Roofing FAQ

when should I replace my roof?

 When you notice these roof issues, it may be time to take action.

Asphalt Shingles

Key Signs to Look For:

  • Missing granules on shingles
  • Exposed asphalt on shingles
  • Curling shingles
  • Loose shingle pieces
  • Discolored shingles
  • Presence of algae and moss

In the early stages of roof failure, you may notice granules from the shingles accumulating in your gutters. Patches of exposed asphalt, where granules are missing, may also appear. You might find pieces of shingles on the ground or in your gutters, and the shingles may show signs of discoloration. Additionally, after about five years, algae and moss can begin to collect on a new roof. The presence of moss and algae can accelerate the deterioration of your shingles.

Cedar Shakes or Cedar Shingles

     

    Key Signs to Look For:

    • Bottoms of shakes/shingles are starting to rot
    • Cedar is starting to split or crack
    • Cedar is showing signs of curling
    • Shakes/Shingle appear to be brittle and worn
    • Flashing is rusted

     

    Torch-on SBS

    Key Signs to Look For:

    • Membrane is cracking
    • There are noticeable blisters and bubbles in the system
    • Patches of asphalt are exposed
    • Membrane is not fully adhered (You can lift up the membrane at the seams with your hand)
    • There is noticeable rust on the hardware especially at the base

    If you see any of these signs and or unsure about the condition of your roof, please call us for a free inspection. 604-674-0319

    What products should I install on my roof?

    When selecting a roof, consider the following factors:

    • Budget
    • Expected lifetime
    • Roof type (flat or sloped)
    • Aesthetics (style/appearance)

    What are the options for sloped roofs?

    For sloped roofs, you have a wide range of choices:

    • Asphalt Shingles: Cost-effective, available in various shapes, styles, thicknesses, and colors. Expected lifetime: 20-30 years.
    • Cedar Shakes: A luxurious choice, costing 1.5-2.5 times more than asphalt. Distinctive appearance but more expensive. Similar lifespan as asphalt shingles due to lower quality of cedar available.
    • Clay/Concrete Tiles: Durable with a longer lifespan of 30+ years, higher cost but ideal for a long-term investment.
    • Metal Roofs: Offers a lifespan of 40+ years, more expensive initially but a great long-term investment.

    What are the options for flat roofs?

    For flat roofs, consider the following materials:

    • Torch-on SBS
    • EPDM Rubber
    • TPO
    • PVC

    What are the pros and cons of these flat roof options?

    • Torch-on SBS:
      • Pros: Standard in the Canadian market especially in British Columbia, cost-effective, easy to repair, lifespan of 15-25 years.
      • Cons: Shorter lifespan compared to some single-ply options, not as environmentally friendly.
    • Single Ply Membranes (TPO, PVC, EPDM):
      • Pros: More environmentally friendly, longer life expectancy (up to 30 years or more), flexible in application, often comes with strong warranties.
      • Cons: Generally more expensive than torch-on SBS, requires specialized installation skills, higher initial cost but offers added value in terms of lifetime and warranty.

       

      How much does the average roof replacement cost?

       

      Here are the average prices for a 2000 square foot roof:

      • Asphalt shingle to asphalt shingle: $14,000 to $21,000
      • Cedar shake to asphalt shingle: $19,000 to $23,000
      • Cedar shake to cedar shake: $40,000 to $60,000
      • Torch-on SBS to torch-on SBS: $18,000 to $24,000
      • Tar and gravel to torch-on: $20,000 to $26,000
      • Metal (standing seam/snap lock): $35,000 to $45,000

      These are general prices to help with budgeting for your roofing project. Prices may vary depending on various factors involved.

      Updated June 2024

      What factors are involved when calculating the price for my roof?

       

      Several factors influence the cost of a roofing project. Understanding these elements can help you anticipate expenses and ensure accurate quotes from roofing contractors in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Here are the key considerations:

      Access

      • Material Loading: Can the roofing materials be easily loaded onto the roof?
      • Bin Placement: Can a waste disposal bin be positioned near the roof for debris removal?

      Difficulty

      • Roof Sections: How many sections does the roof have?
      • Level Variations: Are the sections at different heights or levels?

      Slope

      • Steepness: Is the roof steep or does it have a low slope? Steeper roofs may require more safety measures, labor increases and specialized equipment.

      Obstacles

      • Protrusions: How many vents, chimneys, skylights, or other protrusions are on the roof?
      • Surrounding Trees: Are there trees or other obstructions that may complicate the roofing process?

      Layers

      • Existing Material: Are there multiple layers of existing roofing material such as shingles, cedar, torch-on, or tar and gravel that need to be removed?

      Additional Factors to Consider

      Roof Size

      • The total area of the roof significantly impacts the cost. Larger roofs require more materials and labor.

      Material Type

      • The type of roofing material (asphalt shingles, metal, tile, etc.) chosen for the new roof affects the price due to variations in material costs and installation requirements.

      Permits and Regulations

      • Some areas require permits for roofing projects, which can add to the cost. Compliance with local BC building codes is also necessary.

      Warranty and Quality Assurance

      • Opting for extended warranties or higher-quality materials can increase the initial cost but may offer long-term savings.

      By considering these factors, homeowners, stratas and contractors can better understand the pricing structure for their roofing projects and make informed decisions when selecting a roofing contractor.

        How do I choose a roofing company?

        Each person will do their due diligence differently. I think these are some of the things that should be considered when hiring a roofing company:

        • Do they have WCB coverage? If someone get hurts on your property, you want to make sure you aren’t held liable.
        • Do they have liability insurance? At least $1 million dollar liability insurance is recommended. What happens if your house becomes flooded or is burnt down because of mishandling a torch or not performing a four-hour fire watch?
        • Are they reputable? Ask to see references and testimonials. Homestars, Google Plus and Yelp are usually good indicators of a company’s reputation.
        • Do you trust them? Trust is huge — if you feel uncomfortable in any way, there is probably a reason for it.
        • Are all agreements in writing? Make sure everything agreed upon is included in a signed agreement/contract with you and the contractor.
        • Ask about the installer’s experience. The crew leader should have at least five years experience working with your type of roof to ensure quality.
        • Are there inspections being performed throughout the job and at the end? Quality inspections should be done midway through the job and at the end. This ensures peace of mind for the future knowing your roof was properly installed and inspected.

        What potential issues may come up during a roofing project?

        Water damage and rot are probably the biggest concerns with re-roofing especially if the roof has been leaking for a long period of time. Woodwork may need to occur if any plywood, trusses, rafters or any other wood is damaged. Make sure there is a section in the contract explaining the costs for any woodwork.

        Does my roof need maintenance?

        Yes! Every roof needs maintenance especially cedar shakes, asphalt shingles and torch-on SBS roofs.

        How long will a new roof last?

        • Asphalt shingles: 15-30 years
        • Cedar shakes: 20-30 years
        • Torch-on SBS: 15-25 years
        • Metal: 25-40 years
        • Tile: 30-50 years

        These estimated life spans are based on properly installed roofs. The years vary depending on products used, slope of the roof and weather conditions.

        Is roof ventilation important?

        Yes, very important. Having sufficient intake and exhaust ventilation is critical for the lifespan of your roof. Without proper ventilation the attic has the potential to overheat and hold moisture. This will accelerate the deterorationdeterioration process on your roofs and potentially cause mildew and mold to grow in your attic.

        frequently asked questions

        Should I repair my roof, do a roof-over or roof replacement?

        Ask yourself these questions:

        • How long do I plan to stay in this home?
        • What’s my budget?
        • Is my roof beyond repair?
        • Is my house a tear-down?
        • How old is the roof?

        The best thing to do if you are unsure of a course of action, contact your local roofing contractor who can help ask the right questions for your situation and provide the best solution for your scenario.​

        Why are there white spots on the underside of my plywood?

        This mold build-up from an improperly ventilated attic. The heat cannot escape from the attic and is causing damage to your plywood.

        How long does a roofing project take?

        The average sized home takes about 2-4 days to replace the roof. Larger homes and commercial projects can take anywhere from a week to six months of good weather.

        Should I repair or replace my gutters?

        If you notice your gutters are leaking from the seams, collecting rust and are not fully attached to the fascia boards, they may need to be replaced.

        How does roof ventilation work?

        Roofs need sufficient intake ventilation through the intake vents at the eaves for air to enter into the attic and exhaust through exhaust vents or ridge venting at or near the ridge of the roof.

        Here are a couple of diagrams showing the difference between a ventilated and unventilated attic space.​

        frequently asked questions

        Does the colour of the shingle affect the temperature in the attic?

        Ventilated Roof = 1-2 degrees higher for a dark colored VS light colored shingle

        Unventilated Roof = 20+ degrees higher for a dark colored VS light colored shingle​

        What's the differences between tar paper and synthetic underlayment?

        Tar/Felt Paper

        Pros

        • Cost-effective
        • Provides a protective layers underneath the shingles
        • Fastened with staples

        Cons

        • Low-quality product
        • Tendency to tear when walked on or applied in valleys
        • Staples create a hole for water to penetrate
        • Can potentially “telegraph” (wrinkle) underneath the shingles

        Synthetic Underlayerment

        Pros

        • High-quality product
        • Lighter and stronger than tar paper
        • Provides a protective water-proof layer if applied using the proper fasteners
        • Easier to install

        Cons

        • Higher cost product

        Can my roof be replaced in the winter?

        Yes! We work year-round.

        Is there an alternative to those ugly box vents on my roof?

        Instead of using exhaust vents, ridge venting can be used which is a type of ventilation which is concealed by the ridge capping.

        When's the best time to have my roof replaced?

        Basically when the weather becomes consistently good which is usually at the end of spring to the early fall. Make sure you get signed up in the winter time to secure your spot!

        My roof is leaking, is it covered by warranty or insurance?

        Potentially. If it is a workmanship issue and you have documentation from your previous roof installer and the warranty has not expired you could potentially have them come do a repair, free of charge. If it is a material issue you may be able to contact the manufacturer and receive a rebate if you have up to date documentation and the warranty is under your name.

        Insurance usually won’t cover any issues from material or workmanship defects. If your roof is damaged from a falling tree, fire, vandalism or other causes you may be covered under your home insurance.

        Where are the most vulnerable areas on my roof?

        Skylights, chimneys, valleys and any penetrations on your roofs. These areas should have an Ice and Water Shield/ Peel N Stick underlayment installed around them for extra protection.

        Velux or Columbia skylights?

        Columbia skylights are the more cost effective option that will give a decent amount of life. Velux are well built high quality skylights. If you are looking for a skylight to last 20+ years and you have the budget, I would recommend Velux.

        What are some important roofing terms I should know?

        Deck: Also known as the substrate, this is the support underneath your roof which will usually be shiplap boards, plywood or OSB.
        Drip Edge Metal: The flashing installed along the perimeters of your roof which covers the fascia boards.
        Underlayment: A protection membrane installed underneath your shakes, shingles or metal.
        Flashing: The metal component installed around your roofs perimeter, walls, chimneys, skylights, and valleys.
        Shingles: An asphalt, wood, and rubber based product used to waterproof roofs and walls.
        Soffit: the underside of the overhang on your roof. Usually extending out 1.5-2 feet.
        Fascia: Combed and primed wood boards on your gables and eaves (behind gutters) of your roof.
        Vents: Assist in exhausting or intaking air from various sources such as chimneys, bathrooms, stoves and general attic ventilation.