Cool Roofing in Canadian Climates

It is theorized that dark-coloured roofs can contribute to the urban heat island effect (the temperature in cities is higher than the surrounding unpopulated areas). This theory, based on satellite temperature sensing observations and computer models, suggests that if homeowners replaced their dark shingles or other roof coverings with lighter coloured (more reflective) products, the overall ambient temperature will be reduced, enabling lower cooling costs in the warm summer months. Some reflective roofing products have been listed as “Energy Star qualified”, a program that makes it easy for consumers to identify and purchase energy-efficient products.

Read full article on Canadian Asphalt Shingle Manufacturers’ Association website or view PDF file CASMA_Technical_Bulletin_No_31_-_COOL_ROOFING_IN_CANADIAN_CLIMATES.

© Canadian Asphalt Shingle Manufacturers’ Association

Metal Roofing for the Do-It-Yourselfer!

When most people think metal roofing, they conjure up images of big red barns on a farm somewhere outside of town with a plain steel roof; well not anymore!  In the last few years metal roofing has gained ground in residential applications and now, even you can easily install your very own, unique metal roof from London Eco-Roof Manufacturing.

The London based company has been growing exponentially in the market of affordable residential roofing.  London Eco-Roof Manufacturing started out with only one profile and a few different colours; now they offer five different profiles in a variety colours.  Their 55 year warranty and high quality Canadian steel is what sets them apart from the competition.  One of their newest profiles is the Eco Tile – the metal roofing panel designed for the do-it-yourselfer or contractor.  This easy to install metal panel is cut to smaller, more manageable sizes, and is easily installed, even by one person.

The Eco Tile by London Eco-Roof has an “exclusive ceramic tile” look – something much different than what you would normally see in your average Canadian neighbourhood.  This solid product has been specifically designed for durability, corrosion resistance and easy installation.

eco-tile

The profiled peaks, low bottom waves and high folds make for a very rigid structure while still allowing for airflow under the panel.  Each panel is designed with a special lip on the front edge that prevents panels from scratching one another; it also allows for free drainage of water which increases resistance to corrosion and protects from precipitation lingering on the panel.

Special hollows along the edge make for invisible joints as panels are overlapped.  Each panel is the same size and shape, making installation a breeze without having to unpack all panels.  The large coverage area of each panel means your new durable, safe and reliable roof will be up in no time.

Forget about “traditional asphalt shingles” – metal roofing is the new “traditional”.  Why waste money again on asphalt shingles? You can install a London Eco-Roof metal roof for close to the same price and get many more years out of it. Choosing a metal roof shows that you are a responsible homeowner who cares about the environment and who also wants the best for the house that you call home.  Call London Eco-Roof today and find out just how affordable it is to own your home’s last roof.

DIY Home Inspections – What to check first!

You’re out shopping for a new home, or perhaps an investment property and you finally find “the one” – here are some things you may want to check in order to avoid buying a money pit.  These points are just meant to be used as guidelines, always enlist a professional for your home inspection.

1. The Roof

Shingles will always be a cheaper and a less environmentally friendly way of covering up the roof; however you don’t want to buy a home and then have to spend another fortune putting on a new roof.  So consider this – today the most common type of roofing shingle is the fiberglass shingle.  Fiberglass shingles are composed of a woven fiberglass mat that is covered in a coating of asphalt and sprinkled with ceramic granules to protect the asphalt from UV rays.  Thanks to our Canadian climate, the granules soon will come off and litter your eaves troughs, exposing the asphalt to the sun.  This causes the shingle to start curling and cracking, creating the possibility for leaks and the need to reroof – again.

Since most houses in the same area get their roof replaced around the same time, take a look at the other homes in the area. If they have newer roofs and yours looks older, that means that most likely it will be time to replace the roof.  Negotiate the cost of a new roof into the selling price of the home and consider getting a permanent metal roof.  Metal roofs will last a lifetime, are more environmentally friendly and often have a much better warranty.  To find out how much a metal roof will cost you, click here.

2. Windows and Doors

With years of opening and closing, windows and doors definitely wear out.  Inspect them to find out if you will need to replace them or not.  If you have a hard time opening or closing them, that is a sure sign it’s time for new ones.   This is especially true for wooden windows; after being exposed to moisture and the elements for decades, they become warped.

This can allow air to pass through the loose sashes and the corners of the frame.  Check all around the frame and the sashes for air flow.  Make sure to also check for any condensation within the window itself, between the glass panes.   This indicates that there is a loose seal which allows moisture to enter the window – thus making the window ineffective at creating a barrier to cold air.

3. Hot Water Heater Tank

If you live in Ontario, chances are it’s a rental – you’re all set.  If it needs to be replaced or serviced, that’s just a phone call away.  If you own the unit, it will likely last around 10 to 15 years with good maintenance.  Check the water tank for any stickers that indicate maintenance has been recently completed on the tank.  Proper maintenance can increase the life of the tank by up to 5 years.  By draining the tank every now and then it helps eliminate hard water buildups at the bottom, gets rid of any sand that may have made its way in and in return, increases the life of the tank.

4. Furnace

Your basic gas furnace will run for about 20 years, maybe even 25-30 years if it was properly maintained.  Check the stickers or tags here too, this will let you know when it was last serviced or cleaned, if ever.  A furnace is made of metal, and metal that is heated and cooled over and over will contract and expand.  With many years of expansion and contraction, cracks in the steel are possible.  This is very important as cracks within the unit can lead to gas leaks, like carbon monoxide.  This can be very dangerous and that’s why proper maintenance is crucial.  Always make sure to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home!

If the home you’re looking at has an older furnace upwards of 20 years, you should definitely negotiate a change in the price of the home so that you can purchase a new one.  Keep in mind that a newer more efficient furnace will also help lower your heating bill.

5. Electrical Wiring

Most homes built the after the 1980’s will have copper wiring, be sure to check the year the house was built and verify if it has aluminum or copper wiring.  Aluminum wiring was used between the 1950’s and 1970’s because the price of copper was so high.  This type of wiring can begin to fail over time due to expansion and contraction as well as oxidization, which can result in overheating of the wire.

If you decide to go ahead with the purchase of a home that doesn’t have copper wiring (either has aluminum or knob and tube),keep in mind the cost of rewiring can be upwards of $10,000 depending on the home.  In most cases the drywall will have to be removed and replaced.

6. Plumbing

The most common types of piping used in homes today are copper, PVC, ABS and CPVC.  However prior to the 1960’s cast iron waste water pipes were used, although they can last up to 100 years, the problem is that they begin to rust from the inside out.  This means that flakes of rust will eventually break loose and clog the pipe.   Without proper maintenance, these pipes will rot out and collapse.  Prior to the 1980’s lead piping was used in homes throughout North America.  Not only was this not the best option for drinking water, it ultimately would rot out just like the cast iron pipes and need to be replaced.  Check what kind of piping your home has, if you have to replace them – negotiate that into the sale price of the home.  If the home is over 60 years old, chances are you will be replacing piping.

12 Upkeep Ideas To Add Curb Appeal

Well, summer’s still here and it’s time to think about getting some repairs in while the temperatures are still agreeable. Keeping your home in tip-top shape not only adds to its curb appeal but it saves you money as you ward off more expensive fixes down the road.

Read the full article here and contact us if you require roofing job.

Eco-Roof Express – Metal roofs for everyone

Enterprise Profile

When we began offering the same quality, with lots of colour and texture selection, it was very popular among homeowners and contractors. And once they replaced the roof on their house, they came back looking for material to do a shed, gazebo or maybe a cottage.

Almost from the day Joe and Derek Malec opened London Eco-Roof, customers began asking them if they could buy material directly from them for smaller roofing and renovation jobs.

Beginning Monday (September 24, 2012), after two years of planning and preparation, they can finally say: “Yes.”

Monday Malec opens Eco-Roof Express, a retail store at 1682 Dundas Street East, where homeowners, contractors and anyone else can buy material to install metal roofs.

“We’ve had so many customers who wanted to buy directly from us for their projects, and now we have a place where they can see all our products on display and purchase everything they need for their project,” Malec says.

London Eco-Roof has made a huge impact on the local roofing business in the last two years by offering durable, stylish metal roofs at affordable prices. Guaranteed for 50 years, they are a great alternative to traditional shingles that typically wear out after 7 -12 years.

“Metal roofs are a great solution, but they also are more expensive,” Malec says. “When we began offering the same quality, with lots of colour and texture selection, it was very popular among homeowners and contractors. And once they replaced the roof on their house, they came back looking for material to do a shed, gazebo or maybe a cottage.”

“We weren’t set up to sell material directly to people for those kinds of projects, but now we are at our Eco-Roof Express location.”

The new store will sell a variety of metal roofing material, including a 29-gauge version that sells for only 92 cents per square foot. It’s ideal for small projects like sheds and garages. It comes in fewer colours but comes with the same 50-year warranty as the thicker material used on house roofs.

In addition to the metal sheeting, the new store will sell all the material and tools needed to do the job, everything from screws to snips, nibblers to drills, not to mention instructional videos, brochures and work sheets.

Because so many roofing projects include skylights, the new store will also sell a wide variety of skylights and related materials. SolaTube skylights are particularly popular because they take light from a convenient location outside and direct it to any room, through a fixture that looks just like a pot light, in 10 or 14 inch sizes.

“Skylights can be a lot of work but these SolaTubes deliver all the light you want and are much easier to install and maintain,” Malec says.

All this week, the new store will feature opening week deals and prizes, including a draw for a barbecue. It will be open from 9-5 weekdays and 9-2 Saturday.

If demand for the new store is what Malec expects, he plans to take the concept to the other cities across Ontario.

“Metal roofs make so much sense, and now we can give our customers exactly what they want, selling directly to them, “ he says. “We’re looking forward to serving our customers with this new concept.”

Eco-Roof Express
1682 Dundas Street East
Toll Free: 1-855-838-9393
www.ecoroofexpress.com (look for improved website coming this fall)

Originally published in The London Free Press, Home section on Saturday, September 22, 2012.

Ventilation key to proper insulation

A CLOSER LOOK: Without appropriate air flow, moisture buildup in an insulated attic may lead to mould and premature failure of roof decking and framing.

Rob Parker, Special to QMI Agency
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Posted with the permission of the author. Originally published in The London Free Press, Saturday, September 22, 2012.

One of the most effective ways to save on heating and cooling costs is to ensure your attic is properly insulated and vented. A well-insulated and vented attic will not only save you money, but will also prolong the life of your roof. With winter just around the corner, now is the time to check the state of insulation in your attic.

Just adding insulation to the attic is not enough. You must have the proper air flow to control moisture and heat buildup with proper ventilation. Moisture buildup in the attic will cause mould to grow on the wood surfaces, and lead to premature failure of the roof decking and framing. Heat buildup will lead to premature failure of the roof shingles.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., the attic should be vented at a ratio of at least one to three, which means for every 300 square feet of attic space there should be one square foot of roof and soffit venting installed.

More is always better, and you need both roof and soffit vents for proper ventilation. These vents can, in most cases, be easily added. Bathroom and kitchen fans should never be vented into the attic as they will force warm moist air into the attic that can lead to mould growth or even wood rot. These vents need to exhaust to the exterior of the building either through a roof-mounted vent hood or a wall vent similar to a dryer vent.

Before adding insulation, make sure you check for and repair any roof leaks, as water will ruin the new insulation. When adding insulation to your attic, makes sure you don’t block the soffit vents. Soffit vents are those vents on the underside of the roof overhang.

Soffit vent strips should be installed before insulation is added to prevent the vents from becoming blocked. If your home has little or no roof overhang, consider installing gable-end vents to improve ventilation. A power roof-mounted attic fan is another option.

What type of insulation should you use? Blown or loose fill, either cellulose or fibreglass, are the most common materials used to insulate residential attics and are the ones most commonly installed in new homes; however, bat insulation is what most home owners will use when doing it themselves.

How much insulation does your house need? Today’s standard is R50, or about 37.5 cm (15 inches). The insulation should be continuous and at a consistent level. You must be sure you have completed all the work/repairs you needed to do before adding the insulation. Once the insulation has been added, any walking or crawling on the insulation will compact it and lower its R value. Do not store personal property in the attic as this will also compact the insulation and could possibly block air flow.

R values and their metric equivalent, RSI values, are a way of labelling the effectiveness of insulating materials. Insulation products sold in Canada are labeled with R and RSI values. The higher the R or RSI value, the more the material is resistant to heat movement. Provincial building codes specify minimum values for new construction.

Rob Parker is a registered home inspector with the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors and certified master inspector with the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors who does home inspections in the London area.

Call him at ThamesSpec Home Inspection Service at 519-857-7101, e-mail thamespec@rogers.com or visit www.thamespec-inspections.com.