Roof Shake Maintenance, Repair, & Inspection

General Roofing Systems Canada provides maintenance, repair and inspection services for real wood roof shakes throughout Canada. Real wood roof shakes are installed 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.

Maintaining Your Real Wood Roof Shakes

Below this article has a listing of  links that will help assist you in a “do it yourself” shake roof cleaning and proper maintenance. We have also included options for roof repair and replacement. To experience the proper life-cycle of your roof, your real wood shake roofing require regular maintenance, inspection, and repair.

Roof Inspections

Should you experience any leaks, or see signs of splitting, curling or crumbling, it is advised to have an inspection completed. GRS provides thorough inspections that include complete documentation of the status of your roof. With our inspections you will receive accurate photos, cost estimates, and a detailed plan to maintain your roof properly. Shakes require regular upkeep in order to maintain 100% efficiency.

Even the roof flashing behind skylights, chimneys, and valleys require adequate maintenance. If not properly maintained, you may begin to see the metal rusting or the caulking around the metal roofing beginning to crust. If this continues to deteriorate, it is guaranteed that you will begin to have leaks.

Roof Repair


The repair of shake roofs is often more extensive than shingle or metal roofs. When the time comes to do significant repairs, be sure to get a detailed roof inspection done so that you can see everything that needs to be completed on your roof in advance. GRS’s roof reports are highly detailed and show photos of all the areas that require immediate concern.

Replacement of Cedar Roofing

Cedar roof replacement (or cedar roof conversions) offer more options for re-roofing. Real wood cedar offers a traditional, warm, and aesthetically pleasing roof on your home. There is also available different roofing materials that have a cedar roof look. Shake looking roof materials include Concrete Tile, Metal, Rubber, Steel Coated Shingles, Composite Plastic Tile, and more.

For More Information on real wood shake repairs and maintenance please feel free to look through the links listed below:

Shake Roofing Replacement – a page about the various options for real wood, metal, steel, rubber, concrete tile, and more.

Re-Roofing Options for Shake Roofinga page for various alternative options with detailed descriptions of different grades of real cedar roofing.

Real Wood Roofing Shake and Shingles – a page for re-roofing your home with real wood roofing.

Re-Roofing Shake to Asphalt Shingles a page explaining flashing considerations when going from a pine or cedar shake roof to asphalt shingles

Should you have any questions in regards to your cedar roof, please feel free to contact our office and one of our members will be happy to assist you.

Until next time,

The Team at GRS

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

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 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 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

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

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.

Re-roofing Procedures

The photo above shows a Pine Shake to Shingle (IKO Cambridge Laminate Shingle) Re-Roof.

GRS re-roofs residential buildings and can make any modifications to the roofing system you feel would best suit your home. Our roofing services are available in Toronto, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler and points between.

The roof openings (goosenecks, roof vents, skylights, valleys, plumbing flanges, etc) when you are re-roofing need to be tied in (flashed with metal and with roof membrane) properly. The roof openings and valleys of the roof (where roof lines intersect) are where all the problems start with re-roofing.

Re-roofing Specifications GRS uses to attach, flash, neck tie our roof openings is shown in the photo above.

When re-roofing a home, it is critical to neck tie (surround the roof penetration) with proper peel and stick or blue skin membrane to avoid ice, snow, water back up into your attic space.

In this instance, a roof vent (goose neck – notice it is a coloured roof vent) is shown. The deck of the roof has a premium Titanium Synthetic Roof Underlayment installed, then the IKO Cambridge Shingles – the goosneck also has a premium Karnak Caulking underneath, then the gooseneck is installed and nailed, then a blue skin or a premium Ice and Water or Peel and Stick membrane (such as Grace Membrane) to the horizontal (or back side) and vertical (or side) of the gooseneck (not shown in pic as not installed yet) and then the IKO Cambridge Shingles continue to be installed – taking care not to nail through the laminate shingle and through the ice and water peel and stick and into the back of the vent flange into the deck. Once a flashing is installed, you do not want to nail again through a shingle and into the flashing to the roof deck.

Re-roofing properly takes time, experience, quality material, and a sense of pride in the work done.

Our re-roofing experts are trained in the highest principles of roofing we know. It keeps our company from ever having to return to our re roof job sites for repair. It costs a little more to re roof properly, but the customer gets a roofing job done so well that it will last for many years. Of course, our roofing contracting business is built on references and referrals, so it is our life line – not to mention that our roofing installers get to work with pride of workmanship. A premium re-roofing installation specification and premium re-roofing materials also allow us to have a Lifetime Workmanship Guarantee on all re-roofing projects.

Click here for contact form for a free estimate to repair or re-roof your home.

To review our company re-roofing specifications (GRS re-roofing installation manual) click links below:

Our BBB Accreditation.

And remember, our company has expert roofers on call 24 hours, 7 days a week to answer any roofing questions you may have!

Until next time,

The Roofers at GRS

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

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.

Shingle Roof: Coloured Flashings

General Roofing Systems Canada provides coloured flashing installation throughout Canada. Installations are completed in the following cities: Toronto, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler and points between.

Consider a Roof with Coloured Roof Flashings. It Shows Great!

Why not take that extra step and ask your shingle installation contractor to re-roof with coloured roof flashings?

Re-roofing with coloured roof flashings just finishes a shingle installation off right. This is especially important when taking off or doing a roof conversion from Cedar or Pine Shake and then re-roofing to an Asphalt Shingle. The profile of the cedar or pine shake roof is higher than the new shingles – along walls and such the old galvanized step and wall flashing will show poorly. The street appeal is greatly affected. Some roofing contractors will re-roof and install the shingles and leave the old galvanized wall flashing and a gap along the wall to roof connection for the home-owner to deal with, others will paint the wall flashing – but this creates a regular roof maintenance issue. GRS shingle installations include new coloured flashings to these areas to increase street appeal after the re-roofing installation is complete.

The photo in the upper right and the one below it is a recent Calgary Pine Shake to Asphalt Shingle re-roof installation that shows the coloured wall flashing at the roof to wall connection (click on the photo to enlarge).
Also included standard with the GRS re-roofing Specification is gable or rake edge coloured roof edge flashing. Gable edge flashing, especially a coloured gable edge flashing finishes the roof installation nicely and here again shows your home and completed roof installation with great street appeal.
Another area colour can be used in re-roofing is with the roof air vents. Coloured roof air vents are shown in the re-roof installation below.

Coloured flashing is also great to have installed at the roof valleys. If you are re-roofing with closed valleys, galvanized valley is fine (if you are putting metal in your valley underneath the shingles). Coloured metal flashing is standard with GRS Re-Roofing Installation Specifications and shows great from the street also.

The first photo above shows the installation of coloured valley flashing product and the second shows valley flashing installation completed and the wall to roof section still galvanized flashing (good photo for contrast between the two) and installation of the wall flashing still needs to be completed.
Our website includes a section that is actually the shingle re-roofing installers’ installation manual that details our re-roofing how-to and the specifications of re-roofing our installers are held to at this link:

When deciding on your re-roofing Company of choice, refer to our Hiring a Roofing Contractor check list here:

We are proud of our re-roofing Installers and an explaination as to how our re-roofing Installers are different is here:

For an Online Request Form for a Quote to Repair or Re-Roof Your Home.

And remember, our company has expert re-roofing roofers on call 24 hours, 7 days to answer roofing questions you may have!

Until next time,

The Roofers at GRS

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

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.

Installing Roofing Underlayment/Roof Membrane

General Roofing Systems Canada provides the best shingle re-roofing specifications and installation available in the roofing industry to Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, and points between.

Re-Roofing Right. Why not install the roofing underlayment to the whole roof deck? Why not install it correctly? And why not use a roof underlayment that actually works and does what it is intended to do in the first place?

When re-roofing, roofers have a tendency to leave roofing underlay short at the roof edge when rolling it out (wind blown rain gets to the roof deck), or at the ridge of the roof (a ridge cap shingle cracks and a roof can leak), or don’t wrap their ridges and hips in underlayment hoping the shingles will perfectly do the job , or don’t run the roof underlayment or membrane up and under roof flashings, up and under skylight flashings, and wrap or neck tie roof penetrations with roof membrane such as roof vents, skylights, etc assuming that ice, snow, and water won’t back up under shingles and cause a roof leak.

Our roofing installation specifications call for the whole roof to be wrapped in underlayment or Ice & Water peel and stick membrane, and then we don’t have to worry about wind-driven rains, ice and snow backup, and ice dams at the roof edge or in valleys – all culminating in leaks. When we install a roof, the complete roof deck is wrapped in a “monolithic” style membrane specification and the roof cannot leak.

This specification includes running the roof underlay to the edge of the roof all the way, wrapping the ridge and hips into the underlay. -No part of the roof deck shows. Even on the coast, our roofs take punishing windstorms in places like West Vancouver.

Also, the roof penetrations (goosenecks, roof air vents, etc.) have Ice & Water membrane on the backside of the opening so that when ice, snow, and water build-up (ice damming) gets under the shingles, the roof underlayment is there to protect the roof from leaking. The same principle applies for installing a membrane at the wall and up & under skylight flashings (especially to the back side). Skylight leaks are one of the most common calls our emergency leak service receives.

Our roof installers also install Ice & Water peel and stick membrane to the valleys, right to the roof deck, and then metal valley flashing is installed on top of the membrane (even if the client wants a closed shingle valley, we still put metal flashing underneath the shingles), and then Ice & Water membrane is also installed to the top of the valley flashing edges so that when ice, snow, and water backs up in the roof valleys (ice damming which in Edmonton, Fort Mcmurray, Grand Prairie, Saskatoon, Regina, etc was so bad last winter) it can’t get back under the valley metal flashing and cause a leak.

At the roof eave we install Ice & Water membrane for ice, snow, and water back up at the gutters (last winter in Edmonton we had over 500 phone calls for ice damming at the eave on residential roofs alone – in one city during one winter!) – this is a primary area of concern for ice damming issues. The membrane sticks right to the roof deck and this avoids roof rot and roof leaks at the roof eave edge.

At the main area of the roof (the roof field) we use premium synthetic roof underlayment ( Premium Titanium Roof Underlayment ) which is twenty times stronger than roof felt underlay, it is lighter than tar felt paper, is recyclable, and doesn’t crack or rip at point of installation or from UV exposure.

If you (the homeowner that is getting your new roof) watched the roofing installation crew roll out felt paper at the point of re-roof installation, as seen right from the roof top… what actually occurs would cause you to never imagine EVER installing tar paper (felt paper) under your roof shingles. It cracks when the installers roll it out! This happens before it is even installed, and then it somehow has to go up angles at skylights, etc. And then the staple hammer tackers start whacking thousands of staples into it – each time the hammer tacker hits, it also tears the tar paper felt, and if it is cold outside it is even worse, and then the shingle nailers start and on one house 7000 – 12000 roofing nails are installed right through that paper. And to top it off, if you have a shingle blow off due to wind, do you think the brittle tar paper will even stay on the roof if the shingle blew off? What protects your home at that point? WE DON’T USE ROOF TAR PAPER – FELT PAPER – ROOFING FELT on our pitched re- roofing installations period – NEVER.

“t is the best possible roof underlayment specification and installation available to a homeowner for re roofing and is a standard specification for GRS Re-Roofing Installations.

Below are photos of a re-roofing project in progress that show the various areas of “small detail” in roof underlayment and Ice & Water membrane specification that creates a great re-roof end result.

Ice and Water Membrane to Back and Sides of Roof Openings, Wall, Step
Ice and Water Membrane to back of roof openings.
Ice and Water Membrane Under Valley Flashing, On Top Sides
Ice and Water Membrane installed to roof deck and then again to sides of metal valley flashing after metal was installed. Also note membrane wraps ridge and no wood is showing.
Premium Ice and Water Underlay to Eave and Along Step Flashing
44″ Ice and Water Peel and Stick Membrane installed to roof eave area where ice, snow, and water back up at gutters and get under shingles and cause roof rot and roof leaks. Synthetic premium roof undleryment installed to roof deck. Underlayment goes right to wall and up and under step flashing at wall.
Re-Roofing, Shake to Asphalt, Underlayment Wraps Hips, Complete Roof
Premium synthetic roof underlayment to field are of roof is wrapped over hip of roof and peel and stick ice and water at eave area also is wrapped over the hip to create a monolihic type roof underlayment installation. Photo also shows roof valley prior to installation of ice and water membrane and then valley metal and then ice and water membrane installed again at edges of valley metal.
Re-Roofing, Shake to Asphalt, Underlayment Wrap, Slylight, Complete Roof
Skylight is shown with ice and water membrane installed to roof deck and up and under the flashing of the skylight. Also note the field area underlayment is synthetic and runs over the ice and water detail at edge of skylight. Photo also shows coloured flashing at skilight and ice and water membrane to back of skylight area.
Re Roofing Underlayment Right to Roof Ridge and Edge - Not Cut Short
The photo above and the two below show synthetic underlay in field area of the roof installed right to the edge of the roof and not cut short. The roof underlay also is installed right to the roof ridge and is wrapped over the roof ridge and is not left short. The goose neck is wrapped in ice and water peel and stick membrane and the plumbing stack is about to receive installation of the flashing boot, but prior to the premium Karnak bead of caulking is placed on the roof deck and then the rubber boot flashing.

Re Roofing Underlayment Right to Roof Edge - Not Cut Short

Underlay Wrapping Ridge and Under and On top sides of valley metal



  • Click for an online re-roofing quotation.
  • For more information about our re roofing installation specs you can visit our pitched roofing section of our website here:

  • To visit our main website click here.

If you have any questions about installing your shingle roof properly, or you need emergency roof repair service, or just have a simple question about your roofing, give us a call anytime. We have roofing experts available 24 / 7!

Until next time,

The Team at GRS

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)

24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.

British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario

Flat Roof Sagging | Re-Roofing Residential Flat Roof

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

Note to reader:
We have begun posting common roofing questions that we receive to our website, blogs, and on phone lines to assist those researching answers to their roofing problems. We edit out any personal information (denoted by ‘—‘) for obvious confidentiality reasons prior to posting. If you have a roofing question, email us at and we will do our best to help you with your inquiry.

The inquiry came from a residential flat roof owner from Red Deer, Alberta that is considering preventative flat roof maintenance or flat roof re-roofing, as her flat roof is beginning to show signs of fatigue. Water is pooling or ponding and not vacating through the gutter system. The flat roof’s age is nearing 30 years, which is very near the end-of-life for a tar and gravel system. The flat roof is now very likely beginning to sag.

This particular inquiry is common. During the period that this residential roof was installed, flat systems were popular. Common residence types included revenue properties and duplexes, as well as high-end homes. The architects during that period specified many flat roof homes and many of those systems are now in the process of re-roofing or roof recovery retrofits.

Client Inquiry:

Hello; I presently own a house in Red Deer where the house is presently 25 to 30 yrs old. It has a tar and gravel roof which has given me no problems whatsoever. However, I am looking at preventative measures. The neighbours in the crescent are all starting to re-roof their homes, now I am most likely considering the same.

I found this year that the water is not going into the eaves & it is becoming a concern, so I have decided to look at what could be causing this & the option of putting a roof over the existing one.

Do you re-roof in Red Deer, and if so, could you please come by and give me an estimate & advice? If you do not work in Red Deer, do you know of a reputable company who has experience in this type of roof?

Our Response:

I am the fellow on-call tonight (we run a 24 hour emergency roof repair service) so I thought I may as well respond while I have a few minutes – I’m your Regional Project Manager in Alberta.

To answer your questions:

We do work on roofs in Red Deer regularly. We do not have a physical office in Red Deer but it doesn’t make any difference as our trucks are going from Lethbridge to Calgary to Red Deer to Edmonton and Fort McMurray all the time. We regularly have roofing crews available in and/or through Red Deer.

That makes me wonder if the Calgary to Edmonton corridor will ever get a light rail high speed train system – not likely, but it sure would help me transport our roofers efficiently….

Sorry, yes – we do work in Red Deer and we do re-roof residential flat roofs on homes and we also do flat roof recovery systems as well.
My suspicion is that your tar and gravel flat roof, being that the roof is almost 30 years old, even though it isn’t giving you any trouble now, will be trouble soon. Of course, without a roof inspection and flat roof assessment performed on site, it is impossible to say, but your roofing system “symptoms” (it sounds like the flat roof system is sagging) are typically a precursor to roof system failure of some sort (leaks or even complete failure).

As the flat roof membrane begins to sag over the years water begins to pond and the process of degradation of the roofing layers – tar paper and bitumen occurs relatively quickly from there on. Also, the layers of roofing will typically begin to tear, become brittle from the sagging of the roof and exposure from the UV. Nonetheless, in saying that, there are ways to delay the re-roofing of your flat system or performing a flat roof recovery by exercising roof repair options.

So yes, we should take a look at your roof. Roofers are in “that season” now and roof assessment scheduling is tight. I am thinking I will have an opportunity some time —- as I am between Edmonton and Calgary 3 or 4 times between —– . So I will call you when it looks most feasible and give you ample notice – I am thinking —– will likely work for the inspection.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to call us anytime 877.497.3528 toll free or on my direct line(s).

Thanks for your inquiry and we will see you soon!


Until next time,

The Team at GRS

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)

24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.

British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario

Re-Roofing Your Home

Taken from our 2011 archives.

General Roofing Systems Canada is a Comprehensive Building Envelope and Roofing Contractor Serving Canada. Toronto, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler and points between.

Re-roofing in today’s marketplace has many choices, and we’re on a mission to help and educate homeowners. Re-roofing a home has become complicated (as we’ve learned in writing this article).

So far in 2011, we have received a lot of calls from homeowners about the topic of re-roofing architecturally-defined roofs, or high-profile/luxury/dimensional roofs, such as pine shake in Calgary/Edmonton and cedar in Vancouver. A number of clients have also inquired after rubber tile, synthetic slate, shake, and metal standing seam re-roofing.

The increase in calls may be the realization that in Alberta, primarily Calgary and Edmonton, the pine system has come to the forefront in terms of failures and leaking. The short of it is that pine shakes don’t perform as well as they’re supposed to and most pine roofs are either re-roofed already or need to be soon.

The other reason we are experiencing an increase in calls with higher-end roofing products available for re-roofing is that cedar shake or cedar shingle roofing has changed. We can’t source the old growth cedar roofing we once could. So, homeowners with cedar that needs re-roofing are looking into options such as roof tile, rubber tile, synthetic tile, and shingles with high profiles.

Finally, one other reason for the increased call volume this spring is the winter we just experienced. It was an extreme period in terms of ice damming, snow loads, and attic condensation & ventilation issues – especially in areas like Red Deer and Edmonton. Now, many homeowners are looking to fix the problems that are associated with these conditions, and ultimately a re-roof solution that has both street appeal and utility against the elements.

Fortunately, there are many options available. Unfortunately, the idea of a re-roof for most homeowners isn’t their favourite task, and even worse is that many of the pitched roofers in the community have limited knowledge in this specific area of re-roofing. A subsequent result of this is that a homeowner needs to be extremely cautious in making decisions, as these new roofing products are more costly choices than traditional “shingle to shingle” re-roofing. Mistakes in this regard are costly.

Your re-roofing choices fall into one of the following categories:

  • Metal Roofing (Standing Seam Roofing, Metal Shingles, Steel Shingles, Etc)
  • Tile Roofing (Authentic Concrete Tile or Clay Tile).
  • Rubber Roofing (Rubber Shingles, Rubber Tiles, etc.
  • Slate Roofing (Tru Slate, an authentic quarried Slate, or a Synthetic Slate).
  • Architectural or Designer Shingles (many new shingles are on the market and most are now offering Limited Lifetime Warranties).
  • Cedar Shingles or Cedar Shakes (new growth Cedar re-roofing, not the Cedar roofing of decades ago).
  • Synthetic Slate, Shake, Tile Roofs (Davinci RoofScapes is an example).
  • Traditional Asphalt or Fiberglass Shingles (3 Tab or Laminate Shingles).

That pretty much covers the re-roofing choices or categories for what is available in the market.

Note: The GRS website page “Pitched Roofing” has an exhaustive list of options at this link:

Now, you have to be very cautious as to who installs or re-roofs these high end roofing products.

Re-roofing with a Davinci Synthetic Slate, Davinci Shake, Rubber Tile, GAF Tru Slate, or a Dimensional Shingle product such as the Presidential TL Lifetime Shingle or the IKO Armourshake or the IKO Royal Estate…. etc etc, is much different than re-roofing a standard 30 Year Cambridge IKO shingle. Be cautious! Ask for re-roofing references. Look at the roofing contractor’s work. Talk to their re-roofing references and perhaps even drive on by the roof and talk with previous re-roofing customers of the roofing contractor.

And be sure the roof underlayment is the best you can buy for your re-roof project and be sure the roofing contractor knows how to install the roof underlay properly.

A roof underlay that doesn’t wrap the complete roof deck or has negative laps does you no good – you end up paying a high cost for roof underlayment that won’t work anyway. Be sure the roofing contractor wraps every roof vent and roof opening such as the backside of skylights or chimneys with some type of high end ice and water underlayment, grace, or blue skin so that when the ice builds up from ice damming and goes under the shingles and works its way to the roof vent attached to the roof sheathing, that the ice can’t get under the vent, as your roof will leak.

Improper underlayment, lack of roof umderlayment, improper installation of vents, chimneys, etc is one primary reason we had literally thousands of calls in the 2010/2011 snow load – roof snow removal / ice damming and attic ventilation problems on roofs.

At GRS we even mandate that our valleys have ice and water in them first, then sheet metal on top of the ice and water in the valley, and then ice and water underlay AGAIN on both sides of the metal and then the shingles. It’s the same concept, the whole roof should get wrapped and what we call neck tied. All roof vents, chimneys, goosenecks, flanges, valleys, everything. And then when the ice dams occur there is no way for the ice to back up and come into the roof system and cause roof leaks.

So, to summarize your considerations when re-roofing your home this season, choosing a Pitched Roof Product that will work as it should and Choosing a Roofing Contractor that will do great work….. here are our words of advice;

  1. Examine your roof product categories first (as we listed above). Metal Roofing, Tile Roofing, Shingles, etc.
  2. Once you have a re-roofing product category in mind, then you need to look at products within that roofing product category. For example, you have chosen to look at pricing for removing or re-roofing shake to tile. You would then look at concrete tile, rubber tile, clay tile, slate tile, synthetic tile, etc. Or let’s say you are re-roofing a Pine Shake and you are now looking at shingles with a similar profile, you would want to look at the dimensional or luxury shingles offered by the various shingle product manufacturers such as IKO, Certainteed, GAF ELK, Malarkey, BP etc.

  1. That brings you to Roofing Material Manufacturers. Most roofing products, and in the re-roof example above, most roof shingles are good and most roof shingle manufacturers make a great roof shingle. It becomes a sort of “Ford or GM” thing in most cases. Nonetheless, simple web searches or searching sites like consumer reports will tell you about roofing product comparisons. I’m just saying, don’t spend a lot of time on which roofing manufacturer of roofing material you will choose. At GRS, by the way, we have access to every roof shingle or roofing product I know about on the market and we install most regularly, so our position is basically… “let’s pick the right roof system and then choose the specific roofing product or manufacturer”.

Next you want to look at:

4 A. What is under and around and included with your roofing shingles or roof system of choice? and,

4 B. How is your re-roof being installed?. Underneath you want to look at what type specifically of roof underlayment is being used. What roof flashings at the roof eave (drip edge flashing) or at the gable / roof rake edge (rake flashing) are being used? Will it be coloured flashing or galvanized flashing? Will the ice and water underlayment be 44″ wide or 36″ wide? What name brand of underlayment is your roofing contractor proposing? These are very important questions to ask the roofing contractor. Will there be metal in the valleys of the roof and/or ice and water underlay in the roof valleys? Very important. How many nails per shingle will be used? Will the roof hips and ridge be wrapped with underlay or just cut at each hip or ridge or possibily even short of the hip or ridge? Does your roofing contractor know how to wrap a roof with-out any negative laps in the underlayment, etc etc etc. This is your most important step.

  1. Then you need to take a quick look at the roofing contractor themselves. Choosing the Right Roofing Contractor is important. Things such as consumer complaints, memberships with BBB, roofing certifications, re-roof client references, liability insurance in re-roofing is very important, WCB coverage, licensing, provincially registered, etc. (Due dilligence check list) (Services and Roofing Accreditations are Listed)

  1. Pricing of the roof then needs to be looked at, but really, a quality roofing contractor that has the experience in re-roofing the products we are talking about that passes the technical re-roof questions and has the licensing and re-roofing references you can validate, will most likely be more costly than the average re-roofing quotation you will receive. Ultimately, you need a quality roofing contractor to execute your re-roof project with character and quality, safely, and who ultimately will charge a fair price for doing an excellent job on your roof. Oh, and after all that, when your re-roof is complete and it has been done with excellence, don’t forget leave your contractor a cheque 🙂

Another quick note is the roofing contractors workmanship guarantee. GRS has an unusual workmanship guarantee in that it lasts for the lifetime you own your home, but even a ten year or a five year workmanship guarantee for a re-roof is fair. You just want to be sure it is unconditional as good roofing workmanship is good the day after the re-roof is completed and it should be good 10 year from now. The re-roofing workmanship doesn’t change over time. The time issue is with the manufacturer’s material warranty. (Explains how and why we can offer a Lifetime Workmanship Guarantee on your re-roof)

That, I believe, covers the lengthy process homeowners have to go through to choose the right roofing product and the right roofing contractor in order to execute the re-roof of a home with success. It is quite a list now that I look back – I can more appreciate why homeowners seem exhausted at times when looking over re-roofing products and options.

All the best with your re-roofing project!

And if there is anything we can do at GRS to assist, even if it is a quick word of advice on the phone about your roof, give us a call, there is always an roofing expert available 24.7 around the clock at +1.877.497.3528 or by email

And to request a re-roofing estimate click here for an online form.

Until next time,

The Team at GRS

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)

24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.

British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario