Published on March 11, 2014
INSURANCE INSURANCE CLAIMS Hail damage to roofs (as well as other building components) is quite common in Calgary and Alberta. This news article from December 2012 brings out the severity of this problem. Severe Alberta summer storms may drive up insurance costs Insurers paid out $550M for Calgary hail storm in August CBC News Posted: Dec 12, 2012 9:06 AM MT Last Updated: Dec 12, 2012 2:35 PM MT Hail the size of golf balls pelted Calgary in mid-August. (Courtesy of Remington Clarke) Three severe storms in Alberta this past July and August have cost insurance companies millions of dollars. A report from the Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates the hail storm that hit Calgary on Aug. 13 cost $550 million. “It has been a very expensive summer for insurance companies, especially with the hail in Calgary in August. That accounts for almost half of the insured losses from severe weather in Canada for the entire year,” said Heather Mack from the IBC. Another storm that hit southern Alberta on July 27 cost insurers $74 million in damage claims. The mayor of Cardston, Alta., said Wednesday that people in his town are still making repairs from that storm. “The big issue now is the roofing. I think
we’re half done as a community,” said Rick Schow. Mack says Albertans can likely expect insurance premium hikes, which usually follow large payouts. Weather trend The IBC says extreme weather has caused more than $1 billion of damage annually in Canada, for three of the last four years. Mack calls it a worrying trend. “We don’t get into why, that’s not our area of expertise. We’re just saying we know from industry experience that something has changed and we have new weather patterns.” Mack says Alberta has always had the majority of hail claims in the country but she says there is a change in the severity and frequency of those claims. If you were to experience severe hail damage to your roof, it would be necessary to contact a roofing contractor who can deal with your problem promptly. It is extremely important that you file a claim immediately. You can choose any contractor you prefer. Our response time is extremely good. You can contact Royal Roofing Ltd. at 403-248-6397 for prompt and courteous service. REPAIRS LEAKS Leaking roofs are probably the most common reason for roof repairs. With sloped roofs, water will generally leak at those sections of the roof where there are junctions and valleys. If flashing has not been applied properly or has deteriorated, you will have a leak. Chimneys, furnace vents, skylights, and all roof “penetrations” (vents, plumbing stacks, etc.) can be sources of leaks. Unfortunately, there are too many roofers who cannot address this issue properly, and as a result the leak remains even though the contractor has been paid to stop it.
With flat (low-slope) roofs, external damage to the roof membrane can result in leaks. Some flat roofs, however, may have a leak at one point but the damage causing the leak may be somewhere else. Sometimes, the only way to determine the exact source is to flood the roof with water and then observe the points at which leaks are occurring. At the same time, not all leaks are due to roof issues, and many can result from poor building envelope installation.Each situation has to be carefully assessed before a solution is provided.Royal Roofing Ltd. has successfully repaired numerous leaks of various kinds and has never been asked to return to fix those leaks again. When you experience a leak which you suspect is from the roof, please contact us immediately. DAMAGED OR BLOWN OFF SHINGLES Shingles damaged or blown away by windstorms are also very common in Calgary, and Royal Roofing Ltd. has been called frequently to do these repairs. Quite often, the reason why shingles have blown away is because they were improperly installed to begin with, and therefore could not withstand strong winds. Shingles installed by Royal Roofing in the windiest parts of the City have withstood severe windstorms without any damage.Should you have the misfortune to have your shingles blown away or damaged, please dial 403-248-6397 for immediate assistance.
ICE DAMS Ice dams form when warm air from the home leaks into the attic, warms the roof sheathing, and melts the underside of the snow layer on the roof, which then flows down and freezes near the eaves, and eventually becomes a “dam” of ice. During snowy winters, many Canadian homes are plagued by ice dams. If your house suffers from wet ceilings during the winter, you probably have an ice dam on the roof. As snow melts on the roof because of the presence of warm air in the attic, water trickles down the roof until it reaches the cold roofing over the eaves, where it freezes. After a while, the ice at the eaves gets thicker and thicker, forming an ice dam. Eventually, water backs up behind the ice dam. If the water reservoir is large enough, it can back up under the roof shingles and damage ceilings and walls.
Note: 32 F = 0 C = Melting Point of Snow PREVENT ICE DAMS WITH AIR SEALING AND INSULATION Four Steps to Stop Ice Dams Seal air leaks into the attic Increase attic insulation Improve attic ventilation Install an Ice & Water Shield under the roofing
Step one: Seal the Air Leaks Most ice dams are caused by flaws in a home’s air barrier. If escaping indoor air (called “exfiltration”) finds its way to the underside of the roof sheathing during the winter, the heated air raises the temperature of the sheathing. The only way to locate air leaks into an attic is to crawl up and look around. Information on air leaks obtained from Energy.gov website Test your home for air tightness. On a windy day, carefully hold a lit incense stick or a smoke pen next to your windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other places where air may leak. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weatherstripping.
Weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air. Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets. Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls. Inspect dirty spots in your insulation for air leaks and mold. Seal leaks with low-expansion spray foam made for this purpose and install house flashing if needed. Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists, and caulk them. Cover single-pane windows with storm windows or replace them with more efficient double-pane low- emissivity windows. Use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out. Cover your kitchen exhaust fan to stop air leaks when not in use. Check your dryer vent to be sure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Replace door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets. Keep the fireplace flue damper tightly closed when not in use. Seal air leaks around fireplace chimneys, furnaces, and gas-fired water heater vents with fire- resistant materials such as sheet metal or sheetrock and furnace cement caulk. Step two: Increase Attic Insulation Once you’ve plugged your air leaks, check your insulation levels. The ideal R-value is between R49 and R60. In homes where there isn’t enough room to get R-38 or R-49 at the perimeter of the attic, the best thing to do is to install as much closed-cell spray polyurethane foam as the space permits. In some cases, it may be necessary to install additional rigid foam insulation on top of the existing roof sheathing. Step three: Improve Attic Ventilation If ventilation channels are improved without any attempt to perform air sealing work, ventilation improvements can make an ice dam problem worse or increase a home’s fuel bills. The best ventilation channels include a balance of soffit vents and ridge vents with baffles. Attics do not need gable vents. Step four: Install Rubberized Ice & Water Shield Ice & Water Shield is relatively cheap insurance. Used properly — extending from your eaves to a point that is 3 feet higher than the plane of your exterior wall — Ice & Water Shield will limit damage from ice dams that form due to unusual weather conditions.Royal Roofing Ltd. installs Ice & Water Shield routinely on all roof replacement projects for sloped roofs.
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