Replacement - Residential

Why Do I Need Roofing Felt? | Pacific West Roofing

Why do I need roofing felt?There is a lot of confusion with home and building owners alike when it comes to the felt layer of a sloped roof. Also known as tar paper or a felt underlayment, this material offers some benefits for roof protection. But once the roof is complete, felt fails to make your home more waterproof.  This is especially important for those of us living in rainy climates, such as Portland, OR, and the greater Pacific Northwest. So, why exactly does your roof need felt?

WHY IS ROOFING FELT USED?

Variations of roofing felt have been around for more than a century. Before roofing contractors were so common, this blanket of sorts was designed to protect a roof’s inner structure during lengthy DIY roofing projects. Replacing a roof back then would

easily take more than a few days, so working homeowners would remove existing shingles one weekend, and install new ones the next. In the meantime, the felt was used to temporarily protect their home from rain. This is important in rainy climates, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. Eventually, shingle manufacturers began producing their own felt underlayments, making improvements in the design, and marketing them as a necessary roofing component. Since then, additional benefits of using felt have emerged.

BENEFITS OF ROOFING FELTroofer

  • Protects the roof deck while shingles are removed and the inner structure is exposed.
  • Gives workers better traction, helping to keep them from slipping and providing a safer working environment.
  • Has been shown to increase the fire rating of some roofing systems.

No one can argue the advantages of using a felt underlayment. But, in an attempt to upsell the customer on a “felt upgrade,” some contractors have been making claims that simply don’t hold water. Be wary of salesman-type tactics that suggest felt can protect your home from leaks and water damage. It certainly cannot repel the amount of rain and moisture that Oregon and Washington experience every year.

Every home and building owner should understand that once the shingles are nailed in place, the underlayment is essentially ruined as a waterproofing agent. No matter how thick it is, those nail holes just defeated any waterproofing benefits the paper offered during construction. If the roof should develop a leak or lose a shingle, the underlayment will not prevent water from reaching the decking and framing. Yet, most roofing contractors use it and many area building codes require it. When using felt or tar paper as the product was intended, installing it does make sense.

DIFFERENT ROOFING FELT TYPES, THICKNESS

First, while the terms “felt” and “tar paper” are often used synonymously, they are different. Tar paper is less commonly used by far. It is made of tear-resistant paper or fiberglass matting and soaked in tar. Roofing felt is generally made of recycled paper products and then impregnated with asphalt. Some felt paper is only coated with asphalt on the exterior layers while others are saturated all the way through. Historically, these underlayment products came in two different weights. Fifteen-pound felt was referred to as such because it weighed fifteen pounds per square (100 square feet). Thirty-pound felt also weighed as much per square. But, as the products were improved upon, they became lighter. Fifteen-pound felt now generally weighs between 7 and 12 lbs, and 30lb. felt weighs between 16 and 27 lbs. Because of this, these options are now referred to as #15 and #30.

cedar shake roofThere are circumstances that justify the thicker #30  felt, the most common being a steep pitch. On a more dangerous roof, the heavier felt will resist tearing a bit better, making conditions safer for our workers. The most advantageous improvement made to underlayment materials has been the introduction of synthetic products. These are made of polyethylene or polypropylene polymers rather than paper or fiberglass. It is far more tear-resistant and provides a tight seal around fasteners, which does improve its waterproofing abilities after the roof is installed, but still it isn’t waterproof. A synthetic underlayment will actually allow your roof to “breathe,” unlike standard materials which can sometimes create a vapor barrier and actually trap moisture between the shingles and sheathing.

FIND ROOFER IN PORTLAND, OR

Have more questions about your roof and what kind of underlayment you need? Contact Pacific West Roofing and speak to a qualified Oregon roofer about your needs, or click here to visit our contact page.

Maintenance

Mold – the pesky little fungi | Pacific West Roofing

Mold in the Attic! The Pesky Little Fungi

When was the last time you climbed into your attic? Cool summer mornings are perfect time for a check-up, especially if it’s been a few years.

However, since mold problems are so common here in the Pacific Northwest, anytime is a good time to check out how things are going — and hopefully not growing — in your attic spaces.

As we mentioned, mold is a common problem. This is especially true in newer homes due to weatherization home builders are attempting these days.

Why? There are several contributing factors that can have a major impact on making an attic a mold-friendly environment. Let us count the ways!

* Inadequate attic ventilation. (This is the No. 1 cause of mold growth in the attic.)

* Bathroom, kitchen and or dryer vents discharging into the attic.

* Inadequate or missing attic floor insulation.

* Improperly installed insulation cathedral ceilings and skylight chases.

* Furnaces and water heaters installed in an open attic.

* Plumbing vents that open into the attic.

* Lack of a vapor retarder in the ceiling

Those are just a few of the most common reasons why mold might take up residence in your attic. Fortunately, solutions to attic problems can be relatively simple and inexpensive. On the other hand, big and costly problems are usually inevitable if the issues go undetected and/or are ignored for long periods of time.

Why Mold Is A Big Problem
Mold can lead to more than just problems with the structural integrity of your roof. Mold spores can also lead to health problems.

Some of the more common health problems related to mold include coughing, congestion, and ear, nose, and throat congestion. Mold can also pose serious health problems for people suffering from asthma or allergies. Perhaps worst of all, people with already weakened immune systems can develop respiratory infections

Structurally, mold poses a risk to your roof since it attracts moisture for food, which over time can ruin the plywood sheathing and framing materials made out of wood.

Pacific West Roofing in the Pacific Northwest
If you are uncomfortable evaluating the attic on your own, give us a call. Although we are not a home inspector, we can still inspect your home for the possibility of elevated moisture levels, attic moisture issues, white or black molds, mold spores, roof leaks, and more.

And, of course, as the PNW’s premier roofing solutions company, we can do a roof-focused home inspection and take a look at your soffit vents, ridge vents, and other roof vents and roof sheathing to determine the source of air and attic mold removal solutions.

Think you might have mold in the attic? We are experts in identifying the problems, and more importantly — providing the solutions!

Contact Pacific West Roofing today.

Mental Roofs

Metal Roofing Options You Should Know | Pacific West Roofing

metal roof installation in portland oregonMetal roofs are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they are incredibly durable and last for decades, sometimes up to 40 to 70 years, if cared for properly. They’re weather resistant, easy to install, and very energy efficient, making them a great choice for a variety of homes. Metal roofs are also able to reflect the heat from the sun well, which means that they can minimize any heat that’s getting through to the inside of your home during the warmest part of the day. This in turn means you’ll likely be using your air conditioning less and be saving more of the earth’s energy. Metal roofs are considered a good investment for homes of all sizes and they’re also available in almost any style and color that you can imagine. Our team at Pacific West Roofing carriers a wide selection of metal roofing options, but which ones are right for you and your home? Here are some metal roofing options you should know about.

Metal Shingles:
This option is incredibly weather resistant and weather tight. This is the perfect option for homeowners that are looking for a classic, yet distinctive look.

Metal Tile:
Do you love the look of traditional tile, but don’t want a heavy roof that’s expensive to maintain? Metal tiles have the same look as classic tile, but they’re light and are strong as stone-coated steel.

Metal Shake:
This will give you the look of authentic wood without the maintenance. Metal shakes are incredibly durable, making them a great investment for the long term. They are available in a variety of color choices, so no matter what your home’s style, you’ll be able to find something that fits perfectly.

Vertical Panel:
With recent advances in technology, manufacturers can now create these economical pieces in pre-painted vertical panels in virtually any color, making them great for residential use.

Natural Metals:
Natural metals create a protective layer as they age, which makes them ideal for use on historic buildings or in urban districts. They blend in well with their surroundings, are environmentally friendly, and are 100% recyclable.

Still unsure of which one to pick for your new home re-roofing project? They are a variety of style and color options that will fit your home and most importantly your budget. Our team is able to get you more information on the products you’re most interested in and give you quotes on the best metal roofing options for our specific home type.

Maintiance - Metal

Metal Roof Maintenance Do’s and Don’ts | Pacific West Roofing

metal roof maintenance dos and don'tsLow maintenance is a major selling point of metal roofs. Under normal conditions, a quality metal roof will outlast almost any other material. But, there are always things you can do to make sure your roofing system stays looking beautiful and performing like it should.

Below are tips for extending the life of your metal roof as well as some of the mistakes to avoid with this material.

DO: Keep an eye out for stains, scratches, abrasions, grease or dirt. Use binoculars to scan the roof surface twice annually (Spring and Fall) and after severe storms. Also look for any obvious seam separation.

DO: If dirt or stains remain after a period of rainfall, gently wash your metal roof with a well-soaked cloth, sponge, soft-bristled brush, or low pressure sprayer and one of the following solutions.

  • One cup of detergent containing less than 0.5% phosphate mixed thoroughly with five gallons of lukewarm water.
  • Cleaners that contain solvents, such as Formula 409, Fantastic, or Star Brite Instant Black Streak Remover
  • If mildew or fungal growth becomes a problem, mix one cup household bleach and one cup mild dish soap with five gallons of water.

DO: Wash the panels starting from the top and working toward the bottom. Thoroughly rinse the surface with clean water to eliminate residue.

DO: Remove any metal chips, shavings, or random particles that you find loose or lightly embedded in the coating. Exposed steel will oxidize quickly and be a source of ugly rust stains.

DO: Promptly cover any scratched or abraded areas with a manufacturer-approved bottle-brush touch up paint.

DO: Keep tree branches clear of the roof by at least six feet to avoid scratches and excess debris.

DO: Keep valleys and gutters clear of leaves and debris. Perform a cleaning twice a year, or more often if there are many trees near your home.

DON’T: Use scouring powders or industrial solvents, which may damage the film or facilitate the accumulation of dirt.

DON’T: Allow different types of metal to come in contact on your roof as chemical reactions between different materials can lead to corrosion.

DON’T: Spend much time walking around on the panels. Even though most metal roofs can be walked on without causing damage, it’s not something you should do regularly.

DON’T: Paint your home using a sprayer. Overspray is likely to be blown onto the metal surface, and almost nothing can be done to remove it.

Looking for professional help with metal roofing inspections, maintenance and repairs? Contact Pacific West Roofing today!

Replacement - Residential

Key Factors in The Cost of a New Roof | Pacific West Roofing

A new roof generally isn’t going to be a minor investment. But, there are few other components of your home that are more important. If you decide to do it yourself or cut corners in other ways, you could wind up spending more on repairs that you would have if you’d hired an experienced contractor to do the job right the first time.

There will be several factors that influence the final cost of a full roof replacement, and these factors vary by location and circumstance. Knowing exactly what influences this price can help you avoid spending too much.

MATERIAL COSTS

There isn’t much room for negotiation when it comes to the price of materials. Each type of roofing material has its own standard cost per unit, and the pitch of your roof may dictate your material options.

For example, asphalt shingles are ideally suited for medium-pitched roofs, which most homes have. Asphalt is also the most cost-effective and widely available roofing material, so there’s no surprise why it’s the most popular composition going.

On the other hand, cedar shakes and shingles are designed for a steeper pitch and can cost two or three times as much. Higher end materials like metal are generally more expensive than composition and may even call for additional accessories. Also, many materials are available in special colors, textures, and quality levels, which can increase prices as well.

OTHER IMPORTANT FACTORS

One of the biggest questions to answer is whether you’ll need to have your existing roof torn off before installing the new one. In some circumstances, and with the right combination of materials, it may be ok to install your new roof right on top of your old one. However, this can reduce the service life of your new roof by as much as 20 to 40 percent.

Another significant factor is the size of the building to be roofed– the bigger the building, the more expensive the roof installation. A particularly steep roof will also yield higher costs because there is more surface to cover and the labor slows down due to mobility.

Complex cut up roofs with special features like skylights, bays, or cones generally require a bigger budget, and don’t forget to factor in gutters and downspouts, flashing, zinc treatments, and vents for mitigating algae, mold, leaks, and extreme attic temperatures.

When it comes to the installer you choose, it may seem like a splurge to pay extra for the labor of an experienced, reputable contractor. But, choosing the right roofer can mean a difference of decades in the life of your roof.

Whatever your circumstances are, remember that you get what you pay for. Don’t make the mistake of choosing bargain materials or going with the lowest bidder to cut costs, or you may wind up paying more in the end. The quality of your roofing system is key to your home’s value, so you won’t regret making this investment.

Call Pacific West Roofing about your new roof today at 503-635-8706, or fill out our contact form.

Seasonal

Inspecting for Roof Damage After a Storm Portland OR

Inspecting your roof for storm damageFall came in with a bang this year, didn’t it? After the storm we just had, homeowners should be concerned about their roofs. Those brutal, 90 mph winds and heavy rains caused a ton of damage to many roofs in the area, from a few missing shingles to gaping holes caused by broken tree branches.

After a severe storm hits, it is crucial that you inspect your roof for even the slightest signs of damage, and here’s why: You can…

PREVENT MORE COSTLY REPAIRS

If when inspecting your roof you do find damage, act fast to arrange repairs. A storm-damaged roof is vulnerable to leaks, and with the rainy season now fully upon us you could be dealing with serious moisture issues. So, take care of the small problems you have now before they become big problems later. If you catch it early enough you may prevent a leak altogether– that’s money in your pocket.

MAKE A BETTER CLAIM

If your home suffers damage from a storm, the sooner you inspect the roof, the better chances you have of establishing the evidence you need to file a claim with your insurance company. In fact, most insurers have a time limit on making claims like this, so don’t wait. Once you talk to your claims adjuster, we will work with them to put your roof back together and give you peace of mind.

GET A FREE INSPECTION

thorough roof inspection is the best way to avoid expensive repairs, but we know there’s never a good time for unforeseen costs. In times like these it’s understandable why fixing a seemingly small roof problem may not be a top priority, but it should be. That’s why we’re offering our blog readers a free roof inspection (a $200 value), which includes checking for:

  • Missing shingles or flashing
  • Debris clogged valleys and gutters
  • Flashing around chimneys, skylights and siding
  • Attic ventilation
  • General repair needs

It is good homeowner practice to personally inspect your roof at least once per year, which can easily be done from the ground with binoculars. Getting familiar with your roof, tree locations and wind direction will give you a baseline for evaluating any damage that may occur in the future. So, put an inspection on your calendar as a repeating annual event so you’ll be quick to notice damaged flashing or missing shingles.

Call us today at 503-635-8706 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. Don’t forget to mention you read this blog post!

At Pacific West Roofing, we get the job done right the first time!

Commercial Flat Roofs

How to Select the Right Roof Hatch for You | Pacific West Roofing

installing a commercial roof hatchIt’s in your best interest to make sure that your commercial property has the right roof hatch installed. Not only will it provide safe and convenient access to areas on your roof, but you will also be able to utilize it to allow for proper venting while protecting the rest of your interior space from Mother Nature.

This is definitely not a component you can afford to get wrong. The wrong roof hatch is going to cause you a world of problems, not to mention cost you potentially thousands of dollars, not only in construction repairs but in the labor and time spent with your commercial venture(s) shut down.

To better help you find the right roof hatch, we’ve put together this quick guide. Use all of the information below to help you make the right decision and you won’t have anything to worry about.

Determine how this roof hatch is going to be most frequently used. If you are investing in a roof hatch that is mainly going to provide access to rooftop areas, you will want to move forward with a rather small, simple, and straightforward piece of equipment.

If, on the other hand, you are also going to want to provide entry/exit space for large pieces of equipment, product, or other components, you will certainly need to make sure that you are investing in a much larger (and oftentimes more complex) roof hatch solution.

Analyze your roof to find the best location. Not all roof hatch solutions can be installed on an incline, and even those that can be installed on a traditionally pitched roof are going to require a little bit of extra work and a considerably larger budget.

Before you go about selecting one of these specialty roof hatch products you will want to be sure that you have combed the whole surface area of your roof to independently verify that there aren’t any other spaces that a more traditional roof hatch could be installed on.

Should go with a new or retrofit solution? There is a world of difference between roof hatch products that are made today and those that were made even just 15 or 20 years ago.

Brand new roof hatch products are going to offer you the very best performance right out of the box, whereas retrofit components are going to cost a whole lot less.

It’s really up to you to determine how to move forward with a particular type of roof hatch. Hopefully this gets the wheels turning. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Pacific West Roofing today!

Maintenance

How to Remove Algae from Roof Shingles | Pacific West Roofing

Here in Oregon, mostly blue-green algae grows on the outside of the house or on the roof shingles. The only way to take care of it is to use a high-base chemical solution, like zinc sulfate. We’ll explain more of that in a bit.

While some people actually like the look of moss on their roof, they may be unaware that it can damage your roof, even promote rot.

What happens is the algae grows and becomes food for the moss. That moss then collects rainwater, like a sponge. If that top layer of moss gets heavy enough, the moisture seeps under the roof shingles and into the understructure. This brings mold build-up and eventually decay.

That means if you see algae or moss on your roof shingles, it’s time to remove it. Here’s how.

CLEANING YOUR ROOF WITHOUT DAMAGING IT

First we need to say one thing: don’t ever use a high pressure washer on your roof (for some reason it’s the first thing many people think to do). That pressure can strip granules and protective elements from shingles – it’s almost like wearing away the tread on a tire. Doing this means you’ll have to replace your shingles sooner.

Other people broom off the moss, which does work, but stiff bristles could also wear away the granules.

ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE MOSS KILLERS IS ZINC SULFATE

Zinc sulfate most often comes in powder form. To start cleaning, apply it directly and generously to moss areas – it’s recommended to use three pounds of powder for every 600 square feet. Spread it along the ridge of the roof, then let the rain do it’s job of dissolving it.

Generally, this takes care of moss for 1-3 years. The zinc needs to be applied annually though to keep the algae from regrowing, similar to how chlorine gets added regularly to maintain the cool blue color of your pool.

Here’s the downside: zinc sulfate is damaging to plants if it hits them directly. That’s why, before using it, most people will drape their plants to protect them. We also recommend applying it on a calm day, so the wind doesn’t spread it further than where it needs to be.

EARLY REMOVAL IS BEST FOR LONG-TIME PROTECTION

Taking care of algae growth early on is a very important way to ensure longevity for your roof. The more you let it grow, the higher the likelihood of seeing further damage.

Do you have questions, or need help cleaning your roof? Call the experts at Pacific West Roofing for any assistance.

DIY

How To Keep Pests Off Your Roof And Out Of Your Attic | Pacific West Roofing

All kinds of critters and creatures can get to your roof and make it, or your attic, their home. Not only is their scratching and scampering around annoying, but their invasion into the structure of your home can cause damage and more inconveniences. We’ve heard all kinds of stories about birds, squirrels, raccoons, bats, bees and ants, and many homeowners want to know how to keep these pests away from their home. So, we’ll give you some advice on how to keep pests out of your attic and off your roof.

 

First things first, if you have pests that are getting into your attic, you’re going to need to find their access point(s). When inspecting your roof and the exterior of your home, pay particular attention to dormers, damaged flashings and the areas where the siding meets the soffits. If you find any evidence of your little friends, such as holes, claw marks, chew marks or nests, this will be your major point of interest.

 

Next you’ll need to check inside your attic, patch up the holes and reinforce areas that might be susceptible to pest entry. Before you go up there though, consider the possibility that whatever you’re dealing with might currently be up there and may not take kindly to you disturbing them. You might think about setting a trap or two or hiring the help of a pest control company so you can be sure the coast is clear.

 

Once you get up there, cover any vents to the outdoors with a heavy gauge wire screen and make sure you attach it adequately. Squirrels can shimmy through if you only attach a screen at the corners. Patch any holes that the critter used to get in with a non-chewable material. If you choose to use wood to cover the whole, make sure it is decently thick as squirrels have been known to chew through two inches of wood. Reinforce any other area in your attic where there are only two inches between you and the outdoors with additional pieces of wood or wire screens. Then, clean up any droppings that have been left by the pests, which can be like a glowing review of your attic’s hospitality.

 

When you are sure your attic is secure, make any necessary provisions to be sure pests can’t reach your roof. One of the easiest ways for them to get to your roof is from the trees. If you have any branches extending onto or within inches of your roof, cut them back so that there are at least six feet of clearance. Remember, squirrels can jump so a few feet might not be enough. Also be aware of power lines touching your roof. We once saw an army of carpenter ants crawling along a line and onto a customer’s roof, causing all kinds of problems.

 

If carpenter ants or any other pest have managed to make a nest within the layers of your roof, contact Pacific West Roofing today. We’re here to help.

DIY

How To Install A Bathroom Vent Through The Roof | Pacific West Roofing

If you are tired of that steamy bathroom after your shower, or have “install bathroom vent” on your DIY list for your home, we’ve got some tips that will help you do it correctly and avoid some common mistakes that could cost you big in the long run.

install bathroom vent through the roofIf you’re thinking that you can use an existing vent, or even just vent into the attic, you’ll want to stop right there! If you plan to tap into an existing vent pipe, you could block the venting of the original source and create big problems at that location. Now, if you’re thinking about venting into the attic, you’ve got some problems just around the corner. You will be venting warm, humid air into your attic which is not a good idea, as it raises the temperature of your attic. As well, venting that warm, humid air into your attic in the winter causes even more humidity and moisture to collect in the attic, leading to possible damage to your attic, walls, and potentially worse.

Now that we are on the same page with “What Not To Do,” let’s get that vent installed!

  1. Figure out where you will install the vent
    • Pick the spot in your bathroom where you want to install the vent.
    • In the attic, make sure there are no obstructions for the vent pipe from the bathroom ceiling to the roof (make sure you have a truss or stud to mount the vent to in the bathroom from overhead).
    • It’s a good ideA to drill a hole from the attic into the bathroom ceiling to mark your installation location.
  2. Mount the vent into the ceiling
    • Cut the hole overhead in the ceiling (following the manufacturer’s instructions).
    • Install the vent into the ceiling.
  3. Attaching the vent pipe
    • In the attic, attach the vent pipe from the vent up to the roof.
    • Mark the roof where you will cut the opening for the vent pipe and roof hood.
    • Drill a hole in the center of your mark, and leave the drill bit in the hole so you can find it outside on the roof.
  4. Installing the vent hood
    • Using a jig saw, cut a 4” round hole using the center point of the hole from your drill.
    • Measure out a square around the 4” hole slightly larger than the vent pipe.
    • Use a “hook blade” to cut away the asphalt shingles around the 4” hole.
    • Pry up the shingles around the square gently.
    • Using asphalt roof cement, apply a bead around the bottom of the vent.
    • Slide the vent under the shingles, so they cover the vent flange.
    • Nail the corners of the flange, and cover the nail heads with roofing tar.
  5. Install the vent pipe
    • In the attic, install the vent pipe to the vent hood from the underneath.

If you have any questions, or find this is a project that you feel more comfortable hiring a roofing company to complete, feel free to contact us at www.pacificwestroofing.com to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists. Since 1980, Pacific West Roofing has been the choice for roofing service in Portland.

Mental Roofs

How To Fix A Metal Roof | Pacific West Roofing

Although metal roofs are the most durable, there come times when some repair is needed. Whether your roof sustained damage by a storm, expansion/contraction or rust, these highly durable roofs do indeed sometimes need some TLC.02i33158

Before you set out to repair your roof, make sure you check your paperwork to see if it’s covered under warranty. The good news is that most metal roofs have a very extensive warranty, and you may not need to climb up there and do the work yourself. However, if your warranty doesn’t cover it, we’ve got some tips to make your time up there well spent.

LOOSE NAILS

First, take a look over your whole roof to locate any loose nails. If you have some, pull them all the way out and re-nail them back in.

RUST DAMAGE

If you find any holes or rust spots, you can fix them easily with these steps

  • Using a wire brush or steel wool, remove the rust completely
  • Use a metal primer on the area to prep for paint
  • Using a spray paint, spray the primed area. The color can be matched by going to any local auto parts store

SEAL UP LEAKS

You can use a urethane roof cement or even metal flashing to seal and leaks you find. However, make sure you smooth it over the leak area to keep from trapping water. Also remember, urethane roof cement and metal flashing will ultimately deteriorate and need to be replaced in the future.

 RESEAL SEAMS AND EDGES

Using urethane-roofing cement, make sure to reseal any areas you find with holes or openings.

 REPLACE FLASHING ON THE ROOF

To replace the metal flashing on a metal roof, call a roofing contractor to complete this effort.

A metal roof is an excellent choice for your pacific northwest home. By keeping it well maintained, you will ensure the roof lasts as long, or longer than expected. Since 1980, Pacific West Roofing has been providing the highest quality service and products to the Portland area. If you need to schedule a visit for repair or replacement, contact us today at www.pacificwestroofing.com and schedule an appointment with one of our roofing specialists.

Seasonal

How To: Deck The Halls Without Damaging Your Roof | Pacific West Roofing

The holidays are fast approaching, which for many of us means it’s time to decorate the exterior of our homes with sparkling lights by the hundreds! If you are planning on adorning your home with festive lights this year, we have some tips to help you prevent mistakes that could seriously damage your roofing system.

FIRST THINGS FIRST:

Protect yourself and your family from injury when decorating the exterior of your home. Make sure your ladders are firmly planted on level ground, leaning at an adequate angle, and secured to your roof to prevent shifting. It’s tempting, but try not to reach more than an arms length away when standing on any ladder. Do not hang lights in any tree that comes into contact with power lines, and make sure your lights, extension cords, and outlets are rated for outdoor use. And, to keep from overloading your circuits, never chain more than three strings of lights together. Read our blog post with 35 safety tips here.

 

Along The Eaves:

Hanging lights from the eaves of the roof is the easiest and most common way to decorate a home. When affixing lights here, never use nails or staples to hang or secure the strand to the roof or gutter system. This will create holes that will, without question, allow water to penetrate your roof and cause serious problems. There are clips and hangers available at any home improvement or hardware store that you can pick up for a relatively low price. You can use these to safely mount all types of bulbs to gutters, shingles, brick and more.

ROOFTOP FIXTURES:

Some homeowners choose to put lights, inflatables, and other structural decorations on their roof for the holidays. If you are one such homeowner, these fixtures should be secured to your roof in a way that does not penetrate and subsequently jeopardize the roofing system. Properly securing your rooftop decorations will prevent them from coming loose during a storm and potentially landing on a vehicle or holiday guest..

DON’T FORGET TO TEST:

Plug in each strand of lights individually to verify that they are in working order before hanging them. This could save you a lot of time and a major headache if one light or an entire strand doesn’t work.  Any strand that isn’t working properly should not be used as an electrical short is generally a fire hazard.

EXAMINE YOUR HOME’S EXTERIOR WHILE YOU’RE AT IT:

While you work your way around your home hanging lights and decorations, it should be rather convenient to take a moment to inspect your roof, gutters, siding and windows. Look for possible air leaks and any signs of moisture, damage, deterioration, and/or pests. Spotting an issue that demands your attention now will save you from having to deal with a bigger problem at a less convenient time down the road.

 

The holidays are always a time to reflect on your blessings. So, remember to be safe and protect your biggest investment.

If you notice a problem with your roof or gutter system, contact Pacific West Roofing today.

Portland Roofing Contractor Since 1980!

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