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Old 11-09-2009, 10:54 AM   #1
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


Hi all -

this isn't really a DIY question, because my wife wouldn't let me re-roof our house (smart woman). Instead, we have been trying to find a suitable contractor to re-roof our house. We interviewed a number of contractors in July, and I finally found one that I liked, who quoted me in late July.

It is now November, and although he keeps saying he is going to get the house done, he hasn't shown up and I'm beyond dubious....

Our house had an ice-dam insurance claim 2 years ago, and although that spot was fixed, I had a home inspector tell me to re-roof ASAP. My father looked at the roof and made the same recommendation.

So, my question is, what would you do? No snow here yet, but in some years we can have a foot by December. Should I keep pushing this guy, find another guy, or abandon it and wait until spring when I can find somebody willing to take their time and do a good job?

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Old 11-09-2009, 11:02 AM   #2
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


Where abouts are you, we are in North Bay, Onterrible? Can you make it through a winter with what you have? I absolutely HATE it when contractors give me the run around. It's hard enough to make the decision to pay someone to do work for you, and then they won't even take your damned money!

Our house has a steel roof so we put a steel roof on our garage too. Now that I have done it I don't think I would put another kind of roof on! It's dead easy (although I did it on new construction) slightly more expensive but good for 40 years, a real 40 yrs vs asphalt shingle "40yrs".

If your contractor has blown you off or missed specific appointments/dates I would cut him loose myself. If he can't even keep a date then what kind of job is he going to do.

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Old 11-09-2009, 11:26 AM   #3
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


I'm in northern BC, and it's supposed to snow this week... It is possible that we can make it through another winter, and that may be what we end up doing. Not sure how good of a roof will be put on in late November, compared with July or August! Unfortunately, the previous owner of the house had a very spendy insurance claim due to ice dams, and the fix-it job that was done was very poor. I don't trust it. they put poly down the valleys and strung up de-icing cable. This should work in the event of an ice dam this winter, but the shingles are shot.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:31 PM   #4
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


The problem you will have in the cold is that the shingles will be stiff => prone to cracking and the cement won't have a chance to melt and bond everything together until the sun comes back to life. Might be better to wait at this point, as long as your roof isn't leaking or ready to cave in.

Where are you in BC? I have lived in Vancouver, Penticton, 100 Mile House, Kamloops, Enderby and worked at Eskay Creek, 6 hours North of Smithers.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:38 PM   #5
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


Hi Salem

We are in Prince George. Initially I wanted a steel roof, but decided against it due to our 5/12 roof pitch, decks/railings around the house, and danger of falling snow off the high side of the house. I agree with you that they are a better way to go, if your roof design is suitable.

Our problem areas are skylights, and 80% of the roof is ok. the problem areas around the skylights were 'repaired' 2 years ago, but the curled, clawed shingles in the valleys below are not going to last too long. If I am able to keep these areas free of ice this year, I might be ok until spring.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:28 AM   #6
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


Morning Longshanks, Why not go with Metal roof and have snow stops installed if your worried.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:39 AM   #7
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


I thought of the snow stops when I had my continuous gutters installed, to protect them from snow slides but since I have a cathedral ceiling and the edge of the roof doesn't over hang any entrances I decided just to get the leaf guard system that strengthens them. I don't like the idea of forcing snow and ice to stay on the roof. But if we did overhang an entrance I think we would have gotten the stops done.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:28 AM   #8
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


Ya I know what you mean about keeping the snow on the roof, It was only a suggestion.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:10 AM   #9
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


I'm not totally against it, the snow actually provides some insulation in the winter. Just that I didn't NEED to do it so I will leave it as is. The only concern would be damaging the gutters, that's why I added the leaf guard.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:41 AM   #10
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At least one gutter contractor wouldn't even install gutters on my metal roof.
How are they holding up?
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:46 AM   #11
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


This will be the first winter, we just bought the house in May. I thought about getting the snow guards but I decided to get this stuff:
http://www.alu-rex.com/en/products.asp

About $800 for the whole house including the 5" continuous eavestrough. The alternative was to do nothing and allow continued erosion around the house or to add the snow guards but our house is cathedral and I want the ice to slide off when it wants to.

I figure I can spend $800 every 3 or 4 years! And these suckers are STRONG now too.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:55 AM   #12
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


You have to love the picture of those guys hanging off the gutter!

We have porches front and rear. The snow really crashes down on them and their slope is less so it takes a lot longer to slide off.
Luckily we're not in a snow belt.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:21 AM   #13
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


I had initially talked to a number of local friends about the steel roof, before deciding to stick with asphalt. My roof pitch is 5/12, and talking with a friend that has the same pitch, he says he wouldn't do it again. In our climate (heavy snow), he says he can't keep eavestroughs on, due to the heavy snow slowly creeping/cornicing around the edges of the roof. In my case, 2 sides of the house are very high off the ground, and the other 2 are surrounded by deck with (fragile) railings. For these reasons, I decided to go with an asphalt roof. I think that if your roof has the correct lines, the steel roof is clearly the way to go.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:15 AM   #14
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


Can anyone tell me how by putting on Alu-Rex eavestrough you reduce the proliferation of mosquitoes and the spread of west nile disease. Next they are going to come up with a drywall that cures H1N1.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:57 AM   #15
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winter roofing in Northern Canada?


I guess if your eaves troughs are full of wet leaves and puddles where water is backed up mosquitoes can breed in there, just like old tires etc. With a leaf guard the water will drain like it is supposed to.

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