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.

Polycarbonate Roof Snow Removal

General Roofing Systems Canada provides polycarbonate roofing and snow/ice removal services throughout Canada. 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.

About Polycarbonate Roofing

Polycarbonate roofing is now used in many scenarios. Its use is rooted in its translucence or its ability to let light in. Greenhouses, conservatories, and the like are using this material. Modern roof architecture is introducing polycarbonate in many interesting ways. We are even seeing projects with specifications for polycarbonate “skin”, covering vertical and horizontal areas of the building. Polycarbonates bring building envelope design possibilities above and beyond typical design.

Here’s an interesting inquiry from a Facility Manager of one of the largest home improvement stores in the world that came in today from Wilkesboro, North Carolina in the United States.

What recommendation would your company have in regards to snow removal on polycarbonate roofs?

Polycarbonate Roofing Sheet
Polycarbonate Roofing Sheet

There are many polycarbonate roof assembly scenarios. It could be a greenhouse, for instance. If the assembly is small enough, you could use a roof rake; in the case of large conservatory, this may be more difficult.

Our roof snow removal protocols are simply a snow shovel and roof rake with the understanding that larger roofing systems need an engineering recommendation prior to starting.

If the roof is not walkable or could be damaged such as with a polycarbonate roof, then creative ways to access the roof for snow removal need to be developed. Quite often we will use lifts, frame walkways, cranes, etc. Ultimately it depends on the roof assembly design and the building.

Other interesting notes on Polycarbonate Roofing:

If your interest in is polycarbonate roofing supply for a greenhouse we found this link that looks comprehensive for buyers: http://www.greenwallsolutions.com/

This is all that Wikipedia has to say about Polycarbonate Roofing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexan

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

 

Hiring a Roofing Contractor for Roof Snow and Ice Removal

General Roofing Systems Canada provides snow and ice removal throughout Canada. 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.

While we are on a ten minute sandwich break with our 24/7 operations across Western Canada, we thought it best to write a quick article on hiring a roofing contractor. Our phone lines are backed up at times – we have never experienced not being able to attend to the volume of calls before, and out waiting list can be frustrating for some (please accept our sincere apologies for this), so we have put a list together as a guide to help you during the hiring procedure for an available contractor.

Some things to consider when hiring someone to remove the snow or ice from your roof

  1. Ask for a copy of their insurance. Be sure you see it first hand. We carry a $5,000,000 liability for a reason. If the person you hire falls off your roof and is injured or is killed and they do not have the proper insurance, you will be held responsible. Most homeowners do not know how important this is. VERY IMPORTANT.
  2. Workers’ Compensation Board. Ask for a copy of their WCB. Ask for a WCB clearance that is recent, as this shows they are up to date their their premiums and active.
  3. City business licence. Self-explanatory… be sure that you see it first hand.
  4. Experience. Easy to check. Look at their website and client base or ask them for some of their clients you can contact. Call references if they do not have a detailed website that shows experience.

You must get someone on your roof with experience

We only put experienced roofers on our work-sites to remove snow and ice or do repairs. Of course, we also staff helpers, but a certified or very experienced roofer is important. Here’s why: only a roofer knows that if you step in a valley that it shingles, and subsequently when thaw comes the system will leak terribly. A roofer knows you cannot step on the shingle cap. An inexperienced worker on your roof will cause damage – guaranteed. These damages will not show up until thawing comes around, and then your roof will leak. Cost wise, a leak is much worse than snow removal.

When calling us for roof snow removal, ice dams, and roof repairs…

Our phone lines are busy – we really, really apologize. Many of the calls we are getting are commercial and industrial roof collapses or major roof leaks into homes and businesses. It can be tough to keep up.

However, we can help you in expediting the process. Here is how it works:

  1. We are a 24/7 roofing company. Although you can call us, email works better.
  2. We have moved our roof workers into the Edmonton area from all over Western Canada, so we have a lot of staff assisting in the effort. It may not appear organized on the surface, but there are people available.
  3. When you call (877.497.3528) or email (info@grscanadainc.com) our offices, we will take your information and put you on the list of people that need their roof to be serviced.
  4. Our office takes all the inquiries and consolidates the orders, then organizes logistics. We arrange scheduling according to address, severity, etc.
  5. If you put your name on the list and you find someone else to service you prior to our return call, then simply notify us and we will take you off the list. Be sure your contractor has insurance.
  6. You can elect to be put on our 24/7 standby service. As availability opens up, we will call you back when your site can be fit in-between other calls.
  7. The best way to get on the service list is by using email or by using our online form on our website. This automatically puts you in to the scheduling system. Click to Request Roof Quotation.
  8. Keep in mind that even if we estimate our availability as five days, it may be the case that another client cancels or reschedules.
  9. While you are waiting for a callback, you can read through our various articles at the main GRS roofing website as well as our main roofing blog and local blogs. After you have read pertinent field reports and have done a homeowner roof assessment, give us a call and perhaps we will be able to solve some of the leak issues right over the phone.

If you are calling about an industrial or commercial roof snow load or roof repair concern and think you may have a dangerous situation developing, call our 877 line and be sure to send an email along with it as well. All emails are instantly seen by our roofing managers in the field.

All things considered, what might be an emergency in a residential context, for instance, could be as simple as plugged roof vents. Nevertheless, our lines are open and waiting to help answer any questions you 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

Emergency Roof Snow & Ice Removal in Alberta

General Roofing Systems Canada provides snow and ice removal services 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.

Our Alberta roofing crews returning to our offices last night and early in the morning had many interesting reports with regard to snow and ice removal.

One report was not exactly heartening; fortunately, nobody was hurt.

One of our office staffers took a call mid-afternoon from an industrial facility just outside of Edmonton. The client was requesting emergency snow removal from an industrial corrugated metal roof system (low slope/flat).

While on the call, our operator could hear people in the background beginning to cause a stir. There were a few screams and a lot of noise. The distraught caller informed us that a portion of their roof had just collapsed.

Even more concerning was when our service manager arrived on-site. There were staff in the area of the building he reported to when they heard “snaps” and “cracks” coming from the roof. They left that room to inform their management what they were hearing while our office was on the phone with them [management] in the meantime. It was just as they left that area that the whole roof collapsed. ‘Just goes to show that a structural failure can occur without any warning and at any time.

It was a very emotional day. No one was hurt physically, but there were tears to be sure. Clearing snow, clearing ice… trying to help folks on the phone and in person when their homes are leaking very badly or their business roof is collapsing. Even more emotional in the life of the roofer is knowing that there are many more calls that we are not able to respond to when we get stretched thin during “tsunami” seasons.

Our crews continued to roll in through the night and the last of them arrived at about 4:30 am. We will start rolling out crews again sometime around 5:30 am and see how today goes. We are certainly hoping for everyone’s safety and the best for the business and homeowners that we will be dealing with. Serious leaks are expected to start coming in if we cannot remove the snow sooner than later for our current work-sites.

When questioning the crews arriving back at the office, we asked them what could be said or what could be taken and learned from the last 24 hours to assist folks affected by the snow and ice on roofs. This was their response:

  1. If you think your roof may have too much snow load, be sure to get it removed immediately or at least get a structural expert to inspect the roof for load capacity.
  2. If you hear anything at all that does not sound right, leave the building. Today was a real eyeopener for some.
  3. Take some preventative measures. Read up on roof ventilation and ice damming; fix the problems that cause ice buildup before it leads to structural failures. Remove the snow from your roof as soon as possible, and remove ice on the sides of buildings which are immediately hazardous to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Apparently, the Edmonton Journal had also caught wind of our latest crew experiences with ice and snow removal. (Update 7-24-2015: The link has since been removed from their website)

Below you will find some pictures from today’s crew reports. One shows over 40 in. of snow on a flat roof, obviously challenging load capacity. Another shows a roof collapse from the inside of the building (imagine how much snow was on the collapsed portion before that happened). Another photo shows a piece of ice on the exterior of a condominium building. Signs of leakage in the eave section of the low slope metal roof for this building will become evident when the melting begins.

40 inches on a flat roof
40 inches on a flat roof
Industrial site requiring removal
Industrial site requiring removal
Interior view of a collapsed roof
Interior view of a collapsed roof
Second collapsed view
Second collapsed view
Jan 17, 2011 Roof Ice, Edmonton AB 5
Ice damming on low sloped metal roof
Jan 17, 2011 Roof Ice, Edmonton AB 1
Metal roof reaching load capacity
Jan 17, 2011 Roof Ice, Edmonton AB 2 (1)
Ice damming along gutter system
Jan 17, 2011 Roof Ice, Edmonton AB 2
More ice damming
Jan 17, 2011 Roof Ice, Edmonton AB 3
Packed snow and ice dam growth
Jan 17, 2011 Roof Ice, Edmonton AB 4
Second view of the same

 

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