Additional Tips/F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I control moss growth on my roof?

The best way to control moss growth is with regular maintenance. Once moss is established, it's not a good idea to remove it with any physical force. It's grown into the shingle and removing it will almost certainly remove the shingle granules with it. The granules are essential to the shingles integrity and removing them will decrease the life of your shingles. Starting with a roof that is moss free, periodically (2-4x per year) sprinkle regular granulated laundry detergent (do not use a brand with bleach) onto the roof during a dry day. Once rain comes it will wash away and also clean away any algae/moss that has accumulated.   

How often should I clean my Gutters?

Most debris accumulates in the gutters during the fall when we have higher winds and leaves falling. I recommend having them cleaned sometime in Oct/Nov depending on how late or early the leaves are falling. Once you see the trees almost bare I would have them done. I would also get them cleaned out again in the Spring before we get all the wet weather. You may need more or less than this depending on the vegetation and conditions around your roof. If you are hiring someone to do this make sure they are insured. You don't want to deal with problems if they end up falling off your roof. Listen to your gut when hiring someone to do work around your home, sometimes it's a good way to get a look in your windows etc. and case your house out for a potential break in down the road. Due to demand we are looking at setting up a gutter cleaning program twice a year for our clients.  If you are interested let us know and we can add you to the list.

Intending to sell your home that needs a new roof?

This is a very common question. The condition of the roof is an indicator of how well a home is maintained and since it is so visible it is an important one for potential buyers. In my experience, potential buyers find a new roof very appealing both because it is a significant expense and also because it's an undertaking they don't have to worry about. You WILL get your money back out of this home improvement.  Even if you are willing to discount the home and make an allowance for the new buyers to install a roof, buyers don't find this as appealing as a roof that's already been installed.

Do I need my roof deck re-sheeted or not?

Some companies tell me I need my roof deck re-sheeted and others do not why is there a discrepancy? The roof deck is the solid wood surface beneath the shingles and roofing underlay. It is this solid surface that the nails through the shingles will ultimately penetrate. It's important that this roof deck be in good condition so that the new shingles are nailed into a sturdy substrate and they are fastened tightly to last the duration of the shingle manufacturers warranty. A roof deck in poor condition will have soft spots (usually from previous water penetration), large gaps or knot holes, areas of rot and unevenness. Nailing into something like this not only voids the manufacturer's warranty but is a waste of money because the new roof won't last. On roofs that Phil feels this may be required, Phil will include the re-sheeting as an option so the client knows up front what it will cost if necessary. The truth is we really can't see the condition of the decking until the old roof is removed. This is one area where it pays to be knowledgable. Some companies don't mention it because they know it may be required and they will be able to underbid other quotes. In the long run, the homeowner loses in this scenario. Trust your contractor, know their background, check references!

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Phil's Tips:

Why it's not always a good idea to go with the cheapest quote

Several reasons actually, here are a few. Firstly, there are no real accredited licensing bodies for roofers and nothing to regulate their experience or knowledge; therefore, almost anyone with a ladder can tell you they are a roofer. Installing a roof incorrectly will void the manufacturer's warranty and it's as simple as nailing the shingles too high for the roof to fail and leak or blow off. Someone new or inexperienced may have underbid the job, left out important details or simply is cheap because they aren't in business for the long haul. All companies may not have adequate insurance and roofing is a risky business, therefore proper insurance is expensive. They may not have WCB-Worksafe BC coverage or a proper liability policy. Remember if someone is hurt on your home and they are not properly insured it becomes your problem. Read the TC Article from March 17, 2012 (link at the bottom of the home page) about inadequate insurance where former Premier Gordon Campbells experience is highlighted. They are using inexpensive and unproven materials.  Just because the products/shingles they are using come with a great looking warranty it isn't always what it seems. We have seen new inexpensive manufacturers enter the market with good warranties. Problem is that if and when the product fails, new companies often go out of business and aren't around to honor their warranty. We use top notch manufacturers that we have used for years. If there is a problem with a batch of shingles, they are there to honor the warranty and make it right. Try checking the BBB as well. What is the reputation of the company, do you know anyone who has used them, ask for references. Another cause for concern, a company that requires a deposit up front. This may be an indication their financially strained or don't have good credit with a supplier. You get what you pay for with Phil Smith Roofing. We guarantee you won't get a better job!

Understanding Warranty Coverage

Shingle manufacturers have recently made their warranty's more confusing than ever. Historically shingles use to come with a specific length of coverage in years.  Such as a 25,30,40 or 50 year (lifetime) warranty. If you bought a 30-year shingle it was a different product from the 40 or 50-year shingle. In the age of marketing, many manufacturers have changed the name of their warranties and are calling them "Limited Lifetime" warranties now just produce one product with a limited lifetime warranty equivalent to their standard 30-year shingle. It's important to note that there are limits in the fine print even though the warranty is called "Limited Lifetime". Will the shingle last a lifetime......No, so it is a little misleading and difficult to compare coverage. The Malarkey brand has not changed the naming system of their warranties and they continue to produce different multi-level shingles with a corresponding warranty. To keep themselves competitive in the eyes of the consumer they will match ANY comparable shingle manufacturers warranty of the homeowners choice they are that confident about their product. To read more about the "Your Choice" warranty program follow the link below.


Owens Corning has recently launched a new line in Canada called Duration.  It comes with a lifetime warranty, 130mph wind warranty as well as algae resistance warranty. Remember IF your roof isn't installed per manufacturer specifications your warranty won't be valid and if your whole roof blows off and it's determined that poor installation was the problem you are out of luck. Here is a great video clip that brings that home.

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