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Roofing Problems and Resolutions Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

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Roofing Repair Solutions - Q & A

Q. I hired a contractor in Kitchener to install a new roof. Now i find out he can't do the job because his labourer's quit. He said he is hiring new workers but I am worried now. He said I signed the contract and I need to trust him. What should I do?

A. Signing a contract is a mutual agreement between you a the contractor. Based on what you have said I would be worried. His labourer's just got up and quit. It either means he did not pay them or there are other work related issues. I would advise sitting down with the contractor and explaining your concerns. You should check with the W.S.I.B. He may not be up-to-date with his payments. If this is the case you can easily get out of your contractual obligation.

Q. During the high winds a couple of months ago, about 20 or 30 of my shingles blew off. All the companies that I called to give me an estimate for repairs have told me that the roof needs to be replaced. How can that be ? Its only 7 years old! I just want the missing shingles replaced. Why won't anyone do this?


A. You can have those shingles replaced but chances are your roof has got to the point where a temporary fix will cost you more in the long run. When the integrity of a roof shingle is lost due to the asphalt in the shingle washing away it loses weight and the ability to hold. If your shingle is only 7 years old I would say the initial installer used an inferior three tab shingle and no protection like ice and water or felt on your roof deck. A temporary fix might cost you anywhere from $500.00 - $800.00 but eventually you are going to need to replace the entire roof and that repair cost is money you will not get back.


Q. Mould problem on the second storey ceilings?

A. Mould is caused by moisture accumulating in your attic. The most common cause is a lack of ventilation from your soffits through to your top roof deck ventilation. A good rule of thumb is a temperature differential of 10 degrees from outside air to attic. If your attic is above this temperature it is likely that you have inadequate ventilation and more vents need to be added. If the mould is covering plywood you will need to replace those sections and the shingle above.


Q. I called in a company to fix a hole in my roof and they "tarped" it. That was 3 months ago and they haven't come back. I almost never manage to get them on the phone but when I do they tell me that they will be round when the weather is "better". Now the tarpaulin is flapping in the wind and the rain gets in. What can I do?

A. If your contractor will not return to fix the tarp or repair you need to call another company that will. A flapping tarp means rain and snow are penetrating your roof deck and causing more damage.


Q. I have been told by a company that my plywood is soaked and needs to be replaced along with my shingles. They say that it will cost an extra $3,000! Can't we just dry out my old plywood? Why is this so expensive? I don't live in a mansion, the home is not that big! (about 1,500 square feet I'm told).

A. Wet plywood is a serious problem it leads to mould and if not replaced will bow and open up seams. This will allow water to penetrate through to your attic and walls. Drying out the existing plywood is an expensive proposition and it is better to change it now, but ask your contractor if he can work with you on price. Normally the price of changing plywood is around $50.00 a sheet. Your square footage indicates that you require 47 sheets the price should be around $2350.00


Q. I've been quoted 2 different types of roofing shingles and there's a big difference in price. Why the difference in price, they both look almost the same?

A. Re-roofing products usually run around the same cost per bundle unless you have chosen a premium shingle in one of the selections you have chosen. You should check the materials used on your specific job. A big difference in price usually means the contractor is using a premium underlayment on your plywood/OSB or you are being taken for a fool. Check the fine print on your contract and ask questions of your roof estimate.


Q. When is the best time of year for installation?

A. There are conflicting arguments on both sides on whether to replace in winter or summer. Ideally the best time is summer, but we cannot stop roofing when home owners require a replacement. If you need to replace in winter make sure the contractor you hire uses premium protection like Rhino underlayment or Deck Armour to protect your house. Also ensure that he uses ice and water shield three feet up from from your eaves. Once the warm weather returns it will be fine.


Q. Apparently I have ice damage. My house is fairly new, 5 years. What is ice damage and what's it going to take to fix it?

A. Ice damage is caused by a number of factors. Usually shingle particles such as asphalt and fibreglass collect in your eaves and slow down the rain water. In colder climates this water freezes and backs up causing icicles to form. Cleaning your eaves before the cold weather hits is a great way of eliminating ice damage. One of the other causes is inadequate ventilation, if your attic is not allowing air to escape it will over heat and melt the snow pack layer that rests on your shingle - this melting water will freeze when it comes into contact with your eaves and will back-up.


​Q. My eaves troughs are sagging and falling off in a few places. I just want them fixed but all the roofing companies I've tried say that it has to be completely replaced. Why?

A. If your home has an older type of eaves trough like peg eaves, it is probably better to replace with a seamless trough for the entire home. Peg eaves are prone to not holding to the fascia and the style of eave is hard to match with newer 5" eaves trough. In eaves trough replacement ensure that you have a down pipe approximately every 40' this will allow rain water to flow evenly from your home.


Q. My shingles look like they are curling. What is this and what can I do?

A. Curled Shingles in sections usually means that it is in direct contact with the sunlight for a considerable part of the day. When replacing use a breathable felt on that section, it will improve the life and integrity in that area. Also check for correct ventilation.


Q. My home is mossy. Is this a bad thing?

A. Moss usually grows where there is no direct contact with the sunlight or shaded areas such as with overhanging trees. If your home has a considerable moss problem have it checked as it could be growing on your plywood. 


Q. I am building an addition to the back of my house and I want a flat roof. Do they cost a lot?

A. It depends on the square footage we need to rubberize and install flashing around the perimeter. Rubber is more expensive. You might want to consider changing your project to a pitched application. A pitched build has gravity and will allow rain water to flow off and not settle. 


Q. The roof on my century home badly needs replacing. Are there a design shingles that is in keeping with its age and style?

A. A professional home remodelling advisor from Redbear Contractors will take you through the steps in selecting a design that will enhance the look and appeal of your home while in keeping with its historic style.


Q. What are the differences between slates, tiles and shingles? I'm confused.

A. None. A slate is a tile is a shingle!

Q. I've had some bad experiences with Contractors in the past. How can I tell the good from the bad?

A. Choosing a contractor from the top page of a search engine like google does not necessarily mean you are getting the best. It means the company has paid a large amount of money to advertise their business to get to the top page. Ratings and reviews on sites like Home-stars or Trusted pros is one method in establishing whether or not to have them estimate. When you have chosen two or three companies to quote, ask them to provide insurance details, referrals and W.S.I.B.(Workman's Safety Insurance Bureau). Last but not least, ask yourself if you can work with and trust this contractor to perform the work you require.

Q. The walls inside my house seem to sweat. Sometimes I can see water drops running down the walls. Are Wet Walls dangerous? Why is this happening and how can I stop it?

A. Wet walls can be due to a number of factors :

  • Inadequate Insulation in your attic
  • Inadequate or clogged ventilation
  • Poor indoor air quality or a lack of fresh air intake like and H.R.V

Have Redbear Contractors perform a heat-loss and moisture calculation to provide you with accurate information on your moisture problem.

Q. How can I calculate the Cost of Replacement? We all have about the same type of house on our development here, yet my neighbour's cost around $5,000 and in the next street one house cost nearly $10,000. Both look the same and now I need a new one.

A. Calculations are based on the square footage times pitch. Shingles and Materials used beneath are the difference between quality and a sub-standard. The use of premium products can increase the price by 20% - 30% but the benefits outweigh the cost. Breathable felt will prolong the life of the by allowing it to expand and contract. The installation of Metal Valleys will channel rain water to the eaves preventing un-necessary asphalt run off. Ice and Water protection will prevent water from penetrating through to your house.

​Q. Are Roofing sub-contractors liable for work performed on my roof? I had a problem with the contractor i hired and he referred me to his sub-contractor to resolve my roof leak. I assumed he was liable for all work.

A. Yes the contractor you signed the agreement with is responsible for all work he either performed or contracted out. I would highly any customer to ask the roofing contractor if he is subbing out his work.

Sub-contractors are paid by the installation and do not have the same pride in workmanship that a company with its own care does.