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Roofing Questions

Why are roofs so expensive?

Roofing Labor Costs in Canada

Labor rates for the roofing services are per square foot/square meter. It is more for the pitched/slope roofs compared to the flat roof. It could be due to the increased risk factors, the complexity of installation procedures, and the quality of finished roof.

  • Skilled labor: They can provide better quality work and finishing to the roofs with their experience and expertise. The number of working-hours depends on the total roof area, type of material, number of fixtures, structural complexity, sheathing density, and other complex parts of the design. Skilled labor can provide better quality work within lesser working hours. The rates /hour could be high, but you can save on total working hours.
  • Roof Durability: The cost of initial roof installation could be more, but you can save on the maintenance, repair and replacement costs as the workmanship quality makes the roofs durable for many decades. OF course, the material quality also plays a critical role in the enhanced durability.

Roofing Material and Equipment Costs in Canada

  • Metal Roofing Materials: Some of the necessary materials required for the roofing are the galvanized metal, coating, screws and fasteners, sealants, jacks, felt, shingles, etc. high-quality products that last for decades.
  • Asphalt Roofing Materials: cellophane strips, sealants, thermal insulators, fasteners & nails, staples, decking materials, etc. The rentals will be almost the same as the metal roofing. Again, the cost difference between inexpensive products and durable products contributes to the price increase.
  • Roofing Equipment Rentals: Most of the roofing contractors don’t charge for the standard tools and equipment they use for the installation. However, they use the power, water, and other resources from your property which costs you money. They may also include the rentals for power generators (if the power source is unavailable at the site), material movers, HEPA vacuums and others.   

What time of year is best to roof In Canada?

The best time to roof in Canada could be spring (March-May), early summer (June), and the fall (September-November). The climatic conditions between March and June provide the ideal settings for the metal and asphalt roofing. The material rates and the Winnipeg roofing contractor quote prices will also be moderate during these months.

Possible Damages

Exposure to the harsh climatic conditions of winter and midsummer can damage /deteriorate the materials like asphalt and metal.

  • Warping: Newly installed roof may warp during summer due to excess of heat. This factor is specifically high for the metal sheets. Once the roof is set during the March-May seasons, it gets conditioned to withstand the high temperatures without warping.
  • Damages: Newly installed asphalt shingles tend to buckle or crack during the heights of summer. It is due to the excess heat penetrating through the material layers. During winter they can become hard and brittle. The probability of damages is high during these two seasons.

Strength of Materials

  • Durability: During the early summer and spring there is sufficient time for the shingles to bond with each other, as the adhesiveness becomes stronger. The durability of the metal and asphalt materials also increases, since they don’t get exposed to extreme heat, humidity, subzero temperature, hail, and storm.
  • Flexibility: The flexible nature of the fasteners and other fixtures will be high during the best times. The newly installed structure fits in tightly with the frames.

Safety Factors

The best times are recommended for the worker and property safety. The workforce can install the roofs leisurely without having to worry about heat and cold conditions. The probability of damages due to strong winds is also non-existent.

Price Factors

The material and labor costs are stated to remain competitive during the best times. Customer testimonials reveal the probability of getting off-season discounts from the contractors and material suppliers.



Are roofers required to be licensed?

Yes we must be licensed according to Winnipeg bylaws , we also carry liability insurance and are BBB certified

Mandatory Insurance

The roofing contractors should have the general liability coverage in the form of insurance. It is recommended by the consumer protection Manitoba, Canadian Roofing Contractor Association (CRCA) and the OIRCA for the protection of the worker safety, equipment, and the property.

  • Liability Insurance: The liability insurance policy covers damages caused by the contractor company and its legal business associates to the property of the house owner and the neighbors. It also includes the personal injuries.
  • Vehicle and Equipment: The contractor should also have an insurance policy for the vehicles and equipment used in the roof installation projects.

Certification Standards

The Canadian Building Code has established the quality standards for roofing protection and material specifications. It considers water drainage, precipitation, snow protection, sun and wind protection, etc. The contractor companies which follow the guidelines of the roofing manuals shall have the certification of quality from the Canadian Roofing Contractors Association.

Training Programs

The CRCA has published many standards for the low slope and steep slope roofing.  The Manitoba Building Code section 2.1 has specific instructions for the roofing control joints dividers, expansion joints, penetrators, curbs, vents and the other construction elements. The contractor company employees shall undergo comprehensive training. They also get hands on experience with the installation and configuration of insulation, metal flashing, protective elements, asphalt shingles, etc.

Material Standards

  • Shingles Application: The standards specify the regulations for the asphalt sheet application, lumber dimension, ventilation standards, material strength, sloping angles, shingle lamination and other parameters.
  • Nails and fasteners: The standards for minimum nail length, asphalt shingle penetration depth, metal sheet penetration, sheet metal flashing, etc. The quality and durability of the washers, nuts, and hangers used in the roofing interiors are also specified in the manual.
  • Sheet Metal Standards: The Roofing Contractor Association standards for the galvanized metal sheet roofing covers the various types of dimensions, metal alloys, welding and machining procedures, etc. The roofing contractor should be aware of all these standards.

Installation Standards

The Manitoba Building Code specifies standards for the installation guidelines for the contractors to follow during the installation of metal and asphalt roofs. The MR-2.X sections contain all the details about the material selection, installation and configuration methods, and troubleshooting the installations. Similar standards are applicable for the asphalt roofing also.


Why metal roofing VS Asphalt roofing?

The comparison between the metal roofing and asphalt roofing can give you an in-depth analysis of the technical specifications, pros and cons, utility scope and the best practices of selection for your property.

Metal Roofing Specifications and Pros

  • Installation
  • Dimension: The metal roof covers larger surface area and dimension compared to the as [halt shingles. The contractors can join multiple sheets in series /parallel to enhance the coverage area according to our specific requirements.
  • Drainage: Installation of
  • Snow: The metal roof with the right pitch angle can provide maximum protection from the snow. The rise of the horizontal run is in the ratio of 6:12. The pitching angle of 35-degrees can make the snow to slide off the roof naturally. The slippery surface ensures no snow retention on the surface during the heaviest of the snowfalls.
  • Energy Efficiency: The light and heat reflection of the metal roof is much higher than the asphalt shingle. With the light and bright metal, it can reflect up to 80% of the solar light and radiation. The result is the reduction of heat and humidity within the interiors. In comparison, the asphalt reflects 10% of light and radiation from the sun, increasing the interior temperature. The cooling system in your home saves you more energy when you install the metallic roof.
  • Protection: The metallic roof can protect your home from hail, storm, winds, rains, snow, and heat better than the asphalt shingles. Structural stability is high. When coated with the rustproof and protective layer, it can resist water, moisture, mold, and bacterial depositions on the surface.
  • Stability: The structural stability of the metal roof is higher than the shingles. It can support foot traffic on its top surface without bulking. It is possible to install lightweight ventilation turbines on the roofs along with the drainage and air vents. These structures reduce the temperature of the inlet air further by 10%-15%.
  • Maintenance: Metal roofs are easy to maintain, as the required preventive procedures are very few. Regular cleaning, washing, and the decontamination can prolong the lifespan for many decades. The maintenance cost is also extremely low.
  • Repair: Repair of the damaged sections is simple and fast. The contractor can patch a piece of metal over the damaged part and weld it on all the four sides and the corners. When the metal panels are installed in series using the fasteners and overlapping sheets, it ensures faster dismantling. If a sheet is damaged beyond repair, it can be easily removed and replaced with the new sheet metal panel. Re-installation is easy and fast.
  • Cost: The installation cost of the metal roof is compensated by the low maintenance cost.

Quality Standards

  • Frame Quality: The interior frame of the metal roof should be permanently attached to the building. Only such a structure ensures stability and strength of the roof.
  • Material Quality: The selection of galvanized metal, fixtures and accessories should be according to the Canadian roofing and the CRCA standards. For example, the diameter of the drill should be sufficient to allow the standard size fastener. The sheet should not crack or break when the contractor uses a hand/power driller.  The quality of substrate material should conform to the CSA-standards with a minimum thickness of 11.1mm to 12.7mm. This material could be PVC, plywood or any other material which provides structural stability to the metal roof.
  • Material Type: The Canadian roofing standards allow steel, aluminum, or the alloys of zinc and copper with these two base metals.
  • Ventilation Quality: The vent area on the metal roof should be at least 1/300 of the total area. The type of vent may vary from eave, roof, ridge, or it can use the ventilation turbine.
  • Overlay Type: The Canadian roofing standards allow the installation of the metal roof over an existing roof (preferably non-metallic) without having to dismantle it. But the vent requirements should be met according to the CSA standards. The existing roof should be able to support the metal roof overlay without bulking or breaking due to pressure and load.
  • Fastener Quality: The head of the fastener + the nut should not penetrate through the supporting substrate layer. The fastener should be corrosion resistant material. The washer should be made of EPDM material which seals the fastener head with the metal roof without any visible space in between. This approach shall ensure the highest level of structural stability to the metal roof.   

Metal Sheet Limitations and Cons

  • Design: It needs many supporting structures like the interior frame, beams, interlocking attachments, etc. initial installation consumes a lot of time and effort. Hence, the labor cost is also high.
  • Rust: In spite of the best rustproof metal, the rusting of fasteners, hooks and other small size supporting accessories is natural. They need regular replacements and maintenance. The rust deposits on the fasteners can make the metal roof lose its beauty and attractiveness to a certain extent.
  • Cost: The average cost of metal roof per square inch is higher than the asphalt shingles. Moreover, it needs special polishing or painting on the surface to enhance the quality and durability.

Asphalt Roofing – Specifications and Pros

  • Installation: The installation procedure for the asphalt roofing starts from the roof area measurement and planning. Calculating the number of squares in each section gives the number of shingles to be installed. The next stage is the installation of drip-edge (water drainage). The installation of shingles can happen in any pattern from the horizontal left and move towards the right for each row. Fastening the corners of the shingles can fix it firmly to the deck.
  • Deck Design: The
  • Shingles: The standard asphalt shingle is made from material combinations of asphalt, copper, and other lightweight but strong metals or alloys. They come in single and multiple layers. The external material is completely asphalt while the core may be composed of the combination of synthetic and metallic alloys. The material is highly resistant to rust, water, heat and humidity, and the microbial elements that may seep through to the interiors. The basic types of asphalt shingles are three tab, multi tab, and no-cut-out and laminated. The average length X width of each shingle is 36″ X 12″ or 40″ X 14.5″. The size may vary depending on your custom requirement. They are highly resistant to wind, snow, water, heat, and humidity. The material is naturally resistant to rust, and it can be treated to make it germ and bacteria resistant. They have the high level of flexibility and brittle-proof construction. They can withstand low to medium intensity impacts from the foot traffic and climatic conditions. Self-attaching shingles are easy to install as they contain strong adhesives on the four sides and corners of the slab. But the fasteners based shingles are stated to be stronger and stress proof.
  • Drainage: The installation of drainage pipelines have to be done similar to the metal roofing. But the pipes and water collecting points can be installed after every row to make the water collection and disposal simple and fast. The edge railings on each side of the roof edge can dispose of the water onto the ground through the pipes.
  • Slope: Similar to the metal roof, the shingle version may have a float roof top or slopped structure. The angle of the slope may vary in the maximum range of 35-degrees or more. The lower angles are useful for homes where the snowfall is not a critical problem. On the other hand, the steep slopes (>35-degrees) may help in the self-cleaning of snow and ice.
  • Efficiency: The energy efficiency of the material is relatively lower than the metal sheet. But the inner layer of the asphalt combination sheet can absorb the heat and moisture. It keeps the internal environment cool and comfortable.
  • Protection: The asphalt material offers comprehensive protection from the environmental elements during all the four seasons in Canada. Since the shingles stay closely connected to the solid metal or wooden deck, they have the high level of tensile strength and flexibility.
  • Ventilation: The shingle by itself may not be able to provide any room for ventilation. For this, you need to allocate specific locations on the roof (similar to a chimney, but lower in dimension) for this purpose. You can ask your roofing contractor to install small size wind exhausts to keep the interiors cooler during summer. Since they are installed on a sheet of high-density mesh, they don’t transfer the cold winds into the building interiors. That means
  • Fastener Quality: The size and

Asphalt Roofing- Quality Standards

·         Aesthetic: The asphalt shingles come in multiple deigns, colors and patterns. You may opt for the traditional model or the modern designer types. They can enhance the aesthetic appearance of our roof.

  • Rust: The asphalt material is naturally resistant to rust, water, heat, and moisture. You can use them for all types of climatic conditions and terrains with no hassles. The selection of rust-resistant metal fasteners can extend the lifespan of the roof by many decades.


Asphalt Roof – Limitations and Pros

  • Weight: The average weight of every shingle increases the overall roof-weight. It is unlike the sheet metal, whose average weight is considerably low in value. Hence, the density of the deck material has to be able to protect the weight of the roof.
  • Strength: The average tensile strength of the asphalt is relatively lower, compared to the metal roof. But it is sufficient to withstand the harsh external conditions during all the seasons.

How can I tell if I need a new roof?

  • Leaking Roof: The old roof starts leaking consistently. It could be metallic or asphalt. Your first effort is to repair and refurnish. If the procedures don’t work, you will need a new roof.
  • Warped Shingles: The warping of the shingles make them shrunk in dimension. They expose the insulated sheets beneath them. You can replace the individual shingles with new ones.
  • Damaged Shingles: Decades of prolonged exposure to external elements can make the shingles brittle and break. The visual inspection can tell you about the need to have a new roof.
  • Rusted Roof: Metallic roof is exposed to the risk of rusting due to the climatic conditions. The roofing contractor can tell you about the specific sections of the roof to replace. If the entire sheet is made of a single section, you may have to replace it with a new one.
  • Cracking Noise: The old roof has lost its stability, and it creates a lot of cracking noise. The roofing contractor checks the quality of metal/shingles. If it has deteriorated, you need to replace the roof. Or you may ask him to replace the fasteners.

What will a new roof system cost?

The total cost of the roofing will depend on the material, labor, equipment, accessories, tools, insurance, taxes and other related expenses. You can ask the roofing contractor for a quote per square-feet/meter. Make sure that he specifies the taxes and other statutory costs also. Many of the websites may give you an average cost of $ XXXXX for the new roof. But the actual estimation will depend on the exact dimension and the other factors. Hence, you will need to contact the roofing contractor and get the quote.

  • Compare Quotes: Take the quotes from at least three to four contractors and compare them. It is better to have detailed quotes that drill down to every shingle and accessory. The segregate the quote based on the individual parameters listed above.
  • Check Warranty: The warranty should cover the material, labor, and replacements.

How Can I find a good roofer?

  • Customer Testimonials: The customer testimonials are the best way of assessing the quality, dependability and customer trust. They will also tell you about the technical and financial aspects of the services.
  • Reviews: The reviews from customers and industry experts help in evaluating the expertise of the roofer.
  • Interview: Having a face-to-face interview with the roofer can give you more details about his experience, licensing, certifications and the quality standards he follows. Check for the material quality, durability and the structural stability with him. For this, you have to specify your requirements in detail.
  • Rating: The star rating given by the customers is another indication of the service reliability and material quality provided by the roofer.
  • Website: You can visit the website of the roofer and browse through the product and service pages. They give you the specific details. You can also browse through the FAQ sections.