Ontario's Premier Fabricator
and Installer of Metal Roofing

Roofing warranties

“Lifetime” shingles and other common myths

By Doug Kerr

Residential roof warranties can be confusing, and there is some basic information that homeowners need to know – and questions to ask a contractor – before committing to one of the largest renovation expenditures.

Warranties can be complex, as well as misleading. Installing “30-year shingles” on your roof does not necessarily mean your roof will be replaced or even repaired if there is a problem, even if something happens within as little as 10 years.

Once you understand how roofing warranties actually work, you won’t get caught up in a sales pitch about warranties and end up not receiving the coverage you believe you paid for.

There are two parts to the warranty: the materials warranty, which is supplied by the manufacturer, and the labour warranty, which is provided by the installation contractor.
Materials warranty

Most manufacturers only warranty the product, not the installation. This means that if their product does not perform as it is supposed to, and the manufacturer has determined that it was a materials defect and therefore covered by its warranty, it can do one of two things:

1. Replace the shingles: In this case, the manufacturer will back its truck up to your house and drop off new shingles. It will be up to you to install them. If you have chosen your roofing contractor well, and he is still in business 10 years after your roof was installed and he has given a long labour warranty, you may be able to convince him to come back and install the shingles at no charge to you.

2. Payout: Some manufacturers’ warranties don’t replace the shingles, but will pay you money instead. This sounds good until you discover that the amount is pro-rated, which means it decreases proportionally over time. The usual procedure is for the manufacturer to pay the full amount for five years and then prorate amounts after that. This means that if your 30-year roof fails in 15 years, the company may pay you 30 per cent of what you originally paid for the shingles. The price it pays out will probably not be adjusted for inflation.

Even “lifetime warranties” are pro-rated and may not be of much value in 15 to 20 years.

The last bit of bad news about warranties is that most are “performance-based,” which means the definition is based on whether the shingle stands up and performs the way it is supposed to perform. The majority of manufacturers base their warranties on “water infiltration.” So even if the shingle falls apart, the warranty does not apply. It only applies if there is a manufacturing defect and the roof leaks. This means that if all the granules or other protective coverage washes off your shingles, or if they curl and fade, but no water gets into the home, then you don’t have a valid warranty claim.
Labour warranty

Here are some key questions to ask your roofing contractor.

  • Does the contractor automatically give you a labour warranty in writing with the quote?
  • How long is the warranty for?
  • Does the warranty cover installing new shingles, if there is manufacturing defect?
  • Will the contractor come back in eight or 10 years and install new shingles at no cost to you, even if it is the manufacturer’s shingle that breaks down?

If the roofing contractor can’t answer these questions, it’s an indication that he or she probably don’t have a standard warranty policy.

You should, therefore, choose a roofing installation company that provides a labour warranty and choose a company you believe will likely to be in business at least 10 years from now.
Good news

There are excellent roofing contractors and some very good manufacturers’ warranties. Here are some suggestions to help you make the right decision.

  • Find out if the manufacturer’s warranty includes installation cost or just the cost of materials.
  • Determine if the warranty value is based on the original purchase price or on today’s replacement cost.
  • Find out if the materials warranty is performance-based or based only on water infiltration.

A performance-based warranty will provide more extensive protection.

Also, keep in mind that if the installers don’t install the roofing materials as per the manufacturer’s specifications, the manufacturer will void the materials warranty. Some sources for reliable roofing contractors include the Better Business Bureau, the Roofing Contractors Association of British Columbia and RenoMark renovators who are members of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association.

Doug Kerr is president of Absolute Roof Solutions and president of Kerr Construction Ltd. in Vancouver. He can be reached at
604-263-0334. www.absoluteroof.ca

Originally published on Home Makeover, August 2009:

Metal Roofing Has Never Been So Affordable

The Hamilton Spectator Business Profile of London Eco-Roof Manufacturing Inc.

Lower prices for metal roofing are here to stay, thanks to London Eco-Roof Manufacturing Inc.

Joe Malec, president of the young firm, says it is a myth that metal roofing systems are only for the super-rich. He says lower prices are key at London Eco-Roof because everyone should be able to afford their own metal roof.

In the past, metal roofing has been viewed as a high-end product only for the few, but he says London Eco-Roof has changed that.

“Our mission is to provide the product to average-earning families,” he insists. “We want to provide the product to normal folks like you and I, and since the last article we have added significantly to our collection of very satisfied clients!”

The first thing prospective customers say to the firm’s sales managers is they are surprised by the economical price being offered.

Metal tile panels are a graceful and durable roofing material, suitable for most pitched roof applications. They combine the traditional look with the latest technology and can be used on residential and commercial buildings, and for replacing old roofs. The tile panels have several protective layers to ensure durability.

It is one of the most lightweight roofing materials available, which is an advantage because it does not require a heavy roof support structure.

One common misconception about metal roofs is that they are noisy inside the home. Tue to the underlying membrane, the double cross-strapping, and the many folds and curves in the metal; not to mention the existing decking, attic insulation and ceiling, they are in fact quieter, and our customers testify to this.

“Our roofs are more complicated to install and time-consuming, but far more durable, secure, and long-lasting,” Malec says. “Forty percent of our work is carpentry to ensure a solid structural base. I would not be surprised if our roof lasted one hundred years, and maybe after 50 years or so, you might paint or treat it to bring back to its original lustre.”

The product is designed to be a permanent roof, not a temporary cover. “Yes put it on once, and on average, it will last longer than we live,” says Malec.

When you invest in a metal roof, he says neighbours will be more aware of the care you take of your home and the importance of making it a more energy-efficient residence.

In most cases, the metal roof increases the resale value of your home by as much as 5 to 7%. The product also comes with a warranty that can be transferred to the new homeowner, which gives you and future owners peace of mind.

In addition, you are going to achieve more savings by applying metal roofing. You will reduce the heat generated through the roof from the sun’s UV rays being absorbed, thereby providing more livable space on your second floor. It means, in summer, your home is cooler by 3-4 degrees, requiring your air conditioner to run up to 25% less often.

Customers in the Greater Hamilton Area and across the province offer high prise for London Eco-Roof, as well. “Our satisfaction rate is approximately 97%,” he says. “There is a large portion of our customers who are ecstatic and they can’t say enough. They didn’t expect it would look so great! It is overwhelming how we change the way your home looks – and performs.”

If you are looking for metal roof, you owe it to yourself to give London Eco-Roof a call and find out how and why the product is more economical than you may have thought. For more details, call toll-free to 1.855.838.9393 or call Cliff the local (Hamilton) sales manager directly at 905.719.9520.

Hamilton Spectator Business ProfileYou can also go to our main web site: www.londonecoroof.com.

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.




Types of metal roofing article

As the popularity of metal roofing grows in Ontario, you will find a larger selection of products from which you can choose. Far from the corrugated metal used for commercial and agricultural roofs, metal roofing is now available in a range of styles, colors and even a variety of metals of which aluminum and steel are the most popular.

Read the full article on Aurora Shop Talk Blog.

London Eco-Roof Manufacturing Profile on Aurora Shop Talk

The roof is an important part of your home, serving both a practical and an aesthetic  purpose. A quality roof product that is installed properly protects your home from varying weather conditions and adds to the beauty of your home.

View our profile and featured videos at Aurora Shop Talk.