Portland Residential Roofing Services - Pacific West Roofing
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Pros and Cons of a Flat Roof

Flat roofs are becoming a popular choice for homeowners and developers building new homes because of their unique look and more modern aesthetics. Flat roofs, as the name suggests, is laid horizontally on the top of a building, but may have a slight slope. Asphalt and torch on flat roofs are usually the most common types of materials used in flat roofing projects and there are several pros and cons to take into consideration before you make the decision that this is the right type of roof for you.

#1: Maintenance

Flat roofs require more maintenance than traditional pitched roofs because water will collect over time. Pitched roofs will drain the water away, but flat roofs do not have this ability, so standing water and debris will generally accumulate, especially when the weather is rainy or windy.

#2: Cost

Flat roofs are generally more expensive than traditional roofs because they are more components to install such as vapor retarders, insulation and a cover board to make it class A fire-rated. Installers can access the roof better, which makes the job go a little faster, and they do not need the engineered trusses that other pitched roofs will need.

#3: Space

Flat roofs make room for more space inside the home. Homes with drastic or extreme angles can reduce the amount of livable space. With flat roofs, you can instantly add more space, including a fun entertaining space such as a rooftop deck or patio that will wow your guests time and time again.

#4: Lifespan

Flat asphalt roofs generally have a lower lifespan because of the water exposure they have. Usually flat roofs can last up to 15 years, whereas asphalt, traditional shingled roofs, or metal roofs can last decades.

Not sure if a flat roof is right for your home and its specific layout? Contact our team of professionals at Pacific West Roofing to get information on what roof will work for you!

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How Long Does a Shingle Roof Last?

Most typical shingles today last about 17 to 19 years. Of course, this depends on how well you keep it clean and if you have full Southern exposure unblocked by trees on a low pitch such as 4/12 which is a typical ranch house roof pitch. Leaving moss and debris on the roof can prematurely age the roof by pulling the granules off allowing moisture to attack surfaces on the shingle that have never been exposed to moisture before. Moss also allows one or two wick under the tabs up to the nails where they can potentially leak. Tree debris should be blown off at least once a year if not more depending on the level of trees surrounding your house. Rinsing roofs with the pressure washer is fine as long as you know what you’re doing and do not put the tip to close to the roof which will wash many of the granules off. If you use a wide tip sprayer and use it as a water broom which is how we do it, all you’re doing is rinsing debris off the shingle then you can treat it with a Moss killer and Moss proofing product on an annual basis to keep the moss from growing.

Ventilation is the second concern that we have with keeping the life of the roof at its optimum point. Without proper ventilation, the plywood in the attic can tend to grow mold due to stagnant air in the winter months and then followed by summer months of heat that cannot escape the attic which the laminates the plywood causing the glue to fail. Moisture and heat are the two biggest plywood roof killers in the Northwest. If we minimize them both, we will extend the life of the roof plywood and the roofing material to its maximum potential.

The “lifetime” roof is really a misnomer because lifetime has been determined in the courts as 10 years. The term lifetime has been abused by certain manufacturers who decided to drag every manufacturer to the bottom of the barrel and roof-algae-stains every shingle to have a lifetime warranty which again, doesn’t mean much. So if you have the lightest architectural weighted shingle and it has a lifetime warranty you can bank on 17 to 19 years depending on your maintenance schedule. The best shingle on the market today are SBS modified rubber shingles which are very competitive with standard asphalt shingles but they will last 50% longer because they will hardly ever lose the granule because of the sticky SBS rubber that is in the asphalt. The SBS also allows the shingle to move over time and has a much higher UV resistance than standard asphalt.

This is what we promote and this is what we do on our own homes. Ready to get your project started? Contact our team at Pacific West Roofing today!

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7 Tips To Maintain Your Roof

7 Tips To Maintain Your Roof

Proper roof maintenance requires regular inspections. Seasonal or yearly checkups will lengthen the life of your roofing materials, preventing leaks that lead to damage, costly repairs, and — horrors! — the necessity for a complete roof replacement.

We decided to put together a quick list of roof maintenance tips that will alert you to any problems and help extend the life of your roof.

Roofs are designed to weather (literally) all kinds of storms, but there is going to be some wear and tear. So be sure your roof is ready for the next big storm by following these helpful tips on roof protection.

If you have any questions about roofing repair, damaged shingles, roofing home improvements, or your roof system in general, please call Pacific West Roofing. We’re happy to guide you through the best solutions for you and your home.

1. Inspect Your Shingles
Do yearly checks on your roof shingles — especially after the wild weather months. But remember: It’s not just wind and wet that can damage your roof. Ultraviolet light from the sun’s rays can also wreak havoc over time. So be sure to examine your shingles as a regular part of your roof inspections to ensure they’re still installed properly and functioning as they should.

2. Trim Branches
If you have trees with overhanging branches, have them trimmed before the winter sets in. Heavy snow, wind, ice and other natural phenomena can whip branches around or pull them from the tree completely, causing damage to the root and the structures on top of it.

3. Unclog Gutters
Many of us are familiar with the problems associated with clogged gutters, which can include bubbling wall paint and rotting wood. But clogged gutters can overflow with so many leaves, bugs, and debris that the rain washes up instead of down. Over time, the water can damage the roof and the support beams that hold it aloft. You can imagine the kind of problems that will cause: the expensive kind. Clean your gutters and clean outs heading into the spring and fall seasons.

4. Monitor Moss
Although moss adds an element of color and a magical forest look to your roof, the damage it causes is no fairy tale. Left to grow unhindered, moss will damage roofs of all kinds — including asphalt, wood, and concrete. Here’s what happens: Moss grows between shingles. Over time, it will bulk up and actually lift the shingles away from the roof, meaning water can get inside. Plus, the moss itself holds water. Leaks and wood rot usually follow not far behind. You’ll have to scrub the moss away (or hire someone to do it) to prevent damage. So keep a close eye for moss! We recommend that zinc sulphate granules be sprinkled on the roof systematically and seasonally.

5. Insulate/Ventilate
A roof that’s properly and comprehensively insulated and ventilated is less likely to be at the mercy of excess moisture, which can lead to rot. Have your attic inspected to verify that you have the right — and the right amount — of insulation. Ventilation is especially important. This is an area of concern that most homeowners are usually unaware of, and PWR makes it a point to remind our customers just how important it is. A lot of times, they’re surprised to learn that an attic can “sweat.” How? Warm air will rise, contact the cold, inside plywood of the roof and create condensation, which inevitably leads to mold growth and rotting plywood. Make sure vents are allowing for the proper amount of air circulation. Properly insulated roofs can also help prevent ice dams. (See below.) Conversely, an improperly ventilated roof will make your home even hotter in the summer. If your attic doesn’t have enough balanced air flow, that hot air has nowhere to go, and it’s going to get hot in there with the sun beating relentlessly down on the roof during the summer. Properly ventilated roofs will also save you money on your electric bill since your AC unit won’t have to work as hard to keep the house cool.

6. Prevent Ice Dams
Speaking of which, roofs are susceptible to ice dams after heavy snowfall. Warm air in the attic causes the roof itself to warm up, melting the snow. Those trickly rivulets of water then refreeze when they reach colder portions of the roof and — voila! — ice dams. Next thing you know, additional meltwater gets trapped and starts to seep through the roof, staining ceilings and peeling paint. To prevent ice dams, go back and recheck your insulation and ventilation to make sure that your attic stays cool enough in the winter to keep ice dams from forming in the first place. As we move into the cooler fall and winter months, it’s really important to work to prevent ice dams.

7. Caulk the Flashings
Flashings are those strips of metal (usually aluminum, galvanized metal, or lead) that run along roof edges or joints. Flashing is necessary to divert water or to keep water out of tricky areas that shingles can’t cover, such as roof penetrations where bathroom and kitchen pipes/vents extend through the surface of the roof. Flashing is also used near walls, skylights, and chimneys, and valleys. Depending on how they were installed, flashing can rust, crack, lift, or separate, meaning that a vital piece of roof protection is no longer functioning properly. Consider sealing the flashing with caulk at the places where it has become unstuck. At Pacific West Roofing, we prefer lead pipe flashings because it lasts for decades with little to no maintenance, contains no rubber that will deteriorate in the sun over time, and makes it less likely that you’ll have to caulk and recaulk those problem areas of your roof’s flashing.

Pacific West Roofing
Pacific West Roofing has been in business for almost 40 years. That means we’ve seen it all — and fixed it all! Check out our list of roofing services for residential and commercial properties in the Portland metro area. And then request a quote or give us a call!

We look forward to serving you — and becoming your Portland roofing contractor for life!

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Brisket turducken short loin, ball tip capicola chicken kevin tongue burgdoggen ham pork cupim. Turducken ground round strip steak cow tenderloin t-bone ham hock ham filet mignon burgdoggen brisket tail jowl ribeye jerky. Capicola jerky venison flank kielbasa beef ribs. Swine turkey jowl ribeye. More…

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Brisket turducken short loin, ball tip capicola chicken kevin tongue burgdoggen ham pork cupim. Turducken ground round strip steak cow tenderloin t-bone ham hock ham filet mignon burgdoggen brisket tail jowl ribeye jerky. Capicola jerky venison flank kielbasa beef ribs. Swine turkey jowl ribeye. More…

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Abbott: Strange as it may seem, they give ball players nowadays very peculiar names.

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