Clean Autumn Debris From Your Roof Before Winter Hits! Β

Autumn is a beautiful season in Toronto! As the leaves start to turn colour, every neighbourhood is transformed into a natural spectacle. Take a walk through any number of our city’s parks or tree-lined residential neighbourhoods to take in the scenery, and it seems like the city has brought out its brightest plumage for one last show before it is inevitably covered with snow in the coming months. Falling leaves may add a welcome degree of colour to a stroll through the city, but their charm wears thin for homeowners once they begin to accumulate as debris on your home’s roof, clogging up your eavestrough and deteriorating between your roof’s shingles and flashing.

 

As leaves collect on the roof, they soak up moisture from the elements and begin to rot. The shingles beneath are vulnerable to the damage from prolonged exposure this moisture and may clog from deteriorating debris, leaving the felt layers of underlayment and the decking underneath without its first line of defence against rainfall and water buildup. If left unaddressed, the deterioration can lead to internal leaks, water damage, fungus and wood rot, which is why it is prudent to conduct a thorough inspection every fall. Unfortunately, the initial stages of deteriorations are often difficult to spot during a visual inspection, so it is a good idea to consult a roofing repair expert in Toronto through Pro Roofers, to conduct a thorough assessment.

In addition to your gutters and shingles, fall debris can also wreak havoc on your roof’s flashings, vents and chimneys. Flashings are a sheeted metal covering the joints of your roof, used to prevent water from penetrating the surface. Flashing is used around chimneys, vents, dormer windows and skylights. A majority of leaks are the result of roof materials loosening from the flashing, as the result of clogging caused by deteriorating leaves and other debris. Clogging leads to damming responsible for water buildup on and under your roof’s surface. Since this is another problem difficult to spot during a visual inspection, it is best to contact professionals trained in expert roof repairs to conduct a thorough inspection of your roof.

 

Homes with flat roofs especially rely on the efficacy and good maintenance of their flashing. Due to the relatively subtle degree of a flat roof’s slope, effective draining systems are absolutely necessary and flashing is an integral component of diverting water off the roof’s surface. Without adequate draining systems, ponding can occur. Ponding on a flat roof can lead to persistent leaks, especially around the vents, skylights and chimneys. If this occurs, it is best to resolve the issue before the freeze and thaw cycle of the coming winter months has a chance to aggravate the problem. Consult trusted flat roof repair experts in Toronto to address any issues regarding water buildup on your flat roof.

 

Autumn can often come and go before you know it, so enjoy the natural splendor of the season and take time to prepare your home for the cold months ahead.

 

 

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Spotlight on Moore Park

Roofing Style Guide: Spotlight On Moore Park

As you may have noticed over the past year, once in a while here on the blog we like to take a ramble through one of Toronto’s many neighbourhoods and talk about architecture, culture and sight-seeing. Obviously, we make mention of a few of the neighbourhood’s roofs as well. As a company specializing in roof repairs Toronto and the GTA, we get the opportunity to travel all over, meeting people from all walks of life and observing a wide variety of architectural styles throughout the city. Today we’re going to take a look at a tucked away, high-class gem of a neighbourhood called Moore Park.

 

Even if you’re from Toronto, you may have never heard of Moore Park, and there’s a reason: it’s tucked away at the east end of St. Clair, and basically dead-ends onto the Rosedale Ravine. It’s an incredibly desirable neighbourhood to live in because there is zero through-traffic – you can’t get anywhere by passing through the neighbourhood.

 

Most people will recognize the name of the neighbourhood to the south, an area that was featured on our expert roof repairs blog a few months ago: Rosedale. While Rosedale boasts over the top houses of millionaires that and a small strip of little boutiques and markets, Moore Park is a bit more understated and contains not even a single commercial enterprise: it’s purely residential.

One thing that we’ve noticed on our repeat visits to Moore Park to install and perform maintenance on roofs, is that many of the houses are new, however, the aesthetic is a tasteful blend of modern and traditional. Rather than seeing behemoth, ivory-covered mansions alongside space-age looking cubes – as is often the case in Rosedale – residents of Moore Park seem to have embraced old and new all at once. Many of the neighbourhood’s houses have flat, three-story facades and roofs that slant out on a slight gradient (vertically), but are completely flat on top (horizontally). In some of the older houses, we’ve seen decay and mold due to stagnant air – a good reminder to improve your attic ventilation as necessary.

 

As cheerleaders of flat-roof culture, we absolutely love this style – it shows that you can build a house with a traditional aesthetic while still making use of flat roofs and enjoy all the benefits that come along with them. The benefits, which we’ve listed many times here on the blog, are more room for higher ceilings or storage, higher resistance to precipitation and the potential for a green roof with a lovely garden.

In addition to some really nice architecture, Moore Park is simply a quaint, isolated neighbourhood with huge trees and lots of nice people walking their dogs. At Christmastime, the residents of Inglewood Avenue each erect a giant inflatable Santa, which has turned it into something of a seasonal tourist attraction – one almost doubts that other residents appreciate the extra attention to the sleepy neighbourhood.

 

Another great feature of Moore Park is that you can access the scenic Rosedale Ravine through it, which will lead you to the lush nature preserve at the Evergreen Brickworks and the jogging, cycling and hiking paths beyond!

 

Whether you live in Moore Park, Parkdale, Junction Triangle or Upper Beaches, our local roofing company can help with any of your roofing needs – Pro Roofers offers quality craftsmanship at a reasonable price!

 

 

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.Β

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 theΒ  Β

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.

Christmas Edition: A Guide To Chimneys

While modern furnaces have more or less rendered fireplaces redundant, a wood burning furnace or a really nice hearth still hold a great deal of aesthetic value. If you’re trying to make your home warmer or cozier, there are few things as beneficial as adding a fireplace. Furthermore, if you have young children who are expecting Santa Clause this Christmas, how can you expect the gift giving saint to deliver the goods without a chimney?

In this special Christmas edition of the Pro Roofers’ blog, we’re going to take a look at fireplace and chimney design, both classic and modern. Whether you want a slick, functional, gas fireplace with a prefab metal chimney, or a good old fashioned wood burning masonry fireplace with a brick chimney, we’ve got the info you need. As the premier professional roofing company in Toronto, we’ve constructed, demolished and repaired about any type of chimney you can imagine, so trust us – we know chimneys.Β  Β  Β

Types of Fireplace and Chimney:

Masonry: If you want a real deal, classic fireplace, masonry is definitely the way to go – however, a proper brick fireplace requires a good deal of commitment. For one thing, it will take up quite a lot of space in your home and require regular cleaning and maintenance. These types of fireplaces are also incredibly heavy, so installing them can be a real pain. Once your fireplace is installed, however, heat will radiate out through the stone throughout the entire house, creating a good deal of warmth in those nasty winter months. Another benefit to a masonry fireplace is that it adds to the value of your property. If you ever decide to sell, a functional brick fireplace will be a huge perk. The brick chimneys can be somewhat difficult to maintain, especially if they were installed earlier in the 20th century. If you have any issues with a dilapidated chimney or need our roof repair services for any other reasons, call us immediately. Β  Β

Prefabricated: Prefab fireplaces are constructed from light metal, they take up less space than masonry fireplaces and are easier to integrate with custom home design. They are typically paired with metal prefab chimneys which are less visually pleasing than brick ones. Prefab fireplaces turn on at the press of a button, so if you like building a fire this is not a good option. If you’re looking for an easy, cheap, flexible option, however, a prefab fireplace is perfect.

Wood Burning Stove: Believe it or not, some cottage style homes in Toronto are still heated by wood burning stoves. With the increase in cost of power, it’s actually a fairly economical – if labour intensive – method of heating a house. Wood burning stoves can attach to either a masonry chimney, or a prefab. From an aesthetic perspective, they are extremely rustic and attractive.

Whether you heat your home with a traditional furnace or a cozy fireplace this Christmas, we hope you manage to keep the cold out. If you want to learn more about Professional Roofers and the services we offer, read these roofing FAQs and check back next month for more Pro Roofers blog posts. Merry Christmas! Β

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.Β

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.

Value Added Roofing: Why Repair Is Better Than Replacement

As a family company that offers roof repair services in Toronto, we are driven to save our customers money and deliver the best possible maintenance and repair service at the most affordable price. Why? Because we ourselves know what it means to raise a family in Toronto, where the expenses can pile up from month to month. An expense like having your roof replaced could seriously set you back and cause you to slip into debt; if you’re saving up money to send your kids to university, it’s going to mess with that college fund as well.

The truth is, at some point you’re going to have to get your roof replaced. But with all of the great developments that are happening in the roofing world – weatherproof reflective coating and leak-proof flat-roof membranes, for example – you should be able to squeeze thirty to forty years of life out of your roof.

There are a lot of jokers and hucksters out there who will tell you that you can only get twenty years out of your roof, but if this is the case, then whoever installed your roof did an abysmal job and must have used low-grade materials. As one of the best roofing companies in Toronto and the GTA, we are extremely competitive and upfront when performing an assessment; we believe in providing a value-added service and gaining the trust of our client base, rather than going for the quick cash grab.

If we personally installed your roof, then we will stand by our quality craftsmanship and provide advice and maintenance whenever you need it. We will personally make sure that you get the most out of a roof that was built with quality materials and great care. Value-added means that although you will need to invest a bit of money in your roof for it to perform in an optimal manner each year, you will save money in the long run because it will last a very long time. When winter starts to hit, you will want to ensure that you flashing is solid and that none of your shingles need replacing (if, in fact, you have a shingled roof). If you’re familiar with the concepts of amortization and depreciation, then you will understand why it is better to spread out the cost of maintaining a roof over several years, rather than breaking the bank the materials for a brand new roof, along with the installation cost.

As we stressed in a separate post this month, if you need your roof partially re-shingled, it is extremely wise to get it done before the cold hits. We emphasize this not only because we are averse to frost-bite, but also because shingles get brittle in the cold – for all our care and know-how, a shingle may crack during installation if it’s cold and this will lead to trouble down the line. The last thing you want when you get brand new shingles installed is for them to be compromised immediately. If you have a flat roof, then there is a whole separate checklist that includes a basic roof inspection to make sure the membranes can weather the winter, and we can help with this as well.

Don’t wait until next spring to perform roof maintenance, give us a call and provide yourself with the peace of mind to know your home is well protected through the winter.

Why A Gabled Dormer Can Improve Your Life

If you already live in your dream home, then we can congratulate you. If you feel no need to renovate and you feel that you have enough space, that’s amazing! But sometimes a little bit of extra space can be incredibly useful. If you have an artistic hobby or you like to host extended family when they’re in from out of town, you may sometimes wish that you had a bit more space. Continue reading “Why A Gabled Dormer Can Improve Your Life”

The Language Of Architecture: Toronto’s Many Roofs

To accomplish anything in life takes a lot of hard work and perseverance, take it from us – establishing a solid reputation as roofing experts in Toronto is no easy feat. We’ve been in this game a long time and we’ve come to know Toronto and its inhabitants extremely well. We’ve seen some incredibly old roofs on weathered, historic buildings and we’ve helped install sleek flat roofs on hyper-modern structures as well. Something that we’ve come to appreciate – and something we feel like everyone should enjoy – is Toronto’s unique architectural language.

Continue reading “The Language Of Architecture: Toronto’s Many Roofs”

Choose The Right Roofing Contractor #2 – The Interview

If you’ve read the first blog of our new series, you know that we are spending a little time discussing how to choose a reputable roofing contractor with you this month. Here at Professional Roofers we believe that information is king, and with a little know-how and gusto we would like to help you choose the right company for you, even if it turns out that it’s not us in the end. We know that we provide a superior service for a superior price and we are confident that we stand up to the most rigorous testing on our product – can the other companies you are interested in say the same?

Continue reading “Choose The Right Roofing Contractor #2 – The Interview”