4 Tips On How To Beautify Your Rooftop Balcony

Rooftop patios or terraces are great getaway spots to host parties or family gatherings, especially in the summer when the weather is hot and the days are long.  In this blog post, we want to give you some ideas for how to make the best of your rooftop patio.
Even if your rooftop balcony isn’t large, there are some great options to make it an inviting place and a perfect place just to lounge about. By choosing the right furniture, décor, and accessories, your rooftop patio will be the envy of all.

  1. Show Off Your Views As Much As Possible

The entire reason to have a rooftop patio is to show off your view of the surrounding area. Whether that is for fireworks or just to see the city lights, you should arrange your rooftop patio in away to accommodate the view.
One option is to put in glass rails or panels so it won’t obstruct anything. Also, be sure you’re not getting in the way of the view when placing furniture, awnings or umbrellas.
An alternative possibility is using a glass enclosure. Although they’re more expensive, they’re also very worth the investment, especially since it will allow you to use your terrace year-round. Additionally, this will help the space capture more light, giving it the appearance of being more spacious.

  1. Choose The Right Furniture

You’ll have to think about the furniture that you’re going to use to decorate your rooftop patio. Make sure the furniture you buy matches to give a unified look to your outdoor space.
Hammocks and hanging chairs are very common for terraces, and for good reason – the are extremely comfortable. If you don’t have a lot of storage space available, we recommend choosing folding chairs and lounge chairs, and hammocks. That way, when you have to store them for the winter, they’ll hardly take up any space.
If you are particularly crafty, you could also consider making the furniture yourself, which is very common in rest and relaxation areas. Pallets are great for this project; you just have to sand them before using them. If you like its natural colour, you won’t even have to paint or coat them.
You’ll want to choose materials and a design that are made to last. Higher pitched roofs tend to last longer.  Also, keep in mind that some materials need more care than others, so think about that before buying. You’ll also want to consider the material. Natural fibres like rattan or wicker tend to look great outdoors. They add a simple and very natural touch.

  1. Using The Right Accessories On Your Rooftop Patio

We touched on this but in this section, we’ll dive a little deeper into how you should place your furniture and other objects. This is especially difficult if you have bulky furniture or space is limited. However, if you set up a small space well, it will make it look more spacious than it really is.
If you are one of the lucky ones to have a large rooftop balcony, you can try to divide it into the following sections:
Lounging area: you can use sofas, hammocks, chairs to gather with friends and family. Umbrellas will shade you from the harsh sunlight.
Eating area: set up chairs, sofa, some cushions, and a low table to have an afternoon snack, lunch or dinner.
Garden area: plants and trees are fundamental to greenify your rooftop patio. They will make your rooftop patio look natural and colourful.
Dividing: If you have enough space, you can divide your rooftop patio or terrace into zones which will give it a beautiful clean and organize look.
It’s important to keep the area tidy and in order so it’s inviting and appealing to your guests.

  1. Accessories Are Important

When it comes to accessorizing your rooftop patios, some extras you can add are pergolas, umbrellas or awnings. Sunlight hits rooftops more directly, so it’s important to protect yourself from the elements, especially if you plan to use them during the middle of the day.
Another thing we can add to our terrace are textiles, like cushion covers, which are essential accessories for the rooftop. You might also want to consider rugs, which are great for the rest and relaxation area. Just remember to take anything inside that you don’t want to get wet.
Lastly, consider light bulbs as they make great decorations and can allow you to stay late into the night even when the sun fades. You don’t have to get buy fancy or expensive lights but a few well placed soft-glow lights can really make a difference to the space.
             The Bottom Line
As you can see, decorating your rooftop patio doesn’t have to be difficult. You just have to set it up in a way that takes advantage of the space and choose a decorative style that matches your tastes and, preferably, your home’s interior.
If you have a rooftop patio, you should make sure that it is well maintained by having a roof inspection at least once a year to ensure that you enjoy the space for years to come.
If you need a roof replacement from a reputable contractor, call our team at Cambie Roofing. We are happy to help with any questions you may have about rooftop patios.  We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your roofing needs.


5 Quick Tips to Spring Clean Your Roof

It’s almost March, and the weather is finally starting to warm up. As it starts to rain less, you’re probably getting ready for that dreaded spring cleaning when you clear out the garage, tidy up the basement, dust the windows, and overall get your home ready for sunny days.
While spring cleaning is important, there’s always one part of the house many people forget needs some spring cleaning attention too and that’s your roof!
Bad weather may have left your roof worse for wear, and there are a few things you can do to get it all tidied up for the rest of the year.
Here are some spring cleaning tips for your roof.
Check Your Guttering And Downpipes
The winter months can cause problems for your guttering, pipes and other drainage on your home and checking these as part of your roof top spring cleaning should be incorporated to avoid long term harm to your roof, walls, and structure.
If there’s been a lot of rain and wind then gutters and pipes may have become loose or detached through damaged joints and brackets. Also, the gutters can get clogged up from debris.
Moss, leaves and even loose shingles can be shifted in poor weather conditions and find their way into your drainage system. This debris can be the cause of blockages in the pipes which in turn can lead to inadequate drainage or overflowing water, and even flooding.

Damaging Tree Branches
If any branches fell on your roof over the winter, make sure to clear them off as soon as possible. You’ll probably be able to handle small twigs and branches by yourself, but you might consider calling a professional to take care of the larger ones. The longer they stay on your roof, the more likely they are to puncture holes through shingles, causing water damage and leaks.
It’s also a good idea to go around and trim any overhanging tree branches that could pose a problem in the future. If there are any looming over your roof that look like they might hit your roof, you’ll want to take care of them now that the weather is nice, and before they actually fall.

Wash Off Mold And Mildew
Mold and mildew can be very dangerous if they’re allowed to live on your roof. Make sure to check for signs of them.  You’ll see discoloured streaks on your roof if there’s anything growing. If you do see mold, you can treat the problem with a variety of solutions made to kill the growth. Generally you can pick these products up at your local hardware or roofing store.

Check Around Your Chimney and Vents
Be sure to check around the chimney and vents for signs of damage and disrepair that might have occurred through the winter weather. Heavy storms or fluctuations in temperature can have an effect on seals and flashing, shifting or damaging material which could lead to leaks in the future.
One easy thing you can do is go into your attic and check from the inside for any light which may be coming through cracks or gaps in the roof.
Lastly, if you have a skylight, you should inspecting around the edges for similar signs of damage.

Check for Broken or Missing Shingles
Snow, rain, storms and extreme temperatures can, cause shingles to degrade and become damaged. As the shingles are important for maintaining the watertight properties of your roof, it’s important to inspect for any areas where they may have broken or gone missing.
If possible, you want to repair or replace the shingles as soon as possible as water damage can be costly to repair. You can spot potential cracks or breakages in asphalt shingles as there will be areas or lines that appear black or darker than the rest.
Shingles that have come away altogether will likewise cause deficiency in the watertight properties of the roof, while also having the additional problem of potentially ending up in your gutter which, as we’ve discussed, can cause additional headaches.

We hope these tips help you treat and protect your roof and your home from damage. It can be time consuming and annoying, however, the more often you inspect and take care of your roof, the longer it will last, and the less you’ll have to spend on it over time.
If you’d like to have someone come out and inspect your roof for you, give the experts at Cambie Roofing a call. We’ll let you know how your roof weathered this winter, and we’ll fix any issues, no matter how big or small, as soon as possible. For more information, or to request a free repair estimate get in touch.


How a New Roof Can Increase Your Sale Value

If you ask most Real Estate agents, add new roofing before attempting to sell significantly increases the value of your home and makes it appealing to buyers. By increasing the value of your home, you actually make money on your repairs as the resell value increases more than 100% of your roof. In 2018, a survey in the United States found that roofing replacement added an average resale value of $14,214. Roughly the same amount of money could be expected – if not more – to be added to in Canada.
While nobody likes to spend money replacing or repairing their roof, when you’re about to sell, it makes a lot of financial sense, especially when you compare to other house projects. In fact, mending the roof offers a better return on investment than an addition to the master bedroom, major kitchen remodel, deck installation, or a bathroom remodel.
When a buyer makes an offer for your home, they assume the roof isn’t leaky or in need of fixing. If it does need repairing, and the buyer does their due diligence, they can often successfully negotiate the price down. If you’re on the fence about installing a new roof, consider these facts in making your decision.


Buying a home is as much of a emotional investment as an financial one which is why aesthetics matter. If your home has a roof that’s shabby, ugly and clearly in need of replacement, buyers will take note. Obviously nobody wants to buy an ugly home, and a roof is such a big part of that.
If a buyer needs to take the price of a new roof into account when purchasing a home, plus the headache that comes with it, he or she will likely be enticed to shop elsewhere. While, on the flip side, a new a roof can pique buyer interest and make your home stand out in your neighbourhood. If someone in your area is selling their home at a similar price, it can give you the edge and can even spark a bidding war.

Buy A Transferrable Warranty

Buying a home can be a stressful experience. It is often one of the largest purchases someone will make in their lifetime which is why reassurance is a good thing. With the right roof warranty, it can give the new owner peace of mind that things won’t go wrong. Nobody likes surprises which is why if you can transfer the warranty to the new owner, it will likely give the buyer reassurance that they are making the right decision. Since standard warranties for asphalt shingles used to be 15-20 years and premium-quality asphalt shingles today offer warranties as long as 50 years, sometimes these warranties outlast their current occupants. Ask your roofer if you can transfer your warranty to the new owner.
A transferable warranty can mean a lifetime of not having to pay for roofing repairs. Buyers can be willing to pay more to own a home with a roof that will come with warranty. A roof warranty can add more value to a home than one without a warranty, especially if it is the difference between a standard and premium roof.

Increased Energy Efficiency

New roofs are more energy efficient then they once were which means that along with a warranty, a great-looking roof, the owners will save money on heat as well. Increased energy efficiency can increase the appeal of a home, because it means savings in the long run. In addition, many people, especially in the younger generation are more environmental conscious and having an energy efficient roof fits in with their lifestyle and values more than an older home.

Reduces Maintained

An old roof can cause trouble for future homeowners. Old roofs tend to leak, lose shingles in a storm, damage siding, and break easier than new roofs. For a prospective buyer, these potential dangers of an old roof might be enough to encourage them to buy elsewhere. Even if there is nothing wrong with the old roof, a savvy buyer will realize that older roofs are not as well built as newer ones and will most likely cause problems in a few short years. A newer roof will translate into lesser maintenance costs for the new owners overall, giving them less of a headache – both financially and emotionally.

Other Factors To Think About

Since it’s not an exact science, there are many miscellanies variables that go into appraising a home. If you can give the buyers as much data as possible it will likely increase the likelihood of getting your desired price for your home.
When you’re getting your home appraised, he or she will want to see receipts of the new roof, as well as information about its materials, construction, and warranties. The more information the appraiser has on the roof, the more likely you will see an increase in value.


Your roof has a lot of responsibilities to bare. It protects your entire home, its contents, and its occupants from the external environment.
When a house goes on the market, the roof is the most visible features to everyone driving down the block. A roof in poor condition can quickly stop any sale even before the negotiation has started. That’s why it’s smart to replace an old roof with a new one even before you put it on the market.
A new roof is a big investment and you should take the time to find a professional trustworthy contractor to complete the job. Give us a call at Cambie Roofing where we put customer service first and never sacrificing quality for price and guarantee you’ll be satisfied with the job.


Can A Roof Be Earthquake Proof?

It’s common knowledge that Vancouver is due for a large and devastating earthquake. Thankfully all types of builders recognize this and are continually trying to seismic upgrade all our buildings. A large part of that is, of course, our roofs. If a roof collapses during an earthquake, it can kill or injury those inside.
During the design and construction process of a roof there are earthquake resistant features the roofer can apply which would increase enormously the chances of survival of both buildings and their occupants which we will cover.

What is an earthquake?

The earth is made up of plates floating on the soft centre of the earth, which consists of heavier molten rock and molten iron. The plates are not one solid piece but are separated by cracks which are known as faults and trenches which can press or expand together into mountains and valleys. These separate plates move slowly from a combination of forces in the Earth’s core, gravitational forces, and centrifugal forces from the Earth’s rotation.
Some plates are moving apart, for example in ocean trenches, where molten material pushes up and shoves the plates apart while others are bumping into each other head-on. The Cascadia fault, for example, which goes from northern Vancouver Island to Northern California is a very long, sloping subduction zone where the Explorer, Juan de Fuca, and Gorda plates all move to the east and slide below the much larger mostly continental North American Plate. If the movement was steady, about a millimetre or so a year, it wouldn’t matter. However, the plates tend to jam.

What makes a building or structure fail in earthquakes?

An Earthquake can be one sudden movement, or it can be a series of movements at short intervals. It can move the land up and down or it can move it from side to side.
Buildings are not necessarily resistant to side-to-side shifts unless this has been taken into account during the design and construction phase of the building process. A building might be perfectly stable until a severe earthquake hits. It is this side-to-side sift that generally causes the worst damage, often collapsing poor buildings on the first shock wave.
The side-to-side shift can be worse if the shocks come in waves, and can vibrate like a huge tuning fork, each new sway bigger than the last, until the building collapses. Often when more weight has been added to a building because of a heavy roof or more floors the greater the risk of failure. This extra weight produces great forces on the structure and helps it collapse. As one might expect, massive buildings like skyscrapers attract more seismic forces while smaller buildings with lighter roofs respond better to earthquake forces.
Luckily, the overall weight of a building and its contents can be calculated fairly accurately and can be accounted for in engineering design –these loads are called static loads. Wind and earthquake forces can change suddenly and unpredictably –these are called dynamic loads. The engineer must design a structure to withstand dynamic loads that may be highly variable over a very short period of time, a much more difficult task than designing for static loads alone. In Vancouver, the general awareness of earthquake danger is only a few decades old, many older buildings and roofs were not designed to stand up against the dynamic loads caused by earthquakes.

Is it Possible to Build A completely Earthquake Proof Roof?

There are, of course, roofing techniques that can be used to create a very sound roof that will endure a small or even strong quake. However, no building or roof is completely earthquake proof. During a severe earthquake, even the best-engineered building may suffer severe damage.
Most modern buildings are designed to support a vertical and dynamic load in order to support the walls and roof to keep them standing. One way to make a building more resistant to these lateral forces is to tie the walls, floor, roof, and foundations into a rigid box that holds together when shaken by a quake.

So What’s The Solution?

Because earthquakes are a function of mass shifting, all other structural elements being equal, the lighter the roof the lower the center of mass and, therefore, less likely it is to collapse or crumble. This means that roofs made out of wood tiles or asphalt are better than, say, brick, tile, or a heavy metal roof.
Lighter walls also have the advantage of exerting less force onto a building’s support system, but another good reason is that lighter wall construction tends to be more physically flexible which allows for more movement at the joints and throughout the structural members when an earthquake hits.
Many Vancouver builders use reinforced concrete where the steel reinforcement provides the tension-resistant qualities of the building which is able to absorb the shaking from an earthquake. A good analogy is an old car made in the 50s can better withstand an impact with minimum damage, however is more likely injure the occupants as the shift in mass travels through the car to the person. Modern cars crumble easier in an accident, absorbing the shock so the person doesn’t have to. This is much like a modern-day roof.
If you’re worried about your roof withstanding an earthquake call Cambie Roofing. Our expert roofers can quickly diagnose any problems with your roofing system and perform maintenance to save you the trouble of dealing with an earthquake or any other possible calamity, possibly preventing you from having to replace the entire roof all together.

showing a flat roof

Flat Roof Construction Tips

Update: August 5th 2019
Article Originally Published April 17, 2017

Flat Roof Construction Tips

Before you begin any roof construction project, there are a few factors to consider. This is especially true for commercial flat roofs. Flat roofs are susceptible to very specific kinds of wear and tear that need to be addressed. There are a wide variety of flat roof options on the market, all with different costs and benefits. Whether you are building a new commercial property or replacing an existing flat roof on your building, it is important to consider all of these factors before beginning construction. Here are some important tips to help you through the flat roof construction process.

Factors To Consider Before Selecting Your Roofing

Repair or Replace?: Replacing an entire roofing system can be costly. If the majority of your roof is still in good condition, you may be able to save some money by having a professional repair the damage. You may also consider having your roof reconditioned. Depending on the extent of repair work necessary, however, it may be more cost effective to replace the roof. A trained professional will be able to help you weigh your options and make the best decision for you.
Roof Deck Integrity: If you decide to replace your flat roof, you will need to have the structural integrity of your roof decking inspected first. If the structural integrity of the roof deck is damaged it will not hold up the roof. It’s advised to have your roof deck inspected by a professional before beginning any roof replacement.
Drainage: Flat roofs have different challenges than low and high slope roofs. Flat roofs require a lot of thought about where rain, snow, and other precipitation will drain since they have no natural drainage system. As with any roofing system, if installed incorrectly flat roofs will leak. You need to make sure that the system you choose has both proper drainage and waterproofing materials like spray foam (SPF) or restoration coatings.
Load Weight: If you plan on having a heavy load on your roof, such as a lounging area for employees, or heating and air conditioning units, you will need to select materials that will strengthen your roof and protect your structure from weight damage. SPF is one material to consider as it can withstand a great deal of weight.
Temperature: Your roof needs to be designed to withstand the climate. If you live in an area with hot direct sun, you need a roof that can withstand heat and block against ultraviolet and ozone damage. If you live somewhere that gets very cold, you need a roofing material that has the ability to expand and contract with the temperature change.
Wind Uplift: Another crucial environmental factor to consider is wind. Wind can be very damaging to any roof system so you need to be sure to choose a roofing material with wind resistance that meets the needs of your local area. A professional roofing company will be able to assess the average wind speeds in your area and help you choose a material that will withstand those speeds.
R-Value: R-value is not a structure related concern, but it is an important consideration. The R-value is the reflective value of your roofing. Choosing a roofing material with a high R-value can save you a lot of money on energy bills, which is especially important on a larger commercial property. A low R-value material will allow heat to escape in the winter and to penetrate your building in the summer, resulting in higher energy bills to heat and cool your building. A higher R-value roof will require a bit more of an initial investment, but it will pay off in energy savings over time.

Selecting Your Roofing

“You may want a particular roofing product for its appearance, such as a tile or shingle roof, however, this type of material should not be installed on a flat roof as it will lead to building damage down the road. The following are some common flat roof options:
Built-Up Roofing (BUR): Also called “tar and gravel roofing,” BUR roofing uses layers of roofing felts or ply sheets that are coated in asphalt or coal tar and topped with pea-size gravel. BUR roofs are the most common roofing style and very cost-effective. They do require some routine maintenance.
Modified Bitumen: Modified Bitumen, also known as “torch-on” roofing, is very similar to BUR. Modified Bitumen contains an additional polymer binder called Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS), which improves the durability and extends the lifespan of your roof.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM): EPDM is a type of single-ply membrane roofing that uses a strong flexible polymer. It is resistant to the elements and is a great option for a roof in a harsh climate.
Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO): TPO is another single-ply membrane that provides similar benefits to EPDM but does not offer as long of a lifespan.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): PVC is a single-ply membrane that provides similar benefits to EPDM and comes in a wide variety of colours and styles to match your architecture.
Each of these options varies in terms of costs and benefits, so it is important that you weigh them against the factors impacting your particular roof before making a final decision. The most important construction tip for a flat roof system is to consult an experienced professional in your local area.
Since 1952, Cambie Roofing has been constructing flat roof systems in the Vancouver area. We understand all the factors that can impact your construction and can help you identify which roofing system is best for your building. Call us today at 604.261.1111 or contact us on our website and let’s talk about how we can help your flat roof repair or replacement go smoothly.

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 Licenced?

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.

fiberglass shingles

Should Your Next Roof Be Using Fiberglass Shingles

Fiberglass shingles are somewhat of a new trend and are quickly becoming one of the more popular roofing alternatives today.
Even when they have a lot of good attributes, homeowners in Vancouver prefer the traditional asphalt shingles. In other words, asphalt shingles are the number one option for homeowners in Vancouver.

It’s estimated that up to 80% of homes in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland are topped with asphalt shingles.

When it’s time to repair or replace their roofs, homeowners always wonder about the different roofing materials available and which one they should choose.
Roofing shingles are by far the most popular choice, but you must still choose between the different types of shingles. Some shingle types, like slate, last longer than others, but they are far more expensive too.
Fiberglass is literally made from remarkably fine threads of glass. This synthetic pattern (glass fiber) may be a thermoset polymer form – usually based on the likes of polyester resin, epoxy, or a thermoplastic.
Fiberglass shingles are created from an interwoven foundational mesh of fiberglass, and then encased with a water-resistant layer of asphalt, and then covered with other compounds that protect the shingles from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

How Are Fiberglass Shingles Made?

Generally, fiberglass shingles come in two different kinds: three-tab shingles and the architectural fiberglass shingles.
More people prefer the architectural ones because. They offer malleability and they fit into anything that you want but still maintain that stability and all the other aspects of the fiberglass.
To finish it off, asphalt sealant connects the separate panels, bolstering the shingles’ watertight characteristic.


Most people don’t know but fiberglass is actually fairly inexpensive. It usually costs less than $4 per square foot. This is the first thing we always look at when we’re trying to build something. Well, not only is fiberglass shingles cheap but it’s also high quality.
Fiberglass is also very durable and it also does not hold liquid or moisture thereby reducing the risk of damage. Fiberglass shingles also have a greater fire grade than the regular asphalt shingles.
Because fiberglass is so thin and therefore lightweight, it’s actually not that hard to install so you can save money on labour which is also a big win.
Lastly, the fiberglass base gives the shingle a higher fire rating versus felt or paper-based shingles. The fiberglass base is lighter and easier for roofers to work with, which can also mean faster installation or repair times.


There’s not a lot of disadvantages with fiberglass shingles. However, one would be that having fiberglass shingles would not perform as well in cold weather than when they are in warmer conditions.
That being said, it is a negligible discrepancy and the difference in all the other points we just mentioned will more likely cancel out this issue. They are perfectly adaptable to Vancouver weather. However if you live in Toronto or Ottawa it might be an issue.
The second disadvantage is the environmental impact it has when you want to replace your roof. Due to the fiberglass endurance, these materials don’t necessarily just degrade and dissolve in a few years, they could go on for a thousand year easy.
A solution to this is that they can easily be recycled and used for other purposes.

Asphalt Shingles vs. Fiber Glass

So now you know the advantages and disadvantages of fiberglass shingles, which one should you choose?
Organic-mat is the material for regular asphalt singles. As they contain more asfalt, they last longer than fiberglass shingles. They’re more rugged and more likely to stay put during severe storms.
However, asphalt shingles are more expensive than fiber glass and are prone to warping over the long term or if there is a severe storm.


If you want a durable, lightweight and practical roofing solution, take a close look at fiberglass laminate shingles. But don’t take our word for it, research yourself and look at the several pros and cons of the different options and then determine the best one for you.
Making choices for your roofing system solution has a number of different considerations to evaluate before making a final decision. Make the right decision and it could pay dividends, make the wrong decision and it could cost you money in the long run.
Taking time to learn about the two different shingle solutions on the market – asphalt and fiberglass – will help a homeowner choose the best possible product at the best possible price.
Learning about the two different shingle solutions on the market – asphalt and fiberglass – helps homeowners to choose the best possible product at the best possible price.
There should be a roofing company in your area that you can easily contact and ask for their help. Most companies, including ours, offer a free assessment and even free quotation for the service you want them to do. Don’t delay your roofing project any longer.
If you have any questions or need an estimate on your roof call the experts. At Cambie Roofing, we have been in business for over half a century – so we feel confident in saying we are your best roofing choice.

Flat Roof3

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.


Types of Roofs

You may not take much notice of the different 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.

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.
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 15th, 2017, updated Jan 13th, 2021