5 Common Toronto Roofing Problems and How to Fix Them

At Professional Roofers, we regularly deal with a wide range of roofing problems that homeowners have across the Greater Toronto Area. Since we first got into the business of Toronto roofing, we’ve seen it all, but some problems are a lot more common than others.

If you’ve often wondered with the most consistent roofing problems in Toronto are, here’s a list of the top five most common issues Toronto homeowners have with their roofs — and a few things that can be done to avoid them.

Buckling, Loose, Curling, Cracked or Missing Shingles

As is true just about everywhere, one of the biggest challenges facing even the most experienced roofers in Toronto is simply the natural wear and tear that affects all roofs. Exposed to the elements, asphalt shingles become less effective as they age, and at a certain point will need to be replaced.

What makes Toronto roofing different from roofing in gentler climates is the fact that roofs in Toronto have to withstand an awful lot of stresses over the course of a year. According to Environment Canada, average temperatures in Toronto vary from a high of twenty-seven degrees Celsius in July to minus seven in January, a swing of thirty-four degrees — but it gets both a lot hotter and a lot colder on the coldest days of the year, which means that Toronto roofs need to be designed to handle much greater maximum and minimum temperatures.

On top of the wide variance in temperature, there is also a significant amount of precipitation, from drenching summer thunderstorms to lake effect snow from November to April.

All of this means that Toronto roofs tend to age quickly, and the first signs of this ageing can generally be seen in the shingles themselves. Missing shingles, cracked shingles, curling shingles, and loose shingles are caused by high winds, rooftop damage, and the cumulative effect of hundreds of cycles of soaking and drying, and the older your roof gets, the greater the likelihood of these problems become.

When it comes to fixing individual shingles, some homeowners do opt to get up on the roofs themselves to take care of the problem. But it is important to remember that this is not a long-term solution. At a certain point, the entire roof will need to be replaced by a roofing company Toronto if you want to avoid bigger problems like leaking and water damage further down the road.

Ice Damming

For Toronto homeowners, ice damming is a well-known and incredibly frustrating phenomenon. It is also one that is likely to be a particular problem for those living in houses near the downtown core or in the older suburbs, where the charming mid-twentieth century housing stock comes with the downside of inconsistent attic insulation and a host of ventilation problems.

Ice damming is caused when ridges of ice form along the eaves of a building, trapping melted snow on the roof. Ice dams form over time as heat rising from inside the house causes snow by the ridge to melt and run down to the colder eaves, where it freezes (a problem exacerbated by clogged gutters and insufficient drainage).

As melted water runs up against these ice ridges, it has nowhere to go, and slowly rots away the roof deck, leaking into the attic and causing even more serious water damage throughout the house. Ice dams are also a major cause of icicles, which can destroy eavestroughs and pose a risk to pedestrians and cars when they inevitably fall off.

Toronto homeowners who are experiencing problems with ice dams have a few options to consider — but first and foremost, they should book a consultation with expert roofers who can help them understand the underlying problems of their roof.

In most cases, ice damming is primarily caused by insufficient ventilation. If warm air rises from the inside the house and has nowhere to go, this will have the effect of heating up the roof deck and increase the likelihood of snowmelt. In situations like this, installing better ventilation options like roof ridge and soffit vents can nip the problem in the bud.

If the problem has caused sufficient damage, however, new vents will not be enough, and the entire roof will need to be replaced.

Overflowing Gutters and Eavestroughs

Gutters play an essential role in channelling water away from your roof, and many problems (like ice damming) that affect the roof may be related to overflowing gutters that are causing water to pool on the roof.

One of the things many homeowners value about living in Toronto is the many beautiful trees that offer a leafy shade canopy in the summer. But these very trees can also wreak havoc on drainage systems, as falling leaves can quickly clog up gutters, eavestroughs and downspouts, causing water to stagnate. This is why the installation or repair of downspouts and eavestroughs is one of the most common roof maintenance issues homeowners in Toronto face every year.

A smart approach to roof drainage starts with clearing clogged gutters in the spring and fall, which is why Professional Roofers offers gutter cleaning and repair services across the Greater Toronto Area.

We can also provide you with roof maintenance tips to ensure that your gutters are working at maximum effectiveness, and install gutter guards that will help you avoid build-up of organic matter during the summer and winter months.

Deteriorated Soffits and Fascia

A functioning roof involves a lot of different components, and among the most frequently overlooked are the soffits and fascia boards that close off and protect the eaves from water damage.

The soffits and fascia are connected to the gutters and tend to be affected by related problems. Overflowing gutters, for example, can speed the decay and deterioration of soffits and fascia, meaning then need to be replaced sooner.

It is a good idea to have soffits and fascia inspected every spring and fall, and homeowners in Toronto should be particularly mindful of the fact that wild animals such as raccoons often make nests under the eaves of buildings. For this reason, when inspecting old or damaged fascia boards, it is always a good idea to be prepared for an encounter with wildlife.

If you realize that you do need to replace these components, getting in touch with a Toronto roofing company like Professional Roofers is the best way to ensure the job is done quickly and efficiently.

Standing Water on Flat Roofs

Toronto homeowners whose houses have flat roofs have a different set of concerns from those who have chosen to use different roofing materials (you can click here to learn more about the pros and cons of different styles of roofing). While flat roofs make DIY repairs easier, they also require more care, and in particular, homeowners need to make sure standing water isn’t pooling on the roof.

Just as Toronto’s generous foliage causes problems for gutters, it is also an issue for flat roof owners insofar as dead leaves can quite easily clog up flat roof drains.

If you have noticed problems with standing water on your flat roof, the first thing you should do is check the drains to see if you can unclog the debris manually. If this doesn’t work, you may need to call a professional roofing company that specializes in flat roofs to snake your drain and check to see that there are no tears or holes in the roofing membrane.

The last thing any homeowner wants to be confronted within the depths of January is a roof leak. But making sure your roof can last through the harsh Toronto winter means thinking ahead and ensuring that your house is in good repair during the summer months when fixing issues is easy.

If you have noticed that your roof is showing signs of ageing and has one of these five common Toronto roofing issues, the best thing to do is book a consultation with Professional Roofers to find out what kind of solutions are available.

Because Professional Roofers deals with such a wide range of roofing issues, we can provide you with expert advice on whether the problem you are facing can be easily fixed by installing more attic ventilation, or whether you will need to overhaul your roof complete if you want to avoid serious structural damage in the near future.

As a Toronto roofing company that has been solving problems from homeowners across the Greater Toronto Area for years, we can help you with whatever your particular issue is, big or small. Get in touch with us today to learn more!

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