Vegetation on the Roof: Roots Can be a Problem

Green Roofs

There are so many great things about a green roof, or having vegetation on the roof. They save money in numerous ways. Insulating the building, preventing water damage, preventing UV damage and providing food. They’re becoming more popular and are an excellent investment. Did you know the Olympic Village has many green roofs on its buildings?
Olympic Village Green Roof: Vegetation on the Roof

Vegetation on the Roof

If you’re getting one installed, you’ll need to know that the very thing that makes it a green roof, the vegetation on the roof, can also cause damage.  Plants start from seeds and seeds get spread around from gardens.  The wind, the bees, the butterflies and birds all help spread the seeds around.  Some end up on the roof membrane and the start growing roots.  It’s so important to have a quality roof membrane so they can’t get in.

This isn’t  just a problem for green roofs.  This can happen to any roof!  We’ve seen roofs that could actually be mistaken for green roofs.

A picture of weeds growing on a roof.

Sometimes it’s a few grassy weeds.


A picture of weeds growing out of the roof.

They grow tall.


A picture of a man standing next to a small tree that is growing on the roof.

Like a shrub.


A picture of vegetation growing on the roof.

Like a bush.

a picture of a small tree growing on the roof.

Like a tree.

They grow even if they weren’t meant to.  It’s a bad sign when vegetation on the roof shows up with its roots in the membrane.  Those roots are trying to find water in any way they can and will draw it down into the membrane.

Prevent Possible Root Damage from Vegetation on the Roof

Uncontrolled vegetation growth on the roof poses serious problems. For example, blackberry bushes have strong root systems which quickly and easily cause damage to the membrane.

Dried grasses and moss pose another safety concern especially in the hot summer months. A simple spark can ignite the dried grass and moss creating a serious risk of fire. Making sure such vegetation is regularly cleared off your roof is essential to proper roof function and safety. Such proactive measures will help extend the life of your roof system.

Proactive vs. Reactive Assessments

Introducing 30 Weeks of Roofing Tips! Design Roofing was founded in September of 1984. To celebrate our 30th anniversary, we are sharing some of our wisdom with all of you for the next 30 weeks.

For many people, the roof is something out of site and out of mind. Unlike your car that everyone knows requires regular maintenance; most of us do not consider the roof as something requiring regular maintenance.

In fact, when you think of it, your roof is the main thing that covers you, your belongings, business documents, equipment and so on. So why would you not want a sturdy, well installed and maintained roof covering all of this?

This takes us to our first tip.

Do not wait until you feel a drip of water on your head while inside. A proactive approach, is the best approach. Just like your car, making sure your roof gets a regular check up and tune up is vital to protecting your investments inside and out. Not only do regular assessments and maintenance help ensure your roof is working as intended, they uphold your warranties and in the long run; extend the life span of your roof.

While roof assessments can be done throughout the year, the most common times to have them done are in the spring and fall months. In the spring, it is done to check and see if the roof has sustained damage during the cold winter months. If there are any splits, loose membrane or improperly sealed areas, water can easily get in. When that water freezes, it causes expansion which causes those issues to get bigger which you will most likely notice as a drip inside your building. In the spring and summer months, repairs can be scheduled and performed quicker and easier due to more favorable weather. Less time is spent waiting for the rain to stop in order to fix your roof. So being proactive and knowing the condition of your roof will help prevent unwanted leaks.

Similarly in the fall months, assessments are done in order to make sure your roof did not sustain damage from the summer heat. The constant heat and stress put on your roof during the summer can cause issues during the rainy fall months. Emergency leak calls have a tendency to sharply increase in the fall; less rain in the summer means you are less likely to be aware of an issue with your roof in the form of a leak until it is too late.

Once again, being proactive with regular roof check ups and assessments will help prevent unexpected leaks. If any issues are found, or if your roof simply needs its regular maintenance, it is always best to perform the corrective actions as soon as possible and limit the potential for a leaking roof and subsequent interior damage.

Roof Maintenance: Prevention is Just as Important as Repair

When people think of roof maintenance, the first thing that comes to mind is often costly repair bills and major renovations. And while there is certainly an element of large projects involved with roofing, what few people realize is that the majority of major repair can usually be avoided with a simple preventative maintenance program. By providing regularly scheduled inspections and locating problems before they have a chance to accumulate damage, many roofing companies are actually able to prevent full roof replacements, or at the very least, delay them by a number of years.

For many people, the fact of the matter is that their rooftop takes on a sort of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ existence. As long as there are no major problems visible, they simply go on living their daily lives until an issue does present itself. This approach can actually be quite dangerous, as many roof top issues can accumulate damage for months, or even years, before the damage becomes apparent to the untrained eye. Problems ranging from animal and insect infestation to small permeations in the roof’s weather proof sealing can allow a small amount of moisture to accumulate over a long period of time, leading to the development of interior mold, rust, or even structural damage if a building’s main supports are exposed.

With regular roof maintenance, these lingering issues all but disappear. By performing bi-annual inspections, a reputable roofing company can locate and seal these types of issues long before they have a chance to accumulate damage. For just pennies on the dollar, your home or business can remain open, prevent damage, and save the infinite headaches that come along with costly roofing repairs.

It is recommended that these inspections be performed once in the early spring months, and then once again before the frost of winter has a chance to settle in. Because of the heavy water runoff associated with the spring thaw, this time period is especially important because any small permeations occurring during the long winter will be heavily exposed to the potential for water damage. During the autumn, the potential for water to seep in and then freeze during the winter poses the greatest threat. Because water expands as it freezes, the potential for structural damage is at its greatest in the early winter.

Expert recommendations should be taken seriously, especially when there is so much riding on the line. Roof maintenance may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when the seasons begin to change, but for anyone who has suffered a serious loss due to improper upkeep, it sure is.

Source: Flickr's Chris Campbell

Source: Flickr’s Chris Campbell

Seasonal Vancouver Roof Maintenance Can Save Thousands

Anyone who is familiar with the harsh Canadian winter can tell you that it doesn’t take long for the cold to permeate once the season has arrived. For many business owners, the changing of seasons can signal only one thing—it is once again time to perform regular seasonal Vancouver roof maintenance.

Due to the nature of roofing, many of the problems that negatively affect a business’ bottom line are often out of mind, until winter freezing takes hold (and by then it is too late to react properly). It is for this reason that most roofing companies recommend performing seasonal Vancouver roof maintenance before it is too late and damage has had a chance to accumulate.

A qualified team of seasoned experts can quickly and easily identify the small cracks and splits that can build up and hold on to excess moisture during the long days of summer. Once the temperatures drop and freezing begins to occur, this moisture expands, splitting structural materials, and making the damage even worse. Once this occurs, the problem simply moves one step closer to requiring drastic measures to correct it.

Image courtesy of Flickr's Doerky.

Image courtesy of Flickr’s Doerky.

The only way to be one hundred percent certain that your rooftop is completely up to code and ready to tackle the long, harsh winter is to call in a team of qualified experts. Due to the nature of roof maintenance, many problems are simply out of sight until it is too late, and a complete roof replacement is needed. For just a small fraction of that cost, expert roofers can easily perform routine checks, nipping the problem in the bud before it has a chance to cost you thousands.

The thought of being forced to close your doors during the busy holiday season is enough to make most business owners cringe, but in the event a roof failure, (or worse—a collapse), those doors could easily remain closed for months on end, potentially spoiling years of hard-earned trust between you and your loyal customer base.

From the bottom to the top, and no matter how you cut it, seasonal roof maintenance is simply worth the investment.

The Time is Now: The Testimonial According to Roofing Companies in Vancouver

According to most roofing companies in Vancouver, building owners must make the time to schedule regular roof maintenance. The beginning of fall is the best time to call in a team of experts, regardless of whether you have residential or industrial roofing needs. Before winter hits, it is a good idea to make sure that small roof problems do not have the chance to grow into a large-scale disasters.

Normally, roof maintenance is recommended biannually, with one inspection in the spring, and another in the fall. This is particularly true for industrial roofing, as those roofs often cover a very large area. Industrial roof check-ups can be critical, often saving tens of thousands of dollars in avoidable damages.

credit to psilver at

Small factors like hairline tears and even small animal nests, which are often unseen by the naked eye, can accumulate damage quickly, leading to structural damage, loss of stock, and may even result in the closing of a business (temporary or otherwise). The worst part of these roof disasters is that nearly all of them can be avoided, according to the great majority of roofing companies.

In Vancouver, simply knowing that the climate is prone to massive amounts of rainfall should be enough to spur business owners to action. What could be more important than protecting your investment?

The cost of regularly scheduled roof maintenance is literally a fraction of the average repair bill…and literally a single digit percentage point of a total roof replacement. When an entire business relies upon what is contained beneath a roof, performing the upkeep on industrial roofing must simply be part of the annual budget. Remember, roof maintenance is the key to prevention.

Rainy Climates and the Importance of Industrial Roof Maintenance

For many businesses, performing regular roof maintenance is little more than an afterthought. Unfortunately, this mentality has led to millions, if not billions, of lost dollars. In the business of industrial roofing, people tend to underestimate the amount of damage that can result from a few days of untreated exposure.

Roofing companies across the west coast of Canada (Vancouver, specifically) have consistently reported that the businesses within their jurisdiction have it the worst. Due to the rainy climate, evaporation rarely occurs during certain seasons, leaving industrial roofing to rust, rot – in some cases, roofs have even been known to collapse.

Regular roof maintenance, performed twice yearly, can easily prevent many of these issues before they have the chance to grow to into monumental problems. By thoroughly checking for breaks in the seals, animal nesting, loose tiles, and a host of other problems, roofing companies in Vancouver and across the west coast can save thousands of dollars in roof repair.

credit to ruiperezcuevas-arquitectos at

Industrial roofing often protects the lifeblood of a business. From mountains of stock and critical records to expensive machinery (and even retail floor space), properly executed roof maintenance protects the very essence of what makes a business successful.

When hiring a roofing company in Vancouver, it is always a good idea to check for a long history of satisfied clients, full regulatory certification, and an established, licensed team of professionals. A company such as the highly recognizable and exceptionally well-trusted Design Roofing is an ideal place to begin your research.

Roof Maintenance in Vancouver a Challenge

Roofing companies in Vancouver all face the same challenge. Constant rainy conditions span over a good chunk of the year, presenting many additional difficulties for those working in roof maintenance. But that’s just part of everyday life on Canada’s west coast.

For businesses with a flat roof, performing regular roof maintenance is critical to maintaining a company’s viability. With the heavy rains and unforgiving conditions that plague the beautiful province of British Columbia, it doesn’t take long for a small problem to swell into a full flat roof replacement.

Many roofing companies in Vancouver recommend regular check-ups on a semi-annual basis to avoid the accumulation of damages resulting from the small problems that inevitably occur throughout the rainy season. To avoid a flat roof replacement, it is necessary to deal with things such as bird nests and small tears in the rubberized seals as quickly as possible. It doesn’t take very long for ice, water, and small critters to settle in to even the smallest of permeations, potentially creating major problems for building owners.

credit to squarewithin at

Roofing companies, in Vancouver and elsewhere, are often shocked at the lack of roof maintenance that many business owners consider to be normal. What should have been a small repair job six months ago often morphs into a complete flat roof replacement if left unattended.

It is sad to see so many thousands of dollars being wasted on problems that should have been small repair jobs. But it is even worse to see the number of businesses forced to close their doors simply due to a lack of proper roof maintenance.

Roof Maintenance is Key to Saving in the Long Run

Most often, the only thing standing between the destructive force of nature and mankind is the roof over our heads. How is it, then, that so many business owners ignore roof maintenance until it is far too late?

According to several flat roofers, roof maintenance is one of the most overlooked factors in building maintenance, particularly in the field of industrial roofing. It is not uncommon for business owners to go years without performing the proper upkeep and maintenance.

Often, the success of a business greatly depends on the nature of the tools being used. Seeing as how the majority of businesspeople depend on everything from mountains of stock and tools to invaluable financial records and electronics, it seems strange that they would overlook something as important as the roof that houses all of this much needed equipment.

credit to billy_liar at

In actuality, an industrial roof should be inspected and maintained twice yearly. This should be done once in the spring, and then again in the autumn of each year. This helps to ensure that damage does not have a chance to accumulate – this would, of course, lead to greater damages. Inevitably, negligence would lead to a much larger repair bill.

While roof maintenance may seem like an unnecessary expense, remember that it literally takes nothing more than the occurrence of a single incident to spend tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for the cost of repair. For the price of a few hours service, performing proper routine roof maintenance could easily pay for itself a hundred times over.

Generally, flat roofers are shocked at how many people make the conscious decision to risk financial ruin in the name of saving a few dollars a year. When the whole purpose of a business is to save money, it simply doesn’t make financial sense for you to pinch pennies on roof inspection – especially when a major roof repair could empty out your wallet.

Doing your homework: The first steps to hiring a roofing contractor in Vancouver

To a business owner, taking the first steps in hiring a roofer when renovating their building or creating a new development can be, at best, a stressful and time-consuming affair. Finding the right fit in searching for a commercial contractor takes many variables into account. Competitive pricing, a history of quality work, and great service are all important factors in this process and help build toward a positive and professional long-term relationship. However, working toward that initial momentum can sometimes be an uphill battle. Potential customers can be wary, fueled by cautionary tales of shoddy workmanship and unscrupulous builders. Thankfully, we can always count on word of mouth – both online and out in the real world – to help guide our decisions in choosing a trustworthy local roofing company.

In a field where reputation plays an important factor, Design Roofing sets the standard for quality through innovative design. Offering an honest and personable touch to an array of services such as roof maintenance and the installation of flat roofs, sheet metal roofing and rubber roofing is the foundation of thisVancouverroofing company. With a tradition of excellence spanning close to 30 years, their dedication to serving their clients in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland is proven with such courtesies as 24-hour emergency service and real time solutions, providing piece of mind and a sense of security in the event of an unforeseen circumstance.

As a long-time member of the Roofing Contractors Association of British Columbia (RCABC), the company makes a visible effort in presenting itself as a leader in professional quality work by licensed technicians. Additionally, they ensure that all of their technicians pass a certification through the Construction Safety Association of British Columbia (CSABC) and adhere to the strictest safety codes.  Their longstanding commitment to their clients has earned them accolades from architects, property owners and managers alike.

Design Roofing boasts an impressive portfolio that can be seen across theVancouverarea. The Park Royal Home Depot, Olympic Village, and The British-Columbia Institute of Technology round out a list of great customers that have experienced the difference an expertly trained commercial roofing company can make. The market for great craftsmanship for new structures and for maintenance is ever-growing due to a simple understanding that long-term savings are directly related to a job done right. With almost three decades of superior work under their tool belt, it’s safe to say that their staying power is a testament to a true mastery of their craft and a well-deserved reputation as one of the best roofing companies in the area.

Deciding who will take charge of such an important and potentially costly project as roof management can be daunting. Taking the time to research all the potential contractors and comparing them to one and other will always be the smartest course of action. After you’ve gone down a long checklist of criteria, you’ll have it narrowed down to a handful of companies simply because they consistently provide a remarkable service. Companies exactly like Design Roofing.


Copyright 2012