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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

DIY vs Qualified Roofer in Vancouver

DIY vs Qualified Roofer in Vancouver, what’s better?

Hiring a DIY vs Qualified Vancouver Roofer

DIY vs Qualified Roofer, what are the pros and cons? Is it worthy to devote your time, money and security in giving to yourself that satisfaction of fixing your roof; or is it better to directly hire professionals?

Do-it-yourself home repair gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Not to mention, DIY feeds your hope of saving money. However, not all improvement projects are tenable with a DIY approach. Case in point: roofing.

But if you have all the skills to cover by yourself all other home improvement tasks, why can’t you do your own roof repairs?
There’s no doubt you can give it a try. But if your skillset do not include a license as a roofer, and the equipment you need to carry it on, then you still are missing all what you need to get the job well done.

Roof repair, installation, or replacement is possibly the most dangerous job when factoring in things like height, exposure to the weather, and the likelihood of making an expensive mistake.

Experience tells us that replacing a roof it’s nothing like replacing a light bulb, remodeling the bathroom, or installing kitchen tiles. Countless homeowners can tell you about it, too. 

Then, why professional roofing contractors make it look easy? Simple: They have experience, training and count with the correct equipment. You’re better off hiring a qualified Vancouver roofer over DIY. Here are the most important reasons to do it.

DIY vs Qualified Vancouver Roofer: All you need to know

1 – Licensed roofers have knowledge and experience

The untrained eye sees a roof as a structure made of shingles or tiles. But deep down, hidden underneath, those shingles and tiles have multiple layers of different materials.

So, if you think that there’s nothing complicated about replacing a missing shingle, you couldn’t be more wrong. The roof is a complex structure made up of a wide array of parts – it takes an expert to inspect and diagnose a problem right before coming up with a solution.

Roofing pros in Vancouver understand how different roofing systems work, including their weaknesses. They take advantage of their knowledge and experience to fix, install, or replace a roof in the quickest turnaround possible.

You can learn as much as you need about your roof, but at the end of the day, there are many ways for a DIY repair job to go wrong, even if it’s as simple as replacing a shingle. 

2 – Roofing companies recognize the value of aesthetics

Regardless of its age and material, the roof eventually shows signs of damage, i.e., leaks, curled shingles. A homeowner’s natural response is to remedy the issue before it gets worst. One of the most common mistakes we find, is the homeowner’s approach to the DIY project.

We mean, as you try a DIY approach when fixing your roof, aesthetics is something secondary in your list of priorities.
In other words, it’s easy to forget about maintaining the structure’s aesthetic value. When you realise how important it is, then it’s usually too late. Haven’t you ever seen roofs with mismatched shingles? There you go.

On the other hand, a professional roofer in Vancouver fixes a roofing issue with aesthetics and function in mind. A crucial part of fixing, installing, or replacing a roof is to ensure that the solution enhances the home’s curb appeal. 

3 – Professional roofers bring with them liability insurance

Even with home insurance, you’re less likely to get covered if you choose the DIY route when fixing your roof. The insurance company could argue that you aren’t qualified to perform the job in the first place or negligent. Hence, you’ll end up paying for the damage on your property as a result of a botched roof repair project.

With experience and training, licensed roofing contractors in Vancouver are less likely to make mistakes. In the likelihood of an incident that led to property damage or injury, they have it covered with liability insurance.

So, you’re not just paying them for their expertise but the security of your investment as well. Remember that if you make a mistake in fixing the roof on your own with the insurance policy payout, you’re giving the insurance company a reason to deny any further claim. 

4 – Your roof is covered with limited warranties by working with a professional roofer

Vancouver local roofing contractors offer two types of roof warranties: labor and material. But if you choose a DIY approach for any roof repair, installation, or replacement job, you lose your right to be covered by the contractor’s limited warranty. You might very well void the material warranty against defects from the manufacturer.

Manufacturers will only honor warranties against defects if their product follow their instructions and Vancouver building code requirements. This is why it makes sense to let a licensed roofer do the job as they’re in the best position to maintain a high workmanship standard.

There’s no way to go around this rule. So, if you damage your roof after a botched DIY project, you can’t force a licensed contractor to cover for you to restore the warranty. It’ll be easy for them to argue that the existing problem with your roof was a direct result of the damage you caused. 

5 – Hiring a professional roofer helps you save money

It seems ironic, but a DIY approach to roof repair or replacement may cost you more money than hiring a professional. Even the slightest mistake may render a roofing material useless.

When you choose the DIY project, you most probably will damage your material before realizing the right way to use it. And then there’s the risk of buying the wrong materials – it’s just way too stressful to try to do it on your own.

In contrast, hiring a licensed and experienced contractor means you have someone who’ll do the hard work on your behalf, including the procurement of the materials, repair, or installation.

DIY vs Qualified Vancouver Roofer: Final thoughts

There’s a lot of intrigue in DIY roofing, but it’s not worth your time. Even if you’re a home improvement buff, roof repair or replacement is way out of your league.

There’s even a likelihood that your DIY roof repair projects reduce your home’s value, making it more challenging to sell at a fair price. 

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

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

roofing options

The Best Roofing Options for Vancouver

Looking for roofing options when replacing your home’s roof is an important decision, and can be an expensive process. That is why choosing the right roofing options and materials can improve your home’s aesthetic appeal.
But also, you need to think about increasing longevity and keep within your budget. Replacing the roof also increases the value of your home for resale.
Many homeowners underestimate the importance of a good roof. If you’re thinking about reconstruction keep in mind the premise:

The more you invest in your house, the better you’ll want to protect it

There is no point in creating an amazing home if water is going to leak in and damage the inside. So, if you are rebuilding your roof, consider rain, snow, wind, and everything that can ruin it in a matter of hours – if not minutes.
It’s much better to have peace of mind and do it right the first time so you don’t have to worry.
As you probably know already, Vancouver is prone to a unique set of roof problems. Moss buildup, mildew and mold count among them due to the heavy amounts of rain the area gets.
It is important that homeowners understand which type of roof can naturally resist these problems in order to efficiently protect the integrity of the roof and the inside of the home. Roofing materials are extremely important, but the actual style of the roof can play a major role when it comes to resisting a wet climate.

How To Choose Your Roofing Materials

There are so many different roofing options. You should ask your roofing contractor what is the best material for your home. If you’re not an expert, it can be very difficult to identify just the right material if you don’t know what it needs to be capable of surviving.
You should look for information about lifespan, weight so it won’t crush the roof framing, and roof sloping. You should also find out whether it’s permitted by local building codes, how resistant it is to fire and extreme wind, and how much it costs.
There are a lot of different types of roofing used in Vancouver, depending on style – asphalt composition shingles, metal, wood, plastic polymer, clay tile, concrete tile, and slate. We’ll go over some of the most basic options so when you talk to your contractor, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt Shingles are the most common and economical roofing material used throughout Metro Vancouver. They come in 2 main types; three-tab and architectural shingles. Both perform well with little e to no maintenance and come with varied warranties.
Three-tab shingles most often carry warranties from 20-30 years, while architectural shingles often have longer, and even lifetime, warranties.
On the other hand, asphalt shingles are effective and inexpensive. However, they are the last option to take into account because they do not enhance the visual appeal of homes, neither increase the value of your home.
Architectural shingles, however, come in many different styles and can mimic the look of more expensive roofing materials.

Cedar Roofing

Cedar roofs are a traditional Vancouver and Pacific Northwest roofing material that can give your home a natural, homely feel.
In BC, Cedar is readily available and fairly inexpensive. Cedar shakes and shingles are the most common wood roofing material and add a rustic, natural, particularly Vancouver appeal to many homes.
Due to the visually appealing nature of cedar products, using a cedar system can often increase the value of your home. While cedar products are lightweight and durable, they can be susceptible to moisture-induced mold or algae and may require more maintenance than other roofing options.
While untreated cedar roofing materials can fall victim to the elements, pre-treated options are now available. These pre-treated cedar shakes and shingles are slightly more expensive but offer a natural appearance and the equivalent effectiveness of a synthetic product.

Metal Roofing

Metal Roofing materials come in a range of styles, are durable, low-maintenance and visually appealing, with a clean look. The most common metal roofing material is standing seam, a series of interlocking panels that extend the entire length of the roof.
While installation of a metal roof is slightly more expensive than other options, it has a long lifespan, requires little to no maintenance and can increase the value of your property. Like asphalt, metal roofing materials that mimic the look of other roofing systems are available in many different styles.

Torch-on SBS Membrane Roofing

Torch-on SBS Membrane is available in many colours. It is one of the most durable roofing materials and can provide many decades of protection from the extreme Vancouver weather with proper slope and installation.
Torch-on membranes are commonly used in low slope or flat commercial and residential applications, giving them a more modern feel.
As these types of membrane systems are so robust they can greatly increase the value of your commercial or residential property. Torch-on is one of the more expensive options in roofing but the lifespan of the system can often offset the initial cost.

Don’t Forget about the Warranty

There’s a manufacturer’s warranty that covers all the problems that can arise from the actual roofing material.
Also, look for optional roofing contractor’s warranty that covers all the problems created by the contractors’ negligence. Accidents must be part of them when installing the roof.
Some warranties can’t be transferred to other owners. So, your children or a person to whom you sell the house must know and take previsions. Always search the contract for this information.
Homeowners must consider many factors when choosing the roofing material that best suits their home. Yes, aesthetic appeal and expense are important when choosing the roofing system. But homeowners should ultimately seek to find a balance between form and function.

Conclusion

It is important to understand which materials are the best for Vancouver’s weather conditions. Since British Columbia is a temperate rainforest, you need a roof that provides protection from the rain, wind, and the occasional snowfall.
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. Share the same confidence we have when saying we are your best roofing choice.
 
Originally published on Nov 15th, 2018 and updated on January 29th 2021,

commercial roofing

How to Protect Your Commercial Roofing from Winter in Vancouver

Can you imagine working while being exposed to rain, snow, and high winds? Neither can we. Whether in Vancouver or in any other place in the world, that roof in the top of your commercial building assumes an irreplaceable role for you and your business. Do you know what to look for a commercial roofing company in Vancouver from Winter?
Your roof is a defence against the outdoor elements. It protects your business and the people who run it, making sure that you and everyone else is safe under it. In so doing, the roof takes everything that nature throws at it.
Most commercial property owners don’t pay enough attention to the roof until something inconvenient happens, say like a leak. Commercial roofing systems in Vancouver give in to extreme weather irrespective of the material and type.

Don’t wait for the brunt of winter to take its toll on your roof before you acknowledge the need to protect it!

The accumulation of snow and ice on top of your commercial building causes immense damage to the roof, starting with the small components and progressing to the whole structure. If you undermine the value of preventive measures, it might very well be the last winter for your roof.
Taking the appropriate measures to guard your commercial roof against winter isn’t merely about protecting the building; it allows you to be energy-efficient, too. Without protection, even a newly-installed roof won’t reach its expected lifespan.

The Dangers of Winter in Vancouver (and what to look for in a commercial roofing company)

It doesn’t matter if you’re situated in an area with severe or mild winter – protecting your roof is non-negotiable.
A winter protection program begins with the identification of minor issues that are likely to become a major headache once the cold season kicks in. Most of these issues point to the accumulation of snow and thermal movements.
Prepping your roof right before the arrival of winter makes sense since it’s easier to work on a dry roof and warm weather. If you choose not to fix those minor issues, you end up paying top dollar for an emergency commercial roof repair. The dangers that a commercial roof faces during winter include:

1 – Collapse

In Vancouver, snow is heavy. This means you don’t want it to collect on your roof. Winter months usually produce as much as six inches of heavy snow. It corresponds to about 40 pounds of weight that your roof must hold.
If the sun doesn’t come out the next morning, there’s not enough warm temperature to melt the buildup of snow on top of your commercial building. This weight puts a lot of strain, even on an expensive commercial roof.
There’s a chance that a solid roof collapses when the load-bearing components could no longer hold the excessive weight. We don’t need to talk about what happens when the roof collapses.

2 – Ice Dams and Leaks

Because of the extremely low temperatures in the winter, water that collects at the edges of the commercial roof freezes and builds an ice dam.
The ice dam prevents the melted snow from draining, which in turn causes water pooling—pools of water in one part of the roof cause unnecessary stress to the structure.
Over time, the damage increases and leaks begin to appear through the gaps found in between the structural components.

3 – Weakened Roof Due to Temperature Fluctuations

Sub-zero temperatures in the winter aren’t the only cause for concern when it comes to your commercial roof.
The frequent shift from extremely cold to warm temperature may cause contraction and expansion of the roofing material. Cold nights and sunny days put the roof at a compromising situation, weakening its structural integrity in the process.

Commercial Roofing in Vancouver: Ways to Protect your Business

Now that you have a much better understanding of your commercial roof’s susceptibility to the winter elements, it’s time to learn how to protect it.

Look for the Vulnerabilities

You don’t have to do this yourself. Call a trusted commercial roofing company in Vancouver to perform a complete inspection, and do this before winter comes. A professional roofer knows where to look for those areas which are susceptible to damage from snow and ice.
The list includes drainage sites, gutters, curbs, and the roofing membrane. Any sign of buckling and minor damage must be addressed since those components are likely to give in to the incoming season.

Cleaning your Commercial Roof in Vancouver

Your commercial roof is filled with debris without you knowing it. Don’t fall under the trap of combining snow with other unwanted stuff on top of your roof.
Aside from putting your gutters at risk of clogging, the presence of debris left by the summer and fall months puts the entire structure in danger of incurring heavy damage. Adding snow and ice to the debris leads to water overflow, leaks, and possible collapse.
Since you don’t want that to happen on your commercial building, then work on cleaning your roof right before the snow starts to fall.

What to Expect from Commercial Roofing Companies in Vancouver

Snow Removal Plans

If snowfall is guaranteed in your location every winter, it makes sense to devise a plan to remove the snow and ice on the roof. It’s not that difficult to get rid of the snow right before the freezing and thawing cycle.
The challenging part is coming up with an efficient way of doing it. The purpose of a snow removal plan is to help you act fast to prevent the buildup of ice on the roof. Once ice builds up, it becomes doubly challenging to remove it.

Coating System for Added Protection

Treat commercial roof protection as more of a necessity than an option. Embrace the reality that the freezing temperatures of winter alone puts the structure at significant risk of damage.
So, when snow and ice begin to pile up, you don’t want your roof to be devoid of any protection. Investing in an advanced coating system means you get an extra layer that prevents water penetration.
When the snow melts on your roof, water finds its way to existing gaps and flaws. The coating system prevents this from happening.
The best thing about protecting your commercial roof from the havoc of winter is that you don’t have to do anything other than hire a reputable roofing company. Be sure to choose someone who has legitimate experience in handling commercial roofs.

pexels-photo-2382868[1]

Types of Commercial Roofing Warranties

Your commercial proper needs a new roof sooner or later. You should prepare for that time to come because it’s a pricey investment. No matter how expensive the roof is on your building, it ultimately gives in to a bunch of factors beyond your control, including age and extreme weather conditions. When it’s time for a commercial roof replacement, you’re looking at spending thousands of dollars for a structure that you hope will last for at least 45 years.
So, what if something goes wrong with your newly installed commercial roof? This is where a roofing warranty comes in. You probably don’t think that much about the warranty that comes with the purchase of a new roof; you may not even be aware that you’re receiving one.
Commercial roof warranties are a requisite for any purchase and installation since it is the only way to protect your investment from faulty material or product. If there is an issue with the roofing material or its installation, the warranty provision gives you the right to compel the contractor to correct the problem without you having to pay a dime.
The installation of a new commercial roofing system entitles you to a bunch of warranty options, including:
 
1 – Workmanship Guarantee
The workmanship guarantee is issued by the roofing company tasked to install the new structure on your commercial building or facility. This is the type of warranty that protects the building owner from substandard workmanship as well as minor installation mistakes. For the most part, a workmanship warranty covers the cost of materials and labour needed to carry out the repair. The contractual agreement on workmanship warranty ranges from one year up to a decade of coverage.
 
2 – Material or Product Warranty
This commercial roofing warranty is afforded by the company that manufactures the roof materials or products that your roofer opted to use. The warranty covers any defect in the product and failure of the material to function as advertised. It is only valid if there is no evidence or indication of a faulty installation. Unlike the first type, this warranty is limited in scope, but most manufacturers try to compensate by offering up to thirty years of coverage.
 
3 – All-In or Full System Warranty
A full warranty is handed out by the manufacturer of the roofing product. It covers both the material used and the accessories needed for the installation of a new commercial roof. This warranty covers the materials and labour required in case a repair is needed within the prescribed period.
 
What You Must Know About Warranty Coverage
Many commercial property owners are clueless about the coverage details of their roof warranty. You must dig deep and review every provision in the roof installation or replacement contract. Be sure that you are fully covered. You can also talk to your insurance company about extended coverage.
You’re covered in these scenarios:

  1. Improper Installation – If the roofer is at fault with the incorrect installation of your commercial roof, you have the right to demand the leak or any other defect to be fixed at no cost.
  2. Material Defect – If the product used in a commercial roofing replacement is defective or fails after just a couple of months, then you are entitled to demand for the enforcement of the warranty. The most common product defect is the roofing membrane, but it could also be other components and parts.
  3. High Winds – The “high winds” coverage in commercial roofing warranties vary from one contract to another. You should talk to your local roofer about wind speeds in your location before you purchase additional coverage.

You’re not covered in these instances:

  1. Incorrect Repair – Resist the temptation of resolving a damage or leak if your commercial roof is still under warranty. Resolve the issue within the scope of the warranty. If you hire a roofer who chooses low-quality materials and comes up with an inferior repair job, likely, your bill won’t be covered by the warranty.
  2. Unsanctioned Alterations – A commercial roofing warranty includes a list of roofers who are allowed and qualified to perform the repairs and other alterations. If you choose someone who isn’t on that list, don’t expect the costs to be covered by the warranty.
  3. Act of God – Majority of commercial roofing warranties cover extreme weather conditions like hailstorms, high winds, and torrential rains. But the so-called “acts of God” like an earthquake, major hurricane or tornado aren’t part of it.
  4. Standing Water – Standing water on the roof is attributed to the lack of proper drainage. So, if your roof incurs damage due to standing water during the warranty period, don’t expect the repair costs to qualify for coverage.

The Importance of Commercial Roof Maintenance
Even with a commercial roofing warranty in place, you still need to have your roof regularly inspected and maintained. The lack of maintenance and regular inspection means that minor issues are ignored. You could end up voiding your warranty at the time when you need it the most.
Most commercial roofing warranties require at least one inspection every year. Only an authorized roofing contractor performs the examination. Although some commercial property owners are upset about the added burden of hiring someone to inspect the roof, it benefits them in the long run. A comprehensive inspection is the only way to find out if there are issues on the roof that must be addressed right before they become a considerable financial burden. A timely repair not only prevents a costly replacement, but it also prevents the possibility of voiding the commercial roofing warranty.
 

Vancouver roofing

How Colour Affects Your Roofing Choice In Vancouver

As you drive through your Vancouver neighbourhood, the colour of a roof is probably the last thing on your mind. In fact, you will probably only notice a roof if it’s out of place or doesn’t look right. Well, allow us to explain why you should mind about your roofing in Vancouver.
Yes, the roof colour in Vancouver tends to blend into the background of the landscape, but did you know your home’s roof colour affects your home in more ways than one? In this blog post, we explore why the colour of your roof matters.

Vancouver Roofing: Light or Dark Colours?

Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to which is better: light roofs or dark roofs.Ultimately, the best roof colour for your home is the one you like the best and the one that fits in with your neighbouring roofs. But there is a little more than just aesthetics when it comes to roofing colour choices in Vancouver.

How Roof Colour Reflects or Absorbs Heat

Did you know roof colour affects your home’s internal temperature?  In general, light-coloured roofs reflect away heat from the sun, while dark-coloured roofs absorb much of that heat and transfer it into the rooms below.
Obviously, if you have a lighter-coloured roof, your home absorbs less heat through the roof during summertime. As a result, your air conditioner operates more efficiently, uses less energy, and leads to lower utility bills.
In contrast, a dark roof likely raises the temperature inside your home’s highest rooms. Your cooling system works harder to compensate for the extra heat, and your bills slowly rise.
However during the colder months, the reverse is true. A dark roof brings in more heat from the sun than a light roof. This feature makes dark roofs advantageous in colder climates with long winters and short summers.
Thankfully in Vancouver we live in a temperate climate which means that there aren’t as hug fluctuations in temperature as there are in other cities. In Toronto, for example, you get extremely humid summers and bitter cold winter months.
In Vancouver, we’re more likely to have worry about the colder months but we are also seeing hotter summers in recent years so we may seem lighter roofs becoming more popular.
Or course, colour isn’t the only aspect of your roof that affects home temperature but it is a larger factor.
The roofing material also affects how your roof reflects or absorbs the sunlight. For example, asphalt shingles are less reflective than metal or rubber roofing. This quality means even tan asphalt shingles may welcome more heat into your home than a dark brown metal roof.

How Roof Colour Affects Snow Melt

Now, let’s consider how snow, another huge factor affects the equation. Because dark roofs absorb more heat, they can also help melt snow but does it actually help enough for you to take into consideration?
First, consider Vancouver has fewer sunny daylight hours during the cold winter months. And less sunlight exposure means less sun beating down on a roof and less time for the roof to absorb that heat.
Next, remember that even dark-coloured roofs may not actually appear black during the winter because they’re covered in snow. Snow actually reflects much of the sunlight before it can reach the roof so the dark roof underneath cannot absorb heat and melt the snow. This means dark-coloured roofs may have a small snowmelt effect but not a sizeable one.
Similarly, if your roof experiences winter problems like ice dams, your roof colour probably isn’t the primary culprit. More likely, insufficient attic insulation and poor roof ventilation create the problem.

Location 

Which part of your roof gets the most sunlight? Does the front of your home face north? Is the sun blocked by taller buildings or maybe you are high up on a hill? Sunlight can affect the appearance of your roof. Because of how far north we are in the hemisphere, the sun can bring out cool, blue hues while in southerly regions, roofs can appear more orange. These variations can completely change the look of a roof.

Roof Design

the architectural style and materials of your home should be kept in mind when deciding on a roof colour. Also what colour roofs are your neighbours?
Your home will look awkward if your roof sticks out like a sore thumb in your neighbourhood. There might actually be homeowner associations or subdivision rules about how your roof should look so remember to check with your neighbours before doing any major work.
Lastly, You should keep in mind that, like paint in a room, dark roofs make a home look smaller and light colours make a home look larger.

Last Thoughts in Vancouver Roofing

If you have the budget, advances in modern roofing material technology mean you can likely find a colour your like in a roofing material that suits your taste without worrying too much about heat or coolness.  However, if you just want to stick with the traditional materials you should think about
Cambie Roofing will bring you shingle samples to your home for you to view the colour next to your brick or siding. This makes the decision extremely simple as you can visualize how it will look.
Homeowners should be smart and do research when searching for a roofer who can correctly advise you on how to proceed. It could save you money and prevent a whole lot of trouble if you find a roofer that you can trust and who will do the job properly the first time around.
If you need a roof replacement from a reputable contractor, call our team at Cambie Roofing. We are happy to help with any questions you may have.  We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your roofing repair needs.

roofing quote

Roofing Quote: What a Homeowner Should Look for and Expect

If a crack or a leak needs repair or maintenance, it can be easy to shove it into the background of your mind and not think about it. As an essential part of your house and your family’s protection, a roofing quote can be overwhelming and scary. You will probably have a lot of questions such as:

  • How much is it going to cost?
  • Does the entire roof need to be replaced?
  • How long will it take?

As you’re not a roofing expert, it can be scary to leave the decision to other people. The good news is at Cambie roofing, we have the experience and the knowledge to steer you in the right direction without being too salesy. Because ultimately we leave the decision up to you.
Many homeowners have horror stories about when a roofing contractor quotes them something and it costs way more than expected.  These experiences tend to have a lasting and negative effect and causes them to suspect all roofing contractors are lying to them. Thankfully this is not the case.

Roofing Quotes: How A Roofing Contractor Quotes  

To start the roofing quote process, we recommend the homeowners get three or four quotes for comparison purposes.
Unfortunately, hidden costs are always a possibility when it comes to any roofing project, such as unseen rotten wood or stucco that needs to be removed and replaced. Always ask your roofer to go over any potential extra charges. That way, you won’t be hit with any significant surprises.
Remember that every roofing job is different and each coming with its own unique set of challenges.
While reliable roofers will do their best to give you the most accurate roofing quotes possible, sometimes the unforeseen does occur. If this happens an open dialogue between the homeowner and roofing contractor is always important.
Nobody likes it when cost overruns and while sometimes there are unavoidable, a lot of them can be prevented if you follow these three steps.

  1. looks at reviews on Better Business Bureau and Google
  2. interviews several different roofing contractors.
  3. takes the time to fully review and understand all aspects of the quote

There’s no getting around that roof repair or replacement requires a significant investment. However, you shouldn’t think of it as a cost, rather an investment into your home that will increase the value.
We get that you’re busy with your job and your family but it’s important that you don’t gloss over these steps or skip them entirely.  The consequences can be both stressful and costly.
This means you shouldn’t get a handyman or your cousin to do the work.  Rather make sure a certified roofing professional near you. This will make sure that no problems occur down the road which could easily have been dealt with by a professional.

What Questions Should Homeowners Have Answered?

What are the questions that should be answered, in a written quote, to help determine which contractor will be the best choice for the job?
Here is the information they want to see:

  • Complete contact information including company name, business license number, phone number, and e-mail
  • Anticipated duration of the project including estimated start date and completion date
  • Itemization of all materials (quantities, colours, brands, product codes)
  • Itemization of labour cost
  • Terms including the timing of all payments
  • Confirmation of valid workplace insurance and general liability insurance coverage
  • Details of all warranties relating to materials and labour plus conditions
  • Responsibilities for property clean-up

While this may be an extensive list, it is important for a  roofing contractor to provide this type of detail if they want to secure the roofing project, and it is equally important for the homeowner to be fully satisfied with this information before accepting and signing the agreement. There should be no surprises, for either party, when the work is done.
Here are some of the more important points broken down into greater detail.

Projected Time Frame

One of the important pieces of choosing a roofing company is getting an idea of the time frame for your roofing project. A professional roofer should be able to estimate when they will start, how long the project should take, and what date you can expect the work to finish. Having a clear timeline will help you figure out what will best suit your schedule and your needs.

Roofing Quote: A Complete Work Description

Roofing quotes should also include an itemized description of the work that needs to be done including exactly what the problem was and how the contractor fixed it. Don’t settle for some vague description or no description at all. Make sure that you understand the entire process and what the roofing company is doing.

The Roofing Repair Cost

The cost is always one of the most important aspects of any roofing project. Therefore you’ll want to know what to budget for and prepare adequately. Your estimate should include the cost of both labour and materials including the roof covering, underlayment, flashing, and gutters. There should also be a separate breakdown of wish list items or add ons like removing your old roof, hauling away debris, or renting a dumpster.

The Bottom Line

Whether you are a new homeowner or have been living in your house for many years, undergoing a roofing project is never fun. Thankfully with a little research and some helpful advice can help to ensure the roofing work meets your expectations and your budget.
At Cambie Roofing, we have over 50 years of experience building and installing roofs. We will help you through every step of the process including the initial quote, pick the roofing that is right for your home, and the installation. Call us today to discuss which roofing option is right for your home.