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.

Roof Warranties

The Ins and Outs of Roof Warranties

The Ins and Outs of Roof Warranties

Homeowners are often confused by warranties and their terms, which is compounded when a lot of roofing contractors don’t explain them adequately. Homeowners assume that when a product includes, for example, a 15-year roofing warranty, that everything to do with their roof installation will be covered for 15 years. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. More commonly, a warranty is limited to material costs only, and does not cover cost of labour and other costs associated with the removal and replacement of materials. When looking at roofing warranties always read the fine print and ask if you don’t know.
In fact, roofing warranties can be complicated and it’s important as the building owner that you understand what type of warranty covers your roof, the terms of the warranty, factors that may make the warranty void. In this post, we will demystify some of the issues that surround roof warranties.

 Types of Roofing Warranty

There are two basic types of roofing warranty which area the contractor warranty and the manufacturer warranty. Just as they sound, the contractor warranty is provided by the roofing contractor. That installs your roof whereas the manufacturer warranty is provided by the company that makes your roofing material. The type of warranty can vary significantly from one company to another, from one manufacturer to another. Typically, a contractor offers a warranty that covers labour while manufacturers’ warranties cover materials. Sometimes these warranties overlap, but that’s certainly not always the case. Just what kind of roof warranties do you need, and what does each kind actually protect you against?

While this is not a complete list, here are some of the basic warranties:

Labour warranties: This means the labour costs to remove and reinstall defective building materials. This does not always include the original installation. If leaks are due to workmanship errors with the original installation, a labour warranty may not cover this problem.
Material warranties: are fairly inexpensive but apply only to material defects that cause early deterioration of roofing systems. These Roof warranties include the roof membrane but not flashings, adhesives, or edges. A material warranty will cover the costs of material replacement but not the labour costs associated with repair.
Workmanship warranties: This type of warranty can be confused with a labour warranty. It is, in fact, a type of warranty that will cover you against costs related to actual installation failures and errors which a labour warranty may not cover. If you’re worried about sloppy workmanship, than this is probably the best warranty to purchase.

Terms of Roofing Warranty

As you may have guessed, the terms of your roofing warranty will depend on the type of warranty you have. and also the company providing the warranty. A thing to keep in mind is that the warranty is only as good as the company backing it.
It is important to note that there are typically maintenance responsibilities that are outlined in your warranty. If you fail to maintain your roof, your warranty may be deemed voided. For example, if you fail to fix curling shingles, the warranty may not be honoured. Additionally, roofing warranties are not likely to cover damage from standing water, damage to interior structures, and also so-called “Acts of God”. Acts of God are extreme weather conditions such as a floor, lightning, earthquakes, vandalism, or fire.

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that a lot of roofing warranties are more geared toward protecting the manufacturer than the homeowner. Manufacturers, of course, don’t want to shell out money to homeowners unless they really have to. Which is why they spend a lot of money on lawyers to compose the fine print that ultimately tries to limit their own liability if something goes wrong with their roofing products. That’s why it’s so important that you understand the following before signing off on your project and warranty purchase:

  • What type of roof warranty am I getting?
  • How long does the warranty last?
  • What can void my roof warranty?
  • What are my responsibilities for maintaining my roof warranty?
  • What doesn’t a typical roof warranty cover?

Manufacturer Warranty

The most common kind of manufacturer warranty is a shingle warranty which may cover you for 20 to 50 years. As described earlier, this type of warranty only protects you against defects in the roofing materials themselves, not against improper instalment or worker error.

Although having a manufacturer warranty is important for your peace of mind, it’s actually rare for a roofing problem to be traced to a manufacturing defect. More commonly, a substandard roof is attributable to poor installation which is a separate issue altogether and which a manufacturer warranty won’t cover. Keep in mind even if the materials themselves are at fault, your warranty may only cover those materials, not the labour required to install them.


The actual terms of a roofing warranty will differ from company to company and the roofing material you select. Always ask for a copy of the warranty before signing the contract. And educate yourself about the exclusions and limitations in the warranty.
When you hire a roofing contractor, you should first check to see if your roof is under warranty. If it is, then it can help you save possibly thousands of dollars in repairs. Call us at Cambie roofing because we offer you the most warranty choices for your new roof or roof repairs. For the best protection for your home, call our Vancouver roof experts to schedule a free, in-home consultation.

Originally published February 2019.
Updated and republished November 2023

Best Asphalt Shingles

Best asphalt shingles

Best Asphalt Shingles

It can be a challenge knowing what the best type of asphalt shingle is out there. There are so many different types and styles to choose from and everybody seems to be promising the moon.
In this blog post we’re going to show you Best Asphalt Shingles in the market and then you can decide what is best for your home.

The Key Components of Every Shingle

The major factors that are important to a homeowner and builder when choosing a roofing shingle are: price, wind ratings, life expectancy, and colour selection. These are all extremely important issues, but there are other things to consider as well such as how was the shingle made, the weight of the material, how wide is the nailing strip, pitch of the roof the shingle will be installed on, what type of warranty does the shingle carry, and what type of wind rating does it carry. When you purchase a new roof you want a shingle that is going to be aesthetically appealing on your home, but will also perform well in the type of weather your particular city or region experiences.
There are two primary types of asphalt shingle, fiberglass and organic. Both are popular choices that should satisfy the needs of most homeowners. Here’s what you need to know about each one.

Organic Asphalt Shingles

Organic shingles consist of formerly living materials such as paper, wood, and cellulose that are melded with adhesive asphalt to create a solid core. These shingles are tremendously durable in snow and cold weather, so they’re a popular choice in Canada, northern United States, as well as higher elevations. The reason for this durability is their composites which includes more asphalt than fiberglass, which makes them heartier. The major downsides are that they’re prone to warping. They’re more expensive, and they’re heavier.
Organic shingles are the more traditional roofing solution with fiberglass ascending in popularity in recent years. The layman won’t notice much difference between the types, especially when you stare at your roof from ground level. The basic appearance is still the same despite the underlying chemical compound.

Fiberglass Shingles

Fiberglass shingles are a newer roofing solution. These Fiberglass glass mats compose the makeup of these shingles. In addition to being cheap to manufacture, they are remarkably durable and a higher quality than most shingles. This makes sense, because fiberglass at its core is a highly compressed type of glass filament woven into huge patterns to create incredibly dense material. A fiberglass shingle is lighter, thinner, and more eco-friendly. It’s also more resistant to fire if disaster ever strikes in your home. The primary negative is that they contain less asphalt since the composition is structured to take advantage of the fiberglass.

Different Colours of Shingles

You can choose any style and colour which can reflect your personality and individual tastes, but keep in mind the resale value of your home is always a priority. Don’t pick something that doesn’t fit in with the rest of your home or neighbourhood. When you list your house, if you have something not in style, it can make it more difficult to sell.
Choosing classic colours such as white and black may seem boring, but each has a hidden purpose. If you’re living in a colder area, you can enhance the energy efficiency of your home through something as simple as shingle colour scheme. By picking black, you’ll have to run your heat less frequently in the winter.
Similarly, people in warmer climates should buy white shingles to reduce their dependency on air conditioning. You also have other colours to choose from like brown and gray. Choose a colour that complements your exterior paint colour, not one that you’ll regret in a couple of years.

Different Shingle Styles

With considering shingles, evaluate the overall design of your home. If you have a simple, elegant style with your exterior home design, your shingles present an opportunity to add some splash to the proceedings. On the flipside, if your home is a bit busy, you should dial back your roof cover to prevent distracting from the other, more daring choices.
No matter what you decide in terms of colour and style, there’s one aspect to keep in the back of your mind. You should examine your potential shingles in all manners of light. You don’t want to pay for the installation only to realize that your roof looks less attractive during certain parts of the day. At that point, you’re stuck with it no matter how much the situation bothers you.

So Which One Is Best?

Organic and fibreglass shingles look the same. They’re both made from asphalt and granules and they’re installed exactly the same way too. Fibreglass shingles usually hold up better if a roof has poor ventilation.
Proper ventilation means the temperature difference is minimized between the attic and air outside. This prolongs the life of your roof. It also eliminates moisture that can get trapped inside the attic. If moisture stays there, it can lead to rot and mold.
There are plenty of different shingle products out there. Most homeowners choose based on their budget, but like everything else, you get what you pay for so be careful.
Compared with other shingle materials, asphalt is inexpensive which makes them popular. Most roofs have them but they’re not as durable as other types of shingles.
Some fibreglass shingles come with a 50-year warranty. They’re also more fire-resistant than organic Consider hiring a professional roofer before making a final decision. They have decades of experience, so they can aid you in avoiding rookie mistakes when you choose the colour, style, and type of shingles.


The undertaking of building a new roof is substantial. There are a lot of pitfalls to avoid, but if you use the information above, you should have no problem finding the shingle type, style and colour that best suits your house. While price is always a key consideration in such massive home renovations, the reality is that the cost of shingles is relatively static, especially by the ordinary standards of exterior equipment. This liberates you to go with your heart rather than your wallet during the decision-making process.

Originally published July 2017.
Updated and republished August 2023

Torch on roofing, Modified Bitumen Roofing Tips

Modified bitumen roofing tips

Modified Bitumen Roofing Tips

Modified bitumen is a very popular roofing material. In this blog post we will explore what it is, how it works, how to identify it, installation methods and more.

What is Modified Bitumen Roofing?

Modified Bitumen Roofing is made from asphalt and a variety of rubber modifiers and solvents. It is the next evolution of asphalt roofing. In an application process the seams are heated to melt the asphalt together and create a seal. There is also hot-mopped application, similar to how conventional roofs are installed.

How Modified Bitumen Works

Modified bitumen can be installed overtop of an existing tar roof unlike rubber flat roofing, which can be eaten away. It is also very rugged and can sustain a fair amount of foot traffic. Modified bitumen roofs involve some traditional materials, but use modern fabrication methods, and traditional or more contemporary installation techniques.

Modified bitumen roofs are made from prefabricated rolls of modified asphalt or coal tar reinforced with a fiberglass or polyester reinforced mat. Rubber-modified asphalts, such as styrene-butadiene-styrene materials, are granular surfaced and are normally installed in two or more plies using mopping asphalt, cold adhesives, or torch welding. Plastic-modified asphalts such as atactic polypropylene systems are smooth or granular surfaced and can be heat welded or laid in cold adhesive.

Modified bitumen membranes combine the features of a built-up roof with the added strength from its polymer modification. Using a reinforced sheet that is prefabricated in the plant, modified bitumen systems require a less labor-intensive application than other types of roofing and can be applied in both commercial and residential roofs.

A modified bitumen roof is composed primarily of polymer-modified bitumen reinforced with one or more plies of fabric such as polyester, fiberglass or a combination of both. It can also include mineral granules, aluminum or copper. The bitumen determines the membrane’s characteristics and provides primary waterproofing protection, while the reinforcement adds strength, puncture resistance and overall system integrity.

A roofer will ensure modified bitumen membranes undergo strict quality control standards to ensure uniform thickness and consistent physical properties throughout the membrane. The finished roofing is usually two to four layers of modified bitumen membrane and a base sheet, with additional plies for added strength if needed. Usually if more layers are applied, the roof will last longer.

How to Identify Modified Bitumen

The best way to identify a Modified Bitumen roof is to look at the material edges. Modified bitumen roofing is thicker, and its edges are sealed by heating with a torch. You should see a little runout of melted bitumen at the material seams. If there is no runout the roof may have been adhered using some other method. But if it was “torched” it was not heated sufficiently and may be less durable.
Secondly, , it also is better at resisting tearing and breaking. If you find that it is easy to tear into the roof material edge it’s probably roll roofing not mod-bit.

Properties & Installation Methods

Most modified-bitumen roofs are torch-applied, although there are also self-adhesive and cold-process systems. The waterproofing membrane, sometimes called “single-ply modified,” consists of asphalt bitumen reinforced with a polyester or fiberglass fabric. And modified with polymers to give it greater strength, flexibility, resistance to UV degradation, and resistance to heat and cold.

A variety of different chemical formulations have been tried over the years. It is best to stick to a product with an established track record. In general, modified-bitumen roofs can be applied to slopes as shallow as 1/4 inch per foot.
There are two main forms of modified bitumen roofing installation: the torch-down installation method, and a peel-and-stick installation.

Installation Methods for Modified Bitumen Roofs

A torch-applied, or torchdown, roof starts with a non-flammable base sheet made of asphalt-saturated felt or fiberglass that is mechanically attached to the roofing deck. In residential construction, the base sheet is usually attached with roofing nails driven through metal caps.

The second layer is the waterproofing membrane. This is heated with a torch as it unrolls, fusing it to the base sheet, to itself at seams, and to penetrations such as skylights. Installers must learn to heat the membrane so it is hot enough to fuse but not so hot as to burn through.

Membranes may be either smooth or have a granular surface like roll roofing. Smooth-faced membranes need a third coating, which has colored or reflective pigments to protect against UV radiation. The smooth type is preferable where foot traffic is expected or where decking is going over the roofing.

Torchdown roofing is self-flashing and uses no adhesives or solvents to seal around openings. The material can be run up parapets and abutting wall. And patches are used to seal around metal skylight curbs and similar openings. A special patching compound is used to seal to PVC stacks. If applied correctly, the torchdown membrane is essentially seamless.

Pros and Cons

Bitumen roofs are very durable and are one of the longer lasting types of flat roofing materials, easily lasting 20 years or more. They are also easily repaired without solvents or adhesives, making it less expensive to maintain. It is compatible with asphalt shingles and asphalt compounds, although patching with roofing cement is not recommended. The reinforced fabric layer isolates the membrane above from building movement and gives the material enough strength to support occasional foot traffic.

The main drawback of modified bitumen roofing is the risk of fire during installation. While the risk of fire is low in the hands of trained installers, care must be taken when using torchdown on a wood-frame structure. A number of fires have started with sawdust that has accumulated in empty cavities, such as crickets and parapets. Inspection of the roof for sawdust pockets while it is being framed is advised.

Typical Slopes for Modified Bitumen Roof Systems

Modified bitumen roofing is normally installed on low-slope roofing, up to 3 inches in slope. Or depending on the application method, up to six inches of slope per foot may be permitted. Because there are quite a few approved installation methods. Manufacturers typically use a alphameric roof application method name that encodes the basics of how the roof covering should be installed.

Originally published August 2017.
Updated and republished June 2023.

Flat Roof Construction Tips, showing a flat roof, Best Roofing Systems for Flat Roofs

Best Roofing Systems for Flat Roofs

Best Roofing Systems for Flat Roofs

Because flat and low-slope roofs collect moisture easily, they need to be built differently than other types of roofs. For example, shingles cannot be used for this type of roof. They are too vulnerable to leaks and instead you need a seamless protective covering.
Choosing the best roofing systems for flat roofs is a challenge for many homeowners and businesses owners. There are multiple types of roofing systems that will work for flat roofs, and when deciding on the right one, there are multiple factors to take into consideration. These factors include: durability, the building’s structure and roof weight limitations and the cost. Listed below are common flat roof systems, including their pros and cons. The characteristics of each roofing system should be reviewed carefully. As you try to choose what is the best roofing system for a flat roof?

Asphalt and gravel have long been the standard for flat roofs. However, in the past 20 years or so, elastomeric bitumen coatings which use a two-layer system have become popular because of their sturdiness and now make up a large portion of the residential market.

Asphalt and gravel System

An asphalt-and-gravel roof membrane consists of several overlapping layers of roofing material, three of which are laminated together using molten asphalt. Roofing felt is then used to smooth out uneven areas of the roof decking and form a stable base for the asphalt, which prevents water from seeping through.
A layer of gravel is then added on top of the membrane to shield it from the sun’s UV radiation. Without that protection, the asphalt will deteriorate quickly.
If you choose this type of coating, be aware that installing it is difficult. The roofers will be handling molten asphalt and working with a noisy machine called a tar kettle. There will most likely be unpleasant odours and toxic fumes to be careful of as well.

It’s well known that flat and low-slope roof structures have specific needs. For example, shingles are never used for this type of roof: they are vulnerable to leaks, so they require a seamless protective covering however, its lifespan can be maximized by simple seasonal maintenance, which consists of adding gravel over any bare spots. An asphalt-and-gravel roof covering should last for 20 to 25 years, depending on the quality of the installation job and of seasonal maintenance.

Elastomeric bitumen:

Elastomeric membranes come in rolls and are used to create roof coverings typically made up of two layers – a bottom membrane and a granule-covered top sheet. The granules make the covering resistant to weather, tears, and UV radiation.
The top sheet is welded using a torch. Installation of an elastomeric membrane is much neater than laying an asphalt-and-gravel system. However, working with an open flame means a fire risk so if you choose this method, make sure your roofer has the right kind of insurance.

Some types of dual-layer elastomeric membrane can also be cold-applied. In this case the strips of each layer are self-adhesive, and all the installer has to do is remove a film covering the adhesive as the strips are unrolled. This product is also a good substitute for shingles on a low-sloping roof that lacks a drain to collect rainwater.
An elastomeric membrane results in a lighter coating with greater impact resistance than the classic method, due to its elasticity—an advantage that is even more apparent in cold weather. This type of roof covering is also easier to inspect and repair, as there is no layer of gravel masking the surface.
The cost of a hot-applied elastomeric membrane is 10 to 15% higher than for asphalt-and-gravel coating. It lasts much longer, however: an average of 30 to 35 years.

Synthetic coverings

Synthetic coverings like polyvinyl chloride and thermoplastic polyolefin and ethylene propylene diene monomer are single layer membrane system. The roofer uses scissors to work around obstacles like vents and chimneys. Because of how they are applied, synthetic coverings are best used for large areas, free of obstacles.
Typically synthetic membranes are either mechanically applied or welded using a tool much like a hair dryer to soften the membrane.

Single-ply synthetic membranes, also known as monocouche coverings in Quebec are light, recyclable, can be installed quickly, and cost 10 to 15% less than asphalt-and-gravel coatings. They are also easy to maintain and repair—except during the winter months when hot-air gluing methods are less effective.

PVC Roofing System

PVC roofing system is highly reflective and very durable. Moreover, PVC is one of the top flat roof options because it is easy to install and lacks water permeability. Meaning it can resist water ponding. It’s three main benefits are very comparable to number 5 on the list, spray-applied roof coatings. The problem with PVC, and the biggest difference from roof coatings, is that it is applied in rolls. And therefore it has seams that can lead to roof failure. When it is rolled out, these seams must be taped or glued together. While this may resist water for a while, it will not hold up for 10-15 years as a seamless roofing system would.

Ethylene propylene is a rubber compound rather than plastic. They are very durable and have built a reputation around durability, but they are not without their weak points. The seams in the EPDM system are treated with adhesives and this makes the seams vulnerable over long periods of time. This sealing system often leads to maintenance on the seams, or building owners living with leaks. This is one of the more maintenance-intensive flat roof options.

Is it a Good idea to Cover over an Existing Coating?

It is possible to cover an asphalt-and-gravel coating with a single-ply membrane. After first removing the gravel and laying down sheets of high-density fiberboard. Many roofers warn against doing this, however, because humidity rising from the home can be trapped in the old coating, between the framing and the new membrane, warping and damaging the roofing system. For more dependable results, it’s best to start from scratch.

Finding the Best Roofing Systems for Flat Roofs

Can’t decide on the best flat roofing system for you? Schedule a free consultation with Cambie Roofing. We are experienced roofers who will be able to weigh all your considerations. And recommend a roofing system that will work best for your Vancouver home or business.

Originally published Oct. 2017.
Updated and republished May 2023.


Asphalt Shingles Repairs

Asphalt Shingles Repairs

Repairing or replacing the most common type of roofing-asphalt or asphalt fiberglass shingles is relatively easy. A professional roofer can work safely to ensure that you get the highest quality repair job.
You can repair your roof yourself, but the repair may stick out like a sore thumb if you don’t know what you’re doing, or if you don’t have an exact replacement product for your type of roofing. There’s also the potential to do more damage to your roof if the repair is not done correctly. For those reasons, we don’t recommend you do the repair job yourself, but rather call a professional like Cambie Roofing to do the job for you.

Types of Shingle

Organic is the current word used to describe traditional asphalt shingles, which differentiates them from the up-and-coming alternative called fiberglass shingles. The two types of shingles look the same on your roof: coloured granules held together by hardened tar. Both types are flexible and both are applied in the same way. The difference has to do with what the tar is bonded to.
Organic shingles are built on a substrate of heavy felt, while fiberglass shingles have a foundation of non-woven glass fibers. This difference doesn’t sound like much, but it actually leads to substantially different performance, especially in particular situations.
The main advantage of fiberglass shingles is their resistance to heat and durability. They’re much less likely to curl up than organic shingles, even when used on hot, unventilated roof structures. This means they will last longer, especially when you use higher-end products. Fiberglass shingles can carry up to a 50-year warranty. They are also less susceptible to catching fire or melting from the heat of a fire below.

What To Look For In Asphalt Shingles

These are some of the common things to look for to see if your Asphalt shingles need to be replaced:
Curling or crawling shingles are signs of both an aging roof system and excessive heat. In Vancouver, we don’t have to necessarily worry about heat, so if a shingle curls, it means that it is worn and at the end of its life span. Curled shingles are highly susceptible to water damage, wind uplift, and ice damage. These shingles will become rigid and can break easily and lose edges.
Broken or missing shingles greatly weaken a roof’s ability to shed water and can be an entry point for leakage. Buckling shingles are visible waved distortions that can run vertically or horizontally across the roof. Overall, roof age and wet or poor installation are common causes of buckled shingles.
When your roof has multiple leaks or a lot of damaged shingles, it usually means it’s time to replace the roofing entirely. Although a greater expense up front, it can be more cost effective than repairing the shingles all the time. When you put on a new roof, make sure to store a few extra shingles in your garage or somewhere safe so you’ll have matching replacements for repairs.

The Loss of Protective Granules

Aging roofs or physical damage can cause bare spots and a loss of granules. When the protective granules of a shingle are lost, the shingles begin to harden from heat and sun exposure. Granule loss on a roof will accelerate aging and shingle decaying.
Roofing problems make themselves known in the form of leaks and drips. You should repair a leaky roof before ceiling and walls are damaged. We recommend you get your roof checked by an expert at least twice a year in Fall and Summer.

Finding The Leak

The source of most leaky roofs is hard to find because it ordinates away from where the leak shows up. To find the source of the leak follow the slop of the roof. You will need to “think like water.” This may seem like strange advice but will actually help you find the area you need to repair. Water typically comes through worn, or missing shingles, or where nails are loose. Other entry points for water are at poorly sealed roof flashing around vents, skylights, or chimneys.

The water from a leak often travels down the rafters and shows up down-roof from where it begins. Once water passes the roof, it flows along the rafters or topside of the ceiling until it finds a place to drip down. Look for roof leaks during the day because they will be much easier to find. Scrambling around in the dark is usually a futile endeavor.

Go into the attic with a bright flashlight. Remember to step only on secure framing beams and never on the insulation or top side of the ceiling below. They will not hold your weight. Start above the place where the drip has occurred and work your way up the roof, looking for wetness along the beams.
If the weather has been dry for a while, look for a watermark stain or discolouration on the wood made by moisture. Then switch off the light and try to find a hole where the light shows through the roof. With a wooden shingle roof, you’ll see many such places but while the overlapped shingles let light show through they shed water. If it’s raining put a bucket under the leak in an area with proper support.

Shingle Warranties

You should know how long your roof warranty is good for and if your repair still falls within that warranty period. When you replace your roof, ask the roofing company about the warranty.
Some warranties cover only the cost of materials, while others will cover both the materials and labour. The most common reason for a warranty claim is incorrectly laid shingles and poor attic ventilation, not because of faulty material. Heavier shingles are generally more durable and will come with a longer warranty, while lighter shingles wear out faster.
If you need to replace your asphalt roof or get it repaired, it’s best to trust a professional who knows what they’re doing. Call Cambie Roofing today and we will come out to assess your roofing needs.

Originally published on May 7, 2017.
Updated and republished on Feb. 14, 2023.

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 asphalt, 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.

Residential Roofing, Best Types of Roofs

Best Types of Roofs

Best Types of Roofs

In this blog post we’re going to cover the best types of roofs for your residential or commercial building.
Whether you are building your roof from scratch or patching up your existing roof a wide range of materials and types are readily available. But which one is the best for your home?
There are many types and materials to choose from which include asphalt, wood, and composite shingles, as well as slate, concrete, and clay tiles. Cost is an important factor, but it’s not the only one. Style, material weight, and installation requirements should also influence your selection. Lastly, you want your roof to blend in well with the neighbourhood. If you build a flat roof in a neighbourhood of cedar roofs, it can cause your house to stick out like a sore thumb.


A number of considerations will affect the cost of a new roof. The price of the material is the starting point, but other factors also must be considered. One is the condition of the existing roof if you are remodeling a house. If old materials must be stripped off, and if the supporting structure needs repair, that can be costly. The shape of the roof is another contributing factor. A gable roof with few or no breaks in its planes makes for a simple roofing job. A house with multiple chimneys, intersecting rooflines, turrets, skylights, or other elements will cost significantly more to roof. It’s always important to get an estimate before starting any work.


Not every roofing material can be used on every roof. A flat roof or one with a low slope may demand a surface different from one with a steeper pitch. Materials like slate and tile are very heavy, so the structure of many homes is inadequate to carry the load. Consider the following options, then talk with your roofer and get an estimate for the job.

Asphalt Shingles

This is the most commonly used of all roof materials, probably because it’s the least expensive and requires a minimum of skill to install. It’s made of a fiberglass medium that’s been impregnated with asphalt and then given a surface of sand-like granules. Two basic configurations are sold: the standard single-thickness variety and thicker, laminated products. The standard type costs roughly half as much, but laminated shingles have an appealing textured appearance and last roughly half as long.


Wood was the main choice for centuries, and it’s still a good option. Usually made of cedar, redwood, or pine, shingles are sawn or split. They have a life expectancy in the 25-year range but cost an average of twice as much.


Aluminum, steel, copper, copper-and-asphalt, and lead are all durable—and expensive—roofing surfaces. Lead and the copper/asphalt varieties are typically installed as shingles, but others are manufactured for seamed roofs consisting of vertical lengths of metal that are joined with solder. These roofs start at about $250 per square but often cost two or three times that.
Tile and Cement. The half cylinders of tile roofing are common on Spanish Colonial and Mission styles; cement and some metal roofs imitate tile’s wavy effect. All are expensive, very durable, and tend to be very heavy.


Slate is not very common in Vancouver. However, is among the most durable of all roofing materials. Not all slate is the same but the best of it will outlast the fasteners that hold it in place. Hundred-year-old slate, in fact, is often recycled for reinstallation, with the expectation it will last another century. But slate is expensive and very heavy.

Best Types of Roofs

Once you pick your material, you have to pick the style of roof you want. There are many different types but we have narrowed it down to three different types. The styles of roofs vary depending on area and taste.

Gable Roof

Gable roof designs are one of the simpler and most common styles when it comes to roofs. The gable roof style looks like an upside down. 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. There is also 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.

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.
They are 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.

Flat Roof

Flat roofs are common especially with commercial buildings but can be used on residential homes as well. 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. 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.

Choosing the Right Roof

More often than not, if you are remodeling, the existing roof of your house will determine your choice of roofing material. Should you be considering other options, you’ll want to consider not only the cost but the color, texture, weight, and durability of your alternatives, as well as what traditionally has been used on houses like yours. So, these Best Types of Roofs will help you to Decide.

Originally published on November 15th 2017
Updated on March 1st 2021.
Updated and Republished on Jan 10th 2023


What is the most popular style of roofing and why?

What is the most popular style of roofing and why?

Choosing the perfect style of roof for your home can be a tedious task, especially when it comes to where you live and what climates your home will be faced with. You want to make sure the roof you pick is durable and long lasting but also affordable and stylish! However, your budget will ultimately determine what style of roof you end up with even if it wasn’t your first choice. Today we’re going to dive into the most popular style of roofing: asphalt shingles and why they’re by far the most commonly chosen.

Asphalt shingles have been around since the early 1900’s after being invented by a man named Henry Reynolds from Grand Rapids, Michigan. History suggests that asphalt shingles were first created in 1903, were used generally throughout parts of the United States by 1911 and quickly became produced in the millions by 1939. Asphalt shingles became popular throughout efforts to eliminate wood shingles which were massive fire hazards. Today, asphalt shingles are by far the most commonly used across North America. But why?


Asphalt shingles are extremely cost effective which is why they’re so popular. For years now people have chosen this style of roofing because purchasing the supplies and paying for the installation is easy on the wallet. The average cost of asphalt shingles can range anywhere from $3.00 to $5.50 per square foot but costs do vary. So if your home’s roof area is in the 2,000 square feet range, you’re only paying between $6,000 and $11,000. (Please note this is only an average estimate and numbers can vary).

Easy and fast installation

Because asphalt shingles are so popular, getting your hands on them isn’t a difficult task and most roofing companies are well versed in installing them. As a result, getting them ordered for your home whether you’re replacing an old existing roof or you’re building a new home is easy. Just another reason why you might consider asphalt shingles for your upcoming project.

Advanced technology

Asphalt shingles have come a long way since they were first created. Today, there are two main types including fiberglass and organic asphalt shingles. Fiberglass shingles are obviously made using a fiberglass base which is then coated with the asphalt. This makes these shingles waterproof and durable while protecting your home. On the other hand, organic style asphalt shingles are made from recycled substances like paper. The base of the shingle is put together using these materials before it is layered with the asphalt. This too ensures the shingles are waterproof before being installed on your home. Additionally, the organic asphalt shingles are an eco-friendly alternative if you’re looking to make less of an environmental impact.


Asphalt shingles are an inexpensive choice but this also comes with some downfalls. The lifespan of this style can be between 10 and 25 years, sometimes more. As already mentioned, climate and location are two factors that will help determine how long your asphalt shingles last before needing to be replaced. Despite this, they are still the most popular style of roofing chosen because the positives outweigh the negatives. While these shingles are considered easy to install, it is still a good idea to consider using a professional roofing company. But, if you do decide to try it out for yourself, there is a ton of information online to help guide you through the steps.

As we’re sharing this information from Canada today, we know asphalt shingles are the go to choice for most Canadians. It comes down to cost and our harsh climates. These shingles can withstand freezing temperatures and hail storms. They are also fire resistant which is something to consider when installing your roof, especially if your geographic location is prone to extreme weather conditions such as high winds and scorching temperatures. And if you’ve decided that asphalt shingles are the right choice for you, you’ll be pleased to know that their styles and colours have transformed over the years to include a wide range of profiles to give off any look you’re trying to achieve on your budget! If you want to learn more about roofing styles and asphalt shingles in particular, contact our specialists at Cambie Roofing today.