Hiring The Right Type of Roofing Expertise is Critical.

Roofers in Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Mississauga, Toronto and points between. Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario.

August 14, 2015

Article By: Tyler Sinclair, Staff Writer. PDF Version. Word DocX Version.

How do I hire the right type of roofer for my roof replacement or roof repair?

This question (how to hire a roofer with the right certification and skill-set), is one that all prospective roof replacement customers should ask. I should publish a post that lists the questions people should be asking, because so often when I attend an initial site inspection potential customers focus on asking the wrong questions.

“Choosing the right type of roofing contractor is in large part going to determine whether your roof replacement or repair will be highly successful, moderately successful or a disaster.”

Do you know that in Canada to be a “Roofer” is actually a Red Seal Trade? It is in fact an accredited designation. Red Seal Roofer Trade Certificate Symbol

Yes, it is true - this is a red seal trade. Sure, anyone can get an old truck, ladder, some tools and call themselves a roofer - but that is really a slap in the face to an accredited “roofer”. Unfortunately anyone can call themselves one, but there is a big difference between a trained "red seal roofer" and someone that just calls themselves a "roofer".

To be accredited means you have studied in school and had enough time on the roof as an apprentice in the roofing program to be designated a “roofer”. Yes, it is a real designation like an electrician or even a dentist.

A person that installs shingles is not necessarily (and most very often not) a “roofer”. A person that roofs on a flat roof is not necessarily (often), not a “roofer”.

“How to” Choose the Right Type of “Roofer” for Your Roof Replacement or Repair Project.


Being an accredited red seal roofer helps, it means the roofer or roofing company cares a great deal about the trade. Our mandate is to have a red seal in each crew truck. But that’s not the only way to choose who you should deal with.

Type of Roof.

You should be thinking about the scope of work your roof replacement or repair involves. In other words, is it flat (low slope) or steep? The two types of roofers are as far apart as the car mechanic and the car salesman. Flat roofing specialists (or better described as low slope waterproofing applicators) are not the same breed in any form as steep slope shinglers.

Type of Roofing Material.

Is your project low slope membrane, shingle roof, tile, metal, shake or some other type of material? Once you know that, you are on your way to selecting the correct company. Check their credentials, background and references specific to the scope of work. We have specialists in each category for this very reason.

Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Being a member or not of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in of itself is not the issue. Many great roofers will have nothing to do with perceived bureaucracy. The secret is whether they have many complaints, and more importantly how they handle those complaints is at issue is the heart of the matter. The BBB will post complaints to their website whether a company is a member of the BBB or not. What you want to discover is how they manage problems, and the staff at BBB will tell you that. We have been members of the BBB for many years - to date we have not had a single complaint filed against us.

Personality, Professionalism and Like Mind

We encourage customers to be sure they choose a company of “like mind”. What we mean is this… all roofs leak. Yes, even new ones might. Now, it is uncommon for a new shingle or pitched roof to leak, in fact, I would have a hard time thinking of one in recent years we’ve installed that has leaked. But flat roofs do at times - right from brand new leak - they are hand-made custom built structures after-all. Or sometimes low slope metal roof coatings will leak during the first year of weather transitions with expansion and contraction.

“The point is this, what if the roof does leak? Because all roofs leak – it is just a matter of time. The test is how the roofing company deals with it.”

What if it leaks almost immediately? What if it leaks after the first rain or the first spring? Or what if the roof leaks five, ten or twenty years later? Ask your roofer those questions - that will go a long way to finding out if he/she is right for your project.

Warranties - Guarantees.

Roofing manufacturer warranties are so similar in nature to each other that examination of each is near futile - there really is no bad warranty in the business. A manufacturer warranty (unless an extended or specially purchased warranty) is specific to whether the material itself has performed to its suitable use and purpose, and if not, what amount of recompense you will receive from the manufacturer. And to be brutally honest, in most instances their warranty is serviced in direct proportion to the size of orders the roofing contractor places (how much the roofing contractor) uses their product – what volume they produce.

Now, before any roofing manufacturers take offence, I am just speaking straight as it is as I’ve experienced day-to-day. If I have a problem with a product and notify a manufacturer of the issue, I get lightning fast service if I purchase “millions of dollars” worth of that product annually. Every industry is the same I’m sure and it only makes sense.

So what is the lesson here? Choose a company that has a good relationship with the manufacturer of the roofing product you are choosing. In most instances, choosing a roofing contractor with significant sales volume with that specific product may prove helpful.

“More important than manufacturer warranties is the workmanship guarantee the roofing company offers you.”

We have a lifetime workmanship guarantee. Why do we have this? Because our workmanship the minute we have completed work is the same workmanship 5 years or 20 years later. It doesn’t change. It was either done correctly or the roof was installed incorrectly. If the roof was incorrectly installed then we believe we should make good – whether it be one month or twenty years later.

Financial Stability.

Contractors come and go, and because of that you want a company that has had some time under their belt servicing customers. Time will tell the story, especially in the flat roofing industry. The flat roofing industry has significant peaks and valleys because contract values are considerably higher in value than shingles. A commercial roofing company that has been around for more than five or six years is a good bet because their roofs have been tested and if they have few complaints it means they can service their workmanship (or better stated, their workmanship must be good or better because they are still around).

Tell us about your roofing challenges and we’ll reply with our best advice.

So those are my words of wisdom that can be used as you see fit to choose the right roofing contractor. If you have any questions about our service or roofing systems give us a call anytime at +1.877.497.3528 or email us a letter at info@grscanadainc.com describing your roofing problems and I or one of the senior management will respond with our best advice. Even if you’re a “do-it-yourself” type and just need a bit of advice, drop us a note.

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) employs inter-provincial red seal journeymen roofers.

To find more information about our trade visit http://www.red-seal.ca/tr.1d.2@-eng.jsp?tid=210

Other Online Resources.

Residential "How to" Articles for In-Depth Sloped Roofing Questions:

For steep-slope residential projects "Today's Homeowner" offers this article http://www.todayshomeowner.com/new-roof-how-to-hire-a-roofer/ that discusses topics such as installation and care of your property.

GreatDayImproments.com also offers many pointers for homeowners considering roof replacement and the right questions to ask at http://www.greatdayimprovements.com/15-questions-to-ask-a-roofer-before-hiring.aspx.

Our staff article, "How to Hire a Roofing Contractor - Questions to Ask" is an in-depth look at questions to ask before signing an agreement for shingle replacement.

For steep slope shingle residential projects our website offers an in depth look at How to Shingle a Roof.

Commercial "How to" Articles for In-Depth Specification Considerations.

Our website offers a detailed guide to different Flat Roofing systems and the links to the right of the page deal with various specifications and considerations.

Due Diligence Resources:

The Ontario government website offers a web page including a video on due diligence considerations, http://www.ontario.ca/faq/what-do-i-need-know-before-hiring-roofer-or-electrical-contractor

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offer these tips when hiring roofing contractors, http://www.bbb.org/abilene/news-events/news-releases/2014/07/tips-on-hiring-roofing-contractors/.

Our website offers a due diligence checklist before you choose a roofing company.


General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)

24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.

info@grscanadainc.com | www.grscanadainc.com

Roofers in Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Mississauga, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.

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