically classified by weight. The most common type of shingles used today weigh two hundred and ten pounds per square. They have an average life expectancy of twelve to fifteen years. Heavier asphalt shingles such as 225’s (two hundred and twenty-five pounds per square) 235’s and even 320’s are available. 225’s and 235’s have an average life expectancy of fifteen to twenty years, while 320’s have a life expectancy in excess of twenty-five years.

Today, asphalt shingles are classified by the warranty offered by the manufacturer. They would now be known as 10 year, 15 year, 20 year, 25 year, 30 year or 35 year shingles. The reason for this change was the use of lighter fiber glass matting. Modern shingles are also available in various textures and edge patterns.  In my personal experience shingles never last as long as the manufacture claims.  Seniors have often told me that their roof is guaranteed for 35 or 40 years,  not that they would be around to make a claim.

Since the mid 1960’s, most asphalt shingles have been of the self sealing type. A strip of tar is put on the surface of the shingles by the manufacturer. This strip is covered by the shingle installed immediately above. When the sun warms the roof surface, the two shingles stick together. This helps prevent the shingles from being blown off in a wind storm. (Shingles installed in the late fall and winter often do not seal themselves until the next spring.) On older, non-sealing asphalt shingles, a wind storm is can be the end of the shingles usefulness. The shingles, brittle with age, simply tear off and blow away.

Conventional asphalt shingles can be used on a slope as low as four in twelve, using normal techniques. Some roofers use these shingles down to a pitch of two in twelve if the roof is first covered with non-perforated, saturated felt papers. The felt papers must be overlapped by fifty percent and the section at the eaves (from the bottom edge up to twenty-four inches beyond the interior of the exterior wall) must be cemented in place to provide extra protection. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine, during a visual examination, whether this procedure was undertaken. Most roofers prefer to use rolled asphalt roofing in this type of situation.

There are also special low slope shingles which are designed for pitches down to two in twelve. With these shingles, only one third of the shingle is exposed to the weather (as opposed to half of the shingle on a conventional installation) and the shingles are individually cemented in place.

Regardless of the type of asphalt shingle used, there are two general rules if thumb you should be aware of.  1) Sunlight is number one cause of failure of asphalt roofs and consequently in most areas the south and west exposuresdamaged-shingles - by Barrie Roof Inspector wear out the fastest.  2) The steeper the pitch of the roof, the longer the shingles will last.

As asphalt shingles wear, they lose their granular covering. The granular material protects the shingles from ultra-violet light. As it is worn off, the shingles dry out and become brittle. They crack, buckle, and curl. Areas where the granular material has eroded the fastest, wear out first. These may be areas where there is heavy foot traffic, abrasion from tree branches, or erosion from downspouts discharging onto the roof surface.

Occasionally, shingles will wear out prematurely due to a manufacturer’s defect. Blisters, approximately the size of a dime, form underneath the granular surface and cause raised sections in the shingles. While these are not aesthetically pleasing, they do not affect performance until the granular material wears off in these areas.  IKO had manufactured an organic shingle which created a Class Action lawsuit due to early shingle failure.

The Barrie Home Inspector also provides Roof inspections for Commercial Buildings