What is White Sock Service?

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White Sock Service by Design Roofing

Professionalism is one of our key values and we put a lot of effort into making sure every aspect of our business is conducted that way.

We came up with the idea of “white sock service’ when we heard a story about a tenant who was frustrated and angry about a mess being left in their unit by a contractor.  The property manager dreaded hearing these stories.  It’s disheartening when you feel you don’t have control over something you’re responsible for.

This is the kind of thing that we want to change about the industry by raising your expectations.

Quick response times, extensive training and thorough photo reports are just a few ways we make sure you don’t have to be let down.

These white socks are a symbol of professionalism. Your tenant should never come home to a mess left by a contractor. Property Managers should be able to rely on their contractors.

Being tidy and organized is the only way we work. If you’ve seen our shiny red trucks and our pristine office you’ll know it’s true.

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Roof Drains that Look Like Potted Plants

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No one would argue that roof drains are important.  No one would argue that potted plants are pretty.  But that doesn’t mean roof drains that look like potted plants are a good thing.

weeds in roof drains
It’s been a very rainy Spring and no one would argue that either. Now those weeds are getting a full dose of hot sun. It’s the reason we’re seeing so many roof drains that look like potted plants this year and it’s real problem.

plant growing out of roof drain
Any vegetation growing in a roof drain will make it harder for water to drain, or totally block water from draining.  We all know roof drainage is key in preventing leaks.

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But vegetation causes another more serious problem and that’s because of it’s roots.  If you know how fast weeds grow and spread their roots, you know this is something you’d have to act fast on.

roots causing roof damage
Roots.

We never know how much damage the roots have done until we remove them.

Roots are tough and determined. They will do whatever they have to for water. Even if it means piercing a roof membrane.

Add that pierced membrane and the water build-up caused by the caused drain and you’ve got yourself a leak.

Here are a few more roof drains that look like potted plants.

roof drain vegetain
The Roof Fern

vegetation in roof drain
“Small but Hearty”

clogged roof drain
“The Hanging Basket”

plant clogging roof drain
“Young and Tough”

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There Are Rules About Bird Nests on Roofs

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Removing Bird Nests

If birds are a problem at any of your properties you should know that precautions must be taken if there are nests.  According to the BC Ministry of Environmental Stewardship, if a nest is occupied by a bird or its eggs, it is not allowed to be removed or destroyed.

Nests are Usually Hidden

Birds are experts at hiding their nests on roofs.

 

Birds cannot be occupying a nest when it is removed

They may or may not be occupied.

Nests hidden in the roof

These nests were found up here.

More than a Nuisance

They cause fires, flooding and carbon monoxide poisoning.  When they nest in gutters create a dam, letting water pool, leading to leaks and damage. Nests are highly flammable and if they’re situated near electrical wires or machinery they can easily spread a fire. Vents and chimneys can be blocked by nests leading to carbon monoxide build up.

Remember the Skytrain Fire that shutdown the Expo Line?

That was because a bird nest caught on fire and incinerated a metre of cable.

Nests Can Be Prevented

We offer services to protect your roofs from birds nesting.

Bird Solutions:

  • Bird Spike Installation
  • Anti-Bird Flashing
  • Bird Netting
  • Bird Shock Electric Track
  • Bird Spiders
  • Protective Membrane Installation (to strengthen areas damaged by birds)

Read more in our post about birds from last year.

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Top 6 Reasons a Roof Leaks

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Roofs will leak for several reasons.  The most common reasons are improper drainage, damaged flashing, granule loss (the top protective layer), damage to the roof membrane, and ventilation issues.

The wear-and-tear caused by weather in every season will affect every roof on every building and the only thing you can do to lessen it is preventative maintenance.  Keep the roof strong because it’s your first line of defense; It covers the whole building. Fall storms with flying debris, snow and ice in winter, heavy rains in spring, hot sun and strong UV rays in summer – all of these are forces you cannot control and they all damage your roof.

Here are the 6 most common roof leak causes that you can control:

1. Improper Drainage

backed up gutter
Gutter Back-Ups

This is an obvious one because it is easy to see the signs of gutter problems.  Is it draining?  Is it on tight or coming loose?  There are a number of things that could be blocking gutter drainage such as ice, leaves, growing weeds, dirt, etc.  Gutters should be checked at least twice a year. The pressure of the built up water will cause a leak at the weakest area around it.

leads to water build up on roof
Clogged Drains

Drains get clogged easily because the water flowing to them brings debris.  The drain screen you see here keeps the water flowing despite the leaves.   However, in time, the build up of debris will clog the drain.  Regular maintenance is the only answer.

2. Damaged Flashing

Damaged flashing

Flashing is used to protect areas of the roof where major parts join, like the roof edge, large vents, chimnies, HVAC units, etc. It diverts water away from the areas where water is most likely to get in.  There are a variety of materials used to make the flashing from metal to liquid membranes.  This example shows damaged metal flashing.

3. Granule Loss and Damaged Shingles

Direct UV rays damage the roof membrane; Granules are used to protect it.  Shingles are coated with granules.  Flat roofs typically have a layer of granules though sometimes stones and other materials are used and the same rule applies. Weather causes degranulation.  It’s important to monitor that protective layer and ensure shingles are in good condition.

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If there’s moisture there could be moss issues. Moss retains water in the roof system leading to granule loss and deterioration of the roof system. It can be removed and treated but over time it will start growing back.

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Broken shingles need to be replaced to keep the roof membrane covered and protected.  Water will seep under the shingle and rot the wood and lead to a leak.

degranulation

You can see how the membrane is directly exposed in this example.

roof membrane weakens
This is a worn down membrane on a flat roof that hasn’t been properly protected.

4. Deterioration of Roof Membrane

There are many types of roof membranes and all of them experience some kind of wear. If you are getting a roof replacement, avoid cheap roof membranes that claim to cost less.  In the long run, that cheap roof membrane material will cost you more.

roof membrane has holes
Seams can open, membranes can be punctured, they can blister and crack and over time deteriorate.

5. Vents and other Roof Penetrations

There are several types of vents: doghouse, whirlybird, flat, chimney, plumbing, etc.  Other penetrations are skylights, hatches, HVAC units, and more.

Roof vents need to be sealed
All of these need to be thoroughly sealed.  Sealants wear down over time and that leads to water ingress.  They can also rust which leads to holes, another big cause of leaks.  All penetrations need to be looked at regularly to prevent leaks.  In this example there is actually no caulking at this doghouse penetration.

6. Poor Ventilation

Condensation is how a roof can break down from the inside.  The roofing system needs to breath so air can circulate and stay dry.  If the ventilation system is not adequate or gets plugged up it will lead to condensation which will lead to mold growth and rot and water will find it’s way in and make the situation worse.  When that gives way you not only have a leak to deal with but mold and the health issues and high costs of replacing damaged structures.

mold grows if soffits don't work

attic condensation

The attic and soffit vents are important parts of ventilation and need to be maintained.

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Leak Investigations

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When a tenant spots an obvious leak you have an emergency on your hands.  That leak could be something that built up over time and has finally come through, or it could be something sudden that had a clear cause.  Whatever the situation is, you know you need a technician in as soon as possible to do a leak investigation.

So what really happens when a technician shows up?

We perform an investigation by finding the leak and taking steps to trace it back to the source.  It depends on where it is, sometimes we have to look into attics or rafters, around windows and soffits. Lights, skylights and vents are also places our technicians look for water ingress.

roof leak repair
leaking

Here a tenant spotted a leak and put down a bucket with some tarp.  We were alerted.

Leak Area on Deck

We started the leak investigation by looking at the deck directly above the leak.

removed bricks above leak

We lifted the bricks and insulation and stacked them to the side so we could inspect the membrane underneath.

Plugged drain repair leak

We discovered a plugged drain and some ponding water.

Disposed of debris causing plug

The drain was plugged with debris so we removed that and relieved the ponding water.

roof membrane hole

We discovered a small penetration in the membrane.

deterioration of roof membrane

While there we found the membrane was deteriorating.

Applied water cut off mastic

We cleaned and prepared the membrane and  applied water-cut-off mastic to temporarily seal penetrations and deteriorated membrane found on the deck.

roof membrane failure

Upon further investigation we discovered the corner membrane had failed.

Used water-cut-off mastic

We applied water-cut-off mastic to temporarily seal the failed membrane in the corner of the deck.

SBS base shee to protect

We installed an SBS base sheet as an additional protective layer.

In this leak investigation there were a few reasons for the leak.  There was a small hole in the roof membrane and the drain was plugged.  The plugged drain caused water to pool, which found it’s way to that hole.  The other issues we discovered while there would have led to more leaks.  These temporary repairs need to be followed up with permanent repairs.

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