3 Reasons Why Summer is the Best Time to Repair or Install a Skylight

Perhaps no roofing feature can improve your quality of life and the enjoyment you take in your home as much as a skylight. Not only do skylights serve the practical purpose of letting more natural light in, they also add a touch of class and elegance to a house, increasing your home’s value and making it more desirable to future buyers.

While skylights have many benefits, and have long been associated with a higher standard of living, you might be surprised to learn that, especially if you live in one of the many Toronto homes designed to have a flat roof, a skylight might be more affordable than you think.

In this blog, we will outline some of the reasons why you might want to consider having Professional Roofers install a skylight (or repair your current skylights), and why summer is the best time to do so.

The Benefits of Skylight Installation

The most significant way in which a skylight improves your standard of living is, of course, by providing you with better access to natural light. In cities like Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, and Hamilton, this can make a huge difference in the winter months, when night falls early and the sun rises late.

Getting the most out of the daylight hours is especially important for those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and need access to good light for mental health reasons, but it isn’t just people with SAD who benefit from skylights. Exposure to natural light has been shown to have a beneficial impact on everyone’s general health.

But skylights can also improve your quality life by making you less reliant on artificial light, thereby reducing your energy bills and shrinking your carbon footprint. At a time when many families are looking for ways to make their homes more energy-efficient, considering how you might reduce your reliance on electric light can help you use less electricity.

Furthermore, the architecture in large swaths of downtown Toronto makes skylights a critical solution to lack of natural light.

The neighbourhoods that sprung up along major arteries like Queen Street, Dupont, Davenport, Spadina, Dundas West, and College in the first part of the twentieth century were built with density in mind, and the long bay-and-gable designs that are such a notable part of the city’s architectural heritage restrict the amount of sunlight that can filter through to windows in the external side walls.

If you live in this kind of home, skylights might be your best bet for making sure that every room in your house gets at least some daylight.

While these are all good reasons to consider installing a new skylight or repairing your current skylights, it can be more difficult to know when the best time to do this is. If you have skylights in your home or want to explore your installation options, here are three reasons to do so this summer.

1. The Weather is Perfect

Perhaps no aspect of home improvement is as conditional on good weather as roofing is, and this is especially true when dealing with major projects like skylight installations that require parts of the roof to be removed. The last thing you want to be doing in a rainstorm is cutting a hole through your roof deck, and while the coldest months of winter might offer dry conditions, most people won’t want to have a skylight installed in sub-zero weather.

This means that if you get in touch with your local roofing company to ask about the possibility of having a skylight installed, one of the first things you’ll likely be told is that the exact timing of the installation will depend to some degree on the weather. Because the summer is the most consistently warm and dry part of the year in the Greater Toronto Area, the likelihood of being able to schedule repairs or installation between June and September are much higher.

And then, of course, there is the fact that a summer installation will allow you to enjoy the beautiful golden light of July and August right away. For this reason, if you want to know what can skylights do for your home and how you can get started on the installation process, give Professional Roofers a call today to find out more about how it works, and what you need to do.

2. You Can Get the Job Done Faster

As with any intensive home renovation, getting the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible is always going to make it more convenient and affordable. And when it comes to installing a skylight, the longer the renovation takes, the more time you will need to spend with a hole in your roof.

The good news is that under the right conditions, a skylight installation doesn’t need to take long. Depending on the style of roof you have, it can even be completed within a matter of hours or a day at most.

One of the reasons to have your installation done in the summer is that it will take far less time for one of our Professional Roofers roofing teams to prepare the roof and handle the installation, repair, or replacement than it would in the winter, or at a rainier time of year like spring or fall.

While our teams have years of roofing experience and are equipped to handle even the most challenging jobs in a fast and efficient way, arranging to have repairs made in the summer always helps ensure that the job will get done in as timely a way as possible.

But don’t take it from us: read the many reviews from satisfied customers on our website to find out just how seriously we at Professional Roofers take every aspect of Toronto roofing, from skylight repairs to full roof replacements.

3. You Can Pair Installation With Other Roofing Services

When spring comes around, many homeowners take the opportunity to have their roofs inspected for damage that may have occurred over the course of the winter months. This is usually the point at which they discover issues with their skylights as well.

Because your roof is a complete system that requires a variety of different components to work in concert in order to function properly, if you are having problems with your skylight, such as leaks or buckling, ask us about the possibility of a full consultation to see whether more comprehensive roof repairs are needed.

If other parts of your leak are roofing, simply replacing your skylight won’t be enough to actually deal with the problem, and you may notice issues persisting. In this case, the expense you went to in order to replace the skylight will have been wasted, which is why you should err on the side of caution by hiring Professional Roofers to make sure the job is done right the first time.

If you are having a skylight installed and want to pair it with more extensive roof repairs, or are having a flat roof installed and want to make a skylight part of the package, give us a call to learn more about the services Professional Roofers offers.

We specialize in flat roof installation and have extensive experience working with common flat roofing materials like modified bitumen, EPDM, PVC, and metal, which makes us the ideal Toronto roofing company to work with if you want to get the best expertise and service.

When the days get hot and summer holidays roll around, the first thing many Toronto homeowners will think of is how they can make the most of the nice weather to dive into home improvement projects. If you want to increase the value of your home while also measurably improving your own standard of living, installing new skylights, or repairing the skylights you already have, is one of the best ways to do so.

Skylights are guaranteed not only to increase your mood year-round, but they can also reduce the amount of energy you need to use, and can be much easier to install than you might believe. If the possibility of getting a new skylight this summer is something you want to explore further, get in touch with Professional Roofers for an expert consultation.

Our experienced roofers will not only be able to help you find the best way to improve your home with skylights, they can also advise you on how skylights can fit into your current roof system, and whether you should undergo other roof repairs at the same time.

Toronto is famous for its beautiful summers, but don’t forget that January is coming sooner than you might think. If you want to make sure you’ll be able to soak up as much light as possible year-round, call Professional Roofers about getting a new skylight today!

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When it Comes to Roofing, Beware DIY Repair

Most homeowners know that regular maintenance is key if they want their house to be comfortable and maintain its resale value. This is especially true for those who live in the Greater Toronto Area, where snowy winters and humid summers place great strain on single-family homes.

Every season brings its own specific tasks, and once you’ve welcomed spring by cleaning your flowerbeds, putting in window screens, and fixing any winter damage, it’s time to start thinking about larger projects that can only be done during the warm summer months.

Given how hard Canadian winters can be on roofs in particular, many homeowners will be considering whether or not this is the summer to finally get around to replacing their aging roof with a one that is guaranteed to keep the rain out for decades to come.

Re-roofing a house is a complicated process, and one that involves significant financial investment in materials. For this reason, some homeowners may be tempted to take it on themselves as their big DIY project of the summer.

While this can seem like a smart way to save money, the truth is that roofing is one of those jobs best left to the professionals. If you want to take advantage of the summer months to replace your current roof, here are four reasons why you shouldn’t try to do it yourself:

1. It’s Harder Than It Looks

It can be easy to look at a roofing job and wonder if it is really as difficult as all that. After all, doesn’t it just involve removing the old shingles and replacing them with new ones? Like many household renovation projects, roofing is theoretically straightforward but difficult in practice.

First, you need to decide what roofing materials you want to use. Should you install simple three-tab shingles or more advanced roofing materials like laminated shingles that will cost more, but offer better performance and extend your roof’s lifespan in the long run?

This decision will have a major impact on the total cost of your project, and one of the benefits of having a professional take care of the job for you is that they will have a much better understanding of where costs can be cut in ways that won’t compromise the integrity of your roof.

When it comes to installing the roof itself, not only do you need to have basic knowledge about using tools like roofing spades, nail guns, chalk lines, and hammer-tackers, you also need to understand how roofing materials like asphalt shingles, tar paper, and ice and water shield are applied and what purposes they serve. Furthermore, you need to understand how to work around dormer windows, and valleys — not to mention roof vents, plumbing stacks, and chimneys.

And then there are all the little problems that crop up along the way, which can present a challenge even to experienced roofers (what to do, for example, if you discover that parts of the roof deck have sustained heavy water damage, or that the chimney needs to have new flashing installed?).

Finally, you don’t just have to worry about purchasing materials and having them delivered to your house. You also have to figure out how you are going to dispose of waste. Most roofs generate quite a bit of garbage, and you will need to rent an industrial sized bin and arrange to have it disposed of.

If this sounds like a lot to keep track of, that’s because it is. Fortunately, Professional Roofers is here for you — from selecting and delivering materials to handling the installation and removing the garbage when the job is done, we take care to make sure the work is done right every step of the way.

2. Replacing a Roof is Dangerous

Every year, homeowners are injured and even killed due to accidents on their roofs. Even a simple job like cleaning gutters or removing fallen branches can be risky, but when you are spending all day moving heavy materials onto a pitched roof, the chances of an accident increase exponentially.

For this reason, beware oversimplified DIY YouTube videos — there are lots of things that can go wrong when you are on the roof, which is why roofers are trained to use safety equipment that will protect them in the event of a fall or accident.

Don’t take chances with your wellbeing just to install a new roof: go with the experts who know how to do the work safely as well as efficiently.

3. Incorrect Installation Can Put Your House at Risk

It isn’t just your own safety that you have to watch out for when replacing your roof: an improperly installed roof can put your entire house at risk. This is because the roof is an essential component of the entire system of the house, and issues with the roof are bound to translate into larger problems with the entire structure.

For example, one of the most important things a roof system does is channel water away from the home — the shingles make sure it flows off the roof, the gutters keep it from falling close to the foundation, and the downspouts transfer it safely away from your foundation.

If any of these components are improperly installed, not only is your roof deck in danger, excess water can end up pooling beside your walls, seeping into the soil, and threatening the integrity of your foundation. If the problem is not addressed, this can eventually lead to basement flooding. Good drainage is important for your entire house, and good drainage starts with your roof.

In order to install a roof properly, therefore, you need to understand how all the components work together to manage water flow. Knowing where the stress points are on a roof is essential to providing the extra protection that is needed, and it is also important to know how good roof installation can help combat problems like ice damming and attic condensation. This means accessing the kind of expert knowledge that only professionals can bring to the job.

If you want to know more about how your roof system works, get your questions answered by roofing professionals who have experience working with a variety of different roof types, and can help you avoid mistakes that can cause a lot of problems with other parts of your home down the road.

4. DIY Roof Installation Can Impact Resale Value

Most professional roofers will be able to tell you at least one story about a nightmare job where they had to replace a roof that had been installed by a homeowner. These roofs are full of surprises: shingles nailed down incorrectly, too much (or not enough) flashing along with dormer windows and valleys, incorrectly applied caulking, insufficient ventilation and even — in the worst cases — situations where the previous homeowner simply roofed over the old shingles.

When shopping for a home, people are rightly wary of roofs that were not professionally installed, and even if you believe you have done the job correctly, the simple fact that you did not hire a contractor can raise red flags for some appraisers and buyers.

For this reason, it’s best not to take chances with the future value of your home — call us today to get more information about how you can get your home re-roofed by experts who know how to deliver quality workmanship. Our team of roofers will apply their extensive knowledge of how best to replace shingle roofs and flat roofs alike to make sure that your next roof is one that will continue to raise the value of your home for years to come.

One of the great pleasures of owning your own home lies in improving it — taking a space and making it your own, and in the process learning how all the different components come together to create a functional, comfortable, and attractive living space. DIY work not only makes renovations more affordable, for many homeowners it is a labour of love.

But there are limits to what DIY projects most homeowners can reasonably attempt on their own. Just as it would be foolish to try to re-wire your house on your own, trying to replace your own roof is simply not worth the risks involved. Instead, call Professional Roofers for an appraisal today.

Our roofing experts will help you decide what repairs are needed and can provide you with detailed information as to what the best approach will be. Best of all, we will take care of the job from start to finish, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Get in touch today, and find out just how easy getting a new roof can be!

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4 Roof Repairs to Put on Your List of Summer Projects

Every Canadian homeowner knows that summer is the best time to pursue big renovation projects around the house. With the sun shining and the temperatures balmy, it’s a lot easier to contemplate replacing your windows, installing new floors, or just undergoing regular home maintenance tasks. Roofing is no different. Who wants to undergo major repairs to their roof during sub-zero temperatures?

Now that June has come around many homeowners are getting to work on their lists of projects for the summer — it’s prime season don’t put off those repairs being an idea most Canadians can relate to.

Even if you aren’t having your roof replaced this year, you should still consider spending some time and money ensuring your roof system is in good shape by tackling one or more of these roof repair projects this summer.

 

1. Look After Your Attic Ventilation

Ventilation plays an essential role in guaranteeing the longevity of your roof, but it is an aspect of roof maintenance that is often overlooked. A significant amount of roof damage is caused by a build-up of moisture inside the attic itself during the winter months, and much of this build-up is caused by condensation that forms when warm air from the interior encounters cold outside air in the attic.

If that condensation has nowhere to go, it can cause mould to spread through your house, compromise your roof deck, and, if left unchecked, can even rot out your rafters. Because this damage is largely invisible, homeowners often don’t even know it is happening until it is too late.

This is why it is important to be proactive about ensuring you have sufficient attic ventilation. A well-vented attic ensures that hot rising air is channelled out of your home and that any condensation that does form has a chance to dry out before it settles into the timber. In the hotter months, a well-vented attic has the added benefit of circulating air more effectively and reducing the internal temperature.

If you want to know how to keep your roof cool in summer one of the best things you can do is reconsider the type of attic ventilation you are currently using. Many mid-century Toronto homes were built with simple box vents that rely on wind to draw air into the attic. While these vents are effective when installed correctly, they have been surpassed as the industry standard by modern ridge venting, which provides more venting per square foot and are more aesthetically pleasing.

Better attic venting will also reduce the likelihood that you will need to deal with problems like ice damming.

Ice damming happens in the winter, when warm air from the attic heats up the roof deck and causes snow near the ridge to melt and run down toward the gutters. Because the eaves the overhang the roof are colder than the main part of the roof, the water then freezes along the gutter. If you have noticed that large icicles tend to form on your gutters during the coldest months of the year, this is a sign that your roof is probably suffering from ice dams.

The most visible damage ice damming poses is to the integrity of your gutters, but the worst effects of ice damming are felt under the shingles themselves. As the gutters become clogged with ice, melt water has nowhere to go, and pools along the eaves. This creates large sheets of ice under the shingles, which can cause rot to set in over time.

Better attic ventilation means there is less of a likelihood that the snow on your roof will start melting in the first place, putting less strain on your eaves and gutters and keeping your roof intact for longer.

 

2. Clean Your Gutters and Install Gutter Guards

Most homeowners understand the importance of cleaning out their gutters. Gutters that are filled with dead leaves and dirt regularly overflow, causing water to pool beside the foundation and creating unsightly hard water stains on your vinyl or wood siding that can be extremely difficult to get out.

But overflowing gutters don’t just cause problems when it comes to channelling water away from your house and ensuring that you don’t have issues with water damage to your external walls. When debris builds up in gutters, it can also push water back up under the shingles, where it can rot your roof deck and reduce the life of the shingles themselves.

Most modern roofing companies install extra protection along the roof eaves for precisely this reason, and if your roof was put in any time in the last twenty years, it probably has a layer of ice and water membrane beneath the shingles to waterproof the roof deck where it meets the gutter. Ice and water membrane is designed to provide a second skin, protecting against any moisture that might be forced up beneath the shingles.

But while ice and water membrane is an essential part of any Canadian roof system, it can only do so much. As with any roofing component, reducing the strain caused by clogged gutters is one of the best ways to extend the life of your roof.

Having your gutters regularly emptied is a great place to start, but installing gutter guards helps ensure that as much water as possible is channelled through the downspouts and away from the house itself.

 

3. Get New Soffits and Fascia

Soffit boards and fascia play an essential role in protecting your rafters and improving the curb appeal of your home. They are also, like attic ventilation, an often-misunderstood aspect of the roof system.

The fundamental role of soffit boards and fascia is to close in and protect the underside of your roof where it overhangs the eaves. This is a particularly vulnerable part of the home, and without good soffit and fascia, water can easily be blown up and under the eaves and into the house itself, dramatically reducing the lifespan of your roof deck and rafters and potentially causing extensive water damage to your exterior walls.

Homeowners in Toronto have another reason to take care with their soffit boards and fascia. Racoons, birds, and even opossums have been known to make their homes in the relative warmth and dryness of the space between your fascia and your roof, so checking to make sure that you aren’t playing host to unwanted vermin that can wreak havoc on your attic and your insulation is essential.

If you notice any damage to either the soffit boards or the fascia, get in touch with Professional Roofers before you try fixing it yourself. Soffit and fascia are difficult to install, and soliciting the help of experts is essential if the job is to be done right.

 

4. Replace Your Skylight — Or Get a New One!

Skylights are an incredible feature for any home, and are particularly important in Canada, where the winters are long and dark and daylight is often at a premium.

Skylights have been shown to offer a range of positive impacts for homeowners, including making it easier to get vitamin D, and increasing energy levels. Skylights can also add value to your home, and will even help you save on your electricity bills by reducing your reliance on artificial light.

If you want to install a skylight or replace your old one it is important to make sure that the work is done by experienced roofers who understand how the skylight interacts with the other components of your roof. When installed properly, a skylight is completely safe and provides more than enough insulation, but when the work is not done with sufficient care and attention to creating a watertight and airtight barrier, it can become a real hazard.

If you think a skylight might improve the comfort and pleasure you take in your home, get in touch today to learn how Professional Roofers can help you with the installation. With decades of experience in the industry, our roofing experts can help find exactly the right roofing solution to meet your needs.

Long-time Canadian homeowners know that when it comes to making improvements around the house, undergoing routine maintenance, and tackling renovation projects, there is no season like summer. Taking good care of your roof is a great way to improve the comfort of your home, and a roof that is in good shape will add significant value to it for years to come.

This year, don’t let the summer pass you by without taking on one of these four roof repairs. With the experienced roofing experts at Professional Roofers, making sure your roof is in the best possible shape is easy. Give us a call today to book your consultation!

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Does Your Roof Need Better Shingles?

When considering major maintenance projects, all homeowners are confronted with a huge number of decisions they need to make, and nowhere is this truer than when it comes to replacing a roof.

The roof is one of the most essential components of a house, but it is also up there with plumbing and electricity as one of the parts of the home that homeowners know the least about. This is why, at Professional Roofers, we strive to help our customers fully understand the options that are available to them, and make an informed decision when it comes to how they should proceed with a re-roofing project.

As a Toronto roofing company with many years of experience in the business, we also understand that it isn’t just about which particular shingles a homeowner wants — across the GTA more and more homeowners are turning to alternatives like flat roofs or metal roofs, and many some homeowners are even roofing their houses with slate or cedar shakes.

So how can homeowners make smart decisions when it comes time to replace their roofs, and how can they ensure that the options they choose are a good match for their overall house design? Here are a few tips on everything from selecting the best roofing materials to ensuring that your new roof lasts as long as possible.

Roofing Materials: How to Make Smart Choices

Although we have workers who specialize in a variety of different roofing materials, including WestMan Steel roofing systems, as well as EPDM, modified bitumen, PVC membrane, and Spray Polyurethane Foam flat roofing materials, the biggest demand in Toronto roofing is still for good, old-fashioned asphalt shingles.

Asphalt is durable and easy-to-install, and it comes with lots of design options to give your home compelling curb appeal and a timeless look. The huge range of different asphalt shingle options available mean that homeowners can always find options that will match their home’s overall colour scheme, but this very abundance in styles can make it hard to know what shingles to select when replacing a roof, which is why we’ve provided a simple guide to shingle selection:

  • 3-Tab Shingles: Once the most common type of shingle in the roofing industry, 3-tab shingles are cheap and easy to install, and their overlapping pattern of tabs ensures at least two layers of protection across the roof. While 3-tab shingles are still regularly installed on roofs across Canada and the United States, they tend to wear out more quickly, and usually aren’t good for more than fifteen to twenty years.
  • Laminated Shingles: Laminated shingles have rapidly become the roofing material of choice over the past twenty years due to their more textured, resilient design. These shingles are designed to more closely mimic the look of high quality roofing materials like slate and wood shake, and they also extend the lifespan of your roof. If you are looking to install high quality shingles on your roof then laminated shingles are probably the option you should go with.

While these are the two standard styles of asphalt shingle, at Professional Roofers we work with a variety of different manufacturers, including IKO, BP, GAF-ELK, and CertainTeed to provide our customers with as many different options as possible.

Some of these manufacturers offer further treatments that enhance the quality and visual impact of their products, and which shingles we recommend for you will be based on your budget, the look you are going for, and the particular needs of home. It’s a good idea to do a bit of your own research into the different roofing materials and shingles available so you can make an informed decision about which style your prefer.

Installation Matters as Much as Materials

While it is obviously important to ensure that the materials you decide on are a good fit for your home and your budget, good shingles that are not installed properly will be of no help. Installing a new roof is complicated, which is why it is important to get the help of our roof repair Toronto experts when preparing to replace your roof.

Re-roofing a house isn’t just about replacing the old shingles and installing new ones: our roofing crews also take care of a host of other issues at the same time, including venting, flashing, and the installation of membranes to protect your eaves and the roof deck itself. If you want to make sure that your new roof is going to last for as long as possible, you need to make sure that the people taking care of the work understand everything that goes into a reliable roof system.

For example, one of the reasons why it is so important to make sure your attic is vented is because this directly impacts how well your roof will be able to deal with rising heat and moisture from the main living space of your home. An attic that is not properly vented will have problems with attic condensation that can quickly get out of hand, leading to issues like ice damming and eventually rotting the roof deck itself if the problem is allowed to continue unchecked.

There are several varieties of venting available, and while traditional gable vents were once the most popular choice, better designs and new advancements in roofing technology have made it possible to replace these more invasive and less efficient options with roof venting and ridge venting that removes heat as efficiently as possible.

Which style of venting is best is a frequent roof repair FAQ and while there are different schools of thought on this, and it depends to some extent on local conditions, ridge venting has been proven very effective at quickly channelling rising heat out of the attic and regulating the attic temperature. Coupled with effective attic insulation, ridge venting makes sure no external rain can get into the attic, while guaranteeing that moist, warm air from inside rises harmless into the atmosphere, and is a passive option that works even on windless days.

In addition to proper venting, Toronto roofers also need to be on the lookout for damage to flashing alongside dormer windows, valleys, chimneys, and plumbing stacks. Flashing plays an important role by providing extra protection, but over time flashing can tear, be punctured, and generally wear down. Flashing is extremely difficult to replace without replacing the shingles around it, and so an important question roof repair teams should be asking when they approach a roofing Toronto job is whether or not the flashing can last for another couple of decades.

Replacing flashing (especially flashing around chimneys) can be a difficult job, however, which is all the more reason to make sure that the roofers you hire are professionals with extensive experience in providing all manner of roofing solutions to customers in the GTA.

Roof Replacement Should be About Long-Term Solutions

Replacing a roof is a big job, and like all major home repairs, it comes with a significant price tag. It can be tempting to try to find the cheapest way to handle the installation of a new roof as a way of keeping overall costs down. But this is not a helpful way to approach the task. Not only is your roof an essential component of your home, but the quality of your roof will also play a significant role in determining the overall value of your house.

Most shoppers on the market for a new home don’t want to look at properties they know they are going to need to put tens of thousands of dollars into in the near future. Completely aside from the fact that it is not a good idea to cut corners on the part of your housekeeping the rain out, you’ll save yourself a lot of grief in the long run if you view your new roof as an investment rather than a maintenance expense. Paying a little more today can extend the life of your roof by years.

If you want to get the best roofing solutions for your home, give us a call today and find out more about how Professional Roofers can help you replace your old roof with a modern, effective roofing system that uses the best quality shingles to ensure give your home a sharp new look and maintain its structural integrity for years to come.

At Professional Roofers, we know just how challenging it can be to replace a roof; but we also know how to help you get the most out of the experience, ensuring that you end up with a roof that adds to your property value, imparts a sense of freshness and class to your home’s overall look, and, most importantly, keeps the elements at bay during even the heaviest storms. Get in touch today to get a quote!

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Why You Should Get Expert Help with Your Eavestroughs and Downspouts this Spring

After a long snowy winter, most Canadians welcome the arrival of spring with open arms. But while balmy weather and budding trees are a wonderful sight, spring often brings with it unpleasant surprises for homeowners.

Heavy precipitation, saturated ground, and snowmelt from further north in the province can combine to cause serious flooding, and Toronto’s high population density and aging sewer system are often not up to the task of channelling that excess water away from the city.

The heavy flooding that struck Toronto in 2018 and rendered the Toronto Islands uninhabitable for large stretches of the high tourist season have left many Torontonians worried about whether 2019 will see similar problems. Many are also wondering what they can do to decrease the likelihood that they will become the victims of flooding.

Flooding has been a perennial problem in Toronto, and while the individual homeowner cannot do much to fix the problems with the city’s sewer systems, they can take action to reduce the chances that flooding will impact their own house.

In this post, we will explain how a good roof system can dramatically reduce the risk of basement flooding, and some of the ways Professional Roofers can help when it comes to preventing water damage to your home in a holistic way.

Eavestroughs and Downspouts: Essential Components of an Effective Roof

When most people think about flooding, they think about the earth — about the plumbing systems in their own homes, about where their house is situated and how water flows around it. These are important things to consider, but in practical terms, the thing homeowners have the most control over is not their foundation, but their roof.

One of the biggest dangers facing houses in Toronto is a build-up of water in the soil around their foundations. If water has nowhere to go, it will seep into the ground and find its way through any cracks or weaknesses in the foundation, eventually ending up in your basement. Over time, water will also freeze and thaw in the concrete itself, slowly causing it to crumble.

For this reason, all homeowners should take steps to ensure that when it rains, the water falling on their roof is being efficiently channelled away from the foundation of their building and toward the sewer system. Even if the city as a whole is struggling with floodwater management, ensuring that your house’s roof and drainage system are operating efficiently is an important way to reduce the water saturation of the soil around your home, and is a concrete action all Toronto homeowners can take in helping to reduce their risk of basement flooding.

This means having eavestroughs and downspouts that can handle large volumes of water, and which won’t leak or get clogged in the middle of a rainstorm. Unfortunately, in cities like Toronto and Mississauga that are covered by a beautiful canopy of shade trees, leaves can easily gather in troughs and plug up spouts, causing water to back up and overflow the gutters and pool beside the walls of the house.

One of the best steps you can take toward flood prevention is to have damaged eavestrough and downspouts repaired and to clear away debris regularly to prevent clogging. At Professional Roofers, we are proud to offer a variety of eavestrough cleaning and repair solutions that are suited to the particular needs of your house. We can also help you install leaf guards and other preventive features that will help you ensure that when flooding season comes, overflow from your eavestroughs does not add to the problem.

Repair Your Soffit and Fascia This Spring

Eavestroughs and downspouts aren’t the only parts of your roof system that need to be taken care of this spring, however. Alongside eavestrough repair, Professional Roofers recommends inspecting soffit boards and fascia for water damage every spring.

There is a common misconception that soffits and fascia primarily exist to improve a house’s curb appeal, but the truth is that these supposedly cosmetic features also play a vital role in keeping the water out.

Rain does not only fall vertically — high winds can cause rain to splatter up underneath the eaves of your house, and without protection, this can quickly cause serious problems. Moisture build-up can cause your roof deck to start rotting from below and can even compromise the beams of your house, leading to major expenses down the road.

Because of the vital role they play in protecting your eaves, soffits and fascia are subject to a lot of wear and tear from the elements. Ice damming can wreak havoc on your fascia, and in Toronto’s older neighbourhoods tree branches and falling debris can cause serious problems.

But soffits and fascia aren’t just at risk from bad weather: animal damage is becoming a major issue when it comes to maintenance across Toronto. Birds, raccoons, and even opossums have all been known to make nests for themselves under the eaves of houses, and while building their homes these critters can cause serious damage (if you suspect that you may have animals nesting above your soffits, make sure you call Toronto municipal animal control before trying to deal with these pests yourself).

Soffits and fascia have traditionally be made using durable materials like wood and aluminum, but it has become increasingly common for manufacturers to offer synthetic or composite materials specifically designed to improve waterproofing and extend the life of your roof.

If you are planning on having a Toronto roofing company install new eavestroughs and downspouts, it is a good idea to replace your soffits and fascia as well. Eavestroughs need to be removed before soffits and fascia can be replaced, so doing both at the same time will save you time and money. Perhaps more importantly, it will ensure that your roof system is protected for years to come.

If you want to know more about how Professional Roofers can provide a Toronto roofing solution that takes care of your whole roof, click here to learn more about how soffit and fascia repair can help make your roof more resilient to water damage this summer.

Want Your Roof to Last? Regular Maintenance is the Key

In this article, we have focussed on the importance of eavestroughs, downspouts, soffit, and fascia because these are features that homeowners often overlook when trying to ensure that their home is waterproof and flood proof. But replacing these elements of your roof system will do little if the roof itself is not operating as well as it should.

For this reason, it’s generally a good idea to start every spring by making a thorough inspection of your roof (many homeowners undertake these inspections themselves, but for those who are not comfortable getting up on the roof itself, it is a good idea to get help from Toronto roofing experts). This inspection should cover the state of the shingles themselves, but you should also pay attention to the flashing alongside dormer windows, chimneys, and plumbing stacks.

If your roof has suffered damage of any kind, make sure to call roof repair services in Toronto as soon as possible. At Professional Roofing, we have extensive experience working with all kinds of Toronto roofs — from conventional asphalt shingle roofs and metal roofs to membrane-covered flat roofs.

Our roofing experts can handle everything from minor patching jobs to a full re-roofing, so if you have any questions at all about what kind of roofing solution is best for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch. As you can see from the many positive reviews from past customers that we have received over the years, we take care and pride in our work, and our deep roots in the Greater Toronto Area mean that we have an intimate knowledge of the unique challenges the climate in this part of Canada poses to houses of all kinds.

The roof over your house is one of the most essential components in keeping you safe and dry through every season, and many water-damage problems in other parts of the house can often be traced back to issues with roofs.

This spring, don’t take any chances with your roof: undertake a thorough inspection as soon as it is safe to do so, and make sure that everything from the plumbing flashing to the eaves, the fascia to the downspouts is doing its part to keep water flowing away from your house. And if you notice any problems at all with your roof or eaves, call Professional Roofers to get the expert help you need to get your roof back in shape as soon as possible!

Spring Roof Maintenance Tips for Toronto Homeowners

Spring has come to Toronto again, and for many homeowners, the return of warm weather offers the perfect opportunity to get a head start on cleaning and maintenance work around the house.

After months of snowstorms and ice storms, of freezes and thaws and blustery nights, there is plenty of maintenance needed, but the first priority should always be the roof of your home, for the simple reason that a roof that has been damaged by winter will only suffer more damage once the spring rains start to fall.

As a lakeside city, Toronto sometimes benefits from milder weather than the rest of the province — but it is also frequently buffeted by icy gales and lake-effect snow, and it must weather frequent heating and cooling which can cause buildings to age much more quickly than they would in colder but more predictable climates.

These factors can have an especially serious impact on your home’s roof, which is why making sure it is in good condition is a smart way to kick off the season’s maintenance work. If you want to guarantee a leak free spring, make sure you follow these three tips for checking up on your roof.

Start with a Thorough Inspection

As with any maintenance task, the first thing to do is find out what state your roof is in. As soon as it is safe to do so (and only if you are comfortable getting on the roof yourself), take a walk around your roof to see what state it is in.

You will want to observe whether there are any problems with the shingles themselves, of course, but it is also important to look at any chimneys, gables, gutters, flue pipes, and other elements of your roof system to ensure that they have not sustained damage over the winter. A roof inspection is also a great opportunity to clear away debris that may have fallen onto it over the winter.

Once you have given the roof an external inspection, check your attic to see if there is any internal damage. Be careful, though — it is not uncommon for raccoons and other animals to take shelter in the attics of older houses during the winter.

Generally speaking, there are three common types of minor roof damage you should look out for. While each of these problems is easy to solve, if left alone it can lead to major issues down the road.

1. Deteriorated Flashing

Some parts of a roof (the edges of dormers and gable gutters, for example, or chimney stacks) are weaker than others, which is why Toronto roofers install galvanized steel flashing to provide added protection.

Most of the time, flashing is invisible and provides a hidden layer of extra-resistant waterproofing, but as your roof ages, this flashing can become corroded and damaged by the elements. If the flashing on your roof is showing its age, it’s important to have it replaced immediately.

2. Cracked Shingles

While curling shingle is a sure sign of an ageing roof, cracked shingles can be caused by a number of different things, and aren’t only an issue on older roofs. High winds, falling limbs, rapid temperature changes, and hail can all cause tears, punctures, and cracks to form in shingles. Just because you have a few broken shingles doesn’t necessarily mean you will need to replace your entire roof, but if you aren’t sure whether a patch job will be sufficient, get in touch with Professional Roofers to get an expert Toronto roofer opinion.

3. Moisture Damage

You may find that, while the external roof deck is in good shape, there are signs of moisture damage inside your attic. This is usually caused by poor ventilation, and if left alone, it can eventually do serious damage to your home’s structural integrity in the coming years. The best thing to do is call a Toronto roofing company like Professional Roofers to come to install new ridge venting to ensure that your attic stays dry.

Experienced homeowners may be able to handle some of these repairs on their own. But if you aren’t sure about what you’re doing, make sure you get in touch with Toronto roofers who can fix your roof for you. You don’t want to take any risks with such an important part of your house!

 

If Your Roof is Damaged, Have it Replaced

Why it is Important to Make Sure Your Roof is Summer-Ready

In some cases, of course, repairs won’t be enough, and when conducting your spring inspections, you should be on the lookout for warning signs you need to replace your roof in the coming months.

After a long, difficult winter that has seen heavy snows and plummeting temperatures, many houses (especially in older Toronto neighbourhoods like Parkdale, Kensington Market, Little Portugal, Palmerston-Little Italy, Leslieville, and The Beaches) will have suffered significant damage. If your roof was already starting to show signs of age, the rapid fluctuations between mild weather and arctic vortices may have been enough to put it over the edge.

For this reason, it is important to be on the lookout in particular for the following signs of wear and tear:

1. Sagging

Sagging is the number one sign that your roof is in trouble. Sagging can be caused by a wide range of different factors but it usually indicates structural damage of some kind — rotting roof decks or damaged beams being the usual culprits. If your roof is sagging, you will definitely need the help of roof repair services in Toronto and the GTA who can provide you with solutions that will restore the structural integrity of your roof.

2. Curling Shingles

Most roofs in suburban Toronto neighbourhoods in Scarborough, North York, and Etobicoke — and many in the downtown core — are built using asphalt shingle. Asphalt shingle is popular because it is both durable and affordable, and an asphalt shingle roof usually lasts anywhere from fifteen to thirty years.

But as the shingles age, they will start to lose their gravel coating and will curl up, making them less effective at channelling away water and more likely to cause leaks. If your shingles are starting to curl, it’s time to replace them.

3. Ceiling Leaks

Finally, it is important to remember that no matter what your roof looks like from the outside, if your ceiling is showing signs of leaking, or if you have noticed that your attic insulation is excessively damp, it is important to get in touch with a Toronto roofing company like Professional Roofers right away. If water is getting in, then your roof is clearly in trouble.

If you notice any of these warnings signs this spring, making sure to get in touch with roofing Toronto experts like Professional Roofers. We have extensive experience working on all kinds of Toronto roofs, and we can guarantee you an effective, affordable roofing solution that will restore the integrity of your roof for years to come.

Don’t Take Any Chances: Always Ask an Expert 

While the previous points should cover most of the common problems in Toronto homes and roofs, it is essential for Toronto homeowners to understand that even if your roof isn’t sagging, leaking, or curling yet, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily in good health. Heavy wind storms, lashing rain, and surprise blizzards can age your roof in unseen ways, and whether you have noticed problems or not, it’s a good idea to keep track of how much time has elapsed since your roof was last replaced.

If your roof is more than fifteen years old, it’s a good idea to have it professionally inspected, so you can determine its general condition and find out whether there are more specific things you should be on the lookout for.

Remember, much of the damage a leaking roof causes will be invisible until it’s too late: long before your ceiling starts dripping water, moisture can be rotting your roof deck, spreading fungus and mould throughout your house, and can even compromise structural integrity. If you want to make sure that your home is properly protected from the elements, take steps to replace your roof before it starts to become a problem.

And when it comes to fixing or replacing your roof, remember to go with a roofing company that has extensive local experience. At Professional Roofers, we understand intimately the kind of pressures and stresses that Toronto homes and roofs face, just as we understand the different challenges posed by a three-storey nineteenth century home in Yorkville compared to a thirty-year-old bungalow in Cooksville.

We are dedicated to helping you get the best roof for your home, and for that reason, we offer a wide range of services and solutions, from flat roof repair to metal roofing, soffit and fascia, and attic ventilation. Give us a call today to find out how Professional Roofers Toronto can provide you with the help you need with spring roof maintenance today!

5 Tips to Get Your Flat Roof Ready for Spring

5 Tips to Get Your Flat Roof Ready for Spring

If you’ve ever taken a stroll through stylish up-and-coming neighbourhoods like Leslieville, Yorkville, Little Portugal, and Bloordale, you’ve probably noticed that one of the hottest design trends for new or heavily renovated single-family homes is the flat roof.

In addition to being economical and energy efficient, flat roofs give houses that clean, modern profile that is increasingly in vogue. And because flat roofs are multi-purpose spaces that can be converted into rooftop gardens or patios, they are also a practical extension of a home’s living space in a city increasingly defined by massive growth.

Over the past twenty years, flat roofs have become increasingly popular across the Greater Toronto Area. But while flat roofs come with numerous benefits, for homeowners used to traditional pitched roofs, they also come with new challenges.

Unlike pitched roofs, which require minimal care, flat roofs require regular cleaning and maintenance if they are to be kept in good condition. Now that spring has arrived, homeowners whose houses have flat roofs will need to be thoroughly inspected and cleaned, and it may even be necessary to hire flat roofing services from Toronto roofing companies like Professional Roofers to help them make repairs if winter damage has been serious enough.

If you want to get the most out of your flat roof now that the weather is warming up, here are five key steps you should take to make sure your flat roof is ready for spring.

 

1. Remove Debris

5 Tips to Get Your Flat Roof Ready for Spring

One of the things that makes Toronto such an attractive city to live in is the many beautiful old shade trees that line residential streets, parks, and ravines. But all of this greenery means that debris builds up quickly on flat roofs across the city, and the first thing you need to do once the snow has finished melting is collect all the debris that has gathered over the winter

If even if your flat roof didn’t have problems this winter with more serious issues like downed trees, fallen tree branches, or animal nests, the regular build-up of dirt and organic matter will need to be dealt with as soon as the snow is clear if you don’t want to run into more serious problems with drainage once the spring rains start to fall.

 

2. Clean all Outlets

Contrary to popular belief, a flat roof is not actually flat. Flat roofs are designed to slope gently towards drainage outlets either on the sides of the roof or in the centre. As any Toronto roofer will tell you, keeping these drainage outlets from clogging is the key to keeping your flat roof from leaking.

Once a drain is clogged, water will back up and pool on your roof, putting stress on the roof’s structural integrity and increasing the likelihood that water will find its way through the roofing membrane, into the roof insulation, and eventually through your ceiling itself.

One of the disadvantages of having a flat roof is that even if you take steps to protect your drainage outlets by installing leaf guards and other protective grilles to catch garbage and debris before it gets into the drains themselves, you are going to have to clean your roof regularly if you want to keep those drains clear.

For this reason, it is important to regularly sweep and clean your roof throughout the summer and fall, but especially during the crucial months of spring, when heavy rains and lots of accumulated gunk from the winter can cause drains to become overwhelmed quickly.

In the event that your drains do become clogged (and in a city like Toronto, this is pretty likely — especially if you live in the older-style flat-roofed houses found along Dundas Street West, Queen Street, and College Street), you will need to have it snaked. This can usually be done with a normal plumbing snake, but if the clog is bad enough, you may need to use a pipe brush or even a pressure washer.

 

3. Check for Punctures

Once the roof is clean and the drains are in good working order, you’ll want to check the roofing membrane more thoroughly for punctures, rips, or tears. The type of membrane will vary depending on what kind of flat roof you have, but most Toronto roofing membranes are made from PVC Membrane, modified bitumen, or EPDM.

Most of these materials are applied in layers and sealed to provide a watertight barrier, but winter damage can cause holes to form that allow water to seep through. As your flat roof ages, the materials will weaken somewhat, and these punctures will become more common, so it is a good idea to keep an eye out for these issues and to give us a call if you believe your roof may need to be repaired.

While roofing membranes are the most common material used in flat roofing, they are not necessarily the best flat roofing solution. At Professional Roofers, we are proud to be one of the only roofers in Toronto that offer Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) solutions as a more durable alternative.

SPF is a spray foam that hardens on contact with your roof and, when properly treated, provides an impermeable barrier to moisture and water. SPF is fast, affordable, and environmentally friendly, so if you are unhappy with your current flat roof and are considering a replacement, call us anytime to ask about the benefits of an SPF flat roof Toronto.

 

4. Inspect Parapet Wall Seams

One of the distinctive elements of Toronto’s older flat roofs is the parapet wall running along the edges of the roof overlooking the streets and alleys. These parapet walls are designed for safety and serve a variety of other architectural purposes as well (they also give the house a sharper and more pleasing profile).

But parapets can pose particular challenges when it comes to flat roof maintenance in the spring, and if your house has parapet walls, it is important to make sure they don’t compromise the integrity of your flat roof.

Because separate swaths of roofing membrane are generally used to roof the parapet wall and the roof deck, a seam usually runs along the base of the parapet wall connecting the roofing membrane of the roof deck to the membrane running up the sides of the parapet.

For obvious reasons, these seams tend to be a weak point and are particularly prone to tears and rips. And because these seams run along the edge of the wall, leaks at these joints often cause more damage to the house itself. Before you get your roof ready for summer fun, you should make sure there are no gaps or tears in these seams (one of the benefits of using SPF spray roofing as opposed to traditional membranes is that they do not have this problem).

 

5. Install a Flat Roof Deck

5 Tips to Get Your Flat Roof Ready for Spring

Now that you have made sure that your roof is clean, your drains are not clogged, and there are no punctures or tears on your flat roof, you can start turning it into a summer oasis. But before you haul up the patio chairs and the flower boxes, remember that protecting your flat roof from damage from foot traffic is essential if you want to keep it in good working condition for years to come.

One of the best ways to protect your flat roof while still being able to enjoy it is by installing a floating roof deck during the summer months. A floating roof deck is one that is not actually attached to the structure of your house, but merely rests on it. This guarantees that you can access your roof if you need to make repairs, and it protects the surface of the roof from damage.

There are plenty of design options when it comes to floating roof decks, but the best ones combine quick and easy installation with durable, waterproof materials.

Across Toronto, flat roofs have become the style of choice among homeowners who want to give their houses a modern edge while also improving energy efficiency and expanding their living space. But taking care of your flat roof requires work, and especially in the spring.

This year, make sure you start the season off right by clearing your roof, unclogging your drains, and fixing any tears or punctures before setting up for the first barbecue of the season. Not only will this help ensure you have a clean, safe, and convenient space to relax in, it will also guarantee that you can continue to enjoy your flat roof for years to come.