Javen Simon

Emergency Waterproofing Procedures

November 29th, 2009

With all the weather we’ve been having here in Port Alberni, we have been flooded with repair calls. (no pun intended, OK it was intended). Often times you may not need to call a roofer.  Leaks in the roof can be temporarily solved with a good quality tarp, some 1×2′s and a handful of 2″ screws. Here are a few pointers if you feel up to the challenge yourself.

I always use the best quality tarps which are usually black. They are about twice the weight compared to the blue ones, hence twice the durability. Once you’ve isolated the area that is leaking stretch the tarp out to eliminate all the wrinkles. Make sure one end of the tarp goes over top of the ridge while the other end is covering the leaking area. Use the screws to fasten 1×2′s through the perimeter of the tarp and into the roof deck.

It is worth repeating that this type of emergency repair is only a temporary fix until the roof can be repaired or replaced. Tarping a roof should only be completed in a safe environment with proper safety equipment. Always be sure to have at least one additional person to assist in the repair. Final repair is best left to a roofer who has the equipment and skill to do it safely and permanently.  Roofs are treacherous, particularly when wet and tarps are slippery even when dry.

What’s On Your Roof

August 20th, 2009

With rightful concern clients will always enquire as to which roofing product will accommodate their needs best, typically focusing on color and warranty. Surprisingly little attention will go to a lot of the hardware that needs to be installed besides the shingles.

If you are planning, or are in the process of getting a new roof, don’t hold back questions such as:

  • Is there metal going in the valley?
  • Is the counter-flashing in the chimney being replaced?
  • Are proper vents with stems being used for bathroom or kitchen exhaust vents?
  • What weight underlay is being installed?

For most hardware, upgrade options are available for a low cost. These things contribute to having a good quality roof and should not be overlooked.

A good contractor will be happy and willing to spend the time to make sure you are well informed

OSB Vs Plywood

July 27th, 2009

When you receive a roofing estimate which involves re-sheeting your roof you may get some quotes proposing to use plywood and others to
use OSB. Which one should you choose? Let’s start with the similarities. Building codes use the phrase “wood structural panel” to describe the use of plywood and OSB. Codes recognize these two materials as the same. They are both made by compressing and gluing small pieces of wood together.

Plywood is made from thin sheets of veneer that are peeled off a log. Picture a giant pencil sharpener. These sheets are laminated together in a hot press to make plywood.

OSB is made from wood ground into thin wood strands. These strands are mixed with wax and adhesive and then hot pressed. Approximately 50
layers of strands make one sheet of OSB.

OSB has some advantages over plywood:

*  OSB is generally more square and has smaller dimensional tolerances

*  There are no soft spots such as those that can occur in plywood

*  OSB is made from smaller (often farmed) trees reducing the demand for old growth timber

*  OSB has greater shear strength than plywood; the span rating, nail pull and screw hold are all roughly the same

*  It can be $3 to $5 a panel less expensive than plywood. For a typical 2400 square foot home, OSB will save about $700 if used instead of plywood.

The major disadvantage of OSB is that if it gets exposed to significant amounts of water or moisture, the edges expand by up to 15%. . .especially if they are cut edges. This swell will then telegraph onto the shingles . When plywood gets wet, it expands evenly throughout the panel, dries more quickly and shrinks down to its original size more rapidly than OSB. At the end of the day if your roof is properly ventilated and free from any leaks, OSB will hold up just as well as plywood. However in anything less than an ideal environment plywood is much more resilient and will perform better.  Port Alberni in general tends to favor plywood, so the decision to have plywood or OSB installed under your roofing is not only personal one, but can also be controversial. Rather than taking sides I will typically give a price for both, explain the facts, and allow the homeowner to chose the product they feel more comfortable with.

Can’t We Shingle Over The Old Roof?

July 7th, 2009

I hear this question a lot and the answer is: Sometimes it is possible, but not advisable. The original roof and roof deck has to be in extraordinary condition to meet the standards necessary for the new roofs warranty to apply. If the original roof meets the necessary criteria, certain procedures have to be performed, such as removing the ridge capping, nailing down or replacing any loose, missing, or curled shingles. Cutting back the eaves. Inspecting all flashing, vents, and plumbing stacks, and ensuring the rain water will correctly flow into the gutters due to new height of roof edge.

Another factor worth considering is if the supporting structure of the roof can support the additional weight. For an average 2000 square foot roof one layer of roofing will weigh approximatly 5000lbs. Most roofs will easily handle the extra weight, but I have seen some roofs that can barely handle the roof they already have. This reinforces the fact that each roof is unique and needs to be treated as such. For resale value of your home, warranty purposes, and peace of mind I always recommend removing the original roof before installing your new product.

Is Your Roof Vented to Modern Standards?

June 17th, 2009

Attic ventilation is crucial to the health of your roof. There are three components to proper ventilation. An intake, an exhaust, and a clear unobstructed path between the two. If you are lacking in either soffit or roof vents there will be an an incorrect flow of air, which can not only mean a very hot house in summer but it can also mean a moisture build up in your attic and eventually a warped, split, cracked or generally damaged roof.There are a number of ways that proper roof ventilation can be achieved and each have their advantages and disadvantages. The best choice for your roof will depend mainly on the size and shape of the roof.

Creating proper roof ventilation.

In order to create roof ventilation that adequately rotates air in and out of the house it is important to get the level of intake and expulsion just right. There is a specific formula to calculate exactly how much soffit and roof ventilation is required in each roof. Once it is determined how many square inches of ventilation is needed, appropriate vents should be installed, as well as making sure there is no insulation in the attic obstructing the flow of air from the soffits to the roof vents. Installing roof & soffit vents is easy and very affordable, so if you aren’t sure about your roof ventilation Don’t chance it! An attic vent will sell for around ten dollars and a qualified professional should be happy to offer a consultation for free. It is one of the cheapest, and easiest ways to get the longest life out of your roof.

Important Tips When Hiring a Roofer

June 3rd, 2009

Get references: any good roofing contractor will gladly supply you with a list of references – and pictures showing examples of work that they have done. That list should include up-to-date contact information including names, addresses, phone numbers, and details about the jobs done.

Get several quotes: Quotes provided should be written, and be very specific regarding the work that is to take place, and the materials that will be used. The lowest quote may not necessarily be the best. If somebody comes in with a price far below the others, it is often due to cutting corners.

Make sure the contractor is insured: ask to see their certificate of insurance. Your contractor should have workers compensation and third-party liability insurance for all the people on the job and damage they may cause ($2 million is standard). If they don’t, you could be on the hook if there’s an accident.

1350 Reasons to Get Your Roof Done This Year!

June 2nd, 2009

A lot of talk has been going around about the renovation tax credit, or maybe I should say confusion. So how exactly does it work? When you spend up to $10 000 you are eligible to receive back $1350, and yes re-roofing your house qualifies for this tax credit. How do you claim your tax credit? There is critical paper work you need to make your claim. All of the following details need to be included:

* Who is doing the work
* Their business address
* GST number for the company
* Description of the goods
* Proof of payment
* Date purchased

Then as you’ll find A new line will be incorporated in the 2009 personal income tax return to allow you to claim the credit. Port Alberni has its share of “fly by night” roofers so be careful when hiring a roofing company.  Ensure they are registered with GST. Javen Simon Roofing Ltd. can provide you with all the necessary paper work to claim your refund. Use this link to view more information regarding the renovation tax credit.http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2009/fqhmrnvtn-eng.html