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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What to do if your flat roof is leaking.

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

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

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

How Our Roofers Will Help With Your Roof Leak.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Typical Flat Roof Repair Costs and Options

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

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

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

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

Materials Available for Flat Roofing

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

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

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

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

Tar and Gravel Roofing (Built-Up).

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

Torch-On Roofing (SBS Modified Bitumen).

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

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

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

Single-Ply Membranes.

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

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

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

TPO and PVC.

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

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

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

Roof Coatings. Fluid Applied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eco Roofing.

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

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

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

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

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

Balcony Waterproofing Membranes / Rooftop Decks / Patios.

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

Tyler Sinclair

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

 

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

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

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

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

First, a Little Bit About Me.

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

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

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

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

Successful roof repair requires the following steps:

Determine the Type of Repair, Replacement or Maintenance Needed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Generally, What Type of Roof System do you Have? 

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

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

What Type of Roofing Product Needs Repair? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are Your Objectives? 

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

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

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

What are the Geographic Implications?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

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

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

Tyler Sinclair.

Video with Summary Content:

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

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

Careers

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

  • 1 Commercial Roof Foreman (Calgary). Min 4 years exp. Must have experience with all single ply, torch on, and BUR systems.
  • 1 Commercial Roof Foreman (Edmonton). Min 4 years exp. Must have experience with all single ply, torch on, and BUR systems.
  • 2 Lead Hand Low Slope Roofers (Calgary). Min 3 years exp.
  • 2 Lead Hand Low Slope Roofers (Edmonton). Min 3 years exp.
  • 5 EPDM Experts (Calgary). Min 4 years exp.
  • 1 SBS Mod Torch-On Expert (Calgary). Min 4 years exp.
  • 10 Skilled Low Slope Labourers (Calgary). Min 2 years exp.
  • 4 Skilled Low Slope Labourers (Edmonton). Min 2 years exp.

  • 5 Low Slope General Labourers (Calgary). Min 1 yr construction exp.
  • 2 Low Slope General Labourers (Edmonton). Min 1 year construction exp.
  • 1 Project Coordinator (Calgary). Min 3 years roofing experience and site management experience required.
  • 1 Commercial Roof Sheet Metal Mechanic (Calgary). Piece work. Contract.
  • 1 Steep Slope Shingle Crew (Edmonton). Piece work. Contract. Must have WCB, GST.
  • 1 EPDM Flat Roof Crew (Edmonton). Piece Work. Contract. Must have WCB, GST, Tooling, Insurance.
  • 1 EPDM Flat Roof Crew (Calgary). Piece Work. Contract. Must have WCB, GST, Tooling, Insurance.
  • 1 Flat Roof Torch On Crew (Calgary). Piece Work. Contract. Must have WCB, GST, Tooling, Insurance, Open Flame.
  • 1 Flat Roof Torch On Crew (Edmonton). Piece Work. Contract. Must have WCB, GST, Tooling, Insurance, Open Flame.

  • 2 Outside Sales Reps (Calgary). Min 5 years outside sales exp.
  • 1 Outside Sales Rep (Edmonton). Min 5 years outside sales exp.
  • 1 Safety Coordinator (Calgary). Contract. Piece Work.
  • 1 Safety Coordinator (Edmonton). Contract. Piece Work.
  • 1 Quality Inspector (Edmonton). Contract. Piece Work.
  • 1 Quality Inspector (Calgary). Contract. Piece Work.
  • 2 Web Developers (Calgary). Contract. Word Press.

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

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

GRS is an equal opportunity employer.

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

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

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

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

Roofing Jobs

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

Metal Roof Restorations

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

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

Roof Coating – Liquid Rubber Solutions

Leaking Metal Roof Systems

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

Why does Metal Roofing Leak?

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

SG1S1511
Metal Roofing – Ice Damming at Eave

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

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

SG1S1524
Metal Roofing – Roof Ice Damming Leaks

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

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

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

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

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

Edmonton, AB Rooftop Snow Removal
Metal Roof Maintenance

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

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

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

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

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

100_0086
Roof Coating – Liquid Rubber Technology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

The Team at GRS

 

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

info@grscanadainc.com.

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

Survey of the Commercial Roofing Process

General Roofing Systems Canada provides repairs to Commercial Roofs throughout Canada. Commercial 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

Maintenance, Restoration, or Replacement?

When reviewing the process of commercial roofing, the first step is to decide what method of roofing is required. Of course, there will be decisions in regards to the metal used, yet this all depends on whether or not you have a flat roof. For example, you may be looking to repair your roof, perform annual maintenance, completely replace or restore your existing system.

Repairing Your Commercial Roof

Commercial roofing repairs are best done by a roofing contractor that complete repairs on a daily basis and who is aware of all the commonly accepted standards. GRS employees are highly trained to work with all varieties of commercial roofs; our crews undergo extensive training that help them to assess and repair any and all issues. Flat roof repairs are specific to the type of commercial roof such as; Tar and Gravel, Torch-on SBS, TPO, EPDM, PVC, Roof Coatings, or SPF – Spray Foam. It is important to have roofers that are aware of the type of commercial roof membrane that is being repaired.

Metal roof repairs on commercial buildings are also type-specific. These common types are are metal cladding roofs, standing seam metal roof systems, and coatings with a reflective coating or black rubber liquid coating.

The objective is to locate a commercial roofing contractor that has technicians with the knowledge of all commercial roof types.

Preventative Maintenance

Commercial roofing systems require regular maintenance. In most instances maintenance on a commercial roof (flat roof) should be completed a minimum of twice a year. It is recommended to have this completed once in the fall and once in the spring. GRS has specific commercial roofers that specialize in roof maintenance. Our roofers are aware what to look for and how to solve specific commercial roof problems. Our web site contains a step by step list for commercial flat roofing repair and maintenance:

Metal Roof Maintenance

Metal commercial roof systems also require regular maintenance. Maintenance should be performed on all the metal seams, metal roof fasteners, and roof openings. Sometimes this only requires a simple process of caulking (be sure to use high-end metal caulking). Yet with scenarios, when the metal roof is beginning to fail due to rust or expansion/contraction of the metal seams and holes for the fasteners, more extensive roof repair or roof restoration becomes a necessity. This is another area where it would be beneficial to have type-specific contractors completing the work.

Our roofing blog has numerous articles regarding metal roofing, metal roof repair, and metal roof restoration. Simply search your topic by category on the left hand side of the page.

Roof Restoration

Restoring Your metal or flat commercial Roof when regular commercial roof repair and maintenance doesn’t alleviate the problems you are experiencing with your metal or flat roof, more extensive restoration is required. One significant advantage of restoring your commercial roof rather than replacing it is the tax benefit. Roof restoration is considered maintenance and not typically considered a capital cost as it would with a complete roof replacement.

Metal roof systems are filled with challenges, especially in colder climates like Alberta and Saskatchewan. For example, in Edmonton, AB last winter, the snow loads were so immense with the ice damming on the metal roofs, as well as the heavy weight loads, that several metal commercial roofs were affected. Our metal restoration crews have been working nonstop since last winter to repair and restore metal roof systems on numerous commercial and industrial facilities. The advantage of having a metal roof on your commercial facility is the longevity of the material. Metal roofs are known to last several decades before requiring full replacemetns.

The inherent challenge with commercial metal roofing is that the metal expands and contracts. This is especially true in our unpredictable Western Canadian climate. Unfortunately, many leaks occur as a consequence.

When thinking about restoring a metal roof it simply comes down to two things. First is whether or not you would want white reflective metal roof restoration, or do you want a black roof?

In today’s market, there are several advancements to metal roof coatings. One primary example would be the liquid rubber polymers that were created for waterproofing commercial metal roof systems.

The challenge with reflective coatings for metal roofs is that coatings such as acrylic, which are highly reflective, also contain the disadvantage of cracking and peeling. The important items to be considered when choosing a restoration process or coating for your commercial roof is to be sure that the roofing contractor you hire is experienced and knowledgeable as to what is required. It is also important to inspect the coating material being used on your commercial roof. This is important due to market factors drastically changing over the past few years.

The same applies for flat roofing as it does for metal as we described above.
Coatings for commercial roof systems in this day and age have radically changed as restoring a flat roof today is not the same it was 3 years ago. At one time (and we still restore tar and gravel commercial flat roof this way), we would re-coat flat roofs with bitumen or tar from a hot kettle. Or in the case of a rubberized asphalt commercial flat roof, we would re-coat with hot rubberized asphalt.

Commercial roofing today has many more options. More recently many commercial property owners have been having roofing contractors spray foam their roof systems. With this process you skirt around the entire old method all together. Once the spray foam has been laid down you then add an acrylic reflective top coat to the SPF.

The process of spraying foam over an existing commercial roof is highly effective and cost efficient  – although this isn’t always the best method for an extended amount of time. There are coatings that are asphalt based that contain fiberglass that can be used to coat roof systems and emulsions. And then more recently elastomeric coatings have become available. This newer type sprays right over top of the existing system. Finally the most recent to come forward on the market is liquid rubber coating. Liquid rubber coating has been an excellent success for both roofers and owners alike.

Roof Overlays or Retrofits

An example of a roof overlay or retrofit is when your current commercial roof system has a tar and gravel roof. Instead of coating the roof and completely ripping out the roof and replacing it entirely, you can retrofit or recover it. There are many forms of flat roof recovery. One method is for our roofers to scrape or spud the gravel off. Our roofers will then install an insulation board and the roofing membrane right over top. For more information on retrofitting you can reference our blog and website.

Complete Roof Replacement

Complete roof replacements are a massive undertaking. In order to have this procedure completed correctly it is extremely important to choose the right contractor for your project. The contractor you choose must have roofers that are trained and have accurate knowledge of all roofing systems. In addition to this you will need to choose the right method of roof replacement or retrofit. Once you have done that, the next item to select will be the right membrane and search out a reasonable competitive price.

GRS has written extensive articles to assist commercial property owners with the process of completing roof replacements, some of which are on our blog and website. Here are some articles for your consideration when planning a commercial roof replacement:

https://www.grscanadainc.com/Commercial_Roof_Replacement.html – Considerations for Commercial Roof Replacements

https://www.grscanadainc.com/Replacing_a_Flat_Roof.html – The process of Commercial Roof Replacement

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.

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)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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

Roof Snow Removal Considerations

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.

Roofing, Roof Repair – Preventative Roof Maintenance Encouraged Before Winter Comes!

Fall has arrived and winter is just around the corner. This time of year is when people tend to be the most busy, with having just came back from vacation to children starting school and various other activities. With so much on the go for people, the last thing that you want to think about is the ROOF!

Yet the reality remains, this is also the busiest time for roofers, as facility managers and homeowners alike start to prepare the buildings for the harsh weather that winter brings. This is the best time to consider whether or not your roof has any current issues that need attending to.

snow and ice damming
Ice damming across a gutter system

The snow loads in Central Alberta and Northern Alberta were record setting. For many of the roof systems, if they did not fail or have issues last winter, it is almost certain they will have problems this winter.

We have  watched several commercial and industrial roofs completely fail in the Edmonton and Red Deer areas. The roofs literally buckled under the pressure from all the weight of the snow we received. Yet we believe this could have less severe had proper maintenance been taking place before the season hit.

This  winter has proven to be highly unusual. We experience such diversities in the climates all around western Canada. For example, in Vancouver our crews were busy with torrential rain, while in Saskatoon and Regina they were busy with snow falls, and in Calgary it was a constant cycle of  freeze and thaw. All this diverse weather  kept our roofing crews at complete capacity, often having to work many hours of overtime.

Some things to consider for your commercial, industrial, and residential roof maintenance prior to the next winter setting in;

Flat Roofing: Any flat roofing that took on heavy snow loads will most definitely require some attention. We highly recommend that owners heed the warnings from the previous season and at least asses the current quality of there roof, it would be best to have this assessment completed before the first snow fall. We have an annual roof repair and maintenance check list for flat roofing and the maintenance required to be completed listed on our website.


Metal Roofing: Metal roofing was hit the hardest last winter. The reason is that metal roof systems, especially commercial and industrial, had snow loads that compromised the metal roof panel seaming. In other words, the metal panels on the roof have been warped or pressed down so hard that the seams between the panels and the fasteners are compromised. The other issue we are seeing with industrial and commercial metal roofing this year is that many of the gutter systems are damaged.

The problem with metal roof systems on industrial buildings is that when the ice builds up in the gutter it will then back up and enter the building under the metal cladding. Fortunately, there are excellent solutions for metal roof issues yet most cases do require a full replacement.

Nowadays we can coat metal roofing with liquid rubbers. This is a elastomeric spray on roof coatings that will seal the metal roof seams, fasteners, and vents.

To learn more about how to solve metal roof leak problems search the topic on our blog at the top right corner. Simply type in your inquiry and our search engine will show results of the pages to help.

In addition to this, our main web site contains several pages on metal roofing, roof coatings, and roof repairs. You can find this information listed below with  the following links:

Residential Roofs: These systems did not have nearly as many structural  failures that occurred with Industrial and Commercial roofing last year. Although that is not saying that residential roofs, roof attic ventilation and condensation did not have their fair share of complications.  The reason being is that with the snow loads on roofs, the ice damming, condensation and ice backups in gutters, caused numerous problems.

As stated earlier, this winter season has been a treacherous one. Due to this fact, GRS would like to remind everyone to have an assessment completed on their roof for the next season BEFORE snow begins to fall.

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.