Roof Maintenance

Arbutus Roofing Maintenance Program

Delta Roof Maintenance

Feb 12,2016

Arbutus Roofing repair tech team is doing a semi annual maintenance check. There was no issues on this roof.

North Vancouver Roof Maintenance

Feb 5, 2016

This North Vancouver building reveals the wall flashing breaking away from the building. The repair tech used a Hilti gun and caulking to do a permanent repair job.

Richmond Roof Maintenance

Feb 1, 2016

On this Richmond building the roof is in good condition, however the cap flashing has rusted due to the fact, the flashing was not painted. The repair tech replaced the flashing pre-painted.

North Vancouver

Jan 27, 2016

This drain screen became plugged, creating a dam, the drain was quickly cleared and proper drainage resumed.

West Vancouver-Roof Maintenance

Jan 21, 2016

A routine maintenance check found a gum lip flashing breaking away from the wall. This could result in a leak if it hasn’t already. The maintenance team brought out there Hilti gun and caulking, and did a permanent repair job on the spot. No interior damage was found.

Richmond-Roof Maintenance

Jan 15, 2016

A repair tech had discovered a problem on a Richmond building. There was no drain screen installed. Leaves and debris were sucked into the interior plumbing causing a blockage in the exterior drain tile. A plumber was called to clear the drain tile, and the roof tech installed a drain screen.

Richmond-Roof Maintenance

Jan 11, 2016

As we were conducting a routine maintenance check we found that a gum pan was full of cement, this is not a permanent solution by any means. The repair tech used roofing mastic, witch is a required materials for a more permanent solution.

North Delta-Roof Maintenance

Jan 6, 2016

A North Delta building had a small leak due to the deteriorated sealant on the metal chimney cap collar. The chimney collar was re-sealed with caulking and the chimney cap was cleaned with vinegar to remove the oils from the metal and was painted with primer to prevent rust.

Vancouver-Roof Maintenance

Dec 28, 2015

Maintaining your roof longevity is important. On this Vancouver building there is a small forest of stacks
and bird houses that need to be checked. The repair techs tighten the collars of the stacks and re-caulked the stacks and bird houses to make sure no water would penetrate in

New West-Roofing Maintenance

Dec 21, 2015

This New West office building had a leaking skylight, the issue was a broken seal between the frame and the glass. A new seal was installed.

Langley Roof Maintenance

Dec 14, 2015

This Langley appartment could have the potential of leaking if not fixed. The gum-lip flashing against the concrete wall, had come loose, this problem has not yet caused interior damage. The Roof Tech came prepared with a Hilti gun and caulking, and caulking, and a permanent repair was performed on the spot.

Vancouver Roof Maintenance

Dec 4, 2015

A poorly installed cap on a plumbing stack can lead to rain water to seep into a small space between the pipe and the lead. The problem was solved by fitting a new fitted cap to the plumbing stack.

Richmond Roof Maintenance

Nov 27, 2015

The chimney covering around this chimney has eroded away, due to weather and temperature change. The chimney was leaking into the building. New galvanized chimney cover, and storm collars have been installed and sealed with a polyurethane caulking.

Port Moody Roof Maintenance

Nov 20, 2015

A routine winter inspection found water flow to a roof drain covered with pine needles. The pine needles and other debris were removed, allowing water to flow threw.

Vancouver Roof Maintenance

Nov 13, 2015

Some roofs are right under mature trees that have perfect size leafs to fill a gutter, Arbutus roof maintenance crew cleaned the leaves, and installed a new gutter guard.

Roof Maintenance in North Vancouver

Nov 5, 2015

Maintenance crew found a gumpan with cracks and tares, making it liable to leak. The gumpan was refilled and the sheet metal crew was asked to fabricate a more permanent solution.

Roof Maintenance Langley

Oct 29, 2015

A recent rainstorm washed loose moss into the drainage scupper, blocking it. Water then backed up. The maintenance crew was able to remove the moss and removing any other debris.

Roof Maintenance Richmond

Oct 22, 2015

The roofer is maintaining the integrity of the roof by applying temporary cement patches.

Roof Maintenance Vancouver

Oct 15, 2015

The roof shows a dark stain indicating where water pounded, caused by the drain being blocked by debris. Debris were removed.

Roof Maintenance Delta

Oct 8, 2015

A Delta apartment building needed a maintenance check on a chimney, the flashing around the chimney has ridden up, due to the exposed gap allowing water to penetrate.

Roof Maintenance Langley

Oct 1, 2015

A rainy day is a good time to make a routine maintenance check, this roof holds minimal water, drains were checked, no actions were recommended at this time.

Roof Maintenance Vancouver

Sept 11, 2015

Maintenance inspection on this commercial building, the moss is being carefully removed off the upper roof.

Wind storm 2015

August 22, 2015

As blustery as the winds were around the lower mainland this past weekend, highlights a very important fact. We do not need the gale force winds that we experienced , to clog up the drains on your roof. An important part of maintenance is ensuring these drains stay free and clear to prevent pooling on your new roof.

This task can be very dangerous to the homeowner it is recommended that you hire Vancouver roof specialists to safely and quickly tend to the clogged drains on your roof. All while you are in the comforts of your home sipping hot cocoa recovering from the effects of the storm.


Vancouver Roof Maintenance – Simple

Aug. 15, 2015

The Vancouver Roofing company doing a semi-annual maintenance check finished this one in fifteen minutes. Aside from routine drain inspection, there were no other issues on this roof.

Sealant Maintenance – Richmond BC

Aug. 11, 2015

Time for some preventative maintenance on this forest of vents. The Arbutus Roofing Maintenance Team spent the day tightening the collars and re-caulking each vent. Should be good for a few years now.

Roof Maintenance in Delta BC

Aug 4, 2015

The Vancouver roofer doing a routine maintenance check found that the roofing cement in the gumpan had shrunk, making it liable to leak in the next heavy rain. The gumpan was refilled and the sheet metal department was asked to fabricate a more permanent solution.

Roof Maintenance in South Vancouver

July 28, 2015

The Vancouver roofer carrying out a routine maintenance inspection on a small apartment block was surprised to find an office chair and some miscellaneous hardware on the unprotected torchon membrane surface. The roof access hatch had been left unsecured, allowing some unauthorized access. New locking hardware was fitted to the hatch cover. Fortunately there was no apparent damage to the roof.

Roof Maintenance – New Westminster

July 22, 2015

On this warehouse, the wooden walkways between rooftop units and the access hatch keep damaging foot traffic away from the roof membrane. On a recent visit, the roofer removed some minor debris, checked the drains and metal flashings, all in about thirty minutes.

North Vancouver Roof Maintenance

July 14, 2015

A Vancouver roofing company doing a routine maintenance check found that a handyman had done a quick fix by putting cement in these leaking gum pans. The repairman used the required material for a more permanent solution.

Maintenance by Surrey Roofing Contractor

July 7, 2015

This industrial warehouse will be torn down and the property will be redeveloped next year. Re-roofing is out of the question but the tenants need to stay dry for ten more months. Repairs are effected as the need arises. Note that the Surrey roofer is not replacing the gravel cover. This makes future leaks easier to detect, saving time and money.

New Westminster Roof Maintenance

July 2, 2015

A routine maintenance check found this interior drain partially blocked by decomposing leaves. The good news was that the drain screen did its job, preventing the debris from entering the plumbing and possible causing an expensive blockage. The problem was addressed quickly.

Roof Maintenance – Richmond BC

June 25, 2015

A Richmond roofing contractor was hired to do a maintenance inspection on this commercial building. The upper roof, covered with moss is a nice visual match for the green landscaping below. The moss will be carefully removed. 

Delta Roofer Mulls Cutlery Pattern Choice

June 17, 2015

The Delta Roofing Contractor performing the spring maintenance inspection on this small apartment complex came across an array of cutlery. In itself, the silverware is not a threat to the integrity of the roofing system, but it indicates some unwanted foot traffic that will cause premature deterioration of the membrane. “Same silverware pattern we have at home!” That was the observation of an apprentice roofer in the crew.

Surrey Roofer – Sheet Metal Maintenance

June 8, 2015

When this roof was installed years ago, the sheet metal installer took a short cut on this inside corner. Rather than use a standing seam, he lapped the corner, then sealed it with caulking. The Surrey roofing contractor in charge of maintenance (not the original contractor) diagnosed the problem during a routine inspection. His sheet metal shop is fabricating the required panels now.

Vancouver Roofer Addresses Chimney Issue

June 2, 2015

The sheet metal flashing around this chimney has ridden up, probably due to contraction caused by temperature change. The exposed gap allowed some water penetration, but a larger leak was the result of broken caulking seals on the individual pipes.

Quick Maintenance Check – Vancouver

May 27, 2015

The dark stain on this roof shows the area where water ponded when debris partially dammed the central drain. Once the material was removed, the pond drained. There were no other issues requiring attention.

Maintaining a Roof Until Replacement

May 20, 2015

A Burnaby roofer is keeping this building leak-free until the tar and gravel roof can be replaced with a torchon membrane later in the year. As the photo shows, the gravel cover has worn thin, exposing the underlying layers of felt. The crew has carefully scraped the remaining grave from a cracked area that will be patched. At this point the roof is dry and brittle, making it important to minimize foot traffic.

Roof Maintenance in Delta B.C. – Grease Leak

May 11, 2015

A Surrey roofing contractor performing the routine spring maintenance check on a Delta restaurant discovered this sloppy mess. The grease disposal unit had stopped functioning and excess waste had been released onto the roof. The unit was repaired, the grease disposed of, and a grease pan installed.

New Westminster Small Roof Maintenance

May 7, 2015

A Burnaby roofing contractor recently took over the maintenance contract for this multi-use building. In addition to the main roof, there are several smaller ones that are difficult to access. As a result, moss has been allowed to grow on this roof, and a recent rainstorm washed loose moss into the drainage scupper, blocking it. Water backed up and poured over the low perimeter, soaking a courtyard below. The maintenance crew was able to reach the area using two ladders and quickly rectifed the problem.

Routine Roof Maintenance – Delta B.C.

April 28, 2015

A Delta B.C. roofing contractor didn’t need to check inside the warehouse to know that water was running down this chimney when it rained. The B-Vent collar was loose and the the caulking had deteriorated, leaving a large gap between the collar and the chimney.

Roof Maintenance in Kerrisdale – Vancouver

April 20, 2015

On this apartment building, a roofer has installed a lead flashing far too large for the plumbing pipe that it seals. He then used cement to fill in the area around the copper pipe. The lead is also lacking a cap. Eventually, the cement deteriorated and water is leaking along the copper pipe into the crawl space below.

Routine Torchon Maintenance – Vancouver West End

April 13, 2015

This two-ply SBS roof is in excellent condition. The only quibble might be the lumber stored against the elevator shaft. Roofs should not be used for material storage, and all unnecessary foot traffic should be avoided. Aside from the safety aspect, this guideline will lead to a longer lifetime for the roof.

Richmond Roof Maintenance Mystery

April 6, 2015

The scheduled spring roof maintenance check on this Richmond roof was moved forward a couple of weeks when a janitor reported heavy ponding. The dark area on the wall indicates the recent high water mark. This drain screen became plugged, creating a dam. Another drain was also plugged. Both were cleared and good drainage resumed. Where did this drain screen come from? It’s not really a roofing product, given the bolts used to hold it in place. The caulking sealing the bolt heads will be problematic at some point.

Where’s the Drainscreen? – East Vancouver Roof Maintenance

April 1, 2015

Aside from the fact that this flat drain is a poor substitute for a spun copper installation, there is no drain screen. Leaves have been sucked into the interior plumbing and water has ponded on the roof. Fortunately the blockage was not complex and the drain was cleared without a call to a plumber. A drain screen has been installed.

Routine Maintenance Check Finds Scupper Leak – South Surrey

March 23, 2015

The building users hadn’t even discovered this leak, but when the roofers suggested they check a storeroom, water was discovered trickling down a cinder block wall. Just above, on the roof, the stripping plies had come loose on a scupper. The key has been inserted to show the opening. The problem was addressed immediately and the leak stopped.

Sheet Metal Flashing Problem – Vancouver East Side

March 16, 2015

During a routine maintenance inspection, a Burnaby roofer noticed this sheet metal issue. The wall flashing, the top of which should have been covered by the cap flashing, had slipped down, exposing the underlying stripping plies. The roofer removed the cap flashing, re-positioned and re-attached the wall flashing, then replaced and secured the cap flashing. No charge.

New Westminster – Leak Prevention through Routine Maintenance

March 9, 2015

While there was no roof leak, a routine maintenance inspection revealed wrinkles in the SBS torchon cap sheet. Further investigation showed delamination, allowing water to seep through. Because the roof is a two ply system, the base sheet stopped further penetration. The delaminated area was removed and replaced.

Port Moody Maintenance Issue

March 2, 2015

A Coquitlam roofer, who had performed a routine roof maintenance inspection two weeks before, was called back to the site to address a sudden leak. As it transpired, window washers had used this plumbing lead as an anchor for their ropes, severely damaging the lead, not just at the visible tear, but at the base as well. The lead was replaced and the window washers paid for the repair. WorkSafe BC warns that plumbing leads are not good anchor points.

Temporary Roof Maintenance

February 24, 2015

The Delta property manager of this building has already selected a local roofing contractor to re-roof this building. While waiting for warmer weather to begin the project, the roofer is maintaining the integrity of the roof by applying temporary patches where necessary. In this photo, the heavy moss cover has been removed and a cement patch has been put in place.

Roof Maintenance Issues – Weight on Roof

February 17, 2015

This commercial building recently changed hands. A Vancouver property manager asked a local roofing contractor to set up a maintenance program. The tar and gravel roof, about ten years old is in generally good condition. However, a pile of concrete blocks adjacent to an HVAC unit is a puzzle. No one seems to know why they are there. Simple storage? To somehow protect and anchor the unit? At any rate, the extra weight will eventually cause a depression in the plywood deck, resulting in a drainage problem. There is also the chance that the weight will eventually push some of the gravel ballast through the underlying roof membrane. The blocks were removed and the results are being monitored.

HVAC Unit – Roof Maintenance in Surrey B.C.

February 10, 2015

A roofing contractor in Surrey has been carrying out maintenance inspections on this warehouse since it was re-roofed six years ago. Aside from routine leaf removal, there have been no issues. Now a small leak has been reported near an HVAC unit. The constant vibration from these installations occasionally causes problems, and this is the case here. The trowel blade indicates the location where the SBS stripping has lost its adhesion.

Skylight Elimination – Burnaby

February 2, 2015

A Burnaby roofing contractor, in the course of a winter maintenance inspection, was informed by a commercial tenant that there was some minor water ingress in a warehouse. Investigation revealed that some skylights had been eliminated a few years ago and the openings covered with sheet metal. Unfortunately the metal was not galvanized, and is rusting. The fastening screws were sealed with caulking which has deteriorated, allowing water to seep along the shafts of the screws. The caulking has been replaced and a permanent remedy is being discussed with the owner and the Burnaby property manager.

South Surrey Roof Maintenance

January 26, 2015

Often a rainy day is the best time to make a routine maintenance inspection, particularly if ponding water is a concern. This roof holds a minimal amount of water, confined to the far area of the roof valley. This is a shallow pond and the weight is not a problem. It is probably the result of structural settling in the building, and no remedial action is recommended at this time.

Sheet Metal Maintenance – Richmond B.C.

January 18, 2015

A routine roof maintenance inspection on this Richmond roof revealed that the gum-lip flashing against an adjoining wall had come loose, the fastener breaking away from the concrete which held it. The resulting leak had not yet caused interior damage. The maintenance truck was stocked with the necessary Hilti gun and caulking, and a permanent repair was performed on the spot.

Maintenance on Coquitlam Roof

January 12, 2015

The electrical connections to this HVAC unit have been run through a small lead plumbing stack. Because there is no firm pipe through the lead, it has bent and eventually leaked at the base. (Notice the existing patch)
The maintenance team has recommended a solid aluminum installation better suited to this application.

Routine Maintenance – Vancouver

January 2, 2015

This warehouse roof is in good condition and is well-maintained. During periods of heavy rain, there is minor water ponding in the drainage valley area, leaving this flaky residue behind. Twice a year, the maintenance team sweeps it up and disposes of it to prevent an accumulation that would block the drains.

Roof Drainage Maintenance – Delta B.C.

December 27, 2014

This long, narrow roof provides drainage for a much larger area, including the sloped skylights at the left of the photo. If the single drain is obstructed, water can fill the roof cavity very quickly, then enter the building at the skylight base. A roofing contractor in Surrey was contacted to install an overflow scupper drain that will become operational if the water depth reaches one inch.

Cosmetic Roof Maintenance in Surrey B.C.

December 21, 2014

A Surrey property manager asked our Maintenance team to have a look at this office building roof. While it has been leak free, it is visible from some office windows and is a bit of an eyesore. The property manager wanted to know if the roof could be dressed up to provide a better view. His concern was that the associated foot traffic could damage this older tar and gravel roof. The roof maintenance workers were able to use leaf rakes to remove the moss and cement chunks without damaging the underlying membrane. They were rewarded with a “thumbs-up” from the staff of one of the nearby offices.

Port Coquitlam Roof Maintenance

December 15, 2014

This warehouse roof has large deposits of moss in several areas. The owner would like it removed. The Arbutus Roof Maintenance Team has convinced him to save his money. Any attempt to remove the moss would probably damage the tar and gravel roofing beneath. There are many types of moss in British Columbia, few of which are capable of penetrating a strong roof membrane.

Roof Maintenance in Surrey B.C.

December 11, 2014

The Arbutus Roof Maintenance Crew arrived for a routine pre-winter maintenance check, and found this office building roof completely submerged. This roof has two interior drains, one of which was plugged with leaves. The other drain was in a high point of the roof, but did fortunately serve as an overflow drain in this case. The plugged drain was quickly cleared and plans have been made to add another drain.

Roof Maintenance in Burnaby B.C.

December 3, 2014

A Burnaby roofer applied this shingle roof a few years ago. The roofing materials and roofing application were both first-rate, and the roof remains in good condition. There is, however, a small flaw. The valley flashing has rusted. Someone sold the roofer valley flashing that was neither pre-painted nor galvanized. The rusted surface causes debris to stick in the flashing instead of being washed away. The homeowner, a DIY guy, took the Arbutus Maintenance Crew’s advice. He is going to sandpaper the surface rust, prime the metal and then spray paint the flashing to obtain a smooth surface.

Vancouver Roof Maintenance

November 24, 2014

The owner of this Marpole apartment building took advantage of a re-roofing project to install a new hatch. The old unit was a heavy wooden cover that did not hinge, and was a safety and security hazard. As a stand-alone project, the hatch replacement would have been prohibitively expensive, but was quite economical with the re-roofing crew already onsite for the retrofit.

Richmond B.C.Roof Maintenance

November 18, 2014

This electrical line was added to satisfy the requirements of a new tenant. Originally it lay directly on the roof, damaging the gravel ballast. In one area it was submerged in ponded water. The simple, inexpensive solution was to lay the conduit on top of small sleepers, elevating it from the roof surface.

Roof Maintenance and Safety

November 12, 2014

Vancouver roofers can find it challenging to find anchor points for their safety lines when performing roof maintenance inspections. This is one solution. A professional roof anchor installation company has been engaged to provide permanent anchors on this building. Here, a fall restraint anchor is combined with a plumbing lead.

Roof Maintenance in Richmond B.C.

November 3, 2014

A resident in the building has been using this small roof as a patio. In its present condition, the exposed roofing membrane could easily be damaged. The Richmond property manager has met with the building owner and a Richmond roofing company to find a solution. The resident will remove his plants temporarily and a wooden deck will be installed to protect the roof.

Roof Maintenance in Vancouver

October 27, 2014

This building is not on the Arbutus Roof Maintenance Program list, but is a perfect example of a well-maintained roof, ready for winter. Debris has been removed from the gravel ballast, before it gets a chance to block the drains. The caulking has been replaced where necessary. Some unused birds’ nests have been dismantled, as well. In a few locations, the vertical roofing on the parapet walls had deteriorated. That, also, has been addressed.

Vancouver Roof Maintenance

October 22, 2014

A Vancouver shingle roofer put this roof on only a few years ago. A routine maintenance inspection revealed widespread lifting of the shingles. The maintenance foreman immediately diagnosed the problem as poor ventilation. Further inspection revealed blocked soffit venting,resulting in poor air circulation in the attic. Once the venting was cleared, the roofing shingles lay flat again.

Coquitlam Roof Maintenance

October 16, 2014

The mature trees surrounding this Coquitlam residence are beautiful and they supply some welcome shade in the hot summer months. At this time of year, however, they shed their leaves onto the laminate shingle roof, where they’re washed down into the gutters. The Arbutus Roof Maintenance Crew cleared the leaves quickly during a regularly-scheduled visit. They’re trying some new gutter guards this year, so we’ll see how that works out.

Roof Maintenance in Burnaby

October 7, 2014

A routine fall inspection found water flow to this roof drain impeded by pine needles. The discoloured areas of the torchon roofing show the extent of water ponding, reaching as far as the shingled area. The debris was somewhat porous, allowing water to seep through. A few days of steady rain, however, would have resulted in a more dangerous water accumulation. The debris was cleared immediately, allowing water to flow freely to the drain.

Roof Maintenance in Langley B.C.

September 30, 2014

A Langley roofer installed the tar and gravel roof on this commercial building. It remains in excellent condition, but a new tenant needed to dispose of a bulky ventilation system. The Arbutus Roof Maintenance Crew removed the large vent and duct work, sealed the roof opening, complete with matching insulation, then re-roofed the area seamlessly

Roof Maintenance in Langley B.C.

September 30, 2014  

A Langley roofer installed the tar and gravel roof on this commercial building. It remains in excellent condition, but a new tenant needed to dispose of a bulky ventilation system. The Arbutus Roof Maintenance Crew removed the large vent and duct work, sealed the roof opening, complete with matching insulation, then re-roofed the area seamlessly

Roof Maintenance in Langley B.C.

September 30, 2014  

A Langley roofer installed the tar and gravel roof on this commercial building. It remains in excellent condition, but a new tenant needed to dispose of a bulky ventilation system. The Arbutus Roof Maintenance Crew removed the large vent and duct work, sealed the roof opening, complete with matching insulation, then re-roofed the area seamlessly

Roof Maintenance in Surrey B.C.

September 22, 2014

A reputable Surrey Roofer had installed a new asphalt shingle roof on this Surrey condominium building only four years ago. While the roof appeared to be in good condition, a leak was reported. An attic inspection revealed condensation on the underside of the plywood roof decking. The roof appeared to be adequately vented. However, in the past year, the strata council had had insulation installed in the crawl space. The insulation contractor had pushed the insulation under the eaves, covering the soffit vents, preventing air circulation. When the soffit vents were cleared, the condensation problem was resolved, and the “leak” stopped.

Roof Maintenance in Vancouver

September 16, 2014

On a regularly-scheduled fall inspection, The Arbutus Roof Maintenance technician found this piece of sheet metal flashing coming loose. While it had originally been fastened properly, gusting wind may have found a way to get between the flashing and the wall. Another storm or two probably would have carried the flashing away, exposing the substrate to the weather. The repairman was able to quickly re-fasten the panel before water ingress occurred.

Richmond Roof Maintenance

September 10, 2014

Here’s a roof maintenance program in its final stages. This Richmond warehouse has a tar and gravel roof that is almost twenty-five years old, pretty much the outer limit for this type of roof. However, the roof’s been well-maintained to this point, and the building is slated for demolition sometime in the next few years. Our Roof Maintenance Team has been asked to keep the tenants dry for a while longer. Here they’ve cut out an area of the roof that was displaying extreme buckling and blistering. They’ve cleaned and applied primer to the immediate area, then applied a torch on roof patch. Let’s call it a “long term temporary repair.

Delta Roof Maintenance

September 2, 2014

Called to a leaking skylight on an office building in Delta B.C., the Arbutus Roof Maintenance Crew found that a handyman had tried to use caulking and roofing gum to address the problem. After some exploration the crew discovered that the issue was actually condensation. By removing the added caulking and sealant, the roofers were able to access the skylight frame and clear the plugged ventilation openings This allowed condensed air to escape. Problem solved.

Richmond Roof Maintenance

August 25, 2014

A building owner called to coordinate a service call. The Arbutus Roof Maintenance Crew attended the site to provide roofing for two new plumbing leads being installed by a plumber. The roofers cut through the roof decking at the point designated by the plumber, who ran his copper piping through the opening and provided the two lead rooftop flashings. These were installed by the roofing crew who supplied and installed the compatible torch on roofing membrane.

Roof Maintenance in Surrey

August 21, 2014

During a routine inspection as part of an Arbutus Roof Maintenance Program, a Surrey condo owner reported a very small, intermittent water leak. The maintenance repairman found a puncture hole that penetrated both plies of the IKO torchon membrane. While the cause of the puncture was never positively identified, the condo owner reported that a wooden rooftop deck had been recently demolished and removed. It’s likely that a heavy piece of the decking was dropped and that a protruding nail or screw was driven through the membrane. The puncture was repaired and a followup phone call with the condo owner revealed that the leak had stopped.

Vancouver Roof Maintenance

August 14, 2014

A Vancouver property manager called to say that he had reports of “water coming out the side of a building.” The Arbutus repair crew attended and found that the main drain had been blocked by leaves and pine needles. Luckily, the roof was equipped with overflow scuppers which allowed the dammed water to escape as it rose up the parapet wall. The weight of ponding water can cause extensive structural damage, and, in extreme cases, result in roof collapse. The regular clearing of debris from the roof is an important part of a Roof Maintenance Program.

Roof Maintenance in Vancouver

August 7, 2014

During a site visit to draw up a preliminary Roof Maintenance Program for this Vancouver apartment building, the Arbutus Maintenance Team was able to quickly diagnose and address a water leak originating on the sheet metal perimeter capping. The original roofer had simply overlapped and applied caulking to the metal capping, rather than employing a standing seam as dictated by good roofing practice. Over time the caulking deteriorated, allowing water to seep under the flashing. There was also no positive slope on the perimeter. This simple expedient would have allowed water to drain from the flashing onto the roof, rather than pond on the flat top surface of the capping.


What are the advantages of having a roof maintenance program?

You’ve probably read some extravagant claims about a roof maintenance program extending the life of your roof by 50, 75 or even 100%, saving you tens of thousands of dollars. The fact is, no one can quantify the benefit with any accuracy.

But this much we do know: By attending to minor issues in a timely fashion, major repairs can be avoided or delayed. If not addressed, even a very small leak will eventually damage the underlying insulation and roof deck, adding to the cost of eventual re-roofing.

And that’s before the water finds its way through to the living or working space below, disrupting lives and businesses, damaging furnishings and equipment, possibly triggering insurance claims and litigation.

Many building owners and property managers are surprised to discover that neglecting maintenance can lead to roof warranties and guarantees being voided.

That’s why Arbutus offers a maintenance program for the first year after any new roofing or re-roofing project.

How often should the roof be inspected?

Many maintenance programs call for scheduled inspections, usually in the spring and fall. We think we can do better.

Because of the variations in seasonal length, we think it’s important to build some flexibility into the schedule. We’ll send our maintenance man out when winter actually ends and again at the end of summer. We also know that roof problems don’t schedule themselves by the calendar, so it’s important that someone have a look after any major weather event. That’s when debris will block drains and metal flashings will loosen.

What exactly is a roof maintenance program?

The most important component of any maintenance program is the visual inspection of the roof by a trained roofing professional.

What is he/she looking for?

It’s not very complicated. The roof inspection starts with an analysis of the current condition of the roof. Are there any signs of deterioration since the original installation or the last inspection? Are minor leaks developing? Just as importantly, is there any evidence that some area will deteriorate in the future?

More specifically, what details are examined?

Starting with the surface of the roofing membrane, the roofer does a thorough walkover, noting any abnormality. Depending on the type of roofing membrane, there may be buckles, blisters or splits visible. There may be water ponding in some areas for the first time.

The metal flashings and fasteners are examined to ensure that they are performing as designed. Special attention is given to caulking and other sealants to see if they require renewal.

Any hardware that protrudes through the roof is a potential leak source. Plumbing leads, vents, drains, duct work and HVAC units are included in this category.

What’s the next step?

The roofer assigned to your building will have the training, tools and equipment to address most minor defects during the inspection. His truck will be stocked with different types of caulking and sealants as well as a cross-section of roofing membranes and shingles.

What kind of report can I expect?

You’ll get a written report supplemented by photographs. Arbutus uses a checklist to ensure that all areas are examined. Each item is categorized as OK, minor issue, major issue or N/A. Where helpful, there will be a written comment expanding on the original diagnosis.

In some cases, our people will use a moisture detector or infrared thermography camera to carry out a detailed survey, though this is seldom necessary. The report will also include details or any remedial work done on-the-spot, and recommendations for preventative maintenance.

Let’s get to the bottom line. How much does a roof maintenance program cost?

Not much. A few hundred dollars for a large commercial building that’s been kept in good repair is the norm. Minor items fixed during the inspection are noted in your summary, but not invoiced. Recommended repairs will be billed extra, but because we’ve caught them early, there should be substantial savings.

And as mentioned above, with an Arbutus roofing or re-roofing project, the first year’s maintenance is free.


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