flat roof sbs system

Flat Roof Fires: Beware Shady Roofing Companies that Lack Proper Insurance!

Roofing is one of the most dangerous jobs in Canada. On the Globe and Mail’s list of The Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs, roofing comes in fourth place under pilots, fisheries workers, and loggers. It’s a dangerous occupation because of the risk of falling from great heights and heat stroke. Heat stroke is incredibly common when you’re up on a roof, totally exposed to the hot summer sun.

Using Fire with Tar and Gravel Roof Application

But there’s another danger we’re going to tell you about today that you might not be aware of: The risk of fire. Any time someone works with tar on a roof, like with tar and gravel roofs and SBS membrane roofing systems, they’re going to be using fire.

With a tar and gravel roof we use a big kettlev that sits on wheels and has a lid. The kettle has burners that blow flames into hollow tubes that sit underneath the steel hood. Those tubes heat up the tar so that we can apply it to a roof.

The risk of fire isn’t very high when we use a kettle. Tar and gravel applications are actually very safe because there is no open flame.

Using Fire with Flat Roof SBS Membrane Roofing Application

On the other hand, applying Torch-On SBS roofing comes with a high fire risk because we use torches to weld the plies together.

With torches, we heat up the underside of the SBS membrane, which melts it and heat welds the layers together. Below is an example of what that looks like.

If a roofer makes even a slight mistake, he could start a fire. Old buildings, Insulation, small spaces that heat up quickly, and fiberboard are all flammable parts of your roof.

Every year there are roof fires that were caused by roofers, like this one in Edmonton that caused $800,000 worth of damages.  If your roof is done right, by trained roofing professionals like us, you won’t need to worry about a roof fire.

You can see the SBS roofing installation process in our video below:

How We Minimize the Risk of Fire on our Roofing Jobs

The risk of fire shouldn’t deter you from using SBS roofing material. SBS membrane roofing systems offer are very popular and offer a lot of benefits:

  • Heat-welded seams make your roof waterproof
  • Quick installation
  • Life expectancy of 20+ years
  • Lightweight
  • Great insulating abilities

As for the risk of fire, there are a few things we do to make sure you don’t have to worry.

  1. Our roofers are trained in the application of torch-on roofing.
  2. We have fire extinguishers on the roof so that if a fire starts, we can put it out immediately.
  3. Fire watch: We monitor your roof for heat spots for an hour after we finish working.
  4. Most importantly, we have insurance to cover damages in the event of a fire.

Roofing Companies May Tell You They’re Covered, but They Might be Lying!

Fire insurance is very expensive and many fly-by-night roofing companies will say that they are insured and give you a low quote just to get your business. When a fire happens and it turns out they have no coverage, you’re out of luck.

Make sure your contractor has the right insurance when doing flat roof applications. Ask for proof of fire insurance, especially if someone gives you a really low quote.

When we give you a quote, our liability insurance policy is written on it. If you have any questions or doubts about our coverage, you can check it out yourself.

Don’t let the risks deter you from installing SBS roofing, just be aware of them. Crest Roofing uses the best materials and we guarantee that you will be happy with our work. Give us a call at 587-409-2972 or get in contact with us and we’ll be happy to help you with your roof.

We do installations, re-roofing, roof repair, eavestrough work, snow removal, and emergency roof service.

We’re in over your head, so you don’t have to be!

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  1. […] risk: Every year there are roofs that go up in flames because of careless roofers. With tar and gravel application, there is a giant kettle full of molten tar. If the kettle is too […]

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