Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Metal Roofing, Metal Shingles, Metal Roof Repair or Replace?

Metal Roofing
Metal Roofing
Metal Roof Repair or Roof Replacement?

General Roofing Systems Canada Repairs and Replaces Metal Roofing: Metal Roof Shingles / Tiles / Panels through-out Western Canada. Metal Roofing in Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, and points between.

Metal Roof - Metal Shingles, Metal Tiles, Steel Shingle, Locking Metal Roof Shingle Systems

To Repair or Replace this Metal Roof?

Yesterday we had an inquiry come in to our call center that would be a call that is considered common for us.

Metal roofing. Metal roofing is a big word in the roofing world and can mean a lot of different kinds of metal roof systems. There are metal roof shingles, steel shingles, metal slate profile shingles, metal shake looking shingles, metal panels, standing seam metal roofing, corrugated metal roofing, metal roof tile that are coated with granules, the options in metal roofing are almost endless now.

One thing about Metal Roofing of all types that is consistent is this; Metal Roofing can last longer than any other kind of roof, however, a metal roof that is installed wrong will only last as long or as good as the install. If the underlay under the metal roof or the venting of the roof system / attic is not correct than problems can occur and the roof will leak, ice damming, etc. This year the metal roof may leak in one place and the next in another place. It is a frustrating experience living under a metal roof that has not been installed correctly.

We decided to choose this metal roof problem and inquiry and post it to our roofing blog. As the process of assessment and inspection and our recommendations for this metal roof repair or roof replacements ensue, we will update this posting for others in the same situation with the metal roof frustration.

For now, here is the initial inquiry about the customer's metal roof leak and ice damming issues;

from MR via 
ccStephen ,
dateTue, Jul 26, 2011 at 8:38 AM
subjectRE: Metal Roofing - repair/replace question

hide details 8:38 AM (17 hours ago)

Sure, you can post this on the blog. You can keep the company name in there unless there is a liability issue on your side.  You could just call it an "locking metal roof company"!
Look forward to meeting with you.  Please note that I will be on vacation ____ but my husband should be around then if you can't schedule a visit either before or after.

From:On Behalf Of Info
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 8:29 AM
To: MR
Cc: Stephen;
Subject: Re: Metal Roofing - repair/replace question
Hi MR,

No problem. The day's just getting going here so I had the time.

With respect to roof replacement before winter, yes very possible, however, I would like either Jake, Kipp, or myself to look prior as their may be a less expensive solution (or not).

If for some reason you were thinking of not doing before winter, heat cables aren't a good solution, short of a high quality tarp to your whole roof it won't help.

Metal roof systems are fine as long as the underlay is correct. Shingles won't leak as easily, but don't last as long. As long as the roof underlay and venting is correct, any roofing product will work.

We'll get out soon and meet you and take a look.


PS, MR, do you mind if we post this generically to our blog less personal info and company names etc? This is a common question from inquiries.

On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 8:19 AM, wrote:

Thank you for replying so quickly.  I suspected that we would have to replace the roof.  This isn't a rush job but if we could get it done before snowfall, that would be great. If we have to over-winter this roof again, is there anything we could do in the valleys temporarily? Like heat cables or....? The interior log walls got water staining on them last year and I am concerned with the condition of the wood below metal tiles in the valleys.  In the case with a low sloped roof, would asphalt shingles be a better alternative to metal?
Please put me on the waiting list for an assessment.

From: On Behalf Of Info
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 4:41 AM
To: MR
Cc:; Stephen
Subject: Re: Metal Roofing - repair/replace question
Good morning MR,

I'm the Project Manager for GRS, I travel Alberta solving problems etc.... However, it's peak season and I may not be able to get out and take a look. What I am going to do is copy this to Jake (a senior sloped Technician/Foreman at GRS) and Kipp (a senior metal sloped Technician/ Foreman at GRS) and also our scheduling manager Steve.

Steve will keep you on our work in progress, and either myself, Kipp, or Jake will get out to see you. In the meantime I'll offer for them to chime in based on your email and photos (great email by the way - it helps us a lot).

Here's my two bits and we'll see what the others have to say....

1. From the perspective of someone that sees literally thousands of roof problems a year, my first advice would be don't listen to just any idea of repair from just anyone - metal roofing is a specialty. A very common thing we see is homeowners trying different "metal roof" people in haste and it tends to compound. Both Jake and Kipp are very senior techs that wouldn't have you running around a circle. If we don't get to you as soon as you like, and you hire someone else, validate the experience of the tech most importantly. An experienced person can rattle off hundreds of client situations and references. In our case we kind of just lay it out to the world on our roofing blog for ease.

2. Anyway, off to your problem, I think the end of this story is a new roof replacement. Not what you want to hear. And convenient in a consumers mind for me to say, sure the roofer says I just need a new roof replacement. But let me explain. We don't need to sell you a roof, we're always over-booked so the motive isn't there. Secondly, we see these installation issues all the time, our blog is full of how to do it right and when it isn't done right, it is almost impossible to correct. HOWEVER, in saying that, Kipp and or Jake may assess and find a less expensive solution.

3. My thinking is that it is an inherent design / installation issue. Metal expands and contracts and is a water shed system - not waterproofing. The roof underlay installation is flawed at the valleys. At minimum I would think the valley areas would have to be ripped out (like probably 5 feet on either side) and proper underlay installation executed and metal tiles put back in or new metal tiles placed.

4. Even after doing all that, it is a low slope roof, and you may have intermittent issues either way. That is how I end up at the roof replacement as an end result.

5. With respect to ventilation, that likely could be assess over the phone with either Kipp or Jake.

So I may not have helped or may have, bottom line is that typically the best thing to do is to start over with a roof replacement, get the underlay right, get the ventilation right, and then the water shedding product doesn't even really have to be right (of course we'd make it right but I think you know what I mean) and all is good.

Kipp..... Jake..... any thoughts?


On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 1:27 PM, MR wrote:

We have a interlocking style metal roof that was installed by a metal roofing company 5 years ago by the previous owners.  The roof leaks in the winter as the result of ice damming in the valleys and in the spring shingles annually become loose (and have blown off) on the edge of one of the valleys from the ice sliding off.  I am tired of dealing with the metal roofing company (long story) and we are wondering if there is any way to repair rather than replace what they did.  We have a log house with cathedral ceilings so I suspect we need to try to improve the airflow under the existing metal shingles. I don't know what it looks like between our open ceiling and the metal shingles above (regarding insulation and air flow). There is no venting other than vented soffits (as far as I can tell). Is there anyway to seal the metal shingles so water doesn't flow back up under them?  I don't know if any waterproof barrier was used in the valleys and I don't think the roof was installed very well in parts. After talking with the previous owners a couple years ago, I know they weren't satisfied with the installation of the metal roof but they ended having to relocate before going through a winter and then we bought it. 
A couple others things to note,  a few of the metal shingles were damaged when we were trying to remove the ice from the roof this past winter and when we have heavy rain, the water comes off the metal roof before making it to the eaves.
I attached a couple pictures of the roof so you can see the design. 
Based on these pictures, if we had to replace our roof, what would be our best options (ie type of shingles, venting etc) and how could we reduce the potential for ice damming and leaking?  How much would you estimate replacing a 1400+ sq ft home roof with different types of materials?  Is there a guarantee on the ice damming/leaking after the roof has been replaced? Is there anything else I need to know or can I provide you with more information?
I can be reached....


This metal roof leaks from ice damming and incorrect installation.

Metal Roof Completed

Roof Underlay

Roof Underlay

Until next time,

The Team at GRS

About General Roofing Systems Canada

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) is a Comprehensive Metal Roofing Contractor Serving Metal Roof Replacements through-out BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Metal Roofing in; Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Cranbrook, Banff, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, and points between.

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Blog post topics; Metal Roofing, Metal Shingles, Metal Tiles, Metal Roof Replacement, Roof Replacement, Roof Leak, Roof Ice Damming, Roof Underlay, Roof Repair, Metal Roof Repair, Roof Ventilation