Roof Repair 101 – Flat Roof Repair. Materials and Option to Choose From.

Flat Roofing Repair Toronto, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Vancouver and all points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

July 26, 2016 by Tyler Sinclair | 1.877.497.3528 24 Hour Service

Leaky Flat Roof? Below are the options for flat roof repair and replacement.

While I write this I am looking out my office window at corner of John Street and King Street downtown Toronto and there is a massive rain storm – I am watching the water levels rise on many of the flat roofs and wondering about their drainage and how many are leaking right now.

Toronto, Roof, Repairs, Leaky
From office at 50 John Street (John and King Street) looking at likely Toronto flat roofing repairs and leaky roofs from rain storm.

Flat roofs leak. Even new flat roofs can leak because they are custom installed and expansion and contraction or improper installation can cause leaks. Storms, ice dams, the suns rays, aging low slope membranes, plugged drains, flashing problems and more can cause roof leaks.

What to do if your flat roof is leaking.

The first thing to do is to assess whether it is an emergency roof repair or if the repair can wait until the next business day (if it happens on the weekend or at night). If there is a concern with patron or pedestrian safety or the roof may collapse due to weight loads from water or snow loads then it is best to call our emergency roof repair dispatch that is available 24 hours a day.

Emergency, Roof Repair, Calgary, Metal Roof
Our roofers at an Industrial Metal Roof – Emergency Roof Repair in Calgary, Alberta.

While you are waiting for our crew to arrive to inspect and repair the leak be sure to catch any water you can coming in the ceiling with buckets and mop up the area to protect public safety (if commercial building). If the roof could collapse you may have to have people evacuate (this occurred with many buildings in 2011 in Edmonton, Alberta). If you attend to the roof be safe and always be careful with using ladders.

How Our Roofers Will Help With Your Roof Leak.

The first step is to inspect the flat roof. Our flat roofing expert will attend to your roof to assess the roof and provide you a verbal and/or written report and options for repair, replacement and pricing options.

Roof Drain, Repair, Roof, Inspection, Edmonton
Flat Roofing Repair Inspection in Edmonton, AB. Roof drain problems.

When your roof has been inspected and you have the report with costs for repair or replacement you can then make decisions. Sometimes this needs to be done immediately so our roofer will provide you with verbal inspection results and pricing and you may want to authorize the repairs at that moment.

Flat Roof Problem Areas – What to Inspect When Experiencing a Roof Leak.

When inspecting a flat roof check the sealants to be sure they are not dried out and cracked. Be sure roof drains are clear and allowing water to flow down (or scuppers and downspouts). Sometimes leaves or snow and ice can plug roof drains. Check all mechanical units such as air conditioner curbs and any roof tie-ins and parapet walls flashing.

Mississauga, Roof, Inspection, Torch-On
Flat roof inspection of torch-on roof in Mississauga shows improper installation.

A common place for problems on a flat roof are at rooftop unit curbs and flashing. Also check membrane for holes, punctures, blistering, splitting, ridging and any other irregularities.

Typical Flat Roof Repair Costs and Options

Most flat roof repairs are fast and relatively inexpensive, unless you have allowed the roof to deteriorate over the years without proper annual maintenance.

Most repairs a simple repairs to blisters on tar and gravel, torch on patches on SBS modified bitumen roofing, quick rubber patches on EPDM and for TPO and PVC roofing the repair is usually a quick heat weld to seams or rooftop penetrations.

Metal roofs can usually be repaired and maintenance with roof coatings and spot repair to the fasteners, seams and rooftop vents.

Metal Roof Leaks, Coating, Liquid Rubber, Regina
Liquid Rubber Roof Coating in Regina Repairs Metal Roof Leaks for a Reasonable Cost.

Materials Available for Flat Roofing

Modern membranes include many options not available when most flat roofs in Canada were originally installed. Over recent decades there are many options beyond traditional built-up tar and gravel.

Our main website has a complete article dedicated to flat roof membranes.

When we prepare pricing for flat roof repairs and replacement we include all options. Some are as follows:

Tar and Gravel, Roof
Picture of a tar and gravel flat roof on mall in Calgary.

Tar and Gravel Roofing (Built-Up).

Tar and gravel is the standard flat roof (old school style) you may have seen. There are pebbles (pea gravel) on top to protect the layers of mopped on bitumen from the suns UV rays. If the rocks are larger then it is not likely a standard tar and gravel built up roof (BUR) – it is most often a ballasted EPDM or inverted roof system.

Torch-On Roofing (SBS Modified Bitumen).

Torch-On, Membrane, 2 Ply, Toronto
Picture of 2 Ply SBS Modified Bitumen Torch On Roof Membrane in Toronto, Ontario.

SBS modified can also be applied as a cold application or mopped on. Typically SBS Modified is torched on however.

This product choice is newer than tar and gravel systems and comes in rolls that are usually torched on. The granules are on top and many customers refer to it as the shingle looking roll style when they call me for service.

Single-Ply Membranes.

EPDM, Membrane, Single-Ply
Picture of an Edmonton EPDM roof on a commercial building.

Next came the single ply roof membranes. Standard in Canada are EPDM, TPO and PVC.

EPDM is a rubber roll usually 10 x 100 (but comes in many sizes) that is applied by way of glue, mechanically fastened or with rock ballast (a rock similar to river rock). The picture to the right is a fully adhered EPDM membrane in Edmonton, AB on a commercial property.

TPO and PVC.

TPO, Membrane, Vancouver
Vancouver TPO roof inspection shows improper welding of seams.

TPO (thermal plastic olefin) is another type of single ply membrane and is usually white in color. The rolls are welded together with a heat welder vs. using adhesive as with EPDM (above).

PVC (poly vinyl chloride) is similar to TPO and the seams are welded in the same fashion as TPO. The chloride in the PVC caused some issue with the market when it was released so TPO was brought to market shortly after.

Roof Coatings. Fluid Applied.

Another category of products are the liquid applied products such as liquid rubber (which is a cold application coating), Spray Foam (SPF) and there are also hot applied rubberized asphalt coatings.

Liquid Rubber, Roof Coating, Metal, Industrial
Leduc, AB. Roof Coating being installed on an industrial metal roof (liquid rubber).

Liquid rubber / elastomeric roof coatings are typically used to coat metal roof systems. Liquid rubber is available in various colors.

In Canada it is best to stay with a darker coating but lighter coatings such as white and reflective are also available. You can click here to learn more and visit our roof coatings repair website.

And finally spray foam (SPF) is available which is a spray foam that is applied over top of the roof and a coating (usually polyurea but also silicone and liquid rubber are used) is sprayed on top of the spray foam.

Spray Foam, Roof, SPF, Cracking, Peeling
Leaking spray foam roof (SPF). Top coat on spray foam was not applied properly and it is cracking and peeling.

The biggest challenge with spray foam roofing in Canada is that spray foam expands and contracts and the top coating can peel if not the right top coat or if done improperly. Be sure you have a good contractor if you choose spray foam – it has to be right or there can be big problems.

Our inspection report and pricing options will detail the pros and cons of each product and provide pricing for each membrane type. Our quotations also provide pricing details for replacement of insulation, metal flashing for parapets and deck (substrate) sheathing if required.

Toronto green roof installed at 80 Front Street East.
Green Roof at 80 Front St E in Toronto.

Eco Roofing.

Eco-roofing is a green roof (low slope / flat roof) that supports vegetation or is a cool roof (reflective white roof) that reflects the sun’s thermal energy away from the building.

A green roof (eco friendly) is one that has growing vegetation over a significant proportion of the area of the roof. Water and energy conservation is the goal with a green roof. The low slope assembly is made up of a waterproofing membrane (such as above – EPDM, TPO, or PVC), a drainage layer, an organic growing medium (soil) and vegetation.

A cool or white roof is one that reflects solar and thermal emissivity and reduces heat build – up in the building. A white reflective roof (or cool roof) is applied as a coating over an existing system such as a low slope metal roof or over an existing or new waterproofing membrane (listed above) on a flat roof.

Toronto has grants for green and cool roofs. Since 2009, the City of Toronto’s Eco-Roof Incentive Program has helped fund the installation of more than 100 green and cool roofs on buildings across the city. You can find the Toronto Eco Roof program here.

Patio Membrane - DecTec Installed at Condo on 100 Ave in Edmonton.
Google Earth Image of Balcony Membrane Repairs at 11618 100 Ave Edmonton, Alberta – DecTec Rooftop Patio Membrane

Balcony Waterproofing Membranes / Rooftop Decks / Patios.

If you have a balcony membrane that is leaking (also used on rooftop decks or patios) our journeyman install material such as DecTec to deck areas.

If your deck or patio is above a living area (including a garage) then you need a waterproofing membrane material such as DecTec (a PVC product) that is suitable as both a flat roof and a patio membrane. It is very important to choose a material that is suitable for both uses.

Conclusion

If your flat roof needs repair or replacement my best suggestion is to be sure that you are provided with ALL options for replacement material and methods. Ask for a complete and detailed report and pricing explaining the pros and cons of each material type and method.

For more reading I will direct you to our main website at www.grscanadainc.com or visit these links:

Wikipedia –  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_roof

Different Types of Flat Roof Material Options – http://homerepair.about.com/od/exteriorhomerepair/ss/Types-of-Flat-Roof-Materials.htm#step1

Thank you for considering us for your roof repair needs! Call anytime 1.877.497.3528 and speak to our local expert in your area.

Cheers!

Tyler Sinclair

Flat Roof Repairs in Toronto, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Vancouver and all points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

 

Roof Repair 101 – How to Begin Repair Contracting Process for Roofing (in Canada)

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) provides Roof Repair throughout Canada. Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Mississauga, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario. 

[To the reader: This article is a Canadian adaptation of an article that I originally published in our stateside blog.]

A Step by Step Guide for Successful Execution of Contracting Roof Repair and Maintenance Services in Canada.

First, a Little Bit About Me.

I have been managing roof repair crews in Canada from Vancouver to Edmonton / Calgary to Saskatoon / Regina and Toronto / Mississauga for about ten years now. Repairs on every roof system type imaginable on projects the size of five football fields (industrial type manufacturing facilities) to small repairs on homes – products including flat roofs to shingles to roof coatings, metal roofs and many more.

This experience has given me unique insight that I hope will help you with engaging your roof repair challenges in such a way that brings success.

When your roof is leaking it is important to undertake repairs in such a way that successful remediation  is achieved in the most effective and efficient way. Re-do’s are not a good place to find yourself. Roof repairs are expensive, but more than cost, the inconvenience of business operation interruption or interior business or home damage can be considerable. And, in some instances a roof simply cannot leak (such as with molten copper facilities or steel manufacturing plants or buildings that house computer servers such as our clients that operate cloud computing operations).

The goal when starting the process of roof repair is to have successful completion in the most predictable, efficient and economically feasible manner.

Successful roof repair requires the following steps:

Determine the Type of Repair, Replacement or Maintenance Needed.

The reason you first want to determine the type of repair needed is so that you can effectively communicate with contractors you call, but more importantly so that you call the correct type of roofing contractor for the right type of roof repair. Also, if it is an emergency situation there are contractors like GRS that will attend 24 hours a day.

Emergency Roofing Repair
Red Seal Roofer attending to Emergency Roofing Repair in Calgary.

Do You Have a Residential, Commercial, Industrial or Institutional Roof?

This is important because you want to hire a company that has regular experience in the same working environment. When we are called to work in a mining operation for example or crews are required to operate within parameters that are appropriate to industrial operations.

Contractors that are equipped, trained and know how to function in required safety, have the appropriate insurance and more are important considerations.

In Canada we find our crews attending many industrial sites that require stringent safety procedures from nuclear and manufacturing in Ontario, to coal mines in British Columbia, the oil and gas industry in Alberta and Saskatchewan and much more.

Roofers, Safety
Personal Protection Equipment on our Roofers in Edmonton.

Generally, What Type of Roof System do you Have? 

Is it a flat roof (low slope membrane), a steep pitch (such as shingles, tile or shake) or a low slope industrial roof? The reason this is important (beyond selecting a company suitable to the type of operating environment) is so that you hire a contractor that is an expert in the specific type of roofing you have. Flat (or low slope membrane) contractors are much more specialized in scope than say a shingle company (for example). The same applies for industrial low slope metal roof systems… some contractors only know how to replace a low slope metal roof and may not give you options for coating or recover options.

Industrial Roofing Repair Mississuaga
Our workers applying a coating for low slope industrial roof repair in Mississauga.

What Type of Roofing Product Needs Repair? 

Once you have identified contractors that work in your type of environment (residential, commercial, industrial, institutional) and you have determined that the contractor is in fact an expert for the general type of roofing (flat – low slope membrane, steep pitch shingles, tile or shake or low slope industrial metal) then it is important to know that the contractor is experienced and an expert at repairs for the specific type of product.

Not all flat roofing contractors (for example) are knowledgeable and experienced in all flat membrane material types. Flat roof membranes include variations of Tar and Gravel (Built up Roofing), SBS Modified (torch-on, hot tar mopped, or cold applied), EPDM (rubber roll roofing), TPO (Thermal Plastic), PVC (Poly Vinyl), Liquid Applied (such as hot rubberized asphalt, liquid rubber, or a white reflective coating) and more.

With steep roofs this can include asphalt shingles, shake, concrete or clay tile, synthetic tile, metal shingles, metal tile, composite tile, rubber tile, standing seam metal and so much more.

The point is that you need to identify a contractor that has specific experience in the specific type of installation. You do this by asking questions and discussing the contractors knowledge. Also, specific to the market in Canada we have noticed many spray foam contractors that may not have a background in roofing providing spray foam roofing systems.

The roofing trade is a red seal trade in Canada so you do want to consider due diligence as it applies to the contractor’s experience and knowledge of systems (more than just being able to apply spray foam and a coating).

Roof Repair Toronto
Ongoing repairs in Toronto – EPDM, Commercial Roof

What Options for Repair, Maintenance or Replacement are Available for the Specific Type of Product? 

In other words, you want to also know specific to your type of system and product what options are available. Let’s assume you have a tar and gravel roof that is leaking. You want to know first of all what options the contractor is proposing for repairs, maintenance and replacement (or a recover or coating). But more than that, if the contractor is recommending replacement you want to know more about the options for replacement (this can include removal of the complete system to the substrate, or perhaps only leaving the insulation after the top membrane is removed, or even simply removing only the gravel and putting another system on top of the old).

The point is, you want to know about all the viable options. Once you know all your options for repair, maintenance and replacement you can then focus on the actual “system” or “assembly” itself. The climate in Canada can be a significant deciding factor also, so it is important to understand how a membrane interacts with the climate (expansion and contraction, UV, insulating value and more).

Torch On, Roof Repair, Toronto
Torch On Roof in Toronto, Ontario.

What are Your Objectives? 

Your objectives will determine what the repairs, maintenance or replacement include. For example, if you have an old low slope metal roof (commercial or industrial) that is starting to leak, you may consider spot repairs with coating type material or you may consider a complete coating or replacement of the metal roof panels. But it wouldn’t make sense to consider spray foam to that roof if you are wanting to simply waterproof the roof. Spray foam roofing would make sense (perhaps) if your goal is for R value but not specifically for waterproofing a metal roof that is leaking. Why pay for R value when that isn’t what you need is my point.

Many of our Edmonton Roof Repair customers (specifically this area of Canada because of the regional marketing) make the mistake of getting a spray foam roof when they actually only needed waterproofing (accomplished with liquid rubber or some other roof coating with-out the cost of the spray foam). And for each roof system and type there are many considerations.

Tar and Gravel, Roof Repair, Mississauga
Tar and Gravel Roofing Repair in Mississauga Ontario.

What are the Geographic Implications?

Different roof systems are better for different locations. Some membranes are better in hot environments and some are better in cold. Some roof assemblies make more sense in hot climates than cold also. Be sure your roofing contractor is knowledgeable in the different product offerings and the specific engineering and science behind each for your specific climate (achieving a net benefit to the building efficiency for example).

A simple example would be roof coatings – a reflective or white roof coating in a hotter (relative speaking in Canada) sunny climate such as Kelowna makes more sense than in a colder climate like Edmonton. A black roof coating vs. a white roof coating (reflective) in Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg and even in parts of Ontario is more often a net benefit choice (simply because there are more cold days than warm so the objective becomes absorbing heat and not reflecting the UV).

The same applies to low slope / flat roof membranes – a black roof may make more sense than a white (reflective) roof in Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina or northern Ontario than in Kelowna, Vancouver or even in downtown Toronto. Our Toronto Roof Repair and Mississauga Roof Repair divisions constantly deal with the issue of white or reflective roof net benefit when inspecting and advising on roof replacement and repair. We are finding more and more stateside influence north of the border here in Canada with white roofs / reflective roofs and in cold climates they can cause significant issues with condensation and negative efficiency results.

Our main website has articles (go to grscanadainc.com and click on Flat Roofing) about the issue of condensation with white roofs in colder climates. Our Calgary Roof Repair division is seeing this at inspections all the time now.

Roof Coating, Mississauga, Industrial Roof, Metal
A low slope industrial roofing repair in Mississauga that requires a coating.

Due Diligence. Once you have determined your roof contractor works on your type of building, on that type of roof, on your specific type of product and that he or she will offer the available options for repair, maintenance or replacement you then need to finalize your search with simple due diligence such as making sure they have enough liability insurance, they are registered with local safety as provided for by law and they are credible.

As mentioned above, in Canada roofing is a Red Seal trade so this should be an important consideration especially with commercial, industrial, flat roofing, metal roofs and coatings. Typically serious due diligence is only a concern at the residential level because the industrial and commercial roofing contractors are few (there are 200 residential roofing contractors for every significant commercial or industrial roofing contractor) and the residential contractors can simply start up quickly with-out a lot of investment etc. The commercial roofing contractors have significant upstart cost and compliance protocols that deter fly by night start-ups.

Conclusion:

It is critical to select the right type of roofing contractor for your roof repair job. This is accomplished by following the steps I have outlined above. General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) performs roofing work on all types of buildings and on all types roofs and products. We also provide our customers with all available options for repair, maintenance, replacement (including recovers or coatings) as part of the roof inspection reporting and quotation phase.

If you require simple roof repair advice or have any questions write me an email, fill out our roof repair online form or call anytime. If you require a roof repair quotation and/or inspection call our 24 hour call center and request assistance.

Thank you for reading my article on roof repair and best of luck on your project.

Tyler Sinclair.

Video with Summary Content:

Roof Repair Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Mississauga, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

Roofing Jobs: We’re Growing! 40+ Positions Available Now.

Careers

Roofing Jobs Posted August 26, 2015: We’re Growing. General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) is hiring immediately 40+ positions in Alberta for Fall and Winter 2015/2016.

  • 1 Commercial Roof Foreman (Calgary). Min 4 years exp. Must have experience with all single ply, torch on, and BUR systems.
  • 1 Commercial Roof Foreman (Edmonton). Min 4 years exp. Must have experience with all single ply, torch on, and BUR systems.
  • 2 Lead Hand Low Slope Roofers (Calgary). Min 3 years exp.
  • 2 Lead Hand Low Slope Roofers (Edmonton). Min 3 years exp.
  • 5 EPDM Experts (Calgary). Min 4 years exp.
  • 1 SBS Mod Torch-On Expert (Calgary). Min 4 years exp.
  • 10 Skilled Low Slope Labourers (Calgary). Min 2 years exp.
  • 4 Skilled Low Slope Labourers (Edmonton). Min 2 years exp.
  • 5 Low Slope General Labourers (Calgary). Min 1 yr construction exp.
  • 2 Low Slope General Labourers (Edmonton). Min 1 year construction exp.
  • 1 Project Coordinator (Calgary). Min 3 years roofing experience and site management experience required.
  • 1 Commercial Roof Sheet Metal Mechanic (Calgary). Piece work. Contract.
  • 1 Steep Slope Shingle Crew (Edmonton). Piece work. Contract. Must have WCB, GST.
  • 1 EPDM Flat Roof Crew (Edmonton). Piece Work. Contract. Must have WCB, GST, Tooling, Insurance.
  • 1 EPDM Flat Roof Crew (Calgary). Piece Work. Contract. Must have WCB, GST, Tooling, Insurance.
  • 1 Flat Roof Torch On Crew (Calgary). Piece Work. Contract. Must have WCB, GST, Tooling, Insurance, Open Flame.
  • 1 Flat Roof Torch On Crew (Edmonton). Piece Work. Contract. Must have WCB, GST, Tooling, Insurance, Open Flame.
  • 2 Outside Sales Reps (Calgary). Min 5 years outside sales exp.
  • 1 Outside Sales Rep (Edmonton). Min 5 years outside sales exp.
  • 1 Safety Coordinator (Calgary). Contract. Piece Work.
  • 1 Safety Coordinator (Edmonton). Contract. Piece Work.
  • 1 Quality Inspector (Edmonton). Contract. Piece Work.
  • 1 Quality Inspector (Calgary). Contract. Piece Work.
  • 2 Web Developers (Calgary). Contract. Word Press.

We are also looking for leaders with 5 years or more roofing, sales and administrative management in the BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario markets.

All employed positions are year round, full-time careers.

GRS is an equal opportunity employer.

GRS maintains an open door policy, strict safety compliance, corporate protocol regulation and a drug free workplace.

We are seeking customer focused – career minded individuals with the drive required to excel in a dynamic – growing workplace.

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) is a member company of the General Industrial Group. We are one of Alberta’s leading roofing contractors. GRS has grown consistently year over year since inception and we expect considerable growth this fall, winter and spring next year!

To apply:
State the position and region you are applying for in your cover letter email and forward your resume to careers@grscanadainc.com. Email submittals with-out an email cover letter stating the position applied for along with description of interest will not be considered.

Roofing Jobs

Re: Roofing and Roof Repair Jobs, General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)

Flat Roof Drainage and Leaks: It May Be Plumbing and NOT the Roof

General Roofing Systems Canada provides Flat Roof Repairs throughout Canada. Repairs are completed in the following cities: Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

Below you will find a simple account of a service call inquiry. Oftentimes, there are multiple contracting parties involved in a roof repair. This includes plumbers, the roofers themselves, other construction services in the area, and obviously the stakeholders themselves.

In this case, a simple misunderstanding concerning the purpose of water testing culminated in repeated requests for service calls outside of the ongoing work we had been performing for the client. Finally, our client’s property manager provided us with the implements to deal with the problem. As suspected, it was the plumbing – not the roofing system itself – which was causing major leaks.

We have included a comprehensive explanation from our national project manager as well as a follow-up correspondence by a third-party plumbing contractor concerning this matter.

Water Source Needed to Test Drainage System

As you know, for about a year and a half, GRS has been requesting a water source at the building to be able to test your drains. On each occasion, we have been told that a water source is being to be made available. As well, our crews have been told that it is likely the water source has been covered up in construction, but that we may be able to use a neighbour’s water source until a proper solution could be found. Up until today, no water source has been offered.

The Reasons Drains Need to be Tested

a. The source of the leaks were previously at the drain system. We requested the drain assembly (the connection to a new drain and U-Flow, and the connection to the drain) be redone with a plumber – we would provide the roofing services and the plumber would provide the connection services. This was not done at that time. My understanding is that the plumber only cleared the drain system. So, we requested a water source so that we could test the drains/plumbing ourselves to eliminate them as the main issue, or conclude that they are the suspected cause of your leaks.

b. The plumbing system and assemblies are old. It is common for drainage during times of heavy rain (which is when your building is having issues) to back up and leak at the drain bowl assembly connection to the drain pipes. As the water rises and then meets the bowl assembly, if there is not a U-Flow expander and/or proper drain bowl, the water will then get between the pipe and the connection to the bowl. What occurs is the water that is backing up will then get into the roof assembly and begin to run along various areas and manifest themselves through the ceiling. At the time of your roof replacement, there was no work order for the plumbing and drainage to be modernized, and normally this is not an issue. This this does become one, it is typically solved with a quick water test and simple remediation work (such as bowl replacement, U-Flow backup expander installations, and/or repairs to the drain pipes).

Discussion with the Site Manager

Water testing only works when it is not raining and is intended to isolate the drainage system from the roof membrane that we replaced. This is the reason for the need of an external/outside water source. We test the drainage system with a hose, which allows us to isolate the drainage system on its own. If that test does not show that it is the drainage system, then we go on to retest the membrane. We also test various other penetrations, such as rooftop units and/or vents, pipe boots, etc. Finally, we move onto testing various other components of the building envelope, such as the connection of the roof to the wall and the flashing areas.

Your site manager also asked that an emergency be done (such as pumping water off the roof), to which I replied that we could, if requested, dispatch an emergency crew for that, but we would have to charge extra because we have requested on numerous occasions for the water test to be done to the drainage system, and that has not been done. The site manager did not seem to want the emergency service under those terms.

I should also note that on the other occasions that we did respond in this fashion, that we did not charge for the emergency service. We did this despite finding that it was a drainage problem by the plumbers at that time. Furthermore, I will also note that on each occasion we did recoat the roof and did not charge for that either.

The only reason we are now saying that we have no choice but to charge a service fee is because we have requested number times to have water access. Part of our servicing parameters included that should the water test not to be done, that we would charge a fee for the emergency service.

You also asked us about why water was pooling on the roof. I explained to the site manager that at the time of the roof replacement, an engineered sloped insulation package and rebuild of the building exterior (parapet wall construction, sheet metal, siding, etc.). We were only approved to go ahead with the roof membrane replacement only. He asked why that was so, and I said that it is an option and that not all (in fact, less than 50%) of the buildings we service have a sloped insulation package installed. I directed him to all the neighbouring buildings as examples of those that do not have such sloped systems.

Discussion with the Property Manager

I explained to the general property manager that we needed to test the various components of plumbing, membrane, units, vents, plumbing boots, and possibly the building envelope at the roof to wall connections. Finally, we have been promised an external water source to isolate the issue based on our tests.

Plumbing Contractor’s Follow-up with the Property Manager

August 21, 2015:

I was sent out to have a look at water leaking in the building. I found that the roof was full of water and it is what was pouring into the suites. The one drain was working, but very slowly. I called in the drain cleaners and went through it with them.

The snake was getting caught up on something, so I had them use the camera and we found there is something stuck in the piping. We traced it to the piping in the ceiling of a first floor room. We will need to return when the water is all gone and open the ceiling, remove the piping, and then get the cause of the blocking out. As it stands, the system is draining as much as it can with whatever is causing the blockage.

Also, the building has some piping up to the roof drains. These are not ran well and are back-graded for parts of the system. I have left it disconnected for the drain that has the problem.

CONTACT US:
General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)
24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.

info@grscanadainc.com.

Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

Metal Roof Restorations

General Roofing Systems Canada provides Roof Restorations throughout Canada. Roof Restorations are completed in the following cities: Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

A metal roof restoration is a less expensive alternative than having a roof replacement completed.

Roof Coating – Liquid Rubber Solutions

Leaking Metal Roof Systems

A metal roof on a residential project may or may not be installed on a high slope. If installed on a high slope, it is less likely to leak However, many industrial and commercial roof systems are low slope. If a metal roof is installed on a low slope, chances are leaks will occur.

Why does Metal Roofing Leak?

Metal roofing expands and contracts with changing weather conditions, which causes the roof fastener holes to get larger over time. This is especially true in our unpredictable Western Canadian climate. Expansion and contraction of the metal causes the seams to expand and contract which can cause leaking as the seams  become less crimped or locked over time. Ice damming and snow loads can also cause metal roofing to leak. Ice damming can even back up at the eave of a metal roof,  especially if there is a gutter system that is frozen solid. Ice damming can move roof vents or various roof openings enough to cause a leak. Snow loads can weigh down metal roofing so much that seams become more exposed. Caulking of roof vents and roof openings become brittle and crack over time which can also cause leaks.

SG1S1511
Metal Roofing – Ice Damming at Eave

Metal roofing will also trap moisture on the underside, causing condensation that will eventually result in a roof leak.

Metal roofing is a watershed product,  not to be mistaken as a waterproofing product. Waterproofing is a completely different discipline in roofing. Metal systems are inherently designed to be secure yet will eventually leak.

SG1S1524
Metal Roofing – Roof Ice Damming Leaks

Metal roofing is one of the best roofing systems you can purchase in the world. It will outlast most other roofing surfaces. However, there are some exceptions that will last longer, such as: slate roofing, rubber roofing, concrete tiles, synthetic tiles. Nonetheless, a metal roof is undeniably one of the longest lasting roofing materials in the world.

What separates a roof that lasts fifty years and a roof that lasts twenty years is the quality of roofing material, the metal roofer’s installation specifications, and proper maintenance of the roof over the years.

metal roof 7 (2)
Metal Roofing – Installation is Key

Quality metal roofing costs more than the less expensive versions.  A lower quality, less expensive metal roof may only last fifteen or twenty years. whereas a metal roof that is installed using a higher quality will last fifty years. In either instance, if the metal roof is installed poorly, a fifty year metal roof may only last a year.

A metal roof installation needs to be precise and needs to allow for the fact that it  is a watershed and not waterproofing material. By its nature, a metal roof  watersheds, therefore it is expected to eventually leak. Whether that leak will affect you is determined by a number of variables such as hidden fasteners that provide more protection than exposed fasteners, using locking panels, using a steep versus a low-slope system, and a premium roof underlay beneath the metal roofing material.

Edmonton, AB Rooftop Snow Removal
Metal Roof Maintenance

Replacement, Repair, or Restoration. What’s the Answer?

There are a number of ways to avoid the problem prior to needing to replace a metal roof. We won’t go in to those ways in this article, as this article is to assist those wanting to explore avenues of metal roof restoration, repair, or replacement.

General Roofing Systems will typically suggest a few answers to your metal roof leak problems:

Maintenance
Maintenance should be conducted on an annual basis. Caulking made for metal roofing is available and should be re-done every fall. Be sure gutters are kept clear during the winter. DO NOT let your gutters freeze up as this will cause problems with your metal roof. Also, snow loads are important; try your best to maintain a reasonable amount of snow on your roof. If possible, keep the snow off.

Repair
Repairs usually involve maintenance such as caulking, replacement of vents or some form of sheet metal fabrication for a detail on the metal roof. If the roof leak and subsequent repair isn’t focused to a specific issue, but is more of an intermittent leak issue, then you are likely best looking at a metal roof coating or a metal roof replacement.

100_0086
Roof Coating – Liquid Rubber Technology

Coating
Coatings were once looked at as a short term solution.

New coating technology is extremely successful, long lasting, consistent, and has finally solved the roof expansion and contraction problem.

Liquid rubber polyether roof coating technologies are solvent free, maintain 900% elongation, UV resistant, bond to almost any construction or substrate, liquid cold applied, elastomeric, great for green roof applications, 100% solids and will not shrink, they are compliant with all known environmental requirements, resistant to thermal shock and slumping at high temperatures.

The first benefit of coating a metal roof vs. replacing your roof: Metal roof repair, or coatings, are considered maintenance and as a result are a tax deduction.

The second benefit of metal roof coating in today’s market is that the new liquid rubber coatings are highly effective, even more so than most new metal roof systems. The new liquid rubber coatings are highly advanced (developed as a result of nanotechnology) and the elongation values are in the order of 900% and are UV resistant. The roof coatings move with the expansion and contraction of the metal roof and keeping it waterproof.

The third benefit of the new metal roof coatings is that a roof coating will cost you about 1/3 to 1/2 the price that a new roof replacement would.

The final benefit to coof coatings worth mentioning is that the new liquid rubber polyether technology last several years.  We have a ten year warranty with an option to extend to twenty years in some instances (requiring a maintenance coat at 10 years typically).

Until next time,

The Team at GRS

 

CONTACT US:
General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)
24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.

info@grscanadainc.com.

Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

Metal, Membranes, and Roof Shingles for Low-Slope Systems

General Roofing Systems Canada installs IKO shingles throughout Canada. Installations are completed in the following cities: Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

Edmonton Flat Roofing Repair

When completing low slope re-roofing systems it is important to take into consideration the correct election of material that adheres to the local building codes and material manufacturer’s specifications.
Below we have provided a guideline for low slope shingles, roof membranes of flat roofs, and metal roofing.

Low Slope Roofing Shingles

Serious thought is required when you are considering re-roofing a roof that has a slope that is less than a 4/12 pitch. Malarkey Roofing

For roofing with a 3/12 pitch regular shingles can usually be installed with 2 ply 15 lb roofing felt paper as underlay ( Be sure to check with your specific building code and the shingle manufacturer).

The General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) specification for how to install roofing shingles is to never use felt paper. We prefer to use Ice & Water protection on eaves, valleys, and around chimney flashing.  In addition to Ice & Water,  we also use a  synthetic roof underlay such as titanium.

A roof that has a 2/12 – 3/12 slope is more tentative and the risk for leaks increases. Some shingle manufacturers such as IKO with the Cambridge shingle will warranty their shingles on a low slope roof for twelve years. Malarkey shingles will honour a 30 year warranty on low-slope roofing.

A roof that is 2/12 or less in slope should have a “flat roof” or traditional “low slope membrane” installed. We like to see any roof that is less than a 4/12 slope get a low slope membrane that is fully adhered, mechanically fastened, or ballasted.

Other information:

IKO Shingles

IKO Low Slope Shingle Bulletin – Installation of Asphalt Shingles on Low Sloped Roofs

IKO Roofing – Applying Asphalt Shingles on Low Slopes (covers 3 tab shingles, eave protection, etc.)

Low Slope Roof Membranes (Flat Roofing)

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) Edmonton Flat Roofers

Low slope membranes for flat roofing come in a few categories;

  1. Single Ply Membrane: Single ply membranes come in the form of EPDM (rubber), TPO (Thermal Plastic), or PVC (Poly Vinyl). Single membranes are either fully adhered, mechanically fastened, or ballasted.
  2. Two Ply Membrane: The primary two ply membrane is the SBS Modified Bitumen that can be torched down or cold applied.

  3. Built up Roofing: Built up roofing is another way of describing multi-layer roofing. An example would be the traditional  roofs tops that are commonly referred to as tar and gravel roofs or flat-top tar roofs.

  4. New Built up Roofing: More recently, modern technologies have advanced the built up roof and newer built up flat roof systems. They now utilize environmentally friendly products and modifiers vs. the tar or bitumen that has been more commonly used in tar roof systems. The newer versions of built up roof systems are extremely tough and will outlast almost any other roof. They are VOC free, making them perfect sustainable offerings to low slope roof assemblies. Tough Roof is an example of the modern built up roof systems as is the GRS Liquid Rubber Built up Flat Roof (a four layer voc free engineered liquid rubber flat roof with 800% elasticity and contains environmentally friendly synthetic fabric between layers vs. traditional tar felt paper.

Low Slope Metal Roofing

Roof Coating, Industrial Roof, Metal Roof, Leduc II

Low slope metal roofing (steel roofing, roof cladding, standing seam metal roofing) has been used for decades. This is  primarily used in commercial and  industrial roof settings.

With residential buildings, metal roofing is more typically found on steeper  roofs. GRS installs several of metal roofing systems to Mountain villages such as Whistler, Squamish, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Fernie, etc.  More and more metal panel and metal shingle roof residential installations are growing,yet the greatest volume of metal work being completed is on industrial facilities.

An issue with this type of roofing is that there is no other form of roofing material that expands or contracts as much as the metal roofing does. The seams between the roof panels, the fasteners, roof openings at vents, chimneys, flashings, and skylights are consistently expanding and contracting . Due to this factor metal roofing systems are prone to leaks.
Another issue with the metal roofing systems is condensation.  Many roof leaks in homes or businesses are actually not leaky roofs, they in fact a pooling of water in the ceiling due to condensation.  It is important to deal with any condensation or leak issue before installing a new metal roof.
We are able to solve the problem of metal roof leaks by installing a premium roof membrane under the metal roof system. We use a premium caulking tape at the seams in addition to using hidden fasteners. Now one effective way to solve the potential of leaks or condensation issues is to torch a SBS modified membrane or spray liquid rubber before putting the metal roof on.

For a commercial roof and industrial metal roof that is leaking, typically we would coat the roof with liquid rubber. By doing this it helps to ensure that the roof  will be good for another 10 years or more. Trying to locate metal roof leaks and deal with them in an isolated way can be quite time consuming and unfortunately highly frustrating . For more information Click on the following link to go to our roof coating section of our website.

Until next time,

The Team at GRS

CONTACT US:
General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)
24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.

info@grscanadainc.com

Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

 

IKO Shingle Reviews

General Roofing Systems Canada installs IKO Shingles throughout Canada. IKO Shingle Installations are completed in the following cities; Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

Service. An advantage that GRS has in Western Canada for shingle installations are the markets we service. In Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Regina, IKO shingles remain well stocked and distribution is highly efficient. This is a key value for us in servicing our customers.

Due to the competent distribution, local support, and the exclusive IKO 15 Year ironclad portion of the Warranty Coverage that’s offered with the IKO Shingles, our crews would rate these shingles with a moderately high rating.

Quality. With respect to the quality of IKO shingles, the IKO line has a moderately high rating. Their line also exhibits a high level of diversity across specific use cases. Some examples are: High Wind Rated Shingles, Shake Looking Shingles, Luxury Shingles, Algae Resistant Shingles, Energy Efficient Shingles, Low Slope Shingles.

Colors/Profiles/Textures. Most IKO shingles are 100_0710available in a variety of colours. This happens to be a large selling feature with this brand. IKO shingles come in a neat and clean wrapper that is a result of the brand’s consistency with their manufacturing process. This is an important feature for this type of product as shingles need to be installed properly with the correct sizing. Should a shingle be misshapen due to a packaging error, this would affect the overall quality  of function for the shingle itself.

Shingle size consistency becomes really important if a DIY  Installation is being completed. You do not want to learn or attempt to do a shingle project by yourself with shingles that don’t fit together properly.

The textures of the  shingles, or the “Shake Look”, may or may not not suit a high end shingle purchaser. As soon as you get into the Luxury Shingles or shingles that cost the same as tile, then we would advise you to choose an alternative type. The top end of the shingle prices  becomes more of a process of comparisons amongst the selections and ultimately choosing what you prefer.

Here are our reviews broken down by specific IKO offerings. You can click the subheadings to open a new window for each product. Warranty coverage may also be found by following these links.

Marathon Ultra AR 
Our crews regularly use this type as it is an economical 3 tab shingle that installs well and holds up well to the elements. Installation of 3 tab shingles take more skill in some respect. If you attempt to do this on your own, please search our blog for shingle installation guides.

Cambridge
IKO Cambridge shingles are another standard type for our installers. They are consistent with being one of the top performers in their class. The IKO Cambridge shingle is a mid to mid-high grade shingle that is perfect for standard installations. They are readily available and  available in a wide variety of colors. Cambridge shingles are made of  laminate, they are considered to be a designer shingle, and are covered under the IKO Limited lifetime warranty.

Royal Estate
We install IKO Royal Estate Shingles typically only on estate homes. The Royal Estate shingle is an excellent looking laminate shingle that has a traditional estate look. The Royal Estate shingle stacks up to any high end shingle offering on the market with the same slate look for a fraction of the price.

Grandeur (Discontinued)
IKO Grandeur Shingles are one IKO’s SBS Modified high quality shingle selection. This selection is considered to be one of the best due to  The technology used for the asphalt. If you need to install shingles in cold weather , the IKO Grandeur Shingle would be a wise choice on account of it easy installations despite mother natures elements. The only down-sides to theGrandeur IKO Shingles is the high cost and limited color selection, otherwise they are a great shingles and considered one of the best on the market in BC, Alberta and  Saskatchewan for 2011.

Armourshake
The IKO Armourshake Shingle is often over-looked by homeowners. However we really enjoy installing this particular type of  shingle. It is a high end shingle selection from IKO that stands up well against the competition. It has an original design that is often a high interest point with our customers as it adds a unique and elegant finish to your roof.

Now we would like to advise home owners to be aware of selecting high end shingles, as they are often unaware that they contain designs. So when you are completing your roofing project and have selected this particular shingle , you will need to take into account the design for the overall finished look. our specialists at GRS will  always suggest home owners to go with a rep and view different roof lines to get a better sense for the over all designs that are available.

Overall the IKO Armourshake is a great choice if you are aiming for a higher end shingle that has more of a textured pattern to it. the shingles themselves are more costly yet offer a great selection of colors.

Until next time,

The Team at GRS

CONTACT US:
General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)
24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.

info@grscanadainc.com.

Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.