Calgarians have had more than their share of weather challenges this summer, including several nasty bouts of hail. Thankfully, a little preparation can help your home’s roof emerge unscathed the next time golf-ball-sized ice chunks starts falling from the sky.
“Hail eats standard laminate architectural shingles like sugar eats kids’ teeth,” said Anthony Babin, owner of A.B’s Roofing & Contracting. “The best protection is found in metal, rubber and tile roofs, followed by those with Class 3 or Class 4 high-impact-resistant shingles.”
Of course, protection comes at a cost. While standard shingles will run a homeowner around $2.30 – $3.50 per square foot, depending on the contractor, impact-resistant shingles range from $3.50 – $5.00 per square foot. Rubber, metal and tile come in at $5.00 – $8.00 per square foot.
Fortunately, most roofs are built to last, so that upfront cost can be a solid investment.
“The average lifespan for standard architectural shingles is 15 – 25 years, and the majority come with a limited lifetime warranty,” said Babin. “While warranties for other material like rubber, metal and tile differ among manufacturers, they generally range from 25 – 50 years.”
“HAIL EATS STANDARD LAMINATE ARCHITECTURAL SHINGLES LIKE SUGAR EATS KIDS’ TEETH.” – ANTHONY BABIN, A.B’S ROOFING & CONTRACTING
The choice of material will also impact ease of installation. All asphalt shingles are fairly easy to install, as is rubber, while metal can be more technical.
“With asphalt, you put underlay on and install the shingles right over top, but metal requires a different underlay and strapping on the roof deck,” said Babin “This allows you to elevate the roof and still have the ability for air to transfer through the space, avoiding issues with mould or condensation. Tile roofs can equal metal in terms of complexity, depending on the design.”
Apart from choosing the right roofing material, the key to proper protection during the next hailstorm comes down to general maintenance.
“So many homes are way past due for maintenance, so the biggest thing I stress is being proactive with your property,” said Babin. “We see the most problems with older homes, and often with rental properties where the owner may be trying to squeeze every dollar they can from the property without doing maintenance.”
Homeowners are encouraged to regularly inspect their property and have a roofer or contractor with verified credentials examine their roof if they believe there might be an issue.
“Spring is a good time to look at your roof, as it has just gone through the freeze/thaw cycle that can cause a lot of damage to shingles.”
As with any house-related project, owners should do their homework before hiring a professional.
“Check references on a contractor and ask to see their portfolio, then check that they have general liability insurance and WCB coverage,” said Babin. “At the end of the day, this will ensure that the work is done properly and at a reasonable price.”