ways winter impacts your roof

Ways winter impacts your roof

Ways Winter Impacts Your Roof

As winter descends upon the northern landscapes of Canada, homeowners face a unique set of challenges in ensuring their abodes stand resilient against the season’s frosty grip. Among the vulnerable components of a home, the roof stands as a silent sentinel, combating heavy snow loads, freezing temperatures, and a myriad of winter-related adversities. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the manifold ways winter impacts your roof and unveil effective solutions to safeguard your home during the colder months.

Heavy Snowfall and Structural Stress:

The picturesque snowfall that blankets your home can be enchanting, but beneath its beauty lies a potential threat. The accumulation of heavy snow on your roof poses a significant risk to its structural integrity. The sheer weight of the snow can stress the roofing materials and framing, leading to potential damage or, in extreme cases, collapse. This risk is especially pronounced for flat or low-pitched roofs. To mitigate this threat, proactive snow removal becomes crucial. Consider using a roof rake to safely clear excess snow or, for larger tasks, ask the professionals at Cambie Roofing for a snow removal referral, to alleviate the burden and preserve your roof’s resilience.

Ice Dams and Water Intrusion:

Winter’s fluctuating temperatures contribute to the formation of ice dams along the roof’s edge. These dams obstruct the natural drainage of melting snow, creating pools of water that may seep into your home, causing water damage. Proper insulation and ventilation in the attic are paramount to counter this issue. By maintaining a consistent temperature on the roof, you can thwart the conditions conducive to ice dam formation and prevent potential water intrusion. Adequate insulation also helps to minimize heat loss, reducing the risk of ice damming.

Freeze-Thaw Cycles and Shingle Vulnerability:

Winter’s relentless freeze-thaw cycles pose a unique threat to roofing materials, particularly shingles. The constant contraction and expansion can render shingles brittle, leading to cracks and vulnerabilities. A thorough pre-winter roof inspection is paramount to identify any compromised shingles and address them promptly. This proactive measure ensures your roof remains steadfast against the elements. Consider investing in high-quality shingles designed to withstand the rigours of winter, providing an added layer of protection.

Condensation Challenges and Attic Health:

Condensation and moisture issues within the attic space escalate during winter. Inadequate insulation allows warm air from your living spaces to infiltrate the attic, where it meets the cold roof surface, leading to condensation. This moisture can foster mold growth and compromise your roof’s structural integrity over time. Prioritize proper attic insulation and ventilation to create a barrier against these winter-induced challenges. Adequate ventilation allows for proper airflow, preventing the buildup of excess moisture and maintaining a healthy attic environment.

Gutter and Downspout Conundrums:

Winter poses unique challenges for gutters and downspouts, often leading to freezing and blockages. When not addressed, these issues can impede proper water drainage, causing potential damage. Regularly clearing debris from gutters and ensuring downspouts remain unobstructed are essential preventive measures. This not only protects your roof but also safeguards your home’s foundation from water-related issues. Consider installing gutter guards to minimize the accumulation of debris, reducing the need for frequent cleanings.

Final Thoughts

As winter casts its wintry spell, understanding the nuanced impact on your roof is crucial for homeowners in Canada. By proactively addressing the challenges of heavy snow loads, ice dams, freeze-thaw cycles, condensation, and gutter issues, you can fortify your roof against the elements. Embrace these solutions to ensure your home stands resilient and secure throughout the winter, weathering the challenges with grace and strength. A well-prepared roof not only preserves the structural integrity of your home but also provides peace of mind as you navigate the colder months with confidence.

Safely installing Christmas lights on roofs

Safely installing Christmas lights

Safely installing Christmas lights

As the holiday season approaches, the tradition of decorating our homes with festive lights adds a warm and inviting touch to the winter landscape. While the sight of twinkling lights can bring joy, it’s crucial to approach the installation process with caution, especially when placing them on roofs. Safely installing Christmas lights not only ensures a dazzling display but also protects your home from potential damage. In this comprehensive guide, the experts at Cambie Roofing will delve deeper into tips and techniques to help you safely adorn your roof with holiday lights while preserving the integrity of your roofing system. Keep reading to learn more about safely installing Christmas lights on roofs this holiday season.

Safety First:

Before embarking on your festive lighting project, prioritize safety. The safety of both yourself and those assisting you is paramount. Begin by ensuring that your ladder is in good condition and positioned on a stable surface. A wobbly or unstable ladder can lead to accidents. It’s advisable to use a buddy system, having someone else present during the installation process. This not only provides an extra pair of hands but also adds an additional layer of safety. If your roof is steep or particularly high, consider hiring a professional to handle the installation. They are equipped with the experience and tools necessary to navigate challenging roof structures safely.

Choose the Right Lights:

Opting for lights specifically designed for outdoor use is essential. Look for a label indicating that they are suitable for all-weather conditions. LED lights are a fantastic choice for outdoor decorations. Not only are they energy-efficient, reducing your electricity consumption, but they also emit less heat. This lower heat emission is beneficial in preventing any potential damage to your roof or other surfaces. Investing in high-quality, outdoor-rated lights ensures not only a stunning display but also the longevity of your decorations.

Inspect Your Roof:

Before attaching any lights, a thorough inspection of your roof is crucial. Identify any existing damage or vulnerabilities that might be exacerbated by the installation process. Addressing these issues beforehand ensures that your roof is in optimal condition to support the added weight of the lights. Clear debris such as leaves and branches to create a clean, safe surface for installation. By starting with a well-maintained roof, you contribute to the overall health and longevity of your roofing system.

Use Clips, Not Nails:

To avoid damaging your roof, opt for specially designed clips for light installation instead of nails or staples. These clips are designed to be roof-friendly, allowing for easy attachment and removal without causing harm to your roofing materials. Ensure the clips you use are suitable for the type of lights you’re installing. This small investment in the right accessories can prevent potential damage and make the removal process smoother.

Mind the Weight:

Be mindful of the weight of the lights and any additional decorations you plan to install. Excessive weight concentrated in one area can strain your roof structure. Distribute the lights evenly across your roof, considering the load-bearing capacity of different sections. This not only protects your roof from potential damage but also enhances the overall aesthetics of your display.

Secure Wiring Safely:

Keep wiring secure and away from walkways to prevent tripping hazards. Use insulated extension cords rated for outdoor use to ensure they can withstand varying weather conditions. When securing cords, avoid running them under heavy objects that could damage the wiring. Additionally, be cautious not to pinch cords in windows or doors, as this can lead to fraying or other damage.

Be Weather-Wise:

Choose installation days with favorable weather conditions. Attempting to install lights during adverse weather, such as rain or snow, can increase the risk of accidents and damage to your roof. If possible, plan your installation on a dry and mild day. Weather-appropriate installation not only ensures safety but also helps preserve the quality of your decorations, preventing potential issues caused by exposure to the elements.

Turn Off Lights When Not in Use:

To conserve energy and reduce the risk of overheating, turn off your Christmas lights when you’re not at home or when you go to bed. This simple measure not only saves electricity but also contributes to the longevity of your lights. Additionally, it reduces the strain on your roof by minimizing the time the lights are in use.


By following these guidelines for safely installing Christmas lights on roofs, you can transform your home into a festive wonderland while safeguarding your roof from potential harm. Prioritizing safety, choosing the right materials, and taking preventative measures will ensure that your holiday light installation is not only visually stunning but also a stress-free and enjoyable experience. Embrace the spirit of the season, knowing that your efforts are enhancing the beauty of your home without compromising its structural integrity. Remember, a well-lit and secure holiday display brings joy without the worry of roof damage.

The Importance of Roof Maintenance

The importance of roof maintenance

The importance of roof maintenance

There is more to roof maintenance than simply cleaning the gutters. You should pay close attention to your roof especially if it is over 20 years old or exhibiting signs of wear or damage. Thankfully if a roof has a bit of damage then it can be quickly addressed without much expense from an experienced roofing contractor.  It is very important not to ignore small leaks or other water damage as these problems will eventually quickly grow into big, more expensive problems if left unattended. In this article we are going to talk about the importance of roof maintenance, how to clean your roof, the benefits of a clean roof and how to effectively inspect your roof.

Regular roof maintenance is just as important for your home as it is for a person to get a regular physical checkup, especially as age increasingly becomes a factor. Roof maintenance ensures that your home remains strong and is capable of withstanding Vancouver’s heavy rain and harsh weather conditions.

Did you know your roof expands and contracts when the weather temperature changes? As a roof constantly shrinks and expands there is greater chance for cracks to develop and damage shingles. This in turn provides a greater opportunity for water to seep in between the cracks and cause damage to your home.

The Importance of Roof Maintenance

Failure to repair roof damage or putting it off will only likely lead to more expensive repairs or even replacement down the road. In addition, failing to fix your roof is a sure way to shorten its lifespan.
But how do you maintain your roof? We have put together some tips to help you prolong the lifespan of your roof and get the most out of it.

How To Clean Your Roof

A homeowner can tell when the outside of their home is dirty and is in need of cleaning. The paint is peeling or there is moss growing on the side. Keeping your roof clean and free of dirt, and grime is not only important for visual attractiveness, but it also extends the life of your roof and increases the resale value. You may only see part of your roof from your lawn and is hard to inspect. However, just like the side of your home, the roof needs to be well maintained and cleaned as a part of regular maintenance schedule.

Because climbing on your roof is dangerous, it’s best to contact a trusted roofing contractor to both clean and inspect the roof for you. Never try to clean or repair your roof yourself. The most common issue with a dirty roof is algae, fungus and moss which can be difficult to get off. While debris can easily collect, it most likely won’t be an issue. However when a living organism takes root on your roof it can damage the integrity of your roof.

Benefits of a Clean Roof

New roofs have great look great and are great if you’re trying to sell your home but what about that same roof, ten or twenty years down the line? Your roof doesn’t look so great and becomes a liability instead of an asset.
A well-maintained roof protects your family from the wind, rain and snow. If you want it to keep doing its job, you’ll need to do regular maintenance on it to ensure that there is no sign of damage. Usually people only inspect their roof after a major wind or snow storm. However, it’s best to have a scheduled six-month inspection to find out any problems before they become major issues.

The important thing to remember is that inspecting a roof needs to be done both from the ground and on top on the roof. You can do the ground inspection, however you should hire a roofing contractor to climb up on the roof and inspect close up. From the ground, you can see look out for general problems or potential dangers and how your roof looks. A roofing contractor, once he or she is on top of the roof, will find details that you cannot see from the ground. There are a couple parts to your roof, such as flashing and shingles, that require closer inspection.

How To Inspect Your Roof

You’ll need to look for signs of cracked or broken singled. Use binoculars to look for damage when you’re inspecting your roof from the ground. Missing shingles are easy enough to find, while rust or moss can sometimes be difficult to detect. Other signs that your roof needs some repairs are if shingles start curling or buckle. These are warning signs that you have a problem and you will most likely have a leak if you don’t get them fixed.

Minor repairs like replacing a shingle or resealing some flashing are small fixes. For major problems like damage to an entire section of roof, it can be a little costlier. Taking on any type of roofing project is dangerous and should only be handled by professionals. Even if it is a small fix, don’t try it yourself.

The presence of invasive organisms like moss, algae, or lichens onto your roof can surprisingly cause a lot of damage. These tiny organisms may seem insignificant and may be easy to ignore but always know what to look out for.
Moss: is a plant that has a shallow root system and requires a lot of moisture to survive. It can thrive on the side of a roof that doesn’t get much sun. In addition moss can cast spores which can easily spread and grow, causing more damage.
Algae: is a type of bacteria that you will find on your roof. It feeds off of both asphalt and limestone in moist and shaded areas, making roofs a prime growing spot. If you’re not carefully, algae will quickly spread and cause trouble.
Lichens: are a type of fungus similar to algae. They form a branching growth of tentacles that penetrate deep into the shingle’s base which can cause cracks and other damage if left untreated.


Cambie Roofing is a professional roofing company that serves the Vancouver area. We work hard to provide the best quality service and our goal is ensuring you are 100 percent satisfied. If your roof is in need of an inspection or a repair, contact us today and we can provide you with a free estimate.

Originally published May 2018,
Updated and republished Oct. 2023.

Sustainable roof coatings

Choosing a sustainable roof coating

Choosing a sustainable roof coating

Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner who needs roof work, it is imperative that you choose materials that not only protect against the elements but something that offers you a good investment. In this blog post we are going to dive into sustainable roof coatings which have gained popularity in recent years.

These coatings are environmentally friendly but they are also good for your pocket as they lower overall energy consumption. In addition, they will extend the lifespan of your roofing system while minimizing the environmental impact your property has. Continue reading to learn about what roof coatings are, the sustainable options available in today’s market, why you should opt for a sustainable roof and all of the benefits that come with sustainable roof coatings.

What is a roof coating?

A roof coating is a fully adhered fluid that is applied to your existing roof system which works as a protective layer against harsh weather conditions. This protective layer also known as a fluid roofing membrane has a plethora of benefits in addition to weather protection, this includes durability, energy efficiency, cost effectiveness and positive environmental impacts.

Roof coatings are available in many forms whether that be polyurethane, silicone or acrylic among others. Once a roof coating liquid is applied to your roofing system, it will extend the life of your roof while lowering the need for repairs and replacements. A roof coating is always recommended to help extend the longevity of your roof.

What makes a coating sustainable?

If you want to add a sustainable roof coating to your roofing system, there are a few things to look for.

Cool roof coatings: These coatings are reflective which means they reduce the amount of heat that your roof absorbs. In turn, it will help lower your utility bills because you won’t need to run your HVAC as much! A cool roof coating helps keep money in your pocket while also decreasing your carbon footprint, a win-win.

Recycled materials: Some roof coatings can be manufactured from recycled materials which is wonderful for the environment. Ask us, the experts at Cambie Roofing about the different materials available and if utilizing recycled materials is possible for your project. If it is, you’re contributing to reduced waste and the conservation of valuable materials.

Low volatile organic compounds: Also known as low VOC, these roof coatings are made up of less chemicals which means less harmful emissions. These compounds also make for a safer work environment for the roofing installers as well as the people living beneath the roof!

Polyurethane roof coatings

Polyurethane materials contribute to the sustainable preservation of energy. These roof coatings are extremely durable and waterproof, making them a popular choice within the roofing industry. If your building or home is situated in a wet area with plenty of rainfall, having a polyurethane roof coating is going to protect your roof from the elements. These coatings can be applied to various roofing substrates such as foam, concrete and metal.

Silicone roof coatings

Silicone roof coatings are another great option although they are mostly used on flat and low-slope roofing projects. That’s why they are more popular among commercial and industrial builds. Silicone is very long lasting and is wonderful when it comes to UV resistance – making it another sustainable roof coating option. In addition, it is waterproof and weather resistant.

Acrylic roof coatings

Lastly, acrylic roof coatings are another sustainable and versatile option. If your roofing project calls for the restoration of an existing roof, you may want to consider an acrylic roof coating. They are used to restore a plethora of materials including single-ply membranes, asphalt, metal and more. Both used in the residential and commercial roofing worlds, acrylic coatings help reduce heat absorption, in turn lowering your utility bills.

Why choose a sustainable coating

There are a multitude of benefits that come with choosing a sustainable roof coating. The obvious is the positive environmental impacts they offer which help contribute to a greener future in an industry that historically was not environmentally friendly. These coatings are also energy efficient because they reflect heat which means a cooler and more comfortable indoor temperature. Again, this lowers the need for air conditioning which saves you money and reduces your reliance on energy.

It’s important to invest in a roof coating because it acts as an extra layer of protection from any weather conditions your home or business may face. This includes heavy rain, hail, extreme periods of heat, wind and snowfall. By extending the lifespan of your roof, you won’t have to spend nearly as much on repairs or premature replacements. Even if the initial investment costs you money, the longer term financial benefits will prove worth it. These coatings can also help increase your property value which will come in handy if and when you decide you want to sell. Many purchasers look for sustainable features and having an eco-friendly roof could be a main selling point.

Final thoughts

Choosing a sustainable roof coating for your property is a wise investment that benefits your building and the environment. The experts at Cambie Roofing are happy to discuss the various options available to you as well as provide you with a free estimate for your project. Benefit from the various advantages such as being more eco-friendly, energy efficient, reduce your maintenance costs, extend the lifespan of your roof and more.

How To Become A Roofer

How to become a roofer: roofing responsibilities

How to become a roofer: roofing responsibilities

Not surprisingly, roofers use their specialized skills to ensure your home has a proper roof that protects you from rain, wind, snow and other elements. They are the guys who patch holes or build you a completely new roof.
Roofs tend to work on all types of roofs, from asphalt to cedar to metal. These roofs are either sloped or flat. Slopped roofs usually require slating, tiling, or asphalt while a flat roof uses a bitumen layer or fitting felt sheets.
A large part of a roofer’s work is making sure your roof is structurally sound. They repair roofs by removing and replacing broken tiles, cutting, and fitting roofing material.

How Do You Become a Roofer?

There are no specific schooling or academic requirements to become a roofer. They do not need to have a trade certificate or any licence to work in B.C, although there is a certification people can take to enhance their employability. Most roofers start off at the bottom and work their way up first as common labourers while others might go through apprenticeships with professional roofing companies.

Roofers need to be nimble with their hands and need to be able to think on their feet. They also need to be able to handle heights. They should be able to understand architect plans and have some math skills to measure out the different materials. Roofers must also enjoy being outside in the elements and a background in construction certainly helps. It’s a physically demanding job, requiring lots of dexterity. There is a lot of crouching, bending and kneeling involved.

A roofer involves repairing, replacing and installing new roofs on homes or commercial properties. They work with many different types of materials including asphalt, tiles, slates, bitumen, and metal sheets.
The work they put into a roof will ensure that the roof will endure weather of all types including rain, snow, sun and everyday wear-and-tear for years to come.

The Roofers Contractors Association of British Columba (RCABC) is a leader in the roofing industry. RCABC has trained over 1,500 apprentices in the 20 years. Apprentices from throughout British Columbia are engaged in learning theory and practical applications, the latest application technology, current product information and safe work practices. RCABC instructors have over 50 years combined industry experience and keep up to date with developing product technology and applications.

For those interested in roofing, you may be able to find apprenticeship programs or a local unior or contractor association who will sponsor them. The typical entry qualifications for something like a 3-year apprenticeship include:

  1. You must be at least 18 years old
  2. Have a high school diploma or equivalent degree/certificate
  3. Be physically capable of performing the job

Becoming a roofer also requires one be physically fit and healthy enough. Along with possessing a good attitude, to perform the job. Roofers often work in warm weather, on hot roofs, and may sometimes need to climb quite high in order to complete a project. This means being okay with heights and hot weather are very important for anyone considering a career in roofing.
Roofers construct and repair roofs on all kinds of buildings. The jobs can range from stripping and re-slating a roof on a domestic household, working on a renovation project on an historic building, to working as part of a team on a new commercial development such as a shopping centre.

Roofers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Install, repair or replace built-up roofing systems using materials such as asphalt saturated felts and hot asphalt and gravel
  • Install, repair or replace single-ply roofing systems using waterproof sheet materials such as modified plastics, elastomeric or other asphaltic compositions
  • Install, repair or replace shingles, shakes and other roofing tiles on sloped roofs of buildings
  • Install sheet metal flashings and metal roofs using hand and power tools

Skills and Attributes Roofers Need

Working as a roofer is most rewarding for those who enjoy physical exercise, working with their hands, developing special skills, and the security of steady employment.

A roofer should have the following skills and attributes to be successful:

Ability to work both independently and in a team setting
Good physical condition and ability to lift heavy objects
Good manual dexterity and an eye for detail
Comfortable working at heights
Interested in working outdoors
Ability to read and interpret drawings, specifications and manuals
Ability to work in varying weather conditions

Becoming Qualified as a Roofer

In B.C., an individual can become certified as a roofer by completing either the apprenticeship program through the Industry Training Authority (ITA) or by challenging the ITA Certificate of Qualification. Apprenticeship programs are for people who require more training and have employers to sponsor them, and challenging the Certificate of Qualification is for individuals who have extensive experience working in the occupation and wish to challenge the certification. For more information on the apprenticeship program fora roofer, visit the Industry Training Authority’s website. The duration of the apprenticeship program depends on how training is delivered, however it generally takes 3 years to complete the apprenticeship program through ITA.

If you are already an experienced roofer you may challenge the ITA Certificate of Qualification. To challenge the Certificate, you must apply to the Industry Training Authority and in your application provide proof of 5,400 directly-related work hours as a roofer. This is usually provided in a signed declaration from either a current or previous employer. You will need to provide proof of achievement of required competencies.
If your application and work experience are approved you must write the Interprovincial Red Seal exam and achieve at least 70% on the exam to obtain the ITA Certificate of Qualification. Red Seal endorsement is recognized by employers as a standard of excellence. And indicates that the certificate holder has met the Interprovincial knowledge, skills and work experience standards established by this industry.

The Future of Roofing

Installed properly, a roof should be able to prevent water from leaking into buildings and damaging the interior. With different types of roofs come different techniques and skillsets, which is why some roofers choose to specialize in a particular kind, such as low- and steep-slope roofs, or even roofs with solar shingles.
With the increased popularity in both solar and vegetation features on roofs, roofers can easily adapt to modern trends to make a name for themselves in the already-niche industry.

Originally published January 2018.
Updated and republished Sept. 2023.

Types of Roofs

Types of roofs

Types of roofs

You may not take much notice of the different Types of Roofs and Roofing styles there are in Vancouver, but they can vary a lot, depending on the type of material you use and the look of the house or building. Of course with the infamous rainy weather in the city, you need something with good drainage, otherwise, you’ll have leaks that will create damage to your home. In this blog article we look at all the different types of roofing systems you can use for your home; however, keep in mind not all of these will be appropriate for Vancouver weather.

Different Types of Roofs:

Gable Roof:

Gable roof designs are one of the simpler and most common styles when it comes to roofs in Vancouver, especially.  The gable roof style looks like an upside-down V.
Pros: There are numerous advantages to the gable roof style. First, its simple design makes it easier to construct and less expensive than alternative roof types. Also, there is available space underneath the roof, allowing for an attic or a more open concept. Gable roof structures easily shed water and snow which makes them great for areas with heavy snowfall such as Canada. The steep pitch of gable roofs allows for excellent water drainage and fewer leaks. They also allow for more ventilation and provide more space for an attic or vaulted ceilings.
Cons: Gable roofs are more prone to wind damage, as they tend to be more steeply pitched than other roof types. In addition, if a roof is not adequately supported by its framing, it could be at risk of collapsing. Also, if there is too much overhang, winds underneath can actually lift the roof away from the home’s walls. This style of roof is not recommended in areas prone to tornadoes.

Flat Roof:

Flat roofs are common, especially with commercial buildings. They are definitely the most simple roof to construct because they have little to no pitch. The most common types of systems used with flat roofs are rubber.
Pros: By far the biggest advantage of using a flat roof is the expense. From the initial building and installation to the materials most often used to cover the roof, flat roofs are fairly cheap.
Cons: The biggest disadvantage to installing a flat roof is the drainage, or lack thereof, which can be a problem in Vancouver. Flat roofs do drain, but not nearly as efficiently as a roof with any kind of pitch. Therefore water has a tendency to puddle and remain on the roof, which could lead to the roofing material breaking down or to eventual leaks, particularly along the seams.

Hip Roof:

Hip roofs are a common residential style. They are more difficult to construct when compared to flat roofs and gable roofs because they have a more complicated truss and rafter structure. A hip roof style roof has four sloping sides with zero vertical walls. Hip roofs can be both square and rectangular.
Pros: Hip roofs are more stable than gable roofs because the inward slope of all four sides is what makes it more sturdy and durable.
They are excellent for high wind, rain, and snowy areas. The slant of the roof allows snow and rain to easily slide off with no standing water. Hip roofs can offer extra living space with an addition of a dormer or a crow’s nest.
Cons: Hip roofs are more expensive to build than a gable roof. It’s a more complex design that requires more building materials. Also, with the addition of a dormer, additional seams can make it easier for the water leaks to form in the valleys, if a roofing system is not properly installed.

Dutch Gable Roof

The Dutch gable roof is a combination style roof that uses design elements of both gable and hip roofs. A miniature gable roof, or “gablet”, is perched atop a traditional hip roof.
Pros: The gable can be fitted with windows for added sunlight into the top floor. It’s also a unique design that can be functional yet distinctive for the Vancouver climate.
Cons: A drawback of a hip framed roof is its reduced attic space for a given roof pitch compared to a simple gable roof.

Dome Roof:

A dome roof is polygonal with an inverted bowl shape. Dome roofs are great for adding unique and aesthetically pleasing features to any home. They are excellent choices for cupolas, gazebos or crow’s nests.
Pros: Not something you see every day, dome roofs are beautiful, unique and durable.
Cons: The complexity of a dome roof makes them expensive to construct. However, depending on the structure, a prefabricated one may be available.

Gambrel Roof:

A gambrel roof is basically how you picture a barn roof. While used on barns, it is also used in residential construction. This type of roof has the benefit of providing a good amount of space in the attic. In fact, it provides so much extra space that it is often turned into bedrooms or other living areas. The gambrel only uses two roof beams, along with gusset joints.
Pros: Since the construction is quite simple with fewer materials needed, this helps to keep the cost of a roof down. It also provides extra living space for a garret, attic or loft. Plus it’s simple to frame out. Gambrel roofs are also a great idea for outdoor sheds and storage buildings. Their shape can provide more storage without taking up more space.
Cons: The gambrel roof is not recommended for heavy wind areas or regions that receive significant snowfall. The open design can cause the roof to collapse under extreme pressure.

Mansard Roof:

A mansard roof, also known as a French roof, is a four-sided roof with a double slope on each side that meet forming a low-pitched roof. The lower slope is much steeper than the upper.
Pros: Mansard roofs can help create a great deal of extra living space. Using the space as a full attic or living quarters is very popular. The style lends itself to either open or closed dormers for more aesthetic appeal. Mansard roofs are great for people wanting the flexibility to make future home additions. When first designing and building a home, you can actually save money by having a simple mansard design to start off. This will not only add value to the house, but it also allows homeowners to easily make additions as their needs change.
Cons: A low pitched portion of a mansard roof isn’t ideal for areas receiving heavy snowfall. They also typically cost more than other roofs because of the embellishments and details that go into them. But, the added space and character can more than makeup for the extra cost of initial construction.

Sawtooth Roof

A Sawtooth roof is two or more parallel pitched roofs in which the sloped and vertical surfaces alternate. As the name suggests, the roof resembles the side of a saw blade or a graph line. Sawtooth roofs were once only used in industrial buildings. However, now they have become trendy and are now used in modern home design.
Pros: Very chic looking, this design can have windows placed in the vertical spaces of the roof, allowing more natural light inside the home. The higher peaks provide the opportunity for either attic, vaulted ceilings or loft living space. The combination of the various slopes and use of natural light make this design an excellent choice for homes with Eco-friendly conveniences, geothermal, solar panels, and radiant heating systems.
Cons: The complex design and various building materials make the Sawtooth roof much more expensive than other roof types. It’s also a high maintenance roof. Adding windows, valleys and varying slopes creates a higher chance for water leaks. For this reason, Sawtooth roofs aren’t advisable in heavy snowfall areas.


When building a new home or retrofitting an existing one, choosing the right kind of roof can be more difficult than you might imagine. After all, roofs do a lot more than just serve the most basic practical purpose of protecting a house and its occupants from the outside elements. For instance, a roof’s shape plays a major role in defining the overall look and style of a house. They must fit in with the character of not only the rest of the house but the entire neighbourhood as well. Roofs play a big part in providing additional living space, as well as make your home more resilient, energy-efficient, and weather-proof. So, i hope now you have get an idea about Different Types of Roofs.

If you’re looking at getting a new roof or just maintenance on your existing one, give Cambie Roofing a call. We offer 24/7 roofing solutions so no matter what, we have you covered.
Originally published July 2017.
Updated and republished Aug. 2023


Understanding roofing terminology

Understanding roofing terminology

Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner looking to improve, repair or replace your roof, it can easily get confusing when researching if you don’t understand roofing terminology. The experts at Cambie Roofing are here to help if you have any questions but we also understand the importance of educating people on these terms.

Doing so helps people make informed and confident decisions when it comes to their roofs because roofing is not a simple task! In this blog post, we will dive into all of the roofing terms that we think people should know about to help them understand roofing terminology.

Roofing components

1. Roof Pitch:

The roof pitch refers to the angle or slope of your roof. This is an essential component of your roof as it is responsible for how water and debris runs off of it. The steeper your pitch, the easier it will shed water and debris. A shallow pitch will require more waterproofing.

2. Gutters:

A gutter is a trough which is installed along the eaves. Its job is to direct rainwater away from your home by channeling it away from the foundation.

3. Eaves:

The eaves are what hang over the edges of your roof. They are important because they provide the house with shade as well as protect against water runoff. Typically the gutters are attached to the eaves to help direct rainwater.

4. Gables:

Two slopes that intersect create gables. These are triangular areas that compliment the look of your home but also support ventilation.

5. Rafters:

An easy way to understand what rafters are is thinking of them as your roof’s skeleton system. These are wooden beams that act as the framework for your roofing systems shape and support. They are installed diagonally from the top end of the walls all the way up to the top of the roof, also called the ridge.

6. Ridge:

This is the tallest point of the roof where the slopes meet. If your ridge is properly maintained, it will prevent moisture from entering your attic.

7. Fascia:

Your roof’s fascia is connected to the ends of the rafters. They are horizontal boards that support the lower edges of the eaves. The fascia can be made from different materials such as wood, vinyl, aluminum and more.

8. Soffit:

Located outside underneath the eaves, soffits allow air circulation throughout the attic in order to protect against moisture.

9. Decking:

Before building a roof, you must have decking which is the base layer of the entire structure. This is usually crafted using plywood.

10. Valley:

The valley is found inside where two slopes meet each other.
Underlayment: The underlayment is situated beneath the roof covering as an extra layer to protect against water. In case the top of your roof leaks, the underlayment is there to save the day. It is typically made from synthetic materials.

11. Downspout:

The downspout is a vertical pipe that connects to the gutter to bring the water from the gutter to the ground. In some cases, water runoff will be directed to a drainage system.

12. Chimney:

The chimney is a vertical structure that extends out of your roof. It normally houses a fireplace.

13. Skylight:

This is a window that is installed on the top of your roof. Many homeowners like these because they allow an abundance of natural light into the interior.

14. Flashing:

Flashing consists of thin metal pieces that are installed around roof openings, joints and places where materials intersect. Flashing is there to keep water out! It is highly important around things like chimneys and vents.

15. Shingles:

Shingles are the world’s most common roofing material. They come in many different types including asphalt, wood, slate and even metal. They are flat pieces that overlap each other to create your roof’s protective barrier. They are very cost-effective, making them the most popular choice among homeowners.

16. Tiles:

Another roofing material, tiles can be found in clay, concrete and even composites. They interlock to create an aesthetically pleasing and durable roofing system. Many homes that use tiles are Mediterranean-styled.

Roofing Professionals

When it comes to roofers, you might hear more than one term related to the professionals working on your home. If you’re unfamiliar with them, it can become a bit confusing. Not to worry! Here are the most common terms when it comes to roofing professionals:

1. Roofer

A roofer is responsible for the installation, maintenance, repair and replacing of roofs. They carry the proper qualifications, skills and knowledge to work on various roofing systems – both residential and commercial.

2. Contractor

A contractor is responsible for overseeing the projects from the beginning until the end. They are responsible for getting work permits for job sites, hiring other subcontractors and ensuring all safety standards are adhered to.

3. Architect

Architects are the designers behind it all. They play a very important role in achieving the desired aesthetics of the home while ensuring factors like the roof pitch and materials align with the look and functionality of the roofing system.

4. Inspector

Lastly, the roofing inspector is there to assess the overall condition of the roof while searching for any potential problems. They are there to find small issues that could grow into larger problems if left unaddressed.

To conclude

These are just a few of the most common roofing terms that are used in our industry. If you’re faced with an unexpected expense or issue, the last thing you want to worry about is understanding your potential roofing contractor when they’re explaining things to you. The experts at Cambie Roofing understand that the average person will not know all of these terms but we pride ourselves in excellent communication. Contact us today if you have any questions or concerned.

Best Roofing Contractor in Vancouver

Tips for Selecting the Best Roofing Contractor in Vancouver

Tips for selecting the best roofing contractor in Vancouver

Selecting the best roofing contractor in Vancouver can be easy if you know what to look for.
Yes, there are a lot of roofing contractors in Vancouver, so choosing the right one for you can be challenging. How can you know if you’re making the correct decision or not? What are the concrete signs you should look for in a roofing contractor?
Beyond solving the emergency of a leaking roof, it’s important to do your due diligence and not to rush into a decision. Get the boll rolling! Follow these tips and answer important questions before choosing a professional roofing contractor in Vancouver, and be sure you will do the best for you!

Tips for Selecting the Best Roofing Contractor in Vancouver

Tip 1: Determining Authority

To sift and determining what are the best options to select the best roofing contractor in Vancouver, you need to shrink your list of possible choices in roofing services from many to few. Here are some questions you need to answer to speed up this part of the process:

How Long Has The Company Been In Business?

With a little research online it’s easy to find out how long a company has been in business. An established company will most likely be around in the future should any problems arise.
You don’t want a roofer who has been only one or two years on the job. Inexperience can lead to complications and if they go bankrupt it will be next to impossible to follow up with them.
At Cambie Roofing we have half a century in the roofing and drainage industry, which means we have the expertise and the knowhow to do a job done correctly. We are recognized in our community as trustworthy and dependable.

Does The Company Have Good Reviews?

There is less chance of potential issues or scams when you choose a contractor who has good Google and Yelp reviews. Don’t just trust reviews on their website, although that’s always a good place to start. Dig deeper and find some third party review sights. They generally have honest, unbiased opitions.
Ask the company if you can talk to some of their past customers and if they don’t give you a few names then that should raise some red flags. As the past customers about their experience and if they would recommend the roofer.

Tip 2: Service Quality and Warranties

Does The Company Offer Warranties On Its Products And Services?

As surprising as it may be, not all roofers offer manufacturer warranties that include coverage of the contractor’s workmanship.
If a contractor installs the roof incorrectly, it may take months or years for the damage to show up—and insurance won’t pay for it. If the contractor won’t fix it, your only recourse is to go to court which can take months, if not years, or pay for their mistake yourself.
At Cambie Roofing we guarantee all our labour and products so you know we stand behind the work we do.

Is The Company Licensed?

Check for proper licensing and insurance. The contractor should have insurance for all employees and subcontractors and be able to provide a copy of their insurance certificate for validation.
Not having adequate insurance could potentially lead to litigation between a contractor and homeowner if a roofing employee sustains an injury at the home. If someone is injured on your property and the roofer doesn’t have correct insurance then you might have to pay Worker’s Compensation .

Have There Been Any Complaints Against The Company?

Research your potential roofer on the Better Business Bureau. Look for the overall business rating and keep in mind the general size of the company when checking for complaints.
It’s important to verify they have a good standing and no outstanding complaints against them. You should stay away from roofers who do not exist on the Better Business Bureau.

Tip 3: Best Practices

Is Safety An Important Issue for the Company?

Roofing can be a dangerous job. More important than budget, safety should be the roofer contractor’s primary concern. A contractor without a training or safety program may not be the best person for your job. Although this may be hard to gauge when first interviewing them, ask
them direct questions about what they do to ensure safety on the job.
At Cambie roofing we ensure all our employees are certified and up to standard with the latest regulations. When you hire us, you will discover the safety of our workers are the highest priority.

Does the Roofer Put Everything in Writing?

All job specifications and prices should be supplied in writing so you can refer to it when the job is done. The roofer should take time to explain everything in the contract in detail and answer any questions that you may have. Contracts have the estimated price and competition date as well as anything that might be a problem during the job.
To protect both you and the roofing company, make sure that all aspects of the job are well understood. Write down the details and make sure that you don’t hand over the funds for the work until you’ve inspected everything. By setting a clear expectation, it’s easier to avoid frustrations later on down the road.
Do no do a straight for cash deal or sign any contract you do not feel comfortable with. Watch out for a contractor who pressures you to sign a contract before the insurance company has estimated the damage. Some contractors say they can work with whatever your insurance company settles upon, however the homeowner needs to ensure it’s not just any amount, but the right amount.
The contractor should thoroughly examine the home and check that their insurance adjuster didn’t miss any damages.


Your home should be your family’s sanctuary. You spend a majority of your time there and you need to be able to enjoy it and worry about the roof or any other aspect of your house. Why would you trust it to anyone less you weren’t confident in?
Whether you are in need a roof inspection or have a leaky, it’s important to choose a roofing contractor that is trustworthy, reliable, and experienced. At Cambie Roofing we are experts in providing you the service you need within your budget. Give us a call or email us for a free estimate.

What roofing materials last the longest?

What roofing materials last the longest?

What roofing materials last the longest?

When it comes to fixing your roof or installing a brand new roof, you want to choose materials that are going to last. While some roofing materials may seem like the perfect choice because they’re super affordable, you might have to replace them sooner than you’d think. Other materials on the market can last more than 50 years if maintained properly but could be too pricey for your budget. In this blog post, we will dive into some of the longest lasting roofing materials.

1. Slate

Slate is arguably the longest lasting roofing material you can choose from. Some soft slate materials will last 50 years while other harder slates will last up to 200 years. Slate is a natural substance that comes from clay and volcanic dust, also known as metamorphic rock. Slate roofs have been around for thousands of years, acting as one of the most durable and long lasting materials on the market. Because it is a stone, slate is fire resistant. This makes it a popular choice for people living in climates with harsh weather conditions such as strong winds.

If you’re searching for a sleek and beautiful roof that will last you a very long time, slate could be for you. However, because slate is a premium roofing material, it is very costly. This is because it is hard to install, it is very heavy and it’s fragile. That’s why it is important to hire a knowledgeable professional for the job because not everyone knows how to install slate roofs.

On a positive note, if you can afford the initial installation, you won’t need to worry about too much maintenance. That’s because slate is durable and does not require lots of upkeep, other than regular inspections and cleaning. Slate is available in many different colors and shapes, offering plenty of options for homeowners seeking different appearances. Slate is built to last which is why despite its high cost, it is seen as a valuable investment.

2. Metal

Another great long lasting and low maintenance roofing material is metal. Metal roofs have become increasingly popular among both residential and commercial building owners because of their longevity. They are on the more expensive side but luckily they can last up to 50 years if installed correctly. One of the greatest benefits of a metal roof is their inability to rot and grow mold. This also means insects will not impact the structure, like they sometimes do with typical shingled roofs.

Metal roofs are another great option for homeowners in places with harsh climates and they are fire resistant. Compared to a typical roof, metal does not usually erode and it actually reflects sunlight. What this means is your metal roof will last a long time, even when exposed to plenty of sunlight or other elements such as snow and rain water. Because it reflects sunlight, your metal roof can actually lower your energy costs! And unlike heavy slate tiles, metal roofs are lightweight. If you’re looking for a durable roof that will last you a long time, metal roofing could be the right choice for you! Once installed, it requires little maintenance and no, you won’t have to worry about resealing or repainting! So next time you ask ‘what roofing materials last the longest?’ Remember metal roofs are on the top of the list.

3. Concrete

Concrete is another roofing material with a lifespan that can last more than 50 years if properly maintained. In some cases even 100 years! Concrete is commonly used to achieve Spanish style roofing systems. These types of roofs are timeless and beautiful. Concrete can be more expensive than metal roofs, depending on a variety of factors such as the slope, thickness, design and of course, labor costs. If you haven’t caught on yet, longer lasting roofing materials will always be more costly than materials with short lifespans. You will always get what you pay for!

Concrete is extremely heavy, similar to slate. This means it won’t work for every home and can only be installed if the home’s structure is strong enough. It is imperative that you have a professional inspect your home before agreeing to install a concrete roof. So why are concrete roofs a good choice despite their weight? Their durability and ability to withstand fires are some of the most important aspects. Let’s also talk about environmental impacts. Concrete is sustainably formulated and in some cases can be made of recycled materials. With climate change increasingly becoming a concern, many homeowners seek to use sustainable materials for their projects and this includes concrete.

What about asphalt shingles?

Asphalt shingles are inarguably the most popular choice when it comes to residential roofing systems. However, this is not because they are the longest lasting option on the market. It’s because they are easy to install and in turn, low cost. Many homeowners do not have high budgets which means they must install a cheaper roof that will need to be repaired often and/or replaced sooner. On average, asphalt shingles will last between 12 and 15 years. In some cases, they can last longer but usually not past 20 years. That is still a relatively good lifespan so don’t assume asphalt shingles are bad! They are easy to install and repair, unlike many of the longer lasting materials we listed above. There are pros and cons to all roofing systems. That is why it’s important to consult a professional when wondering what roofing materials last the longest and what materials are best suited for your job. The experts at Cambie Roofing can help. Contact us today for a free estimate.

All about sustainable roof coatings.

All about sustainable roof coatings

All About Sustainable Roof Coatings

Your roof, often overlooked yet vital to the protection of your property, can play a significant role in environmental sustainability. Sustainable roof coatings are emerging as a popular choice for property owners looking to enhance the longevity of their roofs while minimizing their environmental impact. In this comprehensive guide all about sustainable roof coatings, we’ll explore the different types of roof coatings, delve into the world of sustainable options available on the market, discuss the reasons for choosing these eco-friendly alternatives and highlight the myriad benefits they bring. Let’s embark on a journey to understand how sustainable roof coatings can contribute to a greener and more energy-efficient future.

What is a Roof Coating?

A roof coating is a monolithic, fully adhered, fluid-applied roofing membrane designed to protect existing roofing systems. Applied directly to the roof’s surface, these coatings form a seamless, waterproof barrier that shields the roof from various environmental factors, including harsh weather conditions and UV radiation. Roof coatings come in various formulations, including silicone, acrylic, and polyurethane, providing versatile solutions for different roofing materials and structures.

Cool Roof Coatings:

Cool roof coatings are engineered to be highly reflective, minimizing the absorption of sunlight and heat. This, in turn, reduces indoor temperatures and the need for air conditioning. Energy savings, extended roof lifespan, and a decreased carbon footprint are the key benefits of cool roof coatings. Commonly used on flat or low-slope roofs in both residential and commercial settings.

Recycled Roof Coatings:

These coatings are manufactured from recycled materials, contributing to a more sustainable and circular economy. By using recycled materials, these coatings reduce waste and conserve valuable resources. Suitable for a wide range of roofing materials, promoting eco-conscious practices.

Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) Coatings:

Low VOC coatings emit fewer harmful chemicals into the atmosphere, promoting better indoor air quality. Environmentally friendly and health-conscious, low VOC coatings contribute to a safer living and working environment. Versatile and applicable to various roofing systems, reducing environmental impact.

Solar Reflective Coatings:

Solar reflective coatings incorporate reflective pigments that deflect solar radiation and UV rays, reducing heat absorption. Energy savings, lower cooling costs, and extended roof lifespan are the key advantages of solar reflective coatings. Effective on various roofing materials, contributing to energy efficiency.

Why Choose a Sustainable Roof Coating?

Environmental Benefits:

Opting for a sustainable roof coating is a proactive step towards reducing your environmental footprint. Cool roof coatings, recycled roof coatings, and low VOC coatings, in particular, contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly future. By utilizing recycled materials and emitting fewer harmful chemicals, these coatings align with the principles of environmental responsibility, making them an ideal choice for the conscientious property owner.

Energy Efficiency:

Cool roof coatings and solar reflective coatings are champions of energy efficiency. By reflecting sunlight and reducing heat absorption, these coatings help maintain a cooler indoor temperature. This not only results in lower energy bills but also reduces the overall demand for air conditioning. The ripple effect is a significant reduction in energy consumption and a more sustainable approach to building operation.

Extended Roof Lifespan:

The protective nature of roof coatings plays a pivotal role in extending the lifespan of your roof. By forming a seamless barrier against weathering, UV radiation, and other environmental stressors, these coatings prevent premature deterioration of roofing materials. This longevity not only reduces the frequency of repairs but also minimizes the need for premature roof replacements, contributing to overall sustainability.

Cost Savings:

While the initial investment in sustainable roof coatings might be slightly higher than traditional alternatives, the long-term financial benefits are substantial. Energy savings, reduced maintenance costs, and an extended roof lifespan translate into significant cost savings over time. Sustainable choices are not just environmentally responsible; they are economically savvy.

Improved Indoor Comfort:

Cool roof coatings and other reflective options contribute to a more comfortable indoor environment. By reducing heat absorption, these coatings help maintain cooler temperatures within the building. This results in a more pleasant living or working space for occupants, enhancing overall comfort and well-being.

The Benefits of Sustainable Roof Coatings

Energy Savings:

Cool roof coatings and solar reflective coatings are particularly effective in reducing energy consumption. By reflecting sunlight and heat away from the roof, these coatings lower indoor temperatures, reducing the need for air conditioning. This, in turn, leads to significant energy savings and lower utility bills.

Reduced Maintenance Costs:

The seamless protection offered by roof coatings minimizes wear and tear on roofing materials, reducing the frequency of repairs. This results in lower maintenance costs over the life of the roof, making sustainable roof coatings a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Environmental Responsibility:

Choosing sustainable roof coatings demonstrates a commitment to environmental responsibility. Whether it’s through the use of recycled materials, low VOC formulations, or green roof options, these coatings contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly built environment.

Extended Roof Lifespan:

The protective barrier created by roof coatings shields the roof from various environmental stressors, including UV radiation and weathering. This extends the lifespan of the roof, reducing the need for premature replacements and minimizing the environmental impact of roofing materials.

Improved Property Value:

In an era where sustainability is increasingly valued, a property with eco-friendly features, such as a sustainable roof coating, can enhance its overall value. Potential buyers or tenants are often attracted to properties that prioritize environmental responsibility.


We hope you enjoyed this article all about sustainable roof coatings! Choosing a sustainable roof coating is not just about protecting your investment; it’s about making a positive impact on the environment and embracing a more sustainable way of living. Whether you opt for cool roof coatings, recycled options, low VOC formulations, solar reflective coatings, or green roof solutions, each choice contributes to a greener tomorrow. The benefits are far-reaching, from energy savings and reduced maintenance costs to improved indoor comfort and enhanced property value. The experts here at Cambie Roofing have witnessed firsthand how the roofing industry has transformed for over 75 years and we appreciate all developments that help us get closer to a sustainable future.