This is my review of the PVC roof installed by EVO Roofing, 118-3989 Henning Drive Burnaby, BC V5C 6P8, Canada.
Today is April 2, 2015. I had contracted EVO Roofing in July 2014, thus my experiences are limited. In particular, I have no experience with snow on the roof during the winter months, had frost but not snow - will update when I get snow in future years. Below are my point by point observations:
1. I chose the white 6 mil pvc (poly vinyl chloride - feels like tough rubber but not rubber) from a choice of 5, 6, and 8 mil thicknesses of various colours. White was chosen for its high heat reflection. During the summer months the outside temperature reached over 90 degrees Fahrenheit but the inside never exceeded 75 degrees. In previous years with the old roof, a tar and gravel type, the inside would match the outside temperature, sometimes even exceeding the outside due to humidity. It was very pleasant under the pvc roof.
2. During the winter months I did not experience extra cold or loss of heat from the pvc roof, nor did I expect to. My gas usage did go down but that's probably due to warmer than normal winter.
3. During rainy days it was very quiet and, of course, no leaks. The EVO Roofing guys made sure the water off the roof go to the drains, instead of the sides where it would overflow and splash down to the sidewalk noisily as was happening under the old roof. The quiet is a big plus for me.
4. I went up to the roof for a thorough check on March 31, 2015. There was a little moss spread all around but it was carried over by the wind and definetely not grown out of the pvc. There was no discolouration, no cracks, no holes (birds chipping away at the roof), and no seams coming loose. I checked the pvc up close and observed not even minor cracks, and no weaknesses either, poking and pushing the pvc, the same integrity as the day it was installed. It was not moist (major rains the previous day and for several days before) but completely dry. It is not true, as posted in some internet forums, that the pvc is slippery. I checked the seams everywhere and everywhere it is strong. I checked for fungus, algae and mushrooms (yes, mushrooms - they can grow even on carpet) and nothing. I did find some small pockets of water at the down edge where the puddle is too small to drain. There I found some green stuff, probably algae at the bottom of the water but it is not attached to the pvc. I checked the pvc around the vents and the chimney, all strong. I know I only have a short experience thus far but I am pleased with the quality of the pvc. What I did see that concerned me was a few air bubbles underneath the pvc a few inches wide spread all around, six or seven of them. The pvc itself of the bubbles is strong. I'm guessing the roof under the pvc has some trapped air, and in any case EVO Roofing assured me they were normal.
5. I mentioned before that I only experienced frost but not snow in the winter months. From the inside I experienced nothing unusual, no sounds of contraction, no leaks, no abnormal loss of heat. From the outside the frost behaved normally, even distribution, no clumping at the low sides, no uneven melting, no sliding of the frost, etc.
Below are my observations during the pvc install proccess:
1. It was done with a crew of four to eight workers, mostly young 25 - 35 years old. They were courteous, considerate, and very professional. They wore socks to avoid damage to the pvc. They wore work clothes and had safety ropes everywhere. There was no partying or playing or eating on the roof. I was allowed on the roof many, many times to observe, and was actually helped up to the roof. The crew answered my many questions patiently and thoroughly. The work itself was very thorough and high quality, no quick and sloppy jobs. I would rate the crew first class.
2. The install process took just two days. The beginning of the first day involved removing the gravel off the roof. Then came the roof integrity checks (the old roof leaked), where they removed damaged plywood, checked for mildew and fungus in the attic and in the insulation and replaced or repaired damage. After that came the thin insulation install over the tarred plywood. I had the option to remove the tar and install new plywood but declined to save costs, as the old plywood was in excellent condition (the leaks were from the cracks between pieces of plywood, where the tar had split). After this came the pvc install itself. This was done all in the first day and I was there witnessing every step of the way. The work crew did a very professional job. On the second day the metal sidings and the smaller roof thingy were done, along with the vents and the drains. After that came the touch ups and the clean ups. The clean ups were far more thorough than the tar and gravel crew did 20 years before. All in all, it was an excellent job.
3. The whole process was mostly quick and quiet, using screws to secure the thin insulations and the heat gun for pvc seams. The big lawnmower sized heat machine for pvc seams was a little loud but tolerable. There were no mishaps, no grinding noises, no flying debris, no smells (like in tar and gravel). The final result is a beautiful white roof.
Below are some details of my contract:
1. It is a big roof(2,888 sq.ft), a duplex two-storey house shared with my neighbour. Not sure if I should mention price but it is roughly two and a half times that of the ordinary shingle roof, three times of the tar and gravel roof(twenty year old prices, mind you), one and a half times of the rubber roof. Yes, it is pricey. I debated with myself on the pros and cons of everything. The shingle roof provides no guarantee of leak-free because of its nature, of over-lapping shingles, difficulty locating leaks, weakness against wind, and moss growth. I have twenty years of experience with a tar and gravel roof and I didn't like the poor heat reflection during summer, the secret leaks, the poor drainage, and the trapped debris and moss that are difficult to remove. One quick sweep of the pvc roof and all debris would be gone. I didn't go with the rubber because it is close in price and yet offerred nothing compelling and is poor in reflecting summer heat. Rubber, like tar, expands and contracts with temperature, and splits and cracks, leading to leaks. The pvc is strong, smooth, almost like one surface, everywhere. Leaks are easy to locate and repair. A visual inspection is all that is required for pvc integrity. That is not possible with the other roofs. There is also the tile roof, which is sometimes even more expensive than the pvc, has all the problems with shingle roofs, and is very heavy. The pvc is very light. What clinched my decision is, according to internet opinions, pvc lasts forever, which means to me it holds its integrity through high and low temperatures, dust and wind, snow, rain, and hail. The manufacturer provides a Lifetime guarantee for the pvc. Thus, I thought the pvc was worth its high price.
2. The contract is for the entire roof, including the neighbour's side obviously, the little roof thingy, new vents, new leaf guards, four new front drain pipes, new white sidings, gravel removal, new fanfold panels (the new insulation on top of the tarred roof but underneath the pvc), pvc, labour, cleanups, replacement of damaged roof plywood, damaged attic insulation, photo and filming of the roof during various stages (a copy was sent to me and my neighbour), post install service (repairs, touchups, etc) also known as ten-year workmanship warranty from EVO Roofing. The pvc itself is guaranteed for life for original contractees from the manufacturer IB Roof Systems, 20 years pro-rated for subsequent owners. The costs were split down the middle between me and my neighbour. EVO Roofing offered easy payment terms, any combination of credit, debit, cash, and installments.
3. We, the neighbours and I, contracted for the 60 mil thickness of the pvc. According to EVO, 60 mil and 80 mil are overkill, 50 mil is more than enough strength. The difference in price between 50 and 60 mil is not that much but we decided the extra strength and peace of mind was worth the small extra cost.
Final thoughts. I recommend EVO Roofing and pvc roofs even if pricey. Do the math yourself and you will come to the same conclusion. I do have some caveats. The pvc roofs are not for houses that are going to be torn down in less than 20 years, as that is a waste for strong roofs. The pvc roofs are great for flat and low slope roofs, but for high slope roofs you may want to save costs and use shingles because snow isn't as much of an issue and rain water drains quickly (thus less chance of water damage). If you do decide on pvc, I strongly recommend EVO Roofing as contractors. They take care of you from beginning to end, providing you a huge amount of detail, documentation (pictures, video, print), and post-installion service. I hope this post is helpful for those looking for a new roof.
PS: The site required that I post the cost so: $15,000 for my share, $30,000 for both sides (actually a little less) including tax.