Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Edmonton Roof Repair - The Spring Rains Are Here

Edmonton Roof Repair

5 Things You Can Do to Avoid Roof Leaks
Edmonton Roof Repair, Flat Roof Repair, Tar and Gravel, hatches, curbs, skylights, flashing, sheet metal, insulation, scuppers, drains, gutters, downspouts, soffit, siding, fascia
Roof Repair Edmonton Apr 22, 2014


By +Tyler Sinclair - Staff Writer

April 23, 2014

24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair Service: Edmonton Local 1.780.424.7663, Toll Free 1.877.497.3528 or Email info@grscanadainc.com

Well, the spring rains are here and it's time to be sure your roof won't leak. Everyone in Edmonton woke up to torrential rains this morning. The Weather Network is reporting rain last evening and today in Edmonton that could accumulate in some areas as much as 30mm of rain.

Whether it is a sloped or a flat roof, commercial or a residential - the 5 DIY pointers below will help be sure you don't experience roof leaks.


1. Roof Inspections - Every spring get a roof inspection done by a qualified Edmonton roof repair contractor. If you are a "do-it-yourself" type then be sure you do it every spring right before the rains. Two days ago in Edmonton would have been perfect. The rain this spring has sort of caught us all by surprise today. Look for holes, tears, and various issues with your roof that may cause a leak. For flat roof systems we have a page dedicated to items for roof inspections and roof maintenance check lists.

2. Clear Gutters, Downspouts, Scuppers, Internal Drains, and Drainage - Get the leaves and debris out of your gutters and downs. If you haven't the tools or you would prefer to hire a contractor then call us or your regular trusted contractor to clear them right away. Back-ups in eaves-trough and downspouts is one of the main reasons for water backing up under the sheathing (roof deck) and in to your home or business causing a leak.

On flat roof systems it is critical to clear debris from drains and external over-flow scuppers. As above, this will cause a leak in your roof faster than most other issues. Additionally important on low slope roof systems is the actual slope of the roof itself and making sure the slope is allowing for proper drainage - if not, this needs to be corrected immediately.

3. Inspect for Blisters, Tears and UV Damage - On flat roof systems if you find any blisters or bubbles that when pressed seem to have air or water in them then get these repaired immediately. And with flat roofs and pitched roofs and tears in the membrane or shingles be sure to have those areas repaired also. Flat roofs that have gravel covering them to protect them from UV rays and shingles that have granules which also protect from UV be sure are in order. On tar and gravel roofs be sure the gravel is spread out and no bitumen (tar) is showing. With shingles be sure the granules have not worn off.

4. Inspect all Vents, Flashing, and Penetrations - On flat and sloped roofs there will be various vents, plumbing stacks, jacks, flashing, and penetrations. It is critical that you inspect them in detail to be sure any caulking that is required gets re-caulked and that all areas have no holes, blisters, tears, etc.

5. Inspect your Attic for Moisture - Either hire a contractor to do this or get up in your attic and check for moisture. Be sure the underside of the sheathing is not wet or showing signs of moisture. Check your insulation and be sure it is dry. While up there check to be sure insulation isn't covering the intake air at your soffits and that there is enough ventilation (exhaust) at the peak of the roof.

About Our Repair Services


We maintain a 24 hour service for roofing emergencies. Emergency roofing and preventative roof maintenance are our specialization.

We service and replace all roof systems - flat roofs, metal roofing, and all pitched roofing on residential, commercial, and industrial.

Our senior roofers are very experienced. We hire Red Seal Journeymen and we have an apprenticeship program for the development of staff.

We also service and replace all other roof components such as hatches, curbs, skylights, flashing, sheet metal, insulation, scuppers, drains, gutters, downspouts, soffit, siding, and fascia.

We are City of Edmonton Licensed, are Alberta Provincially Registered, carry 5,000,000,00 Commercial Liability Insurance, are WCB Registered, our roofer's are Certified, we hire Red Seal Journeymen, and we maintain a Lifetime Workmanship Guarantee.

Our services are available in Edmonton and the following areas of Alberta:

Athabasca, Barrhead, Beaumont, Bon Accord, Calmar, Camrose, Cold Lake, Drayton Valley, Edmonton, Edson, Fairview, Fort McMurray, Fort Saskatchewan, Gibbons, Grande Prairie, High Prairie, Hinton, Innisfree, Jasper, Lac La Biche, Lamont, Leduc, Lloydminster, Mayerthorpe, Millet, Morinville, Panoka, Peace River, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Slave Lake, Smoky Lake, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Thorhild, Thorsby, Tofield, Two Hills, Valley View, Vegreville, Vermilion, Wainwright, Westlock, Wetaskiwin, Whitecourt and points between.

Emergency Service 24/7 Call 1.780.424.7663 or 1.877.497.3528 Toll Free.

Edmonton Roof Repair
Mail to:
3428 99 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
T6E-5X5


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Roof Conversions: Converting a Flat Roof to Pitched Roof

Ten Things To Consider When Converting a Flat Roof to a Pitched Roof
Roof Conversion
Our crews call this a "Frankenstein Roof"
Flat roof with various sloped additions
and skylights with vents in wrong places.

By +Tyler Sinclair - Staff Writer

February 7, 2014

Roofing Contractors Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, and points between.

Every year about now, our phones start to ring about flat roof conversions and design options. Some homeowners ask us for advice about roof repairs and maintaining their flat roofs and get pro-active before the spring rains. Some inquirers want to build a deck on their flat roof to extend their outdoor living space. And others are done with the idea of a flat roof all together and want to convert their flat roof in to a sloped or pitched roof finishing it with shingles, shakes, tile, or whatnot.

The Economics

1. A shingle roof is much less expensive than a flat roof. True or False?


A flat roof replacement is approximately two - three times more expensive than replacing shingles.

However, flat roofs typically last longer than shingles.

Shingle manufacturers now have "limited lifetime" warranties as the standard. When you review the wording of the warranty you find out what limited means.

Flat roof membranes are typically warrantied for ten or twenty years but if kept up will last up to forty years (in the right environment, with the right membrane and maintenance).

So yes, over-all or over a person's lifetime it is true that replacing shingles will likely be somewhat less expensive. A high end cedar shake a will be closer to a flat roof cost as will tile, metal, synthetic polymer's etc.

2. The cost to convert my flat roof to a sloped roof will be less than replacing my flat roof. True or False?


Usually the motivation for homeowners wanting to go from a flat roof to a pitched roof is driven by economics. Basically, the thinking goes something like this... if my flat roof costs x amount to replace or repair then why don't I simply make it a shingle roof because shingle roofs don't cost as much to replace and they don't leak as much.

Unfortunately, homeowners find early on in the process that the conversion process itself is cost prohibitive (relative to simply repairing or replacing the flat roof). A standard flat roof membrane replacement costs about 2 - 3 times that of a shingle replacement. That is true. However, to frame, replace the roofing material, insulate, install vapour barrier, soffits, fascia, gutters, siding, etc will typically be more costly than simply replacing the flat roof. In fact, the retro-fit cost could be 2 - 3 times the cost of simply replacing the flat roof.

Taking The Cheap Way Out

3. If I can't afford to replace my flat roof and I can't afford to retro-fit to a pitched roof correctly then why shouldn't I just add a simple cheap tin roof on top of my flat roof?


We see time and time again homeowners that have flat roofs that are failed (in other words they are soaked with moisture in the flat roof assembly) that have scab contractors erect hack framed tin roof structures on top of existing flat roofs. The reason this transpires is that the homeowner discovers the cost to replace the flat roof and begins to explore options. Then pricing comes in to retro-fit a pitched roof system properly and the home-owner discovers that is the same or much more than replacing the flat roof (depending on complexity or the renovation). And then the homeowner remembers, "hey, there was that one handyman that said if nothing else he could put up some simple framing and just put cheap tin on it". Yeah, that's the idea! I get a pitched roof, no more fussing with flat roof repairs and leaks, and it will be good enough I'm sure!

Unfortunately that's where the real nightmare begins and the "Frankenstein Roof" comes alive.

If the flat roof is completely failed and there is moisture in the roof assembly you will have mold eventually. The mold will spread. Also, the moisture itself will release depending on the weather etc. And finally, what about the framing and insulation in the roof assembly? It will of course likely be wet and moldy. All of which needs to be addressed.

Most times, when a homeowner opts to have a simple framed tin roof slapped up on their flat roof it is done by a handy person and the handy person typically has no idea how to address other issues such as how to fasten the trusses to the existing building with-out compromising the flat roof. And how to vent the flat roof and the new "tent" roof or how to insulate between the two for example. Or, what if the tin roof leaks? What if the tin roof condensates on the underside due to condensation from inadequate moisture and condensation?

Okay. So I Need to Do This Right, What Should I Consider?

4. Get the Right Team - Start with Hiring the Right Roofing Contractor

Roofing contractors have different specialties - be sure the roofing contractor you choose is comfortable with this process. The best roofing contractors for the job will have a team that works together to bring all required trades together seamlessly.

5. Cross the T's and Dot the I's - Be Sure you Check with Local Building Codes and Permits

The height of your house will be changing - be sure you secure correct permits well in advance of starting the process.

Get the right permits, be sure the roofing contractor knows what is required locally and what codes to follow.

Be sure any engineering required is done in advance of getting in to the project planning to far.

6. Resale Value - Consider Street Appeal and Value Retained

Changing your house to a pitched from a flat roof will change the architectural appeal or street appeal. Be sure you do not cause your home value to dip by choosing a design that buyer's won't like in the future. Consider the roof lines, siding, gutters, soffit, fascia, etc. Remember that one day your house will be sold.

If you are converting your roof to raise the value of your home, consider the value of your home will only increase about half of the original cost of the roof conversion (generally speaking). If you are selling your home within the next ten or so years, converting your flat roof to pitched may not be equitable.

7. My Flat Roof Isn't Structurally Sound

A roof conversion from flat to pitched, if done properly, will succeed in distributing weight to the bearing walls of your home's structure. A roof conversion in this instance will transform a structurally unsound roof to a structurally sound dependable roof assembly.

8. Roof Efficiency is The Main Concern
Ice Dams on the "Frankenstein" roof.

It is true that a pitched roof conversion will result in easier and more efficient insulation value. This is of particular concern for homeowners with ice dams that are damaging their flat roof every year.

It is more economical to insulate a pitched roof than it is to insulate a flat roof. Insulating the cavity of a flat roof assembly requires removing sheathing or insulating above the roof deck and below the roof membrane with rigid insulation, which is also costly.

9. More Storage Required

If storage is a motivating factor then a pitched roof attic will give you that advantage.

10. Design

Design is a critical component to the renovation process. Be sure to take the time required with the roofing contractor, the person doing the drawings, and the engineer to be sure the design is one that will return the highest financial yield and yet be aesthetically pleasing for you.

I hope the ten points above help you with choosing to convert your flat roof or not to a pitched roof.

If you have any questions simply call or email us anytime at 1.877.497.3528 or info@grscanadainc.com.

By +Tyler Sinclair - Staff Writer  Google

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) | Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, and points between.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Edmonton Roof Ice Dams

Edmonton Roof Ice Dams Causing Attic Ventilation Problems and Significant Roof Repair Costs


By +Tyler Sinclair - Staff Writer
Flat Roof Ice Dam Damages Roof
Damaged roof membrane caused by
ice damming on a flat roof.


The Edmonton Journal called earlier today asking about the ice dams plaguing Edmonton homeowners this season. They asked what could be done. Here are snippets from the story:

Edmonton Roof Ice Dams - General Roofing Systems has been inundated with calls this year to clear snow off roofs to prevent ice damming and roof cave-ins... “It’s been the second most busy year that we can recall,”... 

The busiest year was 2010-11, when snow buildup caused a series of roof cave-ins, including at the Northgate Lions Seniors Recreation Centre in Edmonton where a seniors’ choir was rehearsing. 

Most at risk of collapse are large, flat roofs and metal roofs, such as those on agricultural and commercial buildings, Johnson said.

“A lot of people think because the melt is on that they’re out of the woods, but the reality is it gets heavier as the melt happens,” Johnson said.

“In Alberta this year, we’ve seen five or six significant collapses. More than that, what the ice is doing is destroying roofs. For close to three weeks, our guys have been working around the clock. (Friday) night was actually one of the worst nights for ice-damming calls through the night, where the ice dams just literally open up flat roof membranes.”

In Drayton Valley, another area Johnson said has been particularly bad this year, part of the curling rink roof collapsed early Friday afternoon. Investigators are still working to determine what caused the cave in.

Snow buildup coupled with freezing and thawing causes ice to build up on roofs, leading to a “glacier effect” that can damage the roof and cause flooding, Johnson said. The situation will get worse if we get more snow, he added.

Residents should keep roofs and gutters clear of ice and snow to protect their homes from damage that can cost tens of thousands of dollars, Johnson said. 

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Freeze+thaw+cycles+causes+problems+Edmonton+drivers+homeowners/9430832/story.html 


How to Prevent and Deal With Roof Ice Dams
Ice Damming Edmonton
The ice damming on this Edmonton
Industrial building is buckling the
side walls of the building.


Ice Dams are caused by heat that has entered the in the attic (for pitched roofing) or heat in the roof cavity (flat roofing or cathedral ceiling style homes) entering the underside of the roof sheathing and melting the snow at roof level.

As the freeze-thaw cycle continues more and more ice is built up at the gutter eaves or in roof valleys and the ice will migrate. On flat roofs the ice migrates across the roof.

With shingle, metal, and tile roofs this causes the ice to get under the shingles and to the roof deck and cause leaks in to your attic, insulation and home. With flat roofs the ice glaciers push against roof penetrations and parapet walls and cause splits in membranes and failures at flashing around penetrations such as skylights and vent stacks.

It is important to contact a reputable and skilled roofing contractor that understands the building envelope of your home or business. Inspection of the vapour barrier to be sure there are no holes for heat to be released from your home in to the attic is done, insulation values need to be assessed, the intake air at the soffits needs to be working properly and not covered with insulation, and the exhaust ventilation needs to be adequate and also not plugged by snow on the roof. Once a complete assessment is done then the roofing contractor can suggest repairs to the vapour barrier, insulation, soffit ventilation, exhaust ventilation, sheathing, and roofing material.

Until a full inspection of your attic and roof is completed, the following are steps you can take to mitigate damage in the meantime: 

1. Clear the snow off your roof and out of gutters whenever it snows. The snow melts and causes ice dams.

2. If you already have an ice dam you can hire a professional contractor to remove the ice dam or mitigate the issues of the ice dam by carving notches to allow water to move off the roof.

3. We either use steam trucks (typically in commercial and industrial settings) to remove the ice or our roofing crews will simply remove what ice they can from homeowner's roofs.

4. If you hire a contractor to remove the snow from your roof be sure the contractor has at least two million in liability insurance (preferably five million), is WCB registered and in good standing, that their crews have fall arrest tickets / certification, and that the workers use their fall arrest equipment.

5. If you have a large span commercial, industrial, or farm building there is no choice but to remove the snow regularly to avoid collapse.

6. If you are removing snow from a large roof be sure to have the process approved by an engineer prior to moving the weight on the roof to avoid collapse.

7. If you have a residential roof that is sloped (high pitch) it is unlikely snow loads will cause collapse.

8. Heat trace wire can be an effective preventative maintenance practice for snow and ice in gutters.

9. Do not use ice socks with salts etc to remove ice - they will kill grass and possibly damage the roof materials.

10. Be careful to move snow away from the foundation of your home when removed from your roof.

More Roof Snow Removal and Ice Dam Removal advise is available on this blog, simply type in the search by at the top right what you would like to search.

Until Next Time,

By +Tyler Sinclair - Staff Writer  Google

Other helpful ice dam and roof snow removal information is available on our other websites:



http://www.roofsnowremoval.ca/

https://www.grscanadainc.com/Roof_Snow_Removal_Edmonton.html

http://generalroofingsystemscanadainc.blogspot.ca/2011/01/roof-snow-removal-edmonton-homeowner.html

http://generalroofingsystemscanadainc.blogspot.ca/2014/01/roof-snow-removal-ice-dams-attic.html

https://www.facebook.com/roofsnowremovaledmonton?ref=stream

https://www.grscanadainc.com/Roof_Ventilation_Attic.html

https://www.grscanadainc.com/Roof_Ventilation_Attic.html#Arrgh!_-_The_Cause_of_the_Ice_Dam_Problem_can_be_Complicated

https://www.grscanadainc.com/Ventilation.html

http://generalroofingsystemscanadainc.blogspot.ca/2011/01/flat-roof-snow-and-ice-removal.html

http://generalroofingsystemscanadainc.blogspot.ca/2011/01/hiring-roofing-company-to-repair-or.html

http://www.edmontonroofsnowremoval.com/


Other ice dam removal and roof snow removal media with General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS):


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/variable-wintry-weather-causes-worries-for-homeowners-1.2493248

http://www.cbc.ca/afternoonedition/episode/2013/01/03/ice-dams-on-saskatchewan-rooftops/

http://www2.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=46ba4aac-6944-4616-90e1-64f4a75f54b5

http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/edmonton/2011/01/22/16995406.html?pageNumber=1

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/snow-blamed-in-roof-failure-at-leduc-retail-store-1.993425

http://metronews.ca/news/edmonton/60792/snow-the-cause-of-another-roof-collapse/


Friday, January 24, 2014

Roof Collapse Drayton Valley, Alberta

DRAYTON VALLEY ROOF COLLAPSE - Local Curling Club

January 24, 2014
By +Tyler Sinclair, Staff Writer

Looks like yet again another roof collapse in Alberta this year as a result of roof snow and ice. Local news in Drayton Valley is reporting a partial collapse at the local curling arena.

Roof snow and ice removal is critical on large span roofs, commercial roofing, and flat roofs on residential and commercial buildings.

We will bring you more information as the story unfolds today.

Global News:

Breaking News - Curling Rink in Drayton Valley Roof Collapse

http://globalnews.ca/news/1105905/roof-collapses-at-drayton-valley-curling-club/


General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) Services Roof Snow Removal and Ice Dam Removal through-out Western Canada.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Roof Deck, Patio, and Terrace Membranes - Ten Important Choices

Replacing Your Rooftop Deck?
Rooftop Deck


Ten Steps To Follow When Choosing a Rooftop Deck Waterproofing Membrane

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) is a Comprehensive Exterior and Roofing Contractor Servicing British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Rooftop Decks Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, and points between.

Jan 22, 2014
By +Tyler Sinclair , Staff Writer +1.877.497.3528 24 Hour Service

By far one of the most common problems we see in roofing is the waterproofing of rooftop decks or patios. 

For whatever reason(s), when designing and constructing rooftop decks, architects, builders, homeowners, and general contractors tend to get it wrong and think what is required for the project is a deck material and not a flat roof material (or roof membrane).

If you are installing a deck, terrace, or patio and it is over a living area you require a deck membrane that is also suitable as a roof membrane. Or better said, you are really installing a roof waterproofing membrane that is also being used as a deck top patio. And as such, you need a membrane that is dual use. It needs to be a roof membrane that is also suitable as an outdoor deck - not a deck membrane that might be suitable as a roofing material.

Time and time again the calls come in and they are similar in nature... "I have a problem with my deck. It is leaking and causing damage to my home (or business). It also doesn't seem to drain properly - the slope seems wrong and the water doesn't get to the drain. The drain is in the wrong place. I can't figure out where the water is coming in from."

The Ten Most Important Choices When Replacing A Rooftop Deck


1. Choose the Correct Membrane. 

If it is a deck that is over a living area be very cautious to get only a roof membrane that is also suitable as a deck material. Most people choose a deck material that is only suitable for an outdoor deck and is not suitable for over a living area (a roof membrane).

2. What Roof Membranes Are Available For Use on a Roof-Top Deck?

There are a number of different membranes used everyday for flat roofs, such as; Spray Foam (SPF), EPDM, TPO, PVC, Liquid Rubber, 2 Ply SBS Modified Torch On, Tar and Gravel, and others.

3. What Roof Membranes Are Suitable For Foot Traffic?

Of the flat roof membranes listed above, only one is remotely suitable as an outdoor living space deck surface that is also suitable over a living space that does not absolutely require a floating deck material - and that is a 2 Ply SBS Modified Bitumen Torch On system. It is important to note however, that in most instances 2 Ply Torch On is not warrantied for foot traffic (although it is used all the time for this purpose).

Below we discuss a second more suitable material for foot traffic.

4. Can a Floating Deck Be Installed Over The Roof Membrane?

Of the flat roof membranes listed above, the others (SPF, EPDM, TPO, PVC, Tar and Gravel, and Liquid Rubber) are not suitable for foot traffic unless you are putting a floating deck material over the roof membrane itself.

If you are installing a floating deck material then almost any of the above roof membranes would work.

Keep in mind that a floating deck material such as wood or composite slats etc. will ultimately have down falls such as keeping water from flowing to the drain, causing dirt and moss to be trapped, possibly cover drains, and will likely cause difficulty when the roof leaks because access to the membrane will be more difficult.

Designing the floating deck material so that it can easily be lifted in sections is a great way to alleviate the issue of access when required.

Another issue to consider is simply the weight of the floating deck.

5. The Best Choice is to Select a Roof Membrane That is Designed For a Deck

There is one material that we recommend for this purpose and that is DecTec. DecTec is designed to be used as an outdoor living area membrane suitable for foot traffic and is also designed and suitable for use as a roof membrane - it has a dual purpose use.

An 80 mil DecTec membrane is a PVC product that is specifically designed for this purpose. DO NOT mistaken it for Dura ____ which is not the same product.

DecTec is available is various colours, it is cool to the foot, and it is a roof membrane above all.

It does not require a floating deck to be installed over it. It is intended for foot traffic. It is intended for waterproofing over a living area.

6. Flashing. Be Sure The Flashing Is Done Correctly

You can have the best deck membrane installed that is perfect for over a living space and can be walked on also and if the flashing details are not done correctly you will have wasted all your time and money.

We suggest only hiring Journeyman roofers for the installation of rooftop patios. When we send a crew to remove the existing patio and replace it we send a Journeyman Carpenter for the roof slope, framing, and sheathing. And we send a Journeyman roofer to install the roof deck membrane. And also we send a Journeyman Sheet Metal installer for the various flashing requirements. This is a very important step.

7. Drainage. Be Sure The Drainage is Correct

Over and over again we see this problem. If the roof deck does not drain properly you will have problems. The seams of the membrane will begin to lift, water will get in and under the membrane and will cause rot to the sheathing and framing and ultimately leak in to your home or business.

If at all possible, design the roof system to allow for an internal drain and over-flow scuppers at the edge just in case the internal drain plugs up.

If at all possible, stay away from a floating deck material being installed over the membrane. If you have to have a floating deck material be sure to have it designed so that easy access to the roof membrane is available quickly. Time is costly and you will be glad when a failure occurs that you designed the floating deck with this possibility in mind. The floating deck should be in small easy to lift sections.

8. Window and Door Thresholds. Be Sure There Is Enough Space Between The Deck Substrate And The Bottom of the Door

Here again is a common problem. We like to see 6" of space between the top of the roof or deck substrate and the door or window frames.

When snow and ice builds up on your patio and melts you will want as much space as possible, not to mention torrential rain down pours, and if your drains ever plug.

9. Furnishings And Use Of Deck. Be Sure Furnishings And Other Items Do Not Cause Holes

The other day I attended to one of these problems... the facility manager could not figure out why their new deck membrane was leaking and asked us to inspect. It took two minutes to find the culprit, a table umbrella had been caught in the wind and landed perfectly upside down and caused a hole in the membrane.

We see umbrellas, dog claws, chairs, bar b q utensils, and many more items that are sharp puncture holes in decking all the time. Be aware of what is coming out to enjoy your outside living space!

10. Maintenance. Spring and Fall Maintenance is Crucial

Every fall, just before the snow (if you get snow) be sure the leaves and such are swept off the patio and away from the internal drains or external over-flow scuppers.

Every spring, just when the snow and ice is melting be sure that the ice is not clogging drainage.

And in winter it is in your best interest to maintain the rooftop deck by removing snow for weight related issues and in advance of snow and ice freeze thaw issues with flashing, drains, and membrane connections.

I hope the ten tips I've listed will help you with you project. Call us anytime for any other questions you may have!

I will also include a sample estimate of costs and items to consider when receiving proposals from contractors - click here.

Tyler Sinclair, Staff Writer


Other links of interest: GRS Pinterest: Rooftop Decks Board with 500+ Design Ideas, GRS Website: Waterproofing , GRS Website: Rooftop Decks, GRS Website: DecTec Roof and Deck Waterproofing  




About General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)


General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) is a diverse privately held building envelope, exterior renovation, and roofing contractor serving local and national accounts in various areas of Canada. GRS started serving Western Canada in 2007 as exterior renovation sub-contractors and has since grown year over year and now has a growing online presence in Western and Eastern Canada, the United States, UK, and around the world (General Roofing Systems Intl).

The General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) project portfolio extends from Vancouver BC to Whistler, Kelowna, Cranbrook, Fernie, to Southern Alberta - Lethbridge, Calgary, Red Deer, up to Edmonton, Grand Prairie, Fort McMurray, AB, N.W.T., over to Lloydminster, and in to Saskatchewan to Yorkton, Saskatoon, Regina, to Winnipeg Manitoba and points between. GRS is also known to send specialized crews to Ontario and Eastern points of Canada. GRS also services national Canadian roofing accounts in Western and Eastern Canada with counter-parts in Ontario and Eastern Canada and the GRS experts have been tasked internationally.

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) projects range in size from a storage shed in a residential back-yard to the largest commercial and industrial facilities in the world.

Some project locations and/or organizations that trust GRS to protect their assets...

Alberta Federation of Labour, Azko Nobel, Sobeys, City of Edmonton, McDonalds, ENBRIDGE, United Cargo Logistics, Canadian Freightways, Waste Management, Four Points Sheraton Hotels, Schlumberger, WILLBROS, TransForce, RONA, Toran Power, FORTIS Alberta, Shell Canada, Enmax, Credit Union, Interprovincial Pipeline, Toronto Dominion Bank, TD Waterhouse, TELUS, Dominion of Canada, Chinook Shopping Centre, Kal Tire, IKEA, McCains Foods, Chapters Book Stores, Starbucks, Visions Electronics, Pizza Hut, Shoppers Drug Mart, Greyhound, All Weather Windows, Husky Energy, EPCOR, Canadian Tire, Tim Horton's, Pick N Pull International, ServiceMASTER Restoration, Alberta Energy Center, On-Side Restoration, Imperial Oil, National Oil Well Varco (NOV), Weatherford, ALTALINK, Kiewit Energy, Cineplex Odeon, YMCA, Fountain Tire, Teck, Kiewit Infrastructure, Best Western, and more.

Contact General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS): 

Toll Free +1.877.497.3528 | Email info@grscanadainc.com | Website: www.grscanadainc.com











Monday, January 20, 2014

Roof Collapse: Arena in Sylvan Lake Alberta Collapses Under Weight of Snow and Ice

Roof Collapse

CTV EDMONTON REPORTS ON
SYLVAN LAKE ROOF COLLAPSE

Another Roof Collapses in Alberta

January 20, 2014
By +Tyler Sinclair , Staff Writer

We have been encouraging owners with large roof spans and flat roofs to clear the snow and ice off their roofs in Alberta - in fact, we've been shouting from every social media outlet we can (with articles and advisories) that buildings will collapse in Alberta under the current weight loads in Alberta, and here is another example in Sylvan Lake.

Unfortunately, this nice weather causes people to think the snow is melting so the panic is "off". This couldn't be further from the truth. The roof snow melts and gets packed and becomes heavy when it is wet so the danger of collapse becomes more imminent. It is critical that homeowners and business owners in Edmonton and Central - Northern Alberta with large span and flat roofs remove the snow from their roofs asap!

From CTV Edmonton:

"Part of the Sylvan Lake Arena came crashing down early Monday morning, just moments after an employee scrambled out of the building.

The partial collapse happened around 1 a.m.

The employee - a Zamboni driver - was reportedly flooding the rink when he heard several cracking noises. He decided to abandon the job right before part of the roof and back wall gave way.

Read more: http://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/employee-narrowly-escapes-sylvan-lake-roof-collapse-1.1647479#ixzz2qybuYACI 

http://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=278245&binId=1.1203428&playlistPageNum=1 "

From CBC Edmonton: 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/sylvan-lake-arena-roof-collapses-structure-still-unstable-1.2503711

From Global News Calgary:

http://globalnews.ca/news/1094572/roof-of-sylvan-lake-arena-collapses/


For Roof Snow Removal and Ice Dam Removal Call Our 24 Hour Emergency Service Line:


1.877.497.3528 Toll Free


For More Information on Roof Snow Removal and Roof Ice Dams Visit The Links Below:


www.edmontonroofsnowremoval.com

www.roofsnowremoval.ca


Monday, January 13, 2014

Roof Snow Removal, Ice Dams, Attic Ventilation Problems in Edmonton, Alberta


News, Edmonton, Roof Snow Removal
Shane Leblanc of General Roofing Systems
Canada (GRS) Interviewed on CBC Edmonton
January 13, 2014
Edmonton, Alberta
By +Tyler Sinclair - Staff Writer

Edmonton home and business owners have had a tough winter with roof snow, ice, and attic ventilation issues. December snow falls were significant and winter isn't over.

On the weekend CBC Edmonton visited our crews on site while they removed snow from the roof-tops of homes - view here.

Ten Problems with Roof Snow Loads, Ice Dams, Ventilation and Solutions for Each


1. Removing Snow and Ice From Your Roof Can Be Dangerous

Far more people are injured or killed every year attempting to remove snow and ice from their rooftops than are people injured or killed from an actual roof collapse.

The answer to this problem is to be sure that you know what you are doing before you attempt to do the job. We have a number of articles to help with the do it yourself type and to get tips on removing snow (you can search this blog or Google us and the topic).

Or hire a reputable, experienced, and insured (1 million isn't enough nowadays, you want 5 million liability), and worker's compensation registered roofing contractor. Do not let a roofing contractor do the work with-out checking with WCB and getting proof of insurance.

2. Excessive Snow Loads (and ice) Can Cause Roof Collapse

Snow loads are especially concerning with flat roofs, commercial roofing systems with large expansive roof systems, and agricultural buildings. High pitch residential roof systems rarely collapse. They will if the load is significant or there is a flaw in construction - but very unusual. The real concern is with flat roofs on homes and businesses and agricultural buildings.

The answer to this problem is to simply be sure the snow is taken off. The ice itself can stay or you can remove what you can with-out damaging shingles or the flat roof or you can also cut grooves in the ice to allow for better water flow.

Regular maintenance is key. Remove the snow when it snows.

3. Snow Can Plug The Exhaust Ventilation

Residential sloped roofs and some sloped agricultural and industrial roof systems need to vent at the ridge area. On your home you will see a number of vents near the top. Those vents are the exhaust vents that allow for warm air in the attic to vent out. At the soffits you will have intake vents that cold air goes in to the attic and flows on the underside of the sheathing taking the warm air out. This keeps your attic cool.

The answer to this problem is to keep the exhaust vents clear of snow and ice - this is a must. Failure to do this will cause your attic to condensate and ultimately begin to leak in to your house.

4. Snow Can Injure Family, Friends, Staff, and Clients

Snow and ice build up on sloped roof systems can be very dangerous. Ice hanging from gutters, soffit, fascia, and commercial exteriors can also be dangerous.

The answer to this problem is to take every precaution you can to keep people safe. Also:

a. Metal roofing should have snow guards or snow rails installed on the metal roof wherever traffic may be under the roof line to avoid injury. Snow and ice on metal roof systems slides more easily than on shingles for example.

b. Ice on the outside of commercial and industrial buildings needs to be removed. Professional contractors can do this in various ways. For large ice build ups we can even dispatch a steam truck in emergency scenarios.

c. In many instances once you have your vapour barrier, insulation, intake vents, and exhaust vents correctly aligned then much of the problem will be alleviated (for home-owners that is).

5. Snow Build Up Can Cause Leaks in the Basement of Homes

One of the problems with having a year of unusual amounts of snow is that when the snow melts (whether it is on the roof or the ground) the water has to go somewhere. Ultimately, if you do not ensure the water moves away from your house you basement may flood.

The answer to this problem is to be sure the your eavestrough are well maintained so they do not leak at the connections, make sure that your downspouts are installed correctly and move water away from your home, and be sure that snow near your foundation is moved away from your home before the snow melts.

6. Ice Dams on Roofs Can Damage Roof Shingles and Flat Roof Membranes
Ice Dam Ice
Ice Chunk From Roof Ice Dam

Yes, this is a concern. When snow on your roof melts and then re-freezes this causes a miniature ice age scenario on your roof. The glaciers push against any protrusions on flat roofs (parapet walls, vents, curbs, etc) and will also cause the seams of flat roof membranes to separate. Also of concern are internal drains and external drainage scuppers on flat roof systems - be sure they remain clear. On shingle roofs the ice will move up slope as the glacier grows and will get under the shingles. Once under the shingles it will get to the sheathing and ultimately leak in to your attic. Leaks will begin to appear on your ceiling.

The interim answer to this problem is to be sure you keep the snow of the roof and do what you can to remove ice and carve grooves for water passage. On flat roofs you will need to be vigilant with the drains to be sure they are kept clear. This is one instance where roof collapse is a significant concern and possibility - you do not want your flat roof turning in to a bathtub when the snow melts and spring rains start.

The longer term solution to this problem is to have a knowledgeable contractor check your vapour barrier, attic insulation, roof intake vents at the soffits, exhaust ventilation at the ridge, and be sure all is working properly. Many older homes do not have adequate insulation. Also, many homes have had various installations or renovations over the years and holes have been cut though the ceiling and various mechanical installed and the vapour barrier could easily be compromised.

7. Ice Dams Can Cause Leaks

True, ice dams commonly cause leaks with both steep pitch and low slope roof systems. Low slope roofs (as explained above) can be compromised in many ways. Shingle roofs (as explained above) will be damaged by ice. And metal roof systems experience more expansion and contraction than any other roof material during freeze-thaw cycles. Roof leaks cause significant stress in the home, damage the interior or contents of your home, and can cause business disruption.

The answer to this problem is to be sure that you engage a professional to solve the problem once and for all. With shingle roofs we can add ice and water membrane to the sheathing (under the shingles) and as explained above there are many other possible solutions for venting, insulation, and air flow. With flat roofs it is imperative that you have a contractor inspect the roof every spring so that any seams that have come apart or other issues with drains, scuppers, or penetrations are dealt with. Also with flat roofs there are ways to add insulation either in the roof assembly itself or by way of adding insulation to the top of the roof. And with metal roofing systems insulation may be a solution or a waterproofing membrane added to the metal roof (on the outside) may be a solution.

8. Snow and Ice on the Roof Causes Moisture / Condensation

One of the most frustrating problems is condensation causing leaks in your home or business. Condensation is often mis-diagnosed as a standard roof leak. Often when a new home is built the ventilation calculation (intake and out-take calculation) is incorrect, or the insulation is sub par, or their isn't sufficient air flow through flat roof assemblies. Another challenge is with older homes that quite often have very little amount of insulation. And finally some architectural home designs, especially from the sixties and even in to the eighties simply does not allow for proper ventilation - cathedral ceilings with small roof cavities, flat roofs on homes with little to no insulation, and so on.

Unfortunately the answers to the condensation issues are sometimes harder to come to. In some instances, with most high pitch newer homes, this is much easier to solve with simple ventilation calculations and inspection of insulation and vents. But with older homes, architecturally designed homes (flat roofs), and vaulted or cathedral ceilings this can be much more challenging. For the challenging scenarios be sure to hire a contractor that knows the business.

9.  Snow and Ice Freezes up in Gutters and Down-Spouts

True, frozen ice in your gutters can cause leaks due to expansion of joints in the gutters and can also damage your gutters. What also occurs often is the build up of the ice dam that damages your roof and leaks in to your attic and eventually in to your home starts at the gutter.

The answers to this problem are:

a. Heat wire (heat tape) will help some, but not a lot. Residential grade heat wire that you buy at your local department store will only heat the ice about half an inch around the wire. It helps, but it isn't the end all answer. Industrial and commercial applications are moderately successful however.

b. Maintenance here again is key. Get the snow out of your gutters every time it snows. I know, you're thinking really? Yup, when you do the walks you have to do the gutters and the roof if you live in an area like central and northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, northern BC, and on and on.

c. Steam trucks. For industrial and even some commercial settings we dispatch steam trucks that will do a great job. We even dispatch steam truck service for residential customers but the cost usually doesn't off-set the net result. In commercial and industrial environments the liability and safety is paramount.

10. The Ice on the Side Walk from the Roof and Gutters is Dangerous

Correct, ice on the ground from leaking gutters, downspouts that are not orientated correctly, or from roof snow that is melting can be a significant hazard.

The answer is maintenance. As above, if you live in an area where this is an issue every time it snows you must clear out the gutters and clear off the roof. If you don't, eventually you will have someone hurt and unfortunately pay the price.

Hopefully those tips help. Any questions give us a call any-time and we will do what we can to assist.

Thanks for visiting our blog!


About General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)


General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) is a diverse privately held building envelope, exterior renovation, and roofing contractor serving local and national accounts in various areas of Canada. GRS started serving Western Canada in 2007 as exterior renovation sub-contractors and has since grown year over year and now has a growing online presence in Western and Eastern Canada, the United States, UK, and around the world (General Roofing Systems Intl).

The General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) project portfolio extends from Vancouver BC to Whistler, Kelowna, Cranbrook, Fernie, to Southern Alberta - Lethbridge, Calgary, Red Deer, up to Edmonton, Grand Prairie, Fort McMurray, AB, N.W.T., over to Lloydminster, and in to Saskatchewan to Yorkton, Saskatoon, Regina, to Winnipeg Manitoba and points between. GRS is also known to send specialized crews to Ontario and Eastern points of Canada. GRS also services national Canadian roofing accounts in Western and Eastern Canada with counter-parts in Ontario and Eastern Canada and the GRS experts have been tasked internationally.

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) projects range in size from a storage shed in a residential back-yard to the largest commercial and industrial facilities in the world.

Some project locations and/or organizations that trust GRS to protect their assets...

Alberta Federation of Labour, Azko Nobel, Sobeys, City of Edmonton, McDonalds, ENBRIDGE, United Cargo Logistics, Canadian Freightways, Waste Management, Four Points Sheraton Hotels, Schlumberger, WILLBROS, TransForce, RONA, Toran Power, FORTIS Alberta, Shell Canada, Enmax, Credit Union, Interprovincial Pipeline, Toronto Dominion Bank, TD Waterhouse, TELUS, Dominion of Canada, Chinook Shopping Centre, Kal Tire, IKEA, McCains Foods, Chapters Book Stores, Starbucks, Visions Electronics, Pizza Hut, Shoppers Drug Mart, Greyhound, All Weather Windows, Husky Energy, EPCOR, Canadian Tire, Tim Horton's, Pick N Pull International, ServiceMASTER Restoration, Alberta Energy Center, On-Side Restoration, Imperial Oil, National Oil Well Varco (NOV), Weatherford, ALTALINK, Kiewit Energy, Cineplex Odeon, YMCA, Fountain Tire, Teck, Kiewit Infrastructure, Best Western, and more.

Contact General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS): 

Toll Free +1.877.497.3528 | Email info@grscanadainc.com | Website: www.grscanadainc.com