Roofing Tips For The Winter, Roofing in Winter

Roofing Tips For The Winter

Winter is definitely here in Vancouver and as you all know, the harsh conditions can cause damage and decrease the longevity of your home’s roof. If your roof needs repairs, it’s generally better to do them in the drier months. In fact, most experts say the best time to do work on a roof is from July to August when the weather is best. In a perfect world, summer would be great to finish all those projects, but your roof doesn’t just leak during those months.
Moreover, In British Columbia, where the weather is often unpredictable, these ideal conditions can be few and far between. Most roofing companies have to consider how they can perform a roofing job in the winter, in less than ideal conditions.
While not always the best, roof construction and repair can be done in cold weather, as long as precautions are taken. In winter, roofers face a variety of challenges including:

  • Roofing materials don’t work quite as well as they do in moderate temperatures.
  • Shorter days give roofers less time to work which generally means the project takes longer.
  • Tools such as nail guns generally don’t work as well in the cold.
  • Snow and ice can create hazards or cover up dangers to roofers.

What to Expect When Roofing in Winter

Roofing in winter weather requires a lot more foresight, planning and safety precautions than summer days. Be aware that some companies will charge you up to 20% more for their services, while other companies will be looking for work and might give you a discount. Whatever you do, you should shop around and get between three to five quotes and ask them specifically about their winter work.

Winter Safety Is The Most Important

Safety is obviously the most important thing when it comes to roofing – no matter what time of year. Under no circumstances should you hire a company that doesn’t take safety serious as there are some unique cold weather issues to be aware of when doing winter roofing work.
For example, roof surfaces can become slippery thanks to snow, ice, and frost. A common winter problem is snow removal or de-icing of the roof surface must be done after a snowstorm. The roofers must take extra precaution and use specialized equipment, which they need to be trained on, along with increased monitoring while the removal is taking place.

Snow can also disguise dangers such as skylights, debris and other risks. The roofing contractor needs to pay close attention to where they walk to ensure they don’t accidentally step on or fall through a skylight or trip over hazards hidden under snow. Even on a freshly cleared roof, there may be black ice or frost build-up on the roof or deck surface, which can make work extremely dangerous. If the temperature is too cold and the snow and ice remain, it is best to wait until the weather warms up.
Another thing to do before getting a roofing contractor to work is to ensure that the attic space is adequately air-condition. Often, what appears to be a roof leak is actually condensation from interior air drifting up into a cold, improperly ventilated attic.

Working in the Winter

Working in cold, damp temperatures can put a strain on the body, making your heart and lungs work harder, while at the same time putting you at increased risk for hypothermia or frostbite. Be aware roofers, as mentioned before, will work shorter hours, and plan around the sunshine and weather forecasts. Be prepared for work stoppage and delays because of the weather.
Roof contractors should also wear warm clothing that is breathable but also provides an ample range of motion. If you notice that a roofer isn’t appropriately dressed, do not let them work.

The Weigh Of Your Roof

Another thing to consider is the extra weight that snow and ice can add to a roof. If you add a human’s weight into the mix, you can potentially be looking at serious injury. A roofer must ensure that the surface he is working on is sturdy and safe from collapse. An experienced roofer will test the structure before beginning to work on it to ensure that there is no danger from collapse.

Equipment and Materials

Now you know what to expect in the winter, you also have to keep in mind the quality of craftsmanship which can suffer if the roofer is inexperienced.

Asphalt shingles

The best temperatures to install asphalt shingles is between 4 and 26 degrees Celsius. If a roofer decides to install roofing shingles in cold weather below these temperatures, your shingles may become brittle and more prone to breakage. To prevent this, when working in below-zero temperatures, make sure the roofer stores your materials in a warm place until you need them. Shingles will mould to the shape of the surface they rest on, so if you are buying them before using them, keep them flat, stacked and raised on pallets so they don’t touch the ground. Be aware that a roofer should not work in below-zero temperatures unless it is an emergency situation that needs fixing.

Types of Roofing Materials

Most roofing organizations recommend using winter weather membranes to seal your eaves, valleys, skylights, and vents, rather than warm weather roll roofing, which can buckle or warp when applied in cold weather. When you choose to use any kind of felt or membrane, the roofer will roll it out in a staging area, away from the elements and allow it to relax before you apply. This will help reduce wrinkles caused by the weather.


The information in this blog is purposeful to be a starting point for cold weather roofing applications. Each situation is different and as always consult a professional roofer before starting. If you have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to contact us at Cambie Roofing to schedule a free roofing estimate.

How To Prevent Ice Dams and Damage

How To Prevent Ice Dams and Damage

How to Prevent Ice Dams and Damage

Vancouver has some of the trickiest winters since we experience rapid changes in temperature. Which can cause some trouble with our homes, especially with the roofs over our heads. When the temperatures dip below freezing and ice and snow build up on your roof, it cause plenty of damage. Which will be expensive to fix. Let’s see below How To Prevent Ice Dams and Damage.

During prolonged cold spells where snow and ice are allowed to accumulate on your roof. It can quickly build up into increasingly large blocks of ice or what are called ice dams. An ice dam not only weighs down your roof but stops water from running into your gutters and away from your home. This will cause the water to pool on your roof, causing water damage and leaks to your home’s interior walls and insulation. If left untreated, mold will form which will most likely mean you’ll have to replace your roof. Here are some tips to help prevent ice and snow buildup from causing major problems.

Prevent Ice Dams and Snow Build Up

Roofs are of course built to withstand a certain amount of weight. But if snow builds up and becomes too heavy your roof can collapse. Although this isn’t common in Vancouver, we do have bad snow storms every couple of years. If this is the case, you need to keep an eye on your roof and clear it once the storm has passed. A good general rule is that you never want more than a foot of snow on your roof at any one time. You can clear snow yourself with a rake or a shovel or call us at Cambie Roofing and we can take care of it for you.

Clear the Gutters

If Vancouver has a prolonged cold spell, it is common for ice to build up in your gutters and freeze them. If the ice builds up too much, the gutters can expand and cause them to shatter. Another common issue is that the ice becomes too heavy and can rip the gutters away, causing extensive damage to your home. You can chip the ice from gutters, but that can be extremely dangerous and you can damage your gutters. A better solution is to give us a call at at Cambie Roofing we can ensure the gutters are cleared properly so you don’t have to risk doing it yourself.

Keep the Attic Cold

As you know, heat rises in your house and gets trapped in the attic. Poor attic insulation and ventilation causes hot air to escape in the wrong places and rapidly heat the roof which melts the snow too quickly. These causes water to flow until it hits a cooler section of the roof. Usually toward the overhangs that aren’t in contact with the attic’s warm air and leads to ice build up and ice damns.

You should ensure you seal any gaps in your attic floor to stop warm air from seeping in. And make sure your attic is adequately insulated. Before the cold sets in, check the events to make sure they aren’t being blocked. While it might seem strange to add insulation for warmth but it allows cold air to come in through the vents, giving your attic some much needed air flow. The insulation also prevents moisture from building up in the attic. And keep the roof cool enough to prevent ice dams.

Insulation Issues

Insulation is a barrier of material within your roof space. It can either be laid between the horizontal beams along the floor of your attic or the rafters as a way to keep heat in your home. Check the insulation to see if it needs to be repaired. Although insulation lasts a long time, it does degrade and will eventually need to be replaced.  If heat is escaping through holes or areas that aren’t insulated then it can lead to uneven water pooling and trapped moisture. One thing to look out for is dark streaks in your attic or ceiling. If you see these dark streaks it means that water has seeped through and you should call a roofer immediately to get your roof repaired.

What To Do In Spring

Once the snow melts and winter has passed, you should inspect your property for signs of poor ventilation.  If you can catch these problem before they cause damage to your home. You will be able to save yourself some money and much needed headache.

You should always be vigilant and do your own inspections every couple of months. Simply walking on your roof with a good pair of binoculars can help you spot any trouble signs. However, your own inspections aren’t substitutions for a professional. You should always get a certified roofing contractor to do an inspection every six months. Because they will see something or notice a small detail that you can easily overlook.

The Solution

Those glistening icicles hanging from your roof may look beautiful. But, they can also be a telling sign that something isn’t draining the proper way. Icicles can be a telltale sign that water or snow are forming on your roof. That preventing melting snow from escaping through the gutters. Spending the time and money preventing ice dams is much more economical than having to deal with the potential fall out of ice dams.

If you are worried about potential ice dams developing on your roof, call Cambie Roofing to perform an inspection. Our expert roofers can quickly diagnose any problems with your roofing system. And perform maintenance to save you the trouble of dealing with ice and water damage. That possibly preventing you from having to replace the entire roof all together.

Originally published Feb. 2019.
Updated and republished Jan. 2024


Preventative Maintenance 101

Preventative Maintenance 101

A well-maintained roof is the first line of defence for any home or business, protecting against the elements and ensuring structural integrity. Preventative maintenance plays a pivotal role in extending the lifespan of your roof, whether it’s brand new or has weathered the elements for years. In this comprehensive Preventative Maintenance 101 guide, we will explore the essential steps to maintain both new and old roofs, highlight common issues to look out for, and discuss when it’s time to call the professionals at Cambie Roofing for expert assistance.

Maintaining New Roofs:

Regular Inspections:

New roofs benefit greatly from regular inspections. Conduct a visual check to ensure there are no visible signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles. Early detection allows for prompt repairs, preventing issues from escalating.

Clearing Debris:

Keep the roof free of debris like leaves, branches, and dirt. Accumulated debris can lead to water pooling, which can compromise the structural integrity of the roof over time.

Gutter Maintenance:

Clean and inspect gutters regularly. Proper drainage is essential for preventing water damage. Ensure that gutters are free from debris and securely attached to the roof.

Trimming Overhanging Branches:

Trim branches that hang over the roof. Falling branches can cause damage, and overhanging branches provide easy access for pests like squirrels to access the roof.

Maintaining Old Roofs:

Thorough Inspections:

Regular and thorough inspections are even more crucial for older roofs. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as cracked or curling shingles, sagging areas, or water stains on the ceiling.

Sealing and Coating:

Consider applying a protective sealant or coating to extend the life of an old roof. This can provide an additional layer of protection against the elements.

Addressing Leaks Promptly:

If you notice any signs of leaks or water damage inside your home, address them promptly. Water infiltration can lead to serious issues, including mold growth and structural damage.

Replacing Damaged Shingles:

Replace any damaged or missing shingles immediately. Damaged shingles compromise the integrity of the roof and can lead to more extensive issues if not addressed promptly.

Common Roofing Issues to Look Out For:


Leaks are a common issue and can result from various factors, including damaged flashing, missing shingles, or worn-out sealant around roof penetrations. Regular inspections can help identify and address leaks before they cause significant damage.

Mold and Mildew:

The presence of mold and mildew can indicate moisture-related issues. Proper ventilation and addressing leaks promptly can help prevent the growth of mold and protect indoor air quality.

Poor Drainage:

Inadequate drainage can lead to water pooling on the roof, increasing the risk of leaks and water damage. Ensure that gutters are functioning correctly, and downspouts direct water away from the foundation.

Wind and Storm Damage:

High winds and storms can cause significant damage to roofs, including lifting or tearing off shingles. After severe weather events, conduct a thorough inspection to assess any potential damage.

When to Call the Professionals at Cambie Roofing:

Extensive Damage:

If you notice extensive damage to your roof, including large areas of missing or damaged shingles, it’s time to call in the professionals. Attempting to repair significant damage without the necessary expertise can lead to further issues.

Persistent Leaks:

Persistent leaks that are challenging to locate or fix may require the expertise of roofing professionals. They have the tools and knowledge to identify and address complex leaks efficiently.

Aging Roof:

If your roof is reaching the end of its expected lifespan, it’s advisable to consult with professionals. They can assess the overall condition of the roof and recommend whether repairs or a replacement is the best course of action.

Professional Inspections:

Regular professional inspections, ideally performed annually, can identify potential issues before they escalate. Professionals at Cambie Roofing can provide a comprehensive assessment of your roof’s health and recommend preventative measures.


Preventative maintenance is the key to ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your roof, whether it’s a new installation or has stood the test of time. Regular inspections, addressing issues promptly, and enlisting the help of professionals like Cambie Roofing when needed are essential steps in maintaining a durable and resilient roof. By following these Preventative Maintenance 101 guidelines, you can protect your investment, enhance the overall safety of your property, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a well-maintained roof. Cambie will be going in depth about preventative maintenance in upcoming articles because we want our readers to understand how important it is to properly maintain their roofs. Reach out to us today if you have any questions.

providing free estimates

Providing Free Estimates

Providing free estimates

Nestled in the heart of Vancouver, British Columbia, Cambie Roofing isn’t just a roofing company – it’s a symbol of reliability and excellence. Our dedication to professionalism, attention to detail, and trustworthiness is epitomized through the practice of offering free estimates. In this blog, we will delve into the reasons why choosing a roofer that provides free estimates, like Cambie Roofing, is essential. Additionally, we’ll shed light on some of the most common findings during the estimate process, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to customer service, competitive pricing, and quality workmanship.

Comprehensive Understanding Through Free Estimates:

Choosing a roofer that provides free estimates is a prudent decision for homeowners and businesses alike. It offers a comprehensive understanding of the scope and cost of a roofing project, empowering clients to make informed decisions. Cambie Roofing’s free estimates serve as a detailed roadmap, providing clarity on necessary repairs, or maintenance requirements for both residential and commercial projects.

Identifying Potential Issues:

During the estimate process, Cambie Roofing’s experienced team often identifies common roofing issues that may go unnoticed by the untrained eye. From leaks and water damage to deteriorating shingles and structural concerns, our free estimates are not just about pricing; they serve as a diagnostic tool. This proactive approach enables us to address potential issues early on, preventing more extensive damage and costly repairs in the future.

Tailored Solutions for Different Roof Types:

Every roof is unique, and Cambie Roofing recognizes the importance of providing tailored solutions for different roof types. Whether it’s a sloped residential roof or a flat commercial roof made from various materials, our free estimates take into account the specific needs and challenges associated with each type. This ensures that our clients receive personalized recommendations and accurate cost assessments based on the characteristics of their roofing system.

Transparent Communication:

Choosing a roofer that offers free estimates is synonymous with transparent communication. At Cambie Roofing, we believe in keeping our clients well-informed throughout the estimation process. Our team explains the findings in a clear and understandable manner, discussing identified issues, proposed solutions, and associated costs. This transparency builds trust and allows clients to make decisions based on accurate information.

Cost-Efficiency and Budget Planning:

One of the practical advantages of opting for a roofer that provides free estimates is the opportunity for cost-efficiency and effective budget planning. Cambie Roofing’s competitive pricing, coupled with detailed estimates, allows clients to plan their roofing projects with confidence. Knowing the anticipated costs upfront enables homeowners and businesses to allocate resources efficiently and avoid unexpected financial surprises.

The Cambie Roofing Experience: Over 75 Years of Excellence

Cambie Roofing’s journey spans over 75 years, representing a legacy of excellence and a commitment to delivering top-notch roofing solutions. Our wealth of experience not only ensures the highest standards of craftsmanship but also positions us as leaders in the industry. Throughout our storied history, we’ve honed our skills, embraced evolving technologies, and maintained an unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction.

Why Choose Cambie Roofing?


With over 75 years in the industry, Cambie Roofing brings unparalleled expertise to every project. Our seasoned professionals understand the intricacies of different roofing systems and materials, ensuring that each estimate is a product of extensive knowledge and experience.

Local Understanding:

Situated in Vancouver, British Columbia, Cambie Roofing possesses a deep understanding of the local climate and its impact on roofs. This localized knowledge allows us to tailor our solutions, ensuring that your roofing project is equipped to withstand the specific challenges posed by the environment such as long periods of heavy rainfall.

Innovation and Tradition:

Cambie Roofing seamlessly blends innovation with tradition. While our techniques are cutting-edge, our commitment to traditional values like honesty, integrity, and quality workmanship remains unwavering. This fusion sets us apart, providing clients with modern solutions anchored in time-tested principles.


Cambie Roofing stands as a testament to the benefits of choosing a roofer that stands proud on providing free estimates. Beyond the cost evaluation, our free estimates offer a comprehensive understanding of the project, identify potential issues early on, and provide tailored solutions for different roof types. With transparent communication, competitive pricing, and over 75 years of experience, Cambie Roofing is the trusted choice for those seeking professionalism, attention to detail, and quality workmanship in their roofing projects. Our legacy speaks for itself – a legacy built on excellence, trust, and a commitment to exceeding expectations. Choose Cambie Roofing for a roofing experience that combines tradition with innovation, ensuring the longevity and resilience of your home or business.


Best Metal Roofing For Residential Areas

Best Metal Roofing for Residential Areas

Even in a city like Vancouver, the popularity of metal roof products has increased dramatically over the past decade, a clear sign that homeowners and builders are growing more and more aware of the benefits of this roofing. In fact, during the last ten years, a whole new type of metal roof materials has hit the market. These are a far cry from the old, expensive metal roofs which used to be on the market. Today’s metal roofs serve as high-tech answers to the need for durable, fire-resistant, lightweight roofing that looks at home on a house – and are cost effective too!

When considering a metal roof, you’ll first want to determine the fundamental look you want it to have. Residential metal roofing comes in two basic forms that are very different in appearance: sheet-like panels and shingles. Within these two categories, there are many variations, colours, and patterns.

Benefits of Metal Roofing Systems

The primary benefit of metal roofing is longevity. Manufacturers routinely offer 50-year warranties and even lifetime, non-prorated warranties. They claim their products will last two to four times longer than roofs with asphalt shingles. By avoiding one or two re-roofing jobs during the life of the metal roof, you will more than offset the higher initial cost.

There are other advantages, as well. Metal roofs are lightweight, sometimes allowing them to be installed directly over old roofs. Additionally, metal roofs are effective in preventing the spread of fire when hot embers fall on them. This could mean the difference of saving some of your most precious photographs or losing them in the event of a house fire. In fact, some insurance companies will give you a discount if you have a metal roof. In addition, metal roofing is made with a large percentage of recycled metal—often 95 percent—and when its useful life is done, it can be recycled again. No worries about it filling up dwindling space in landfills.

Metal Roof Materials

Residential metal roofing is generally made of steel, aluminum, or copper. Rolls of 24- or 26-gauge steel sheets are given a metallic coating to prevent rust, followed by a baked-on paint finish. Aluminum sheets don’t require the metallic coating but do get painted. Copper, often called a natural metal product, is neither coated nor painted, because it weathers without corroding. It is sometimes used for special features, such as the roof of a prominent bay window.

Metal Roof Textures and Finishes

Metal roofing products can be stamped into many shapes and are typically installed as interlocking panels with hidden fasteners. Viewed from a distance, they offer fairly convincing renditions of shingles and tiles.
Standing-seam metal roofs look exactly like what they are–long sheets of painted steel with vertical seams. From a design perspective, they are a purer product but not suitable for every home. Standing-seam roofs are perhaps best matched to the simple lines of cabins and contemporary home designs.

Myths About Metal Roofs

Myths and legends get started about all sorts of people, places, and building material. Metal roofing has more than its share, perhaps because it has undergone so many transformations over the years. Here are the most common myths about metal roofing:
• It will increase the likelihood of a lightening strike. Metal conducts electricity, but electricity is not drawn to it so you don’t need to worry about stormy weather.
• Metal roofs are noisy in the rain. Not so. They may even be quieter than other roof types
• A metal roof will make your house colder in winter. Actually, a metal roof has no effect on the temperature of the typical vented attic in winter. It’s the insulation under the floor of your attic that keeps you warm.
• Metal roofs are susceptible to damage by hail. While extremely large hailstones can dent a metal roof, normal hailstorms will not. With textured roofs, minor denting is not readily visible.
• You cannot walk on a metal roof. You can, but you have to know how to do it without causing damage. Check with the manufacturer of the product you choose.

Metal Panel Roofing

The most familiar pattern of panel-style metal roofing, “standing-seam roofing,” has raised ribs every 6inches or foot and is applied vertically on a roof and doesn’t attempt to look like anything other than what it is. It has a decidedly commercial look that is favoured by architects for its honest, clean, contemporary look, It is commonly used on homes ranging from mountain cabins to modern masterpieces but would look very out-of-place on a Colonial home.

Metal Shingle Roofing

Metal shingle-style roofing is quite different than sheet roofing. With this style, metal is formed into shapes that imitate Spanish tile, wood shakes, or slate. In addition, these shingles are typically given multiple-layer factory finishes that may include granulated-stone topcoats to complete the realistic effect.


Because a new roof is a major investment and something you’re likely to live with for a long time, it’s important to choose your roofing contractor carefully. This holds true for all types of roofing contractors but is even more important with metal roofing contractors because application of a metal roof is a specialty that requires skills and tools that are quite different than those used for installing more-typical roofing products. Whereas a typical roofing contractor can install wood or asphalt shingles, it takes a specialist to install mot types of metal roofing. At Cambie Roofing, we are experienced with all types of metal roofs and give you a fair quote.
For sheet metal roofing systems, choose a contractor who has had at least three years of experience installing metal roofs.

The best way to find a good metal roofing contractor is through friends and neighbors who have had similar work done. At Cambie Roofing we have an excellent reputation. Just look at our testimonies or ask any of our customers. If you ask, we’re happy to refer us to some of our happy clients.
Make appointments with at least three professional roofers. Make sure they are well experienced at the type of roof you intend to have installed. After talking to a couple of contractors, we know you’ll be happy to come back to us.

Originally published June 2018,
Updated and republished Dec. 2023

Comercial Roofing, Types of Metal Roofing Systems

Types of Metal Roofing Systems

Types on metal roofing systems

Metal systems covers a wide variety of roofing systems and can mean many different styles and materials. Steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc alloys are all materials used for metal roofing. Each has different properties that affect durability, price, and appearance.

What Types of Metal Roofs are out there?

Before making a decision on what type of metal roof you want, you need to know what types of are available. There are different types that impact price and performance that you should be aware of. It is important that this knowledge weighs in on your decision. You don’t want to make a decision to repair your existing metal roof, only to find out later that you have a metal roof that is a poor insulator and it would be worth your money to upgrade.

Conventional Metal Roofing Materials

By far, the most common materials used for metal roofs are steel and aluminum which can be used for a variety of different roofing systems. Steel, used for most metal roofing, is heavier and sturdier than aluminum. Manufacturers have settled on a number of durable coatings and finishes that protect steel from rust and corrosion. Steel is usually zinc-coated for corrosion protection and then sealed. A coating of primer offers adhesion and a baked-on acrylic top coating adds colour and protection. Because sheet systems are designed for commercial applications, they generally are given highly durable paint finishes.

Aluminum, extremely lightweight, is used for some residential metal roofing. It won’t rust, but it must be painted or coated for appearance. Coatings are similar to those used on steel. Aluminum is a very soft metal, so it dents and mars easily and isn’t nearly as rigid as steel. Aluminum-alloy coatings provide corrosion protection, but they react with alkaline chemicals in masonry mortar and cleaning solutions that might spill on the metal’s surface during construction.

Types of Metal Systems

Systems tend to fall into three distinct categories based on panel size and attachment method. Sheet metal shingles or tiles are stamped sheet metal with decorative finishes and textures. Commercially available tiles simulate clay tiles or cedar shingles, and they come in other decorative shapes. Metal tiles are very light and can be susceptible to high winds. You should be aware of wind ratings for your neighbourhood. Metal tiles might not be right for your building. Metal tiles also are susceptible to crushing if technicians or others walk on the surface.

Sheet metal panels. These panels also are hydrokinetic roofing systems and are most applicable for roofs with a steep slope. Panels are available in a variety of profiles, sizes and thicknesses. Heavier-gage metal panels are suitable for applications such as warehouses and attach directly to the structural framing. The economic advantage of direct-attachment systems is the metal panels provide the structural diaphragm, roof sheathing, and waterproofing.

Different Types of Metal Roofs


R-Panel metal roofs are the low-maintenance metal roofing option. Their easy installation cuts own on labor, time, and disposal costs, so costs for the entire project are kept low. These roofs are also available in many different colours that look very nice on a roof. These roofing systems are very popular for both residential and commercial roofing systems. Their ease of installation has helped to make them a very popular flat metal roofing option. As with all metal roofing systems, these systems are prone to rusting and should be frequently painted or coated to combat this problem.


This is the classic metal roof, common on many older barns and shacks; the “original” metal roof. Corrugated metal panels are now often galvanized and used on restaurants and retail establishments to create a classic feel. Corrugated metal roofs integrate well with fiberglass skylight panels because they typically have similar patterns and structural designs. Moreover, Corrugated metal roofs have been around for a long time and they have stood the test of time.

Architectural Standing Seam

This roofing system provides superior wind uplift protection and resistance to water than other metal roofing systems because of the way the panels interlock. They are extremely tightly constructed and provide a watertight seal that is superior to all other metal roofing systems. Many manufacturers apply a sealant to the panels in the factory, which works to maintain the structural integrity in thermal variations.

Modular Press

Modular Press panels are painted interlocking panels with standard dimensions and shapes and are growing in popularity for residential applications. They may be steel, aluminum, copper, zinc, or terne metal.
The roof panels are attached with hidden fasteners directly to the roof deck in most applications. They are usually 4-way interlocking to provide exceptional wind up-lift resistance.

High-End Metal Roofing Materials

Other forms of metal roofing are also available but can be very expensive. However, if you can afford them, they provide stunning roofs on luxury homes. Copper metal roofing, rooted in centuries of use, will not rust, has no “finish” to scratch or peel, is soft enough to easily tool, and weathers naturally to a beautiful verdigris patina. Unfortunately, it’s extremely expensive. Alloy roofing products are formulated for strength, graceful weathering, and durability. Cost depends on the specific material, but, as a group, they are pricey. Stainless-steel roofing, a very expensive roofing material, won’t rust or corrode. Terne coating can give it a natural matte-gray finish.


Lastly, we should look at how to maintain a metal roof so it lasts as long as the building. Roofers should walk directly over joists and purlins to prevent accidental bending or dishing of sheet metal roof panels. They also should minimize foot traffic on sheet metal roofs because scratches can expose the steel sheet, creating the potential for corrosion. Roofers and owners also should be careful not to scratch the surface when walking on or cleaning debris off a sheet metal roof. This will ensure you get the most out of your metal roof.


Metal roofing systems can be a cost-effective and viable choice for new and replacement roofing. Taking care in selection, design and installation will result in an attractive, low-maintenance solution. Call us at Cambie Roofing if you think about installing a metal roof or need an estimate.

Originally published Jan. 2018. Updated and republished Dec. 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.

Synthetic Roofing

What is Synthetic Roofing

What is synthetic roofing

With the aid of modern technology and scientific innovations, it seems like there’s no limit to what synthetic materials can do. This, of course, includes roof materials. Synthetic roofing products include rubber, plastic, and polymer roofing have been developed to provide the colour, look, and even texture of natural materials like slate and wood without the heaviness and fragility of natural roof materials.

For many modern roofing systems, synthetic membranes are installed between the roof deck and the shingle to provide protection to the deck. The underlayment acts as an important second line of defense from leaks, storms, and ice damage which can save your home from costly repairs. Traditional underlayment is commonly referred to as felt or tar paper, and is made of paper saturated in asphalt. Synthetic roofing is traditionally used in commercial and industrial buildings however you might consider synthetic membrane for your home because it generally lasts longer and provides better protection.

Membrane Roofing

Membrane roofing usually comprised of five layers which provide secured redundancy and improved durability for your roof. The woven scrim layer adds strength to prevent wrinkling and tears over time. The advanced back sheet adheres to the deck for easier installation for roofing contractors and provides an additional non-slip surface improved walkability.

Membrane roofing is a system of roofing traditionally used for flat or nearly flat roofs – roofs with less than a 14 degree slope. Here on the west coast of British Columbia, however, it’s a really good question as to why anyone would construct a building with a flat roof. More and more we’re seeing synthetic membranes on all types of residential roofing and with Vancouver’s heavy rainfall, synthetic membranes provide that extra protection you need.

Synthetic roof materials have been specially designed for optimal strength and durability. They’re also incredibly easy to maintain and many are fire-resistant. In fact, many synthetic materials are less expensive than their traditional roof material counterparts.

Many roofing material manufacturers are coming out with eco-friendly synthetic materials that emit the sun’s energy back into the atmosphere, reducing the cooling load on homes and businesses, as well as the heat-island effect in heavily populated areas. While perhaps not as important as in somewhere in California or down south, it can add an extra layer of protection in the hot summer months.

Types of Synthetic Membrane Roofing

Synthetic roof materials are generally made with propylene. Propylene is an organic compound. At room temperature, it is a gas. When mixed with other compounds it reacts and changes. This is one of the ways plastic is made. These synthetic roofing materials are so neat not only for their green capabilities, but also because they can mimic the look of other types of materials including wood, slate, concrete, terra-cotta and more.
There are a few different types of membrane system is made. One is a synthetic rubber, also referred to as Thermoplastic where the rubber is welded together to create one large seamless membrane which provides protection.

Thermoplastic membranes are a type of synthetic rubber. The difference is that the seams of the roofing membrane overlap and they are bonded together by either melting or dissolving the membrane. The bonding process creates a seam that is as strong as the rest of the membrane roofing.

Another is the Modified bitumen which is a type of roof that really evolved from the traditional asphalt roofing system. The seams are joined together in a variety of ways. Heat is used to melt the asphalt and form a seal. A cold application can be used and there are several self-adhesive systems.
The last type or synthetic membrane roofing is called Thermoset. This type of membrane roof is made of large, flat pieces of synthetic rubber or similar materials. These pieces are bonded together at the seams to form one continuous membrane. Thermosets are widely used roofing materials due to their ability to withstand damaging effects of sun-rays and chemicals found on roofs.

Advantages of Synthetic Roofing

Using synthetic membrane roofing has many advantages over asphalt roofing. Membrane roofing is far easier to create a perfect seal and a truly continuous membrane. All membrane roofing systems include properties that allow for expansion and contraction and UV resistance. With membrane roofing systems seams do not exist or are very strong. When the roofing system experiences expansion or contraction the roof does not form leaks or cracks in the membrane.

The fact of the matter is that there are many building in the Lower Mainland that use flat roofing. Traditionally the roofing system used has been tar and gravel roofing systems or asphalt. This type of roofing can be loosely considered a membrane roofing system but it does have some disadvantages. In Vancouver we can experience freezing temperatures in the winter and this can damage the tar and gravel roofing system. Ice damns can form and this can prohibit water from flowing off the roof. Pooling water can lead to sagging which then leads to poor drainage overall.

Membrane roofing is an ideal solution for flat or nearly flat roofing systems. The membrane roofing is applied to the entire surface area and sealed to form a seamless barrier. That prevents water from leaking in and helps to move water to drainage ports. Membrane roofing is made of a variety of synthetic materials. Commonly the roofing system is made of a synthetic rubber, thermoplastic or modified bitumen.

  • High Impact Resistance
  • Wind Resistance
  • Increased Fire Resistance
  • Resistance to Pollution
  • Longer Life Spans


While synthetic roofing has many advantages, it isn’t something that can be completed by an amateur roofing contractor. You need a professional who knows what they are doing which is why you should call Cambie Roofing. 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.

Originally published Oct. 2018.
Updated and republished July 2023.

Licensed Roofing

Licensed roofing: do roofers need to be licensed

Licensed roofing: do roofers need to be licensed?

If you’re looking to hire a roofer or roofing company, it’s critical to choose one that is properly trained. Whether you wish to have your roof inspected after a rain storm or your roof is in need of repairs because of old age, it is essential that you choose a qualified, licensed roofing contractor. This is because roof work can be dangerous. If an unqualified person works on your roof, he made do more harm than good, and can cost far more money than you initially agreed upon. In addition, if he’s not licensed and insured, you could be liable is he’s injured on the job.
Residential builders must obtain a building permit in B.C. Additionally, they must provide home warranties covering the building. Even if municipalities don’t require the builder to be licensed, they still need to arrange a home warranty for the build.

Hiring any Licensed Residential Builder in B.C. gives homeowners an advantage if they build new homes. Licensed Roofing builders are covered by mandatory warranty insurance. This warranty is attached to the home itself, and can last even if you end up selling your home.

The warranty can cover:

  • labour and materials
  • building envelope
  • roofing structure

Do Your Due Diligence

You can check to see if the builder you intend on hiring is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau and Public Registry of Residential Builders. The Licensed Residential builder is responsible for making sure their sub/contractors are properly licensed up to provincial standards as well.
It is the residential builder’s responsibility to make sure their electricians and plumbers are properly licensed.
Once you have chosen a licensed Roofing Expert, make inquiries about his reputation. Listen to the recommendations of your friends and family members. If you need complex, skilled work done, ask the roofer for previous job locations and visit them. See what condition the repairs are in and ask the homeowners what they think about the quality of the work.

If you’re having a new roof put on, the roofer should always provide a warranty. If you need a small section repaired, discuss warranty options with the contractor. Also, make sure to get a contract in writing that specifies all the costs involved. Aside from labor and material costs, make sure that the contract includes cleanup. You don’t want to be left with a dirty yard when the roofing work is done, and have to call a landscaper just to put things back in order. Because your roof is so important, you shouldn’t cut corners when selecting a contractor. Always hire a licensed Roofing professional, and be sure to ask around about his reputation and past jobs.

Education and Certification

In British Columbia, tradespeople can attend a variety of educational institutions to learn their trades. Only designated training providers can issue Industry Trade Authority (ITA) credits.
Regulated trades are monitored for consumer protection to ensure health and safety. In order to perform work in a regulated trade, the worker must be a registered apprentice with the ITA, hold a Certificate of Qualification, or be licensed for their regulatory trade.

However, uncertified individuals who have extensive experience in the field can take a Challenge Exam. This exam tests the individual’s knowledge, and provides them with a proper certification if they pass the exam. Challenge exams allow tradespeople to bypass full programs if they have sufficient knowledge of their trade.
The Red Seal certifies highly skilled tradespeople to work across Canada, no matter where they learned their trade. This certification requires additional fees and testing.

B.C. has three labour protections that enable labourers to work throughout the country once they are certified so they can get jobs anywhere in Canada. These labour protections are called Mutual Recognition Qualifications, meaning that the ITA recognizes certifications across other jurisdictions in Canadian Provinces and Territories, and vice-versa. Mutual Recognition only recognizes labourers who are in good standing with their respective governing trade authorities, and who are sufficiently qualified for their occupation in their own province without significant additional training.

You Must Check References

You may have a roofer in mind for the job, but you should ask for – and contact – at least three references. These are people who have personally hired and dealt with the contractor.
Ask the contractor for references from a current, recently completed and past project, so that any problems with the quality of the work may be caught. If the contractor refuses to provide references, do not hire them.

When you contact the references, ask each if:

  • they would hire this roofing contractor again
  • the job come in on budget and if not, why not
  • their home or personal property was damaged during the project, or if workers were careless
  • the workers wore safety protection equipment and was safe on the job

As a homeowner and consumer, you should ask the contractor about the business’s health and safety practices. You’ll want to make sure that each roofer that will be up on your roof is trained to work safely and will be wearing fall protection equipment.
Do not hire a contractor who cannot confirm whether they have trained and equipped their workers properly. Since April 1, 2017, all roofing contractors must have a working at heights training card, which proves they’ve been trained to work safely at heights.

Create A Contract

You have consumer rights under B.C’s Consumer Protection Act which covers all home renovations and repairs, including roofing. This law states when you and the contractor sign a roofing contract worth $50 or more in your home, you have the right to a cooling-off period of 10 calendar days. A contract signed in your home is an agreement under the Consumer Protection Act. During those 10 days, you can cancel the contract for any reason without having to pay any cancellation fees.

If you hire a contractor and they start working during the 10-day cooling-off period, you can still cancel the contract but you’ll be responsible for paying for any work performed.


If you have any questions about roofing and a company’s license don’t hesitate to contact us Cambie Roofing. We are more than willing to help you out with fixing, repairing, or building you a new roof.

Originally published August 2018.
Updated and republished July 2023.

Commercial and Industrial Roofing

Commercial and industrial roofs

Commercial and Industrial Roofs

Commercial and industrial roofs have needs and challenges far different from residential roofs. Therefore, it is important to talk to a roofing contractor well versed in the broad range of commercial and industrial roofs. Someone who can guide you so that together, you can decide what is best for your business’ individual needs and limitations. As a commercial business owner, you have a lot to keep safe under your roof. Therefore you should pick someone like Cambie Roofing who is capable of catering to your time and budget, while ensuring your business is protected.

Most commercial roofs are flat. Flat roofing presents its own advantages as well as challenges. With little to no slope, water and drainage are a major challenge. Stagnation on your roof is a sign of trouble. Not only water but any debris or material left on a flat roof will cause damage to your roof and ware the material away. Scheduled maintenance is key to getting the most out of your roof by clearing any debris and checking for damages left behind. Ensuring proper drainage is also of key importance to make sure water does not stagnate in any spot.

Built-Up Roofing

The most classic system of roofing available. Layers of coal tar with coal tar saturated felts. Coal tar is a by-product of the coal manufacturing process and makes an excellent water and oil resistant material. It has the ability to soften in warm temperatures and “heal” itself. Built-up roofing can be expensive on new builds, however tar and gravel flat roofing systems have a long service periods if well maintained and repaired.

Modified Bitumen

Modified Bitumen is asphalt that has had modifiers added to it, to give it plastic or rubber-like properties. Installed in layers which are either torch welded or adhered using factory applied adhesive Modified Bitumen is a cost-effective alternative. The longevity and warranty received on the product is dependent on the number of layers installed.

EPDM Roofing

Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) roofing is commonly known as rubber roofing. One of the most popular commercial roofing options is EPDM roofing. EPDM roofing systems are lightweight and simple to install. A single-ply membrane of synthetic rubber which has been improved over the years. So that current EPDM roofing systems are incredibly durable, tear and highly puncture resistant while maintaining flexibility.

One of the biggest advantages of an EPDM roof is its price, as it is one of the most inexpensive roofing materials available. It is also comparatively easy to install and is very lightweight, so the roof deck doesn’t need to be reinforced. A high-quality EPDM roof can have a life expectancy of up to 20 years. EPDM roofs are relatively durable and do not scuff or scratch easily. Further, though EPDM roofing material is black and, therefore, absorbs the heat, it is not easily damaged by UV rays.

TPO Roofing

A thermoplastic polyolefin roof (TPO) has become a very popular option, especially among commercial building owners. Like EPDM roofing, TPO is one of the more inexpensive types of roofing material. And is actually less expensive than EPDM in most cases. Because TPO is white, it helps reflect the sun, thus reducing heat buildup inside your structure.

TPO is light weight and can also be installed in different ways. It can be directly fastened to the roof deck or fully adhered with adhesives to the roof deck. It is also resistant to corrosion and breakdown, isn’t prone to algae growth or mildew. And it doesn’t need to be pressure washed. Another huge benefit is having heat-welded seams vs. the use of adhesives. When using TPO, the plastics in the membrane are literally melted together, creating a far more dependable bond between seams.

PVC Roofing

PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, roofing is composed of two layers of PVC roof material with polyester acting as a reinforcement between the layers. The layers also include additives that make the material UV-stable and flexible, while also preventing curing. Like EPDM and TPO, it is lightweight.

On a flat or low-slope roof, PVC roofing’s lifespan is comparatively long, and it is also known for its durability. PVC is additionally resistant to moisture, fire, wind and chemicals. And the heat welding installation process used with PVC roofs creates a permanent bond between each roofing sheet and keeps the seams securely together.

SPF Roofing

A spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roof is made from a form of plastic that transforms from a liquid into a solid in a matter of just seconds, while also expanding about 30 times as it dries. SPF roofing is a sustainable choice that can pay for itself in terms of energy savings. A good multi-layer SPF system (such as spray foam covered with layers of premium acrylic roof coating) has outstanding tensile strength and durability, with a reflective top coat that helps building owners save on energy costs. With proper maintenance and regular roof coatings, an SPF roof can last 40 years or more. The expansion properties of an SPF roof enable the product to effectively seal off gaps and crannies, making the entire roof watertight and airtight.

Unlike the other options, SPF provides insulation to save heat. Enhances building structural support while being lightweight, self-curbs around protrusions. And can be used to correct ponding water or more effectively channel water to drains by simply spraying more spray foam in areas that need built up. Because SPF roofing is the product of a chemical reaction between two liquid compounds. It must be applied in a carefully calibrated way or the spray foam that results will not last long-term. It can take a roofing contractor a long time to master the application of this specialized system, and specialized training is needed, as well.


Now you have the knowledge you need to decide on what type of roof is best for your commercial or industrial building, give us a call. When you need your roof repaired or a new one installed, which roofing, Cambie Roofing can offer you the professional advice and services you need.

Originally published July 2018.
Edited and republished June 2023.