Winter in Toronto is in full swing (or at least it was, depending on when you are reading this) and bringing with it many unexpected roof related problems (including the dreaded roof collapse) in the process. Heavy snowfall and ice dams this season can contribute to the ultimate homeowner’s nightmare — a potential roof collapse. Structural damage in Toronto homes is quite common due to the fact that many downtown homes are older, with deteriorating foundations and roof structures.
In addition, snow can weigh a lot, with dry snow packing in a total of 6-8 pounds per cubic foot, while wet snow can weigh double that! Add in the weight of ice dams and moisture retained in the roof and the load that your roof can safely withstand is quickly surpassed. This is especially true for low pitch and flat roofs, which have no way of shedding this excess weight and are at the greatest risk of buckling under all this excess weight.
As well, many modern renovations in Toronto have taken away integral support beams in the process of creating open concept spaces. Without proper support being re-distributed to the remaining walls, shifting floors and sagging roofs are the result, like this Toronto couple experienced who bought a renovated ‘open concept’ home recently. As a building contractor in Toronto, I’ve been in many homes where the doors and windows don’t close, the floor is at an angle and the home’s foundation is shifting due to faulty renovations. Inexperienced and uneducated contractors are a dime a dozen in this city, available for the lowest bid without a proper license or acceptable level of education.
It’s the same story in the roofing business, where many roofers have no education and are lacking in knowledge of building structure, which contributes to the dangerous and shoddy work being done. Since the city doesn’t regulate who is working on your roof or house, it’s the duty of the homeowner to do their due diligence and check their contractor’s or roofer’s roofing credentials and verify their experience in the field. Unfortunately, this is often neglected in lieu of a high-pressure sales pitch, fancy website that makes all kinds of promises or, most likely, a really low bid. Don’t be fooled and please don’t rush into anything: take your time and make the right choice as you will almost always end up paying more in the long run, anyway.
Having a roof collapse can be a nightmare, both financially and personally, so look for the following signs that your house is at risk:
Preventative steps to ensure a healthy roof in the winter:
Yearly roof inspections on your Toronto home by a qualified roofing professional will help you identify any type of roof damage and prevent expensive fixes in the future. Make sure that your roof is in prime shape and can withstand the elements, including Toronto’s heavy snowfall, by having Archer Roofing inspect your roof this spring. Contact us to set up an appointment.