What is an Elastomeric Membrane for Flat Roofs?

Flat roofs are a common feature of modern commercial buildings, as they are both practical and visually attractive. Over time, roofing technology has evolved from traditional asphalt and gravel methods to more advanced and durable solutions. Elastomeric membrane stands out among these innovations as a leading choice for protecting flat roofs.

Our Montreal roofers present you this complete guide to elastomeric membrane roofing.

Elastomeric membrane flat roof covering

Elastomeric membrane is your best option for low-slope or flat roofs. It’s made from polymer modified bitumen (PMB), which gives it flexibility and strength, and is often reinforced with a fiberglass or polyester mat to make it even more durable.

This modern roofing technology was developed through ongoing efforts by the construction industry to develop materials that are both strong and resistant to the elements. It offers a superior alternative to traditional roofing materials.

Elastomeric membrane layers

Elastomeric roofing is composed of two layers. These are heat-welded together during installation to form a single, continuous membrane. Once fused, the membrane acts as a highly effective waterproof barrier that allows the roof to breathe without any risk of moisture build-up.

Base coat

The first or base layer is made of elastomer modified bitumen (EMB). This layer serves as the first barrier against water and weather. It is usually reinforced with a fiberglass or polyester mat to increase its strength and durability. The base coat is applied directly to the roof substrate to create a strong, long-lasting bond.

Finishing coat

The second layer, or finishing coat, is also made of modified bitumen. However, this topcoat is covered with colored granules or another special protective coating. The second layer not only protects the flat roof membrane against UV damage and climatic variations, but also gives the roof its final sleek appearance. Granules can vary in color, making it possible to personalize the roof’s appearance to some degree.

Advantages of elastomeric membrane

Elastomeric roofing offers many significant advantages! Our certified roofers outline the most notable benefits.

Outstanding durability

Elastomeric membrane is widely recognized for being exceptionally durable and long-lasting, with a life expectancy of up to 35 years. This high performance results from its unique composition, which gives it superior resistance to the challenges posed by Quebec’s extreme weather conditions.

Easy to install

In addition to being robust, elastomeric membrane is easy to install and requires very little maintenance. These are major advantages in terms of both initial costs and long-term upkeep. Thanks to hot-application techniques and self-adhesive products, elastomeric membrane can be laid quickly and safely, using minimal labor with a low level of risk.

Multiple customization options

Elastomeric membranes give a sleek, modern appearance to buildings. They are available in a variety of colors, making it possible to customize a roof to match the architectural style of the building. This roofing material is a versatile solution that can be tailored to the specific needs of each project.

How to install an elastomeric membrane

Installing an elastomeric membrane on a roof is a technical process. For safe, effective installation, it’s important to prepare carefully and rely on the expertise of qualified professionals.

1. Preparing the roof

Before installation, the roof must be cleaned of any debris, dust or materials that could prevent the membrane from sticking correctly. Any surface irregularities must be smoothed out so the membrane can be applied evenly.

2. Applying the undercoat

The first layer, or undercoat, ensures that the roof always remains watertight. This layer can be mechanically fastened to the roof, or glued, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications and the condition of the roof.

3. Installing the elastomeric membrane

Next, it’s time to install the elastomeric membrane. For traditional installations, roofers use a blowtorch to heat the membrane so that it fuses with the underlay. It’s important to avoid creating any air bubbles or creases that could compromise the seal.

4. Cold application technique

Cold application is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to using a blowtorch. This method involves using self-adhesive membranes which do not need to be heated, so pose no risk of fire. This technique is a safe and easy installation option.

5. Finishing

Once the elastomeric membrane has been installed, finishing touches can be applied to the edges of the roof, and around drains and other roof elements, to ensure maximum protection against water infiltration.

6. Inspection and cleaning

Installation ends with a detailed inspection of the membrane to check for defects and make sure all areas of the roof are covered properly. Roofers will also do a final site clean-up.

Elastomeric membrane maintenance

Mantaining an elastomeric membrane is relatively simple and less demanding than for other types of roofing. Still, there are a few things you can do to make your roofing last longer and perform better.

  • Regular inspections: We recommend inspecting the roof at least twice a year, usually in spring and autumn, to detect any problems like cracks, bubbles and tears in the membrane, or issues at joints and edges.
  • Cleaning: Clean the surface of the elastomeric membrane carefully, using soft brooms or low-pressure washers to avoid causing damage. It is important to remove debris, leaves and other items that may accumulate on the roof and clog drainage systems.
  • Minor repairs: If you detect minor damage, such as cuts or punctures, we recommend that you contact a roofing professional as soon as possible.
  • Maintenance of drainage systems: Gutters and drains should be checked and cleaned regularly to ensure proper water drainage. Water accumulation on the roof can lead to long-term damage.
  • Monitoring after major weather events: Inspect your roof for damage following heavy storms or significant snowfall.

Flat roof maintenance by Duro-Toit

Elastomeric membranes offer durability, exceptional weather resistance and minimal maintenance, making them an ideal solution for flat roofs. However, to guarantee that your roof covering works properly and lasts as long as it should, it’s a good idea to trust professional roofers with installation and maintenance.

Duro-Toit professional roofers have extensive experience in flat roof maintenance, repair and more. We have mastered elastomeric membrane installation and maintenance techniques.

Trust our roofers to provide a high-performance, long-lasting roof. Contact us today to discover how we can help you get the most out of your roof covering.

What is EPDM Roofing?

EPDM roofing membrane is an innovative and durable roof covering that is the solution of choice for flat and low-slope roofs. This type of roofing is resistant to extreme weather conditions and lasts a long time, making it a reliable alternative to traditional roofing methods.

In this article, our Montreal roofers explain what makes EPDM roofing unique. Keep reading to learn about the advantages it offers, how to install it and the type of maintenance that will maximize its lifespan.

EPDM membrane

EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene monomer) membrane is a synthetic rubber roof covering that offers excellent resistance to extreme weather conditions, UV rays and ozone.

Its unique composition makes it perfect for flat roofs in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.

Advantages of EPDM roofing

EPDM is a type of flat roof membrane with many benefits, making it an attractive choice for both home and business owners.

Exceptional durability and longevity

EPDM membranes are known to last a long time, with a lifespan that can easily go beyond 30 years, lasting even up to 50 years. It is resistant to UV, ozone and climatic variations, meaning it will retain its physical properties over long periods of exposure.

Resistance to extreme weather conditions

Since it is a type of synthetic rubber, EPDM roofing can withstand extremely cold or hot temperatures without cracking, deforming or losing elasticity. It also offers excellent resistance to all precipitation – rain, snow or hail.

Easy installation and low maintenance

It doesn’t take long to install an EPDM membrane, and installation does not require the use of an open flame, which greatly reduces associated risks. Once installed, it requires very little maintenance. Regular inspections and minor repairs are usually enough to keep it up to par.

Positive environmental impact

EPDM is an environmentally friendly choice because it lasts a long time, reducing the need for frequent replacement, and because it is recyclable. EPDM membranes can also be used to create white roofs, which help reduce air-conditioning costs and the overall carbon footprint of your building.

How to install an EPDM membrane

It is important to install EPDM roofing membrane correctly and precisely to guarantee that it will be strong and last a long time. Certified roofers explain.

1. Surface preparation

The first step is to carefully prepare the roof. This means making sure that the surface is clean, dry and free of debris, and any irregularities or sharp objects have been removed, to avoid puncturing the membrane.

2. Placing the membrane

The EPDM membrane is then unrolled and spread over the roof surface. At this stage, it’s important to let it sit for a few hours so that it can acclimatize and relax. This will reduce the risk of wrinkles or tensions in the material.

3. Attaching the roof covering

There are several possible ways to attach an EPDM membrane, depending on the type of roof and the manufacturer’s specifications. The most common methods include fastening it to the roof edges, or full adhesion to the roof surface.

4. Sealing the joints between strips

The joints between the EPDM membrane strips need to be sealed with a special adhesive tape or waterproofing liquid so they will be completely waterproof. This step requires high precision to prevent any roof leaking.

5. Finishing and details

Roof elements such as ventilation ducts, chimneys, etc. require special attention. Pre-formed parts or in-situ molding techniques can be used to create a watertight seal.

How to take care of an EPDM roof

EPDM roofing is known to be durable and to provide effective, long-term protection for flat roofs. However, as for all roof coverings, proper maintenance will maximize its longevity and performance.

  • Regular inspections: We recommend carrying out a visual inspection of your EPDM roof at least twice a year, ideally in spring and autumn. It’s important to detect any problems like cracks, bubbles or signs of wear before they become serious.
  • Cleaning: EPDM roofing surfaces should be cleaned regularly to remove dirt, debris and leaves, which can trap moisture and encourage the growth of algae or moss.
  • Drainage: Make sure your roof’s drainage system is working properly. Gutters and downspouts should be cleaned regularly to avoid blockages that could cause water accumulation.
  • Repairs: If you notice small holes or cracks in your EPDM membrane, we recommend that you call in a professional.

Choose the right roof covering with Duro-Toit

Duro-Toit offers recognized expertise in EPDM membrane installation, maintenance and renovation for flat roofs. Our dedicated and experienced team of professionals does flawless, long-lasting installations that will protect any roof and keep it looking great for years to come.

Whether you’re planning a new installation, a complete renovation or simply need to do preventive maintenance, our roofers are at your service with high-quality, custom solutions. Trust us with your project to enjoy total peace of mind and satisfaction, guaranteed.

How to Manage Snow Accumulation on a Roof

Winter has arrived in Quebec, and beautiful white snow along with it. But picturesque winter scenes can quickly turn into a concern when you consider just how much damage snow accumulation on a roof can do.

Many businesses and residents of the province are unaware of the dangers linked with snow on a roof. In fact, few building owners know that just a few inches of snow piled on top of a roof can weigh several hundred kilograms.

Is your roof ready to handle that much weight in snow? The reality is that many roof structures are not built to withstand that much of a load, making a snow removal service essential.

How much snow can your roof support? What can you do to protect your roof from snow build-up in winter? Duro-Toit answers these questions below.

Snow accumulation on a roof: risks and dangers

Snow build-up can significantly add to the weight borne by your roof structure, especially when it is partially melted and wet. An overload can pose various risks and dangers:

  • Roof collapse: The most serious risk is roof collapse. Older roofs and those not designed to support heavy loads can collapse under the excessive weight of snow.
  • Leaks and internal damage: Snow accumulation on a roof can also cause leaks, leading water to infiltrate your building. Melting snow can seep through cracks or worn joints and cause long-term damage.
  • Ice formation: When snow melts and refreezes, it can create ice dams that prevent proper water drainage and increase the risk of building damage.

How much snow can a roof hold?

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, most residential roofs in good condition can handle 20 pounds per square foot of snow.

Another factor that to consider when determining whether the snow on your roof is approaching this weight limit is the type of snow:

  • Fresh snow: 10 to 12 inches of fresh snow equals about 5 pounds per square foot of roof. This means you can have a maximum snow load of 4 feet before the roof becomes strained.
  • Packed snow: 3 to 5 inches of “old snow” equals about 5 pounds per square foot of roof. More than 1 foot of snow may be more than your roof can handle.
  • Ice on the roof: A thin 1-inch layer of ice is equivalent to 12 inches of fresh snow! This is why it is so important to watch for ice dams and take care of them quickly.

We have put together at least one easy to use calculator to help you. Check it out in our article on how to calculate the weight of snow on your roof.

In a matter of seconds, you’ll know whether you need to clear your roof of snow or whether you can sleep soundly.

Snow weight accumulates quickly on flat roofs

Keep in mind that flat roofs are more susceptible to snow damage because the total weight accumulates faster. This is because melt water is more likely to freeze on flat roofs before it can drain off, contrary to pitched roofs.

Snow removal on flat roofs should be done more frequently to avoid serious structural damage.

What to do when snow starts to accumulate on your roof

To prevent snow from accumulating on the roof and avoid all the risks that this entails, you should commit to frequent snow removal. Snow removal is not a simple task and is often dangerous. Whoever is responsible for clearing snow from the roof should take all necessary safety precautions.

At Duro-Toit, we recommend contacting snow removal professionals if you have any doubts about your ability to safely remove snow from your roof.

Look for signs of roof damage

Sagging ceiling tiles or sprinkler lines, popping or cracking noises, blocked doors and windows, cracked walls or a leaky roof are all signs of an over-stressed roof.

Roof inspections are important

If you live in Quebec or anywhere where there is a lot of snow in winter, consider scheduling a professional roof inspection before the cold sets in. It’s best to confirm that your roof can handle the weight of the snow before it begins to fall.

And even if snowfall isn’t frequent where you live, it’s a good idea to contact an expert at least once a year to check the condition of your roof. Even rain or wind can cause problems if your roof is in bad shape.

Winter roof maintenance and preventive measure

Preventing snow build-up and maintaining your roof regularly will prevent damage and keep everyone safe during the winter months. Here are some practical tips from our Montreal roofers:

  • Install snow barriers: Snow barriers or snow guards can prevent snow from accumulating unevenly on your roof and sliding off in large quantities.
  • Use heating cables: Roof de-icing cables along gutters and roof edges can help prevent ice dams by making snow melt and drain off more quickly.
  • Proper insulation and ventilation: This helps maintain an even roof temperature and reduces the risks of repeated melting and refreezing.
  • Preventive snow removal: Consider removing snow from your roof to avoid excessive accumulation in the event of a heavy snowfall.

Safe rooftop snow removal with Duro-Toit!

With winter in full swing, you need your roof to be safe and functional. At Duro-Toit, we understand the importance of efficient, responsible snow removal.

Our team of experts is equipped to handle the challenges of winter snow removal and keep your flat or pitched roof in perfect condition.

If you need our services or have any questions, call us at (514) 755 – 8648 or fill out the form on our contact page.

Pros and Cons of Roof De-Icing Cables

A common problem for building owners in snowy climates is the formation of ice dams on their roofs.

Ice dams are build-ups of ice and snow on the edges and eaves of a pitched roof. Ice dams can result in beautiful icicles, but they can also damage the roof, break gutters and cause water infiltration.

Several strategies have been developed over the years to prevent the formation of ice dams and the resulting property damage. One of the most popular strategies is roof de-icing cables.

In this article, Montreal roofers explain how ice dams form and how roof de-icing cables can help counteract the process.

What is roof de-icing cable?

A roof de-icing cable, also known as a roof heating cable or heating wire, is a roofing system designed to prevent ice and snow build-up on roofs, gutters and downspouts.

A heavy-duty electric cable is energized to generate heat. This heat prevents ice from forming and melts snow to preserve the roof structure and prevent potential damage caused by ice build-up.

How can roof de-icing cables help prevent ice dams?

Roof de-icing wires use electrical resistance to generate heat, melting pathways through the snow and ice on the roof. The channels allow meltwater to run off instead of freezing into ice dams or seeping into the roof. 

Please note: De-icing cables cannot melt all of the snow on the roof or completely prevent ice dams. Roof snow removal is still important when there is a thick layer of snow, even if the roof is equipped with de-icing cables.

Advantages of installing roof de-icing cables

If the de-icing cables are good quality and are installed by certified professional roofers, they can certainly minimize the water accumulation that causes ice dams and help slow their growth. They are generally placed in patterns along eaves, around chimneys and skylights and in gutters or drainpipes.

Although de-icing cables aren’t a permanent solution, they are an excellent choice for homeowners who need a quick solution. They cost much less than the roofing work needed to seal attic leaks, install proper insulation and create appropriate roof ventilation systems.

There are 4 main advantages of to installing roof de-icing cables:

  1. Prevention against ice formation and ice dams
  2. Protection against structural damage caused by the weight of snow
  3. Reduced maintenance and repair costs
  4. Improved safety

Choosing the right type of de-icing cable

Selecting the right type of de-icing cable will ensure that your roof is effectively protected against the harsh elements during winter. There are several different types of heating cable on the market, each suited to specific applications and climatic conditions.

Types of heating cables

  • Self-limiting heating cables: These cables are designed to adjust their heat output according to ambient temperature. They are ideal for climates where temperatures vary dramatically.
  • Constant wattage heating cables: These cables provide a constant amount of heat and are often used in areas where temperatures remain uniformly low.
  • Temperature-controlled heating cables: Fitted with sensors, these cables adjust their heat output according to weather conditions, making them energy-efficient.

Choosing the right cable for the building structure

  • Roof type: The choice of cable depends on the type of roof (slate, tile, metal, etc.). Some cables are better suited to specific surfaces than others.
  • Roof layout: Consider roof features such as slope, valleys, gutters and downspouts. This will influence the type of cable and installation method you choose.

Choosing a cable to suit the climate

  • Intensity of winter conditions: Regions subject to heavy snowfall and extremely low temperatures (like Quebec) will require sturdy, high-performance cables.

Roof heating cable installation

Installing a roof heating cable is a process that requires precision and attention to detail. Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing de-icing cables. Remember, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions!

1. Preparedness and safety

Start by reading the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Each cable type may have specific installation requirements.

Make sure you have all necessary tools and materials at hand.

Switch off the power supply to the installation area and use appropriate safety equipment.

2. Planning the layout

Calculate the total cable length required, remembering to measure gutters, downspouts and problem areas on the roof.

Plan where the wiring will cross the roof, making sure to cover areas where ice and snow tend to accumulate most often.

3. Installing the de-icing cable

Start by securing the cable along roof edges, in gutters and around downspouts. Use the fasteners and clips supplied by the manufacturer.

Make sure the cables don’t cross each other and are distributed evenly.

Maintain the recommended spacing between cable loops for even heat distribution.

4. Electrical connection

Connect the cable to the electrical system according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you aren’t sure how tot do this, exercise caution and call in a qualified electrician.

If your system is equipped with a thermostat or sensor, you’ll need to install this as well.

5. System test

Once installation is complete, turn the power supply back on and verify that the system is working correctly.

6. Post-installation maintenance

After installation, inspect the system regularly for any flaws or damage.

Installation of heating cables: safety and regulatory compliance

Installing roof heating cables involves following strict safety procedures, including disconnecting the power supply and using protective equipment. Work at heights must be carried out using fall-prevention equipment, and you must never attempt it alone. Be sure to respect the wire spacing recommended by the manufacturer to prevent overheating and reduce the risk of fire.

When installing heating cables, you must comply with electrical and building regulations, using certified equipment that meets established criteria for safety and quality. To guarantee that your cables are installed correctly, call on qualified professionals.

Install de-icing cables to protect your roof during the winter!

It’s very important to understand that roof de-icing cables cannot prevent ice dams from forming or eliminate them completely. They simply melt channels through the dams to help meltwater flow off the roof. To prevent ice dams from forming in the first place, you must address the root of the problem—an overheated roof caused by heat leakage from inside the house and/or a lack of maintenance in specific weather conditions.

Thankfully, Duro-Toit roofers are here to help homeowners whose roofs are prone to ice dams. After inspecting the roof, we will suggest a customized approach that includes all of the work needed to keep your roof at the ideal temperature. 

Contact us today for more information!

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Roof Pitch

A roof tirelessly protects the building underneath it, allowing us to live and work in comfort and safety. In Quebec, choosing the right roof pitch cannot be left to chance: in fact, choosing an appropriate slope means meeting precise standards, as our local climate regularly puts both roofs and homes to the test.

Whether you’re doing renovations or constructing a new building, choosing the right roof pitch means carefully assessing a variety of factors. Always refer to the latest rules and regulations when determining an appropriate pitch.

Here is some sound advice from our roofing experts to help you choose the right roof pitch for your building.

Roof pitch standards and regulations in Quebec

You may have already chosen a roof covering, but keep in mind that not all materials are suitable for any type of pitched roof. If the slope is too shallow, some roof coverings won’t be effective, and you may find yourself subject to sloped roof leaking.

According to the guidelines of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec, minimum roof pitch is important to guarantee efficient, long-lasting building protection. A building is generally considered to have a pitched roof when the slope is equal to or greater than 2:12 or 16.7%.

Roof pitch table

table 9.26.3.1 of the National Building Code for roof slopes

What is the minimum slope for an asphalt shingle roof?

When it comes to asphalt shingles, slope plays a decisive role not only in how your roof will look, but also in determining its performance and lifespan.

The minimum recommended slope for an asphalt shingle roof is generally 2:12, equivalent to a minimum of 16.7%. A slope of this degree will guarantee that water and melting snow drain off efficiently, preventing infiltration and potential moisture damage.

For further in-depth details on recommended roof slopes, contact our experts today!

What is a roof slope and how is it defined?

The slope of a roof is defined by the ratio of vertical height (rise) to horizontal length (spread), usually expressed by a ratio such as 4:12.

A so-called “standard” roof slope is 4:12 (usually), meaning that for every 12 horizontal units, the roof rises by 4 vertical units. This slope is sufficient to allow good water drainage and efficient snow removal, which are vital considerations in Quebec’s climate. However, standards can vary according to local conditions and the materials used, and sometimes a steeper slope will be required for optimal roof function and durability.

If you’re not sure how to calculate roof pitch, ask our experts!

Why install a pitched roof?

Before determining the slope of your future roof, you need to understand what is involved in building a pitched roof.

A steeper slope allows water to run off more easily. This prevents moisture and debris such as branches and leaves from accumulating on your roof and causing damage. Inside the building, steeply sloping roofs also offer more space for an attic.

But beware: steep-sloped roofs are harder to access when maintenance or roof inspection is required, and may pose a safety risk in these situations. This makes maintenance costs slightly higher for steeply pitched roofs than for gently-sloping or flat roofs.

Note also that the steeper the slope of a roof, the greater the surface area that has to be covered with a roof coating. As a general rule, the price of a new pitched roof will increase in proportion to its slope.

Factors to consider when choosing roof slope

Deciding on a roof pitch requires some planning as you will need to adapt your choice according to several important variables. The following are the main factors to consider:

Climate and environmental conditions

Local weather conditions play a big role in determining the ideal slope of a roof. In regions like Quebec where there is plenty of snow and rain, a steeper slope is preferable, as it will make it easy for precipitation to run off into gutters and allow for minimum accumulation of snow on the roof.

Roofing materials

The type of roof shingles you use will also impact your choice of slope. A steeper slope is necessary for some roofing materials to seal correctly, and to reduce the risk of leaks.

Architectural style

The design of your house can also influence your choice of roof pitch, as the slope should complement the architectural style of the building and help keep the structure in harmony with the surrounding environment.

Local rules and regulations

You should also be aware that some boroughs have specific roof slope regulations. These can vary according to the type of roof and building (heritage, commercial, etc.). Be sure to learn about and follow any rules specific to your area to avoid legal complications.

Functionality and use of space

Finally, you will need to choose an appropriate pitch according to how the roof will affect your living space. It is possible to choose a roof slope specifically to maximize the amount of living space under the roof, or one that will allow you to install specific rooftop technology, such as solar panels.

Detecting structural deformations on pitched roofs

Sloped roofs can be vulnerable to structural deformations that are hard to spot with the naked eye. Regular roof maintenance is vital to detect any structural problems in time to fix them. Proper roof inspection includes checking the state of your shingles, looking for wet areas that could be symptoms of leaks, and observing any sagging that could signal a structural problem.

You can rely on certified roofers to do regular, thorough inspections and extra verification following extreme weather conditions.

Ask Duro-Toit roofers for advice on choosing the right roof pitch

Simply put, choosing the right roof slope is extremely important. Every little detail matters when it comes to choosing a roof pitch that will meet local standards and protect your building well.

Knowing that there are so many factors to keep in mind, it might be a good idea to ask for advice from pitched roof experts like Duro-Toit. Our experienced roofers have the necessary qualifications to answer all your questions and guide you from start to finish.

Roofing Maintenance: Complete Checklist

Whether it’s your house, your condo or your business premises, the condition of your roof has a direct impact on your building and your well-being.

A worn out and unmaintained roof can cause a lot of problems, including leaks and insulation defects, which can lead to high heating costs.

Being aware that your roof needs to be taken care of is a good thing, but how do you go about it? And when should you do it?

Find out now with Duro-Toit Montreal’s roofers practical roof maintenance checklist.

The 6 essentials of roofing maintenance

Do you want to protect your roof, but aren’t sure where to start? From cleaning and snow removal to regular inspections, discover 6 roof maintenance tips that will save you time and money!

1. Clean the roof with the right equipment

The roof of your home is the first line of defense against wind, rain, temperature changes and, of course, snow. Consequently, even a top-quality roof covering will be exposed to bad weather and possible damage. A few things must be done to ensure that your roofing retains both its appearance and its insulating properties.

Cleaning is an essential element of regular maintenance. When done on a regular basis, it gets rid of damaging debris such as leaves, branches, sand and moss. There are various ways to clean your roof. However, you should avoid using high-pressure jets or brooms, which can cause damage. For more information on the best cleaning  solutions for your type of roof, consult a roofing professional.

2. Waterproofing

Homeowners can protect their roof against moisture and leaks by applying a waterproofing product. This type of water or acrylic based protection is available in two forms:

  • Film-forming: once dry, it will form a protective film that prevents air and water from penetrating below its surface.

  • Pearl effect: as its name indicates, this environmentally friendly product helps to form droplets that run off the roof more easily.

Again, there are many different products on the market and it is important to consult a professional to choose a water repellent that is compatible with your choice of roofing membrane or asphalt shingles and will not alter its color or composition.

3. Moss treatment

As indicated earlier, the geographical location of your home, the amount of vegetation on the property and above all the humidity can often produce moss on the surface of the roof. Formed by algae or lichens, these mosses are extremely damaging because they store water, create cracks when it freezes and make the materials more porous and therefore more vulnerable to bad weather. A comprehensive roofing maintenance effort should include moss treatment.

4. Gutter maintenance

Maintaining gutters and downspouts is essential because all unwanted dirt and debris is drained through your gutters. If you neglect your gutters for a long period of time, the pipes can become blocked and damage your roof, exterior walls and other structural elements. A simple flush may be enough to clean them out. However, if there is too much buildup, a manual or high-pressure cleaning may be necessary to ensure proper drainage from your roof.

5. Snow removal

Ice and snow build-up is probably the most common cause of roof leaks and water damage in Quebec homes. This is in addition to the extra weight that often causes roof structures to collapse. Consequently, snow removal during storms is an essential step for maintaining your roof!

If you live in the Greater Montreal area, you can have your pitched roof snow removal or flat roof snow removal done by Duro-Toit.

6. Roof inspection

Remember, sometimes the signs of deterioration of a roof are imperceptible. You’ll need a roofing expert to determine the health of your roof. A quarterly inspection is recommended to verify whether your roof needs maintenance, and whether you have:

  • Peeling flashing
  • Granular loss
  • Missing shingles
  • Curling shingles
  • Cracked shingles

If a professional inspection results in the detection of damage, you will be able to take action more quickly to avoid the spread of any weakness or flaws that could result in the need for more complex roof repairs or a complete roof replacement.

When should your roof be serviced?

Doing maintenance on your roof is essential for effective building management, whether for a house, condo, building or commercial space. Maintenance done by professional roofers will extend the life of your roof and thus help maintain the integrity of the building, making it a truly worthwhile investment that will save you money in the long run.

Roofing maintenance should be done at the following times:

When your roof shows signs of wear

As soon as your roof appears to show signs of wear, which could be indicated by an uncomfortable change in temperature, abnormally high heating costs, visible deterioration of the coating or traces of moisture, you should have a roof inspection done. Professional roofers will be able to tell you what type of roof maintenance makes the most sense for the building.

Depending on the case, you may be able to fix the problem by repairing only the damaged portion of the roof, by removing the obsolete components and replacing them with new materials. The work may also involve simply sealing leaks or installing new sealants or better insulation.

Repairing or adding vents is also a great solution for roofing systems that are prone to ventilation problems. Investing in the installation of a new unit will be much less expensive than having to do a complete roof restoration.

Before winter arrives

Quebec’s climate is harsh on roofs, which need to survive strong winds and the weight of snow and ice in winter. To avoid Mother Nature’s wrath, roofing maintenance begins with careful winter preparation. Some roofing companies, like Duro-Toit, offer roof winterization services. Avoid any unpleasant surprises and make an appointment before the first snow storms hit!

During winter, snow can often build up in large quantities. It is common to see cracks, leaks, structural deformities or even complete roof collapses. We recommend hiring a professional to remove snow and ice from your roof, to limit the risk of injury.

At regular intervals

Roofing maintenance involves a certain amount of vigilance. You should have an expert inspect your roof every three to six months, or after bad weather.

Cleaning the gutters is important, as well as checking the storm drains, to be sure they are doing their job and draining water and debris.

Adding gravel to asphalt roofs is a sure way to protect them from the sun’s destructive rays. In fact, this simple roof maintenance trick will slow down the contraction of the asphalt during major temperature variations and make your roofing last longer.

Let experienced roofers take care of your roof!

In short, regular roofing maintenance is essential if you want to keep your roof in good condition for years to come! That said, roofing work has to be done at height, so it is safer to rely on professional roofers. To learn more, contact the experts at Duro-Toit today!

For more information on our roof maintenance services or to make an appointment with one of our technical advisors, contact us today at (514) 755-8648.

Copper Roofing: What You Need to Know

A roof does much more than protect an interior from the elements; this architectural element is a building’s insurance policy, and a defining element of its character and appearance. And copper roofs, in particular, stand out for their timeless elegance and unrivalled strength.

Long associated with historic and exceptional buildings, copper roofing is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity, and appealing to homeowners who want a durable, visually striking roofing solution.

Our Montreal roofers explain the benefits of copper roofing and why it could be the ideal choice for your next roof.

Why install a copper roof?

Copper roofing is a practical cladding that makes an excellent choice for enhancing the appearance of your home. A copper roof covering consists of thin copper sheets, generally rectangular in shape and cut in various sizes. Usually between 50 and 65 cm wide, copper roofing sheets are designed according to specific criteria.

Their length varies according to manufacturing standards, and is also influenced by the climatic conditions where they will be installed, including windiness and building location. Roof pitch also influences the length of copper roofing sheets. For framing, a thickness of 22 mm is generally required. You can choose from both long copper sheets and tile-like sheets, according to your preference.

It should be noted that copper roofs are often installed in regions that are prone to heavy snowfall, high winds or extreme temperatures. That’s why copper roofs are so popular in Quebec!

Benefits of a copper roof

In addition to its timeless beauty and brilliant shine, a copper roof is a good choice for several reasons. Here are some of the main benefits of using this noble material for a roof.

Durability

Copper is renowned for its exceptional durability. Unlike other materials, this roof covering does not weather easily. A properly installed copper roof is resistant to corrosion, UV, frost and heat, and can easily last over a century. This longevity makes a copper roof a smart long-term investment that will offer flawless protection for decades to come.

Unique aesthetic

One of copper’s most distinctive charms is the way in which its appearance changes over time. When first installed, a copper roof will boast a brilliant reddish shine, but as time goes by, it will develop a patina until it is completely gray-green in colour. This transformation, far from being a sign of deterioration, is actually a natural protection that adds to the unique character of each roof. We’ll talk more about the aesthetics of this type of roofing material below!

Eco-friendly

In an age when environmental sustainability is a primal concern, copper stands out for being easily recyclable. At the end of its life, instead of being discarded as waste, a copper roof can be fully recycled to create new products. Since this type of roof also lasts a very long time, fewer replacements are needed and its overall environmental impact is minimal.

Low maintenance

One of the main benefits of a copper roof is that it requires very little maintenance. Thanks to its protective patina, there is no need to do regular treatments to protect it from the elements. Unlike other materials that may require frequent cleaning, treatment or repair, a copper roof can stay beautiful and functional with minimal effort.

Copper roof: oxidation and color evolution

As mentioned above, copper undergoes a remarkable transformation over time. This change in appearance is due to a natural oxidation process that gives this metal a distinctive aquamarine patina. But how exactly does this transformation take place, and what factors influence how long it will take to become noticeable?

How copper patina forms

When copper is exposed to air, it reacts with oxygen to form a thin layer of copper oxide. This layer is initially reddish-brown in color. Over time, influenced by humidity and sulfur compounds in the air (such as sulfur dioxide), the oxide layer gradually transforms into copper sulfate, which has a greenish-gray hue. This patina is not just aesthetic: it forms a protective barrier that prevents further corrosion of the copper, thus increasing its durability.

Factors influencing oxidation rate

Several factors can influence the speed with which copper oxidizes and develops a patina:

  • Humidity: High humidity tends to accelerate the copper oxidation process.
  • Atmospheric pollution: In urban or industrial areas, where sulfur dioxide levels are higher, copper can develop a patina more quickly.
  • Proximity to the sea: Salt spray can also influence the speed of oxidation.
  • Direct exposure to the elements: Copper surfaces that are directly exposed to rain, wind and sun can oxidize faster than those that are more sheltered.

Tips for installing and maintaining a copper roof

Although copper roofs are strong and long-lasting, they require careful installation and some minimal maintenance to guarantee that they will last as long as possible and remain beautiful. Here are several tips to keeping your copper roof in perfect condition for decades to come.

Choose the right professional roofer

  • Look for experience: When installing a copper roof, make sure you choose a roofer with proven experience in copper roof installation. Ask for references and examples of previous work.
  • Check certifications: A certified roofer will have undergone specialized training and be up to date with industry best practices.
  • Ask for a detailed estimate: A serious professional will provide you with a detailed estimate that includes the cost of materials and labor, as well as lead times.

Do minimal maintenance to extend roof life

  • Gentle cleaning: Although copper is low-maintenance, occasional cleaning with water and a soft brush can help remove accumulated debris and dirt.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals: Never use chemicals or solvents on your copper roof, as these can damage the natural patina.
  • Inspect regularly: Even though copper is durable, it’s always a good idea to inspect your roof regularly for any signs of damage or wear.

Avoid corrosion

  • Avoid contact with other metals: As mentioned above, copper can react with certain types of metal which will accelerate corrosion. Make sure your copper roof doesn’t come into direct contact with any other metals, especially galvanized steel or zinc.
  • Gutters and downspouts : If you have copper gutters or downspouts, make sure that the water doesn’t spill out onto other types of metal.
  • Protective coatings: Although copper’s natural patina protects it, in certain situations a protective coating can be applied to offer additional protection against corrosion.

What is the cost of a copper roof in Quebec?

Copper is recognized as one of the most prestigious and durable roofing materials, but this quality also comes with a higher price tag when compared with other materials. In Quebec, the cost of a copper roof can vary depending on several factors.

Cost estimate

On average, the price of copper roofing in Quebec can range from $60 to $100 per square foot. This price generally includes both materials and installation, but please note that this is only an estimate. To find out more, contact our Quebec roofers!

Factors influencing cost

  • Project complexity: Copper roof installation can cost more on roofs with complex shapes, steep slopes or special architectural features.
  • Labor: Roofers’ rates may vary according to their experience and familiarity with installing copper roofing.
  • Fluctuating copper prices: The price of copper can fluctuate on the world market, influencing the total cost of the project.

Comparison with other materials

Although installing a copper roof is initially more expensive to than installing a roof covering with other materials such as asphalt or steel, its longevity and low maintenance requirements are decisive. In the long term, a copper roof can be a profitable investment, as it can last over a century with minimal maintenance.

Get experts to install your copper roof!

When it comes to roofing, copper is synonymous with elegance, durability and superior quality. Although the initial cost of installing a copper roof may be higher, the long-term benefits, both in terms of longevity and appearance, make it a shrewd choice for those looking to add real value to their property.

As with any important investment, it’s important to trust experts with the installation and maintenance of your copper roof. Duro-Toit can offer services based on years of experience and an unmatched reputation for excellence. Our team can guarantee that every copper roof we install will not only be attractive, but also built to last.

Don’t put your roofing project in the hands of just anyone – trust Duro-Toit, Quebec’s copper roofing experts. Contact us today to consult an advisor and discover how we can transform your home or building into a lasting work of art.

Roof Restoration: What You Need to Know

More than just a symbol of protection and comfort, the roof of any building requires special attention if you want it to do its job well. Especially if you have an old roof that has withstood the elements for many years, it may be time to consider a restoration.

A well-maintained roof can significantly improve the energy efficiency of your building. However, roof restoration requires careful planning and deliberate, step-by-step execution to be successful.

In this article, the experts at our Montreal roofing company guide you through the entire roof restoration process and offer valuable advice on deciding when to restore your roof, which steps to follow to complete the project successfully, and how much roof restoration could cost.

When is it time to restore your roof?

Before beginning a roof restoration, you need to decide whether your roof really needs to be renovated (or replaced). There are many signs that could indicate your roof needs work, and it’s important to note these early and take action to prevent more serious problems in the future.

Signs your roof needs restoration

  • Water leaks and seepage: If you notice water stains on the ceilings or walls of your home, this may be caused by a leaky roof. Water infiltration can damage the structure, insulation and other components of your building. This is a sign that your roof needs immediate attention.
  • Broken or missing shingles: Broken or missing tiles, shingles or other roofing materials are clear signs that your roof needs a restoration. Gaps in the roofing cover can allow water to penetrate the building and cause damage.
  • Deterioration of roofing materials: If you notice signs of wear on your roofing materials, like buckling, cracks or discoloration, it’s time to consider a roof restoration.
  • Loss of energy efficiency: If your energy bills are rising for no apparent reason, it could be due to poor insulation. Re-insulation can improve your building’s energy efficiency.
  • Advanced age: If your roof has exceeded its normal lifespan (generally between 20 and 30 years, depending on the material), we recommend considering a restoration, even if there are no obvious signs of damage.

The benefits of preventive roof repair

There are several advantages to preventive restoration. By acting before problems worsen, you can save money in the long term and avoid more costly repairs. Preventive restoration can also make your roof more watertight, improve insulation and help preserve the structure of your building.

If you think you need a professional preventive restoration service, contact our roofers!

How to repair an old roof in 8 steps

The process of renovating an old roof requires careful planning and respect for a specific procedure. There are 8 steps to follow to successfully repair your roof.

1. Assessment of current roof condition

Before starting any work, you need to carry out a complete assessment of your roof’s current condition. This involves inspecting the framework, roofing materials, flashing and any signs of damage. Identify damaged areas, leaks and signs of deterioration to determine the extent of the work required.

2. Planning and design

Once the assessment is complete, you can start planning the restoration. Choose roofing materials according to the local climate, how you want your building to look, and durability. Remember to consider roof insulation so that you can improve your building’s energy efficiency. Draw up a detailed plan that includes everything from materials to architectural layout.

3. Site preparation

Prepare the site by making the area secure and doing whatever is necessary to protect the immediate surroundings. Install safety barriers and protect windows and exterior fittings to avoid potential damage during the restoration. Make sure you have all necessary equipment.

Since roofing work involves working at heights, it’s best to leave it to a professional. At Duro-Toit, we have the equipment and experience to carry out work at heights in complete safety.

4. Demolition and disposal

The process begins with the removal of old roofing materials, such as tiles or shingles, making sure to respect safety regulations. Remove damaged layers and clean the surface in preparation for the installation of the new roof.

5. Renovation of the roof structure

If your roof structure is showing signs of deterioration, now is the time to make the necessary repairs. Reinforce beams, replace damaged parts and make sure the framework is strong and can safely support the new roof.

6. Insulation and ventilation

Take advantage of this opportunity to improve your sloped roof ventilation and insulation. You can add high-quality insulation material between the rafters to improve the energy efficiency of your home or building. Make sure your roof also has adequate ventilation to prevent moisture build-up.

7. Installation of the new roof

Choose roofing materials that will function correctly for the type of building, and look good too. Whether you opt for traditional shingles, asphalt shingles or other modern materials, be sure to follow installation instructions for a watertight, long-lasting roof.

8. Finishing and inspection

Once the new roof has been installed, you’ll need to do some careful finishing to ensure that it remains watertight. Do a thorough inspection to make sure everything is up to standard and every detail has been looked after.

How much does roof restoration cost?

One of the key elements to consider when restoring your roof is the total cost of the project. Factors influencing cost can vary considerably. The following are the main points to consider:

Factors influencing the cost of roof renovation

  • Roof size and shape: The size of your roof is an obvious factor influencing cost. Larger roofs require more materials and labor, which will increase expenses. The complexity of the roof configuration, such as slopes, dormers or chimneys, can also influence the cost of roof restoration.
  • Choice of materials: The type of roofing materials you choose plays a role in determining the overall cost. Top-of-the-range materials may be more expensive to buy, but can offer greater durability and look better for a longer time.
  • Additional work: If the roof structure needs repairing, insulation needs improving, or items such as rain gutters and vents need replacing, this additional work will add to the overall cost of the restoration project.
  • Accessibility and safety: If your roof is difficult to access or workers need to take extra safety precautions to do the job, this can add to the cost. Sometimes it is necessary to take measures protect your property during the work, which could also influence the overall cost.

For a free quote, fill out our form today!

Budget for roof restoration

To estimate the budget for your roof restoration, you can:

  • Ask for quotes: Get detailed estimates from several roofing contractors. This will give you a clearer idea of the costs associated with your specific project.
  • Calculate the cost of materials: Calculate the approximate cost of materials required, based on the surface area of your roof.
  • Include extra costs: Don’t forget to include additional costs such as structural repairs, insulation, vents, rain gutters and finishing.
  • Allow a margin: It’s a good idea to allow a margin for unexpected expenses and cost variations. In general, we recommend a margin of 10% to 20% of the total budget.
  • Look for grants and financial assistance: Find out about any grants or financial assistance programs available for roof restoration. These initiatives can help reduce your expenses.

Roofing restoration grants in Quebec

If you’re planning to renovate your roof in Quebec, there are several financial assistance programs available to help finance your project. Here’s an overview of the different resources available to help you finance your roofing project.

CMHC Eco Plus

The CMHC Eco Plus program offers subsidies to homeowners who purchase climate-friendly housing. A pre- and post-retrofit energy assessment is required to qualify. Rebates can vary from 15% to 25%, depending on the energy savings achieved by your building.

Rénoclimat

The Rénoclimat program encourages energy-efficient home renovations. For roof insulation work, grants range from $35 to $975, depending on various criteria such as the surface area being insulated and the insulation values before and after the work. Owners of single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes or apartment buildings of up to three storeys and 600 square metres are also eligible.

RénoRégion

The RénoRégion program is aimed at homeowners in rural areas whose dwelling value does not exceed $150,000. It finances up to 95% of the cost of eligible work, to a maximum of $20,000. However, this amount can rise to $25,000 for households with incomes below or equal to the AIL. This program is available in municipalities with fewer than 15,000 inhabitants and in the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region.

GST and QST rebates

Owners of single-unit buildings or condominiums may be eligible for a GST/QST rebate on major renovations. Eligibility criteria apply, such as occupancy of the residence after the work and the cost of the work.

Renovation Quebec

The Renovation Quebec program is designed to provide financial support to homeowners in run-down residential areas. Eligible projects include home renovations for low-income households and major home renovations.

Municipal programs

Many municipalities in Quebec, including Montreal, offer subsidy programs for roof repairs in specific areas. Amounts and eligibility criteria may vary. For more information, contact your local municipality.

Duro-Toit: roof restoration for every building

Renovating your building’s old roof is the only way to guarantee that it will last a long time and protect the rest of the building. To ensure exceptional results and peace of mind throughout the process, it’s always better to rely on a professional roofing service.

Duro-Toit roofers are experts in flat and pitched roof restoration. We understand the importance of giving attention to every detail during a roof restoration. Our highly trained team has the expertise to assess your roof’s current condition, plan the renovation strategically and carry out each step of the project with precision.

Whether you have a flat or pitched roof, we can provide superior solutions. You can rely on our years of experience to benefit from a high-standard professional job. Contact us to discuss your project!

How Much Does a Flat Roof Cost?

When it comes to building or renovating a building with a flat roof, one of the first questions that comes up is: how much will it cost? By understanding all costs associated with installing a flat roof, you can plan a realistic budget and make good decisions.

In this article, our roofers present the different factors that can affect the price of constructing a new flat roof.

What does a flat roof cost per square foot?

The cost-per-square-foot approach is widely used in the construction industry to determine the price of a flat roof. This method offers a convenient way to compare prices and obtain a general budget estimate.

Based on the experience of our roofing contractors, the average cost per square foot for a flat roof in Quebec can vary from $10 to $40. This estimate is based on several factors, which we explain below.

The price of a flat roof, depending on the type of covering

The right flat roof membrane system guarantees that your roof will be waterproof and your building will be protected from the elements.

Homeowners have many choices when it comes to choosing the right flat roof membrane. Of course, there can be significant price differences between different types of roofing.

TPO membrane

TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) flat roof systems consist of a single layer of synthetic material with a reinforcing grid. The TPO membrane is usually tacked down or fully adhered to the roof substrate.

This type of membrane stands out for its exceptional durability, and is usually guaranteed for 20 years. However, the quality of this membrane is greatly influenced by ambient temperature. In areas like Quebec where cold temperatures are common, the joints between membranes can become brittle. Even so, TPO membranes remain one of the best-performing membranes on the market, as long as it is installed correctly and used under the right conditions.

The average price per square foot for a TPO-coated roof is estimated at $15 to $25.

EPDM membrane

EPDM is an acronym for ethylene propylene diene monomer, a type of flat roof membrane used mainly for industrial buildings. The best way to imagine this material is to compare it to the inner tube of a bicycle tire.

Waterproofing is achieved with a single layer of membrane. Although it is durable, this roof coating is not recommended if there will be a lot of traffic on the roof. It can be installed in several ways: mechanically attached, fully adhered or held in place solely by the weight of the gravel.

Like TPO membrane, the average cost per square foot is between $15 and $25.

Multilayer asphalt and gravel membrane

This type of roof covering is composed of several layers of superimposed felts saturated with hot asphalt, which is then covered with gravel to slow the contraction or expansion of the asphalt during extreme temperature changes.

This inexpensive waterproofing membrane does, however, require recurrent long-term maintenance and the lifespan of this type of flat roof is generally shorter. The use of large quantities of asphalt in multi-layer roofing is also less environmentally friendly, as the extraction and processing of bitumen is energy-intensive and generates pollutant emissions. What’s more, asphalt is not biodegradable and contributes to the longevity of landfill waste once it has reached the end of its life.

The estimated price for this membrane is $12 to $18 per square foot.

Elastomeric membrane

Elastomeric membrane coating is considered one of the most durable roofing membranes, and the best for Quebec temperatures. This waterproofing system is composed of two plies of heat-welded modified bitumen membrane which can be installed at any time of year. Installing elastomeric membrane on a flat roof is often considered a good investment, as it requires little maintenance and has an excellent lifespan.

Although elastomeric membrane contains bitumen, it is a highly environmentally-friendly solution in the long term, thanks to its remarkable durability and resurfacing capacity. It’s both an economical and environmentally friendly choice. The cost per square foot is between $20 and $25.

Flat green roof

A vegetated roof or “green roof” makes it possible to grow plants on the roof of a building, which also regulates its temperature.

The cost includes the expense of the waterproofing membrane that must be installed underneath, and can vary from $10 to $30 per square foot.

Additional costs and fees associated with flat roofs

Beyond the cost per square foot and the choice of cladding, various elements can influence the overall budget of a flat roof project. Keep reading to learn more!

Minor or major roof renovation?

Flat roofs are very common in urban areas like Greater Montreal. Many residential and commercial buildings have flat roofs that were installed decades ago, but unfortunately, flat roofs do not last forever. They need to be renovated periodically so that they continue to function as an effective barrier against the elements.

Of course, a minor renovation to replace the covering will cost significantly less than a major renovation that involves replacing the entire roof system. The more components that need to be renovated (insulation, ventilation, adding skylights), the more expensive it will be.

The size of the flat roof

It goes without saying that the larger the roof is, the more expensive it will be to construct or renovate.

On the other hand, keep in mind that the surface area that requires covering does not include any obstacles on the surface. Also, the larger and taller the roof, the greater the challenge of installation and handling materials and debris. It’s important to consider costs related to labor and tools/equipment (e.g. hoists) required to carry out the work, in addition to permits to block streets, etc.

Roof structure and decking

A flat roof requires a structure and decking that will support the system and mechanical components.

For flat roof projects, prefabricated structural components such as roof trusses with a slight slope can sometimes be used to cut costs, because completely flat structures require tapered insulation.

Flat roof ventilation

Proper flat roof ventilation is vital to preserve the integrity of the building and prevent problems. The National Building Code of Canada lays out ventilation requirements that owners and roofing contractors are obliged to follow.

When renovating or constructing a flat roof, part of the budget must be allocated to ventilation.

Flat roof insulation

A flat roof must be properly insulated to keep the building at a reasonable temperature. Part of the renovation or construction budget must go to insulation.

Vented flat roofs must be paired with insulation that supports the ventilation system. Generally, the system will require fans placed in strategic locations, openings and insulation with a high R-value.

Unvented flat roofs, on the other hand, have no ventilation system in the attic and must therefore be insulated from above using rigid insulation panels placed directly on the vapour barrier.

There are many types of insulation products available at a wide variety of prices. To choose the right one, it is necessary to thoroughly assess the properties and characteristics of each product.

The location of the worksite

When a roofing contractor prepares a quote, they always consider the location of the worksite in their estimate.

For example, building a flat roof in a remote area may involve additional transportation expenses for equipment, materials and labour that will need to be included in the bill.

Also, replacing a flat roof at the top of a 10-storey building can be more expensive than replacing the roof of a duplex, because getting the necessary materials to that height is a complex task that may require additional equipment.

Roof maintenance

While flat roof maintenance costs are not part of the installation price, it’s still important to remember that keeping a roof in good condition requires some investment.

Flat roof maintenance includes regular inspections and occasional snow removal. Neglecting to care for a flat roof will inevitably shorten its lifespan.

The roofing contractor

Generally, the cost of materials is relatively consistent from one contractor to another. However, hourly rates can vary considerably. Some companies provide warranties, use certified labour and have an excellent reputation, while others do not. It’s generally worth paying a bit more for high quality roofing work. Beware of prices that are too good to be true!

Get a quote for your flat roof replacement with Duro-Toit

Are you considering having a flat roof replaced or repaired? There may be more factors to consider than you thought! Take the time to discuss your project with our flat roof experts—it’s the best way to get an accurate picture of the overall cost.

Contact our team to discuss your needs or request a quote for your roofing work.

White Roofs: What are They and How Do They Work?

As global temperatures continue to rise, urban areas are faced with an increasingly problematic issue: heat islands. These are areas where heat accumulates thanks to the dark, heat-absorbing surfaces of buildings and infrastructures, leading to higher temperatures in cities than in surrounding areas.

White roofs are an innovative solution to counter the harmful effects of urban heat islands. They are a promising alternative for cities that need to improve their resilience to the rising temperatures associated with climate change.

In this article, Montreal roofers explore the world of white roofs in detail, explaining what they are, how they work, and the materials used to build one.

What is a white roof?

White roofs are roofs covered in a pale coating, contrary to traditional roofs, which are generally dark. White roofs use special materials to reflect the sun’s radiation back into the atmosphere, so that the roof and building do not absorb as much heat.

How do white roofs work?

A white roof is covered with a reflective coating that is usually white or very pale. This special surface reflects a large proportion of the sun’s rays, reducing the amount of heat that is absorbed by the roof. As a result, the surface temperature of a white roof is significantly lower than that of a regular black roof, even on sunny days. By maintaining cooler temperatures, a white roof helps to mitigate the formation of urban heat islands and also improve indoor comfort.

What are white roofs made of?

A variety of materials can be used to create a white roof, each with its own durability, cost and level of reflectivity. These are a few common products used in the construction of white roofs:

  • Reflective membranes: These PVC or EPDM rubber (ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber) membranes are specially designed to reflect solar radiation. They are applied to the existing roof surface.
  • Reflective paints: Painting a roof with special reflective paint is an easy way to transform a regular roof into a white one.
  • Reflective coatings: Special coatings made with reflective materials like ceramic or silica can be applied to the roof surface to enhance its solar reflectance.

White roof vs. black roof: what’s the difference?

Compared to regular black roofs, white roofs offer numerous ecological advantages. By reducing heat absorption, they help to lower the temperature of buildings and urban spaces, which minimizes the risk of creating urban heat islands. White roofs also reduce energy consumption levels related to air conditioning, helping to cut greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment.

In addition, white roofs extend roof lifespan by reducing the wear and tear related to high temperatures, meaning fewer roof repairs and replacements are necessary. They also improve indoor comfort, providing a cooler environment in summer without high associated energy consumption.

What are the advantages of a white roof?

The benefits of white roofs go far beyond their ability to control the formation of heat islands. In fact, they are a high-performance, durable and environmentally friendly option.

Significant energy savings

When a roof absorbs the sun’s heat, that heat is transferred to the building via thermal conduction. This means that the temperature inside the building will be warmer, and more energy will be needed to cool the rooms.

By reflecting the sun, a white roof prevents heat from accumulating on the roof and creeping into the building’s structure. The building will stay cooler, which reduces the electricity costs associated with air conditioning. That’s why white roofs are synonymous with saving both energy and money!

Impressive lifespan

It’s important to remember that the main role of a roof is to protect a building from the elements. Fortunately, white roofs can do this effectively, and for a long time.

A white roof can protect roofing materials from repeatedly overheating from exposure to direct sun, thereby preventing related heat damage. In addition, the membrane used to cover white roofs remains highly flexible in winter, able to elongate over 300% in all directions even in temperatures as low as -40°C. It is also resistant to the wear and tear that can result in water infiltration.

Ideal for green roofs

Some white membranes are ideal for green roofs. Of course, you’ll need to check that the roof structure is sufficiently solid before installing a green roof, as it increases the roof’s load.

Reduced waste

Unlike many types of roof covering, some white roof membranes can be recycled.

And since white roof membranes are often more durable than asphalt and gravel membranes, they last longer and help reduce waste.

How much does a white roof cost?

Installing a white roof is an ecological and economical investment that offers long-term benefits. However, the initial cost can vary according to several key factors. These include:

  • Roof area: The first factor affecting cost is the size of the surface to be covered. The larger the roof, the more material and time required.
  • Type of material: The choice of material used for the reflective coating will impact the overall cost. Reflective membranes, special paints and reflective coatings have different levels of durability and the cost of purchase and installation will vary.
  • Roof complexity: The architectural complexity of the roof can also influence cost. A pitched roof or an irregularly shaped roof will require the services of a certified roofer, which can increase the overall cost of the project.
  • Accessibility: Roof access can also play a role in installation costs. A roof that’s difficult to access will require special equipment, and installation make take longer.

Although white roofs may represent a higher initial investment than black roofs, it’s important to consider the potential long-term savings and return on investment they offer.

Are white roofs the best solution for fighting urban heat islands?

Installing white roofs can greatly reduce urban heat islands. They are an excellent solution at a time when concern for the environment and individual well-being is sky-rocketing.

Some areas in large cities, including Montreal, are beginning to make white roofs mandatory on new flat-roofed buildings. While this type of roofing is not yet obligatory everywhere in the province or the country, white roofs are becoming a more popular choice all the time. Curious to learn more about white roofs and the other green roofing options that Duro-Toit offers? Looking for a quote for the cost of installing a white roof on your building? Contact our installation experts today!