We recently had the opportunity to review a newly-installed roof in Surrey, BC, installed by local roofer Vantage Roofing. Vantage has been installing mostly shingle roofs in the lower mainland BC for a while now, and we were curious how their latest roofing job would turn out.
The home was a 2-level, single family home, which was particularly tall, due to the height of the ceilings. This is a tricky roof to access under normal conditions, however especially so under the challenging conditions of heavy rain and mud.
Design & Features
This was an architecturally complex roof, with a medley of slopes, wood-framed chimneys, and standing-seam metal roof sections. Due to the complexity, the roof presents a large number of potential leakage points. This level of complexity often challenges even the most experienced roofing professionals.
Materials & Installation
The selected shingles were Malarkey brand laminate "dimensional" fiberglass shingles. Malarkey shingles have a reputation for being durable, and good value for the money. Beneath the shingles was a synthetic underlay over sturdy 5/8" plywood sheathing.
In inspecting the nail pattern, a critical element in roofing, we noted that a standard 4-nail pattern had been adhered to. For those unfamiliar, this pattern ensures the shingles remain firm against adverse weather conditions. The alignment of the nails along the nailer line and the effective fusion of thermal strips were satisfactory.
Venting & Protection
The chosen venting solution, Duraflo box-style vents paired with soffit venting, looked up to snuff. However, it's always wise to ensure attic airflow remains unhindered. Vantage Roofing's choice of employing an ice and water shield membrane, especially around roof penetrations and valleys, was reassuring. In layman's terms, this shield acts like a safety net, reducing the chances of water damage if any part of the roof were to falter.
"W" metal valley flashings were installed at the valleys. These flashings, which guide rainwater off the roof, were neatly aligned with no signs of damage. A particular chimney, however, caught my attention due to its location in a valley – a spot that often poses a higher risk for leakage. While the flashings appeared well done, there was some minor construction debris and building paper adjustment required.
Further, while the metal roof ornaments seemed well-fastened, we couldn't help but notice sharp edges on the rear metal roof. These could potentially harm the protective membrane around them and would benefit from some rectification.
Recommendations & Reminders
While the roof appeared be performing well, especially in heavy rain, there were a few areas that required attention:
A ridge cap flashing needs improvements to ensure maximum protection against water.
While the rear rain channel (which directs runoff into the gutter) functioned efficiently, it's essential to keep it clean for optimal performance.
At the front lower roof, flashings should be better integrated behind the stone cladding to prevent potential water intrusion.
For those unfamiliar, "kickout flashings" are essential elements that direct water away from walls. In this case, larger kickout flashings are recommended to ensure water doesn't breach the wall cavity.
Overall, seeing a brand-new roof take on the fury of a heavy downpour is the ultimate litmus test. Vantage Roofing has installed a roof that will protect the homeowners from the elements well, and last decades. The majority of the installation was top-notch, reflecting the expertise of the team behind it. A few areas need some tweaks, but nothing out of the ordinary for a new construction.
For the homeowners, this inspection promises peace of mind, knowing that their new roof is prepared to stand the test of time and weather.
Remember, no roof, or home for that matter, is entirely flawless post-construction. Regular maintenance and minor touch-ups are part and parcel of homeownership. So, hats off to Vantage Roofing for their impressive work, and to all the future homeowners: may your roofs always keep you safe and dry.