Structural Steelwork Roofing

If you’re old enough then perhaps you can remember back to a time when steel roofing was the “ugly duckling” of roofing systems, and materials. The only time you saw it back then was when you were driving past a barn out in the country, or found yourself in the industrial district of your city where it was used to cover warehouses.

Then a handful of decade’s back things began to change and it started up in areas of high altitude, where folks began to use steel roofing on their homes and cabins. It’s strong and quite permanent, so it proved to be the ideal roofing system to shed heavy snow loads. A onetime roof that would last decade’s longer, and didn’t spring leaks while the owners were away for the season.

So now fast forward to today when in terms of popularity, steel roofing is the currently the fastest growing system in the US and Canada. Now keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that there are more of them. Rather, it means that what was once an obscure system is being discovered at a greater percentage rate than any other type of roof.

The big turning point for steel in particular, was the development of new high tech coating materials that now last up to 50 years and even more. In fact you can now find contractors that will guarantee their new steel roofs for up to 50 years which is a number that was unheard of just two decades back.

Now keep in mind that steel roofs can be re-coated in 50 years, and it’s only reasonable to assume that by then even better, longer lasting coating products will have been developed. So while it is more expensive up front than, say a standard composition shingle roof, when its added service life is factored in, it is the better deal.

Today’s coated steel roofs also come in more configurations, including of course standing seam and corrugated, but what many people are surprised to discover, is that faux wood shingles, and tiles are also now being made out of this amazing recyclable material. These systems are also more wind resistant and recyclable which cedar and concrete are not.

So then what are a few of the major drawbacks that you should know about before you make your final decision? Because just like all other roofing options, this system has its share? The answer to that question, is that there aren’t many but the first big one is cost. In short, this system is more expensive that some of the other more common systems like composition shingle.

Then if you live in an area that receives heavy hail, this type of roof is among the noisiest in a downpour, so it does require a heavy layer of insulation in your attic to deaden the noise. Then this type of material is just not the best choice for a “do it yourself” job because it requires a certain level of expertise, and experience.

Classic Roofing

There are quite a few advantages to using roofing shingles over other types of roofing design. While roofing needs vary depending on weather conditions in the part of the world you’re in, shingled roofs are the most common type to be found in most of the United States and Canada.

Shingles are basically small roofing tiles which are used to cover a roof. They are stacked in an overlapping fashion across the length of the roof, allowing rain to slide off easily. One of the biggest advantages to using shingles over, say, a single metal sheet (a common roofing technique in some Asian countries) is that it provides the house with better ventilation and heat management.

In the summer, hot gases, with their tendency to rise, will seep out of a house via the gaps in the shingles, leaving the interior of the house cooler. In the winter time, however, the shingles become packed with snow, allowing the roof and the snow itself to become a heat-retaining layer of insulation which helps keep the interior of the house warm.

Shingled roofs are also generally sturdier than single-sheet or standard concrete roofs. The tiles are tough yet, because the roof itself is not made of a single piece of material, the overall effect is one of flexibility under pressure. Where a solid piece roof would crack under sufficient weight, shingled roofs provide a certain amount of “yield” under pressure that keeps the roof intact.

Lastly, one of the nicest advantages of roofing shingles comes during repair-time. Whereas one-piece roofs need to be overhauled almost entirely for repairs and can get expensive, shingles are small, easy to install, and cheap to replace if they get broken.

There are, however, two major drawbacks to using shingled roofs that make them inapplicable to some climates. The first drawback to shingled roofs is that their tiles are more vulnerable to thermal stress. Thermal stress does not mean merely extremes of heat and cold, but rather refers to sudden and drastic changes in temperature.

Being composed of small tiles, sudden changes in temperature from high heat to cold or vice versa leave the shingles more brittle and prone to damage, sometimes even actually causing them to suddenly crack under the rapid temperature change. This makes shingles inapplicable in certain tropical climes where a blazingly hot tropic day can suddenly be punctuated by an ice-cold rainstorm.

Choosing a Roofing Company

Finding a qualified, professional, and quality roofing company can be a challenging task. Not to mention the fact that there are no specific qualifications required to call oneself a roofer in Canada, there are also a long list of potential roofing professionals in most major cities including Vancouver. That being said, the trick is to find a quality roofing company, and there are steps a homeowner can take to find a successful and experienced professional to provide excellent roofing repairs or replacement. So how does a home owner go about choosing a roofing company? The following steps will help you weed out the best from the rest.

Workmanship

Obviously, you want to hire a roofer that has the skills and experience to provide quality work. First, start with roofers that are accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but also ask for evidence of qualifications. The best roofers attend courses that offer training for specific roofing applications so ask about their training and quality control processes.

Record of Success

Next, look for roofers that can provide you with a record of success. Past performance is always a good indicator of future success, so you should ask potential roofers for a list of customers that can verify the quality of their work. Moreover, you should ask past customers about their working relationship with the roofing company, as well as whether or not the jobs were completed on time and on budget.

Warranties and Guarantees

Most roofers will offer similar warranties and guarantees, and while roofing materials generally fall under the warranty offered by the manufacturer, labour and construction should be guaranteed by your roofer. In addition, you should also find out how long the roofing company has been in business. Even the most inclusive and extensive warranty will only be good as long as your roofing contractor is in business and evidence that a roofing company has been established in a community will give you peace of mind regarding the quality of their work.

Fine Print

All quotes need to be received in writing and you should take time to carefully review all aspects of the quote. Your quote will likely include a start and end date (with provisions for poor weather), and there will also be information about workmanship guarantees as well as details of the type of roof being installed.

Insurance

Another factor to consider is whether your roofing contractor carries liability insurance. There are dangers associated with roofing that most professionals never consider, so you want to be sure you are protected in case of accident or injury to roofing contractors and their staff. You should ask for proof of WorkSafeBC coverage as well as liability insurance.

Ultimately, you want to hire a roofing company that is accredited, certified, insured, and can provide references. By carefully reviewing potential roofing contractors in advance, you will have more peace of mind knowing your roof is in good hands.

What is a Green Roof?

The green roof is a cool type of roof that is not just good for the ecology but can also be excellent at managing the temperatures inside the home as well as its immediate environment.

The advantages of a green roof:

• Insulation value of the roof is significantly improved. Research carried out in Canada found that cooling requirements are usually reduced to 26 percent during summer in houses with these kinds of roofs. Also, winter heat losses are reduced by 26 percent. In either case, we have a dramatic savings in energy expenses alone.

• While reducing electrical power expenses, greening the roof boosts the lifespan of it and most of its additional components by 3 times. These roofs shield the roof from the weathering effects of higher temperatures. Throughout the summer months surface temperature could increase by 80 degrees Celsius. Heated items expand.

• Many governments support roof greening because it is an extremely effective way of managing urban heat islands. Particularly in urban and locations where housing is overloaded, roofs of houses that were built of conventional materials soak in the warmth from the sun as well as re emit this back to the surrounding areas that leads to raises in temperatures. This re emitting of the sun’s rays causes the environment to heat up by 4 degrees Celsius that over burdening power grids and producing high energy producing expenses apart from the distress that results.

• Such roofs have shown to retain as much as 75 percent of water. This equals reducing runoff water and decongesting the sewage and drains during rains and is particularly beneficial in areas where we have a combined sewer-storm water systems. The retained water is released back into the atmosphere since the crops retain the contaminants contributing to cleaner air and environment.

• Space is actually expensive. Turning the space green makes this part of the home useful not just as a space to grow crops but as a habitat for plats, small animals, and insects.

• A green roof adds significantly to the visual appeal of the house. In urban settings, a green roofed houses raises in value.

• This type of roofs in rural settings could be built in order to imitate its surrounding providing it an aesthetically pleasing visual effect.

Many Governments all over the world is actually supporting the green roof program as well as conducting trainings apart from laws and regulations that are passed in support of it. Green roofs are not only superb roofing alternatives; when adopted widely, green roofs will aid in making healthier cities.

Do Stains on Your Ceiling or Drips From a Bathroom Vent Mean Your Roof Is Leaking? How to Find Out

During the winter in Canada (January/February), and especially around mountainous areas like Calgary, Alberta, temperatures can change radically in a short period of time. When warm weather follows quickly after a severe cold snap, homeowners will often call our roofing company to report that their roof has suddenly started leaking, or their bathroom vent is leaking, or that water has been collecting in their light fixtures. If you have encountered similar issues or have noticed brown stains forming on your ceiling it may not be your roof that is the problem. Before assuming that a roof replacement or repair bill is looming, take the following steps to see if it is your really your roof that is leaking.

How to tell if your roof is really leaking or if the problem is elsewhere:

– Look for something like a trapdoor in the ceiling of the uppermost storey of your home

– Get a ladder and a flashlight and set up the ladder so that you can safely reach the trap door (be sure to take your flashlight with you)

– Climb the ladder and carefully lift and move the trapdoor (usually a light plywood panel)

– Poke your head up into your attic and using your flashlight examine the underside of the roof (a.k.a the roof deck) as well as the vapour barrier (usually clear plastic) under the insulation in your attic.

– Check for frost or icicles on the underside of the roof or signs of melting, including puddles of water on the vapour barrier under the insulation in your attic. If you see any of those signs then the problem may not be your roof but improper attic ventilation or attic insulation.

Your roof may not be the problem. It could be…

1) CONDENSATION IN YOUR ATTIC – When we get a cold snap in the winter – and we seem to be getting more of them in Calgary – we tend to turn up the furnace. If there are gaps or tears in the vapour barrier above the insulation in your attic the heat from our homes will escape into the attic and hit the underside of the freezing cold roof deck. Condensation results and then quickly freezes. When it warms up in a hurry, the frost or icicles melt and the water drips down through any gap it finds in the attic vapour barrier. Often those gaps or holes can be found around – you guessed it – around vents or the wiring for light fixtures. To minimize condensation issues in your attic you may need to review and modify your attic ventilation system. The solution may be as simple as installing a couple of extra roof vents and checking your soffits to make sure they are not covered with insulation – much cheaper than replacing or repairing your roof. Call a trusted local contractor, share what you have found and ask for advice. Your knowledge of the situation will indicate to the contractor that you have done your research. You may never prevent the problem altogether – weather conditions can be unpredictably harsh – but you can certainly minimize the problem.

2) CONDENSATION IN YOUR VENT PIPES – If the leaking is by, or from, your bathroom (or kitchen) fan it may be that condensation has formed inside the vent pipe for your exhaust fan and frosted up. When it warms up, the frost that has formed inside your vent pipe will melt and pour down into your bathroom (or kitchen, as the case may be). To minimize condensation issues in your vent pipes, you will want to discuss with a trusted local contractor how to reconfigure your vent pipes to minimize direct contact between the cold air (or sometimes snow) blowing in from outside and the warm air being blown out by your exhaust fan. You will also want to ensure that

If you do NOT note any of the symptoms listed above, it will be worthwhile to call a trusted local roofing contractor. A thorough inspection may reveal actual problems with your roof, but conducting the above check will help you feel more confident and informed when discussing the situation with your contractor.