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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Roof Vents and Attic Ventilation: Problems and Solutions

General Roofing Systems Canada provides roof ventilation repairs to  throughout Canada.  Roof ventilation 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

Roof Ventilation Changed for Proper Attic Air Flow (Condensation Problems)

This is the time of year that we receive a number of calls from homeowners regarding  leaking roof problems.

Some of the top reasons for leaking roof problems are:

  1. Chimney flashing is installed incorrectly and is leaking.
Roof Repair Roof Leak
Replacement of Flashing around the Chimney is done correctly using roof membrane (ice and water) and then proper flashing is installed to back and side of chimney
  1. Skylight flashing has leaks due to incorrect installation.
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Skylight Repair and Replacement in Progress. Premium roof underlay membrane is installed around the skylight which keeps it from leaking.


3. Valleys on roof are leaking. Shingles in roof valleys are commonly done wrong.

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Roof Valley being installed correctly with roof underlay. Roof flashing installed on top, and synthetic roof underlay to rest of roof.
  1. Attic condensation that causes moisture in the attic. The attic moisture manifests as “roof leaks” due to poor roof ventilation. Roof ventilation is not adequate at either the ridge of the roof (exhaust) or at the soffit area (intake).
Roof Sheeting Mold, Attic Mold, Condensation II
Attic Ventilation Problems Cause Condensation and Roof Rot, Mold, Energy Loss, and More

 

  1. Improper Installation of Roof Underlayment.
Re-Roofing, Shake to Asphalt, Coloured Metal Drip Edge - Eave Edge
Properly Installed Roof Underlay : The Ice and Water Shield is installed to roof deck at roof eave edge and synthetic premium underlay installed to rest of roof (complete roof area covered and no wood is left to show, roof tar felt is not used as it dries out and cracks and causes leaks)

 

  1. Improper Installation of Roof Vents and Penetrations
Ice and Water Membrane to Back and Sides of Roof Openings, Wall, Step
Above is an example of proper roof vent installation. This method can be used with any penetration at the roof deck. Roof vent has caulking under vent, high quality ice and water underlay is applied to both sides and to the back of vent which will not allow ice build up to enter under shingles to cause any roof leaks.
  1. Improper Installation of Roof Flashing at Wall (where roof meets a wall).

Shake Roofing, Shake Roof Repair Alberta, General Roofing Systems Canada (Alberta)

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The Roof Flashing at wall base on this home was not done correctly (non existent) on this cedar roof resulting in the home-owner experiencing leaks.

 

The home in the photos of this roof repair were experiencing leaks in there skylights. To resolve this issue, we changed the skylight flashing, which brought forth further attic condensation problems. The combination of the two problems resulted in the roof ventilation needing  to be repaired.

The steps to complete this repair are as follows:

Remove roof vents at peak of roof. 

  1. Remove IKO shingles around roof vents to expose roof underlay.
  2. Remove roof underlayment to roof deck (sheathing).
  3. Remove DuroFlo vent to expose roof attic space.
  4. Inspect exposed roof deck for damage due to attic moisture (condensation).
  5. Install backing to opening and fasten roof deck patch to holes.
  6. Install patch cut to fit each hole.
  7. Install new roof underlay.
  8. Install IKO shingles as needed.

Install 2 new Whirlybird turbine roof vents at peak:
1. Remove IKO shingles at location on roof.
2. Remove roof underlay to expose roof deck.
3. Inspect roof boards for condensation.
4. Cut hole in roof deck to install new vents
5. Attach whirley bird vents to roof deck over vent access.
6. Install new underlayment.
7. Install IKO shingles as needed

Roof Repair, Residence has Attic Condensation Problems

Roof Repair - Attic Ventilation - Whirley Birds

Attic Ventilation, Remove Duroflo Vents to Whirley
Attic Ventilation, Remove DuroFlo Vents and change to Whirlybird turbines
Shingle Roof Repair
New IKO Shingles installed
Roof Repair,
IKO Dual Black Shingles installed Over Vent Hole
Roof Repair - Attic Ventilation - Whirley Birds
Whirlybird Installation for Attic ventilation repair
Attic Vents - Whirley Bird
Attic Vents – Whirlybird
Roof Vents - Remove Duroflo Vents
Nearing job Completion

 

About Roof Ventilation:

Correct attic ventilation provides your roof with the correct amount of airflow to prevent moisture buildup. Moisture in the attic space causes roofing to rot and release condensation. Proper ventilation will help energy costs by regulating the temperature of your home.

Attic ventilation is important to reduce the buildup of heat in your attic which can cause ice dams, shingle decay, condensation, higher energy costs and even mould. Additional ventilation is often required in older homes to meet the BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan Building regulations. This is also required to meet  the shingle manufacturer warranty requirements.

Attic ventilation can be corrected:

The roof repair above shows us adding roof vent turbines (whirley birds) to increase air flow to the attic in this home. You can also install ridge vents or more conventional roof vents.

How to Calculate Proper Attic Ventilation:

There is no such thing as having too much attic ventilation.  Realistically you want your attic to be the same temperature as it is outside in the winter and in the summer you want  to be able to get the warm air out.

The primary focus when  ventilating an attic is to not actually bring down the attic temperature (of course this would be beneficial in summer when your house and attic are hot). The main reason for ventilating the attic is to eliminate the moisture in your attic space that causes roof leaks and a host of other problems such as; ice dams, rot, shingle warranty problems, paint peeling and mould. Improper venting causes your house to sweat and not breath right.

The following is how you would calculate the proper amount of ventilation required for an attic:

  1. Multiply the total square footage of your attic space by 144.
  2. Divide the total above by 2.
  3. Divide total above by by 300.
  4. What is called the “net free” area you now know. The net free square inch area required for intake ventilation (for example at soffit) and the exhaust ventilation (for example the vents at the ridge as in the photos above).
  5. Divide the “net free” area by the ‘”net free'” area the Ventilation Product Manufacturer provides on the box. This will be your calculation for how many roof vents you need to install for correct attic ventilation.

Attic Solution – Keep the Heat Under Control With Proper Attic Ventilation!!!

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

Low Slope Shingle Conversion to Flat Roof Membrane

Re-Roofing? Converting Low Slope Shingles to Flat Roof Membrane Roofing on Your Home or Considering Converting a Flat Roof to a Pitched Roof?

General Roofing Systems Canada Re-roofs Low Slope Roofs throughout Canada. Our roofing services are available in Toronto, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler and points between.

Below you will find comments regarding various aspects of roofing conversions from our senior project manager.

One common challenge homeowners have when considering re-roofing a flat roof or a low slope roof on their home (we receive many inquiries about) are homes with a low slope pitch that currently have shingles on the roof and the homeowner is considering a conversion to a flat roof membrane when they re-roof instead of the shingles. Or, homeowners are considering converting a flat roof on their home to a pitched or sloped roof instead.

Low Slope Roofing Challenges

Low slope roofs on residential homes (in colder climates like most of Canada) can pose a significant challenge.

Vaulted Ceilings: Often these homes have vaulted or cathedral ceilings. The vault in the ceiling replaces the traditional steep pitch home attic space. The issue with this home design is that hot air from the inside of the house can more easily get to the underside of the roof sheathing. The problem with this is that the warm air causes snow on the roof to melt. Then when it cools down at night the melting snow turns in to ice and over time ice dams develop on the roof.

Attic / Roof Space Insulation: In these homes it is often the case that the insulation value is poor. Either as a result of moisture (roof leaks or condensation) or in many instances when the home was built very little insulation was placed in the roof cavity. Lack of insulation allows the hot air from in your home to get to the underside of the roof causing ice dams. It is critical to have proper insulation R values in your roof.

Ice Dams: The problem with ice dams is that they wreck roof membranes and roof shingles and cause leaks into your home. So basically what occurs is that the heat from in your home gets in to the roof assembly (sometimes the vapor barrier is non existent or faulty), gets past the vapor barrier, through a lack of insulation and heats the underside of the sheathing and ice dams build up. A steep slope roof has more opportunity to vent the hot air out of the attic because of the larger space available in the attic, the intake cold air at the soffits and the exhaust vents at the ridge (and the pitch is steep and taller which helps). Ice dams will work their way up the roof slope as freeze thaw continues. As the ice dams work their way up the slope the ice dams push up shingles and get under the shingles and melt as a result of the hot air from your home entering the roof cavity and this causes leaks in to the home. Low slope membranes are not as susceptible to this problem because the membrane systems are harder for ice to get under. If you stay with shingles vs. a low slope membrane you can also use Ice & Water membrane under shingles. A good drip edge at the eave edge may also help.

Ice & Water Membrane (for under shingles): Ice & Water membrane is a self-adhered membrane that should be installed in warm weather (commonly referred to as a peel and stick). With a low slope roof like a 3:12 you can get away with using Ice & Water on the whole roof and installing shingles over top. “Get away with” is a loose term I suppose – it isn’t guaranteed that just this step will solve your condensation or roof leak issues from ice damming. Your roof assembly and / or attic system is like the lung of your home. Just solving one of the many potential problems (such as installing Ice & Water) may or may not solve the problem. If your roof is a steeper pitch like 5:12 or more then I would only recommend Ice & Water at the eave area (about 44″), in valleys (under valley metal), and around penetrations etc. Our main website has a lot of information about these details at www.grscanadainc.com. Click on “steep slope roofing” and view the various article, links, etc.

Anyway, back to low slope roofing issues and Ice & Water membranes…

Ice & Water membrane is suggested because when the hot air from your home gets to the underside of the shingles and ice dams melt under your shingles the Ice & Water may keep the water from getting into your home. But it may not. At issue is that when one installs the shingles over the Ice & Water, the shingle nails are now penetrating the Ice & Water membrane. BE CAUTIOUS with claims by roofing salespeople that tell you this is not a problem because the Ice & Water or peel and stick will “self heal”. In other words, the claim is that when the nail penetrates the membrane that the membrane will seal around the nail – or self heal. Not all peel and stick membranes do this and you are relying on it actually occurring – there is no way to know if it did or did not seal around the nails because the shingles are now installed over top of the membrane.

Frost and Condensation: Frost will collect on the underside of your roof deck sheathing if hot air from your home gets to that area. When the frost melts it can appear as though you have a roof leak when water appears on the ceiling. Condensation can also make itself appear as a roof leak. As warm air enters the attic or roof assembly and has no where to go (your roof exhaust vents are not performing properly) then the condensation can turn in to leaks. This will typically manifest at walls, windows and doorways. Condensation can slowly ruin the complete structural components of any home. Leaks can be occurring over years inside walls and slowly destroying your home, not to mention the issues with mold and mildew.

Attic Ventilation: Attic ventilation is critical. Venting your attic or roof space (limited in vaulted or cathedral ceiling homes) is critical. If you do not get the warm air out of the attic or roof assembly in an efficient manner that heat will cause many problems (as above – ice dams, frost, and condensation that cause leaks).

Soffit: Also known as the cold air intake portion. The soffit area of your home is the breath in part of your roof assembly lung. The soffits are located under the roof overhang. Sometimes they are located at the wall or vertical part of the exterior of your home. This scenario (soffits at the wall) is common in “architecturally designed” homes that are looking for a certain street appeal. Anyway, intake soffits are critical. The cold air must enter the roof assembly and travel along the underside of the sheathing and in the process take the warm air from your home (that is entering the attic) out and be exhausted by way of a rooftop vent, whirlybird or ridge vent system.

Be sure the soffit intake air is not being hindered by attic insulation. Very often home owners that do not understand the principals of attic ventilation that do their own home renovations will put insulation over the intake vents of soffits. Be sure there is no insulation over the vent areas around the edges of your attic space.

Roof Vents: The exhaust portion of your attic or roof assembly. Roof exhaust ventilation is critical. Their are various guides for how much roof ventilation a home needs, but the problem with these guidelines is that every roof system and attic or roof assembly is different. The common guide is that for every 100 – 300 square feet of attic space you should have at least one square foot of rooftop ventilation (exhaust). We can help you design a roof vent exhaust plan to bring your probability of success as high as possible.

One quick side note about roof vents… I very often am witness to home-owners that get so frustrated trying to solve ice dam, ventilation, leaks, condensation and the like (especially with low slope roofs) that they end up listening to any snake oil or uneducated roofing salesman or roofer. And what occurs is that they end up with a combination of roof vents on their roof. DO NOT allow just anyone to start adding roof vents. A whirly bird installed near static vents on a roof will not work. It will cause the air to get sucked in to the roof attic and run immediately to the other vent and out – which does not help the cause to say the least.

Vapor Barrier: And finally we get to the vapor barrier. The problem with the vapor barrier is that finding gaps or holes in a vapor barrier can take time. Look for any penetrations through the vapor barrier. Inspect these areas closely. You may want to re-tape or caulk or seal in some way all penetration just to be sure they are air tight. If you have a low slope roof assembly this is near impossible because you can’t crawl in to the roof space typically.

Is there good news? I feel bad for homeowners that have these problems – they put their life savings into a home that in some cases becomes such an aggravation that much of their life can become consumed with the problem because in some instances the problem is literally destroying their home, the family peace, and their life long investment.

There is good news, but often it takes a lot of patience with the person or company that is helping you and it often takes significant investment.

My advice is to be sure you have an expert. An expert can take you through a logical process of elimination. In other words, the possible reasons for the problem are such… and the list is in order of priority… and at each step of remediation lets take a look at how the roof assembly now performs under different weather and seasons.

Our experts are often booked months in advance and I know that anyone else that I’ve met that is an expert at this is also booked well in advance normally. Don’t let that discourage you, book with an expert and take the time it takes to get it done right and save your investment money and peace of mind. And be very careful with quick fix salespeople in this category of work because you could be throwing good money after bad if you choose the wrong company or so-called expert.

Call or write us anytime… in this instance I would recommend you write us and email your situation to info@grscanadainc.com. The issue with just a phone call to our call center is that you will be put on a waiting list that could be for many months. But a letter can be tackled sometimes remotely by staff that have some extra time while in the office. Be sure to include when you purchased your home, the issues you are facing with your attic or roof, if the leaks or condensation issues are occurring only when it melts on a nice winter day or if issues are present when it is bitter cold in winter or even in summer. It really helps to get photos of your home from street view and rooftop view because we can often suggest solutions even before we attend for a rooftop and attic inspection.

Some considerations for low slope re-roof planning for your home:

Low Slope Roof Membranes

Today there are many more options than once available for home-owners considering flat roof or low slope roofing membranes for re-roofing. We can remove the shingles on your home and apply a number of different systems.

Homeowners call us with concerns over the cost of low slope or flat roof membranes (relative to shingles) and this becomes a serious consideration when planning for a residential re-roof project.

Low slope roofing has changed and many options are now available for re-roofing your home that are much less costly than the traditional low slope tar roofing or torch down roll roofing.

The other thing that home-owners often call about is taking a low slope or a flat roof and having it turned in to a pitched (or a high slope) roof.

Today, solutions are available for low slope residential roofs that don’t require the cost of traditional flat roofing or the expense to go from a flat roof to a pitched slope roof on a home.

Newer low slope roofing membranes are “single ply”. EPDM is a single ply low slope roofing membrane that has a 10 – 30 year membrane warranty (the membrane warranty is available for residential re-roofing as well as commercial re-roofing) and some flat roofers will tell you they expect the newer single ply roofing membranes to last 30 or 40 years. TPO is also a single ply low slope white roofing membrane. Also available is PVC – PVC is similar to TPO in that it is single ply and typically installed as white.

There are the older style systems being the torch down sbs modified bitumen roofing membrane (or roll roofing) and Tar and Gravel flat roofing (or BUR / built-up roofing).

All membrane systems listed above work on low slope re-roofing projects.

And finally, there are metal roof or steel roofing systems for low slope re-roofing and even shingles for slopes to about a 4/12 pitch. Some roofing contractors are applying low slope shingles to 3/12 but we consider it a tentative practice at 3:12.

Low Slope Residential Re-Roofing

EPDM Membrane: The residential low slope roof in the pictures of this post are of a residential low slope roof that we are re-roofing this week. The low slope shingles are being torn off and replaced or re-roofed and converted to an EPDM flat roof membrane. The EPDM roofing membrane system carries a 20 year manufacturer warranty.

Attic Insulation: Also in the re-roofing process, we are removing the sheathing from this home and an attic insulator is blowing in insulation. We are then re-sheeting the roof deck substrate and adding a low slope insulation board and finishing the roof assembly with EPDM low slope roofing.

Flashing: All the roof flashings are being replaced in the re-roofing process – the eave, gable, chimney etc will be replaced as will all roof penetrations. The two low slope skylights are being replaced.

Ventilation: The venting of this low slope re-roofing project will be redesigned and installed at the ridge or peak of the roof with a custom made ridge ventilation system that will have a curb framed in first and then the ridge vent along the ridge. This will allow for proper attic / roof space airflow and ventilation, it will keep snow from covering the ridge vent, as well the custom framed curb for the vent will keep snow from entering the roof system.

You can follow this residential re-roof project by checking back regularly on our roofing blog as we will post pictures showing the process of re-roofing from a low slope shingle roof to a low slope flat roofing membrane.

Until next time,

The Roofers 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.

Emergency Roof Repair Situations

General Roofing Systems Canada provides roof repairs throughout Canada. Roof 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.

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Emergency Roofing Repairs

Wind Warnings and Torrential RainFall has been causing roof failures in British Columbia, while meanwhile in Southern Alberta high Winds are Blowing Shingles, Shakes, and Tiles off Roofs Again.

This week has been tough on roof systems from the West Coast all the way to Saskatchewan. Our call center has been over-whelmed with wind related roofing repairs calls along the West Coast including Victoria, Vancouver Island, Vancouver, Vancouver North Shore, and in the Fraser Valley. While in Southern Alberta such areas like Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Okotoks, and even into Calgary have been experiencing wind gusts of up to 120 km/h.

The unusual high winds have been tearing shingles off roofs and causing general havoc with a variety of roofs types. We have received calls with complaints of skylights blowing off or leaking, roof vents, flashing, and even roof hatches needing repair.

With the heavy rain on the West Coast, this has caused flat roofs to fail, this particularly has applied to those that have drainage issues or drains that are plugged. With the cycles of having warm air thawing to only freeze again due to the Chinooks in areas like Calgary, AB, this has been resulted in our 24 Hour Toll Free Emergency Roof Repair line to receive several repair calls.

We are finding that Roofs with improper attic ventilation are having condensation issues to areas even as far north as Edmonton and flat roofs are requiring more maintenance to clear drains that are freezing over with ice.

Solutions for Roof Repairs, Attic Condensation, and Roof Drainage Issues

There are some solutions we can offer to help with the various problems roofs have this time of year. However If you cannot solve the repair or maintenance issue by yourself, call our 24 hour emergency roof repair toll free number at 1.877.497.3528 and schedule a repair person to attend.

Flat Roof Membranes
Repair Crew Fixing Flat Roof Connected to an Industrial Metal Roof

Flat Roof Drainage Problems: Flat roofs unfortunately do require some regular maintenance, especially in high winds and freeze-thaw cycles.

Roof Drainage: The roof drains are prone to clog from leaves, tree branches, and with the ice and snow melting and freezing on the roof. Drainage problems on flat roofs can also be compounded by an inadequate slope of the roof. Nonetheless, a spring and fall maintenance of the roof is key to ensuring the roof bears well during bad weather. Click here to see our  Flat Roof Maintenance check list.

Roof Inspection: Extreme winds, heavy rain-fall, and snow and ice melting should trigger an inspections to be completed. It is preferable that this is completed during the storms to ensure our technician’s ability to see if the roof drains are clear.

Roof Slope Problems: With improperly sloped flat roof systems, there are solutions to mitigate these issues. An improper roof slope can be examined with our technician at the time of inspection or while we are performing maintenance to your roof.

Condensation in Attic Spaces

Roof Sheeting Mold, Attic Mold, Condensation II
Condensation in Attic Space

Sloped or Pitched Roof Attic Condensation Problems Attic condensation repairs or remediation tend to be a more involved process requiring a number of steps.

Solving Attic Condensation

Your attic require proper ventilation. You need to check the intake air typically at the roof soffits to be sure that there is enough air coming in to your attic space. Be sure to check that insulation is not covering the air from entering your attic by following the air flow along the roof sheathing to where you come to the ridge or peak of the roof.

Check the exhaust vents (typically by each square foot or along the ridge) to be sure they are not plugged with snow and see if there are enough roof vents. You will need about 1 square foot of roof venting per 100 – 300 square feet of attic. A calculation commonly used by our roofers for attic / roof ventilation is 1:250. If the air vents exhausting the intake air is appropriate then you need to check the vapor barrier of the attic. It cannot be compromised and be letting warm air in.

Warm air rises through the attic into the roof sheathing. The snow on the roof then melts and creates ice dams. The ice dams then back up under shingles, shakes, and tiles causing leaks in to attics and then ultimately in to your house through the ceiling. If none of these problems can be found in your attic, it is best for you to then call the experts.

Shingles Torn off in winds

Wind Blows Shingles off Improperly Installed Shingle Roof in Calgary
Shingles Torn off in Winds

High Wind damage and Roof Repairs to Shingles, Tiles, and Shakes Repairing Damaged Roofs: Ultimately, after the installation of shingles, tiles, or shakes are complete and the winds begin to increase, you can now face blow-off problems. The best we can do is repair the windblown damaged roof.

How to Shingle a Roof: Prior to having your roof replaced, it is a good idea to know the specifications and the proper way to shingle a roof to ensure your roofing contractor is in check at time a roof replacement is required. Our website has a series on How to Shingle a Roof that explains the process of shingling for areas with high winds and how to avoid costly repairs due to wind damage.

Roof Underlay: Beyond the actual installation principles when replacing your shingles, shakes, or tiles there is the issue of the roof underlay. If the proper roof underlay is used and is installed correctly, then one does not have a concern in regards to shingles, shakes, or tiles being blown off. The roof underlay or membrane will keep the roof water-tight with-out the shingles so no leaks occur.

Shingles for High Winds: Finally, there are roofing shingles available that are designed to withstand high winds. Shingles like the Malarkey Legacy have high wind ratings of up to 170KM per HR which gives areas like the West Coast, North Shore of Vancouver, Calgary, Lethbridge etc. some advantage over the winds that damage roofs every year.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your roof, our office is always able to provide over the phone advice, set up inspections or arrange for a complete repair.

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 Roof Repair or Replacement?

General Roofing Systems Canada provides metal roof replacements throughout Canada. Metal roof replacements 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.

Metal roofing is a vague word in the roofing world as it can be used to refer to a variety of systems. There are metal roof shingles, steel shingles, metal slate profile shingles, metal shake-looking shingles, metal panels, standing seam metal roofing, corrugated metal roofing, metal roof tile that are coated with granules… you get the point. The options in metal roofing are almost endless now.

One consistency that remains among the variety available to you is this: metal roofing can last longer than any other kind of roof’ however, a metal roof that is installed incorrectly will only last as long or be as durable as the workmanship of the install. If the underlay, or the venting of the roof system/attic is not correct, then problems such as leaking and ice damming will occur. With the weather that we have been receiving this year, one might see their metal roof may leak in multiple locations as time goes on. It is a frustrating experience living under a metal roof that has not been installed correctly.

To Repair or Replace?

Yesterday we had an inquiry come into our call center that is very common for us to receive. We felt this particular case would be a good addition to our blog in an attempt to help clients in their future endeavours while completing roof projects. 

On Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 1:27 PM, the client wrote:

Hello,
We have an interlocking style metal roof that was installed by company 5 years ago by the previous owners.  The roof leaks in the winter as a result of ice damming in the valleys, and in the spring shingles annually become loose (and have blown off) on the edge of one of the valleys from the ice sliding off.  I am tired of dealing with the company (long story) and we are wondering if there is any way to repair rather than replace what they did.  We have a log house with cathedral ceilings so I suspect we need to try to improve the airflow under the existing metal shingles. I don’t know what it looks like between our open ceiling and the metal shingles above (regarding insulation and air flow). There is no venting other than vented soffits (as far as I can tell). Is there any way to seal the metal shingles so water doesn’t flow back up under them?  I don’t know if any waterproof barrier was used in the valleys and I don’t think the roof was installed very well in some parts. After talking with the previous owners a couple years ago, I know they weren’t satisfied with the installation of the metal roof, but they ended up having to relocate before going through a winter.
A couple of other things to note;  a few of the metal shingles were damaged when we were trying to remove the ice from the roof this past winter, and when we had heavy rain, the water comes off the roof before making it to the eaves.
I attached a couple of pictures of the roof so you can see the design.
Based on these pictures, if we had to replace our roof, what would be our best options (type of shingles, venting, etc.), and how could we reduce the potential for ice damming and leaking? How much would you estimate replacing a 1400+ sq. ft. home’s roof with different types of materials?  Is there a guarantee on the ice damming/leaking after the roof has been replaced? Is there anything else I need to know or can I provide you with more information?
Our Response:

Good morning,

I’m the Project Manager for GRS. I travel across Alberta solving roofing problems. However, it’s peak season and I may not be able to get out and take a look as quickly as I would like. That being said, what I am going to do is send this email to our two senior sloped technicians/foremen at GRS as well as our scheduling manager.
Our scheduling manager will keep you informed on our work in progress, and either myself, or one of our foremen, will come out to meet you. In the meantime, I’ll offer for them to chime in their input based on your email and photos (great email by the way – it helps us a lot).
Here’s is my opinion in regards to your questions….
1. From the perspective of someone that sees literally thousands of roof problems a year, my first advice would be to not listen to just any idea of repair from just anyone. Metal roofing is a specialty. A very common thing we see is homeowners trying different “metal roof” contractors in haste and it tends to end with negative results. Both of our foremen are very senior technicians that would not have you running around a circle. If we don’t get to you as soon as you like, and you hire someone else, please make sure to validate the experience of the technician. It would be more beneficial to be thorough with your next selection as any experienced person can rattle off hundreds of client situations and references. In our case, we lay out our experiences on our blog to provide our clients and future clients with quick and easy access to references.
2. I think the end result of your situation is going to be a new roof replacement. Now I understand this is not what you want to hear, and you may find it convenient in a consumer’s mind for me to say.  However, I will explain the reasoning behind my conclusion. We don’t need to sell you a roof, we’re always over-booked so the motive isn’t there. Secondly, we see these installation issues all the time; our blog is full of how to do it right – and when it isn’t done right, it is almost impossible to correct. However, in saying that, both myself and my technicians may assess your building and be able to find a less expensive solution.
3. Based upon your descriptions, I am thinking that it is an inherent design/installation issue. Metal expands and contracts and is a water shed system – not waterproofing. The roof underlay installation is flawed at the valleys. At minimum, I would think the valley areas would have to be ripped out (probably 5 feet on either side) and proper underlay installation executed and metal tiles put back in or new metal tiles placed.
4. Even after doing all that, it is a low slope roof, and you may have intermittent issues either way. That is how I end up at the roof replacement as an end result.
5. With respect to ventilation, that likely could be assessed over the phone with one of our foremen.
So I may not have helped or may have, but the bottom line is that typically the best thing to do is to start over with a roof replacement. Get the underlay, the ventilation and the water shedding product right. Once this has been completed, I believe your issues will be resolved.
Thanks
 Client Response:
Thank you for replying so quickly.  I suspected that we would have to replace the roof.  This isn’t a rush job, but if we could get it done before snowfall, that would be great. If we have to over-winter this roof again, is there anything we could do in the valleys temporarily? Like heat cables or….? The interior log walls got water staining on them last year and I am concerned with the condition of the wood below the metal tiles in the valleys.  In the case with a low sloped roof, would asphalt shingles be a better alternative to metal?
Please put me on the waiting list for an assessment.
Our Response:
 

Good morning,

No problem. The day’s just getting going here so I had the time.
With respect to roof replacement before winter, yes this is very possible. However, I would like either one of my foremen or myself to look at your property prior. I would like to make an attempt at finding a less expensive solution.
If for some reason you were thinking of not approving the work before winter, heat cables aren’t a good solution. Short of using a high quality tarp on your whole roof, it won’t help.
Metal roof systems are fine as long as the underlay is correct. Shingles won’t leak as easily, but don’t last as long. Any roofing product will work as long as the roof underlay and venting is correct.
We will get out to your property as soon as possible to meet you and take a look.
Thanks

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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.

Hiring a Roofing Contractor for Roof Snow and Ice Removal

General Roofing Systems Canada provides snow and ice removal throughout Canada. 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.

While we are on a ten minute sandwich break with our 24/7 operations across Western Canada, we thought it best to write a quick article on hiring a roofing contractor. Our phone lines are backed up at times – we have never experienced not being able to attend to the volume of calls before, and out waiting list can be frustrating for some (please accept our sincere apologies for this), so we have put a list together as a guide to help you during the hiring procedure for an available contractor.

Some things to consider when hiring someone to remove the snow or ice from your roof

  1. Ask for a copy of their insurance. Be sure you see it first hand. We carry a $5,000,000 liability for a reason. If the person you hire falls off your roof and is injured or is killed and they do not have the proper insurance, you will be held responsible. Most homeowners do not know how important this is. VERY IMPORTANT.
  2. Workers’ Compensation Board. Ask for a copy of their WCB. Ask for a WCB clearance that is recent, as this shows they are up to date their their premiums and active.
  3. City business licence. Self-explanatory… be sure that you see it first hand.
  4. Experience. Easy to check. Look at their website and client base or ask them for some of their clients you can contact. Call references if they do not have a detailed website that shows experience.

You must get someone on your roof with experience

We only put experienced roofers on our work-sites to remove snow and ice or do repairs. Of course, we also staff helpers, but a certified or very experienced roofer is important. Here’s why: only a roofer knows that if you step in a valley that it shingles, and subsequently when thaw comes the system will leak terribly. A roofer knows you cannot step on the shingle cap. An inexperienced worker on your roof will cause damage – guaranteed. These damages will not show up until thawing comes around, and then your roof will leak. Cost wise, a leak is much worse than snow removal.

When calling us for roof snow removal, ice dams, and roof repairs…

Our phone lines are busy – we really, really apologize. Many of the calls we are getting are commercial and industrial roof collapses or major roof leaks into homes and businesses. It can be tough to keep up.

However, we can help you in expediting the process. Here is how it works:

  1. We are a 24/7 roofing company. Although you can call us, email works better.
  2. We have moved our roof workers into the Edmonton area from all over Western Canada, so we have a lot of staff assisting in the effort. It may not appear organized on the surface, but there are people available.
  3. When you call (877.497.3528) or email (info@grscanadainc.com) our offices, we will take your information and put you on the list of people that need their roof to be serviced.
  4. Our office takes all the inquiries and consolidates the orders, then organizes logistics. We arrange scheduling according to address, severity, etc.
  5. If you put your name on the list and you find someone else to service you prior to our return call, then simply notify us and we will take you off the list. Be sure your contractor has insurance.
  6. You can elect to be put on our 24/7 standby service. As availability opens up, we will call you back when your site can be fit in-between other calls.
  7. The best way to get on the service list is by using email or by using our online form on our website. This automatically puts you in to the scheduling system. Click to Request Roof Quotation.
  8. Keep in mind that even if we estimate our availability as five days, it may be the case that another client cancels or reschedules.
  9. While you are waiting for a callback, you can read through our various articles at the main GRS roofing website as well as our main roofing blog and local blogs. After you have read pertinent field reports and have done a homeowner roof assessment, give us a call and perhaps we will be able to solve some of the leak issues right over the phone.

If you are calling about an industrial or commercial roof snow load or roof repair concern and think you may have a dangerous situation developing, call our 877 line and be sure to send an email along with it as well. All emails are instantly seen by our roofing managers in the field.

All things considered, what might be an emergency in a residential context, for instance, could be as simple as plugged roof vents. Nevertheless, our lines are open and waiting to help answer any questions you have.

Contact Us:
General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)

24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free. info@grscanadainc.com.

British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario

Emergency Roof Snow & Ice Removal in Alberta

General Roofing Systems Canada provides snow and ice removal services throughout Canada. Flat Roof Repair; 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.

Our Alberta roofing crews returning to our offices last night and early in the morning had many interesting reports with regard to snow and ice removal.

One report was not exactly heartening; fortunately, nobody was hurt.

One of our office staffers took a call mid-afternoon from an industrial facility just outside of Edmonton. The client was requesting emergency snow removal from an industrial corrugated metal roof system (low slope/flat).

While on the call, our operator could hear people in the background beginning to cause a stir. There were a few screams and a lot of noise. The distraught caller informed us that a portion of their roof had just collapsed.

Even more concerning was when our service manager arrived on-site. There were staff in the area of the building he reported to when they heard “snaps” and “cracks” coming from the roof. They left that room to inform their management what they were hearing while our office was on the phone with them [management] in the meantime. It was just as they left that area that the whole roof collapsed. ‘Just goes to show that a structural failure can occur without any warning and at any time.

It was a very emotional day. No one was hurt physically, but there were tears to be sure. Clearing snow, clearing ice… trying to help folks on the phone and in person when their homes are leaking very badly or their business roof is collapsing. Even more emotional in the life of the roofer is knowing that there are many more calls that we are not able to respond to when we get stretched thin during “tsunami” seasons.

Our crews continued to roll in through the night and the last of them arrived at about 4:30 am. We will start rolling out crews again sometime around 5:30 am and see how today goes. We are certainly hoping for everyone’s safety and the best for the business and homeowners that we will be dealing with. Serious leaks are expected to start coming in if we cannot remove the snow sooner than later for our current work-sites.

When questioning the crews arriving back at the office, we asked them what could be said or what could be taken and learned from the last 24 hours to assist folks affected by the snow and ice on roofs. This was their response:

  1. If you think your roof may have too much snow load, be sure to get it removed immediately or at least get a structural expert to inspect the roof for load capacity.
  2. If you hear anything at all that does not sound right, leave the building. Today was a real eyeopener for some.
  3. Take some preventative measures. Read up on roof ventilation and ice damming; fix the problems that cause ice buildup before it leads to structural failures. Remove the snow from your roof as soon as possible, and remove ice on the sides of buildings which are immediately hazardous to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Apparently, the Edmonton Journal had also caught wind of our latest crew experiences with ice and snow removal. (Update 7-24-2015: The link has since been removed from their website)

Below you will find some pictures from today’s crew reports. One shows over 40 in. of snow on a flat roof, obviously challenging load capacity. Another shows a roof collapse from the inside of the building (imagine how much snow was on the collapsed portion before that happened). Another photo shows a piece of ice on the exterior of a condominium building. Signs of leakage in the eave section of the low slope metal roof for this building will become evident when the melting begins.

40 inches on a flat roof
40 inches on a flat roof
Industrial site requiring removal
Industrial site requiring removal
Interior view of a collapsed roof
Interior view of a collapsed roof
Second collapsed view
Second collapsed view
Jan 17, 2011 Roof Ice, Edmonton AB 5
Ice damming on low sloped metal roof
Jan 17, 2011 Roof Ice, Edmonton AB 1
Metal roof reaching load capacity
Jan 17, 2011 Roof Ice, Edmonton AB 2 (1)
Ice damming along gutter system
Jan 17, 2011 Roof Ice, Edmonton AB 2
More ice damming
Jan 17, 2011 Roof Ice, Edmonton AB 3
Packed snow and ice dam growth
Jan 17, 2011 Roof Ice, Edmonton AB 4
Second view of the same

 

Contact Us:
General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)

24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free. info@grscanadainc.com.

British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario