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11 min read

All About Residential Roofs


11 min read

All About Residential Roofs

RoofExterior renovationsAll About Residential Roofs

Are you building a house or hoping to replace your existing roof? Choosing just the right type of roof is super important. That goes without saying, I mean, it’s the part of the structure that protects against humidity and regulates heat transfer, while also limiting convection between the air and the rooftop. Although there are a lot of choices, three elements will help you narrow down your options:

  • Type of roof (flat or pitched)
  • Preferred aesthetic
  • Your financial means

This article will mainly focus on those aspects. 

Types of Roofs

There are different types of roofing materials, and these largely depend on the roof’s primary function. And, essentially, there are three different types of roofs: dome, gable (pitched), or flat residential roofs.

Amongst these residential roofs, few roofing companies actually offer the possibility of building a dome-style roof. This type of architectural design is extremely rare in Quebec and seems to be from another time period. That being said, we’ll focus on flat roofs as well as pitched/gable roofs. 

Pros and Cons of Pitched Roofs

The pitched roof design leaves nothing to chance. During the winter, it allows snow to easily slide right off and also avoids any damage to the framework. Furthermore, the roof’s slope facilitates rainwater collection systems throughout the rest of the year. 

However, its steep slope makes any roof work harder and more hazardous. A single misstep can lead to a fall. Therefore, installation and maintenance cost very much function according to their pitch. 

Inevitably, a pitched roof renders a loss of space, which can only be recovered by converting the attic into a living space or by building dormers

Pros and Cons of Flat Roofs

The flat roof’s best feature is its space optimization aspect. As a matter of fact, that’s why most administrative buildings are built like so. And, these rooftops can be vegetated or easily accommodated by solar panels, which are wise choices.

Nonetheless, flat roofs have two major flaws: drainage issues and snow build-up. Again, it’s no wonder flat roofs are traditionally preferred in southern countries. 

In Quebec, heavy and frequent rainfall makes flat roofs a secondary concept. Moreover, snow must be manually removed to steer clear of possible roof collapses. 

Also, humidity is the main reason why flat roofs must be equipped with a specifically made cover, composed of the following three elements:

  • Structural support
  • Insulation material 
  • Waterproofing membrane

The waterproofing membrane has to be inserted between the asphalt, elastomeric, or polymeric layers. That’s why this type of roof cannot be fitted with just any covering material

roofing installation_All About Residential Roofs

Source: Wolfgang Eckert - Pixabay 

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The Different Types of Roof Coverings

Residential roofs and the materials from which these are made are offered in numerous styles. However, first and foremost, your roof type (flat or pitched) is the deciding factor when it comes to roofing covers. 

Therefore, for flat roofs, we recommend:

  • EPDM or TPO membrane
  • Green residential roof
  • Asphalt and gravel residential roof
  • Elastomeric or bitumen membrane

For pitched roofs, we recommend: 

  • Steel/metal residential roof
  • Plastic residential roof panels
  • Asphalt shingle residential roof
  • Wood shingle residential roof

EPDM or TPO Membrane 

EPDM stands for Ethylene, Propylene, Diene, and Monomer, which are all synthetic elastomers. This amalgam forms a single-layer membrane that serves as residential roof covers, and that since the 1960s. Visually, it very much resembles synthetic rubber. 

EPDM has many advantages, such as its resistance to oxidizing agents, ozone, and adverse weather conditions. All the more, EPDM is thermally stable and lasts over 50 years.

TPO, which stands for Thermoplastic Polyolefins, is another type of roof covering material. Its inception is rather more recent than that of EPDM, and is a single-layer polymer, which happens to be UV- and heat-resistant. It’s a hot-air welded roofing system, so it does have similar attributes to EPDM and PVC membranes. 

EPDM and TPO membranes aren’t more expensive than aluminum roofing. Account for about $7 to $12 per sq. ft. For a product with 50-year-plus durability, it’s a pretty decent price point. 

Green Roof

green roof_All About Residential Roofs

Source: Flickr

The residential green roof has numerous advantages and allows to:

  • Fight against urban heat islands 
  • Limit rainfall surface runoff 
  • Filter rainwater of heavy metals and nitrogen
  • Improve air quality
  • Encourage biodiversity
  • Soundproof

Green roofs are perfectly adapted to flat roofs. This super environmentally responsible roofing concept is becoming increasingly frequent in Quebec and throughout the rest of Canada. 

Yet, as a substrate is placed on a protective watertight layer, it has the same drawbacks as any other flat roof: water-draining difficulties. However, in the case of a vegetated roof, identifying cracks is made more difficult by the thickness of this micro-biotope. The durability of a green roof is directly linked to the quality, and regularity, of maintenance.  

However, architects have highlighted that roof vegetation enhances membrane durability by 40 years. That said, vegetated roofs are indeed worthwhile, even that of the blue roof, a type of rooftop that is often equipped with leak detectors. 

A green roof costs between $8 and $15 per square foot. To that, one has to account for the strengthening of the roof structure, since it has to bear the weight of the vegetation.

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Asphalt and Gravel Roof 

Asphalt and gravel roofing is almost exclusively used for flat, residential roofs. And the reason for this is that asphalt has a relatively high Sd value. This is the value that determines the degree to which a material is waterproof. Gravel is added on top of the asphalt to protect it from external elements like UV rays.

The durability of this roofing material is between 15 and 25 years. In terms of costs, account for $8 to $10 per square foot. However, costs can vary depending on the province and the price of the oil barrel at the time.

Modified Bitumen or Elastomeric Membrane Roof

Modified bitumen usually comes as bands that will be hot air welded to the roof. Roofers use torches to perform the installation. The initial risk of fire is greater, therefore, it’s important to choose an experienced residential roofer that also has professional liability insurance. 

Said membrane is the underlayment used to waterproof flat, vegetated roofs. Its main feature, besides being waterproof, is that it's used for roof repairs; it’s often enough to just affix a new elastomeric membrane on the old one, and there you, you’re all set.

Also, a simple visual inspection is all that’s really required to determine the presence of cracks or wear. This roofing material lasts between 20 to 25 years and costs $9 per sq. ft. Thus, settling this roofing membrane somewhere roughly in the middle range of materials dedicated to flat roofs.

Metal Roof

metal roof_All About Residential Roofs

Source: Flickr

In Quebec, this type of residential roof is nothing new, and there are three design styles:

  • Corrugated metal panels
  • Modular panels
  • Standing-seam panels

And four different materials: 

  • Copper
  • Metal
  • Steel
  • Aluminum

A metal residential roof can last up to about 50 years, maybe even 100 for those made of steel. To extend durability, apply a coating of paint adapted to the material's expansion.

However, it’s quite expensive: the cost is about five times as much as shingles, depending on the roof’s pitch and the type of metal used, making metal roofing a long-term investment. 

Every material has a unique price:

  • Copper: $14 to $30$ per sq. ft.
  • Metal and steel: $5 to $12 per sq. ft.
  • Aluminum: $8 to $12 per sq. ft.

Plastic Roof Panels

This entails a PVC residential roofing method that, as seen among the benefits of TPO, can be hot-air welded. However, this isn’t its only advantage. Plastic roof panels are impermeable, sturdy, light, and cheap

Even though it’s a cost-effective solution, its durability is nothing to boast about; it really depends on the quality of the PVC, and the material tends to fade and lose its impermeability over time. Also, bear in mind that the thermal insulation and soundproofing qualities are near zero

Asphalt Shingle Roof

Asphalt shingles are roofing materials that will be nailed to the rooftop. These offer superior impermeability and are available in various models and colours

Notwithstanding, the average lifespan of asphalt shingles is between 10 to 30 years. This 20-year gap is a direct result of the shingle manufacturing process. As a matter of fact, each and every shingle undergoes oxidation; too much air will make the shingle brittle, while too little air will make it limp. By that, the quality of the shingle will absolutely reflect its durability. 

$3.50 to $7 per sq. ft. Asphalt shingles are one of the cheapest materials out there, without having to compromise much in regard to quality. 

Wood Shingle Roof 

wood shingles_All About Residential Roofs

Source: Flickr

In Quebec, wood shingles are in a way the predecessor of asphalt shingles. First used in the 17th century, they’ve fallen out of use. Although more expensive and time-consuming to install, wood shingles have the added benefit of lasting anywhere between 30 to 120 years.

Fir, pine, or cedar shingles tend to last up to 30 years, while those made from larch or chestnut wood last up to 120 years.

The switch to asphalt shingle roofing isn't only due to its cost and quick installation process. Wood shingle roofs have numerous disadvantages; wood shingles are often prone to knots, tendrils, irregularities, or warping caused by excess moisture. All of which lead to waterproofing problems.

This is especially true since the manufacturing technique which consists of cutting the shingles along the wood grain is no longer used. Today, manufacturers prefer to saw shingles. This mere distinction causes the wood to rot. Then, the installation method comes into play; some residential roofers nail the shingles directly to the roof to save time. However, the lack of battens prevents the shingles from being properly ventilated, thus accelerating the rotting process.

When it comes to this type of residential roofing, qualified roofers, who use the right tools and efficient products, are harder than ever to find. Moreover, very few roofers offer this service. 

In regard to pricing, generally, you’re looking at anywhere from $17,000 to $30,00 for a multi-storey home. For a bungalow, prices vary between $15,000 and $26,000.

damaged roof_all about residential roofs

Source: Flickr

Thermal Resistance and Roofing Materials

Three units of measurement are used to determine the protection capacity of materials against weather conditions: 

  • Thermal effusivity
  • Thermal diffusivity
  • Thermal conductivity

Thermal effusivity determines the absorption and restitution capacity of a material’s thermal energy.

Then, thermal diffusivity measures the rate of temperature transmission through materials.

And, on the other hand, thermal conductivity determines whether the material transmits heat based on its width and temperature.

To these three notions, we add the speed of transfer of outside temperatures by materials.

How to Maintain a Roof

Moss, fungi, and lichen are among the vegetation that will inevitably grow on residential roofs. To tackle this problem head-on, there really aren’t that many solutions. You’ll have to climb onto your roof and use either a brush or biocide. 

However, note that biocide products are harmful to the environment. Most contain benzalkonium, a toxic plant chemical that will inevitably drizzle off roofs along with rainwater.

The Kärcher (electric pressure washer) is a solution which is often brought to the forefront. However, it poses significant threats to the roof. Depending on the type of roof you have, using a pressure washer can make the roofing material porous, therefore brittle. This is especially true for clay or slate roofing. Another problem with the Kärcher is that it doesn't actually thoroughly clean the sprayed surface. So your roof will look good and clean once sprayed, but it’s only a temporary fix. 

Using a cleaning brush is a more effective, eco-friendly solution, but it’s much more time-consuming and demands more effort. A stiff cleaning brush paired with a bucket of soapy water is all you need. Proceed by gently scraping the moss to remove it, and then give it a rinse. 

If you don't want it to come to that, you'll need to maintain your roof from the get-go by doing simple things such as removing dead leaves from its surface. Dead leaves cause moss and fungi to grow since it either feeds or spreads the vegetation. So don’t let the leaves the pill up!

Another problem that’s directly linked to leaves: they clog gutters rendering water drainage near impossible. This isn’t as much of an issue with pitched roofs, however, it’s downright lethal for flat roofs. Clogged gutters often lead to rainwater pooling on the roof’s surface, and stagnant water results in the erosion of the roof, which in turn leads to water infiltration.

To ensure your roof is adequately installed, make sure you’re dealing with certified professionals. 

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Last modified 2022-10-11

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5 min read 18 Oct 2022

Everything to Know About Roof Vent Caps

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Vmax-CT-10 Roof Exhaust Cap Like the above-mentioned roof vent cap, this model's also favoured by roofing professionals.It also offers the same advantages. In addition, the Vmax-CT-10 roof exhaust cap is distinguished by these features: A 10-inch (in diametre) round pipe; 3 ¼ inch X 10-inch rectangular exhaust pipes; A height of 7 ¾ inches and a width of 11 ¼ inches; Can be installed on a roof with a pitch that varies between 2/12 and 15/12. Gooseneck Exhaust Vent With or Without Collar Source: Henry & Co. - Unsplash This roof exhaust vent model is ideal to pull air from bathroom fans and dryers. It can be mounted on a sloped, shingled rooftop. Due to its deflector and exterior grill, it effectively reduces backdrafts, and prevents infiltrations, birds’ nests, and anything else that could be detrimental to its function (rodents, insects, etc.). 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6 min read 18 Oct 2022

Roofing Underlayment: An Essential Material

Roofing underlayment isn’t a luxury. It’s the one element that guarantees a decent and weather-protected structural design. Its many benefits are far from being limited to this role; roofing underlayment strengthens the structure against leaks, protects the roof from mould, and acts as a protective barrier between the wood’s resin and the covering. What’s Roofing Underlayment? Source: Canva A roofing underlayment is a protective layer of roofing felt; in other words, a pressed material made of: Cellulose fibres saturated in asphalt; Woven polypropylene; Woven polyethylene; Other synthetic fibres. This material is available as a self-adhesive membrane made from modified bitumen or SBS polymer. When made as such, the material can be used as a protective roofing layer and as a protective screed shield. However, underlayments aren’t made for long-term exposure to nature’s elements. 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Also, if you opt for the waterproof, self-adhesive strip, it’ll cost you roughly an additional $20, per unit. Cover photo source: Matt Thompson – Flickr

5 min read 04 Apr 2023

What to Know About Sheet Metal and Corrugated Metal

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Corrugated metal is used as roofing material for buildings such as hangars, chicken coops, industrial or agricultural structures, garages, gazebos, verandas, wall-mounted pergolas, etc. Sheet metal is typically finer and lighter than corrugated metal. It’s perfect for façades since it’s very resistant and aesthetic. Sheet metal is smooth and flat, and can also serve as a protective flat roof coating. Corrugated metal is thicker and more resistant, and is mainly used to coat sloped roofs. Why should you choose corrugated metal roofing? Sheet metal or corrugated metal has numerous advantages. It’s very resistant to adverse weather conditions (snow, sleet, rain) and has a reputation for being quite durable through time. Sheet metal doesn’t corrode, it’s immune to insects and isn’t flammable. On top of being especially impervious to leaks, corrugated metal is known for being quite sturdy, which allows it to withstand the weight of several individuals. Moreover, it’s a lightweight material that can be shaped in various ways to adapt to a roof’s structure. Maintenance is relatively easy compared to, for example, shingles. When it comes to maintenance, simply coat the sheet metal if the corrosion has set in or the finish starts wearing off. Another benefit of sheet metal is that it’s generally partly made of recycled plastic materials and its inert nature is such that it doesn't emit any toxic fumes. However, just like any material, corrugated metal has a few downsides. It offers rather mediocre soundproofing and thermal insulation, and when rain or sleet bounces off the coating during a storm, it can be a nuisance to some. Moreover, this type of roofing isn’t recommended in regions subject to frequent strong winds. While it’s available in a wide range of colours, roofing made of sheets of metal is often criticized for its unappealing appearance. Are you looking for experts for your roofing project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! What are the different types of sheet metal? Source: Canva Sheet metal or corrugated metal is available in various materials, each with unique specificities: Fibre cement sheet Fibre cement sheet is a material that’s both light and resistant. It can be used as roofing or exterior wall cladding. It’s available in different colours. Simulated metal tile Source: Canva It’s a galvanized steel panel that mimics the look of tiles. It’s most often used to replace fibre cement roofing or when transforming a structure into a secondary living space. Galvanized steel or painted sheet metal Galvanized steel or painted sheet metal is a product that’s often used as construction material. It’s a very lightweight, easy-to-install material that offers great resistance. PVC coated metal PVC-coated metal is a very resistant and versatile material. This material is especially lightweight and easy to manoeuvre and can be used for roofing, cladding, and flooring. It’s available at affordable pricing and is compatible with all types of frameworks. Fibreglass flat sheet Source: Canva Fibreglass flat sheet is an especially rust-resistant form of sheet metal. Besides roofing and cladding, it can be used as flooring. It’s very resistant to heat and adverse weather conditions and offers excellent thermal insulation and soundproofing. Polycarbonate corrugated panel The polycarbonate corrugated panel is a very resistant material that’s ideal for roofing and cladding. Unlike sheet metal, it has excellent thermal insulation and soundproofing properties, and it can be quickly and easily installed. With a translucent finish, it’s renowned for its excellent resistance to blows and temperature changes. Copper roofing panel This material is quite rare and expensive, yet it suits all roof shapes due to its great malleability. Sheet metal is smoother and has a cleaner aesthetic, while corrugated metal is rougher and offers better adherence. Stainless steel metal roofing Stainless steel metal roofing is a very popular material since it’s very resistant to corrosion and rust. Similarly to the copper roofing panel, its price range is also quite steep. How much does metal roofing installation cost? Source: Canva The cost of installing new sheet metal roofing can vary depending on numerous factors such as the location of your property, the state of the roof, its structure, size, as well as the type of material used. For example, the cost of coating a large roof can be as much as $31 per square foot. Therefore, for a structure with a roof measuring roughly 2,000 square feet, one will have to budget $30,000 to $36,000 total for new roofing. On top of installation costs, one will also have to take into account roof maintenance- and repair-related costs over the years.

7 min read 26 Oct 2022

Everything to Know About the Roof Ridge

A leaky roof is a serious problem that should be addressed without fail. Yet, one of the most overlooked aspects of roof repairs or construction is actually the most vital element, and you’ve probably never heard of it: the roof ridge cap (or roof ridge). This essential piece of the roofing structure must be chosen, installed, and maintained with care to prevent any moisture damage to the roofing system. Also, whether you have a steel, zinc, or sheet metal roof, you'll need a ridge cap to ensure that rainwater is properly drained and your roof is leak-proof. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the roof ridge, namely the most common types of ridge caps and their respective advantages, how to install cap shingles, and a lot more useful information. So, if you want to know more about the roof ridge, keep scrolling to the end so you don’t miss anything! Definition of a Roof Ridge Source : Canva The ridge is the highest point of a roof’s structure. More precisely, it’s where two roof slopes or rafters meet to form the triangular peak of the structure. As a matter of fact, if you take a second to check out your roof, the ridge will be the horizontal line running along the length of the rooftop, from one end to the other. It can run the entire length of the roof or can be divvied up, depending on the structure’s complexity. Note that some homeowners confuse hip rafters with the ridge board as both needs to be covered. However, the hip rafters align where the two sides of the roof meet to form the outer vertical angle. To avoid any confusion, keep in mind that the ridge board is generally horizontally positioned and makes up the highest point of the roof. It’s also important to note that if your roofing structure is more on the complex side, meaning divided up with a number of sides, you’ll have multiple ridge boards. With all the different sides coming together, the ridge board won’t be horizontally positioned along the entire roof. Every peak will then have its own ridge board where two slopes meet on the roof. Different Types of Ridge Caps: Features & Advantages The different types of ridge caps and their respective installation method depend, first and foremost, on the roofing material used. Therefore, the ridge caps used on corrugated roofing won’t be the same used as on slate roofing. Thus, it’s absolutely necessary that the ridge cap installation be carried out by experts in the field. In Quebec, and throughout Canada, you’ll mostly find the following ridge caps: Ridge Cap Tiles For traditional roofing tiles, most often, regular ridge cap tiles (usually made with mortar) will be used. Ridge cap tiles have a rather aesthetic appeal. Also, in terms of advantages: It gives the house a whole new, aesthetically pleasing look. It is a rather decent choice for warm and humid climates, since it keeps the house cool. Also, it's considered cost-effective in terms of energy saving (reducing electricity bills) and can be recycled to manufacture new ones. These are also heat- and wind-resistant, and they protect roofs against fungal growth. Zinc or Sheet Metal Roofing Ridge Caps If your roof is covered with sheet metal or zinc, in most cases, zinc or aluminum ridge caps will be used to help enhance the roof’s overall aesthetic appeal. With this type of ridge cap, you’ll get a smooth texture and appearance and, most importantly, great resistance to moisture, harsh weather, and fire. Such materials used for ridge caps can last up to 100 years, require little maintenance, and are relatively easy to install. As a matter of fact, once the installation’s done, you don’t have to do much else. Note that zinc (or aluminium) ridge caps are also eco-friendly and lightweight. So, if you’re looking for an Earth-friendly product, look no further! These ridge caps are 100% recyclable and can be endlessly reused to ensure full-leak protection. What more could you ask for? And, on top of that, they’re as easy to install and maintain as roof drip edges. Slate Ridge Cap Here, the ridge cap is made with two crisscrossed zinc strips, which straddle the entire ridge board line (tile can also be used). How to Install Ridge Cap Shingles Source : Canva Installing ridge cap shingles is one of the most important steps, and it’s usually the final step of the whole process. So, to help you achieve this crucial step, we thought it would be a good idea to give you a little rundown of how to install the shingles: Step 1: Make sure that the shingles aren’t too cold; they’re easier to handle when they’re warmed up a bit when it comes to installation purposes. Step 2: To achieve a straight and professional-looking line (50-50 on either side) without damaging it, fold the material in half. Step 3: When applying ridge cap shingles, start at the lowest point of the hip rafter and work your way toward the ridge board (top). On hipped roofs, install ridge cap shingles working from each end to meet in the middle. On gable roofs, lay the ridge cap shingles by starting at the far end facing away from the wind and working your way to the other end. Step 4: Nail the ridge cap shingle roughly 14 cm above the ridge, some 2.5 cm on either side, depending on the type of ridge cap shingle you’re using. Step 5: Once you’ve worked your way to the top of a gable roof, start with the ridge end in the opposite direction of the wind for optimum ridge wind resistance. Step 6: Now’s the final step: set the final shingle in cement and cover the exposed nail heads with cement, too. In fact, the final shingle must be glued with plastic cement specifically, and the exposed nails must also be covered. Ridge Cap Shingle Pricing To give you an idea of the price range of ridge caps, note that for Glacier Hip & Ridge pre-cut cap shingles, you’ll need to spend roughly $61. These are covered with algae-resistant granules and an adhesive sealant which provides top-notch wind resistance. Each pack contains 21 shingles, divided into three sets for a total of 63 units. But, typically, the most popular ridge cap shingle prices are as follows: Ridge cap tiles: $5.40 to $27 per linear metre Metal ridge cap: $20 to $33.70 per linear metre Slate ridge cap: $67.50 to $202.50 per linear metre Are you looking for experts for your roof ridge installation project? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! How do Ridge Vents Work? Source : Canva Naturally, your house ought to be able to breathe. The heat generated by the house can build up in the attic, so to avoid any mould issues, humid air has to be released somehow. If left to build up, it’ll cause problems such as the early deterioration of your roof shingles and mould growth, which is potentially harmful to your health, and detrimental to your bank account and your home's structure. One of the most effective ways to ventilate your home is to employ a proper roof ventilation system. A ridge vent is the most effective solution to remove moisture-laden air from your attic, while also ensuring proper ventilation. Quickly, a ridge vent is essentially a metal moulding designed and positioned on the roof’s ridge to draw warm air out of your attic and rooftop. Your roof may have more than one ridge, depending on the number of roof slopes and the size of the ridge boards. So, how does a ridge vent work exactly? The answer to that question is pretty straightforward. Ridge vents function through a natural air exchange process that, when broken down, is a combination of some basic principles you may already know. When warm air flows into your attic and you have a ridge vent in place, the airflow rising over the roof ridge naturally exchanges the air by allowing the rising warm air to escape through the ridge openings. Those are the small sections on the side of the ridge vent that look like a vent. With this natural air flow occurring, warm air is released through the top vents, naturally amassing cool air to then substitute via soffits. This natural air exchange process then creates negative pressure in the attic, which is also known as the venturi effect. Should I Install a Ridge Vent On My Roof? In most cases, the short answer is yes. If you’re building a new roof on your house, your roofing expert will most likely advise you to embed it within your ventilation system. Proper roof ventilation will prolong your roof’s overall durability and will prevent future issues linked to moisture, which result from a build-up of warm air. And for that alone, a ridge vent is a superb option. Cover image source: Micah Carlson - Unsplash

6 min read 24 Oct 2022

Shingle Roof Maintenance: Ensuring Durability?

Regardless of the type of material used to cover your roof, with time and exposure to the elements, grime can quickly build up and compromise the roof's functionality. Therefore, it's essential to clean your roof regularly to prolong its durability and maintain adequate waterproofing. Below are some tips on how to maintain a shingle roof. Why Is Shingle Roof Maintenance Important? Source: Canva Asphalt shingle roofs are very common in residential areas in Quebec, mainly because of their aesthetic value, superior weather resistance, and ability to conform to various building styles. Shingles are an important investment for homeowners, so maintaining them regularly is essential to avoid any damage and maximize their durability. Moreover, reroofing can be very expensive, whereas regular roof clean-up is much cheaper and helps prevent future damage that could lead to major renovation work. Aside from ensuring the comfort and safety of the home's residents, a well-maintained roof retains its thermal performance and increases the home’s value, which is especially advantageous when putting it up for sale. What Causes Damage to Roof Shingles? Throughout their operational time frame, shingle roofs can be damaged due to several factors: Adverse weather conditions: Between exposure to sunlight, wind, rain, hail, and snow, roofs can easily deteriorate with time, which can cause insulation and ventilation problems that leave room for mould growth. Vegetation: Algae, moss, and lichen growth, as well as plant and tree debris, create micro-fissures in the roof and leave the home with an unappealing appearance. A poor installation technique can also cause damages, as well as inadequate maintenance or dispersal pattern. Certain problem indicators may be visible, such as cracked or warped shingles, missing shingles, mould on the ceiling (as well as brown and yellowish stains), water leaks inside the house, etc. Are you looking for experts for your roofing project? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! How to Maintain a Shingle Roof? Source: Canva Shingle roof maintenance is a 4-step process, preferably done twice yearly. It's not advisable to carry out some of the maintenance work yourself; it's best to hire a qualified roofer who is more likely to detect problems and implement effective measures. 1- Roof maintenance Regular roof cleaning is the first step in maintaining roof shingles. This includes cleaning the shingles and flashing, as well as any related parts of the roof such as gutters, skylights, downspouts, chimneys, vents, and solar panels. We recommend that you: Occasionally remove leaves and branches that coat the surface of the roof. Work from ground level or, if this isn't possible, use a leaf blower to remove the vegetative debris. Trim the foliage directly above the roof and hire an arborist for hard-to-reach areas. Alternatively, you can spray anti-moss products that are available at hardware stores over the vegetation. Clean out the leaves and other vegetation from the gutters with a trowel. This will help the water drain into the downspouts. Prevent a build-up of debris in your gutters by installing gutter guards or wire mesh grates. Doing so also makes it easier to remove any debris. If you're not comfortable with heights, have your roofer tackle the job. The Canadian Asphalt Shingle Manufacturer’s Association (CASMA) suggested a simple formula to eliminate rooftop vegetation: ¼ cup trisodium phosphate (TSP, chemical cleaner); ¼ gallon bleach; ¾ gallon water. Carefully mix all ingredients above-mentioned and put on safety gear before ascending the roof. Don’t use a pressure washer, as it could damage the shingles; rather opt for a soft bristle brush. The process is best undertaken under favourable weather conditions, i.e. clear skies. 2- Roof check After thoroughly cleaning the roof, inspect it for any potential damage. Ideally, carry out this inspection twice yearly, preferably during spring and fall. To that end, hire an experienced roofer who'll be able to locate any potential problem, detect any cracks, and carry out small repairs before they exacerbate. They'll also be able to ensure that your ventilation system is working properly and that it doesn't need to be cleaned or unclogged. 3- Roof repairs This step consists of repairing damaged areas noted during the inspection. It's important to carry out any repairs immediately once detected, no matter how insignificant a fissure may seem, because, over time, it may exacerbate and require costly repairs. Water leak damage, even if it isn't initially apparent, is often difficult to repair and can be hazardous to one’s health. 4- Log roof repairs Homeowners are advised to keep a roof inspection log wherein roofers record all potential problems and past repairs made to the roof. This will allow the roofer to identify potential problems during future inspections and make more effective and durable repairs. By using this memory aid, you'll be able to better plan your roof maintenance budget and provide evidence of regular roof maintenance to a future inspector or buyer. Gutters: What to Look Out for During Maintenance Source: Canva Cleaning the gutters is an essential step in maintaining an asphalt shingle roof. And that’s why, according to Marc-André Martin of Toitures Horizon, "When it comes to roof maintenance, all homeowners should clean out their gutters every fall." Cleaning keeps the roof leak-proof and the house in good working condition. A build-up of leaves and dirt can clog gutters, which may lead to issues such as cracks, sagging structures, water infiltration, etc. Regularly cleaning your gutters helps to remove any accumulated debris and thus avoid rust and corrosion, which can damage the rainwater drainage system. Depending on the manufacturing material used, properly maintained gutters can last up to 50 years. To effectively clean your gutters, first, climb up a ladder and remain adjacent to the area. Then, remove any debris from the gutter: bird nests, dead leaves, grit, dust, etc. With a scrub brush, proceed by scrubbing the surface; note that anything sharp could damage the gutters. Repeat this process as many times as needed as you work your way around the perimeter of your gutters. Using a garden hose, start rinsing from the top down, and simultaneously inspect your gutters. If there’s a water leak, then your gutter is probably punctured or cracked. It may also be that your fitting gaskets are worn and some hooks are damaged. Also, the presence of stagnant water in some areas is a tell-tale sign of a sagging gutter, which must be realigned. If water just isn't flowing, then, in all likelihood, your gutter is probably clogged up with debris or something else. When to Clean a Shingle Roof? The best time to clean an asphalt shingle roof is during dry seasons. Ideally, it shouldn't rain for 3 days following the maintenance work. We suggest avoiding rainy seasons, as rain results in a slippery roof. For safety reasons, windy weather conditions are also excluded. High temperatures cause the roof to dry too fast or expose the roofer to potential heat stroke. Rain and cold weather will wash away products before they can even take effect. Heat also causes the products to evaporate. Thus, it's important to find a happy medium. Furthermore, to ensure that your restoration project is as efficient as possible, only proceed with maintenance work when the trees around your roof and property have shed all their leaves. Cover image source: Steve Johnson – Flickr

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