Weatherproof Your Roof

If you live north of the 49th parallel – whether it’s in Vancouver, Ottawa, Halifax or here in Toronto – then you’re no stranger to tough weather. During the winter, our temperatures drop drastically; we end up dealing with snow, ice, freezing rain and whatever else mother nature feels like throwing at us. Thus, it’s always in our best interest to be prepared. In the past decade, we’ve been experiencing some pretty peculiar winter weather patterns in conjunction with global climate change.

Over the course of a single winter, you will still see lots of snow and freezing temperatures that will cause ice dams – the healthy roof’s sworn nemesis – but we also see warmer temperatures and hard rain, which can complicate matters and leak into your home. Not only do leaks erode the materials comprising your home, they can also open the floodgates to colds, fevers and other illnesses in your family – As if winter wasn’t bad enough already. Contact our roof repair services in Toronto and the GTA to have your roof looked at if you are having leaks or fear you may be vulnerable to leaks – we can help weatherproof your roof to shore up your peace of mind.

Here at Professional Roofers, we specialize in flat roofs. Because flat roofs are made up of large, weatherproof membranes, they are extremely effective for preventing and reducing leakage from precipitation. Think about it this way: a roof made up of individual shingles has hundreds of potential entry points for rain and melting snow – by comparison, a flat roof has a lot fewer. If our expert roof repair services have given your shingled roof a solid going over, you will not experience any leaks, still, we feel that the weatherproof membranes that make up a flat roof provide even more security and a better bang for your buck.

When we install a flat roof, we make sure that it’s at the perfect pitch to divert water away from your roof and down into the storm gutters. The last thing you want is to protect your roof at the expense of your basement and the structure of your home. Amateur roofers will make sure your roof is protected, but they may not take a holistic approach to your home care – this means taking the extra time to ensure that your eavestroughs and downspouts are clear and depositing water in the right place: away from your basement.

We offer the following services for your network of downspouts and eavestroughs: Leaf Guards; Pitch Repair; Re-Hanging; Cleaning. Not only do we make sure that your drainage system is functioning impeccably, we make sure that you have the maximum number of options to customize the aesthetic of your home. Some shortsighted folks believe you have to choose between fashion and function, but when you work with Professional Roofers, you can have both!

If you’re experiencing leaks or problems with your network of downspouts and gutters, call us to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If you have an emergency, call us up immediately and we’ll be on our way. We’ve been working in the Toronto community for many years and care about the integrity of your home.

Catching Up On Roof Repair Basics: Part Two

Here at Professional Roofers, we are very fortunate to have so many great clients. Because we are a small, family owned business we are able to maintain good relationships with you – our customers! There are various methods that we’ve established over the years to save ourselves money, and these savings are reflected in the rates that we offer. Our state of the art disposal system, and the excellent rates we get from our suppliers are two key places where we are able to save money, so that when you need roof repair specialists in Toronto or the GTA, we can give you the most competitive price, while upholding a high level of service.

Thus, when you realize that you need to call in the pros, we’re probably the first people you think of – and while we don’t want your roof to fall into disrepair, we’re always happy to hear from you and to be able to remedy the situation. 

In part two of this two-part post, we’re going to go over a couple quick things that will help you understand the fundamentals of roof and roof repairs, fundamentals that can be supplemented by the roofing FAQs already posted on our site for your perusal:

Basic Installations to Prevent Leaking:

Since the primary purpose of a roof is to shield you from the elements, it is only logical that you would take every possible precaution to prevent leaking. One measure you can take is to install ice and water shields around your valleys, dormers, chimneys, skylights and most definitely at the edges when the roof is less than 5/12 pitch. Water shields usually come in the form of self adhering underlayment that can easily be installed, beneath the top layer of your roof. Obviously it’s easiest to install the shield when the roof is being installed, and once it’s on there you’ll rest easy at night knowing your roof is weatherproof. We can also install and replace metal flashing to discourage leaking; metal is extremely moisture resistant, which is another good reason that metal roofs are so popular as well.

The Importance of Downspouts and Eavestroughs

The importance of the tools that divert water away from your roof and flush it safely into the sewer without pooling cannot be overstated. If water pools over and over again, there’s only so much that flashing and water shields can do. On our end, things that jump to mind are leaf guards, pitch repair, basic cleaning and re-hanging the downspout outright. These services are all very reasonably priced and can solve a lot of problems before they become serious.

Draining water away from your foundation is also of the utmost importance – if your roof and drainage system don’t effectively clear the rain and snow, it may end up flooding the   

foundation and basement of your home. Thus, maintaining a healthy, functional roof serves the whole structure of the house in addition to keeping out the elements. Don’t let downspouts become a problem this coming spring; if they are doing their job properly, it will take a lot of pressure off your flat or pitched roof and give it a longer lifespan.

Catching Up On Roof Repair Basics: Part One

Here at Professional Roofers, we know from experience that sometimes, you need to call in a professional to give you a helping hand with your roof. At the same time, we think our clients should take an interest in the wellbeing of their roofs if they have time, especially since it is such an integral part of every home. The benefit of learning about your roof is that you will be able to diagnose most problems yourself, and assess when it’s the kind of thing you can handle on your own, or when you need to call in Toronto roofing experts immediately.

In warmer climates, people worry less about their roofs. In hot places like Jamaica and Thailand, people worry more about letting air pass through their homes to cool them down, rather than keeping out the cold. Life in Canada’s inhospitable climate means that while ventilation is extremely important, we need to make sure that our houses are well insulated in the frigid winter months – such as those that are upon us at this very moment.

While the winter is not an ideal time to having roofing work done on your home, sometimes you don’t have a choice. In a best case scenario, once a thick layer of snow settles on your roof, it actually provides an extra layer of insulation. If your roof is in good shape, well insulated and properly sealed, then you can cozy up and rest assured that everything is in order.

If, on the other hand, you are getting drafts and leaks, you may not be able to wait until spring – it may be time to call in our expert roof repair services team.

In part one of this two-part post, we’ll look at some roof repair basics to keep in mind, so that you can best understand your roof and problems the may arise:

Roof Replacement Vs. Layering Shingles

At Pro Roofers, we like to think of ourselves as a value added service: we are experts at extending the life of a roof as long as is reasonable before you need to outright replace it. This way, you get the best possible value out of either the commodity that is your roof, or the money that you spent on the materials and installation. If you notice that a section of your shingles have been weather battered and worn, there’s a chance that we can install a sheet of fresh shingles can be overlaid in order to extend the life of the roof. This service is considered on a case by case basis, depending on an assessment of the structure of your home and whether or not the extra weight of the shingles can be supported. Contact us anytime if you want a fair and honest assessment of your roof. Once we’ve taken a good look at the state of your roof, we can figure out the best course of action together and get you an estimate for the work.

In most cases, laying shingles on top of older ones is effective for pitched, asphalt shingle roofs. With metal roofing and weatherproof flat roof membranes, it’s a whole different story; we’ll explore these issues in part two of this post.

3 Roofing Issues To Watch For

In western society, we tend to take it for granted that there is a roof over our heads. Most of us grow up with the security of knowing that shelter, warmth and food is taken care of. As you get older, however, and the bills start to pile up, you realize how much hard work goes into creating a stable family environment. Between groceries, rent or mortgage payments, buying clothes and paying utility bills, you need to work really hard to keep your family happy. Here at Professional Roofers, we know the value of a dollar and we also appreciate how hard you have to hustle on a daily basis – we’re experts in the daily hustle ourselves. While the roof over your head can end up becoming an afterthought when life kicks into overdrive, this can lead to big problems. Paying experts such as ourselves to do a little yearly maintenance can help prevent big problems and save you money in the long run; as far as roofing companies in Toronto and the GTA go, our prices are highly competitive.

In order to help us help you, keep an eye out for the following three issues and call us for an inspection or to get a fair quote if the problem persists:

  1. Ice Dams: Ice dams form on the sloped roofs of heated buildings when ice beneath packed snow melts, drips down, and then refreezes on the eve. Ice dams can cause damage to your roof and leaking, which is obviously undesirable and could lead to significant property damage. Insulation is a good way to guard against ice dams, since the heat from your house will not permeate the roof as much. Heating cables are often seen as a quick fix solution, but they are often unreliable and can even lead to electrical fires (some insurance companies won’t even allow them). Our expert roof repair services team is great at removing ice dams and helping you figure out how to avoid them in the long term. 
  2. Roofing Ventilation: We’ve spoken several times here on the blog about how much we love ridge vents. If you’re constructing a sloped roof, seriously consider ridge vents, as they are the best way to create good airflow in your roof. In a city like Toronto, where we have really extreme weather in winter and summer, lack of ventilation causes mold, damage and a slew of other problems. If you have a flat roof, we can install more traditional turbine or box vents. If you’re having attic ventilation issues with your flat roof house, call our experts immediately for an assessment and assistance!

3. Skylight Damage: You may have moved into a space with a glorious skylight and thought “wow, I really lucked out!” You’re not wrong to think this, however, there is a certain amount of vigilance that goes along with that luxury. Skylights are beautiful but if they aren’t installed with great care, they can lead to leaking and damage very easily. So make sure you keep an eye out while admiring the clear blue sky or the starry night!

Avoid A Roofing Catastrophe This Christmas

Christmas time is all about relaxing with your family in a warm house, drinking eggnog, building a fire and opening presents. Typically, it’s also about skiing, sledding and building a quinzee. Hopefully, if you performed autumn roof maintenance, your roof will be up to the task of keeping the snow and ice on the outside of your house. If on the other hand, you were so caught up in back-to-school season that your roof went uninspected, the wear and tear of winter storms could erode your roof and make for a chilly winter – if you find yourself in this situation, call Professional Roofers immediately. 

The last thing you want when you’re trying to impress the in-laws is a nasty draft blowing through the house. If you don’t have great insulation and you haven’t had your roof serviced in awhile, this could be a real problem. Since guest bedrooms are often located in gabled dormers – which typically jut out on the front of a house – the draft could be especially bad in that room. If your in-laws end up with pneumonia, that’s seriously bad news.

Even if you’ve never even thought about your roof and landed on this page because you’re experiencing a last minute emergency, fret not, you’re in the right place! Our company is a longstanding independent business that provides quality service at a fair price point – check out these testimonials from past clients if you’re still not sure! The truth is, even if your roof is being ravaged by winter storms, unless it’s more than twenty years old, there’s a good chance it just needs a bit of tender love and care. So if you’ve got snow in your attic and wind blowing through your bedroom, don’t freak out, just pick up the phone and give us a call.

Once you’ve had your roof properly inspected and patched, the best possible thing you can do is install insulation. Not only does this help keep out the cold, it also helps keep out the heat and – most importantly – the moisture in the summertime. Between keeping a fire going in the living room and installing proper insulation, you can save plenty of cash on your heating and cooling bills in the more extreme months.

If you’re building a new house or it’s come to the point where you need to replace your old roof, give us a call today and consult with our experts on what materials to use. Asphalt shingles were invented over a hundred years ago, and while they are still the most popular material for constructing a roof, they are not necessarily the best. At Pro Roofers, we specialize in flat roofs, which facilitate more space in your home and are crafted from weatherproof membranes that last a long, long time and are easy to maintain. Roll roofing is also a strategy – one that we’ve covered in depth on the blog – that can give your flat roof an extra layer of strength and protection. Additionally, metal roofs are great for deterring precipitation and are also excellent for durability.

Whatever your concerns this Christmas season, whether it’s overdue maintenance or a last minute emergency, we’ve got your back. Call Professional Roofers today to find out more.

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!

Of Summer Storms And Broken Roofs

This summer has, unfortunately, been crazy for rain and thunderstorms in the fair city of Toronto, where Professional Roofers operates. For our family based roof repair services business of modest proportions, it has been an extremely busy time. Between leaks from the rain and the damage from falling trees, we have had a lot of roofs to work on.

Toronto’s slogan is “a city within a park”, which rings true considering how many trees there are lining our streets, valleys, hills and parks. The rainfall has been so intense this year that the bloom is incredible, with lots of dense foliage, bright, beautiful flowers and big, healthy trees. For farmers in the outskirts of Toronto, this has surely been a boon compared to the hot dry spell of last summer.

The downside of all this (in addition to rain spoiling summer weekends) is that the rainstorms have also brought thunder and lightning, which are a hazard for old trees that can fall on electric wires and even worse: your roof!

For this reason, it is prudent to hire arborists certified by the ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) to prune your trees every few years. This eliminates dead unhealthy branches, which can attract borers and other aggressive species, tax the tree’s energy and – worst of all for you – fall on your house and seriously mess up your roof.

If you didn’t manage to take this precaution, or if you were the victim of a freak accident, we forgive you – sometimes its difficult to predict these things. If you’ve had the branch safely removed and need someone to come over, assess the damage and figure out a plan of attack for getting it fixed quickly, then we’ll be there in a jiffy to help you out. Even if a tree branch that’s not that big falls down on your roof, there’s a decent chance that it will take a few shingles with it, exposing the whole roof to potential water damage. Always better to have Toronto roofing experts come for a consultation if an event of this nature should occur. This leads us to our next subject: water damage and leaks.

With summer drawing to close, the last thing you want is your roof getting all messed up. As we’ve remarked before on this very blog, summer lends itself extremely well to roof maintenance, but once you get into winter with the snow and ice buildup, things can start to get a bit trickier. Especially if there is a thick layer of snow on top of your roof, the last thing you want is a compromised roof that is tough to access.

If a branch takes off some shingles, or if the asphalt shingles have degraded from years of wear and tear, you may start to see signs of leakage. If the weather-proof membrane on your flat roof was installed improperly and you’re starting to see signs of leakage and you need to fix a flat roof in Toronto or the GTA, we are certainly trained to fix that as well.    

To re-iterate: it’s been a wet and stormy summer that has not been easy on roofs, so take this chance to have your roof inspected before we move into mold and then snow season – you’ll save yourself money in the long run.

Of Mildew, Mold & Moss: A Guide To Invasive Roof Flora

As we mentioned on a separate blog post this month, it’s been an incredibly wet and stormy summer here in Toronto, Ontario. This has caused roofs to be threatened not only by falling trees and water, but also by a subtler agent: invasive flora that can grow on your roof, devaluing your property by decreasing the overall aesthetic presentation as well as actually undermining the structural stability of your roof.

If you have to have a flat roof with metal flashing and state of the art weatherproof membranes, this may be less of a problem. For one thing, mildew and mold are repelled by copper and zinc on galvanized sheet metal. When it rains, trace amounts of of copper and zinc are rinsed down the roof, defeating the advance of mildew.

As we also stated in a separate post this month, if you have a flat roof it is incredibly advantageous to apply a reflective, weatherproof layer of roof coating to it. In preparation for the application, you must wash the roof in any case, and once the coating is applied, it is much more difficult for mold to grow, since moisture that accrues cannot penetrate the coating. Of all the roofing companies in Toronto and the GTA, we have the most experience with this, so if you’re thinking of applying reflective coating, contact us.

If you live in Toronto, there’s a pretty good chance that you live in an older house with a pitched roof and asphalt shingles. These types of roofs are much more susceptible to the growth of mold and mildew – it’s simply the downside of living in a gorgeous, historical house. While some types of algae and moss are relatively harmless (some might even say they add a quaint je ne sais quoi to a house), it’s always best to clean them off if you have the opportunity. Asphalt shingles typically have a life span of about 20-30 years in the harsh Canadian climate, and when you need help repairing your roof shingles, or even replacing your roof altogether, mold growth is going to make the job slightly more complicated.

Aside from this strictly “decorative” type of algae, there is certainly flora that can do serious damage to the integrity of your roof as well, opening it up to leaks and other such disasters. Some types of algae will grow in your gutters and downspouts, since they like a damp environment. Algae proliferates through airborne spores, so if there’s moisture on your roof and the wind is blowing, there’s not much you can do to stop it. Metal flashing is a great preventative method, but failing that you may need to remove it yourself, or contact us to come apply a liquid cleaner to kill the mold.

It is extremely important to act quickly, because once the mold eats through the shingles, you’re dealing with more and more problems. First of all, you’ll need to replace the compromised shingles. Secondly, the spores can now spread to the inside of your home, creating unsightly patches in the attic and compromising the air quality and your health. If you have young children, the last thing you want is gross moldy air drifting through the house, since it can be a drain on the immune system. If you have serious mold issues, contact us today to speak to the most experienced roofers in Toronto.

How To Waterproof Your Roof And Save On Utilities

Here at the tail end of summer, you’ve probably seen your utility bill skyrocket due to increased use of air conditioning and fans. If you happen to manage a building with an HVAC system, this has probably been on your mind even more so. Something that people rarely think about is the fact that the physical makeup of their roofs has a direct effect on the internal temperature of the actual building. Since we offer roof repair services in Toronto, we like to consider every little aspect of how your roof affects your quality of life, and as such very few things related to roofs escape our attention.   

You may have noticed that most roofs on big buildings in downtown Toronto are flat (slightly sloped actually) and black. While this has become industry standard, it is actually incredibly inefficient. The truth is that a black roof absorbs so much heat from the sun that it can become eighty degrees hotter than the ambient temperature (in Fahrenheit). Gravel is more efficient: it still gets hot, but not extremely so. A white, reflective coating is the absolute best, reflecting the sun’s heat and minimizing the the load that is placed on the overworked air-conditioning unit. Especially if your A/C box is on the roof, it is inefficient to have a black roof, since it will make it much more difficult for the requisite heat exchange to occur.

Here at Professional Roofers, we offer flat roof services for any kind of building, and we don’t mind telling you that installing reflective, water-proof coating on your roof can save you all kinds of headaches and money. Roof coating is a terrific way to extend the life of your roof, and most roof coating products can be purchased with a five-year or a ten-year warranty. Just because the status quo is flat black roofs, doesn’t mean you have to conform.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that high albedo roofing can reduce the temperature inside of a building by up to five degrees Fahrenheit and save you up to fifteen percent on your utility bill. This is pretty amazing. What’s more, this particular type of coating is primarily used to waterproof flat roofs against pooling water that will often collect and create erosion and leaking. The reflective qualities are an added bonus!

This type of coating can be applied to roofs of almost any kind: PVC, metal, foam, concrete, modified bitumen. If you are considering applying roofing coating, you will first have to undertake any serious repairs that need to be tended to, and then power wash the roof so that you are not sealing in grime and muck. If you need roof repair services in Toronto and the GTA, we can certainly offer our friendly, reliable expertise. Since we specialize in flat roofs, we are also extremely well acquainted with the application of this coating, which is much less involved and costly than replacing your entire roof.

Lucas 8000 silicone coating is the best known version for this process, it basically adds a reliable shield to your roof to give it a greater lifespan and protect it against the elements. Furthermore, it is extremely breathable, so that the ventilation process can still occur, preventing mold from developing.