Metal Roofing

General Roofing Systems Canada Repairs metal Roofs throughout Canada. Metal Roof Repair; Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

 

One of the most common calls that come into our switchboard are those with reference to metal roofs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

From prospective buyers

  • How much are metal roofs? For the most part, people inherently know they are higher in price than a shingle roof.
  • How long does a metal roof last? Most folks know a metal roof is supposed to last longer than shingles.
  • What colours/profiles are available? Most often our clients have seen, at one point or another, a metal roof that really stood out which they really liked, and they have also seen others they did not like the look of at all.

From metal roof owners that have a leaky roof

  • Why does my metal roof leak?
  • How can I avoid leaks?
  • Are the seams leaking?
  • I can’t figure out if the leaks are coming from the screws.

In fact, we had a call this morning in which the caller, a golf course facility manager in Alberta, said he had changed out every screw on the roof (exposed fastening system) and caulked every screw head and seam and he still had two leaks he just could not pin down.

From metal roof owners frustrated by their leaky roof

  • I’m done with this roof, I’ve tried everything to stop the leaks. What other types of roofs are there?
  • I’m done trying to seal or caulk this roof, can we look at roof coating options?

The truth is, a metal roof is like any other roof. Metal roofing systems have benefits and they have inherent problems.

Hidden fasteners
Hidden fasteners

A metal roof can be the best roof you will ever own. It can be installed so that it does not leak, as well as look great and last almost a lifetime.

In saying that, we endeavour below to address the most important highlights of purchasing considerations, installation procedures, as well as leak repairs, coatings, and restorations.

When purchasing a new metal roof or when considering a roof replacement

 

The cost of poor worksmanship, poor metal roof design, or poor

Industrial metal roof
Industrial metal roof

quality metals:

People considering a metal roof purchase call us all the time with aesthetic and cost questions, and we cannot blame you. I know when I am searching for a new truck or my wife is looking for a new car, some of the first thoughts we have are regarding colour, style, and cost.

However, we should be thinking most in terms of what will get the job done right and what meets our needs most appropriately. Of course, budgets and pricing comes into play, but first and foremost the consideration should be: “what does it cost to do the job right?”

If a metal roof is incorrectly installed, or you have chosen a metal roofing system that has inherent problems or a low quality material was used, it will not so much matter how inexpensive it was when you consider the cost of leaks, repairs, roof coatings, and constant aggravations.

Metal roof coils, prior to machine
Metal roof coils, prior to machine

Case in point, to coat a metal roof or to do a metal roof restoration properly due to a leaking roof caused by a compromise during installation, it is about 50% to 70% of the cost of what it would have been to just install one properly the first time. Unfortunately, that is the most important thing to keep at the top of your mind when shopping for a metal roof.

The Right Questions

Commercial metal roof deck
Commercial metal roof deck

About the contractor

Experience with metal roofs specifically, regardless of its application, (residential, commercial, industrial) is paramount. Challenge the contractor, get references, check out their portfolio, and ask lots of questions. Unless their information is easily and publicly available, questions are your only weapon. You can find a guideline here for how to hire a roofing contractor on our main website.

The proposed metal roof system

When you are talking to roofing contractors about systems, I am not speaking of colours, cost, or the fancy names they give them [the systems]. Ask the contractor the follow questions. If the contractor can confidently carry this conversation with you, then you know you have a great chance at getting a roof that will, in fact, last near a lifetime and will have that aesthetic appeal you were looking for. A metal roof should not “oilcan”, should never leak, vent improperly, or require a full replacement after only a couple of years.

Questions:

Red metal roof, metal panels
Red metal roof, metal panels
  • If there are exposed fasteners, what kind are they?
  • If there are hidden fasteners, what kind of clips are being used and where are the clips fastened?
  • Are the clips being fastened directly to the roof deck; and if so, is there an underlay going under or over?
  • Ask whether the contractor will be hand cutting and wrapping the panels at the eave and at the ridge. If not at the eave, will you see the underside white of the panel from below when standing on the ground? If not, what are the wind lift considerations?
  • Is the system as monolithic as possible?
  • Are the seams hand crimped?
  • Where each seam is crimped or comes together, are they using a caulking underneath, or a caulking tape? How long does it last?
  • Will the underlay be synthetic, or tar paper? If it’s Ice & Water, what grade?
  • Will the underlayment be monolithic with base sheet torching?
  • If the contractor tries to “assure” you there will be no negative laps on the underlayment, gauge their reaction when you ask to see the roof for yourself.
  • Will there be strapping, and if so will it be going on before or after the underlayment
  • Will the system be able to breathe?
  • Will the metal panels be manufactured off-site? If so, what assurance is there that they will fit?

Once you have gone through this process, and the contractor’s answers have been vetted, then pick a colour, get a competitive and fair price, and pay your chosen roofers on time for a job well done.

Commercial metal roofers
Commercial metal roofers
Standing seam, hidden fastener roof
Standing seam, hidden fastener roof

When repairing a metal roof or considering a metal roof coating or restoration

This is a little easier than the questions you should be asking when you are considering a new metal roof.

Repairs are quite often due to the metal seams expanding or contracting, screw holes that have been expanded over time, or roof penetrations that are not flashed in properly.

The first step is to assess repairs from a remediation perspective. Some high end caulking, underlayment like Ice & Water, and flashing knowledge is required. We use a journeyman that can assess and conduct the repairs.

Once the repairs are done, then you will most likely have to do a roof coating at some point.

There are many different options for roof restorations that we will not go into here, but essentially a proper roof restoration with the right people doing the application should get you, under a conservative estimate, about ten more years out of your system and will cost you about 50% of the price of a new metal roof.

The reason a coating or roof restoration is typically required when you have run into metal roof issues is that they are most often installation or design ones that cannot be permanently fixed. Any fix we do to mitigate a leakage, for instance, will most often be temporary repairs.

For more information on roof coatings and metal roof systems, visit our roof repair and roofing replacement website. At the bottom of the main page their are links that discuss various issues, repairs, systems, hiring contractors, etc. You can also search this blog and the documents or links to the site by typing in your search key words and that may assist you also.

Ultimately, you can pick up the phone anytime and more often than not we have very experienced roofers that will either answer your call right away or one will get back to you in short order (we do our best to have our most senior roofers answer live on the front end as much as possible). We will give you a hand with whatever questions you may have.

Contact Us:
General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)

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

British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario

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