Frequently Asked Questions About Roofing in Ottawa
Magnum Roofing receives many questions from concerned customers regarding their asphalt roofing in the Ottawa area. Please find the answers to our frequently asked questions on this page. Should you not see the answer to your question listed below, we encourage you to reach out to us directly!
What’s the difference between 50-year and 25-year shingles?
What is drip edge, and is it necessary?
What is ice shield?
How important is a breathable underlay?
Do we need Maxi-Vents®?
Is it possible to use Maxi-Vents® and still have poor venting?
Is it wise to use the cheaper shingles, ice shield, and underlay to save some money on the cost of redoing my roof?
How long does it take to change a roof?
How long is my estimate valid?
Can my estimate change?
What if there’s rotten wood?
Does Magnum have WSIB coverage?
Does Magnum have liability insurance coverage?
Do all of your workers have Working at Heights certification?
GAF offers a Master Elite Warranty … is this a good idea?
Some roofing companies charge excessive rates and call themselves “high-end roofers” or “premium roofers.” What does this mean?
Q. What’s the difference between 50-year and 25-year shingles?
A. The 50-year shingle is a much-improved product. In a climate like Ottawa’s that experiences extreme temperature changes, you can expect to get 23-25 years from a 50-year shingle, as opposed to 11-15 years with 25-year shingles. The new shingles have a better design and use superior-grade adhesives that allow them to withstand winds up to 209 km/hr., whereas the 25-year shingles tend to blow off in winds over 80 km/hr.
Q. What is drip edge, and is it necessary?
A. Drip edge is a metal strip that’s installed under the ice shield on the eaves of your roof. The purpose is to prevent your shingles from curling, thus preventing water from running between your eavestrough and your fascia. With the new design of the 50-year shingle, it’s not as necessary as it once was. However, given that it costs about $50.00 extra on an average house, it’s prudent to have it installed. At Magnum Roofing, we include it in every quote.
Q. What is ice shield?
A. Ice shield is a secondary leak barrier installed under your shingles in any area of the roof that has a high probability of ice and snow build-up. Next to the shingles, it’s the second-most important part of your roofing system. It doesn’t prevent ice build-up. However, if ice does accumulate on your roof and water backs up under your shingles, it will prevent the water from leaking into your house.
Q. How important is a breathable underlay?
A. It’s not important at all. Breathable underlays are expensive, and in our opinion, a waste of money designed to make manufacturers of roofing materials more profit. Manufacturers claim that a breathable underlay will allow the roof deck to breathe. This is a fallacy. As an installer, we’ll put a ¼” of shingles (which are made of tar) on top of this underlay. Tar doesn’t breathe, and neither do shingles. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if the underlay breathes, as the shingles will not. It would be like wearing a cotton shirt and then wrapping yourself in Saran Wrap. It doesn’t matter what your shirt is made of; nothing breathes through the Saran Wrap. A properly vented roof is the best way to allow your roofing deck (plywood under your shingles and underlay) to breathe.
Q. Do we need Maxi-Vents®?
A. Properly venting your attic is an extremely important measure in preventing ice build-up and extending the life of your shingles. Maxi-Vents® engineering allows maximum venting, and their height prevents snow and ice from covering them in the winter when the venting is most crucial.
Q. Is it possible to use Maxi-Vents® and still have poor venting?
A. Yes. Air will only flow out of a Maxi-Vent® if air is allowed to flow in. The air flows into an attic through the ventilated soffit. If this soffit is blocked and airflow is impeded, then the Maxi-Vents® will not work to their capabilities.
Q. Is it wise to use the cheaper shingles, ice shield, and underlay to save some money on the cost of redoing my roof?
A. NO! Replacing a roofing system is a labour-intensive project, and thus labour makes up a large portion of the cost of redoing a roof. This labour is the same whether you are using inferior-quality or superior-quality products. The difference in price between a cheaper-quality product and the better-quality product is so minimal that your cost savings will save you less than 7% on the overall cost of your roof project. (i.e., 50-year shingles at $22.20 per bundle vs. 25-year shingles at $19.80 per bundle). The average roof in Ottawa is 2,200 square feet, so the difference in price between using all cheaper-quality roofing materials and using only the best-quality materials would be about $350-400 on a $6,500 roof. The difference in the integrity is massive, both in its resistance to withstand blow-offs and leaks.
Q. How long does it take to change a roof?
A. This depends on the size of the crew and their experience. At Magnum Roofing, we try to do every roof replacement in a day. We achieve this by having very large crews (sometimes as large as 11 guys) and by optimizing our operational efficiencies.
Q. How long is my estimate valid?
A. At Magnum Roofing, we honour every estimate for the entire calendar year that it’s given.
Q. Can my estimate change?
A. Unless a customer requests extra services, a Magnum estimate will never increase. If our measurements are wrong, if our addition is wrong, or if for any other reason we underprice your roof, the estimate stands. At Magnum Roofing, we always accept responsibility for our mistakes, and if that means doing a roof for a price cheaper than it should be, then you, the customer, get an added bonus.
Q. What if there’s rotten wood?
A. Unless your entire roofing deck needs replacement, Magnum will change any rotten sheets without charge. At Magnum Roofing, we consider this a courtesy item, somewhat the same as cleaning out your eavestroughs. We don’t charge for courtesy items.
Q. Does Magnum have WSIB coverage?
A. All Magnum employees are on the Magnum payroll, and all are covered by WSIB (Workplace Safety & Insurance Board Ontario).
Q. Does Magnum have liability insurance coverage?
A. Yes. Magnum is fully insured with $3,000,000 liability insurance for your protection and peace of mind.
Q. Do all of your workers have Working at Heights certification?
A. Yes. All Magnum employees have all required government certifications, including Working at Heights Training from the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
Q. GAF offers a Master Elite Warranty … is this a good idea?
A. NO! The Master Elite program certifies roofing companies so that GAF will offer a workmanship warranty on the roof. The roofing companies do not undergo any additional training. The workers are not certified by GAF and do not undergo any additional training. Your roof isn’t installed using different materials, nor is it installed any better. The only difference is you, the consumer, pay a lot of money to a large multinational conglomerate for a workmanship warranty on your roof. Magnum offers our 15-year workmanship for free. Ask yourself who would you rather have a warranty with – a large multinational conglomerate who sells $3 billion+ a year in materials and has no idea who you are or a small local business that’s dependent on your satisfaction, reviews, and referrals for our profitability? Magnum Roofing offers a 15-year workmanship warranty on every roof it touches, and it’s a warranty that’s always honoured.
Q. Some roofing companies charge excessive rates and call themselves “high-end roofers” or “premium roofers.” What does this mean?
A. It means you, the consumer, are paying some company a lot of extra money unnecessarily. There’s only one way to install a roof properly. As long as you hire a reputable roofer that employs workers that are skilled in their trade, your roof will be installed correctly. You don’t have to pay an excessive premium for this service. At Magnum Roofing, we pride ourselves on using only the best materials, employing highly skilled tradesmen, and doing the job properly. There’s no need to pay an extreme amount of money. We do this at a competitive and reasonable price already.