How Often Should I Have My Roof Inspected? | Pacific West Roofing

You keep on top of preventative maintenance for your health, your car, and even your kids’ homework—but what about keeping that literal roof over your head in top shape? Sure, Spring cleaning has you sweeping behind the fridge and winter prep might have you checking to see if the water pipes are in good shape, but when’s the last time you had the roof inspected? Roof maintenance is two-fold: One you can do yourself (if only with a pair of binoculars), but this should be complemented with an expert inspection at routine intervals.

When looking at a roof yourself, keep an eye out for uneven surfaces in the decking and cracked caulking. Are any of the shingles curling, buckling or blistering? Are there even some missing shingles? Look at the rubber part of the pipe vents and see if they look worn down or split open. Any damage to chimney caps should be addressed, and if you notice moss or lichen, that can be a sign of decay. Black algae may seem like a cosmetic fix that doesn’t necessarily need immediate attention, but it’s an excellent food source for moss, which can remove granules from the shingle exposing the asphalt to the sun’s rays.


When Action is Necessary

For homeowners with colored grit found in places like the gutters, that’s a red flag. It might look like sand, but it means the roof is being exposed to dangerous UV rays. It might be that the roof’s service life is about to expire, and acting quickly may give you a few more years. Any shingles with issues require immediate replacement, and there are some things a handy DIYer can do him or herself, such as nailing back in loose shingles, but for the most part it’s best to leave things to a pro.

In an ideal world, roofs are expertly inspected annually, preferably in the autumn before the wind, rain and snow sets in. Otherwise, it’s recommended to have a new roof inspected after the first five years, then at 10 years, 13, 15, 17, and every year after that. Handymen are truly “handy” for small fixes and can save you a few dollars, but there’s no substitute for a professional, licensed roofer who carries liability insurance and workers compensation on their employees.


Many reputable roofers offer free or low cost inspections, but the actual repairs will certainly have a price. Shingle replacements are usually under $250, common skylight and chimney repairs are under $500, and repairs to flashing are typically under $25 per foot. And if you have moss? That’s best removed in the autumn with a moss killer designed specifically for roofs (don’t use one for lawns, as you’ll suddenly have a green roof).

Dead moss can then be removed in the spring, right in time for your annual spring cleaning activities. You can hire a roofer or do this yourself, but keep in mind that it can take a few hours to sweep and clean a roof, which can be a back-breaking task for a larger home– especially with a steeper roofline.


By the time a roof is actively leaking, it’s probably been damaged for quite awhile. That’s why it’s paramount to keep up with regular inspections. Telltale signs can include dark spots on the ceiling interior, peeling paint near roof overhangs, damp areas by the fireplace, and water stains on the pipes.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Roof replacement can be extremely expensive, and it’s always better to keep up with maintenance rather than waiting for the worst to happen.


Replacement - Residential

How Long Does a Shingle Roof Last? | Pacific West Roofing

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 androof-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!



How Do I Prep My Roof for Fall? | Pacific West Roofing

It’s time to start preparing for the upcoming rainy months that will be here before we know it. Fall weatherization for your roof is important, especially when the rain and cooler weather starts. Are you wondering how to prep your roof for fall? Here are some helpful ways to get your roof ready so you’re not left with a leaking roof and an unexpected big repair bill.

Step #1: Inspect the roof.

During the hot days of summer, it’s common for the roof materials to absorb the heat and swell, which means there may be some shifting and/or cracks in certain areas of the roof. This may not be an issue during the summer, but once the cold and wet weather returns, this could cause some significant water damage issues. So, get up on your roof and inspect it to be sure that all the shingles are in place and look good. If you’re not sure what to look for, have a professional roof inspector come out and take a look at it. They will know exactly what to look for an identify any problem spots that could lead to an issue later down the road.

Step #2: Get the gutters clean.

The gutters are connected to the overall function of your roof and before the wind and rain picks up, make sure your gutters are cleaned. If they’re clogged or blocked, they cannot do their job and this could cause serious backup that leads to water damage. And once water damage occurs, you’ve got a potentially expensive problem on your hands that needs to be addressed. Talk with your roofing professional if you believe you need your gutters replaced or rerouted to divert water to the right direction.

In addition, be sure to check any chimneys, skylights, and any other vents on your roof that need to stay secure and tight so water cannot penetrate them.

Keeping your roof maintained means that you’ll have less chance later down the road of having to cover costly repairs or even a full roof replacement. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to prepping your roof for the autumn months, contact our experienced and professional team at Pacific West Roofing for an appointment. We will make sure that your roof and other materials up there are up to code and ready to keep you and your family safe, dry, and warm this autumn.

Replacement - Residential

Do I Need a New Roof? (Infographic) | Pacific West Roofing

Do I Need A New Roof?

To replace, or not to replace … ?

That’s the ultimate roofing question for homeowners. While it’s preferable from a financial perspective to have repairs done, there are times when the evidence points to a roof replacement being the inevitable — and oftentimes the only — option.

Check out some of the most common signs that you should look out for below:

Granules in Gutters
You want to keep your gutters clear, but what’s found there can be telling. If shingle granules are gathering in your gutters, your roof may be ready to be replaced.

Chimney Flashing
Also found around vents and skylights, chimney flashing helps keep water outside. Older homes often have cement or tar flashing. If they need to be replaced, a metal flashing system provides more durability.

Cracking Shingles
If the shingles are cracking or losing granules, it’s a sign that you may need a new roof. If you notice the shingles are bumpy, and they have been installed on top of other shingles, this is also a sign.

Missing Shingles
While missing shingles don’t inherently mean a roof needs to be replaced, it could be time if the roof is older.

Pacific West Roofing

Since 1980, Pacific West Roofing, based in Tualatin, Oregon, has been serving the Portland metro area, helping homeowners and property owners just like you make the best roofing decisions for their homes. We want to make sure that our customers understand their options, so they can choose what works best for them and their families.

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions that any family could make, so it only makes sense to entrust its care to the best of all roofing companies: Pacific West!

Our pledge to you (we call it a Quality Oath): Pacific West Roofing will devote our best efforts to the attainment of service excellence. As roofing contractors, we’re committed to constant improvement and to being courteous to each and every customer with whom we do business.

Truth is, there are a lot of roofers in the Portland metro area. What sets Pacific West apart from all the rest is our attention to detail; our firm and unshakeable professionalism; our flexible application of the rules if and when they interfere with providing the best customer service; and our prompt and accurate feedback to the customer. We always leave the lines of communication open so that there are no unanswered questions.

We want to make your roofing decision as easy and stress-free as possible. So whether you’re considering a full roof replacement, roof repair, roof cleaning, or a roof maintenance plan, we’re the only call you need to make. We provide the highest quality roofing services in the Portland, Oregon, metro area.

Remember: We work with both residential and commercial customers!

Contact Pacific West Roofing today for all your Portland roofing needs. Ask about our free estimates. We look forward to serving you with high quality and customer-centric roofing.


How Are Your Pipe Flashings? | Pacific West Roofing

When it comes to owning a home, a good maintenance plan is always a worthy investment. In fact, you can avoid some expensive water damage issues by having your roof inspected every 3-5 years. Here in the Northwest, your roof will get hit with more than three feet of rain every year. Combine that with a couple annual wind storms and it makes a lot of sense to have your roof checked once in a while. Inspections are a special part of the quality service we’ve offered in Portland since 1980.


When your home was originally constructed, pipes were installed everywhere for plumbing and ventilation, a few of which protrude through your roof. Some of these pipes let air in so that water flows smoothly through your sinks, tubs and toilets. Others facilitate the exhaust of hot moist air generated in your kitchens and bathrooms. At the point where the pipes come through your roof, a metal base plate and rubber seal are also installed, which is called flashing. These fixtures are made to keep the penetration leak free and they come in a variety of sizes to accommodate whatever pipes are used.

However, the service life of the most common pipe flashing products on roofs in the Portland area is about 8-10 years. You can find higher quality flashing products that will last up to 20 years. As time passes, the flashings will wear out. The rubber will crack and deteriorate, letting water flow into your attic and your home.

If this continues on unnoticed, the rain that comes in through your compromised flashings will travel down the pipes, behind the walls, and eventually rot the wood structure in your kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry room. Wherever there is an elbow in the pipe, the water could drip, causing stains and leaks in your ceiling.

We’ve been working on roofs in the Portland metro area for 35 years now, and we’ve seen and used a variety of flashing materials made by different manufacturers. Not all of them fail in that 8-10-years time frame. There are a number of factors that can affect the lifespan of your flashings, such as the slope and directional exposure of your roof. If your roof has a steep slope but your roofer used a low-slope flashing, it may not last as long. Additionally, the flashings that exist on the sides of your roof that face the South or the West will endure more heat and direct sunlight, causing them to break down more quickly.


With every problem there are good and bad solutions. The quick fix for a leaky pipe flashing is to seal it with caulking, but this is not intended to be a lasting solution. You’d be lucky if it got you through one season. Depending on the cause of the flashings’ demise, as well as the age of your roof, the best solution is usually to install a new flashing. Cutting corners will only cause a frustrating cycle of unnecessary stress and repairs.

Concerned about roof leaks? Give us a call at 503-635-8706 or visit our contact page to send us an email.



Eco Friendly

How Are Solar Panels Installed On My Roof? | Pacific West Roofing

Thinking about going solar? Switching to solar powered panels on your roof can be an incredibly wise investment – one that is great for the environment and your energy bill!

Solar panels generally last for 30 years or more and require very little maintenance. They will not harm your roof if they are properly installed. In fact, these panels can protect the areas directly beneath them from excessive heat and light. It is actually very common to notice that the rooms that have the solar panels installed directly above will remain cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, regardless of what other type of insulation you have.

How does the installation process work?
The company will first insert giant lag bolts into the framing structure of the roof with Fastjack, which is a special metal flashing used in solar panel installations. The panels are bolted to the rafters then they are attached to the infrastructure of the home rather than the roof, so there is no safety concern about the panels weighing too much and pushing through the roof. The panels themselves are not that heavy. The company then uses high grade sealant that will prevent any leaks from occurring. The most time-consuming part of the installation job is finding the exact center of the rafters. However, there are new mounting products that have recently been released that help reduce the amount of time required for this process.

How much does it cost to install a solar paneled roof?
First of all, the type of roof you have will make a big difference in the installation process and price. It will be more expensive to install solar panels on Spanish tile roofs or wood shake than on simple asphalt shingle roofs. Tile or shake roofs are brittle and extra time is needed to ensure that the attachment areas are totally sealed. This extra time can increase the price of the installation job.

Oftentimes, if you install solar panels, you can qualify for a rebate. Contact your utility company and Oregonians can contact Energy Trust of Oregon to see what kinds of incentives are available, as there are often city-specific or federal energy rebates that can help offset the initial cost of the project. Looking for ways to conserve energy? Solar panels are one of the best ways you can do that. Once you decide to install your new solar panel system, you will be on the path toward tangible energy savings.

At Pacific West Roofing, we can answer any roofing and solar-panel-related questions you may have and map out the best strategy for adding solar panels to your roof. Give us a call!


Got Roof Moss? We Can Help! | Pacific West Roofing

How long has it been since you thought about roof maintenance? If it’s been a long time, do you ever wonder what moss might be doing up there? If you’re a homeowner and none of this registers, it’s time for you to consider an inspection to assess the moss accumulation on your roof.

Every roof must have regular maintenance. The reasons for this are: increased lifespan of your roof shingles, granule retention, leak prevention, and even costlier repairs down the road due to negligence.

How do you lose the moss? Treatment! There are a variety of moss control products including earth friendly solutions. Once the moss has been treated and dies, it can be flushed off of your roof with a gentlepressure washer or broom. The next step is to do your best to prevent moss in the first place. Consider some of these basic preventative measures:


  • Keep your roof free from tree branches. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have trees around your home, just keep the branches from growing on or over the roof.
  • Keep your roof clean. Try to keep debris off your roof, particularly in areas that are susceptible to moss growth such as the North side.
  • Consider preventative measures that are administered through a professional roof maintenance company.
  • While it’s not the most comfortable situation in the world, there may be instances where you need to speak to a neighbor about their property. For instance, maybe they have a tree that is growing over your roof. Also, a home that is up wind needs a roof that is well-maintained, otherwise their moss spores may travel to your roof.

If you want to treat your roof for moss, or if you would just like us to consult with you regarding your roof, please contact us online or call us at (503)635-8706.


Flashing 101 | Pacific West Roofing Portland OR

There are a lot of important details for ensuring your roof’s longevity. For example, there are areas of a roof that do not provide enough protection when it comes to hardware and aesthetics like chimneys, pipes, skylights and vents. Enter — flashing; it’s used to ensure these areas are sealed properly and to help prevent rain and other elements from wreaking havoc.

Flashing can be exposed or concealed and there are different types for different situations. Exposed flashing is usually of a sheet metal, such as copper, painted galvanized steel, and stainless steel. Each area of the roof is also completely different. Where the chimney comes through the roof, the roof is completely different than roof intersections. Skylight areas of the roof are different than ventilation pipes. All of these variables factor into what type of flashing should be used.

Sure it is a bit technical and not always convenient trying to determine the best solution, but by understanding the dynamics, doing the research and consulting with a professional, you can extend the life of your roof by years. It beats cutting corners and having a problem fester undetected for so long that a complete re-roof is imminent.

With over 32 years of experience, Pacific West Roofing has seen it all and we are here to help. For more details about flashing visit And if you have any flashing questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call. Pacific West Roofing – we get it done right the first time.

Portland Residential Roofing Services - Pacific West Roofing

Exterior Home Maintenance Tips for Fall | Pacific West Roofing

We’re in the home stretch of summer, and fall will be here in just a few short days. That means you want to make sure the exterior of your home, including your roof, is ready for the cold months ahead. Here are a few things you should get done as soon as possible:


Start your pre-fall roof inspection by checking on the state of your gutters. You already know that fall means more debris (leaves, branches, etc.) will make its way into your gutters. So, make it easier to keep up with by clearing them prior to the season and maybe including some gutter screen systems of fillers that really work.

The repercussions of debris in your gutters can be multifaceted. Water can get dammed up and drip over the gutter’s edge, causing ground erosion below. Pooling water and wet debris can also damage your roof.


Cold weather is coming, and while you want your home to be well insulated in both hot and cold months, you will likely notice the problem more in the winter. If your windows look the least bit compromised, caulking them is a super affordable way to ensure better home insulation.


Look for any wear and tear that may exist on your roof. This can include missing or cracked shingles, pipe flashing rubber boots cracked open, skylights and chimney flashings needing a fresh re-sealing at the corners, or uneven roof surface areas. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, consider hiring a professional roofer to conduct a roof inspection. If there are serious problems, it’s much better to deal with them in the fall than in the harsher winter months. Plus, it can save you in utility costs.


If you have a wood-burning fireplace, now’s the time to have it inspected and cleaned before it gets put to heavy use. Excessive soot and other debris built up in the chimney can create a fire hazard.


Cracks in your driveway or sidewalks can get worse if expanding water (in the form of ice) has its way. Use a filler followed by a coat of sealant to extend the life of your asphalt.


Most stuff, like your lawn mower and leaf blower, will be stored away for months. Make sure they are cleaned first to keep them in good working condition when you need them again.

While you’re not exactly hibernating for the winter, there are certain home tasks that need to get done, since much of your home exterior tasks will go into hibernation until spring.

Replacement - Residential

Everything You Need to Know about Shed Roofing | Pacific West Roofing

When you decide to build a shed, you probably have a million things running through your mind, from the type of lumber you’re going to use to the framework and structure of the shed. What you should also be giving equal thought to (if not more), however, is the roof of your shed.

The roof serves as the first line of defense for any structure, keeping your shed safe from all the elements. The roof is also a major contributing factor to the overall look and aesthetic of your shed. When considering how important the roof is to the well-being of your structure, it’s vital that this step isn’t haphazardly slapped on during the process. Here are some key factors you should keep in mind about the different types of roof materials.

A garden shed with tools leaning against it

Before you select the material of roof you want for your shed, there are some questions you should ask yourself.

  1. What climate will your shed roof have to withstand? Areas that receive heavy amounts of snow will need drastically different roofs than areas with more temperate climates. As a general rule of thumb, the more snowfall your area receives, the steeper the pitch of the shed roof should be. This prevents ice damming, or ridges of ice that prevent water run-off, from forming on your roof.
  2. What level of maintenance do you want to deal with? Although all roofs should be regularly inspected and their eavestrough cleaned for the health of your structure, you probably don’t want a wood shake roof if you’re planning on a bare minimum level of maintenance.
  3. What style of roof are you looking for? A classic, “residential”-style shed would look odd paired with a metal roof. Along the same vein, a clay tile roof is most likely not the choice for a modern-style shed. 

Armed with these basic questions answered, you can begin looking into the selection of your shed roof.

  • Metal: Durable and low-maintenance. They are lightweight and shed snow or rainfall easily, lowering the chances of a roof collapse. Installation, however, can be difficult and pricey.
  • Wood Shake: Helps insulate and allows air to breathe. Although varied in appearance and distinctive in character, shake roofs require proper maintenance and care for longevity.
  • Concrete: Durable and resource-efficient, concrete offers a variety of looks with long lifespans and low-maintenance. However, this roofing can be more expensive than other forms. 

If you’re planning to build a shed, and you’re ever in need of a second opinion from professionals, feel free to shoot us a note.

Portland Residential Roofing Services - Pacific West Roofing
Eco Friendly

Eco-Friendly Roofing Ideas | Pacific West Roofing

Eco-friendliness and energy efficiency have been important trends in the construction of office buildings and other urban developments, but finally, the average homeowner is also beginning to incorporate green building elements into the design and construction of their homes. If you’re looking eco-friendly roofing ideas, here are 10 great options.


One of the most favored and certainly the most attractive green roof option is a living roof. But, it’s harder to pull off than it looks. If you’re looking for an easy way to plant a garden on your roof, Green Paks are a smart way to go. Offered by Green Roof Blocks out of St. Louis, these affordable modules are made of a long-lasting, high density polyethylene knit. They come pre-filled with designer soil and, if you choose, pre-seeded with regionally appropriate plantings. Just cover your roof with Green Paks (with a drainage/root barrier layer in between), plant and/or water as necessary, and watch your living roof garden grow.


Experts in living roofs have been focusing more and more on plant selection. Until somewhat recently, plants for green roofs were chosen without any real consideration for climate. Now, horticulturalists are working with green roofing contractors to choose plants that are native to the region, thus requiring minimal care. Scientists have also developed grasses that are more drought resistant, making a living roof easier to maintain in drier climates.


A number of eco roofing companies have established drainage and runoff containment systems for vegetated roofs. They use special rubber edging to keep rain from draining out of the soil and plants, thereby preventing the runoff that pollutes our waterways. A living roof with a system like this could retain half of annual rainfall, but you’ll definitely want to make sure the membrane remains in good shape as pooling water has always been the arch nemesis of a roof.


Solar panels have become a popular roof adornment for the eco conscious homeowner, but many problems can arise from improper installation, which is unfortunately pretty common. If you’d rather not go that route, thin film solar technology is emerging as a more appealing method of collecting solar energy. Manufacturers have incorporated photovoltaic solar cells into various roofing products, which are expensive now, but will soon be available to the mainstream.


As an alternative to skylights, solar tubes can also help you harvest natural light and save on your energy bills. They start with a plastic dome on your roof, then a tube funnels sunlight into any room using highly reflective fixtures. Solar tubes can provide enough light that you don’t have to use lamps or overhead lights. And if the sun’s not out (as usual), some models are fitted with LEDs to provide light when the weather is grey.


Cool roofs are actually the fastest-growing sector of the roofing industry right now.

Some of the most popular cool roofing systems for flat roofs use a white membrane that reflects sun rays and prevents heat emittance to keep cooling costs and rooftop temperatures down. However, keeping the heat out can be a problem for folks living in colder climates, so researchers at MIT created a roofing tile called Thermeleon that turns white in warm temperatures to reflect heat and then turns black to absorb heat when it’s cold out.


Metal roofs are nothing new, but they are still one of the most environmentally friendly roofing systems available. They are finally being marketed more heavily to the average homeowner, and availability has skyrocketed. Metal roofing materials are recyclable, incredibly durable and long-lasting, and they’re the prefered roofing material for harvesting rainwater.

If you’re interested in a metal roof, cool roof, solar tubes, or a dependable foundation for a vegetative roof, we would love to help. Call Pacific West Roofing today at 503-653-8706 or contact us via email.





Doubling Down On Security? Don’t Forget Your Roof | Pacific West Roofing

These days, there are unending reasons to tighten up security at home and in your place of business. As reports of terrorism and theft increase seemingly by the day, many people are installing alarm and surveillance systems, applying security film to windows and even employing security guards.


Roof Hatch SecurityOne vulnerable point of entry that many commercial and apartment building managers forget, however, is the roof. There have been several reports describing instances of theft where burglars have entered through the roof hatch, or just simply cut a hole in the roof and slipped in.


In this particular scenario, a California convenience store was robbed after thieves broke into an adjoining clinic through the roof hatch. They then proceeded to break through a wall to get into the market, stealing an undisclosed amount of cash and cigarettes.

Earlier this month, 5 men were arrested in Los Angeles after they nearly pulled off a hollywood-worthy heist. They broke into a bank by cutting a hole in the roof and running away with $6 Million. They were finally caught when they entered and attempted to rob another L.A. bank in the same fashion.


Rooftop robberies are unfortunately happening more and more, and now you’re probably wondering what you can do to prevent this from occurring in your building. So, here are a few things you can do to heighten security on your rooftops.



When was the last time you used your roof hatch? If you can barely remember, it’s definitely time for an inspection. Make sure the hinges, gas spring cylinders and handles are all intact. If your hatch is old or damaged, consider replacing it with one made of heavy-gauge materials and tamper-proof hardware. Not only will a secure roof acces hatch protect you from a break in, it will also protect employees and tenants from injury on the roof.


If you have a locking handle, that’s a good start. There is likely a hole in the handle mechanism, and all you have to do is put a carabiner clip or padlock through it. Most standard roof access hatches come with lock hasps on the interior and exterior as a security feature.


You can go a step further and add locks to the gas cylinders or lift assistance arm as well. This will prevent thieves from entering, even if they get through the first lock. Contact switches can also be applied and wired to your building’s alarm system.



Mounting motion sensing lights and/or security cameras to your roof can prevent break-ins. Of course, with cameras you’ll need to have someone watching what’s being recorded if you want to stop thieves before they attempt to break in.

If you’re curious about how else you can secure your rooftop, contact Pacific West Roofing today for a commercial roof inspection.

Portland Roofing Contractor Since 1980!

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