Gutter installations

Your Fall Eaves trough Maintenance Checklist

 

There are other components to your roof besides the shingles that lay on top. Although they are the most integral part, it is essential that other parts of the roofing system are kept in just as good of shape. Without this, the shingles’ lifespan will be cut short. Why not save yourself some stress, and cash, by keeping up to date with your eaves trough maintenance?

The gutter system of a roof can arguably be almost as important as the shingles themselves. It plays a crucial role in directing water away from your home. Without a proper gutter system, water and snow that sits atop your roof will eventually make its way into your foundation. You’ll begin to see stains and cracks on the inside of your walls, and eventually, a flooded basement. What’s the best way to avoid this? Keep up with your eaves trough maintenance.

Although it may be a nuisance, maintaining your gutter system is important for every homeowner. Making sure they are properly connected, directed and cleaned every season will extend the overall life of your roof.

This blog entry will discuss the necessary steps of eaves trough maintenance that every homeowner should follow.

 

  1. Clean, Clean, Clean!

Frequently clearing your gutters of leaves, sticks and other debris will keep your gutter system in tip-top shape. Once there is enough debris build up, the water entering the gutters will not be able to drain properly. It will overflow, allowing the water to run down your exterior walls and eventually into your home.

To prevent any overflow, Professional Roofers recommends a proper eaves trough cleaning at least once a season. However, during the fall months, the more frequent you can get up there, the better. Not only does a regular cleaning keep the system working, but it makes the job easier for next time. A clean eaves trough also reduces the risk of mold or moss to be present.

This DIY task can be very simple with a helper – someone who will hold and secure the ladder for you. Once you remove the debris, have your helper hand you a hose. Running a stream of water through the system helps ensure everything has been removed. This will also show you if there are any holes that will need to be re-sealed.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing the job yourself, you can always contact one of Torontos roofing companies to assist you. Not only can they provide you with the maintenance you need, but their professional eye may catch any problems that are not obvious to you.

 

Rain Gutter Cleaning from Leaves in Autumn with hand. Roof Gutter Cleaning Tips. Clean Your Gutters Before They Clean Out Your Wallet.

 

  1. Install New Gutter Guards

Properly installed and functioning gutter guards can make your life a lot easier in the future. Gutter guards act like filters that sit over your troughs. They guide leaves and other debris away so that water can properly drain from your roof.  This is not to say that you will no longer have to clean your eaves troughs – but it makes the process a lot easier for when you do.

Gutter guards are a worth-while investment when considering the time and money you will save in the future. Get in touch with a roofing company to see if gutters guards are a good fit for your home. It never hurts to ask.

 

  1. Re-secure Pieces

An extensive build-up of debris can become very heavy. In fact, this much weight can actually separate the gutters from the fascia of your home. This leaves room for water to seep between the two components and drip down the exterior of your home as if you had no eaves troughs to begin with. Not only will this cause damage the foundation, but also to the siding and brick exterior of your home.

Always ensure the sections of your gutter system are properly connected to allow maximum drainage. You’ll need this when the winter season arrives and the water begins to freeze. Water that is stuck in the trough or that has escaped down the wall will quickly turn to ice. This ice will quickly expand and cause significant damage. Neglecting your eaves trough maintenance just isn’t worth the amount of repairs you’ll need come the Spring time.

 

  1. Seal the Joints

If your gutters are leaking at the corners, you will need to re-seal the joints. This should be done periodically so that water can properly travel through the system and away from your home. This can be done with a silicone sealant around the joints and over any cracks. Once applied, ensure the sealant is flat and allows the water to flow through smoothly. You can also hire an eaves trough and aluminum expert to do the work for you seasonally. This is a simple maintenance task that will make all the difference!

 

Resealing the joints

 

If your eaves troughs are showing significant signs of aging or damage, it may be worth it just to replace the whole system. A failing gutter system is not something that you want to deal with in the chilly winter months.

Installing a new eaves trough and downspout system will divert water and snow a safe distance away from your homes foundation. This will prevent your yard from gathering ice, flooding and will protect your roof from water damage. It will also save you the headache of having to deal with it the following year.

Most companies will visit your property free of charge and provide you with a replacement quote. Book now and start planning your eaves trough maintenance while you still can.

Should I Replace My Shingles Before Winter?

Winter is coming!

As soon as November 1st comes around, everyone has winter on their minds. Homeowners begin to assess their property and decide what needs to be done before the snow starts falling. For most, roof maintenance becomes a top priority.  The integrity of your home depends on proper roof maintenance and keeping up to date with repairs and replacements.  It is important to assess your roof and have any necessary work done before the winter season hits – bringing the rain, snow and hail along for the ride.

Most homeowners find the process of maintaining their roof to be stressful, and well, a bit frightening. You want to make sure it is done right the first time and because most homeowners aren’t familiar with the process, the work is often put off until the following year.

This blog will outline and help homeowners understand the importance of a roofs condition during the winter season. It will also outline some potential problems that homeowners should be aware of and look out for.

 

Some projects can’t wait until Spring.

If you are thinking of delaying your roof repair or replacement until next spring, we always recommend doing it now to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

For example, a small water mark on your kitchen ceiling may seem small, but that water could be travelling across your home and slowly causing more damage in other areas. During the upcoming fall and winter months, these other weakened areas will begin to show signs of water damage as well. Inevitably, the more damage there is, the more expensive your spring project will be. So why not save yourself money and have some piece of mind in knowing your home is prepared for winter.

Replacing your roof before winter will help with numerous things:

  • Leaks: Prevents leaks from growing in size and causing damage to the interior of   your home
  • Energy Bills: A good quality roof will help trap the air and prevent heat from escaping. This will assist in reducing your heating and energy bills!
  • Winter conditions: Snow storms can do serious damage to your roof. Ensure it is in good shape to avoid any emergency repairs.

 

 

How can I tell if my shingles need to be replaced?

When you look at your roof from the ground, you can usually tell if any shingles are missing or have began to lift and curl. This is the most common sign that you should have your roof assessed. If you can see that much damage from the ground, there is usually more that you are unaware of.  Here are some warning signs that you need a new roof and other general red flags to look out for:

  • Missing Shingles: Be sure to repair any blown off shingles as this is the most common gateway for water into your home. Whether wind, wear and tare or animal damage is the cause, missing shingles should always be attended to as soon as possible.
  • Curling Shingles: As the years go by, shingles will slowly begin to deteriorate and curl when under direct sunlight. Depending on the position and location of your home, this may happen to one side of the roof faster than the other. Be sure to do a full walk around of your home when assessing the roof as some sides may appear in better condition than the others.
  • Missing Nails: While doing your own assessment, if you begin to find nails around the base of your home or in your eavestroughs, this means the shingles have began to deteriorate and are no longer strong enough to be held in place. The shingle will begin to crumble, eventually falling out from under the nail.
  • Shingle granules: During your regular eavestrough cleaning, if you begin to find pieces of shingles that have fallen from the roof and into your gutters, then they have begun to deteriorate.

 

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

 

Multiple layered shingles

Something our customers always ask is if they can put new shingles over the existing. The answer is yes! However, we do not recommend it for everyone. Shingles are relatively heavy material and they place a lot of weight on your roof. Depending on the age, construction and condition of your home, too much weight will begin to cause structural damage.

Make sure your roof has been inspected for damaged plywood and black mould underneath the first layer. Chances are that if you’ve ever found a leak, you’ll find one of these as well. You want to avoid these problems – especially if you’ve already installed and paid for a new layer. This is why we sometimes recommend having everything removed, inspected and then re-installed.

 

Beware the “fly-by-nighter”

The first and most important step is to do your research. Although it is very tempting, you don’t want to hire a “fly-by-nighter” just because they provided you with a fast, cheap quote. In most cases, the job is not done properly and only ensures the worker makes a quick buck. You are also more likely to find yourself paying for another repair in the upcoming months.

Be sure that anyone with the potential to work on your property is full licensed, insured and exudes professionalism. Have one of the top roofing companies in Toronto visit your home for a proper assessment. Schedule a day that works best for you, where you have time to sit down with the company and properly discuss their findings, recommendations and the quote provided. Be sure to ask questions about materials, warranty options, company history or anything you may be curious about. A professional will always take the time to thoroughly explain and make sure you are completely informed and comfortable with your decisions.

If you want to learn more about Professional Roofers or have any questions – just give us a call! We are always happy to visit the property and provide you with a free assessment and quote.

Clean Autumn Debris From Your Roof Before Winter Hits!  

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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. 

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.

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.     

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.    

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!  

Do Heating Cables Really Prevent Ice Dams?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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”