Ask The Experts
We are one of the contributors to ‘Kevin Panko’s website’ Ask The Experts®
We have included some of our articles on this page, in order to assist you with your research on proper roofing procedures, tips, and suggestions.
… based upon David Swartzenberger’s experience since 1957!
For additional articles by ‘Experts’ please visit Kevin Panko’s website
Questions asked by readers of ‘Ask The Experts®
|I saw your article in the September Calgary Herald “Ask The Experts”. While not a roofing question, I was wondering if you would/could answer a fireplace chimney question. I would like to cap my fireplace chimney for air leakage purposes since the fireplace is never used. The top of the flue is a rectangular clay tile. Are solid caps available or do I have to have something made from sheet metal?|
|A ‘Heating & Sheet Metal’ company could make a new metal cap in white, black, brown or red. They would also install it.
A mason could build one from concrete, once a form is constructed, or brick or stone could be used.
If it’s not being used, it could be closed at the top, and a wood cap of your design could be constructed and a metal, coloured cap could then cover it.
|I have a 60’s house that has a slightly sloped roof (essentially a flat roof) with the original tar and gravel roof. There has likely been some repair over the years, but looks like it is time to replace it. I’ve been researching the different products and I know tar and gravel is not widely used anymore. There appear to be lots of alternatives, at varying levels of cost. I’m looking for a cost effective but also effective and proven material. I don’t necessarily want the cheapest solution as I want the job done well—but definitely want to balance cost and quality. Any suggestions?|
|If the roof has a simple design (i.e. 2 or 4-sides), you might consider having a sloped roof built on top of the existing (or after removing the existing flat roof). Flat roofs, by their very nature allow ‘pooling’, orblocked drains, and stagnant water will rapidly stress-out the roof integrity. If you wish to keep the flat roof, I strongly recommend to have a 2 or 3-ply membrane roof, or a ’torched membrane’ roof installed because new ‘Cap Membranes’ can be installed ‘overtop’ (after the 10-20 year life) to extend the roof life another 5-10 years without negatively affecting the weight-load. If you decide on a Tar and Gravel roof you should know that they require costly regular inspections & maintenance.|
|If prepared properly can I reshingle over my old asphalt shingles? Would this be a code violation in Calgary? |
|Yes, if the curled and/or ‘buckled’ portions are scraped off, you can re-shingle overtop another shingle layer; however, you then would not be able to repair any deteriorated areas of decking and/or flashings; and ‘NO’ this would not be a code violation.||Hello, I have a simple question; our roof was done recently, and upon inspection, my husband found over 100 exposed roofing nails on the fiberglass shingles and around the vents. After contacting the manager of the roofing company that we hired, we were told to get some roofing cement and place this on top of the nail heads. How do we handle this problem.|
|Ideally, the installer (s) would have been more careful. There is a one-inch wide strip into which nails are to be driven, but with an air gun it’s difficult for many roofers to hit that sweet spot on the shingle. There isn’t any real cause for concern. The roof won’t leak. Water is not slippery, and it will not go through the nail hole to become a leak problem. The surface tension of water will cause it just to slide over the nail heads. The odd exposed nail will just rust and blend in with the roof. It is actually better to nail too low and be seen, than to nail too high.|
|I have had a roofing company offer to inspect my roof for free, and then to do some negotiations to make sure we get a fair settlement. Who are they going to negotiate with? If the roof was damaged by the summer hail storm, or by the fall wind storm shouldn’t I be calling my home insurance first? Shouldn’t I get three or four estimates? Which Calgary roofer would you recommend for free estimates?|
|You should always do the negotiations with your insurance company. It is necessary to ask roofing experts pertinent questions, and to get their suggestions, repair and replacement quotes, and to invoke their assistance in dealing with a reluctant and uncompromising insurer, but YOU are the insurer’s client, so you should never delegate that responsibility to others. Always deal with companies in business a long time (without a complaint history). You are absolutely correct in believing that acquiring three or four quotes is a ‘must’ before deciding on a company (but, don’t just take the lowest quote, read the quotes carefully so you can make a wise choice).|
|Is it better to have shingles replaced in the summer, than in the winter? Also, are there companies that will just do repairs to a roof and then a permanent fix can be done later?|
|Yes, most companies will affect an immediate repair until a permanent ‘fix’ can be done at a later date. If asphalt roofing is performed at temperatures warmer than minus 10-15 Celsius there should not be a problem.|
|Our skylight began dripping water very rapidly on a very nice winter’s day when everything was melting on the roof. The fellow that installed the skylight explained to me that this was an isolated ‘ice-damming’ problem… NOT TO WORRY! It hasn’t leaked since that time, three years ago. Is this normal?|
|A properly-installed skylight shouldn’t leak ever! Many installers flash the skylight as per instructions, but if there is a lot of snow accumulation on the roof behind the skylight, water and snow (slush) can build-up behind the skylight, and then freeze. The next melting day water can run down the roof, and up the block of ice to ride over-top of the skylight curb (the framework that the actual skylight frame sits on) and if the skylight is not well-sealed, water can ride overtop of the curb & flashings ..into the home. l too low and be seen, than to nail too high.|
|We have a skylight over our shower/tub. Yesterday, when I was taking a long, hot shower water from the skylight began to drip from the top and bottom skylight corners. I read about your response to someone else regarding a proper skylight installation, and I insisted that the person installing the skylight do a heavy seal on the top of the curb to prevent any future ‘ice-damming’ problems. I am assured that this was done, and yet it leaked. Why?|
|Most skylights have condensation channels to trap condensate and lead it outside of the skylight; but, over time dirt & dead bugs plug-up the channels so that condensate can overflow the channel to cause an occasional drop of water to fall. In your case I am thinking that, if you shower every day, on very cold days the channel (s) can ‘freeze-up’ after a shower. The following day the freeze-up may still be in place, and condensation can now over-flow condensation channels. It may also be a case of not sealing the inside, allowing condensation & freezing to take place on the ‘inside’ of the curb. This ice would then melt when the room heats up. I believe that once the outside temperature warms up, this problem will disappear. If it doesn’t, write me again and I’ll ask some questions in order to suggest some solutions to the problem.|