lower strata insurance

How a Roofing Company Can Help you Lower your Strata Insurance

Insurance rates continue to rise every year, and property owners can feel powerless, but there are some things you can do to save money.  Since changes in the structure of your property will affect your insurance rates, you can work something out to lower your strata insurance premiums.
Some home improvement projects aren’t exclusively meant to increase the value of your property; they also increase protection and security. You know by now that security and protection are determining factors in deciding how much you’re paying for your insurance premiums.

Investing in a New Roof

The roof arguably has the most significant impact on your strata insurance rate. No other home feature compares to the structural value of the roofing system; so, when a massive storm wreaks havoc to your property, the first in line for repairs is the roof.
Insurance companies know all too well how a new roof dictates the insurance coverage they offer to their clients. If you reside in an area where hailstorms, tornadoes, and wildfires are commonplace, then having an old roof usually corresponds to limited coverage. Investing in a new roof reinforced with special protection increases your chances of extending the coverage.
Roof replacement doesn’t come cheap, and a DIY approach may cost you more. Since it is an investment to improve your property and lower your strata insurance, you’re better off hiring a professional roofer. Reputable roofing companies provide work guarantee and product warranty – two things you don’t get when you’re planning to replace the roof on your own.

Roof-Related Property Damage

A strata owner is responsible for the protection of the common property from possible damage, and there’s more to this than just comfort and security in your dwelling. Being knowledgeable about the common residential strata insurance claims is part of that responsibility. Incidentally, many of the possible risks to the property are related to the roofing structure:
1 – Water Damage
Almost 40% of residential strata claims each year involves water damage, i.e., a leaky roof and clogged gutters. The problem with most water-caused damage is that they’re difficult to spot. So, insurance companies are wary when the property has an old roof with apparent signs of deterioration and damage.
There’s good reason to work with a roofing company to fix your roof if you want to lower your strata insurance. Insurance companies can’t help but worry once they see a roof in terrible condition. Fixing your roof with the help of an expert roofer costs you money, but you end up benefiting from it in the long run.

2 – Weather-Related Damage

The roof protects everything and everyone underneath it. In so doing, it bears the brunt of nature. If you reside in an area with extreme weather conditions, your roof most definitely has a shortened lifespan.
Did you know that almost 30% of strata insurance claims every year are related to weather-caused damage to the roof? The list includes hailstorms, heavy snow, strong winds, and torrential rains. Although you expect to pay a premium just because of the weather conditions in your location, you could be adding more to that if your roof is in bad shape.
A roofing company helps by improving the condition of your roof (or replace it) to give no reason for the insurance company to ask for a premium. For some people, it doesn’t make sense since they’d be spending money on a new roof; but then again, consider it as a long-term investment instead.

Other Ways to Reduce Your Premium

  1. Refrain from making small claims – Don’t forget that the more claims you make, the higher the premium becomes. Some property owners make claims every year, not realizing that doing so increases their premiums and excess. If possible, veer away from claiming strata insurance for minor repair and maintenance needs. The best alternative is to incorporate those costs in your yearly budget.
  2. Come up with a concrete maintenance plan – Insurance companies are well aware that the majority of strata insurance claims are a consequence of the owner’s lack of desire to maintain his/her property. To reduce your premium, show proof of a believable maintenance plan.
  3. Minimize the risks – If you put the effort in minimizing the chances of property damage, you reduce the possibility of an emergency repair. It means you avoid making a claim. If you’re unsure how to mitigate the risks, you can tap the services of a property risk surveyor who furnishes a risk management plan at a reasonable cost.

Update Your Policy

Many property owners fail to acknowledge the importance of updating their strata insurance policy. If you don’t take time to read your policy, you will regret it later. Be reminded that insurance companies update the rate during the renewal each year. So, if you fail to mention any home improvement project, you will have to face a stiffer premium.
A horde of factors contribute to strata insurance premiums and excess, but there are also are ways to lower them. Regardless of what happens in the insurance industry, your job is to keep your building or property in the best condition possible to increase the chance of getting a lower premium.
 

cambie roofing repair

Signs Your Home Is Under Insulated

Most of us don’t think a lot about home insulation, but if your home isn’t properly insulated, it can lead to many different problems – much worse than just a cold home – including increased energy costs, water damage, and mold growth. To protect your home from this type of damage it’s important to know the signs of an insulation problem. Here are some of the more common issues to look for that will keep your home properly insulated:
 
High Energy Bills
A homeowner’s energy bill is mostly spent on heating and cooling costs. In the winter, you heat your home, and in the summer, if you have an air conditioner, you cool it. That number goes up drastically when a home is poorly insulated as your utilities have to work overtime. Proper insulation can cut those costs by an average of 20%. You should keep an eye on how much you spend on energy each month and if it continues to climb then you may have a problem. You should be able to login online to view your history and see an average. Obviously, your bill will increase during winter months but you should be able to locate if there is an unusual spike.
 
Cold Walls, Floors, Ceilings and Rooms
The ceilings, walls and floors in your home should usually feel warm and dry. When drywall and panelling inside a home feels damp or cold, it is probably a sign that there is not enough insulation and should be fixed immediately. In addition, when touching an outside wall, it should feel cold because the insulation is keeping warm air inside your home.
Unfortunately, heat and cool air can escape almost anywhere that doesn’t have insulation to stop its path. Do you find that some rooms in your home are inexplicably colder or hotter than others no matter how you much you adjust the thermostat? If those rooms are well ventilated, then the problem is most likely bad insulation. Some of the worst culprits are rooms above the garage or attic spaces.
 
Chilly Drafts
Especially during the colder winter months, drafts in certain areas of a home are caused by cool air entering around window frames and doorways. By having extra layers insulation added to these areas, you and your family can avoid having to cope with chilly drafts. Using Spray foam is a good way to seal and insulate any cracks and crevices.
 
Mice & Insects Are Invading
There is nothing worse than finding your home invaded with mice and other rodents. Unfortunately, these rodents can enter through very small holes and crevices around doorways and windows. If you find rodents constantly getting into your home, it’s more than likely these openings are also how cold air enters and warm air escapes. They should be patched up not only to stop the rodents but to stop hot air from escaping.
 
Water Leaks in the Attic
Just as bad insulation lets heat escape from your home, it also tends to let water in. Water obviously has a much easier time finding its way into a poorly-insulated home than a well-insulated one. If you have a leak in the attic, your insulation may be part of the problem. Leaks and water damage are a sign that you should get your insulation inspected as soon as possible.  Water damage can cause many costly problems down the road, including mold issues, so get it fixed as soon as possible and don’t procrastinate.
 
Frozen Pipes
While most people think of poor insulation as just a minor inconvenience but it, in fact, can cause a lot of damage to your home if left unchecked. Frozen pipes in your walls are another indicator you have an insulation problem. Proper insulation protects your home from damage caused by freezing temperatures. Poorly insulated exterior walls can cause frozen pipes, which can then burst, which can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage.
 
Ice Dams On Your Roof
A sign of poor insulation in winter are ice dams which are built up patches of ice that can prevent natural melting or water from running off your roof.  Ice dams are a result of heat rising from a poorly insulated home that melts the bottom layer of snow on your roof. The melted water then trickles down towards your gutters and once it hits the colder air may begin to freeze. This can cause chunks of ice and icicles to form on the perimeter of your roof. Not only does it wreak havoc with your gutters and roof, but it also becomes a safety hazard for anything or anybody below as the ice can fall on people passing by.
 
Get An Inspection
The easiest way to tell if your house is well insulated is to have an experienced inspector look at the floors, ceilings, and walls of your home. Many insulation installers have access to specialized equipment and some are happy to offer a free in-home inspection. If you are wondering if a home inspector is worth it, remember roughly a quarter of your home’s heat escapes out through the roof, and another 35 percent goes out the windows. It’s definitely worth checking insulation levels to put some of those savings back in your wallet. In addition, if you have an issue with your roof or you need it inspected, give us a call at Cambie Roofing and we’ll come out and give you a free estimate.
 
 

skylight-leak

How to Prevent a Skylight Leak

Skylights are incredibly beautiful and can add some much-needed light to your home. Having additional natural light skylights can also look to expand interior spaces, reduce utility bills, and help make your home seem a little more inviting.
The problem is, however, that skylights, especially when installed poorly, can be prone to developing water leaks. In fact, skylight leaks are among the most common roof repairs in residential homes. When a skylight starts to leak, it can be minor but can lead to expensive water damage, especially if it goes unchecked. A leaky skylight can also be an indication of other, more serious, hidden roof damage. You can contain and prevent skylight leaks by asking a roofing contractor to perform a regular roof inspection.

What Causes Skylights to Leak?

The first question to ask is what causes a skylight to leak. As with most things, it can be a variety of factors. Some people blame leaks on faulty product design but usually, it’s the skylight wasn’t installed or maintained properly. Sometimes it can be a combination of several factors including old age.

How To Spot a Leak

If you’re indoors, you might not even have to step outside to see if there is a leak around the skylight. If you see a dark spot around the skylight you need to distinguish whether it is a true leak or just built up condensation – moisture on the cool skylight surface. Depending on the skylight design, especially modern ones, some of them have condensation drip trays that collect extra moisture.
The best way to determine a skylight leak is to do it from a vantage point indoors. Look very closely at where water stains originate inside the building – trace stains to their highest point. The leak will likely be at the highest point from the wet spot.
Homeowners can have trouble determining exactly where the skylight leak is occurring, sometimes simply slather caulk or roof cement all over everything in sight. This is obviously not the best way to do it and can not only value your home but also can cause lasting damage. In addition, when professional roofers are called in, a roof-cement slathered skylight that is still leaking may be even more difficult to diagnose.
If the skylight leak is at the roof flashing, it may be possible to do a temporary repair using roof cement around the perimeter of the unit. While this can be used if a roofer cannot be contacted immediately, the best solution is to remove the shingles near the skylight and install a news properly.
Modern skylights have been designed by their manufacturers to make the window as simple as possible. As a backup to prevent leaks around skylights, during the installation process, roofers usually also install flashing which are lips to direct water away from the sealed area. It is a good idea to seal the skylight curb and surrounding roof area with a bituminous membrane.
Older bubble-type skylights that were mounted flush with the roof surface are notorious leakers because they relied entirely on sealants between shingles and the skylight. Newer curbed skylights are much more reliable.
Indoors, if the ceiling drywall is badly leaking, it is best to remove the damaged drywall material completely, remove any wet or stained fibreglass insulation, and clean the ceiling area. It is always best to get a professional contractor to do this, rather than a DYI project.

What Can You Do To Prevent Skylight Leak?

Many if not all skylight leaks can be prevented through seasonal roof inspection. A roofing contractor will look for damage to the shingles, and gutters, but will also check the flashings for holes, cracks, or other signs of damage or deterioration. They should also check the interior of the house for issues that could be causing your problems. It is best to schedule roof inspections during the Spring or Summer to make sure your home hasn’t sustained any damage during the harsher winter months.

Roofing Maintenance

Taking care of your roof with regular check-ups is a great way to prevent skylight leaks. Roof maintenance is especially important around winter time, more so than in other months because of the damage, the cold can do to the skylight and a roof in general. This is largely due to the threat of ice dams, which can cause costly damage.
First, after a particularly heavy snowstorm, you should clear your roof of snow as quickly as possible. Quick snow removal does not allow precipitation time to melt and refreeze on the roof, creating ice dams. Ice dams can block drainage to the point that moisture can seep into the home through the roof and skylight.

Adequate Ventilation

Another factor to consider with skylight leaks is the humidity level in the highest floor of your home. Too much humidity in the air, which can come from the laundry room or bathroom, can cause condensation on skylight glass while leading to leaks or even cracks around the frame. Ask your roofing contractor to suggest an appropriate ventilation system or dehumidifier for your home to prevent condensation.
If you hire an inexperienced roofing who is not familiar with skylight installation, then you can be in trouble down the road. If the skylight was installed on an older roof as a retrofit, and especially if the installer did not install the skylight properly, leaks at the skylight are likely. Always ask the roofer about their experience with skylights.

Hire a Professional Roofer to Help

Skylight leaks can be very difficult to repair, and we don’t recommend you do it yourself. If done poorly it can lead to significant interior and exterior damage. Instead, call for the advice of a professional. It will be cheaper in the long run and will prevent you from a lot of headaches.

Conclusion

If you notice leaks around your skylight, contact Cambie Roofing, a family owned & operated local roofing contractor with decades of experience in residential and commercial roofing. We’ll evaluate your skylight and surrounding shingles and recommend repairs that will fit your budget and remedy your water problems.

new-roof-before-after

How a New Roof Can Increase Your Sale Value

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

Beautification

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

Buy A Transferrable Warranty

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

Increased Energy Efficiency

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

Reduces Maintained

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

Other Factors To Think About

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

Conclusion

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

Earthquake_roof

Can A Roof Be Earthquake Proof?

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

What is an earthquake?

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

What makes a building or structure fail in earthquakes?

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

Is it Possible to Build A completely Earthquake Proof Roof?

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

So What’s The Solution?

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

ventilation-asphalt-shingles

The Importance of Ventilation and Insulation in Asphalt Shingles

Roofs need the right balance of both ventilation and insulation to work properly, especially with the type of weather we’ve been having in Vancouver the past couple of ears. In warmer weather, poorly ventilated roofs can result in hot attic spaces which can significantly damage shingles, causing curling or even breaking, reducing the lifetime of a roof.
In the colder seasons, a lack of ventilation can trap cold air and cause moisture to build up, resulting in problems with mold, rot, and mildew, which can damage the roof and walls. Properly ventilated and insulated roofs upon are important to protecting against the problems caused by seasonal extremes and avoid costly repairs. Just think of the leaky condo crisis that cost Vancouver over $4 billion in damages because buildings didn’t have the proper ventilation. While in Vancouver ventilation was a problem with newer buildings, it is usually common in older homes, which were generally constructed when building codes did not require as much insulation.
As many Vancouver builders discovered, creating the proper ventilation and insulation of asphalt shingle roofs is isn’t always easy. You need to get the advice of an experienced, licenced roofer to do the job correctly.

Roof Ventilation

Proper roof ventilation reduces electricity bills, extends shingle life, and prevents roof rot and ice dams in winter. Doing it right the first time also protects your house from expensive future repairs. The most important aspect of roof ventilation is to ensure your roof has vents so that the excessive moisture can escape. Ventilation is required by building codes. If you don’t properly ventilate your roof it will likely void your roofs warranty.
The number of vents within roof space will depend on the size of the roof and the material used, however, the general rule is that a single vent should be enough for a squared 30-meter roof space. A specific number of vents are required per square footage to ensure that the right amount of air enters and exits the attic.

Roof Insulation

Insulation plays a vital role in ensuring your home is properly ventilated. While you need to have enough insulation to help your house efficiently maintain a comfortable temperature, it is just as important t that you do not have too much insulation in case it blocks proper air circulation. An experienced roofer or contractor can decide what your home needs and advice you on the proper course of action. Of course any work a roofer or building contractor does on the vents needs to be done carefully so you do not decrease the area of the vents or anyway stop the airflow.
You probably won’t notice if something is wrong with your roof’s insulation or ventilation which is why it’s important to have an experienced, trustworthy roofer do a checkup at least once a year. If there is a problem with the airflow, they will know and be able to fix it. Often the solution depends on what is causing the lack of airflow. In the simplest and least costly case, there may be something obstructing the vents which is an easy fix. Unfortunately, in many cases, the lack of ventilation is caused by something more serious—such as a lack of or inappropriate placement of vents. If that’s the case, you might need to rip up a part or the complete roof to fix it.
Insulation placed on an air-sealed attic floor is simple, yet one of the most underappreciated building assemblies. A vented attic works in all types of climates to keep the home regulated.
Unfortunately, unexperienced builders do not install insulation correctly which causes excessive energy losses, ice dams, mold, rot which all need to be fixed sooner than it should.
If your builder has properly ventilated your roof space, then you will have to keep the vents free so they can allow for proper air flow. This means that the vents should not be obstructed otherwise the moisture will still stay trapped within the roof structure and eventually turn into mold and rot the wood.

Using Vents In Your Roof

There is a variety of different vents to select from when choosing a new vent for your roof. Two of the more common vents you will find are the box vent and turbine vents. The box vent uses natural air flow to draw hot air out of the attic; however they are not as effective as turbine vents and you will require more of them to properly ventilate your space. Turbine vents are wind-driven and more effective.
There is a third type of vent which are called ridge vents but they are not as common as the first two. They, as you might suspect, run along the ridge of your roof. They keep a more consistent temperature across your roof than box vents, and do not require wind to operate like turbines. They are slightly more expensive, but when used with soffits, the underside of the area which connects the roof to the wall, they will keep your space well ventilated.

Conclusion

Whether you are in need a roof inspection or have a leaky, it’s important to choose a roofing contractor that is trustworthy, reliable, and experienced. At Cambie Roofing we are experts in providing you the service you need within your budget. Give us a call or email us for a free estimate.