Signs Your Flat Roof May Need to Be Replaced

In certain situations, flat roofs are more advantageous than sloped roofs (i.e. when used on commercial buildings). Of course, like any roof, flat roofs may be prone to certain issues, including leaks and long periods of water retention, known as pooling. Pooling can damage and/or destroy a building’s structure as well as shorten the life of a roof, if it’s not addressed. Fortunately, your commercial roof will always give you signs when it’s having issues and needs to be replaced.

The Roof is Old

Generally, if a flat commercial roof and/or its material is nearing the end of its life, the roof should be replaced. Repairs are counterproductive and may lead to more problems for an old roof. Besides that, on an old roof, repair costs often exceed the cost of a replacement. If the cost of repair exceeds 20% of the cost of a replacement roof, the roof should definitely be replaced. Additionally, if the age of your flat roof is more than half the projected age of the material it’s made of, it should also be replaced. Commercial roofing pros, such as Crest Roofing & Co. will assess your roof and weigh its age against your repair or replacement options.

Rips and Tears

Flat roofs are sometimes made of materials that are prone to ripping and tearing. This often happens along seams in the roof or where two pieces of material meet. Slight tears are repairable, but extensive tears or rips call for a replacement. Numerous rips or tears can also indicate possible extensive damage in multiple areas. An inspection by a commercial roof repair company will show the full extent of the damage by uncovering all damaged areas.

Extensive Water Pooling

Water pooling is the biggest problem with flat roofs. However, excessive and/or regular pooling is a sign that your roof needs to be replaced. If this happens to your roof, call a roofing expert for an immediate replacement. Pooling can lead to leakage and massive amounts of water damage. Once your roof is replaced, invest in products that can heighten your roof’s pitch and prevent water pooling.

If you suspect that there are issues with your flat roof, give us a call and we’ll let you know whether a repair is all that’s needed or if a full replacement is required.

Preventing Commercial Roofing Disasters

Commercial buildings are more complicated than residential roofing and so the cost is usually higher for repairs and replacements.

Oftentimes, contractors bid for jobs at lower prices to compete for the contract, which can end up resulting in big losses for the customer.

Here’s a recent project gone wrong that highlights the importance of using a good roofing contractor!

Last year we urgently repaired a commercial building roof near Lloydminster AB, which was a job previously done by another company.

Usually it is not possible to save money from PVC mechanically fastened roof systems; however this particular contractor cut significant dollars at the cost of quality.

They pocketed money by not installing 5 ft. sheets of perimeter flashings on the outer roof edges and using ¼ of the fasteners required.

This resulted in serious wind damage. The high wind pressure lifted the roof up.

Also, reusing old metal caps on the edges that detached from the walls caused the roof to blow into the wind.

The minute the fasteners pulled out, the roof self destructed in minutes.

The roofing contractor got involved in a lawsuit to cover damages, a huge waste of time and money for the owner.

There are many similar horror stories, so beware of very low bidders!

This goes double for Alberta commercial roofing projects because we live in a very windy place.

We recommend you always consider at least 3 bids before assigning a contractor to your project.

The 9 Most Common Problems with Shingle Roofs

The condition of your roof is one of the most important aspects of home maintenance in Alberta. Your roof keeps you safe and comfortable in your home 24 hours 7 days a week.

That is why it is necessary to know what kind of shingle roof you have, its current condition, and how to take care of it.

Don’t wait until summer comes either. Just as the winter snow melts is the best time to assess your roof for any roofing problems. Our Edmonton roofing specialists are ready to provide you with excellent service and advice.

Our climate in Canada means we have to pay more attention to shingle roofs than in warmer countries. At Crest Roofing, we can help repair any kind of damage caused by high humidity, snow, rain, hail, or wind.

Let’s take a look at the 9 most common problems with shingle roofs:

1. Buckling Shingles

Buckling is the result of moisture getting under the shingle. If new shingles are laid without removing the old ones or when there is no proper ventilation, bucking will appear.

2. Damaged Flashing

Leaks are one of the first signs of damaged flashing that causes cracking or drying. You need to remove and replace the flashing and shingles around the damaged area as soon as possible.

An example of curling shingles.

An example of curling shingles.

3. Curling

There are many reasons that make your shingles curl. To understand the problem and get professional advice Edmonton roofing company Crest Roofing is ready to help.

4. Ceiling Spots

Ceiling spots tell that your roof leaks. Don’t ignore this as it can cause major damages and expenses.

5. Rotting

Rotting is a serious roofing problem caused by moisture absorption at the core of the shingle. A rotting roof can cause major leaks and is a sign that your roof’s integrity has been seriously compromised.

6. Missing Shingles

Missing shingles have to be replaced by a professional to ensure that the roof’s integrity remains intact and no leaking occurs. Our Edmonton shingle roof repairs company will examine your roof to ensure the integrity of the roof system.

7. Blistering

“Bubbling” is the problem that causes blistering and occurs just under the surface of the coloured granules. Shingles that have open blisters, where the asphalt becomes visible, are at greater risk of premature failure. Shingle blistering retains moisture in wet weather.

8. Missing Granules

Granules are the tiny ceramic-coated rock specks that cover the surface of asphalt or Fibreglass shingles. It is normal for granules to be loose, and for some of them to come off during installation or during the life of the shingle. However, if a noticeable number of granules are missing, exposing the shingle surface, they will need to be replaced.

9. Algae

Algae is a very common problem caused by airborne particles. It effects the colour of your roof, but may not be the reason for serious damage.

Take care of your shingle roof with Crest Roofing where we do inspections and preventative maintenance so you can enjoy your stay at home every day!


Flat Roof Major Leak Repair

Crest Roofing & Co’s Chris Fraser presents a residential flat roof major leak repair successfully done by Chris’ crew in Edmonton, Alberta.

Drain Replacement in Progress

Crest Roofing & Co’s Chris Fraser presents a drain replacement in progress from a roof in Edmonton, Alberta.


Which is the best membrane to install for my flat roof?

At Crest Roofing, we often get asked which roofing membrane is the best system to install.

Many years ago we used to give the customer only two choices: Tar and Gravel (T&G) or SBS (commonly known as Torch-On).

Over time new products have emerged to share the market. Today we can add PVC, TPO, EPDM, hot rubber type flood coats and spray foam type systems.

I am a firm believer that manufactures of certain roof systems should show proof that their product/products will in fact last the said 20 or 25 years they state. I don’t believe in weather room simulators.

Our Canadian weather is probably one of the harshest climates one will come across. We have extreme cold winters (-25 to -40) mixed with Chinooks that can go as high as (+10) all in 24 hours. This is very hard on membranes of any kind.

Snow melting, turning to ice, and continually repeating the cycle is hard on your membrane as well. Ice is always pushing and prying. Summers can get as hot as plus 37° degrees Celsius, and very dry!

I am a Tar and Gravel/SBS guy from way back. Some of these T&G roofs can last up to 35 or 40 years with a good installation and preventative maintenance. To say all T&G roofs will last this long is a far stretch. I am just stating what I have come across in my 30+ years of experience.

SBS was introduced to the Edmonton Roofing Companies in the mid 1970’s through pool construction. A manufacturer called Soprema was making this product in a place called Strasbourg, France, and soon opened up a plant in Quebec, Canada.

I was trained to install this product around 1983. This product took a while to catch on, but by the mid 1990s it became very popular. Roofing inspectors loved this new roofing system, and soon convinced school boards, government, and commercial property owners that this was the way of the future.

So, tar and gravel took a backseat. Other manufacturers followed this trend; IKO has been making a very good equivalent product with equal warranty. The end result is both manufacturers back and support their products to very strict architectural standards.

Today, both SBS and Tar and Gravel for Edmonton roofing seem to be holding up well to the Canadian climates. The proof is in the pudding. T&G is a little tougher to find leaks and repair. One has to be a very experienced and a qualified roofing installer to be successful at T&G repairs.

SBS on the other hand, makes it easy to see the deficiencies as it is not covered in gravel. Simply spot the ridge, bridging, blister or hole, cut out the affected spot, prime with an asphalt-based primer and re-torch one or two plies of same product.

Other new products that have come out in the last 20 years stating that their product is better are up for a little criticism. As an experienced Edmonton roofing contractor, and most would agree, I feel that the jury is still out on some of these other products.

Each membrane has its purpose in the Edmonton roofing industry.

Big open warehouses with little equipment on the roof are more suited for an EPDM system.

Sun decks with living space underneath, a good quality PVC or SBS will do. Sarnafil Canada installed their system on the old Maple Leaf Gardens, the Blue Jay’s Skydome, and the Saddle Dome in Calgary. They make specialized deck membranes as well.

One product our company uses for EPDM is Firestone, a company that’s been around a very long time. TPO is a single ply membrane; it is a combination of rubber and PVC. I won’t throw this membrane under the bus, as I feel manufacturers have put a lot of effort into making this product competitive. Inspectors and architects have been pushing this product as well, so a good qualified installer should be able to make this product perform!

As roofing experts in Edmonton, we generally look at every roof to see what product will suit you best. So Google away and consult with a reputable roofing company or an accredited roofing inspector for more information.

Don’t forget to ask roofing companies for proper credentials, like liability insurance (open flame, if SBS or T&G) and WCB.


Is there black mold on your Edmonton roof?

Today’s biggest concern among roofing contractors in Edmonton is black mold on your roof.

With health being a number one priority in everyone’s life, it really is a serious issue. With flat roofs (Tar & gravel), there is a higher risk of black mold being present, whether in the walls or in the insulation. If your home was not built correctly right from the beginning with proper venting, then you need an expert to inspect your house as soon as possible.

In our experience it seems that half the houses designed with flat roofs in Edmonton, most from over 30 years ago, were vented incorrectly. Houses vented correctly usually have a continuous aluminum ridge vent running along the whole length of the peak. With this continuous vent is also a vented soffit. This being said, if you have a split or a hole on the roof, a professional roofing contractor will simply patch the roof, and if properly vented everything will dry up soon in a natural state.

Roofs that aren’t properly vented will end up trapping moisture and hence will turn into black mold. I am not an expert on black mold, but a proper building inspector or in particular a flat roof inspector should be able to give you the correct advice. Any credible roofing contractor in Edmonton should be able to work with a qualified inspector, bearing in mind that there are roofing contractors that won’t work with any roofing inspectors.

My best personal advice about a roofing contractor that won’t work with a qualified inspector is to take this as a red flag. We are here to correct, fix, and give you the proper service that you are paying for. That being said, I don’t want to scare or panic anyone just because a leak has developed.

In over the 30 years of roofing experience, I find it is usually the roofs that have been ignored for lack of maintenance that pose the most risk.

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