Arrived with the Wind… and Now It’s a Roof Top Woodstock!

Shortly after your new roof was installed, the wind carried a once harmless bacteria to your roof top. Years ago this bacteria would have starved and the story would have ended. But in the 1970’s shingle manufacturers changed the composition of asphalt shingles and included limestone as a filler.

Nearly every roof in the country has been replaced since 1976 (30 years ago), and as a result a strange growth has been occurring on roof tops across the country. This growth is the lowly microorganism, Gloeocapsa magma commonly called “Roof Algae”, Roof Bacteria, Roof stains or Roof Mold. This roof algae has been given a new lease on roof top life right over your head.

Today when the wind carries roof algae, squirrels track roof algae, or birds deposit roof bacteria to your roof top, the creature finds a feast of limestone providing it a source of nourishment never before known. Of course, roof algae need more than just food, they require 2 other components to sustain life: Sunlight and Moisture (rain). Yup, you’ve got it! A roof top always has moisture and sunlight. So the party on your roof has been going on for quite some time. Roof Algae are smaller than a pin tip, so even though they have been fed since your roof was replaced, you probably wouldn’t notice them from the ground, but roof algae that are well fed start colonies, and expand!!
Roof Top Woodstock?

Colonies of roof bacteria have been growing over your head. How big is the party you ask? Well, roof bacteria are pretty small, in fact as single celled microorganisms over ten thousand algae live in a square inch. By the time YOU can see the algae, the colony has become roof top Woodstock! A square foot of roof top with roof stains can have over 1,800,000 creatures feeding. That is nearly 2 million roof algae camped out at your roof top Woodstock! That’s why over time, and in different spots you will see the colony begin to appear. Generally, after 2-4 years (within months on the coasts, or very humid areas) the colonies will be large enough to see with the naked eye.
Groupies too?

The roof algae are certainly a problem in their own right, but its worse when you consider their groupies! That’s right, groupies! When algae setup a Roof Top Woodstock, they invite friends like mildew, mold and fungus. These friends live off of the organic waste products from the bacteria. So when you get millions of algae on the roof, the mildew, mold and fungus join the show.

Much like the roof algae, mold and fungus are airborne and also tracked by birds and squirrels. In the past fungus and mold had no chance on a roof top (unless leaves or branches littered the roof) because fungus and mold require organic food. Asphalt shingles, even with limestone offer no food to mold and fungus. But as we now know, roof algae feast on inorganic limestone, which creates ‘organic algae waste’ which makes for a feast of fungus food!

And this a problem?

Everyone likes a great party, but this roof top party is in a word: ‘trouble’. Our roof tops make up over 40% of the visual appearance of the home, and the cleanliness of our roof is as important as keeping the grass cut. Neighborhoods property values and home owner pride are impacted by how people ‘feel’ about your home and how you feel about theirs. Keeping neighborhoods clean, keeps communities strong!

Beyond the way roof stains makes us feel, the trouble is more measurable:
The stains caused by roof mold, and roof algae:

* Reduce shingle life

* Create neighborhood eyesore

* Increased air conditioning bills

* Reduce Property Values

* Allow mold to work its way inside

* Introduce Risk of Bird born Bacteria

The bottom line, your $10,000 shingle roof will last half as long as it should.
Costing you $10,000 more than it should!
Roof Cleaning… Yes.. roof cleaning

As unusual as it may sound, your roof may be cleaned. Considering the shelter it provides from sun, rain and airborne particles, the roof constitutes the largest and most expensive mechanical system in your home. Care should be taken to keep the roof clean and stop the party. Solutions for this range from professional roof cleaning services, to do-it-yourself roof cleaners that can be sprayed on, and rinsed off. In any case exercise care so as to not damage shingles, or the roof. Choose a roof cleaner that is simple, effective and proven.

Over the course of the last 2 years, roof cleaning businesses have been experiencing an increase in volume that is requiring the addition of trucks and crews. For savvy individuals, a roof cleaning business has very low startup costs, and can create a sustainable income.

3 Reasons to Change the Pitch of Your Roof

Have you ever thought about getting vaulted ceilings Inside your home or changing the look of your house roofing style to a bungalow or cottage style?

One way would be to modify the pitch of your roof. The pitch of a roof is its slant or the steepness of the slope. The pitch of your roof is set by the walls, ridges, and rafters in the roof in your loft space.

Altering the pitch of the roof is more involved than simply replacing the roof tiles or other materials. To put it clearly, a roof replacement is not routine and should only be necessary for modification or to repair damages.

When talking about getting a “new roof” it typically means ripping off and replacing any damaged roof materials such old shingles and tiles, as well as replacing flashing, and the gutter system.

Changing the pitch of your roof would require massive structural changes like replacing the roof’s ridges, props, rafters, eaves and internal walls.

Roof Replacement and Structural Change

Below are three reasons why you would want to replace your roof or change the structure.

Major Problems

Replacing your roofs underlying structure would have to take place if your roof has a critical rot issue or is sagging. If a roof is sagging it can sometimes reveal a problem with not only the roofs decking but also the roofs foundation.

It is uncommon to see these serious issues on a home that has been well maintained. But if you’re taking a look at restoring a house that’s been sitting vacant for a long time, you are more likely to encounter this.

New Home Addition

Since the cost of changing your roof construction is more like the expense of adding to your house, it’s something you might think of doing if you are also planning an improvement.

If you’re adding an additional storey to your home you will need to replace the roof anyway and you will have to consult a structural engineer; this is often the case when altering the pitch of your roof. This could give you the chance to create your roof a new form and change the general look of your house.

Head Room

If you like the layout of your home and don’t want to add another story but you would like to include vaulted ceilings or just raise the ceilings inside your home, you might be taking a look at a structural change to your roof.

Most of these changes can be done with your existing construction, but you won’t recognise this until you consult a roofing contractor or engineer.

Considerations for Changing the Pitch Your Roof

A change in the pitch of your roof will impact everything from the way that your roof looks, the way it manages water, and more.

It’s not a cheap project, so be aware that you’re getting into a significant renovation if you are changing your roof’s shape.

If changing the shape of your roof isn’t necessary, some builders would advise you to just leave it as it is and look for a new home. It doesn’t just include the framing of the roof, but it could possibly affect the electrical and plumbing systems within your property as well as the insulation and drywall costs for replacement and adding what was lost.

However, for some houses, it could solve a variety of problems — such as water pooling and debris trapping — and make your next roof survive a lot longer. It might also create more space in the loft.

Take Away

Whatever reason you are thinking about changing the pitch of your roof, make sure to consult a professional home renovation companies or a professional roofer for your best options.

Log Cabin Roofing – Things Everyone Needs To Know

Suppose that you have put in the required hours and have finally put up an incredible log cabin in your ideal location and all that is lacking now is a roof atop your head. It may look like an insignificant thing, but the truth is that a roof can affect the aesthetic appeal of your home.

With this thought in mind, it is therefore crucial that the design and fit you choose for your roof be simple to maintain and sturdy. The first step to undertake in this case is to get to know what the building and planning codes in your locality are, as they significantly affect what kind of structure you can construct.

Regulations often influence the height of the log cabin as well as the materials you can use. So before you go any further, have a chat with the relevant agencies else you may find yourself demolishing the structure a few months down the line.

Factors to consider when building a log cabin roof

Now that you are clear on what’s acceptable and what’s not, you can get cracking on the decision-making process. Have a look at some of the determinants that can influence your design, stability, utility and costs and the reasons why.

Type of roof

In this case, you can go for a flat roof or a pitched one. Weather conditions play a crucial role in this decisions as well as what you find pleasing to the eye.

What is in a pitched roof?

A pitched roof is any roof with a gradient larger than 10%. The steep of the roof affects how fast rain and snow slough off the roof, thus making steeper roofs more suitable for wet weather conditions. With this kind of a roof, it is less likely that rain and snow can get caught in the roofing materials, resulting in low maintenance costs.

The downside to this kind of roof is that the steeper the gradient, the more expensive the construction becomes. You will incur a lot of expenses on labor and materials and may experience objections from local authorities on the same.

Take caution when constructing such a roof in an area prone to strong winds as they can move under the overhang and lift off the cabin roof. This roof is quite aesthetically pleasing and will be a great addition to your surroundings.

Reasons to go flat

If you have a tight budget, this kind of roof is more suitable when compared to the former option. Not only will you use fewer materials but you can also cut your construction time in half. You can even put up this roof in a day if you wish.

Though often referred to as flat roofs, these kinds of cabin roofs have a slight gradient to them, allowing water and snow to run off smoothly. The extra room you get on top upon installation can come in handy when installing solar panels, putting up a living area or other improvements in the future.

These roofs do have their limitations as they are more prone to water leakages when compared to pitched types. Leakage often occurs in wet regions, hence the need to factor in location when putting up a roof. Flat roofs can also cave in under the pressure of snow weight during winters.

They are also quite unstable when used to roof large sections, and they are more suited to small spaces. All, in all, these roofs are excellent options for small cabins located in dry regions.

Materials used

When it comes to roofing a log cabin, you have a wide array of materials at your disposal. Feel free to let your imagination fly. Determinants that come into play include energy efficiency, the cost, individual preferences as well as appearance.

In my tips, I will take you through the six conventional roofing materials and the suitability of each for your home.

Wood shingles

I find this material to be aesthetically pleasing, thanks to the traditional feel that it gives to a cabin. Shingles made of cedar are by far the best as they are long-lasting. They also go through a series of stages as they age which see them change hues from red to grey.

Metal sheets

Most commercial log cabin projects make use of metal sheets in their construction. If you do decide to go down this road, pre-insulation of the metal sheets is an excellent idea for temperature regulation and prevention of disturbance from the rain.

However, some people choose not to insulate as they do love the sound of rain as it falls hard on the metal sheets. Once again, preferences come into play.

Rubber Roofs

This kind of material works best for flat roofs and is very easy to use. With this material, you have options to play about with it to fit your required dimensions, thus making leakage very hard.

If you are a DIY diehard, you will love the fact that you can do the roofing with just the rubber and suitable glue paste. As long as you brush out the air pockets and nail down the edges, you are set to enjoy a durable roof for a reasonable price.

You will be happy to know that you can schedule repairs every five to ten years.

Thatch

If you are going for a stunning look, this material will give you just that. Though shunned by many for its complexity and high expenses, it will provide you with durability and aesthetic appeal.

With this kind of roof, be sure to have a slope of at least forty degrees to ensure that snow falls off. Otherwise, things could go very wrong during winters.

Felt

For a cheap yet long-lasting option, felt is a great idea. It lasts an average of between five to ten years, depending on the maintenance, and is very easy to replace. They come in various hues, enabling you to choose one that matches your home.

The downside to these roofs is that they require a lot of maintenance and have low resale values.

Felt shingles

This roofing material is much thicker than felt and can last up to two decades before the need for replacement. They come in various dimensions and colors, allowing you to have a wide range of choices.

Green roof

If you wish to blend in with the environment altogether, get this done. Though not easy on the pocket, it pleases the eye and is energy efficient.

Take caution when it comes to roofing with this material as the weight of the soil can pose a threat to stability. Ensure that your design makes room for dirt saturated with moisture during wet seasons.

Why Invest in an Industrial Roof Maintenance Plan?

Money spent on a roof maintenance plan is well invested and good for the planet, and will save you money in the long run.

During the winter months, the cold can be minus 15 with a wind that will slice you in half. During the summer months, scorching temperatures can blast well above of 30 degrees Celsius. What does this mean in regards to your industrial roof?

Industrial Roofs in Canada are on the front line and take the brunt of these extreme temperature swings, but are seldom inspected or even thought about until a huge leak occurs. Leaks can cause a myriad of problems like water damage to walls and floors, machinery/computer downtime; leaks can also spoil product and can be a safety and fire hazard. Most industrial roof emergency calls occur during severe weather conditions when only temporary repairs can be conducted. Re-roofing is expensive starting at about $4.50 per square foot for a low rise commercial or industrial building with easy access. These prices are only likely to increase as the cost of petroleum based products and landfill site dumping charges rise.

Extending the service life of your existing roof will save you money and help the environment buy cutting down on the toxins released by hot asphalt and adhesive during re-roofing and limiting emissions released during material manufacturing and transportation. Most old roofing materials cannot be re-cycled so this also helps to reduce ground contamination at dump sites. Getting the most out of your roof can be achieved by conducting annual roof inspections to locate and fix potential problems and conduct preventative maintenance.

One of the most important components of your roof system is to maintain good drainage at all times. On flat roofs it is essential that drain screens and scuppers are periodically cleaned free of any obstructions like leaves or ice. If water is not allowed to drain properly it can reach un-realistic levels and spill into the building over the top of flashings. It will also pond on the roof eventually decaying the roof membrane causing leaks leading to pre-mature repairs or replacement. Stagnant water also creates a breeding ground for bugs like mosquitoes which can cause the West Nile Virus.

Other areas that are quite often the source of roof leaks are pipes, conduit and chimneys where they pass through the roof. This equipment usually protrudes through tall cones and mastic trays which are sealed with plastic cement or a silicon derivative. Because of thermal expansion and contraction these sealants over time will dry out, shrink and crack creating an entry point for water into the roof system.

These are just a few of the small measures you can take to extend the service life of your roof and reduce your carbon footprint.

All About French Style Roof Tiles

Clay roof tiles originated in various parts of the world at different times; they were used in Egypt under the Pharaohs and cities of the Indus River Valley in present-day Pakistan as well ancient Babylon near where Baghdad stands today. Such tiles were in use in Bronze Age Greece as far back as 4000 B.C., and were to be found on Chinese homes pre-dating the Han Dynasty.

French roof tiles are nothing like those of Asia, the Near East or the Mediterranean. The exception is the extreme south of the country, which is still known as Provence; the warm Mediterranean climate is suitable for the use of terra-cotta Roman style roofing materials. Further north however, most French roof tiles are generally made of slate and/or ceramic. Unless the material is specially treated, French clay tiles generally do not stand up well to the cooler, damper climate further north.

A Short History of French Roofing Tiles

Although living in France, the Normans were originally Danish vikings who had settled the region during the time of Charlemagne. However, Scandinavians have historically tended to adopt the language and culture of those among whom they settled or conquered; by the 11th Century, these former Danes had become more French than the French. It was the Normans who introduced French roofing tile to England starting in the 1200s. These tiles were probably developed during the early Middle Ages. Only homes of the wealthy, such as the nobility and royalty had a French tile roof; then as now, they could be expensive.

French Style Roofing Tiles Today

French Style Roofing Tiles are still available to homeowners in Canada and the U.S., imported from a company that as been owned and operated by the same family since around for more than 450 years. French roofing tiles like these are made from durable ceramic and slate; French clay tiles that have been treated to withstand harsh Canadian and northern U.S. winter climates are also available. French roofing tiles come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and even colors, which are added to the material during the manufacturing process. This is what can make a French tile roof unique.

Those who intend to use French roofing tiles should keep in mind that while quite durable and highly attractive, a French tile roof weighs substantially more than one made from standard composite roofing materials. Make certain that the house’s frame is built to withstand the added burden of French style roofing tiles.

Emigrating to Canada – Introduction to House Construction and Real Estate Practices

When emigrating to Canada, its important to spend time looking in to the job and Visa situation and not to spend too much of your time trawling through the web sites of Realtors (Estate Agents), drooling over that five bed detached house which you have fallen in love with, which also has a lcouple of lounges, playroom, vast kitchen 2 x bathrooms, a dining room and separate laundry room and which sits on a spacious piece of land and is also probably very affordable. It is also important when considering emigrating to Canada which area you are hoping to move to as house prices can vary enormously. Vancouver is or can be very expensive where as Eastern Canada is less so. One acre is a piece of land about 50 yards x 50 yards (150 feet x 150 feet or about 22,500 square feet). Many Realtors work in Acres or square feet. A standard building lot on a new sub-division is usually 75 feet wide at the road x 125 – 150 feet deep. Many pieces of land come up for private sale not on a development zone which are much bigger than that but obviously the more urban you go, the less chance there is of finding something suitable, like a one acre piece of land.

When you buy a house or piece of land in Canada, it is usual to sign agreement forms before hand and the purchase price is set subject to conditions. You can stipulate that the house is subject to what is called a home inspection, in case some serious flaws in the building appear or that the property is not owned by the person or organization who claims to own it for example. In any event you can take out property insurance in case there is a dispute over who owns the land. The seller cannot ‘Gazump’ you, saying that someone else has come along with a higher bid ‘X’ after the seller has agreed to sell for ‘Y’. Your representative (Real Estate Agent) needs to be chasing up questions like is the house on mains water supply or on artesian well? Is it on a Septic tank or hooked up to the town or city sewer and so on. Either are often acceptable in Canada.

When people emigrate to Canada especially from the UK, they will find that the construction of houses here is very different. UK houses are normally brick or stone. Canadian (or rather North American) houses are normally built entirely of wood, with some concrete and a bituminous style roofing materials. Most houses have a concrete foundation coming up to just above ground level, and the internal area of the concrete ring is either filled in with stone or a basement area created. On top of the outer ring wall is built the main construction frame of the house. A lattice of 6 inch x 2 inch timbers make up the external frame of the walls and internally the timbers are normally 4 inch x 2 inch. Insulation is placed within the framework and also in the attic space to keep the heat in the building. An anti draft wrapping is then placed on the outside of the insulation then the complete outer siding – the visible areas, are placed outside this wrapping. People who immigrate to Canada especially from the UK should realize that these materials are well suited to the climate and timber has always been in abundance in Canada. Early Canadian Immigrants from places like Europe soon became used to constructing houses using this timber frame method. Obviously the above is not a definitive list of practices in the sale and construction of houses. But a good realtor will spend the time it takes working with a person who has newly immigrated to Canada and build their confidence in the system.

If you are looking to relocate to Canada, a great place, which promises opportunity, stability and freedom, we recommend Canada. We emigrated to Canada and would like to help you too.

Clare Dugdill emigrated to Canada from the UK. She and her family have a personal insight into the emigration process having carried out the formalities singlehandedly. She would like you to benefit directly from a person ‘in the know’. The immigration need not take years nor cost the earth and is not actually that complicated when you know how.

Mitsubishi Delica Test Drive – Why Didn’t We Get The Mitsubishi Delica In Canada?

Test Driving the Mitsubishi Delica:

The Mitsubishi Delica is a vehicle in a class of it’s own and until you experience one for yourself, you just won’t understand. We have recently had the pleasure of adding a Delica to our fleet and here are our thoughts and opinions based on our real world experiences with our Delica.

At first glance, or more often a stare, the Mitsubishi Delica doesn’t fit in with the typical vehicle on Canadian roads. It stands out and screams function over form to all who see it. It may seem like a face only a mother could love, but once you get used to it, the styling really grows on you. I hate to admit it, but I really like the look of them now.

But that’s because I know what this vehicle has to offer. With a fuel efficient 2.5L turbo diesel engine, the Delica is easy and to drive with plenty of torque on hand, and economical at the same time. That is if you don’t have a heavy foot.

Fuel Economy

We’ve been managing an acceptable 20-25 MPG with a good mix of city and highway driving with our Mitsubishi Delica. This is about the norm from what we’ve heard, with the highest numbers reaching over 30MPG, and the lowest just below 20MPG.

Highway Driving:

Cruising on the highway is a different feeling in a Mitsubishi Delica, in fact driving a Delica in general is quite different due to the “over the front wheels” driving position. That’s right, your butt is sitting right on top of the front wheels, putting you right in the middle of the pivot point for the steering of the vehicle. It’s a different sensation at first, almost as though you’re riding on the hood of your car, but once you get used to it, it’s quite enjoyable.

Interior and Style:

Visibility is great, with large mirrors for every spot you can’t see out of from the many large windows, including convex mirrors for close proximity of the front and rear of the vehicle.

The Mitsubishi Delica maintains it’s speed well, even with aerodynamics designed by Maytag, but don’t expect to get anywhere in a hurry. The Delica will get you (and any other 6 people that happen to need a ride) where you need to go in an economical and reliable manner, but it won’t win any races.

Performance:

On straight roads the Delica rolls along smoothly achieving speeds of 110-120 km/h easily. Hills on the highway aren’t too bad either but the vehicle must be driven accordingly. Be prepared to be passed as this vehicle was only able to muster up an average speed of 80km/h up the toughest hills of the Coquihalla, BC, Canada. That being said, this was not full out, and the thermostat showed no signs of increasing temperatures under stress.

Crystal Light Roof Option:

With the Crystal Light (moon roof) option your passengers won’t miss out on any of the action and it provides a great view of the stars if you decide to camp out in your van. Clearance is something to watchout for however because the Mitsubishi Delica is quite tall.

Test Drive Conclusion:

The Delica is perfect for hitting the slopes with all your snowboarding/skiing gear, heading to the beach with your family and dogs, or camping high up along a logging road you wouldn’t dare head up without a 4×4.

Personally, I plan to throw a set of larger wheels/tires and an aftermarket bush guard on our Delica to bring it’s rugged looks up to par with what lies beneath it’s sheetmetal.

Do you want to learn more about the Mitsubishi Delica? I’ve compiled a great resource with all of the information you need to import your own Mitsubishi Delica from Japan to Canada.

Check out: [http://www.terra2imports.ca/mitsubishi/delica/]
Including,

BC, Canada Delica Compliance Part Sourcing and Information
Delica Maintenance Part Sourcing
Delica Clubs for additional learning
Mitsubishi Delica’s for sale in Canada and Japan

A Changing Industry: All About Family Insurance in Canada

Comprehensive family insurance in Canada today is a million dollar industry that encompasses a large number of private and public insurance companies. These companies cover families for the many potential risks that often leave people in a financial bind, including mandatory coverage such as car insurance, and other coverage such as health, home and life insurance.

Canadian families have many options when it comes to protecting themselves against life’s unexpected dire consequences. Over time, the insurance industry in Canada has grown, developed, and changed to meet the needs of its residents, embracing current trends, and providing desired products while keeping costs under control.

Medical Care for Loved Ones: Health Insurance

Medical coverage falls under the umbrella of optional family insurance in Canada. Although Canadians are fortunate to be provided with medical coverage under provincial health plans, there are nevertheless gaps in the program that can be filled with additional private health insurance. For instance, provincial health plans do not typically cover dental or vision care, or medical expenses when travelling outside the country. Many Canadians obtain private coverage for prescription drugs if they are not among those who qualify for assistance.

Canada’s health insurance system has a long history. Saskatchewan was the first province to pass laws providing coverage in 1946, and by 1961 all the provinces had followed suit. In 1984, the Canada Health Act set forth federal standards by which provinces could receive funding from the federal government. According to a 2009 poll, more than 86% of Canadians state that they support the provincial health care system.

Health insurance in Canada has faced several challenges over time. More recently, there is a push to privatize health care in some areas, in spite of popular opinion. Canada’s health care system is relentlessly scrutinized and its policies are a topic of ongoing discussions, but in the meantime, families can obtain additional medical coverage from private insurance providers in order to fill the gaps left by provincial plans.

Public and Private: Car Insurance

One of the largest areas of family insurance in Canada is the car insurance industry, a field that has undergone much change over the years. When cars first became available in Canada, a few large companies were already offering personal lines of coverage to Canadians. One of the oldest insurance companies in the nation is the Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company, which opened its doors in 1887 and still offers auto policies and other types of coverage today.

As the need for auto insurance increased, things changed across the country. Some provinces devised their own system of public coverage, such as Manitoba’s Autopac, while others chose a public system of insurance similar to that used in the United States. With more and more cars on the road, provinces eventually passed laws requiring that all drivers carry a liability insurance policy. With insurance now mandatory, the competition for Canadians’ insurance dollars became fierce.

In time, provinces with a public system had to improve the laws in order to protect consumers from overpaying for insurance. Several provinces have now implemented maximum rates that insurance providers must adhere to, and have established control over when and how rates can be raised, in the hope of decreasing the number of people driving without insurance because they cannot afford it.

The Roof over your Head: Home Insurance

Homeowners insurance is also a major consideration when it comes to comprehensive family insurance in Canada. In time, the need for coverage grew as the cost of homes rose and more families were unable to recover from fire and other damages. At the same time, mortgage companies required some protection from substantial financial losses when homes were destroyed. Homeowners insurance is designed to protect both parties. In Canada, this type of insurance is sold by public companies in all provinces, as opposed to auto insurance which is public only in certain provinces.

Started in 1839, the Gore Mutual Fire Insurance Company is the oldest property and casualty insurer in Canada. Since that time, many more companies have opened their doors, providing Canadians with coverage to protect their homes and property from many risks including fire and theft.

Protecting Those Left Behind: Life Insurance

When you think about family insurance in Canada, one of the first things that probably pops into your mind is life insurance, most likely because of its direct human connection. Life insurance protects families from financial disaster when the main breadwinner in the household passes away unexpectedly. It offers an immediate financial cushion to a family experiencing instability, and provides them with time to recover without having to worry over finances.

Two of the oldest life insurance companies in Canada are the Canada Life Insurance Company which started in 1874, and Great West Life which started in 1881. Today, the two companies have merged to form a powerful and venerable player in the life insurance scene. Many other companies are also in the business, some of which are wholly Canadian based, while others have branches in foreign countries.

Although life insurance was once considered somewhat of a luxury for the wealthy, today it has become a vital part of family insurance in Canada, and addresses all levels of income. With so many companies selling life insurance, rates have become competitive over the years, making it easier for Canadian families to choose the coverage they need at a price they can afford.

Coverage for your Family Today

It is easier than ever to provide your family with comprehensive insurance coverage. There are multiple insurance companies operating in Canada that offer a wide range of policies for Canadian families. Although the basic three – auto, home and life- are the most common policies, other significant areas of family insurance should be taken into account, such as health insurance, travel insurance and dental and vision care insurance.

Canada’s insurance providers have grown and improved over time to keep up with the ever-changing needs of Canada’s families. Their purpose is to provide you with the comprehensive protection required to keep your family, home, quality of life and financial assets safe.

The New Age of Famine and Poverty in Canada, for Canadians

When was the last time you bought a little extra for your local food bank? The cost of food is high these days and those of us who can still afford to purchase food do so with great care. There are those among us who, despite having full time employment, are being forced to choose between a roof over their heads and food on their tables. Why is this happening and how can we help our fellow Canadian neighbours in their time of need. Are their other options available for all of us?

Some of the recent comments from the volunteers who run our local food banks seem to run along three lines; the quality and quantity of food being donated and the huge overseas donations to third world countries. These three issues are causing a crisis in the food banks and what they can offer to the increasing numbers of individuals and families showing up at their doors for food. With the cost of living constantly increasing and the value of our take home pay either decreasing or staying the same, many people stopping by the food bank have not been those who have full time jobs but the trend is now changing to include them, if for no other reason than to make ends meet by the months’ end.

Our take home pay, after taxes, has a lot riding on it; after the monthly rent or mortgage payment which takes the bulk of the pay check, there are the monthly bills including utilities, phone, cell phone, internet, health care, vehicle expenses, bus passes and cable. Only after all this is paid out can we go shopping for the month’s food supple and this is where most of us start to skimp a little, but for some it’s a choice between rent and food. We all practice the fine art of cutting corners wherever we can to save money and if we actually do manage to save anything, it’s usually a scant ten percent off the check {if and when we can spare it} and the change after we have shopped. We have not even included the cost of clothing, school fees, programs, books, school supplies and let’s not forget the cost of buses and/or driving our kids to and from school. Our take home pay is not even getting us home anymore! How do you make ends meet when there isn’t enough ‘end’ to stretch that far?

Our food bank fills a critical role in today’s society by providing basic food for those no longer able to afford it and those who use it occasionally make ends meet. Even if it’s there to tide you over for that month, they are helping individuals and families survive by reducing the stress and worry of having little to no food in the house. Today the food banks are in jeopardy, they are facing their own crisis as donations dwindle because Canada is sending so much of our food to third world countries who need it as much as we do and the donations being given are too many high carbohydrate foods. The food banks need more staples like: milk, cheese, butter, meats, vegetables and fruit. Its not so great to be giving away lots of cereal when you have no milk to put on that cereal. Most of the foods being donated by generous Canadian’s are canned foods and carbs, perhaps because they are the easiest to buy and to include in our daily shopping errands.

Canadians’ are a generous people and many of us try to look out for the next person as much as we can. When I donate, I generally try not to put a bag of bread into the bin because I know they already get a lot of that. I try to select a mixture of staples that I would want in my own pantry and I purchase what I can afford at the time. If done almost every time I shop, it helps the food bank a great deal but are there other ways of offering food to those who need it. A couple I know are testing a organic garden they may market to those who are interested in renting a sizable plot of garden space on their acreage, purchasing their own seeds for what they want to grow and they will have the option of doing the work themselves or having it done for them right up until harvest. In choosing this option, they will pay for the rent of the area and for this couple doing the work, including harvesting, for them. Living on an acreage, they have a fair amount of space to accommodate several garden renters. Anything that is over and above what can be used, can be donated to the food bank or sold at a garden market.

I work at a herbal food store and receive discounts on the food I purchase. I also receive a monthly twenty dollar certificate each month. I make it a point to use those discounts to purchase high quality staples and donate them to my local food bank. On occasion, when I don’t need to use the certificate for myself and my family, I use it to purchase for the food bank. I encourage you to think about doing the same. You might need to use the food bank one of these days.

Self Employed Roof Cleaners Are Cashing In

Does an unexplored goldmine exist anymore? It seems that it’s all been done before and a real opportunity just doesn’t exist. Well it does and for people who don’t mind a little physical work in exchange for a big paycheck, the opportunity is wide open.

Anyone can look around at homes now days and see home after home with ugly black stains on the roofs. In fact eighty percent of all roofs in the United States and Canada will be affected by this staining. The staining comes from Algae known as Gloeocapsa Magma. The majority of people don’t know there is a way to get rid of this staining without replacing their roof.

As a result of the increase in petroleum prices, roof shingle manufacturers had to change the way roof shingles were made. Unlike the original shingles made of true asphalt, the roof shingles manufactured today are made of fiberglass and limestone. Algae thrive on limestone. The algae leave behind dead spores, which create these ugly stains so prevalent on rooftops. If properly maintained, a roof will last for an average of twenty years. Since there are no plans to change manufacturing methods any time soon, this problem will be around for a very long time.

This is creating a new frontier for people who want to be self-employed and don’t mind a little outside work. The income potential is large and just a simple drive around town reveals all the proof that is needed. Could this be a new unexplored goldmine? Many people are realizing this and are starting their own roof cleaning business. They are cashing in on the fact that it saves the homeowners thousands of dollars over replacement. The demand for roof cleaners’ far exceeds the supply. Since the typical roof warranty only covers algae staining for one year, roofing companies will be cashing in on this opportunity if there are no roof cleaners locally to save the homeowner’s money.

Another group of people who are starting to cash in on this opportunity is offering over the counter products, which they claim will get rid of the staining. Once you buy the products, you find that to get immediate results, you have to use high-pressure water to blast these stains away which completely goes against what roof manufacturers recommend. Using high pressure to clean a roof is very damaging.