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.

Low Slope Roofing- Choosing the Right Flat Roof Membrane

General Roofing Systems Canada provides low slope installations throughout Canada. Low slope 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

The inquiry below came in to our call center today, we thought it best to post it as an article to our blog to assist others who have questions regarding Low Slope Roof Membranes.

The email conversation below contains standard questions and answers that our clients have when choosing the correct “low slope roofing” or “flat roof membranes”.

The following items are a listing of the topics covered amongst the email; low slope roof life cycle costs, choosing the right roofing contractor, low slope roof prices, roof installation quality, choosing the right flat roof membrane, differences between various flat roof systems, and many more.

RE: A roofers perspective of low slope / flat roof costs, life cycle costs, torch down 2difference between flat roof systems, and most importantly  roof craftsmanship.

Email Conversation:

Hello,

I am presently in the middle of preparing to build a new office space with a low slope. My architect was advising the TPO material for it being more “green” and its heat reflection.

 However,in my internet search, the results and outlook for TPO roofs is still in question. I am looking towards the old standby 2 ply SBS and I writing this letter to you as you do all these products.

 Which one would last longer and what is the cost difference between the 2 products… also include PVC if you can.

 Regards,

 

Dear valued client;

Thank you for your inquiry.

We have been receiving a lot of the same sort of inquiry lately (what are the cost of flat roofs, the life cycle cost of flat or low slope roofing, and the difference between low slope or flat roof membranes).

Generally we tend to receive these types of inquiries at this time of year, this is primarily due to commercial, industrial and home owners having time to complete research as a result of the holiday season.

With saying that, I am going to post your questions about low slope roofing to our blog along with my answers (in article form) so that our conversation(s) will assist others when researching about low slope roof membranes and roofing contractors.

Your “Roof Life Cycle Cost” will be determined as follows: 90% will be a result of the roof installation quality and 10% will be determined from which low slope roof membrane is selected.

For every ten hours you put in planning for your new flat roof, nine of those ten hours should be researching and selecting the right contractor for your project. If you put in a total of 5 hours planning your flat roof project, 30 minutes should be spent considering the different flat roof membranes available and 4.5 hours should be spent researching, selecting, and communicating with your new flat roofing contractor.

The most important aspects to considering a Flat Roofing Contractors is; Roof Workmanship Quality, WCB, BBB reports, Insurance, Liability, Warranty, Guarantee, Safety programs. Although it is not necessary that the flat roofer is a member of the BBB because complaints can be lodged whether a company is a member or not.

Random consumer complaints are not that important due to the fact that anyone can rant about anything online (It is impossible to make everyone happy 100% all the time), yet complaints to the BBB should be given serious consideration as the BBB has a highly professional process required for authenticating complaints.

The workmanship guarantee is to be considered one of the greatest factors to take into consideration.  In some ways this is even more important than the roof membrane manufacturer warranty.

Alongside this there are other considerations to keep in mind such as insurance coverages for example:

A) Work Safe / WCB clearances (you are able to get one from Worksafe / WCB),

B) Commercial Liability Insurance (which should be 5,000,000.00 – some go as low as having only 2,000,000.00 insurance),

C) Roofing Contractor’s Safety Program (which ensures the workers are actually being safe while on your site including the use of hard hats, vests, harnesses, daily hazard assessments etc.)

These are all important considerations that help protect the customers. An injury to a worker can be a significant issue for a home or business owner if the roofing contractor has not followed the proper compliance procedures. Such an event like this can cause you considerable expense and aggravation.

TPO Roof Life Cycle Costs

Now in regards to your question pertaining to TPO Roofing and life cycle costs, unfortunately this is still unknown. Perhaps not scientifically, but from a flat roof installer perspective it is.

Statistically speaking, we have more data specified to PVC roofs than we do TPO. The reality is that all low slope roof membranes have similar life cycle costs. Yet when you consider them statistically or scientifically they do vary, but all in all, low slope or flat roof membranes all perform quite well.

However, coming from a “roofer’s perspective”, here is what I can tell you; An issue that we as roofers see every day on the roofs, which in truth should be your highest priority in research is the actual installation of the material itself. Numerous building and home owners alike are unaware of the actual process, procedures and potential roof failures due to improper installation of the flat roof.

Another area of concern is the other workers that will attend the roof during construction or after, such as HVAC installers for an HVAC retro-fitter.

Now with the assumption that the contractor is reliable and adheres to all the proper regulation, the reality is that things can happen when a flat roofs are being installed. No company is flawless and has a perfect flat roof installation every-time.

In the offices, we here several conversations about how things can and do go wrong, yet it is how we deal with the problem that separates us from success or failure with other roofing contractors. We see time and time again, people that do not do their proper due diligence because they assume things should just go without incident. Although this is not like buying a car. Hiring a trade is much different.

Of course on the other side of managing roofers or the installation of flat roofs is that there is the pro-active side of things that says there are things that we can do as the roofing contractors before problems arise to assist in a higher probability of a proper roof installation occurring.

Now, in our instance we have done things like institute our industry with an Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee which causes our roofing staff to be more aware of the day-to-day incidents that could occur. It is our responsibility to provide superior roof craftsmanship. This has our staff in a more stringent project path for a flat roof installation quality control system. Ultimately, the craftsmanship itself is what most determines the true cost of your flat roof and not which flat roof membrane or flat roof system was chosen.

Once you get past the issue of the quality of installation for your roof and hiring the right contractor you can then consider which roof membrane to use.

Now to provide some answers specific to your questions, here are some considerations for your low slope roof membrane research;

 

With respect to traditional low slope roofing (SBS, TPO, PVC, EPDM, BUR) I would recommend using 2 ply SBS modified with complete confidence.

The reason is that with a single ply, you have opportunity for what we call catastrophic Failure. In other words, a hole the size of a quarter in the membrane can cause significant damage to the complete system as the water can travel. With SBS, it is torched down and the opportunity for water migration is less. Here’s one other factor to consider with SBS modified, if you have roof installer that does not install the membrane correctly, this will result in you having significant issues. The deficiency list can be considerable and cost more than replacing the roof in the first place.

Now, You didn’t ask about multi-ply low slope roofing specifically, yet I am going to take the liberty of giving you a couple of thoughts regarding those systems. You are able to get a multi-ply low slope roof like the Tough Roof System that will give you the reflective values you desire. Additionally, you will get the sense of security knowing your roof will have maintained durability. The Tough Roof is a multi-ply built up (BUR) roof system that has layers of bitumen (in this case a synthetic layer in between instead of the traditional felt mats between each layer) and on the top, Tough Roof uses white elastomeric roof coating which contributes to the reflective component.

The other option you have in these newer systems is a multi-ply liquid rubber system which is VOC free, completely environmentally friendly and you can cover it with an acrylic reflective top coat. The system is a proprietary system from General Roofing that includes 2-4 layers of liquid rubber with a synthetic fabric between layers of built up and with an optional top coat of acrylic reflective roof coating. Of all the systems you can get, this particular system is most environmentally friendly, it is bullet proof like the built up roofs, and it can be as reflective as you choose.

So ultimately your choices are; traditional 3-4 layer built up roofing (Tar and Gravel) which is 3-4 layers of tar with tar felt paper in between, then the 2 ply modified bitumen which is torched down, the single ply roofing (EPDM, TPO, PVC) which is mechanically fastened, fully adhered, or ballasted, and then the newer type of built up roof like the Tough Roof which is 3-4 ply of tar with synthetic fabric between the layers with an elastomeric top coat for reflectivity and the newer built up liquid rubber systems from GRS that are 2-4 layers of built up liquid rubber with a synthetic fabric between the layers with the option of a reflective top coat of acrylic elastomeric roof coating.

From least expensive to most expensive the roof membrane systems typically go from least expensive to most costly as follows; Spray Foam, EPDM, TPO, PVC, 2 Ply, GRS Liquid Rubber BUR, Traditional BUR, Tough Roof. However, it is important to note when considering the cost of a flat roof or a low slope roof system two things. First, the cost difference between flat roof systems as you go from one to the next is small in comparison to expected life cycle cost planning. For example, EPDM roofing is moderately more costly than Spray Foam, and PVC moderately more cost than TPO and on and on as you go through each system. Yet the important consideration is the cost of the roof over a period of time. A properly installed Tar and Gravel roof or properly installed 2 Ply SBS Torch on Roof will likely last much longer than EPDM, TPO, or even PVC – “likely” has a number of considerations…. weather, application, service workers on the roof, etc. And a Liquid Rubber Built Up Roof and the Tough Roof built up systems have almost unlimited life cycle as they both come with maintenance agreements to renew the top reflective layer of elastomeric coating.

I hope this has helped answer your questions, please feel free to contact us any time should you require more information or would like to ask us more questions.

Until next time

The staff at GRS

 

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