General Homeowners Replacement - Residential Roofing Tips

How to Find a Residential Roofing Contractor

No one wants to hear the news that their home’s roof needs repairs or worse, replacing. But a roof will not last forever and keeping it in top shape is essential to your family’s comfort and safety. If you find yourself in need of roof repairs there are strategies for finding and hiring the best residential roof contractors to get the job done right. 

Word of mouth is a good place to start. Friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors may have had great experiences with local residential roof contractors and be more than willing to share contact information. Get as many details as you can on timeliness, cost, courtesy, and results. Be aware, however, that all roofs are not the same, so if your sister hired a residential metal roofing contractor, but you have a PVC flat roof, you may not see the same results. Further research will be needed to gauge the options among residential roofing companies. 

Research Residential Roofing Contractors Online

Even with a solid recommendation, doing online research on any residential roofer before you call them, can help you find the best person to do the work required whether your roof is metal or shingle, flat or pitched. 

Do you ever purchase anything online these days without first checking the reviews? Reviews are just as important when looking for roofing services. Read the comments to look for clues as to how easy the roofing company was to communicate with, how fair the pricing was, and what was the end result. 

Do a full investigation of the residential roofing contractor’s website. First check whether they are licensed, bonded, and insured. Most roofing companies will highlight that information on their website, often with the license number listed. If this information is not available from the website, you can also check the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (ORCCB) site which tracks licenses and complaints and shares information on how you can verify the validity of a contractor’s license. Let’s face it, you can’t be too careful these days when fraud seems to be everywhere. 

If your research shows the residential roofing contractor is properly licensed, next check how many years they’ve been in business and what professional associations they belong to. Pacific West Roofing carries memberships with the Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and the Associated Roofing Contractor Group (ARC) which allows us to easily access continuing education on safety, products, and practices which not only benefits our team but benefits our customers. 

Questions to Ask a Residential Roofing Contractor

Once you’ve exhausted the information found online, it’s time to contact a potential roofing contractor directly and ask some critical questions. 

Every roof is not the same, so make sure your residential roofing contractor is experienced working with whatever material you have or want. Ask what roofing products the roofing company is certified to install and what type of ongoing training installers and repairers have undergone with the product. If certified, the residential roofing contractor should be able to tell you all the details on the product’s performance, installation processes, and warranties. 

Make sure to ask about product warranties since residential roofing contractors who are certified for specific products are often able to offer the best warranties. For instance, Pacific West Roofing is a 5-star Certainteed SelectShingle Master which means we can offer the highest-rated warranty on this product for the roofs we install. This particular warranty also covers workmanship, which is another area to ask questions. Find out how long the product is guaranteed, but also if and how long the work is covered. 

Gathering Estimates from Roofing Contractors

You’ve asked the basic questions about residential roofing services offered, but what every homeowner wants to know is how much the roof repair or roof replacement will cost. How to get an estimate from a roofing contractor is not mysterious, but there are some fine points to consider. There are many steps and products that go into any roofing project and all of these items should be reflected in an estimate. A few specifics you should see on a bid are the types of ventilation and flashing that will be used, where they will be used, cost, and assurance the materials will be new. Look for all materials to be the same quality. Using high-end shingles with low-rated flashing is sure to eventually produce leaks. Every product used, and every activity the residential roofing contractor will undertake should be written into an estimate so there are no surprises. 

Doing your homework and research before you choose a residential roofing contractor is essential. But while the on-paper results can look perfect, there is always the variable of how well the people who will do the work will perform. While you can never know for sure if the workers pounding the nails are the best in the business, ask about their skills and training well before they are on your roof. The technicians and installers at Pacific West Roofing have undergone extensive training to ensure they are qualified to deliver the best workmanship. We’re always happy to talk to potential customers about our ongoing training requirements because we’re proud of the team we have and the beautiful work they do.  Contact us to see if Pacific West Roofing is an option for your residential roofing company needs.

Ventilation

The Importance of Attic Ventilation

If you’ve ever spent any time in your attic—even just to poke your head in to take a quick look—you have no doubt noticed the difference in temperature from the rest of your home. Depending on the time of year, your attic space will be either warmer or cooler, which is just as it should be. The air in your attic should also feel dry, and with properly balanced attic ventilation, it will be.

Why Balanced Attic Ventilation Matters

The ventilation system in your attic is meant to regulate the temperature and the humidity level (moisture) in your attic. And while temperatures may vary through the season, properly balanced ventilation will ensure both optimal temperature and humidity levels and will prevent condensation and mold.

The benefits of properly balanced attic ventilation:

  • Prevents excessive heat in your attic, which can lead to the plywood in your roof deck (the attic ceiling) delaminating and causing your roof shingles to degrade faster. An attic that is too warm in the winter may also cause faster snow melt and ice dams that can lead to leaks or gutter damage. 
  • Prevents excessive humidity and moisture that will create the perfect environment in your attic for mold, mildew, and rot, which can damage a roof and shorten its life span.
  • Keeps energy costs down by regulating the temperature in your attic. The constant flow provided by the intake and exhaust vents prevents your attic from ever becoming too hot. In the heat of summer, this means your air conditioner is not going to work as hard to keep your house cool.
  • Prevents thermal cycling, the hot and cold contractions that weaken roof material—shingles, sheeting, plywood—and cause them to degrade more quickly.

Attic Intake and Exhaust Vents

Proper attic ventilation includes both intake and exhaust vents, which work in concert to pull air into, through, and back out again, providing continual airflow. Intake vents should be located at the lowest point in your attic to allow cooler outside air to flow in. Conversely, exhaust vents should be positioned at the highest points so rising hot air and damp air can escape.

Depending on the size and configuration of your attic and roof, different types of attic vents are necessary. 

Intake Vents

  • Soffit Venting. The soffit is the part of your roof overhang that meets your siding and is the lowest point in your attic. Soffit vents come in two types—rectangular and continuous—and are intake vents that work to draw cooler fresh outside air into your attic.

  • Rectangular soffit vents are holes that have been cut into the blocking between the rafters of your roof. The holes are covered with a screen or vent cover, which allows air to flow through but prevents birds and insects from entering your attic, depending on the size of the vent or screen openings.
  • Continuous soffit vents run along the full length of your home’s closed soffit and incorporate a perforated material or wire screen that allows continual airflow into your attic at the lowest point. This type of venting can only be installed in closed soffits where the roof rafters are not visible.
  • Gable vents, which may be positioned on the exterior wall of an attic, allow air to flow in or out but generally do not help even airflow throughout the attic. 

Exhaust Vents

  • Roof Venting allows rising hot air and moisture to escape from your attic, preventing heat build-up and condensation, depending on the season. There are two primary types of residential roof vents: Box Vents and Ridge Vents.
  • Ridge vents are attic exhaust vents installed along the peak of your roof. As they are positioned at the highest point, ridge vents are extremely efficient at allowing hot or damp air to escape. Continuous ridge vents also help create a bit of a vacuum that enables the desired air circulation. This type of attic exhaust venting is visually appealing as it blends well into the roofline.
  • Box vents are another common attic exhaust vent positioned near the top of the roof to provide an outlet for warm air. These vents are comprised of a hole that has been cut into the roof and essentially a  box cover over the opening.

  • Turbine vents, although not as common on residential roofs, are another type of passive (non-powered) exhaust vent. Rising heat in the attic causes the turbine vents to rotate, creating a drawing effect that pulls air through the attic.

Attic Fans

A properly installed attic ventilation system with the optimum number of intake and exhaust vents results in a highly efficient passive system that does not require any electricity or power to run. Most homes are constructed with passive attic venting comprised of intake and exhaust vents.

Attic ventilation fans are sometimes installed to aid in air circulation and may help the energy efficiency of a home’s HVAC system. Attic fans are typically installed on the attic ceiling (to help circulate and draw warm air up) or gable (to help draw cooler air in or push warm air out). 

Attic Thermostats and Humidistats

Power attic fans will often have a dual thermostat and humidistat to measure the temperature and the humidity in the attic and automatically adjust the fan to maintain optimal levels. This automatic control can help improve the performance of the home’s heating and air conditioning system as well as mitigate condensation and delamination of plywood.

Attic Ventilation Installation and Maintenance

While the best time to install an attic ventilation system is at the time of a new roof installation or roof replacement, ventilation can be modified with additional venting later on if necessary. Old or damaged roof vents should be repaired or replaced to prevent leaks or other damage to the roof.

You can do a quick visual assessment simply by walking around the exterior of your home to determine the number and type of vents your home has, but this will not tell you if the ventilation is balanced or working as it should. Touching the ceiling of any room immediately below your attic can help determine if the attic is too hot (the ceiling should not feel warm).  You can also do a visual check for moisture and signs of mold or rot in your attic. But the best way to know if your attic is properly vented and that all vents are in good condition is to have your roof and attic inspected by a professional roofing contractor. 

The roofing and ventilation technicians at Pacific West Roofing are experienced with residential ventilation and what compromises a properly balanced system for optimal airflow. We can also identify damaged vents or even broken seals where new caulking is needed—the little details that are often overlooked can lead to costly repairs.

If it has been a while since you’ve inspected your attic, roof, or vents, don’t wait for another season to pass and risk developing leaks or other problems. Contact us today to schedule an inspection. We’ll give you an honest assessment and top recommendation to maintain the health of your roof, attic, and home.

Maintenance

Roof Maintenance Essentials

Roof maintenance is a lot like going to the doctor. A regular check-up will identify and prevent future problems and help ensure longevity. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners view getting up on their roof a lot like a trip to their physician–they only do it when there’s a problem.

Why does roof maintenance matter?

All roofs, no matter the age, should be inspected annually and should receive regular cleaning and care. It won’t prevent you from ever having to replace your roof, but roof maintenance is your single best method for prolonging the life of your roof and avoiding costly repairs. As professional roofing contractors, we have seen first-hand the effects of a neglected roof: leaks, mold, rot, damaged roof sheeting (aka roof decking), and even structural damage. In some cases, the damage is severe enough to warrant a complete roof replacement

Regular inspections and maintenance are your best defense for extending the life of your roof and protecting your home or commercial building. So we’ve compiled the top professional roofing contractor tips for roof maintenance.

Roof Maintenance Checklist

  1. Annual Roof Inspection

A healthy roof relies on a regular check-up–an annual inspection to ensure everything is in tip-top shape, and if anything is amiss, identify potential problems before they become costly roof repairs. So what is included in a roof inspection? Roof inspections vary a little between residential roofs and commercial or flat roofs, but a roof inspection should include:

  • Structural inspection to assess the condition of the roof system overall and the main roofing components. Signs to look for that indicate trouble include:
    • Cracked, splintered, rotted, or broken rafters or trusses
    • Missing or damaged collar ties or rafter ties
    • Exterior walls that are tilting or leaning
    • Sagging ceilings

 

  • Materials inspection to assess the condition of the roofing materials (shingles, tiles, metal, etc.). The most common residential roofing material in the pacific northwest is asphalt composition. When inspecting roof shingles or tiles, look for these signs of damage:
    • Missing, lifted, or damaged shingles or tiles
    • Shingles with granular loss (asphalt composition shingles)

If you have a flat or low-sloped roof, your roof will likely have a different type of roofing material. You can learn more about flat roofing materials here, but the material will be a  type of membrane. Any signs of damage will likely be seam splits or membrane punctures.

 

  • Interior inspection to confirm if there are any signs of leaks and that the attic ventilation system is working properly. Signs to look for that indicate a leak or moisture problem include:
    • Water stains on ceilings or walls
    • The presence of mold on the attic plywood sheeting
    • A musty odor in the attic or rooms

 

  • Inspect all roof penetration points: vents, pipes, chimneys, and skylights to ensure there are no problems like
    • Broken seals or cracked grout
    • Damaged or improperly installed flashing
    • Cracked or damaged pipe boots

 

  • Look for signs of pests. Birds, raccoons, squirrels, and insects all find roofs to be ideal nesting sites, especially roofs that have not been well maintained. If left unchecked, pests can cause a lot of damage to a roof, leading to leaks and other costly problems.

For peace of mind and to ensure nothing is missed, we recommend hiring a professional roof inspector to perform your annual roof inspection. An inspector will know what to look for and can give you expert advice on any necessary repairs your roof needs.

  1. Timely Roof Repairs

Take care of any needed roof repairs that are found in your annual roof inspection. The best approach to keeping your roof in tip-top shape is to address damage and make roof repairs as quickly as possible before the damage leads to costlier problems or even premature roof replacement.

  1. Roof Cleaning and Debris Removal

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes. This is especially true when it comes to maintaining your roof.

  • Remove any debris from the roof, valleys, and gutters, and from around any roof penetrations
  • Remove moss and treat your roof to prevent future moss growth
  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  1. Trim Trees and Branches

Trimming branches that hang over your roof and gutters is an important part of protecting your roof and serves multiple purposes. Tree branches can be a problem during storms if they break and fall on your roof, but they can also drop smaller twigs, leaves, and other debris that can accumulate in your roof valleys and gutters. Debris accumulation not only traps moisture but it also provides a welcoming environment for pests and becomes a fire hazard.

Professional Roof Inspection and Roof Maintenance Services

We won’t deny that there is plenty you can do yourself when it comes to inspecting and maintaining your roof. But, with more than forty years as professional roofing contractors, we can tell you that most homeowners tend to let roof maintenance slide until it becomes a big problem requiring extensive roof repairs or replacement. We have even seen this with commercial roofs, which is why Pacific West Roofing specializes in residential and commercial roof inspection and maintenance.

Pacific West Roofing Cleaning & Maintenance Services:

  • Evaluation of roof condition, including roof sheeting
  • Complete roof cleaning
  • Debris removal from the roof, including roof valleys, behind chimneys, around vents and skylights, and from gutters
  • Moss removal
  • Moss treatment to prevent future moss
  • Evaluation of all roof penetrations, caulking, and flashing
  • Repair flashing as needed
  • Seal/re-seal all roof penetrations as needed
  • Repair nail pops and secure loose shingles as needed

If your roof is due for an inspection, or you already know your roof needs cleaning or repairs, contact us today. Our friendly and knowledgeable office staff can answer your roofing questions and schedule your roof inspection. We will also give you an honest assessment of the condition of your roof, what repairs may be needed, and how you may be able to extend the life of your roof. Come next winter’s storms, you’ll be glad you did!

Homeowners Roofing Tips

Best Types of Residential Roofing for the Pacific Northwest

Your roof is the single most important investment you will ever make to protect your home. So it stands to reason that you would want to use the best residential roofing materials you can get. But what makes one type of residential roofing material a better choice than another?

As any experienced residential roofing contractor will tell you, climate and weather are your first considerations. Roofing materials run the gambit when it comes to the different options available and, while many are top-rated for durability and lifespan, they are not equally suited to different climate conditions. With more than forty years of experience installing, repairing, and replacing residential roofs, we’ve come to understand what types of roofing materials perform best in the Pacific Northwest. We break them down for you here.

Asphalt Composition Roof

Asphalt composition shingles are found on 80% of homes in the US and are the most common residential roofing material used in both new roof construction and roof replacements. Their popularity stems from the fact that modern asphalt composition shingles are durable, holding up well in a wide range of weather conditions and climate extremes, with an average lifespan of 17-30 years depending on the grade of materials and if the roof was properly installed. Asphalt composition shingles also come in a variety of colors and styles and are often the most economical option, making this type of roof a popular choice for both new residential roof installation and residential roof replacement

Our Top Asphalt Composition Recommendation: Malarkey SBS Modified Asphalt Shingles. These shingles incorporate a relatively newer technology that rubberizes the shingle’s asphalt, resulting in a better hold on to their UV protective granule, creating less opportunity for the shingle to crack. When well maintained, the average lifespan is 22 to 35 years.

Metal Roof

One of the fastest-growing segments of residential roofing is metal residential roof replacement. And it’s no wonder. Metal roofs hold up extremely well to the elements and can last 35 or 45 years. Metal roofs are also available in a wide range of colors and profiles, can help you lower your energy costs, and are non-combustible with a Class A Fire Rating. Don’t be surprised that this roof system is about 3X more cost than a standard composition roof system. 

Our Top Metal Roof Recommendation: Standing Seam Metal Roof from Standard Taylor Metal These metal roofing products have a color coating system that is ENERGY STAR® listed and many are also certified by the Cool Roof Rating Council. The cool rating certification signifies that a metal roof will help lower a home’s solar heat load, equating to lower energy expenditures for cooling during the summer months. 

Cedar Shake Roof

Cedar shakes have been used in residential roofing for hundreds of years and are almost synonymous with the traditional Pacific Northwest roof. Although the cost of a cedar shake roof is much higher than other residential roofing materials, there are a number of benefits that make this one of our top choices for residential roofing here in Oregon. The natural Northwest aesthetic is very appealing and cedar shakes are more durable than traditional asphalt offering 5 to 10 more years of roof life when properly installed and maintained. The main deterrent to using cedar shake for most homeowners facing a roof replacement is the cost, as cedar shake tends to be 5 times more expensive than asphalt composite shingles and 3 times more expensive than standing seam metal. Then add in maintenance costs over its life.

Concrete Tile Roof

Roofing tiles have been traditionally made from fired clay (terracotta), and while very beautiful, roofing tiles of this type tend to be expensive and are prone to cracking in extreme weather conditions. Concrete tile on the other hand is better able to withstand extreme weather conditions and is roughly 20% less expensive than its clay or slate counterparts.  Concrete roofing tiles are often made from molded, tinted concrete and can come in many styles and shapes—curved, flat, fluted, or interlocking–giving homeowners a broad selection.

While concrete tile roofs are well suited to our climate, there are other considerations when it comes to roof replacement. Even modern lightweight concrete tile is still heavier than the traditional composition or shake roof and the weight must be taken into account. If you are considering replacing your roof with concrete tile, you will want to start by having the structure of your home certified by a structural engineer for the weight it can bear.

Synthetic Plastic Shake, Slate, and Tile

Modern residential roofing materials continue to expand with newer synthetic products available that mimic the look of slate, shake, and tile but are much lighter in weight, averaging just 4 lbs per square foot. Modern synthetic roofing products are also durable with longer lifespans than some traditional residential roofing products. Synthetic shake, for example, looks the same as cedar shake but lasts 2-3 times longer. Opting for synthetic roofing materials can also add up to significant savings. For example, synthetic slate, besides being a much lighter product than traditional slate tiles is 2 to 3 times less expensive.

Low Slope and Flat Roofs

It might seem counter-intuitive to consider a flat or even low-sloped roof here in the rainy Pacific Northwest. Modern residential roofing products and expert installation, however, make these types of roofs a viable option. So much so, that we devoted an entire blog to this topic. If you have a low-sloped roof or a flat roof, check out our blog on The Best Flat Roofs for the Pacific Northwest.

Choosing the Right Roof for Your Home

When it comes to residential roofing—whether new construction and new roof installation or roof replacement—today’s homeowners have more options than ever before. Selecting the right roofing materials for your home will come down to these key considerations: the climate where you live, the structure and style of your home, your personal tastes, and your budget. 

We’ve outlined our top recommendations for residential roofing materials that are best suited to our climate. Our final recommendation is to work with a qualified and experienced residential roofing contractor who can give you an honest and reliable assessment of the condition of your current roof, who can provide necessary roof maintenance and repairs to prolong the life of your roof, and who can guide you through the selection process when it comes time to replace your roof.

At Pacific West Roofing we have been performing residential roof inspections, maintaining roofs, and installing new and replacement roofs in the greater Portland Metro area for more than 40 years. If you have questions about your roof or you already know you need a new roof, contact us today

General Roofing Tips

Nine Steps to Hiring a Quality Roofing Contractor

It is always important to vet any contractor, including any roofing contractor that performs work on your home. It is common knowledge to inquire if the contractor is licensed and bonded, but what else should a homeowner do to ensure they receive the highest quality product and services? In reality, there are many ways you can protect your home improvement investment, especially when it comes to the roof of your home.

By following this simple nine-point checklist for hiring a quality roofing contractor, any homeowner can rest assured they have done their due diligence to protect their family, their home, and their investment.

  1. Licensed, Bonded & Insured

Is the roofing contractor licensed, bonded, and insured? The Oregon Construction Contractors Board (ORCCB) is an excellent resource to research any contractor in Oregon. The Board tracks licenses and complaints, and provides educational services, to help you verify the validity of the contractor’s license prior to engaging them for services.

  1. Number of Years in Business

How many years has the roofing contractor been in business? Make sure any potential roofing contractor is qualified to perform the work you are seeking and ask how long they have been in business. While there are many qualified new contractors, a history of providing quality service and products cannot be underestimated.

  1. Product Certifications

What roofing products is the roofing contractor certified to install? Most homeowners don’t know that roofing contractors can get certified to work with specific product lines whether pitched roofs or flat roofs. Inquire about any product certifications or training the contractor possesses to ensure they are knowledgeable of the product’s performance, installation processes, and warranties.

  1. Warranties

What warranties are available and what product warranties is the roofing contractor certified to offer? Warranties are another variable homeowners don’t always know to ask about. For example, shingle manufacturers like Certainteed and Malarkey offer multiple levels of warranties, and roofing contractors basically earn the right to offer the highest-rated warranties for these products. Pacific West Roofing is a 5-star Certainteed SelectShingle Master and a Malarkey Emerald Premium Contractor, which means we are able to offer the highest-rated warranties for these products on the roofs we install, including workmanship warranties. You can find a deeper explanation of warranties here to learn how to understand warranty agreements.

  1. Professional Associations

What professional associations does the roofing contractor belong to? Professional associations, like the Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and the Associated Roofing Contractor Group (ARC), are great resources for the contractor, but they are also great resources for the consumer. Check to see if your contractor belongs to any professional associations. Association memberships provide contractors with continuing education on products, methodologies, safety, and other industry-specific information, so make sure to ask if they possess any current memberships. Pacific West Roofing is a member of both ARC and WSRCA and we sit as actual board members.

  1. Supplier References

Do suppliers like working with the roofing contractor? Another great untapped resource for homeowners is the contractor’s suppliers. Ask your contractor who their roofing product suppliers are, then contact them directly for a reference. It’s possible to find useful information like if the contractor is current (invoices paid) with their supplier and which contractors the supplier likes to work with. Even roofing product manufacturers’ reps may be able to provide additional references.

  1. Online Reviews.

In the age of the internet, reviews and online forums are a great way to learn about the quality of a company’s workmanship and customer experiences. Don’t forget to use that powerful tool we call Google!

  1. Detailed Cost Estimate and Bid

Confirm any bids you get cover all the details! Most homeowners don’t know everything that goes into installing or replacing a roof or how the total cost is calculated. Here is the list of items you should find on a proper roofing bid:

  • Ventilation – How the roof will be ventilated and the associated cost.
  • Flashing – What flashing materials will be used around any vent, pipe, or skylight openings? Ideally, the quality of the flashing should match the quality of the roofing materials. It does no good to use top-rated shingles and then install sub-par flashing, vent, or pipes–failures (aka leaks) are almost guaranteed to happen.
  • Confirm all materials used will be new: new vents and new flashing. 
  • Does the bid call for peel and stick membranes around penetrations like chimneys, pipes, skylights, and vent pipes? Details like this should be included in the bid.
  1. Qualifications and Training of Crew

Shopping around for the lowest bid may help your wallet in the short run, but a lower price does not always mean a better deal. Labor, which represents the quality of workmanship, should be the biggest deciding factor. There is no substitution for quality labor and training. At Pacific West Roofing, our roofing technicians and installers undergo extensive and ongoing training to ensure they are fully qualified to do the work and deliver the utmost in quality workmanship.

This checklist is meant to be a resource for homeowners so they can protect themselves and have peace of mind that they are investing their home improvement dollars responsibly when they hire a roofing contractor, but Pacific West Roofing is always here to answer your questions. We pride ourselves on our customer service and customer education.  

Don’t rely on just one of these points to make your decision about a roofing contractor. Do your homework, be thorough, and make a fully-informed decision before you sign any contracts.

For more information about Pacific West Roofing, you can check our website, give us a call, contact our suppliers, and ask us for references–we will be happy to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. Below you will find a quick list of credentials that will help you immediately answer some of the questions above.

Pacific West Roofing is:

  • A Trained Professional Residential Roof Contractor with 40 Years of Experience
  • Beter Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited
  • Malarkey Roofing Shingle Certified
  • CertainTeed Shingle Certified
  • Duro-Last PVC Membrane Certified for Flat Roofs
  • A Member of the Western States Roofing Contractors Association 
  • A Member of the Associated Roofing Contractor Group 
Spring Roof Maintenance
Maintenance

Spring Roof Maintenance Checklist

Spring has long been associated with being a great time of year to do some cleaning, air out the house, dust off the garden tools, and freshen up the yard. Depending on your ambition and how much you got done in the fall, the list of projects can get quite lengthy. And for good reason: the change of the season is always a good time to do your regular home maintenance, especially when it comes to your roof.

Regular roof maintenance will protect and extend the life of your roof (and your home). The key is to stay on top of things, which is as simple as inspecting your roof twice a year in the spring and fall and doing a bit of routine maintenance.

Here’s our pro-recommended spring roof maintenance checklist:Debris on roof

  1. Remove all loose debris from your roof. Over the winter months, leaves, branches, pine and fir cones, and other debris tends to collect on roofs. Even if you don’t have large trees around your house, it’s still a good idea to take a look and blow off what you find. Left unchecked, debris accumulates in your roof valleys, around vents, chimneys, and skylights, trapping moisture or causing water to back up under shingles which can damage your roof’s sheeting.
  1. Treat your roof for moss. Besides trapping moisture, moss growing on your roof will pull the granules off of your shingles and could cause your roof to lose its warranty. We recommend treating your roof with a coating of zinc sulfate in early spring right before moss is in bloom.
  1. Clean the gutters and downspouts. Debris accumulation in your gutters can cause a host of problems beyond the more obvious one of water overflow. Gutters clogged with leaves and other debris can lead to pest infestations, rot, and water damage to your roof and siding. Gutters weighted down by debris are also at risk of pulling away from your house. Even if you have gutter screens, it’s still a good idea to inspect your gutters and make sure they are free of any debris or impediments.gutter cleaning
    Remember to check your downspouts, too, as these can also become clogged. You should be able to hear water flowing through downspouts—if you don’t, something is wrong. We recommend installing a clean-out screen in your downspouts to keep your ground pipes from clogging, which can be costly to have cleared.
  1. Inspect your roof for loose or missing shingles. Winter storms can wreak havoc on a roof, no matter the age. So it is always a good idea to inspect your roof in the spring. Any missing or damaged shingles should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent possible leaks and further damage. If you do find missing shingles, you should also check your attic for any signs of leaks.
    If you have a shake roof, you should also look for signs of rot. Rodents have been known to burrow down through rotten shakes and make themselves at home in the attic below. The damage can be extensive and costly to repair.
  1. Inspect the flashing around pipes, vents, chimneys, and skylights. Look for any signs of damage, including splits, cracks, and aging or missing caulk. Make these repairs right away to prevent leaks and water damage to the roof.

Getting up on the roof probably isn’t a highlight of spring for most homeowners, but inspecting your roof every spring and fall (see our winterization tips) is essential to protecting your roof and preventing costly repairs or early roof replacement. Hiring a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roof for you is an excellent way to keep your roof healthy as they will know what to look for and can make any necessary repairs.

The experienced roof technicians at Pacific West Roofing offer complete roof inspection, maintenance, and repair services so you can remain safely on the ground and have peace of mind that your roof is in tip-top shape. Give us a call today, before problems occur!

Portland Roofing Contractor Since 1980

CCB# 169414