Canadian Contractor

Alec Caldwell   

Just what our industry needed next: Cheap, crappy Chinese shingles

Canadian Contractor

These knock-off shingles are much lighter than Canadian-made, CSA-approved shingles from reputable manufacturers. Use them at your extreme peril.

Chinese-knock-off-brands-2-540x404From the land of stinky, toxic drywall, knock-off Chinese exporters are at it again. Now they want you to nail a bunch of substandard garbage to your customers’ roofs.

Container loads of Chinese asphalt shingles are just now arriving in Canada. They’re way below the quality Canadian manufacturers have to follow under CSA standards.

According to Canadian standards, asphalt shingles have to be made or constructed a certain way to survive our climate changes and each bundle should weigh around 79 lbs and not the 50-something lb bundle weights that these imported imposters weigh.

Why is this happening? Didn’t we all see massive failures of domestically-produced shingles in recent years, with class action lawsuits? Now we have to watch it all over again with cheap crappy shingles from China? Without a chance of hell of a homeowner collecting any money from these offshore pirates?


Well, it seems current Canadian laws have a loophole and ONLY new residential homes construction must use CSA-certified shingles. In home renovation this standard is NOT required.

These imported shingle bundles are likely to be packaged just like Gucci knock-off products: they may well carry reputable company names. They may even show the CSA standard trademark. These particular Chinese firms have no shame and couldn’t give a fig about our laws.

Just look at the pricing. These Chinese crap shingles are $3.85 a bundle, compared to the normal $20 to $23 a bundle normally paid by contractors. The only way legitimate companies can fight against these pirates is through publicity – and contractors need to be aware of all ongoing scams like this

Homeowners are really being duped if they choose the lowest price in town, especially when the competition is undercutting by the $1,000’s. If this occurs, bets are imported shingles are being installed and forget about warranties on the product. This has to become a Consumer Protection Act issue. Report issue directly to them at 1-800-889-9768 or by email

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9 Comments » for Just what our industry needed next: Cheap, crappy Chinese shingles
  1. like your magazine!

    • Avatar photo Steve Payne says:

      Wilfred, is that “I like your magazine” or “Cheap and crappy… like your magazine!”

      Either way, you’re reading! Thanks!


  2. Rey Talusa says:

    I have seen shingles falling off at townhouses in Milton, Ontario last February and inspected them they are much thinner than the 25 years shingle from Iko.
    My roofing supplier told me they are from China.
    So I think they are already here.
    So Milton residents beware of your shingles.

  3. Canada First says:

    I try to avoid anything Chinese made. I never frequent dollar stores. I make ever attempt to investigate product origin. I do not support sellers or manufacturers that pass along Chinese material or product. It is time we close the door and start supporting Canada and the standards we need to stay safe and protect our interests. Punish manufactures and companies that move their business to China.

  4. Michael says:

    Excellent article which shines a light on a growing problem in the Canadian construction industry. It’s not just shingles, however. Stucco and plaster materials which are not up to code are being used regularly here in Calgary by contractors which cheat innocent, unknowing customers. This usually results in cracking, water damage, and mold on the frame of the house. Another growing problem, at least here in Calgary, are windows made from cheap Chinese materials and hardware. Not only are the companies which are selling these windows destroying the market with their ridiculously cheap prices, I have my doubts about their certifications, as I have seen them first hand and they are an abomination. People need to remember that what is cheap now, ends up costing significantly more in the long run.

  5. Kurtis says:

    Can’t really polish a turd, modern asphalt is a lousy product even at it’s best. They haven’t made good shingles in about 30 years. I’ve worked with the old 60s-70s jet shingles there is no comparison to the modern floppy stuff.

  6. Sean says:

    I just spoke with an IKO representative and his take was that, due to the inherent weight/density of tar shingles, the shipping costs would make conterfeiting unprofitable. To ship fake shingles across the ocean and then across Canada from Vancouver would be pointless. It already costs them $11/bag to ship shingles from Washington state to the GTA. Imagine across an ocean. Thoughts?

  7. Donald J Trump says:

    A drop in standards, see if you can get some cheap Mexican, or China man to do the work with no idea of standards. Then hold them liable when all the lawsuits take place. See if you can find a loophole around that. Of course our commie government will probably just tax the businesses and citizens so they have nothing left to work with, just to prove how powerful and good they are based on face value. Wake up Canada you’re being duped. Sometimes it’s better to do nothing and not purchase the garbage.

  8. Donald J Trump says:

    No one forced you hand so you had to, use your democratic right.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Just what our industry needed next: Cheap, crappy Chinese shingles"
  1. […] 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 […]

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