Sunday, 15 November 2015

Every House Needs Winter Venting

Beautiful Alberta

Alberta is known for its beauty of the Rocky Mountains, home of the Edmonton Oilers 
and Calgary Flames and of course the boom and bust Oil industry. Another thing that Albertans know all to well is the winter season can be harsh like the Arctic at times.
Our winters can see temperatures of -35 degrees to +10, and snow up to your knees over night.

Ice Dams

Our home’s envelope must take the sometimes harsh winter climate into consideration. Many people have experienced the damaging effects of “Ice Damming” on the roof in the winter.  This can cause leaks into the attic and structure of the home, often showing as dripping water out of the ceiling or light fixtures. These types of leaks can lead to mold growth, damage drywall and in some cases damage your home’s structure.

Cause of Ice Damming

Ice damming on a roof is caused by one of, or a combination of the following: 

  • ·         Heat loss from the home’s interior into the attic via inadequate or improperly installed insulation
  • ·         Lack of soffit ventilation, or the soffit air flow pathway being blocked by improperly installed insulation or insulation stops
  • ·         Insufficient roof ventilation, or roof vents that are covered by snow which diminishes air flow

In this article we will specifically discuss Roof Ventilation during winter conditions.

Building Code Requirements

 Building code requires 1 vent for every 300 square feet of ceiling area. A typical passive air vent is approximately 4 inches tall. If you have 1 foot of snow on the roof, you could have 20 vents installed, but if they are covered by or plugged by snow the vents will be ineffective.

The Solution

We believe it is imperative to have at least one tall vent installed per large attic cavity of your home. These vents are typically in the range 16 inches tall and installed near the peak or ridge of the roof. This premium style of vent will allow for proper attic air flow even under harsh winter conditions, greatly reducing the risks of the dreaded ice dam formations. 
 The average home in Alberta should have minimum 1 of these vents. If your home has asphalt shingles on the roof, you can expect the supply and installation of one of these vents for approximately $300.00 (depending on the height and slope of the roof).

      Your roof is not equipped to protect your home if your ventilation isn't ready to handle what Alberta winters dish out!

    Contact Us Today 

     Contact us today to schedule a premium vent installation. We will also inspect your entire roof for free with every vent installation.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Scam Alert

Scam Alert Directed to Contractors and Persons with Homes for Sale

The Set Up

I was contacted via text by a person looking to get an estimate for renovation work on his home. He conveyed that he had just purchased a home in Edmonton Alberta and needed to have the roof replaced. He provided the address of the home and an email address to forward the proposal to.

I personally went to the house to inspect the roof and gather the data
required to provide the estimate. While performing my task’s on site, I noticed the “For Sale” sign still on the lawn, it had not been upgraded to “Sold”, and the home was vacant.

We promptly drafted the estimate, and sent it to the gentleman via email. Within 10 minutes we received a text from the person stating he would like to go ahead with the proposed work. I replied asking him to sign and date the proposal and to email it back to us. I also requested that we would like to meet him on site before work was to commence. He replied stating that he wants us to go ahead with the work, but was unable to meet with us as he was out of the country due to “health care issues”.

The Red Flag Starts Waving

This immediately raised red flags, and we decided to do some research. Fortunately, while on site I took a picture of the Realtor’s sign which had a phone number. I called the realtor Michelle Patterson Nipp of Realty Executives. I told her that the new home owner “Josh Lawrence” had contacted me to get a roof proposal for the home she was selling, but
something didn’t seem above board. She advised me that the home had not been sold, and she had never been contacted by anyone of that name.
I did a search of the number which sent us the text: 407-216-4876. It was a protected number not showing the owner’s name from Florida. I called the number and got an automated voice response which stated this was a “text only” phone number.

The Counter Move

I sent a text to “Josh”, asking him to give me a call so we can proceed with the work. He replied saying he would call in a few minutes from another number. As the phone rang, I decided to play along to gather as much information as possible. 
The number was 765-997-8128 from Indiana. The gentleman who called himself Josh, spoke with a very heavy accent, one I guessed to be Ethiopian. He advised me that he had cancer and was in the USA receiving treatment, but needed his leaking roof replaced immediately before his family moved in. Unfortunately, he would not be able to meet with me before work commenced, but would pay as soon as the work was completed. I asked if he would be paying by cheque or credit card. He replied saying that when the work was complete, if I provide him with a bank account number that he would promptly deposit the funds into our account. I said that we could do this for him. 
I asked him if it was he or his wife that planted the beautiful new rose bushes around the property (there weren’t any). He said his loving wife planted them as she loves flowers.

He Realises the Scam is over

I could no longer carry on with the gentleman. I told him: “I do have a problem, I contacted the realtor of that home who informed us that in fact the home has not been sold and she had never heard of a Mr, Josh Lawrence. He promptly replied that he must have given the wrong address to me. He paused for a few seconds, then hung up the phone.

Be Aware of Their Tactics

Renovation Contractors and persons with vacant homes for sale must now beware. Scam artists are searching “For Sale” home directories for properties for sale. They may even have local partners that visit the site to ensure the property is vacant. Hire a contractor to perform exterior renovations to the home as entrance or access to the home is not required. When the work is complete, in an effort to get paid for the renovation, the contractor provides bank account information which the scammer can then use to empty the company’s bank account.

In our case, the renovation was to cost over $6000. If we would have fallen for the scam, we would have been out the $6000 and may have had our company bank account emptied in the process.

How to Avoid being Targeted

Home owners with homes for sale/vacant should put a note on the front door stating “Contractors call (your phone number) before estimating or starting any work”. This may help avoid the possible fraud these con artists are attempting to pull off.

I hope this article saves anyone that may be a potential victim of these criminals. 

L. Allen Shaw
A. Shaw Roofing

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Top 5 Causes of Roof Leaks

Top 5 Causes of Roof Leaks

Any roofing contractor can tell you that your roof is leaking, that much is obvious and the reason why
the call is made in the first place. What requires expertise is determining the leak’s origin and identifying its cause.
As a professional roofing contractor, it is our business to diagnose these types of problems on a daily basis. Below is a list of the most common roofing problems that we encounter in regards to a leaky roof.

1: Broken Shingles

No matter which material a roofing shingle is made of, it is susceptible to cracking, erosion and other damage. A shingle’s job is to protect the roof from water damage and rotting. Being so high up on a roof, shingles are often out of range from a home owner’s vision and when damaged, go unnoticed. It doesn’t take very long for a broken shingle to translate into a leak inside the home. Therefore, regular inspections of your roof are important.

2: Damaged or Improperly Installed Flashing 

One of the biggest issues that we see in roofing systems is damaged or improperly installed flashing. Flashing is the metal material that is used to line joints, seams and other transition points on a roof providing water protection. Because the material is metal, flashing is highly susceptible to corrosion, rusting and even bending with the natural shifting of a structure. Flashing is only visible in certain places, and can lie beneath the shingle surface. An experienced roofing contractor will know exactly where the flashing lies and will be able to inspect it safely without causing further damage to a roof.

3: Plumbing and Ventilation Leaks

Many home owners have plumbing and ventilation systems ran through the roof of their house. Most roofing contractors advise against it, due to the frequent occurrence of leaks, but we see it all the time on roofing jobs. If you have a leak in your roof and pipes, hoses or other ventilation is in the vicinity, there’s a good chance that this is the culprit. Hire a qualified roofing contractor to perform a professional inspection and diagnose the cause of your leak.

4: Cracked or Corroded Chimneys

In roofing, chimneys are also a common cause of roofing leaks. Whether the chimney is metal, brick or stone masonry, it can be susceptible to cracking, swelling, corrosion and other degradation over time. When we visit a roofing site with a chimney, it is one of the first places we inspect for a leak. These areas also emit heat during the winter season, creating a constant “freeze / thaw” cycles on the roof. This may lead to ice dam issues which in return cause leaks in the winter. This can be corrected in most cases by having a self sealing membrane installed under the shingles in the area.

5: Skylights

Skylights are beautiful and add a generous amount of sunlight to your home, but they can also
inadvertently add water and cause leaks inside. A skylight is nothing more than a hole in your roof, covered by glass and secured with caulking and other materials that break down over time. If you have a leak in your roof and have had a skylight installed (whether it was recently or several years ago), this may very well be the cause. Again like a chimney, skylights are a source of heat loss from the home. This may cause ice dam conditions in that area during the winter season. Correct installation with proper materials is vitally important.


Don’t try to fix something with a tube or can of tar. If tar is required to stop a leak on a sloped shingled roof, then you have a serious problem. Tar patching is a band aid solution which will return to haunt you sooner than later.

If you have a leaky roof seek the advice of a professional roofing company. A. Shaw Roofing is a professional roofing company with over 25 years of experience, servicing the Great Edmonton and Alberta region. Call us at 780-934 ROOF to schedule an appointment for a free estimate.
You can visit our website at

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Is My Roof Ready For Winter

Is My Roof Ready for Winter?

This is a question that few people ask, but wish they would have when a leak leads to damaged ceilings in January or February. Remember, the roof is your home's first line of defence from Alberta's sometimes harsh climate.

A roof has many components which require simple maintenance. This simple maintenance can extend a roof's lifetime to over 3 decades of protecting your home or building. 

If not maintained, your roof can potentially allow water into your home within 5 years of installation.

Leak Causing Problems

  1. Loose or Missing Shingles. You may not even notice that wind has loosened or blown off one or more of your shingles.
  2. Shingles which have not sealed. If the roof was installed onto your newly constructed home during the cold season, a layer of dust on the shingle sealant strips may have prevented a proper seal which occurs in the warmer weather of spring.
  3. Dried out cracked or missing caulking. All exposed nail heads on passive air, plumbing and mechanical vents as well as metal flashings should have caulking which prevents them from lifting. All rain collars, typically on chimney or furnace pipes will have caulking to prevent water from running down the pipe into your home. UV rays from the sun will dry out most types of caulking within 3 to 5 years.
  4. Curled or Damaged Shingles.  When a shingle ages and begins to curl, it starts to lose its seal.
    Shingles with a poor seal are much more susceptible to being blown off by higher than normal winds. 
  5. Plugged Eaves Trough. It only makes sense if leaves or debris have filled or plugged your eaves troughs/drains that a problem can arise. 

 How Often Should Maintenance Be Performed

Your roof should have scheduled maintenance every 3 to 5 years. A professional roofing company will normally charge in the area of $250 and up depending on the size height and slope of your home. This works out to a yearly planned cost of $50 to ensure your roof is in proper condition to protect your home.

Contact Us Today

A. Shaw Roofing can inspect and correct any deficiencies on your roof before winter arrives. Our professional installers and repair technicians will get the work done properly and promptly.
Visit our website at