Roofing 101

Roofing 101

When do you need to change your roof?

Due to Vancouver’s complex weather, there are many different factors to when you should plan on doing a re-roof. Vancouver’s rain plays a huge role on the life expectancy of a roof.

  • Common signs of needing a new roof in Vancouver are curled, cracked or even missing shingles.

There are also many unseen signs of needing a new roof, which consist of

  • leakage in your attic due to wind-driven rain,
  • rotten sheathing underneath shingles
  • excessive energy costs due to poor roof ventilation.

We at Cascadia roofing can take care of all your roofing needs in Vancouver and surrounding areas.

Choosing a good roofer.

Does your roofing contractor have WCB and BBB?


  • A business accredited with the Better Business Bureau will have ratings and any complaints noted by customers on the companies profile.
  • If there are no complaints, that is a good indicator that the roofing company is in good standing with their clients and provide quality workmanship.


  • WCB is British Columbia’s workers compensation board. By contacting WCB, you can obtain helpful information regarding the companies safety history or any claims made towards the contractor.
  • If you get a good response from WCB the company will likely be a good roofing contractor in Vancouver.

Understanding your Roof

Roof Deck

Flat panels that are attached to the rafters of your home and form the base layer of the roof itself. Usually made of construction-grade plywood.


Specially made felt paper or rubber membrane is installed on all exposed roof decking. With technological advances that have upgraded this component resulting in greater strength and breathability, which prolongs the service life of wood decking.

Ice and water shield

This component is critical for watertight integrity in critical roofing areas, usually along the roof’s edge. The leak barrier is installed up your roofline from the edge of the roof at gutter and down valleys, around the chimney, at the intersection of a roof plane and a vertical wall, and around any penetration through the roofline.

Starter strips

Another critical component, the starter strip is specifically manufactured for installation at all edges of your roofline to prevent wind and water intrusion under shingles.


These can be asphalt (most popular), fiberglass, tile, wood or slate. All shingles should have a written manufacturers warranty against defects.


Flashings are metal seals that are placed around vent pipes, chimney or other protrusions to prevent water from leaking through a gap between the object and the roof. Also used in high volume flow areas like valleys and joints..


Very important component of the roofing system in a temperate zone. Proper ventilation provides longevity to your wood decking and every other roofing component. Even more critical than this, proper ventilation helps to provide for a healthy home.

Shingle cap

A special shingle, It covers the peaks of your roof, enhances the roof’s look and validates the system’s warranty.

Leak Detection

Some signs you should look for


Worn, cracked or missing shingles can allow water to enter your home. This is especially true if your roof is more than 10 years old. If water is entering your home in several spots, worn shingles may be the reason.


Flashing is the aluminum or copper metal edging that seals your roof at the edge of walls, chimneys or vent pipes. If the flashing is not properly sealed, or if the seal has dried of pulled away, water can easily enter your home.


A valley is where two flat roof planes meet, forming a v-shape. Valleys should have flashing under the shingles to provide additional protection. If not, water flowing down the valley can seep under the shingles and into the home.


Chimneys are a common source of leaks. The flashing around a chimney is particularly difficult to install properly. If it pulls away even slightly water can pour in and travel to all parts of your attic and, eventually, into your framework, walls and ceilings.

Vent Flashing

Vents for plumbing or furnace exhausts are also spots to watch for leaks. Flashing here is usually a metal “collar” that can easily pull away or gap.

Ice Dams

When snow or ice sits on a roof warmed from within, the lower layer can melt and run down to the edge of the roof, where it refreezes when exposed to frigid air. This forms an “ice dam” that can back up water and allow it to seep into your home.

Wind Blown Rain

Strong winds can actually blow rain horizontally up and under shingles. While this is a rare occasion, it indicates that the shingles are not properly seated or sealed.

Siding Leaks

Some “roof” leaks are actually a case of improperly sealed siding that allows water to get behind the siding material and into the home.

Planning on New Roofs?

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