Roofing Calgary

Sunwest Answers All of Your Roofing FAQ

How long would it take to replace my roof?

Multiple factors determine the length of a job. Replacing a roof could take 6 hours to 2 days – we won’t know until we take a look at your home. One thing we can guarantee, however, is that we focus on one job at a time. We will complete your roof before starting other tasks, so we shouldn’t be in your way very long.

What are the different types of roofing materials?

Asphalt, tile and slate, wood shakes, metal and concrete are all roofing options for Calgary homeowners.

What is the least expensive roofing material?

Asphalt is the least expensive roofing material.

What is the best roofing material?

It is difficult to determine a single “best” roofing material. All materials have their benefits for different climates, budgets and aesthetics.

How long does asphalt roofing last?

Considering asphalt’s lower price, its lifespan is typically shorter than other materials. However, with quality asphalt shingles and quality installation, an asphalt roof can last 30-50 years.

What are the most common asphalt shingle product and test standards?

In Canada, asphalt shingles must meet a variety of standards set by the Canadian Asphalt Shingle Manufacturer’s Association. Tests include minimum fire-resistance, wind-resistance, and material quality.

What is the best asphalt to use?

The best asphalt shingles on the market that we offer is Malarkey Legacy. These shingles have a class 4 hail-resistence rating.

What are the different types of asphalt shingles?

Laminated shingles: Known for their added durability and desirable wooden look, laminated shingles are a great choice for property owners looking for a little extra support, without breaking their budget. Laminated shingles are essentially double shingles, as two are attached to create each one.

Why should I use an asphalt shingle underlayment?

Underlayments create added protection from moisture on asphalt roofs during the installation process, as well as added fire-resistance.

What is a roof deck?

The roof deck acts as the foundation of your roof. It is built on top of your roof trusses, but below the membrane, underlayment and shingles. Roof decks are typically constructed from plywood, so they can become damaged over time. Proper roof deck maintenance is important to your roof’s life expectancy.

What are some common problems with asphalt roofing?

Common asphalt shingle problems include: premature cracking, bubbling from sun damage, and damage to the outer decorative layer. For flat asphalt roofing, failed seams, buckled membranes, and cracks can occur. Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent these problems.

How do I ensure proper performance in cold climates from shingles?

Asphalt shingles become brittle in weather lower than 5 degrees Celsius. To prevent damage during winter installations, roofers must be extremely cautious. For homeowners with asphalt roofing in colder climates, extra caution in terms of maintenance is also necessary. Homeowners can prevent damage by removing snow quickly and carefully.

How do I reduce the chance of buckling shingles?

Shingles buckle when the underlayment of a roof shifts and wrinkles. Asphalt shingles cannot lay flat if the underlayment is warped. Warping of the underlayment is caused by high humidity in the summer months, moisture trapped during instalment, improper ventilation, or expansion and contraction throughout the seasons. Buckling can be prevented through proper installation of quality materials that are dry upon installation. Asphalt-saturated felt underlayment also decrease the chance of buckling.

What is the lifespan of a Cedar Shake Roof?

While the lifespan of any roof depends on factors such as the quality of the installation, the amount of traffic on your roof, and the environment, properly cared for wooden shingles and shakes can last much longer than their cheaper counterparts. A premium cedar shake roof typically lasts 15-30 years.

What are the benefits of rubber shingles?

Rubber shingles are the newer, eco-friendly, more durable and more attractive version of roofing materials. They are more durable to their environment, as well as cracking, mould, and moisture. The variety of colours and textures available adds to their desirability for homeowners. The price is only slightly higher than traditional asphalt shingles.

What are some common problems with rubber roofing?

Not many people know that rubber roofing installation requires extra training in order to achieve satisfactory results. Improperly installed rubber roofing will result in immediate leaks.

What are the benefits of metal roofing?

The biggest benefit to a metal roof is the low maintenance and extended lifespan. While metal roofing is typically much more expensive, it’s likely that you will never need to replace or repair it. Metal roofing withstands harsh weather, and is aesthetically pleasing for a variety of homes. Metal roofing is a great choice for Alberta’s climate.

What are the benefits of concrete and clay tile roofs?

Roofs made from clay, concrete or ceramic tiles are known for the characteristic look and extreme strength. Given proper installation, including underlayments and proper water-resistant systems, these roofs can have a lifespan of 50 years. Clay tiles withstand heat, rot and insects better than any other material, therefore are typical of warmer climates. Concrete roofing offers great fire and insect protection.

Does metal roofing rust?

Quality metal roofing is covered with an anti-corrosion coating to increase the lifespan of the materials. Some roofing contractors cut corners by using less-than-average metal, but an anti-corrosion coating. Only quality materials can withstand wear and tear like rust.

Is it important to have the same roofing material on both my house and garage?

Your garage and house do not need to match – this is purely for aesthetics. However, proper maintenance is much easier to upkeep when your entire home has a uniform roof. Contractors can perform uniform quality checks when all areas were installed at the same time as well.

How do I know if my fascia and soffit needs to be redone?

We put a lot of strain on our fascia. These boards are situated in a vulnerable position, and often bear the weight of gutters. While homeowners can choose decay-resistant materials to build the fascia, they often rot as they age. Peeling paint and leaking gutters are also signs of necessary fascia and soffit repairs.

Why is my fascia and soffit important?

The soffit protects the “corners” of your house from the outside elements. Soffit is the material that joins the side of your house to the lip of your roof. It blocks high winds from blowing water into your house. The soffit also helps with ventilation.

Will I have to hire someone else to do the fascia and soffit, or will you take care of it?

We will repair your fascia after your roof installation is complete.

What are the different materials available for my soffit and fascia?

Typical materials used for the soffit and fascia of most homes are wood or aluminum. However, synthetic and composite materials are becoming increasingly popular. Materials such as vinyl, or eco-friendly recycled products are making their appearance on the fascia and soffit market.

Do I need to be home while you are working on my house?

It’s up to the homeowner. Some people prefer to stay nearby, but some like to get away. We can guarantee great results regardless!

How can I reduce the chance of colour shading?

Regular maintenance is the best way to keep your roof looking fresh. Especially with metal roofing, the top coating wears away from the sun. Luckily, well maintained roofing can be repainted, or recoated with protective layers to keep your roof looking great for years.

What are green roofs?

A green roof is different from a cool roof. Green roofs have actually been covered in a layer of growing, living greenery. Many places with mild climates are adopting this style of roof with the hopes of counteracting the environmental damage cities cause.

What makes my roof deteriorate?

Unfortunately, Calgary’s unpredictable weather causes many roofs to deteriorate. Rain, snow, hail, sun, and wind are all factors determining your roof’s lifespan. Overgrown trees, and moss and algae buildups are also negative factors. If damages are caught quickly through regular roof inspections, you can maintain the predicted lifespan of your roof.

Why are there dark streaks on my roof?

On the areas of your roof that receive less sunlight, watch for dark streaks. These streaks are usually algae growth from moisture buildup. Homeowners can clean these themselves if they are very careful. However, it’s better if you let us do it!

I only have a small patch of damage. Can a roofing contractor patch that area without replacing the whole roof?

Of course we can repair small patches! However, we will inspect your entire roof before we begin any repairs. Homeowners commonly believe that they only have a small problem area, but roofing contractors know how to look for larger connecting problems.

I found a leak. Do I need to replace my entire roof?

We will send an inspector to your home to determine the size of the damage caused by the leak. The necessary repairs are purely situational. While you may only see one leaky area, other areas could be at risk.

Is an overlay a good option?

While overlays seem to be a good idea when homeowners only look at the price tag, it could actually create more problems in the future. An overlay is essentially a new roof built on top of your existing, worn roof. Aside from not producing an aesthetically pleasing result, overlays hinder proper ventilation, and your new roof probably won’t be applied properly over the old, dirty layer. An overlay will actually void the warranty of your shingles.

How often should I have my roof inspected?

You should hire a contractor to inspect your roof once every five years. Spring and fall are great times to inspect, after the harsher summer and winter weathers make their mark.

What do roof inspectors look for?

Roofers typically first look for internal signs of roof damage and check the ceiling and dry wall for staining. Once they are onto the roof itself, they look for missing shingles, chimney damage, broken shakes, broken seams, and general wear and tear. Last, inspectors check for gutter damage, buildup or warping.

What do I need to know about ventilation?

Ventilation is a key factor to maintaining your manufacturer’s warranty for most types of shingles. Proper ventilation allows for hot air to escape in the summer months, and decreases your risk of leaks, bubbles, warping, rot, and other typical roof damages.

Can you repair my roof any time of year, or do I have to wait until the summer?

Our highly trained team of professionals knows how to complete any repair or replacement job, no matter the weather. Trained roofers can give you quality results in even colder weather.

What happens if it rains while they are installing my roof?

Most roofers first install an underlayment to protect your roof from damage during the installation process. This underlayment deflects moisture in case of rain, so your roof can still be applied properly.

What is ice damming?

Ice damming is damaging to your home. In colder weathers, a wall of ice can build up along the edge of you roof, preventing melting snow from draining. The water leaks into your house, damaging the walls and ceilings along the way.

Can ice damming happen if I don't have gutters?

Yes, ice damming can occur even if your home does not have gutters. Ice damming is caused by irregular temperatures on the surface of a roof, allowing water to flow and freeze quickly in different areas. The best way to prevent ice damming is by maintaining uniform surface temperatures. Homeowners can achieve this by preventing heat loss from inside their homes. Proper insulation, and quick snow removal are two great ways to prevent heat loss. Ventilation also helps prevent ice damming.

What warranties should I look for?

With roof installations and repairs, there are typically two types of warrantees attached: manufacturing defects, or workmanship errors. It’s usually best to find a roofing contractor that won’t just send you to the manufacturer after they complete the repairs.

What should I look for in a roofing contractor?

When choosing your contractor, always check to see if they have WCB and liability insurance. Also ask if they take photos during the initial assessment. Ask to see photos of the problem areas, as well as photos of the results. This is one way to ensure you’re buying only what you need.

According to the BBB, what are the biggest complaints about roofing contractors?

Many unhappy homeowners have problems with illegitimate roofing contractors in terms of poor quality materials, poor craftsmanship, and unfulfilled warranties. When hiring a roofing contractor, it is important to look for a reputable company, despite the potential increased costs. Quality materials and licensed contractors will ensure great results. Your roof is the most important component of your house – it’s worth the money!

Will a new roof increase the value of my home?

Of course! Your home is your most valuable asset. A new roof can quickly increase its value in terms of quality and aesthetics. A new roof even increases your home’s energy efficiency because it provides new insulation. While you are replacing your roof, you could even add in a skylight for an extra increase in value!

Will you replace the siding on my house?

Of course! Replacing the siding on your home is another great way to increase the value of your home and increase your home’s energy efficiency. Proper insulation creates an added layer of protection against the outside elements, such as moisture and insects. Good insulation prevents damage from warping in the structure of your home.

Why are there granules in my gutters?

Granules build up naturally from asphalt shingles wearing out. Natural elements push the asphalt granules into your gutter. While it is not ideal, it is normal as your shingles age.

Will you clean my gutters?

We will complete your entire home upgrade, from start to finish, including your gutters. Proper gutter maintenance goes hand-in-hand with satisfactory roofing repairs.

Do you offer financing?

First, we will give you a free quote. Then you can ask us about our financing options! We’ve found a great 3rd party offering that can give our customers the best financing available.

Will your roofers clean up my property after they finish the job?

Of course! We complete a mandatory final inspection after every job. Rest assured that we won’t leave anything behind.

How do I know that I won't be held accountable for any worker injuries while on my property?

When you hire roofers who aren’t insured, you are taking a huge risk. Our roofers are WCB insured, which stands for the Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta. This means you won’t be held accountable for any injuries that occur while our workers are upgrading your home.