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.

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:

https://www.grscanadainc.com/Pitched_Roofing.html

  • 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

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

Metal Roof Repair or Replacement?

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

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

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

To Repair or Replace?

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

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

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

Good morning,

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

Good morning,

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

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

info@grscanadainc.com.

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