Mouse Proof You Roof With Vent Guards!

The winter is upon us, and you’re not the only one who is settling in for a long, cold, cozy season. Mice are busy through the late summer and fall gathering food to store in whatever structure they can find to protect them from the elements – and this structure may well end up being your house! Mice are tiny little creatures that can fit through many little holes that offer entry point to your home: weep vents; gaps between building materials; window frames and doors; HVAC and utility lines, and of course, roofing vents.

If mice get into your home through a lower entry point, chances are that you’ll see them scurrying around your kitchen or living room. In this case, you’ll probably invest in some mouse traps or humane contraptions that keep the critters alive but allow you to get rid of them. If you live in a shared student house, you may end up keeping them around as pets to save money, but we wouldn’t advise this course of action – mice are dirty and can quickly deteriorate many aspects of your home!

While there are different methods to deal with the lower entry points, at Professional Roofers we’re mostly concerned with mouse proofing your roofing vents, where mice will often get into your attic and make a home for themselves. The problem with having mice in your attic is that you may not know they’re there until they’ve been there for months. Mouse patter is extremely quiet (hence the saying: quiet as a mouse), so you won’t hear them, and since you may not spend a ton of time in your storage attic, you may not notice the droppings and chewed up wires for a long time.

Our expert roof repair services cover a broad spectrum of work, and our talented staff is always ready to install a vent cover when they come around. In general, roof ventilation is extremely important: it prevents ice dams from forming in the wintertime (a topic that we discussed in a separate post this month), as well as mold from growing in the muggy summer months. If you have ridge vents or attic vents installed this winter, it’s no trouble to add on some vent covers while you’re at it.

The longer you wait, the better chance there is that debris and perhaps the materials for a bird’s nest may build up in your vents, or even the ventilation holes in your eaves. By installing vent covers and nailing in hardware cloth early, you nip the problem in the bud. Once you have mice hiding out in the attic, its like guerrilla warfare; keeping them out to begin with is easier. Furthermore, once you have mice, other, larger animals that feed on mice may smell their nest and try and muscle their way in to feast on the little rodents – it’s a slippery slope!

Our flat roof repair experts will happily install state of the art vents in your weatherproof membrane and help you feel a sense of security by installing quality guards designed to protect your home against the rodent invasion. Don’t let your attic become a habitat for rodents, keep it clean and well ventilated with the help of Pro Roofers!

Roofing Style Guide: Spotlight On The Annex

Last month on the Pro Roofers blog, we looked at roofs and general style on the east end of the city of Toronto, where we are based. We looked not only at roofs, but at design in general, as well as the overall mood of the neighbourhoods that make up the east. Today, we’re going to talk about another one of our favourite neighbourhoods: The Annex. Many consider The Annex to be the heart of Toronto, and it’s hard to argue otherwise. First of all, it’s central location surrounding Bloor and Bathurst makes it a solid candidate. Secondly, its funky vibe, overall friendliness and a large quantity of trees and Victorian gables on the houses all give it a specific Toronto energy that cannot be emulated.

As we have been your expert roofing company in the GTA for many years, we’ve worked in pretty much every neighbourhood you can imagine. It constantly amazes us that there are little unexplored nooks of the city that we always end up in. However, neighbourhoods like the Annex are old friends that we have become intimately familiar with.

One thing we’ve noticed about roofs in the Annex over the years is that they are often highly stylized and super colourful. One trick that we’ve noticed is that homeowners will often paint the bargeboard, soffit and fascia a vibrant colour like purple or orange to give their house a cool high-light. While we are primarily concerned with the functionality and lifespan of a roof, we also appreciate how a roof looks from an aesthetic point of view, and we think that painting the bargeboard an interesting colour is always a great way to add character to your home’s exterior.

Another characteristic look that is prevalent in The Annex is the bay and gable design that is also popular in the Cabbagetown neighbourhood. Often you will see houses that have been sectioned off in semi-detached units over the years, but have maintained a consistency of style throughout these changes. It’s nice to see the beauty of these structures keeping their consistency as the neighbourhood experiences change.

As with pretty much every neighbourhood in Toronto, you will also see a fair share of flat roofs. Flat roofs are practical and facilitate extra space in the home, so with many modern structures this is the clear design choice. Weatherproof membrane also typically lasts longer than asphalt shingles, so there are other reasons why flat roofs are slowly starting to edge out more traditional pitched roofs. At Pro Roofers, we specialize in flat roof repairs – whether or not you live in The Annex, if you need help fixing your roof in Toronto, give us a call.

Finally, we’ve noticed that The Annex is home to couple of houses with Spanish Colonial style roofing tiles. This is not often a style that we see in Canada, and it provides and interesting accent in a neighbourhood that is already very diverse in terms of design and architectural style. If you haven’t visited The Annex in a while, consider taking a walk next weekend, and if you need maintenance performed on your roof, contact us today to speak with one of our representatives.

Do Heating Cables Really Prevent Ice Dams?

Once again, winter is upon us and we are faced with another season of snow build-up and potential ice-dams. Hopefully you’ve performed fall maintenance and your roof is up to the task of protecting your home, however, unless you have functional ridge vents and soffit vents to prevent the snow from melting and trickling down to freeze on cold spots, you may need a quick fix like heating cables to prevent these dams from forming. If you don’t have ventilation or heating cables, you may experience a leak and significant damage to your roof that will not become apparent until the spring. If serious ice dams form on your home, it would be prudent to contact roofers you can trust to remedy the situation, otherwise you could be looking at a significant problem down the line.

Ice dams form like this: once a thick slab of snow is covering your roof, some of it may melt from the warmth of the house. The liquid from the melted snow trickles down, but it doesn’t flow right off the roof, instead it will typically refreeze when it hits a cold spot; most likely the metal gutter. This dam can create a significant block of frozen matter – an elemental force to be reckoned with.

Most people think that having snow on their roof is bad, and would want it to melt off and drain away, but actually the whole process is counter-intuitive. You want cold air to circulate and make sure that the snow on your roof is evenly distributed. Unless there is an incredible amount of snow on your roof, the snow itself will not cause any problems. It’s only once the snow melts and becomes unevenly dispersed – freezing in blocks as it rolls off your house – that you’re in trouble.

If you happen to have a flat roof, ice dams can still form, since your roof has a subtle slant designed to drain off rain water. We can fix your flat roof issues if an excessive amount of ice is collecting, either by removing the ice, or by installing heating cables or increasing ventilation.

If you go the route of heating cables, you need to be extremely meticulous when installing them. Remember: heat causes ice dams in the first place, so if you are using heat to solve the problem you need to guide the melting water over the drip edge of the roof, rather than allowing it to get trapped at the gutter. Some roofers even advise against using heating cables, since there is such a high chance that they will backfire and make the problem worse.

Hiring one of our experts to install the heating cables may be your best bet, if you pay attention and take our advice, then next time around you might be able to install them yourself. We take care of your roof problems so you don’t have to, but we’re also happy to share our methods so that you can be more involved with the maintenance of your own roof. Furthermore, if it gets to a point where dams have built up and heating cables won’t do you any good, we have ways of manually removing the ice so that your roof won’t suffer further damage.