Monthly Archives: November 2016

5 Signs Your Shingle Roof Needs Replacing

Top 5 Warning Signs: How To Know if Your Shingle Roof Needs to be Replaced or Repaired

Wondering if your shingle roof needs servicing? Check for any of these five warning signs…

1. Curling or Clawing Shingles

Curling or clawing shingles are a sign of both an aging roof system and excessive heat. Curled or clawing shingles are highly susceptible to wind uplift and ice damage. Shingles will become rigid and can break easily and lose tab edges.

2. Missing Granules and Bare Spots

Poorly placed downspouts, lack of eavestrough, or poorly designed valley drainage on a second storey can cause a waterfall effect that washes away granules over time. Aging of a roof system or physical damage can also cause bare spots and a loss of granules. When the protective granules of a shingle are lost the shingle begins to harden from heat and sun exposure. Granule loss on a roof system will accelerate aging and shingle decay and can become an entry point for water.

3. Broken or Missing Shingles

Broken and missing singles greatly weaken a roof system’s ability to shed water and can be an entry point of water. Two common causes of damaged shingles are excessive wind and physical damage.

4. Buckling Shingles

Buckling shingles are visible waved distortions that usually run vertically up a roof slope. Buckled shingles are highly susceptible to wind and ice damage and can be torn off easily. Overall roof age and wet or poorly installed underlayment are common causes of buckling shingles.

5. Damaged Flashings

Flashings located around skylights, valleys, eaves, rakes, wall details, stacks, and chimneys are all subject to separation, lifting, and dried out caulking. The flashing details can lift and separate due to general expansion and contraction. Expansion and contraction will cause fasteners to become loose and the bottom-flashing flange to lift thus allowing water to enter.

If you notice any of the signs noted above you may need to have your roof repaired or replaced by a certified roofing contractor. A roof leak is not always apparent immediately on the inside of a home; it can damage insulation and deck sheathing causing replacement costs to grow. Call a professional roofing contractor before your problems grow.

How to Handle a Roofing Disaster

 What To Do When Your Roof Suffers Storm Damage

As a homeowner, you rarely can predict when your home will be hit by damaging weather. It is important to have a clear understanding of the proper steps that should be taken when the roof of your home has been damaged. Windstorms, severe rainstorms, and snow/ice storms can all cause damage to a shingle roof.

1. Assess the damage to your roof.

The first step after you experience severe weather is to assess the damage. Approximate damage assessments can help you discuss your needs with your insurance company or contractor and avoid unforeseen costs or discrepancies. (This is usually only possible in daylight, so in some cases you may want to skip to step #2 listed below before assessing the damage.)

When looking at your roof to identify damaged areas, use a pair of binoculars. Estimate the general square foot area and specific details of the area that has been damaged. Note the severity of the damage, and look carefully to see if there are areas of missing shingles. In some cases, only a few random shingles will be missing.

Document the materials that are visible or exposed. Check for signs of exposed plywood, tarpaper, or the ends of missing shingles. Take note of the colour of the material and the approximate shade. (Additional shingles from a roof replacement project in the past will have the shingle colour stamped on the end of the package.)

2. Make temporary fixes to minimize property damage.

If the roof is severely damaged in an area directly above a living space, interior property can be damaged by leaking water. Be sure to place a bucket or garbage can under leaks and remove any valuables in the area in order to prevent further interior damage. Serious damage may need to be waterproofed quickly using a strapped tarping method or ice and water membrane, while smaller repairs can be shingled immediately.

3. Contact your insurance company.

Contact your insurance company. Evaluate if the damage is large enough to be covered through home insurance, or whether it would be more economical to hire a contractor directly for any necessary repairs. In times of natural disaster, when large residential areas are hit by a storm or other severe weather, it can be beneficial to use your homeowner’s insurance as contractors can become busy.

4. If necessary, contact a reliable contractor to repair the roof.

If you decide to hire a private contractor, always hire a professional certified roofing contractor. Avoid contractors who are in the area because of a natural disaster. Traveling contractors who follow storms have no reputation to uphold and may provide sub standard workmanship. Click here to learn more about how to hire a properly qualified roofing contractor.

Gutter Cleaning Basics

 Gutter Cleaning Information for Homeowners

Gutter cleaning is a job which is often neglected. Cleaning the eavestroughs is an important task of home ownership which should be performed at least twice a year. If the gutters are clogged, the overflow water can cause damage to the landscaping and foundation around the house. The increased weight can cause the gutters to pull loose, which can lead to rot behind the fascia or trim.

During the winter months, clogged gutters can lead to ice damming and cause roof leaks. Ice will fill the gutters and begin to form up the roof slope. The ice will form between the layers of your roofing and back-up into the roof system. Heat from the house will cause the ice to melt and leak into the structure. If there are a lot of trees surrounding the house, it is recommended to clean the gutters more frequently.

Although there are many new innovative tools to help clean your gutters, the standard practice involves using a ladder, hose, gloves, disposal bag, and a garden trowel or scoop. The average home should be cleaned twice a year, during May and October. Gutter cleaning can be dangerous and should be performed by a capable person.

When cleaning the gutters, it is important to wear gloves and ensure the ladder is always secure. A ladder stabilizer or stand-off can be used to prevent dents and damage to the gutters or siding.

Begin at the downspout with a trowel and hose and ensure the downspout is clear from debris. If a downspout is plugged, it may have to be dis-assembled and cleaned. Scoop and dispose of debris and then rinse the trough clean. A good time to check for leaks is while rinsing the trough.

10 Tips for Selecting a Roofing Contractor

 Selecting a properly certified and high quality roofing contractor is important and often a difficult task for consumers who are unfamiliar with the roofing industry. Roofing in the Ontario region is an unregulated industry. It is important to select certified roofers who will be in business to honour their warranty in the future. There are a large number of roofing contractors who are not certified and have both low quality installations and poor workmanship. The average start-up business is usually closed within three years, and may be out of business when potential roofing problem could arise.

The following are tips and important questions that can help you select a professional roofing contractor…

  • How long has the company been in business?
    An established company will most likely be around in the future should any problems arise.
  • Does the contractor have a permanent business office address, phone, and email?
    An established contractor should be able to provide a business address, phone, and email. A permanent business address is a sign of a stable company.
  • Does the contractor use subcontractors?
    Subcontractors are often paid on a per job basis, which can result in poor workmanship as the job is completed as fast as possible.
  • Does the company supply a written contract and estimate (and do they require a deposit)?
    All job specifications and prices should be supplied in writing. Established companies with strong financial stability usually do not require a deposit. Deposits are common, be wary of any contractor requesting more than 1/3 of the cost of the project.
  • Check to see if the company is a member of the Better Business Bureau and the local Chamber of Commerce.
    Research all potential contractors on the Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Commerce. Look for the overall business rating and keep in mind the general size of the company when checking for complaints.
  • Is the company registered with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and do they have liability insurance?
    This is important as an established company should be in good standing with the WSIB and have liability insurance.
  • Check to see if the contractor is part of local and national industry associations.
    A strong established contractor should be a member of trade associations. Look for associations such as the Ontario Industrial Roofing Contractors Association, Ottawa Construction Association, Canadian Roofing Contractors Association, and National Roofing Contractors Association.
  • Look for a contractor who is a certified installer of the products they offer.
    Certified contractors can offer stronger warranties on the products they install and follow stricter installation guidelines.
  • Look for a contractor who offers emergency service.
    A contractor who offers emergency service will be able to address a serious problem quickly, even after regular business hours.
  • Ask the contractor for references of previous customers.
    An established company should have a long list of satisfied customers who are willing to be contacted.