Drainage Solutions for Flat Roofs

Three Drainage Solutions for Flat Roofs in Vancouver

There’s no denying the preference for flat roofs in Vancouver. From apartment buildings to residential homes, Vancouverites love the simplicity of flat roofs over other types.

But what about the downfalls? Flat roofs are known for their vulnerable design in inclement weather, puddling water and quick saturation. So, anyone planning to install a flat roof or replace an old one must have a failsafe drainage solution.

Importance of an Adequate Drainage on a Flat Roof

Proper drainage on a flat roof ensures that both rain and snow are adequately removed. In addition, it’ll prevent leaks, water damage and structural problems with your building’s foundation.

Both the outer surface of the roof and any insulation applied to it become saturated with water, particularly after a heavy rainfall or snow. That’s why a drainage system is necessary during both the summer and winter months as it ensures that the roof doesn’t freeze, causing cracks in the material.

Proper drainage will also reduce ice dams – when thick accumulations of snow form on your roof under shingles or tiles where they melt and refreeze again with water trickling down, causing leaks over time. Unfortunately, if this melting process happens frequently, it’ll also damage the insulation under the roofing material, allowing ice bridges to form.

What Happens If There Isn’t Enough Drainage?

Flat roofs in Vancouver won’t last long without an established drainage solution. The first thing to go will be the roofing material. With enough water exposure, your shingles start peeling at their bottom layers. The underlying roof deck will then be damaged, resulting in leaks.

And if your building’s insulation is affected by water damage, expect to pay more out of pocket for heat in the cold winter months. Plus, the humidity build-up in the insulation leads to mould growth in your attic space. It even speeds up shrub growth on the roof surface that also leads to roof leaks.

Further compounding these problems is polluted rainwater. With inadequate drainage, rainwater will sit on your roof’s surface for extended periods. You don’t want those contaminants to find their way into your indoor environment, contaminating both the soil and groundwater where they eventually reach groundwater used for drinking.

These problems can all be prevented with a well-planned drainage design for your flat roofing project.

Choosing the Right Solution for Your Building

If you have a flat roof on your house or building, these three drainage solutions offer the best protection:

1 – Gutter System

The best thing about gutters is that you don’t need to perform a pricey modification on your flat roof to install them. Gutters work by directing water from the roof into a downspout. The bigger the gutter and downspout, the more effective it is at draining off excess water.

Aside from being a cost-effective drainage solution, a gutter system doesn’t require a ton of maintenance, provided you install protection, i.e., gutter guards or mesh. Of course, you’ll need a professional who’s experienced in installing gutters and their accompanying protection, but it shouldn’t be expensive either.

Warning: Gutter systems often accumulate debris over time and may need to be maintained or cleaned. Otherwise, you’ll experience blockage and overflow, especially if you don’t equip them with protection.

2 – Scuppers

Scuppers aren’t as common as gutters, but they’re an excellent drainage solution for flat roofs. Scuppers are simply openings in the roof that allow water to seep into a perforated pipe leading to cleanouts and downspout extensions.

The perforations on the scupper’s pipe direct rainwater to the downspout, avoiding any overflow. In addition, it means they protect your building’s foundation from water seeping through cracks and holes, which could lead to irreparable damage.

Scuppers are a better drainage option for flat roofs because it’s one of the least expensive solutions that offer excellent performance. It works best for homes or small commercial buildings with minimal roof area that can accommodate scupper openings.

Warning: The drawback to using scuppers is that small debris or fallen leaves can clog the roof opening and prevent water from draining. You may need to maintain them regularly, i.e., by cleaning out any excess dirt and debris.

3 – Interior Drains

For larger flat rooftops, using interior drains is the best option. It requires drilling holes in your roof decking and placing drainage pipes below to direct water elsewhere.

This drainage solution comprises guttering, pipes, and a system of drains that ensure water is never allowed to remain on your roof. The system works if the density of your insulation is higher than other flat roofs, where water accumulates faster after heavy rainfall. The downside of this solution is that you’ll need to cut through the roof decking, which can be an expensive process.

Warning: Installing an interior drain system requires hiring a professional plumber and roofer who’s experienced in installing drainage systems for flat roofs. You’ll also need to regularly clean the system to avoid blockage, leading to water build-up.

Why Not DIY?

If you’re tempted to design your own drainage solution for your flat roof, don’t.

A DIY approach may save you money initially, but there’s a high chance it will cost more in the long run. Flat roofs are difficult to work with and require specialized designs that aren’t possible without professional installation. You’ll end up wasting time and money if you try to do it yourself.

Of course, a DIY approach might work for a small roofing structure with a less complicated design. However, for anything more extensive or complicated, hire a professional.

COVID and cost of your roof

How COVID-19 Will Impact the Cost of Your Roof

How COVID-19 Will Impact the Cost of Your Roof? There’s every reason to believe that property owners hoping to replace or install a new roof will have to prepare for significantly higher costs amid the pandemic.

As there is no reason for optimism about COVID-19, it’s no surprise that costs are already on their way up. The average price of a new shingle roof rose by at least 5% in 2021.

And it gets worse – the impact of COVID-19 on affordable housing providers will be even more significant. There is no simple way for them to make roof installation more affordable; in other words, local roofers expect to spend more across the board.

Economic Shutdown’s Impact on Roof Materials

The shutdown of several manufacturing plants and the loss of skilled labourers have meant that roofing suppliers and manufacturers have had to import materials from overseas.

Though the materials aren’t any different, they’re imported means there are additional shipping costs. For the most part, the added expense is shouldered by property owners who need to replace their roofs and buy products.

Opting for imported roofing materials is a costlier option – but with local supplies hit by the stranded economy, both property owners and roofing contractors don’t have much choice.

Even if a substantially lower number of property owners spend on a roof replacement during the pandemic, this trend doesn’t translate to cheaper materials. Companies, especially those that struggle to compete with well-established brands, are forced to adhere to COVID-19 adjustments in the factories.

This means social distancing, limited physical contact, and constrained work hours. All in all, everyone in the roofing industry must deal with reduced production.

Costlier Supplies + Lower Demand = Higher Prices for Your Roof

Whatever your roofing needs, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll need to prepare for higher costs.

For homeowners struggling to maintain their properties, this means putting home improvement projects on hold. But when the roof can no longer function the way it’s expected, you have no other choice but to have it replaced, even if it means having to take the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Manufacturers of roof materials know all too well that property owners are forced to pay a premium for their products. And since many homeowners are compelled to turn to less affordable options, they’re also more likely to sell at a higher price.

We’re not saying that everyone’s taking advantage of it. Nevertheless, even big-time manufacturers and suppliers are struggling to meet ends, forcing them to increase the price of roofing materials.

Mandatory Safety Guidelines Make Everything Difficult

Roofers and manufacturers don’t dictate the price of roofing materials, at least for the most part – they’re not the ones to blame for the increased cost of roof replacement.

Government-mandated safety guidelines and policies in the workplaces across all service industries make it almost impossible to stick to the usual turnaround time. This is quite true in the construction sector, where roofing belongs.

The result?

  • More delays
  • More time for the roof to deteriorate
  • Increased construction costs all around

As a result, you’re forced to pay more if you want your roof replacement as soon as possible.

So, aside from paying more for the materials, property owners are likely to acquiesce to higher cost estimates for labour. Several factors come into play, including that workers must be cautious not to get infected with the virus on site. It usually means a higher demand for paid overtime, extra compensation, and hazard pay.

Some property owners decide to do things cheaply, i.e., hiring a handyman to install a new roof. But this, too, could cost you more in the long run. Working with an unqualified roofer means increased susceptibility to mistakes. This only makes the roof more vulnerable to leaks and expensive repairs sooner than later.

Is It Best to Delay Roof Replacement?

If your roof is in good condition, then you might want to consider deferring the replacement for now. However, when there’s a massive storm approaching or when it starts leaking, you’ll have no other choice but to replace it in time.

You need to protect your family under the assessment of a professional – regardless of whether COVID-19 already hit your community or not.  Fortunately, there are ways to limit physical interaction while you’re weighing your options.

For example, you can search and hire a roofing contractor without meeting them in person. You can also arrange for a virtual appointment and a simulation of their work sites.

An online meeting with your prospects will suffice when it comes to figuring out the best options available. Another alternative would be to have a third party contact them on your behalf.

Cost Of Your Roof And COVID-19

With most roofing companies adapting to the new normal, you expect them to be fully versed in online correspondence. After all, working with clients online reduces overhead costs and maintains productivity.

There always will be a handful of prospects out there who’ll give you a reasonable quotation to get some work done in otherwise slow trade.

So, the problem isn’t finding a qualified contractor to install your new roof in the middle of the pandemic. The more obvious concern is the cost – will it be too much for anyone to back off and put the project on hold? Even with the pandemic ravaging the entire construction industry, there’s no way that roofing companies will cease their operations.

The roofing industry is going through a tough time, but if you’re smart about it, then there’s no need for you to pay an outrageous price to have your roof replaced in time. Know how to compare prices online, get free quotes from multiple contractors, and ask the right questions.

Keep in mind that COVID-19 is already making impact over the cost of your roof. Be ready to deal with it while saving money in the long term.

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What Are Some Environmentally Friendly Roofing Choices?

Roof replacement usually takes a backseat whenever you think about spending money on home improvement. It’s not surprising, considering the fact that it’s one of the priciest investments for your home or building.

Nonetheless, you really don’t have a choice because all roofs must be replaced sooner or later. And when that time comes, you’re hard-pressed to find a decent replacement that won’t break the bank.

While cost is the primary consideration for most people, there are other things to factor in choosing the material for your next roof, one of which is sustainability. Simply put, you must look into the possible effects of your roofing material on the environment.

The following are some environmentally friendly roofing materials you might want to consider:

1 – Cool Roofing

Cool roofs are designed to keep the inside of your house cooler during hot days and warmer during cold nights.

Cool roofing materials don’t absorb the heat from the sun, which makes them a good choice for homes in warm climates. They come in white or light shades to reflect heat from the sun and then release them slowly instead of trapping and holding it inside, allowing the house to warm up.

2 – Rubber Roofs

Rubber roofs usually come in a rolled-out form which can be installed on top of your existing roof. It’s a viable option for roof replacement because it looks more natural and doesn’t carry that much weight. In addition, rubber roofs are low-maintenance, highly durable, and waterproof too.

Roofs reinforced with rubber are eco-friendly because the material used in them are repurposed. This means they’re already deemed undesirable and cannot be used for anything else; instead of throwing rubber waste in landfills, they’re ingeniously used to prolong the life of the roofing structure.

3 – Metal Roofs

On the surface, metal roofing sounds like a poor choice because it’s one of the costlier materials for roofs. But don’t be fooled by its initial price tag – metal is actually quite affordable in the long run because it lasts longer than most other options and can withstand extreme weather conditions.

A standing seam metal roof is eco-friendly since it’s made from recycled material. The roof’s design naturally reflects heat, thereby helping you reduce your heating and cooling requirements. In addition, metal prevents the buildup of ice dams in the winter and can last over 50 years with regular upkeep.

4 – Corrugated Roofing

Just like metal roofs, corrugated roofs are also eco-friendly because they’re made from recycled materials. Corrugated roofs can last more than five decades – way longer than traditional roofing choices. They’re suitable for homes in areas with heavy snowfall because the corrugated design effectively sheds water away from the building.

The corrugated roof’s inherent durability makes it a sustainable choice for homeowners who hate the idea of spending money on constant maintenance and repair.

5 – Green Roof

A green roof is considered the most sustainable choice for roofing. Essentially, they’re built to serve as an extension of your garden, where plants and grasses grow and thrive on top of your building. It makes sense in the perspective of eco-friendliness since the plants help clean the air and minimize the scorching heat.

Green roofs provide insulation benefits, plus they help conserve energy by absorbing heat from the sun during summer days and vice versa during winter seasons.

6 – Recycled Shingle Roof

A recycled shingle roof is made from repurposed material, i.e., plastic, rubber, wood fibre, and asphalt. The material is versatile in design because the manufacturer emulates the appearance of those expensive but unsustainable roofing materials like slate and tiles.

The best attribute of a recycled shingle roof is its price. You get a lower price for a roofing material that’s built to last and has a flexible design that’ll help boost your home’s curb appeal.

7 – Green Wood Shakes

Green wood shakes are made from reclaimed wood, which means you don’t contribute to deforestation. In addition, you’re confident about this roof’s durability because the material is treated to withstand rotting and insect infestation.

If you need a natural-looking roofing material that comes with several colour options, then consider green wood shakes as your choice. This eco-friendly roofing material is popular among environmental advocates because it’s cost-effective and requires low maintenance.

8 – Clay Roof

Clay is one of the oldest materials used to build roofs, and there are excellent reasons why it’s still relevant today. For example, a clay roof is fireproof and weather resistant. Likewise, it has a very sophisticated aesthetic, which makes it the perfect choice for Mediterranean-style homes.

Did you know that clay is an excellent insulation material? A clay roof promotes comfortable temperatures inside your living space.

Additionally, they come in different designs to complement your taste and preferences. Like most eco-friendly roofing materials on this list, clay roof tiles require little maintenance, and you can’t see any other cheaper alternative to them.

Why an Eco-Friendly Roof?

There’s more to your roof than protecting you and your property underneath it. Choosing a sustainable roof means you care about the welfare of future generations. Imagine how many roofs will be built in the next decade or so, and you immediately understand why it’s essential to select eco-friendly roofing materials right about now.

A sustainable roofing solution also helps minimize energy consumption, which is beneficial to the planet because less greenhouse gas emissions equals cleaner air for everyone. That alone is enough reason for you to go for an environment-friendly material to replace an old roof.

How to Remove Moss from Shingles to Preserve Your Roof

How to Remove Moss from Shingles to Preserve Your Roof

Quick and simple: Remove moss from shingles if you want to extend your roof’s life span. Shingles with a dark green appearance may look harmless, but it’s a sign of moss buildup. Moss grows in the roof’s shaded area, like when tall and thick trees cover it. Some homeowners think that their shingle-type roofing system doesn’t look bad with moss in it, not realizing that it speeds up the roof’s deterioration.

A thin layer of moss isn’t a cause for alarm, but when it grows into large clusters, it’ll find its way under the shingles and wreak havoc to the whole structure. You’ll read a boatload of tips on DIY moss removal, but it doesn’t mean they’re legit. You may even damage your roof in the process.

The idea is to safely remove moss on the shingles to maintain your roof’s structural integrity. While it sounds relatively straightforward, there’s a bunch of issues you need to address after the removal. How do you prevent it from growing back? If you’re getting rid of it on your own, how do you prevent further damage to the shingles?

Why Remove Moss in the First Place?

Aesthetics and charm aside, moss is bad for your shingles. No matter how you look at it, it doesn’t change the fact that it damages the roof and will shorten its life. Unlike plants that collect water through their roots, moss uses its leaves instead.

In other words, mosses don’t need soil to get the nutrients and water needed for growth. The dry surface of the roof shingle is no deterrent for its roots to grow and spread. If you ignore the presence of moss on your roof, it’ll slowly tear the shingles apart and cause leaks.

You don’t want moss on your roof when it rains; it soaks up and retains water naturally, putting unwanted weight and moisture on the shingles. Furthermore, moss buildup impedes proper water drainage. Instead of finding its way straight down to the gutters, water must go around the moss growth.

If left unattended, moss finds its way underneath the shingles, forcing them to lift and open up for water to penetrate. As soon as water penetrates the inner layer of the roof, it’ll result in leaks.

Removing Moss: How to Address a Moss Problem

Don’t wait for the growth to spread to the entire roofing surface before you act. The last thing you need is an expensive roof replacement project – a severe moss infection means that the shingles are no longer salvageable.

There’s a handful of ways to remove moss from your shingles; the strategy you choose depends on the state of your roof, budget, and severity of the infection. The easiest yet nastiest method is to scrub it manually. But the task is doubly difficult because of the “height” factor and the complexity of your roof’s design.

Put the ladder close to the affected area; this way, you don’t have to walk through a distance on the roof. Wearing protective equipment is a must, i.e., rubber gloves, slip-resistant shoes, and eye protection. Grab a safety rope to secure yourself – there’s a constant risk of falling.

Find a soft-bristled brush with a long handle so you won’t have to bend over and potentially lose balance. To remove moss, start scrubbing from the top to prevent lifting or damaging the shingles. Remember, there’s a difference between scrubbing the shingles gently and scraping them. You don’t want to scour or pound it either.

What If Scrubbing Doesn’t Work?

Scrubbing the roof doesn’t work at all times. Fortunately, there are other ways to get rid of the moss, including:

1 – Liquid Moss Killer

You need sufficient water pressure that reaches the roof’s ridge to apply a liquid moss killer. It comes in a container that conveniently attaches to the garden hose. You can also mix liquid bleach and water and spray the solution on the affected area. See to it that you let the solution adhere to the surface by leaving it for about half an hour before rinsing. You may have to repeat the process in severe moss growth.

Pro Tip: Never use a pressure washer on asphalt shingles since it might result in granule loss.

2 – Dry Moss Killer

Any home improvement store sells dry moss killer in powder form. You have to sprinkle the powder in lines parallel to the roof ridge. Be sure each line is about four feet from the other. The idea is for rainwater to combine with the dry powder, finding its way to the eaves.

Pro Tip: Don’t go for the dry moss killer powder if there’s no rain forecast for several weeks.

Prevention

Don’t wait for the moss to appear on your shingles before you do something. Put in place preventive measures that’ll help suppress moss’ growth; clean the gutters regularly (or install gutter protection), trim tree branches that grow near or over the roof and get rid of anything that collects moisture, such as seedpods and leaves.

Lastly, roofing professionals recommend the installation of copper or zinc-coated strips below the roofing ridge caps. Rainwater flows over the strips, releasing the zinc particles into the shingles. This effectively thwarts any sign of moss growth.

Proper Roof Maintenance Will Extend the Life of Your Roof

Proper Roof Maintenance Will Extend the Life of Your Roof

Proper Roof Maintenance will extend the life of your roof, that is a fact you need to keep in mind.

Very few home improvement projects cost more than a new roof. This alone is enough reason to keep it in pristine condition for as long as possible. Regardless of the roofing material, the structure will eventually give in to wear and tear, exacerbated by extreme weather and the lack of proper maintenance—even the most affordable composite shingle roof costs at least $12,000. So, after investing your hard-earned money to install a new roof, you need to protect it.

You couldn’t be more wrong to think that a newly installed roof doesn’t need your attention. Again, proper roof maintenance will extend your roof’s life span.

Regardless of age, the structure must be regularly inspected to ensure that it’s in excellent condition. Appropriate maintenance will extend its life. But as someone who doesn’t really go up there to check what’s going on, you’re clueless about what comprises the term “proper maintenance.” Here’s what you need to know:

1 – Gutter Cleaning

Did you know that when your gutters are clogged with debris, the overflow can both go downwards and upwards? Aside from the wet basement and damaged paint on the side of your house, clogged gutters force water into the roof decking and rafters. Since these components are usually made from wood boards, the presence of water in them leads to rotting. That type of damage could amount to thousands of dollars in repair work.

You can avoid costly repair on your roofing components caused by water penetration by merely cleaning the gutters – do it every fall and spring. If you’re not up to the task, you can hire a contractor for a $100 job.

Pro Tip: Installing gutter protection, i.e., gutter guards and mesh, helps prevent clogging and reduce the need to clean the gutters.

2 – Mind the Moss

Some roofing materials are vulnerable to moss, i.e., wood and composite shingles. Moss looks like black algae, but you need to get rid of it from the onset, unlike black algae. Black algae affect the roof’s aesthetics, but it doesn’t hurt it. You’ll easily remove it with bleach and water.

On the other hand, moss must be dealt with right away because it traps water. If you ignore the buildup of moss on your roof, it’ll cause multiple problems such as added weight to the roof, rotting, and blocking the drainage points. Prevent the growth and eventual buildup of moss by using potassium salts of fatty acids. A more aggressive approach requires the use of chemicals like zinc sulfate.

Pro Tip: Put zinc strips on your roof to prevent the likelihood of another growth. Hire a roofer when using pesticide on your roof, especially when you’re near a river or lake.

3 – Find a Solution Against Ice Dams

Ice buildup puts all types of roofing material at risk. The pressure and weight take their toll even on the most durable and expensive roofing material. Although removing some of the snow in between storms provide a remedy, it’s wrong to try to pry off an ice dam. Doing so may damage the roof and cause a leak, which you wanted to prevent in the first place.

The key is finding a way to reduce the risk of ice dams forming on your roof. Start by improving attic insulation and sealing air leaks. You’ll notice a significant improvement in the next winter if you invest in better insulation.

Pro Tip: Use heated cables to prevent ice dams. Attach the cables along the roof’s edge using clips. The heated cables work by balancing the roof’s temperature by heating it from the outside. It’s an alternative to the traditional method of blowing in cold air.

4 – Detect Roof Damage

The roof is at its most vulnerable state after a hailstorm, torrential rain, or strong wind. The key to extending its life is to inspect it right after a storm hits. You don’t have to do the fixing yourself, but you must learn the signs of a damaged roof. Look for the telltale signs like:

  • Damaged flashing around the chimney, skylight, vents, and all other roof openings
  • Missing or loose shingles
  • Visible water infiltration
  • Broken gutters and downspouts
  • Loose debris
  • Granule loss

If you notice something out of the ordinary, call a local roofing contractor right away for a comprehensive inspection. The idea is to act on it as soon as possible. Most of the roof damage after a storm can be fixed at a cheap. The cost goes up if you continue ignoring it.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to call your insurance company. Figure out if the damage is extensive enough for it to be covered by your home insurance. If not, it’ll be more practical to hire a roofer directly to perform the minor repairs.

5 – Prevent Tree Damage

Preventing tree damage is a critical part of your roof maintenance routine. Trim overhanging branches to keep leaves from accumulating on the roof and gutters. By keeping a reasonable space between a tree and your roofing system, you reduce the risk of moss growth, too. Even a small branch can puncture a roof when it breaks. It’s best to get rid of an overgrown tree near your house.

Pro Tip: Maintain a gap of 10 feet between your roof and tree branches. If branches get any closer, they’ll act as a bridge for rodents to gain access to your home via the roof. If there’s a significant presence of rodents on your property, wrap the trunk of a nearby tree with a sheet metal bank to discourage them from climbing.

To Get Proper Roof Maintenance, Hire a Pro

Local roofing contractors offer a customized maintenance plan for your roof, so there’s no reason to get stressed out. Find one that suits your budget but see to it that you compare multiple quotes. It makes sense to spend on maintenance and repair instead of paying top dollar for a roof replacement job.

Hiring a Roofing Contractor Checklist

Hiring a Roofing Contractor Checklist

It’s not easy hiring a roofing contractor for the first time. You’re here because you need help for a repair or replacement project, but you’re clueless on where (or how) to begin your search. Unsurprisingly, many homeowners abandon the plan of a roofing project simply because searching, vetting, and choosing a roofer is way too much of a burden. 
Hiring a roofer doesn’t have to be that hard if you know what you’re doing, including the questions to ask and the red flags. If you continue reading this post, you’ll realize that it’s relatively uncomplicated after all. We’ve put together a checklist to explain every element of the search and hiring process. 

Work with a Contractor You Trust

Roof repair is unlike any other home renovation job. Once you figure out that there’s something wrong, hiring a local roofer is no longer just an option. To restore the roof’s structural integrity, you’ll have to cover the repair or replacement as soon as possible. The first step is to find a trustworthy roofing contractor. Here’s what you have to do: 

  • Ask your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors for recommendations. 
  • Call or visit the local organization of roofers for referrals. 
  • Search for prospects online.
  • Find prospects via local newspaper and TV ads. 

Assess Your Prospects

Not every roofer is a fit. If possible, avoid hiring someone who’s not based locally. You want a quick turnaround and response in case something goes wrong after the completion of the job. Working with a company headquartered outside of the city could prove difficult because of the distance. 
To figure out which among your prospects is the best fit for the roof repair or replacement project, follow these steps:

  • Request individual quotes from at least four local roofers. Focus on those who are willing to visit your home to see the site. Some roofers hand out an estimate without an inspection. 
  • Visit the website (provided there’s one) of each roofing prospect. Favor those with an established online presence and with multiple positive reviews from previous clients. 
  • Read all reviews, especially negative feedback. Figure out if there’s a pattern of bad practice from the roofer. If you notice a trend, remove that prospect from your list.

Questions to Ask

Narrow down your list to two or three local roofers. Request a phone interview and ask these questions:

  • How long have you been in the roofing business?
  • What is your experience in a similar roofing job?
  • Can you give me a list of references?
  • Can you furnish a copy of your liability insurance? Does it cover property damage and worker’s compensation?

You’ll have a much better understanding of each prospect based on how they answer those questions. One of them will likely stand out. 

In-Person Interview

You have all your questions answered on the phone, so why go the extra mile for an in-person interview? You must personally meet the remaining prospects to review all the roofing job details; it’s also your best opportunity to temper expectations. If possible, come up with a spreadsheet to help you compare each contractor’s pitch. Discuss the technical details, including:

  • Get some more details on the insurance, i.e., policy number and limits.
  • Talk about the warranty details and the person responsible for the claim. 
  • See to it that you agree to a fixed price and that it must be included in the contract. 

Red Flags when hiring roofing contractors

As honest as your intentions are, some roofers will rip you off, while others engage in bad practice. Be wary of door-to-door contractors who go to areas devastated by storms and tornadoes. They usually scam innocent homeowners with outrageously cheap offers and misleading pre-payment deductibles. These are the common warning signs:

  • The contractor demands an upfront payment or a large down payment
  • They compel you to sign a contract right away
  • It sounds too good to be true. Whether it’s shockingly cheap bid compared to others, or whatever other reason.

Final Meeting

The final meeting is as crucial as the other steps in the hiring process. There’s a handful of things to iron out before the project begins:

  • Reconfirm the roofer’s initial quote
  • Explore payment options and make sure both parties agree on a payment plan
  • Ask for a copy of the contract, project plan, bills and invoices, proof of insurance, local government permits, and order changes

Wrapping It Up – Roofing Contractor Services

There’s no turning back once you sign the contract, so see that you get it right the first time. If you follow these steps, then you should see yourself hiring the best available roofing contractor. A roof repair or replacement project is one of the priciest investments for you this year, so there’s no room for mistakes.

Spring Cleaning Maintenance on Your Roof

Spring Cleaning Maintenance on Your Roof

In this blog post, we’re going to talk about spring maintenance on your roof and how it’s different this year. The snow is melted, the sun is out – it’s Springtime in Vancouver. While for most it means more hikes, walks, mountain biking, it also means that it’s time to do a little spring cleaning—and that also means roof repair.

A tough winter can be hard on your roof, especially after long periods of snow, wind and ice. Make sure trees and shrubs are not rubbing the roof, and clear from causing damage.

Every residential roof could use a simple inspection in the spring. With regular, seasonal maintenance on your roof, it lasts longer and performs better. Whether you do some of the maintenance work on your roof yourself or hire a professional roofing contractor to do it, there are some key things to do in the spring.

You should incorporate, roof repairs and maintenance routines into the seasonal changes. This is because roofing problems vary with the climatic conditions, especially the rough colder months and it’s a perfect time to fix them. The winter weather can cause problems such as:

  • Leaks around flashings or chimneys and skylights
  • Ice dams forming inside the gutters and at the edge of your roof
  • Broken and cracked shingles
  • Damages to the insulation and blocked attic vents

The first step is to get a roofing professional to do a roofing inspection to make sure that your roof is still in good shape after the winter.

Although it has been a mild winter by Vancouver’s standards, we still recommend you get a roofer to take a look at our roof to prevent large repairs. Here is a list of things to look out for:

Clearing Debris

Cleaning the roof is essential because it helps you get a better view and determine if there are any broken or cracked spots that need repairing. When you’ve had a couple days of sun without rain, brush away branches, twigs, leaves, nests and other debris. Check gutters and downspouts as part of the inspection process.

Leak Repair

After you’ve cleared away debris from your roof, you should inspect the attic, chimney, vents, skylights for any water pooling, leaks or damp areas. Darker patches are often a sign of water damage and you should address them immediately. If you see any black mould it means that the area has been problematic for awhile and might be a symptom of a much larger problem. You should contact a roofer immediately.

Replacing Shingles

If any shingles are missing, they should be replaced immediately as they can lead to leakage and other structural damage. If you see small holes, cracks, or tears, they can be fixed without replacing them, saving you money. Any broken, curled or missing pieces must be taken care of before waterproofing the vents.

Resealing Vents

Examine the vents or get a roofer to do it to make sure the sealants have not cracked or chipped. Be careful while checking the areas around the vents to prevent any mishaps. If a vent cracks, you should get a professional roofer to fix it.

Recaulk Your Chimney

When inspecting a chimney, you should be extra vigilant as this is a common problem area. If the caulking is worn, get a professional to replace it. They will apply a new high-quality sealant to prevent any water damage which will be more costly than fixing the problem immediately.

Clean Your Gutters

Troughs and downspouts are meant to safely carry water off your roof and away from the walls to prevent pooling and water damage. If your gutters have debris from leaves, sticks, or branches built up in them you will need to clean them out in preparation for spring showers. Cleaning gutters is a simple task and you can do them by yourself or hire a handyman to do it for you.

Trim The Surrounding Trees and Remove Leaves

Make sure tree limbs don’t touch or overhang your roof. If they do, they can easily scrape or fall on the shingles and loosen the granules that protect your roof. Trim trees close to your home to avoid any limbs touching the roof surface or the gutter.

If you trim your trees it will also prevent organic matter from falling onto your roof. A little leaf or a few pine needles won’t damage your roof, but if they collect and are deep enough to hold moisture, they need to be removed from you roof. Anything that holds moisture will cause mildew to form and can block gutters or cause extra weight on the roof.

Clean Any Excess Moss or Mold

Dark coloured patches on a roof can indicate mold, algae, or fungus is living there which can eat away at the roofing material and can cause leaks.

A treatment of chlorine bleach or copper sulfate solution can be applied and can kill the mould but there are more environmentally friendly options available. Recently some shingle manufacturers have created algae-resistant shingles that have a specially formulated granule that inhibits algae and moss growth. Be sure to ask your roofer about these options.

Cutting back trees in the surrounding area will reduce moss growth, as it will allow sunlight to dry up the shade and moisture that moss love. To get rid of moss, there are some environmentally friendly sprays you can use to get deep into the roots.

Examine Your Soffit and Fascia

Soffits are metal or wood panels between the wall of the house and the roofline, while fascia are the metal or wood boards along the roofline. Both of these components are crucial for a leak-free roof so don’t overlook them when doing your spring roof maintenance.
Check to see if the soffits or fascia have any water spots, cracks, or holes. Depending on how damaged they are, they might need to be repaired or replaced. If you’re unsure, ask a professional roofer to take a look at them.

Conclusion

Spring time is for renewal. It’s when flowers start to blossom and plants start to grow. It also a time when homeowners take a look around and try to tidy up and throw away things that aren’t doing any good.

Part of your spring cleaning should include either taking a good hard look at the condition of your roof to see if it’s time to call a roofer. If you need a roofing expert, give Cambie Roofing a call. They will answer any questions you might have and will give you a free roof inspection so you can make the most informed decisions about your home.

Originally published on April 15 2019, updated on March 9th 2021

Why Do Asphalt Shingles Cup and Curl?

Why Do Asphalt Shingles Cup and Curl?

Have you ever wondered why asphalt shingles cup and curl? There are plenty of reasons besides weather conditions that compromise your roof.
Asphalt shingles offer a multitude of advantages over other roofing materials. Besides their cost-effective quality, they’re also versatile enough to cover different angles, forms, and shapes.
Asphalt roofing is energy efficient and can withstand fire and high winds. But like all other roofing materials, it has its share of weaknesses. 
You’ve come across several houses in your neighborhood with asphalt roofs, and the one thing you notice right away is the cupping and curling shingles. Have you ever wonder why?

Why do Asphalt Shingles Cup and Curl?

Since it’s a relatively common sight, you may think that it’s no big deal. On the contrary, cupping and curling shingles are telltale signs that something is wrong with the roof. 
Cupping occurs when the shingle’s center portion is curved in or concave, forming a bowl-shaped appearance. On the other hand, curling happens when the shingle’s edges elevate or turn up while the center remains flat.
Most homeowners don’t pay attention when or why their asphalt shingles cup and curlo until it’s too obvious. Usually, they believe that it’s purely an aesthetic issue.
But get this: there are reasons why asphalt shingles cup and curl compromising their usual shape, and it’s a problem requiring an immediate inspection; the lack of attention may eventually force you to re-roof. 
It’s your job as a property owner to learn of the possible causes behind the cupping and curling of shingles so that you’ll prevent them from happening in the first place.
You’re in no condition to fix the problem unless you’re a professional roofer. The best option is to call a licensed roofing company as soon as possible. 

1 – Severe Weather

Some reasons are beyond your control, including harsh weather conditions. If your roof is less than five years old, there’s no reason for the shingles to start showing signs of deterioration other than extreme weather.
Contributory factors include hailstorms and constantly changing temperatures. Hail usually damages a few tiles, which you can replace individually. But extreme heat does more profound damage to asphalt shingles. 

2 – Age

Like harsh weather, you don’t have control over the age factor. No matter how much you take great care of your asphalt roof, it’ll never last forever. So, expect the shingles to start cupping and curling when the roof is at the end of its life.
Some homeowners try to delay the inevitable by replacing individual shingles, but they’ll have no other choice down the road but to replace the whole structure. 

3 – Insufficient Roof Ventilation

Extreme heat impacts the asphalt shingles on two fronts: above and below. The lack of proper ventilation underneath the roof traps the heat from the sun.
When there aren’t enough vents in the attic, heat doesn’t find a way to get out and the lack of airflow makes matters worst. As a result, the asphalt material gives in to the heat, causing the shingles to deteriorate. This problem is remedied by improving attic insulation. 

4 – Inadequate Binders 

Supposed you’ve installed your asphalt shingles less than five years ago, haven’t been exposed to harsh weather, and you have proper roof ventilation. Yet you notice some of them curling and cupping; the likeliest culprit is a manufacturing defect.
This is where you’ll feel the impact of choosing a cheap and low-quality roofing material. If there’s not enough asphalt binder on the shingles, the underlying layer doesn’t have sufficient protection against heat damage.
When the thin binder washes off, the shingles give in to the extreme heat and start to curl up. 

5 – Handling and Storage Issues

In terms of production and storage of asphalt shingles, what do you porducers prioritise? Quantity over quality, or viceversa? Yes, you have guessed. Here, due to the high demand for the material, producers prioritize quantity over quality.
Although you can still get high-grade asphalt roofing, defects like cupping and curling may still surface early in the roof’s life. It’s because the shingles may have been improperly stored or mishandled before the installation.
There is no way to know when those shingles you bought were produced, and how much time they were exposed to the sun before they ended in your roof. Therefore, those shingles have a significant ‘wear and tear” in them even before you got them. 
There are special protocols to handle and store shingles to preserve tgeur physical integrity. If they’re left exposed to the rain and direct heat from the sun, they’ll saturate or get overheated.

What to Do When your Apshalt Shingles Cup and Curl

So, even if you haven’t done anything wrong, there’s always a chance thos asphalt shingles to cup and curl before your eyes.
You can always claim the installer’s workmanship guarantee if there’s proof of mishandling or poor storage as a last resort. But you’ll have to document everything from the beginning, including the name of the roofing contractor and the materials used.
If most of the shingles on your roof show signs of severe damage, you may no longer have a choice but to replace the entire structure. But don’t dwell on anguish – at least you’re now armed with the knowledge on why shingles cup and curl.
It’ll help you prepare for what can happen to your new roof and at least try to prevent the circumstances that lead to its premature decline. And by the way, please hire a licensed and reputable roofing contractor next time. 

estimate the cost of a roof

How To Estimate The Cost Of A Vancouver Roof

In this blog post, we’re going to best estimate the cost of a new roof in Vancouver.
Your roof protects your home – most likely your single biggest asset – from damage, yet a lot of homeowners are hesitant about investing money into a well-built roof because they don’t see the value.
Roofs not only keep your home dry, they also keep moisture, wind, and other natural elements from damaging your home. So when it comes to maintaining your investment, the smartest money you spend could be on a new roof.
How much you’ll spend will vary, depending on several factors which we’ll go over in this blog post. Roofs usually last anywhere between 12 and 50 years and can be expensive to replace.
But planning, estimating, and researching can help you determine the cost and save some cash. Preparation is necessary before the new roof can be added. Removal of shingles and inspection of existing plywood and flashing will factor into the cost.

Repair Or Replace Your Roof?

It can be tough to know whether your roof can stick it out for a few more years or if it needs to be replaced immediately.
Most homeowners hope to make do with a few repairs, but depending on your roof’s condition, a roofing contractor might tell you it will be more cost-effective to replace the entire roof rather than try to patch it up. If your roofing contractor is telling you that you need to replace your roof it’s a good idea to listen.
If your roof is more than 20 years old and is leaking in multiple places, or has been repaired many times in recent years, it’s probably time to tear it off and start new.
Aside from adding value to your home, today’s roofing materials will also make your home more energy-efficient, helping you control indoor air temperatures and save money on your heating and cooling bills. If you’re still not sure whether to repair or replace your roof, ask your roofer for estimates on both projects.
It can also be difficult to match new material with the old, and those efforts can significantly add to the cost. You might also consider simply adding a second layer of shingles to your roof, which is less expensive than a full replacement but can be more problematic.
Sometimes, replacing the roofing is necessary if you’re changing shingle types. For instance, if you’re switching from wooden shingles to asphalt, you’ll need to remove the existing roof.
And lastly, if you’re on the fence about roof replacement consider this: banks avoid a failing roof like the plague, so replacement may be what it takes to pass inspection and can actually increase your resale value.

Style And Health of Your Roof

The potential price of your roofing project will also be based on factors like the style of your roof and its current condition.
Your roofer will need to know whether your roof is flat or sloped, hipped or gabled, the number of levels it has, and if there are dormers or valleys. The roof’s accessories and underlying structure may also be a factor, especially if you see any signs of moisture damage in your attic.
Mold remediation and/or replacing rotten framework will definitely change the scope of your project.

Type Of Roofing Material For Vancouver

As you probably guessed, your roofing estimate will also be based on the type of material used in the repair or replacement. Labour can be calculated accurately be determining the size of the job but the variable is determined by the type of roof you want.
The most common and generally the least expensive material is asphalt shingles, which come in all kinds of compositions and colours:

  • Cedar shingles and shakes, which are often chosen for their beautiful Vancouver aesthetic, but come with more maintenance needs and a higher price tag.
  • Asphalt shingles are the most affordable option. If they’re installed properly and maintained well, they can last 30 years.
  • A metal roof will also be more expensive to install, but the benefits easily outweigh the cost in the long run. Not only will a metal roof last upwards of 50 years, it’s also the most energy-efficient, moisture resistant, low-maintenance, lightweight and fire-proof choice out there.
  • Slate, clay and concrete tiles are also among your options for roofing material. While they are durable and beautiful, tile roofs are particularly heavy (which requires additional structural support) and even more expensive.

Also, take into account the size of your house… and your roof’s. Obviously, the bigger the house, the bigger the roof, the larger the cost of both materials and labour.
Most roofers charge by the square foot, with a number that encompasses both materials and labor. Most roofers can give you a ballpark estimate of the project cost based on your home’s square footage. That makes comparison shopping for roofers fairly easy.

Labour Cost

We’re the first to admit, roofing materials aren’t cheap, especially if you have a large or complex roof, but professional installation is what boosts the expense.
Labour often accounts for 40% to 50% of the cost, largely because a lack of skilled roofers has driven up rates. The more complicated a roof, the more labour it takes and the higher the costs.

Height and Pitch of Your Roof

Another determining factor is that the higher your roof and the steeper the pitch, the more expensive your roof installation will be. With a steeper and taller roof, the installation is both more difficult and more dangerous, and it may take longer and cost more.
Some roofers will quote you a general price based on the size of your home but will not guarantee that price until they see the height and pitch of your roof and whether you have any hard-to-reach spots.
The pitch of the roof will also affect the cost; the higher the pitch of the roof, the higher the cost. Contractors must add harnesses or other special equipment to the quote. Gable roofs are the easiest, since they have the smallest slant. You’ll need to determine the type of roofing that will be used.

Conclusion

In total, a new roof could cost between $15,000 and $40,000. It’s a wide range, I know and probably doesn’t help much in bugeting. However, you can calculate the size of your roof by taking the square foot of your roof and adding half making it easy to compare quotes.
Any reputable roofing professional will offer you a free roofing estimate (as long as no diagnosis is necessary) and you’re likely to get a wide range of bids.
Make sure the estimates you receive include everything from the materials and labour to taxes and permits. It’s also wise to ask about the time your project will take.
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.
First published Dec 15th, 2018, updated on Feb 15th, 2021

best roofing material

What to Do If You Can’t Afford a New Roof

Nothing lasts forever – not even the most expensive roofing material. Regardless of what your roof is made of, it’ll eventually age or give in to severe damage caused by extreme weather or another fortuitous event.

When that happens, you’re left with no choice but to have it replaced. But like many property owners before you, the problem is not having the money to afford a new roof. You’re in a mess, left in a corner with no solution in sight.

If you can’t afford a new roof, know that there are other options to consider. It’s not like you sit idle and wait for nothing. Keep reading this article and learn about the potential ways to smartly solve your predicament.

Do You Actually Need a New Roof?

Some property owners are overwhelmed by the prospect of replacing a roof.  They and you are right: The cost associated with it is a big deal. But before you stress yourself out, think about the possibility of having it repaired instead.

Just because a local roofer told you that you need a new roof doesn’t mean that he’s accurate or telling the truth. Talk to other roofing contractors and tell them about your situation. Some roofers can salvage a roof for less money than it’ll cost to replace the structure.

Some old and severely damaged roofs can be remedied with the necessary repairs and the best roofing material. That will last you for at least a year. That should be enough time to save money for the inevitable replacement. Instead of relying on the sole assessment, you must get at least three independent assessments and repair estimates to fix your roof.

Property owners spend an average of $900 for roof repair, although minor fixes typically cost around $200. If you’re facing a major roof repair project, you’ll have to shell out at least $500 and upwards to $1500.

As much as you want to replace your severely damaged or aged roof, you may have to contact a roofing professional first to inspect the structure. Roof repair costs less than a total roof replacement, but even that is a hard pill to swallow when you’re low on funds.

Financing Options that Include Best Roofing Materials

If you can’t afford to pay cash for roof repairs, there’s a handful of financing options available to ease your burden. Use your credit card to get the repairs done and have enough time to pay off the charges.

If you’re uneasy about the credit card option, getting a personal loan is the next best thing. It gives you the option to pay on a monthly scheme while the needed repairs are addressed right away. Keep in mind that this is a short-term investment for your property, so please be sure to use the best roofing material. Use money wisely.

Improvement and Renovation Grants with Best Roofing Material

Applying for a home improvement or renovation grant is a popular option for roof repairs. They’re available from the local and national governments, and they usually include the best roofing material.

In North America, these home improvement or renovation grants are meant to provide financial assistance to property owners who can’t afford to have their homes fixed after weather devastation or natural disaster.

Another type of grant focuses on low-income homeowners who need help in improving their houses. Home improvement and renovation grants are meant to give property owners relief as they come with low-interest rates compared to standard loans.

Consider DIY

If you have tried roof work before, then you should explore fixing the structure one more time. On the other hand, DIY roofing projects are only meant for minor repairs. Unless you’re a roofing professional, you’ll have to tap the services of a licensed contractor for major repairs and replacements. But because you’re short on cash, there’s nothing wrong in pondering a DIY solution.

Refinance the Property

Refinancing your home make sense, too. Home improvement loans include refinancing the property, where there’s an explicit set of guidelines to be followed. In most scenarios, the loan is exclusively intended for the needed repairs and cannot be used for other purposes. Since the roof is part of the property, this option is viable for major roof repair jobs.

See to it that you talk to a financial expert before taking this path. You need professional advice since refinancing your home is a long-term responsibility that affects you and your family’s future. Aside from getting a reasonable interest rate and favourable loan term, the financial expert helps you understand the legal consequences in the failure to pay the loan.

Why Not Save Some Cash?

Investing in a new roof is out of the question, but with the help of a professional roof inspector, you could wait it out for several months to afford a repair project.

Call a local roofer to examine the structure. If the inspection report says that you can live with the damage for a year or so, you can go through your budget and save the necessary funds for a major repair. There’s always the option of cutting costs on stuff like food, vacations, and entertainment.

Instead of getting a loan and paying for the interest rates, you’ll save cash and end up fixing your roof with no long-term financial responsibilities to cover.