Residential Roof Replacement Roofing Tips

4 Signs You Need a New Roof

Your home is one of the most significant investments you will make in your lifetime, and the roof is one of the most important elements to maintain and monitor to protect that investment. Your home’s roof shelters you from the elements and provides proper ventilation and air quality within the home. The roof is also one aspect of homeownership that many don’t understand and it is often overlooked until obvious signs of trouble—leaks—are finally noticed. But leaks aren’t the only sign your roof may be in trouble.

How do you know when to replace this critical piece of our investment?  Well, that’s an excellent question, and we will set out to explain here 4 key signs that your roof is ready to be replaced.

Sign #1: Missing Shingles

This is a common sign that you should consider roof repairs or replacement. While a missing shingle or two is not a surefire sign your roof is failing, it is a key indicator of possible problems in the future. Missing shingles can lead to an increased risk of leaks, moisture problems in attic spaces, a saturated roof deck that can cause delamination and rot, and possible structural damage to the framing. 

It is important to monitor the integrity of your roof shingles for these reasons, but also for your property value. Curb appeal is real, and missing shingles on an otherwise intact family home can curb the enthusiasm of potential home buyers when it comes time to sell.

Sign #2: Granules Missing from Shingles (Discoloration or patchy appearance)

Granule loss, within reason, has been a natural part of the aging process of a roof.  But there are several factors that can speed up this process and cause your roof to age prematurely.  Premature granule loss can be caused by improper pressing of the granules during the  manufacturing process or an aging roof usually on the south side, but it can also be caused by storm damage or improper roof cleaning, and foot traffic. 

If you begin finding excessive deposits of granules in your gutters or notice discoloration or a patchy appearance on your roof, it is time to consult the professionals. Pacific West Roofing has over 40 years of experience in roof installation and maintenance, and we are always happy to consult on whether your roof needs to be replaced or simply maintained in order to prolong its life. 

Sign #3: Signs of Leaks

It almost seems like this one should go without saying, but there are many homeowners that ignore this telltale sign that their roof needs repair, replacement, or maintenance. The most common incursion points for water to enter your house due to roof problems are skylights, chimneys, pipes, vents, and the valleys where the pitch of your roof changes direction. Water entering a home can be a driving force of expense, so any signs of a dark discoloration on ceilings or walls due to water should be addressed immediately. 

The locations listed above are the most common locations where leaks occur, but it is often the quality of the installation that causes leaks within these weak points in a roof. It is critical to hire a trusted and experienced professional roofing contractor to protect your investment.

Sign #4: Signs of Mold in the Attic Space

It is common knowledge these days that mold in a home can be a dangerous condition for you and your family. Attics can create ideal circumstances for mold to grow. Without proper ventilation, they can be overly hot or overly cold, humid spaces that provide just the right conditions for mold to propagate and thrive. 

A properly vented and installed roof can help you minimize the conditions that allow mold to grow in these spaces. Proper ventilation allows your attic to maintain an optimal amount of airflow minimizing potential condensation and discouraging the development of mold. If you have moisture or mold in your attic, this is a sign your roof ventilation is not working properly and could be a sign that you need a ventilation evaluation or possibly a new roof.

If you have questions about the health of your roof, Pacific West Roofing is ready to assist you. With our team of professional inspectors, we can offer you a fair and honest assessment of what your next steps should be in order to either extend your roof’s life or to help you navigate the replacement process. Contact us today to get started and gain peace of mind regarding your most important investment.

Commercial Flat Roofs Flat Roofs

The Best Flat Roofs for the Pacific Northwest

Flat roofs have long had a reputation of being unsuitable for the Pacific Northwest. Traditional built-up asphalt roofing (BUR) commonly used in flat roof construction may be well suited for desert climates, but does not hold up well to our rainy climate and is prone to leaks. The modern flat roof is another story, though. Advances in technology and the development of new roofing materials have expanded the options and extended the life span for residential and commercial flat roofs.

There are six common types of flat roofs, which we break down for you here. Of the six, we recommend two flat roof types for commercial or residential buildings here in the Willamette Valley. 

Common Types of Flat Roof Materials

  1. Built-up roofing (BUR) consists of alternating layers of reinforced fiberglass fabric and asphalt or tar, finished with a top layer of round rock or cap sheet.
    Pros: Fire-resistant, waterproof, excellent ultra-violet protection.
    Cons: Susceptible to wind and water damage, loses elasticity quickly, leaks can be difficult to find, not a good option for the Pacific Northwest climate.
  2. Modified bitumen roofing is similar to BUR and is made of asphalt combined with polymerized rubber or plastic, reinforced with fiberglass to create a flexible and durable waterproof membrane.
    Pros: Versatile, flexible, durable, waterproof, ideal for the rainy and temperate Pacific Northwest climate. Can be very fire resistant with the proper coating.
    Cons: Absorbs heat in the summer.
  3. Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) roofing is an extremely durable and waterproof synthetic rubber membrane.
    Pros: Extremely durable, lightweight, flexible, fire-resistant, easy to repair.
    Cons: Absorbs heat in the summer, seams tend to break down as the rubber expands and contracts, prone to leaks if not installed properly and often isn’t.
  4. Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing consists of applying a liquid sprayed onto an existing roof, which expands into foam, creating a solid layer across the roof surface, then a white latex or acrylic coating to waterproof the foam.
    Pros: Good insulation, energy-efficient, easy to install and maintain, waterproof, versatile, and relatively low-cost.
    Cons: Requires warm, dry weather and clean surface conditions for proper installation, highly susceptible to damage from wind-blown debris, requires frequent care, too short of a season in the NW to complete.
  5. Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) roofing is a single-ply white synthetic membrane with a fabric reinforcing scrim that stabilizes and strengthens the membrane.
    Pros: Durable, UV, water-resistant, versatile, light-weight, and flexible, available in a few colors, mid-level maintenance, least expensive of the membranes.
    Cons: Highly flammable like most other single-ply membranes, does not perform well in high heat, seam edges need to be resealed with edge sealant every so many years, 90% carbon and can’t be welded after a couple of years of UV exposure.
  6. Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) roofing is a single-ply membrane consisting of two layers of membrane with a fabric reinforcing scrim in the center that stabilizes and strengthens the membrane.
    Pros: Durable, UV, and water-resistant, versatile, light-weight, and flexible, available in a variety of colors, relatively low maintenance, fire-resistant with self-extinguishing properties, chemical resistant, holds up well in strong winds, can be welded for decades if needed. Lasts for decades.
    Cons: It’s more costly than TPO.

Our Top Flat and Low-Pitch Roof Recommendations

As roofing contractors with more than 40 years of roofing experience in the Portland metro area, we have come to understand which roofing materials perform well over the long-term in our climate. The Willamette Valley experiences wide fluctuations in temperature and moisture and seasons can range from searing heat and drought-like conditions to perpetual sogginess or even deep freeze. High wind is also common at certain times, and fire is a growing concern. 

These seasonal temperature variances and weather events can wreak havoc on flat roofs and certain materials will fare much better than others. Our top recommendations for residential or commercial flat roofs in Portland and the Pacific Northwest are 3-ply, cold process modified bitumen roofing and single-ply polyvinyl chloride (PVC) roofing.

  • 3-Ply, Cold Process Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen is one of the most highly reliable and long-lasting options for flat roofs. It is extremely durable and tear-resistant making it an excellent choice for commercial buildings with high roof-top foot traffic, and when properly installed, it offers nearly fail-safe waterproof protection. Modified bitumen roofing is also a very flexible material that can withstand thermal expansions and contractions–even deep freezes–without losing its shape, becoming brittle, or cracking. This is also a relatively low-maintenance roofing material that is easily repaired if it is ever damaged. Repairs usually only amount to simply putting another sheet or patch of bitumen roofing over the existing sheet. With proper care and maintenance modified bitumen has a life expectancy of 20 years.

An added benefit we appreciate is the cold process our roofing installers can employ for installing this 3-ply roofing material. This method does not require the application of hot tar or the use of hot torches, which is a nice bonus, especially in the heat of summer.

  • Single-Ply, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Roofing

Single-ply polyvinyl chloride (PVC) roofing is another excellent choice for flat roofs in the Pacific Northwest. Like modified bitumen roofing, PVC roofing is a highly durable, waterproof, low maintenance, and long-lasting material. One of the top attributes of PVC though is its superb fire performance. The PVC material is self-extinguishing, once the source of the flame is removed, and radiates less heat during combustion which helps prevent the spread of fire to other materials. It also generates less smoke, as compared to other common building materials. 

Another reason we like PVC roofing is the flexible nature of the material and how well it stands up to temperature fluctuations, as well as wind. It comes in different colors, including white, charcoal, and light gray which can offer better UV reflection and less heat absorption in the summer.  PVC roofs also have a long life span of up to 30 years requiring relatively low maintenance

All of these characteristics–whether we are talking about 3-ply modified bitumen roofing or single-ply PVC roofing–add up to a very appealing flat roofing system for residential and commercial properties. They are both highly durable, long-lasting, low maintenance, roofing materials. As roofing contractors, we appreciate being able to give our customers this peace of mind. 

As with any roof installation, the quality of the materials and the roofing contractor’s workmanship play an equal role in how well your roof will perform and how long it will last. An improperly installed roof will be prone to problems from day one, regardless of the materials used. Different materials and different types of roofs also require different expertise, technical knowledge, and specific skill sets. This is why it is important to make sure the roofing contractor you hire has the requisite experience.

Pacific West Roofing has been installing flat roofing systems for both residential and commercial properties throughout the greater Portland metro area for more than forty years. Our roofing installers, technicians, and repair crews are experienced with installing and maintaining both 3-Ply, Cold Process Modified Bitumen Roofing and Single-Ply, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Roofing. 

If you have a flat roof in need of inspection, repair, or replacement, contact us today. Our friendly office staff will be happy to set up a time for us to come out, inspect your roof and give you an honest recommendation and cost estimate.

Seasonal

Common Rooftop Solar Panel Installation Problems To Avoid | Pacific West Roofing

While most homeowners aim to repair their leaky roofs during the summer, winter roof repair is always available when you need it. Aside from some material limitations, installing a roof in the winter is just as simple as it is in the summer.

And it’s worth it to repairing or replacing a roof work when it’s raining or snowing outside. Even with small leaks, the consistent rainfall and moisture in Oregon can cause major damage to the structural integrity of the roof as whole. For example, if your roof has a leak, the expansion and contraction of roofing materials that occurs due to freezing and thawing can worsen it, and even more leaks may appear.

DO ROOFERS WORK IN THE WINTER?

Here’s the short answer: Yes! While you may be wondering if it’s dangerous for roofers to be toiling away atop your home in icy conditions, rest easy. Roofing contractors need to work in the winter months just like anyone else, and some roofers actually prefer cold conditions to the summer time when they get cooked up there. Most of the time, if it’s 90 degrees outside, its 120 on your roof. Talk about miserable. If your roof is packed with snow, it should only take 30 minutes to an hour to shovel it off, depending on the size of your roof.

PROS AND CONS OF WINTER ROOF REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT

Now lets get to the heart of the issue. Roofing materials all behave differently in conditions below 40 degrees. There are types of materials that should not be installed in these conditions and some that can be installed any time of year, regardless of the weather.

Here’s what to do, depending on your home’s roofing material:

epdm-rubber-flat-roof. Flat roofs in the winter are more difficult to repair usually.FLAT ROOFS

There are pretty much only two flat roof systems that can be properly installed in the winter – PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin). These thermoplastic single ply flat roofing products are mechanically installed and seams are hot air welded instead of using adhesives.

Rubber roofs, the alternative to these systems, should not be installed in temperatures below 40 degrees because the adhesives that seal it will freeze and not bond. Contractors who say they can and will conduct rubber roof projects are ignoring manufacturer suggestions and proceeding with this project can result in roof leaks and voided warranties. So, it’s a good idea to hold off on winter roof replacement if you’re looking at rubber roofs until it gets a bit warmer. The same goes for peel-and-stick materials, as adhesives won’t bond, creating leaks. This material can actually blow off your roof.

Winter roof inspection with some snow on the shingles.SLOPED ROOFS

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used material for sloped roofs and can be installed in the winter, but caution must be taken by roofers installing it. They must be careful not to bend and crack the shingle. Also, because asphalt shingles are dependent on a proper seal between the overlapping shingles, which requires heat from the sun to bond, these materials often do not seal properly until warm weather rolls around. This can cause them to blow off or leak.

Although our winter temperatures are generally mild in the Pacific Northwest, asphalt shingles are also susceptible to ice dams – large ice formations along the eaves of roofs caused by poor ventilation or inadequate insulation in the attic. Ice and water shield membrane is a great method to prevent ice dam leaks, but it also requires the sun’s heat to properly adhere to the roof deck, so some of the same shortcomings may apply.

Metal Roof in the winterMETAL ROOFS

Metal roofs, can be installed in the winter without compromising quality. Cold conditions do not affect metal roofs since they won’t crack due to improper handling. They are designed to allow for expansion and contraction, so the outside temperatures won’t make a difference. Just be sure to use a premium breathable synthetic underlayment to combat moisture caused by poor ventilation and always upgrade intake and output ventilation whenever possible. Whether you need winter roof repair or replacement, mental roofs are safe during any season.

FIND WINTER ROOFING SERVICES IN PORTLAND, OR

With all that said, roofing projects in any season should be discussed at length with a trusted contractor to prevent common issues and the premature failure of your roof. Contact Pacific West Roofing for roof repairs or replacement during the winter months, or for any roofing services you need.

 

 

Eco Friendly

Common Rooftop Solar Panel Installation Problems To Avoid | Pacific West Roofing

rooftop solar panel installation problemsA well-installed rooftop solar array doesn’t just generate clean energy. It also needs to have a solid, long-lasting foundation, which in most cases is a rooftop. In fact, about 80 percent of today’s solar panel installations are done on flat and sloped roofs.  This is because roofs are the ideal setting; they get the most unobstructed sun of any other place on most properties, they’re close to power lines, and on a sloped roof you don’t need any racks to mount the panels on.

But, what is a rooftop solar array truly worth if the roof is leaky or damaged? These installations have been growing in popularity for decades, but we still see situations where the installer did not understand or take the conditions of the roof into account.

Here are some common problems to avoid:

1. INSTALLING NEW PANELS ON AN OLD ROOF

Ideally, the array’s life and the roof life should be about the same. Your solar panels may generate power for 20 years, and your financing or Power Purchase Agreement could last just as long. Having such a system installed on a roof that only has about 10 good years left is asking for trouble. Many roof systems, such as a metal roof or cool roofing membrane, can last 20 years or more and are well suited to support a solar array.

2. INSTALLING AN ARRAY ON A ROOF THAT IS UNSUITABLE FOR SOLAR

A roof has to provide just the right conditions for your solar panels to perform well. For example, panels should be oriented toward the South or the West to get the most sun. They generally work best in cooler environments, making a cool membrane ideal. Most roofs are not designed to support the weight of a solar array or the foot traffic introduced by installation and maintenance. And in most cases, numerous penetrations will be made into the roof to mount the panels, which may be against the recommendations for many roofing systems. Unless you’re lucky, making sure your roof is 100 percent compatible with solar often requires planning years in advance.

3. INTERRUPTING THE FLOW OF WATER

Your roofing system is designed to shed water from the rooftop and away from the building. But, when solar panels are installed without regard for this, racks and wiring often interrupt the flow of water and keep if from draining properly. Water could even be forced upward, which usually results in a leak. Ballast material can also escape and clog drains. Repairing a roof can be much more difficult when there are solar panels installed, so it’s best to make sure these issues are addressed right away.

4. TREATING THE ROOFTOP LIKE A CONSTRUCTION SITE

A good roof system is durable, but they all have their limits. A solar installer might drag racks and panels across the roof or drop tools without respect to the shingles or membrane, which can easily cause penetrations. Debris that doesn’t get cleaned up can clog drains and cause all kinds of problems. To avoid this, make sure to hire an installer who understands the needs and nuances of your roofing system.

5. NOT HAVING A MAINTENANCE PLAN

Even without solar panels, a roof will need maintenance and regular inspections. But with solar installed, that need is heightened. You won’t get the return on your investment if your panels are covered in layers of dust or sitting in a pool of standing water. Regular roof and solar panel maintenance is always recommended to keep small problems from becoming big ones.

Many other roofing problems can arise with solar panel installations, and as installers develop new mounting methods the roofing system must always be a serious consideration.

Together, roofing and solar power make perfect sense, and we expect to see many more solar installations and clean energy integration in the future.  But, we hope that you will do your part to protect your roof by choosing the right solar installer, planning ahead, and committing to regular maintenance.

Pacific West Roofing works with many solar installers in the area to make sure that rooftops remain in good condition and that all penetrations made when mounting racks and panels are properly sealed. Contact us about your rooftop solar project today! Call 503-635-8706 or visit our contact page.

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Part 2: Roofing Warranties Explained | Pacific West Roofing

Roofing Warranties ExplainedYour roof has a big job, and a lot can go wrong with it. If it begins to fail, should you blame the shingles, the contractor, or yourself? To keep the lines of responsibility clear, contractors and manufacturers have warranties that promise to uphold certain expectations but also help them avoid liability for problems that are reasonably beyond their control.

When you have roofing work done you’ll be looking at warranties from both your contractor and the manufacturer of the products installed. In the first part of this post, we’ll be discussing factors in the job agreement that you’ll outline with your contractor. Stay tuned for part two, which will cover the manufacturer warranty.

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS

It is in the best interest of both you and your contractor to establish– in writing– all the pertinent details regarding their service and your expectations. This way, the outcome of any dispute will be much more predictable.

The written job agreement you negotiate with your contractor will define the following issues:

  • Products to be used
  • Work start and complete times
  • Work site appearance
  • Insurance coverage in case of property damage or personal injury
  • License and code requirements
  • Price
  • Payment terms and conditions
  • Change order procedures
  • Exclusions

REPUTATION AND PRICE

The agreement between you and your contractor will almost always include a written warranty on workmanship. Any good roofer will stand behind his work because he values his reputation and the potential for homeowners to refer him to others. These two things are the most reliable assurances you have of satisfactory work.

Aside from the warranty, price is always a major concern. That all-important number is not a measure of the contractor’s experience, reliability, or honesty. It’s a measure of the cost of the project. Sometimes a low price is simply bargain, while other times it can be an invitation to a nightmare.

Remember when you’re staring at zeros on paper that you are shopping for a hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind roof that will protect what is probably the single largest asset you own. This is a wise investment in your home’s curb appeal and resale value.

THE AGREEMENT

The following subjects and expectations must be defined in the clearest possible language. Although your contractor may furnish a separate warranty document, the job agreement often sets the foundation for his promise to you as the buyer.

Products to be used

Most contractors will offer you a choice of good, better, and best roofing products. When you make your selection, those specific brand names and color names should always be noted in the agreement.

Work start and completion times

While it’s critical to have expectations set for start and completion dates, in this region especially, we all know that weather can be a major factor in any construction schedule. Your contractor will give you an firm estimation for the duration of the work, but it’s important to remain flexible when confronted with interruptions.

Insurance

If your contractor is underinsured or not insured at all, you would be assuming a major liability risk. Homeowner’s insurance should never be presumed as sufficient protection against the dangers involved with roofing. Make sure to look over your contractor’s current insurance certificates for workers’ compensation and general liability, and have copies of those documents attached to your agreement.

Licenses and codes

Business and contracting licenses are also usually attached.  Make sure to define who is responsible for permits, code compliance, and other local requirements.

Price, payment terms and conditions

The total cost of the project, acceptable forms of payment, and any other financial details such as a payment plan should be clearly specified in the agreement.

Change order procedures

Last minute changes are not uncommon in construction, but there must be a written procedure for these orders. Whether they are initiated by your or the contractor, a change order can lead to major misunderstandings, animosity, and in some cases, a court appearance. But, as long as no change order is implemented without a formal, written agreement, most adjustments will be feasible.

Exclusions

Usually with the help of their lawyer, roofing contractors insert exclusions and limitations into warranties and job agreements to reduce liability and avoid costly disputes. Most contractors won’t point them out because they are generally somewhat negative, but its important for the homeowner to review them. It would serve you well to know ahead of time that your contractor will not assume responsibility for damage caused by severe weather, asbestos, or hidden rotted decking. Contractors also typically exclude defects in roofing products from their warranty, which brings us to part two– the manufacturer’s warranty. Stay tuned!

More questions? Just ask Stan or call 503-635-8706 today!

 

 

Portland Roofing Contractor
Warranty

Roofing Warranties Explained: Part 2 — Manufacturers | Pacific West Roofing

While the workmanship warranty and job agreement (outlined in part one) can be negotiated, the manufacturer’s warranty is set in stone. There’s nothing you or your roofing contractor can do to adjust it– it’s fixed and it’s limited. Therefore, it is very important that both you and your roofer understand each term and condition.

A manufacturer’s warranty on asphalt shingles, for example, will typically address:

  • Methods of installation
  • Finished system performance
  • Finished job appearance
  • Warranty transferability

Possibly the biggest factor in a homeowner’s satisfaction with a new roof is its overall finished appearance. System performance is also important, of course, but these days much of that relies on the quality of workmanship rather than the materials themselves. On the other hand, a new roof can sometimes look a bit different that you expected it to when you were looking at samples, and that can lead to claims against the manufacturer’s warranty. The appearance of a finished roof can be affected by a number of variables including color, staining, patterns, decking issues, and damage.

Color

We try to warn homeowners against hanging all their expectations on product samples and color specifications they see in print. Shingle color is not an exact science even though they are computer controlled. It can vary to the eye according to the time of day and the weather, and change as the shingles get older. This is often because the position of granules on the shingles can create tiny shadows, and then those granules tend to wear away with time. Because of this, many manufacturers simply exclude color variations from their warranties.

Staining

New shingles can sometimes become stained while still in the packaging when oils or minerals get transferred from the underside of one shingle to the face of another. In most cases, once the shingles are installed natural weathering will wash away these stains. But, if the stains are still visible after 60 days be sure to contact the manufacturer.

The most common type of stain you’ll see on older roofs is caused by algae, which people often confuse with mold or fungus. Unless algae-resistant shingles were used, algae stains will not be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty as it is a symptom of poor maintenance on the homeowner’s part. Warranty terms regarding algae-resistant shingles vary by manufacturer.

Ugly Patterns

When shingles are not installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, strange color patterns can appear. An inexperienced or unethical roofer might misalign shingle cut outs or ignore dimensional tolerances. Because of this, manufacturer warranties disclaim liability for improper installation.

Deck Movement or Failure

A new roof can also become unsightly if there are problems with the decking. If the surface that the shingles are nailed to begins to shift or fails altogether, which can can be caused by inadequate ventilation, poor nailing of the deck and other oversights, the shingles can curl or develop objectionable ridges. These problems are excluded from warranty coverage by all shingle manufacturers.

Damage

Anytime you add on to your home or do any remodeling like installing a skylight, your roof is susceptible to damage. This is never covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. So, when work is being done on your home, make sure to schedule the roofing work so that it won’t be affected by other projects or workers.

Furthermore, shingle damage caused by a homeowner’s efforts to remove snow and ice is typically excluded, as is damage caused by aftermarket coatings, paints, chemicals, and cleaners.

Have more questions about the warranty on your roof? Click here to ask Stan, or call 503-635-8706.

 

Portland Roof Replacement Services - Pacific West Roofing
Seasonal

Roofing Tips for a Leak-Free Winter | Pacific West Roofing

The weather outside is frightful—so don’t let it get inside. Leaks might seem like a minor inconvenience during the summer months, but come winter they can wreak havoc on your family and property. Even small leaks can lead to damage that’s eventually irreparable and can cause black mold, damage more than just the roof, and let pests inside. Add in the fact that when battling rain, snow and freezing temperatures, winter repair projects can take a bit longer to complete.

There are a few things you can do to enjoy a leak-free winter and it’s never too late to get started. First, remember that leaks might be the symptom of a bigger problem (like a generally weak roof that’s ready to be replaced or a pest that’s digging at your shingles). If you want to enjoy this winter in a warm, dry home, make sure you have all your bases covered and don’t procrastinate when it comes to routine inspections.

  1. Get rid of aggressive tree branches

You mean you have to call a roofer and an arborist? Yes, because this dynamic duo often goes hand in hand. It’s very dangerous to trim high tree branches yourself, and arborists are skilled at knowing exactly which limbs to cut (and where) so that your roof doesn’t get damaged and your tree continues to thrive. They’ll also spot any tree rot or diseases before they get out of control.

  1. Get better insulation

Can’t remember the last time your attic was inspected, or did you buy your house new and have no idea what kind of insulation was used? It’s pretty easy for builders to cut corners with subpar insulation, so you may not be getting the benefits you need. An attic with proper insulation can stop leaks by preventing heat transfer and slowing or stopping snow and ice from melting on your roof.

  1. Keep it clean

A clean roof is a healthy roof—and one that’s much less likely to leak. Surprisingly, leaks are most often caused by debris, and that can include leaves, twigs or just about anything else. It’s tough to keep a roof clean and lots of homeowners put it off, but regular inspections and maintenance are key. If you’re not up for the job of climbing a ladder to sweep it clean, let a professional do it for you.

  1. Check your gutters

Ice dams are most often caused by clogged up gutters, which can also seriously damage your attic and the top floor of your house. It’s common to find leaves in gutters, especially at the start of Winter, which is why this time of year is the perfect time to make sure they’re clear. Otherwise the extra weight can cause them to pull away and potentially fall off the house.

Now that the colder months have arrived, the best thing you can do for your roof is to keep it clean and watch out for weather damage.

Contact Pacific West Roofing today about your next roof/gutter inspeection, repair or replacement. Call 503-635-8706 

 

Pacific West Roofing
General

4 Roofing Scams to Watch Out For | Pacific West Roofing

We learn early on in life that not everybody plays by the rules, and when we grow up and become property owners, sometimes we learn those lessons again. Unfortunately, there are contractors out there who choose to get ahead by cutting corners and deceiving customers. In the worst cases, you may not even know you’ve been duped until the roofer is long gone or the work falls apart. At Pacific West Roofing, we want to make sure you never have to worry about the integrity of your roofer. Here are four shady schemes to watch for when getting roof work done on your home or commercial building.

1. THE BAIT AND SWITCH

To help property owners make quick and easy decisions, contractors sometimes offer roofing materials in packages based on quality, e.g. high-quality package A, medium-quality package B, and base-quality package C. In this scenario, a dishonest roofer might sell a customer on the top-quality package, but then use lower grade materials without their knowledge. A roofer might also sell the base-quality package, then wait until the point of no return to tell you that those products are discontinued or unavailable, sneakily forcing you into paying for upgrades. Either way, you get cheated and the contractor gets rich.

2. CUTTING CORNERS

By skimping in lots of small ways, contractors can save quite a bit of money in overhead.  They’ll try to reduce labor time and/or material cost as much as possible— at the expense of quality craftsmanship— to increase their profit margins. One of the most common offenses involves using fewer materials. They might use fewer fasteners and install fewer shingles than codes and manufacturers recommend, which would leave your home incredibly vulnerable to wind damage. When the wind comes in and blows off a loose shingle or piece of flashing, damage from leaks and pests are likely as well. Using fewer materials and omitting prep work also allows a contractor to put on a roof in record time. This may benefit your schedule, but no amount of expediency will be worth it if you have to get their shoddy work re-done.

3. OVERCHARGING FOR MATERIALS

When you invest in big-ticket home improvements, like a roof, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with the cost of materials. Check to see which manufacturers or suppliers your roofer works with, and inquire directly about their pricing. Then, ask your roofer if he plans to mark up the materials, and if so, include a cap in your contract. If you’re still feeling suspicious you could even request receipts for purchases and ask for credit on anything he returns. You won’t run the risk of being cheated a single dollar on materials.

4. SKIPPING TOWN

The best, most trustworthy contractors are those who have been working in town for decades. They have brick-and-mortar offices, a good standing with the BBB, and a long list of happy customers. A lot of times, these companies don’t have the “newness” that people are drawn to, like a flashy logo and brand new trucks. That’s not to say those things are signs of a shady contractor. But, if a nice guy comes knocking on your door (especially after a storm) representing a new roofing company with fresh, glossy brochures, you’d be wise to turn him down. This roofer out of Colorado was even offering to pay insurance deductibles and file claims on the homeowner’s behalf, and then skipped town after getting paid upfront by several unsuspecting customer. Their website is no longer active and the registered owner is no where to be found.

This is a clear-cut reason to always research potential contractors, and choose the professionals who’ve built a great reputation on years of local service.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM ROOFING SCAMS

First, be sure to ask your contractor lots of questions, especially if somethings seems “off.” The right contractor won’t be inconvenienced by offering more information.

You can protect yourself from the bait and switch by including a specific agreement in your contract. Suggest to your roofer that if any product included in your package should become unavailable, a comparable product will be used. If not, ask that upgrades be used at no additional cost.

As the project is carried out, make yourself available as often as possible to inspect the work. Look at things like fastener spacing and note whether the construction looks sloppy or neat. If you aren’t confident that you would be able to spot improper practices, ask a savvy friend or family member or even a professional consultant to inspect your roof as it’s completed. A good contractor will be happy to show their work at any stage of the project.

Being scammed on costly home repairs can be devastating. You’re out hard-earned money and your property still needs help. Avoid these scams by choosing Pacific West Roofing for your next roof project. Contact us today for a fee estimate! Call 503-635-8706 or send us an email.

 

Residential - Leaking

Risks of a Leaky Roof You Wish Your Mom Told You | Pacific West Roofing

leaky roofYour roof is an integral part of your home, keeping you protected from the variety of weather changes that occur throughout the year in the Pacific Northwest. If your roof has started showing signs of leakage, it likely needs special attention. If you decide to ignore this, you risk major damage to your home.

Risk #1: Attic and Ceiling Water Damage
If you have noticed brown discoloration in certain parts of your attic or ceiling, this could mean that your roof is leaking in a certain area. It may not be clear where the leak is coming from, as water quickly travels along lumber and roof panels in the attic before it gets to your ceiling. If you notice discoloration, it’s important to call a roofing specialist right away to find the problem and fix it.

Risk #2: Mold and Mildew Buildup
Mold and mildew in your home can cause serious health complications. Mold or mildew on the exterior can quickly get into the home’s structure, including the HVAC system, and that means that it will get into the air and vents of your home. Mold and mildew can lead to nasal congestion, asthma, and more if it is not found and treated quickly.

Risk #3: Slipping Hazard
Is your roof leaking onto the floor of your home or garage? This could form a puddle over time and make it dangerous for people walking, especially children or senior citizens who may be more susceptible to tripping.

Risk #4: Water Spots
Have you noticed water spots on your exterior walls, especially after heavy rain? This could mean that the flashing where the roof meets the wall is in need of repair. This can be a difficult fix, because the home’s siding will likely also need attention. Not sure if this is the problem? A roofing specialist can take a look at the issue and provide expertise on how to tackle the job and get it fixed before more damage occurs.

Risk #5: Structural Damage
Over time, leaks can cause serious damage to the rafters, wall frames, and ceiling joists. This type of damage can significantly deteriorate the wood and ultimately weaken the framing of your home. This is not only dangerous for your family because of the likelihood that it could buckle and fall, but it can also be expensive to fix if you let it go for too long.

Is your roof leaking? Contact Pacific West Roofing. Our expert roofers can quickly identify the source of the leak and make seamless repairs.

Portland Metal Roof Replacement - Pacific West Roofing
Metal Roofs

Pros and Cons of Metal Roofing | Pacific West Roofing

If it’s time to replace the roof on your home and you’re considering buying metal roofing, it is important to do your research and weigh the pros and cons of metal versus other more conventional roofing materials, such as tile, wood and asphalt. Here, we consider the various benefits and downsides of metal roofing, such as aluminum, steel, and other metals.

It’s extremely durable. If you have your metal roof installed well and take care of it, it should last as long as the house and will easily survive wind storms, snow and rain water. Metal is also resistant to mildew, fire, insect infestation and rot.

Most metal roofs are noncombustible so they are rated with a Class A fire rating, which is the most resistant. However, if the metal roofing is installed over wood shingles, it will likely have a lower fire rating. Warranties will vary, but many companies will guarantee their metal roofing product to last between 20 to 50 years and paint finishes will often have a 30-year limited warranty.

It’s extremely lightweight. Metal roofing is lightweight, especially when compared to tile or other varieties. Most often, metal roofing runs from 100 to 150 pounds per square, compared to 750 to 1000 pounds per square for concrete tile. If you already have existing roof material installed, many times metal roofing can be applied directly on top of the other material without any tear off or additional structural support added.

It’s easy to install and will save energy in the long run. Metal roofing material comes in 12 to 36 inch panels or multiple-shingle sections. Because of this, it is quick and easy to install. Metal also reflects the sun’s heat, so it will often minimize the heat during the hottest part of the day. This means you will likely use your air conditioning less and ultimately, save more energy.

The disadvantages of metal roofing include:

It’s expensive. Metal roofing is pretty costly, with prices ranging from $150 to $600 per 100 square feet. This can be a big initial investment, but if you look at the durability of the material, it could save you on maintenance and roofing replacement.

It’s noisy. The Pacific Northwest gets significant amounts of rain every year, which means water will tap on a metal roof. A lot. For some people, this is a calming and soothing sound, but for others, not so much. Noise can be minimized by using materials that utilize structural barriers that reduce the drumming effect by applying them over insulation or solid plywood sheathing.

Accessibility. It is very difficult to walk or traverse on a roof in the wet weather or if there has been significant time for organic material to breed moss or algae creating an even slipperier surface to walk on. Maintaining a roof in the winter time to clean off storm debris or even to get your cat off the roof is often scary and challenging.

It dents easily. A metal roof can dent pretty easily, especially if something with significant weight and/or velocity hits it, such as a tree limb or large hailstone. Aluminum and copper roofing is more prone to denting than steel, simply because they are softer.

Before you decide on the type of roof to have on your home, be sure you consider your home’s style and the area you live in. For some, metal roofing makes perfect sense, while for other spaces, it may be better to go with other roofing materials.

Residential - Shingles

Portland Roofing Testimonials | Pacific West Roofing

asphalt shinglesIs it time to update your home and replace your roof? A new roof is a big investment, and requires a little research. There are a lot of different material options and it can be a bit overwhelming at first to know which one is the best choice for you. If you are considering asphalt shingles, here are the most important must-knows about this product.

There are two main types of asphalt shingles: fiberglass and organic. Organic shingles are based on waste paper that is saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof. There are adhesive salt coatings and ceramic granules embedded into the top. Fiberglass shingles are crafted with glass fiber on the base reinforcing mat. They are coated with asphalt and has mineral fillers to make it waterproof. Fiberglass shingles are extremely fireproof, whereas organic shingles are more durable.

Advantages of Asphalt Shingles:

#1: They’re affordable!
Asphalt shingles are usually the best-priced option for roofs and this is why so many homeowners prefer them. If the roof shingles are properly installed, they can protect your home for up to 30 years.

#2: There are a lot of style options.
No matter what your style, you can find a type of asphalt shingle that fits your style preferences. There are laminated, premium, and 3-tab versions and whether you have a contemporary or traditional style home, there will be the right match to fit your home. They are offered in a variety of colors as well, including multiple browns, blue, green, red, gray, tan, and much more. There are also different patterns available that can allow you to make your home stand out and be completely unique from neighboring homes.

#3: They’re easy to install.
Asphalt shingles can be easily installed by a roofing contractor very quickly. They are lightweight enough to be installed without additional structural support and there are no special tools or major prep work that need to be done for installation.

Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingles:
Asphalt shingles can be damaged if they’re installed during freezing temperatures and because they are not as high quality as other roofing materials, they are more susceptible to wind lifting and can crack easily during varying temperatures. In addition, these types of shingles are not environmentally-friendly and when they are manufactured, they produce greenhouse gas emissions.

Overall, asphalt shingles can be a great addition to your home! Have questions? Contact Pacific West Roofing today!

Portland Roof Replacement Services - Pacific West Roofing
Repair - Residential

How To Pinpoint A Skylight Leak | Pacific West Roofing

When you stumble upon a puddle of water below your skylight, it is critical that you find the true cause. Moisture of any kind is a serious problem for the structure of your home– especially your roof. Below, we’ll help you investigate the problem so you can take the necessary steps to prevent more extensive (and expensive) home repairs.

WHERE IS THE WATER COMING FROM?

Is there is a visible water stain at the header of the skylight, or the side toward the peak of your roof? If so, you may have some faulty flashing that’s allowing rainwater to get in. Surrounding each penetration in your roof, whether it’s a skylight, chimney, or vent, roofers install a strip of metal called flashing to create a watertight seal. If your skylight flashing is working properly, the culprit could be bad flashing around fixtures above it. Rain may get through some bad chimney flashing, then make its way down between the layers of your roofing system before it saturates the ceiling at the next opening– your skylight.

If you see signs of water damage at the peak side of your skylight, call a trusted roofing contractor for a leak inspection. Avoid making any repairs yourself if you don’t have the training as this can cause additional problems and cost you more in the long run.

On the other hand, if you’re seeing evidence of moisture at the sill, or the bottom of your skylight you could have more of a condensation problem than a roof leak. Condensation can accumulate more when it’s cold outside or when there’s high humidity inside, like in the bathroom. To keep it from dripping, most skylights are made with a condensation channel around the edges to capture it and drain the water through “weepholes” to the outdoors. When there’s a blockage in the drainage system (or lack of a drainage system), the channel can overflow and drip on the floor. If you discover a water stain at the lower end of your skylight, hire a professional to take a look at it.

Moisture problems, no matter where they originate, can cause significant damage to your roofing system if left to persist. Even if you’re convinced it’s just condensation, do what you must to absolutely sure. Contact Pacific West Roofing about your skylight today. Call 503-635-8706.

Portland Roofing Contractor Since 1980!

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