Portland Roofing Contractor - Pacific West Roofing
Flat Roofs

A Guide To Flat Roofing

When you’re looking to install or replace a flat roof, you have numerous material options and installation requirements to consider. Finding out which material is right for your flat roof can be confusing and difficult. So, we’ll help you choose the right roofing system by discussing the things you value in a roof the most; price, service-life and maintenance requirements.

First, here are two main types of flat roof applications:

  • BUR or Built-Up Roofing
  • Single-Ply

Within these categories, there are many different roofing systems. Finding the appropriate application and then selecting the preferable system usually works best. Let’s take a look at each of these applications.

BUR or Built-Up Roofing

Like it’s name implies, this type of flat roof is built up by applying layers of roofing material, such as tar or asphalt composition, or fiberglass felt. Two to four layers of rolled material are applied in a criss-cross pattern with either a roofing adhesive or hot asphalt, which serves as a waterproofing membrane. A layer of granulated cap sheet or gravel is often added on top to protect the roof from damaging UV rays.

Built-up roofs are economical, but they need specialized equipment such as expensive kettles that spew out VOC’s. They are relatively durable, but difficult to maintain due to the material’s limited expandability over time, which is due to UV breakdown– even in the first 5 years. Flashings are often separating from the asphalt due to this movement.

Bear in mind that rolled asphalt roofing, also called torch down, can also be considered a single ply roof depending on how it’s installed. However, it is such an inefficient and outdated flat roofing material that we cannot recommend using it.

SINGLE PLY

Single ply is the most common commercial roofing material available today. Opposite the built-up roof, it is made of just one all-purpose layer of roofing material. Single ply roofing systems are thinner and lighter than built-up roofs, ranging between 45 and 120 millimeters. Today they are commonly made of EPDM rubber (ethylene propylene diene monomer), PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin), which all have their pros and cons. This type of flat roof is installed either by gluing the layer of material to the board underneath it, hot-air welding the seams and flashings, or mechanically attaching it to the roof deck with fasteners and barbed plates.

EPDM rubber is the original single ply roofing material. It is usually black, both reinforced and unreinforced, and applied with an double sticky tape adhesive to keep the seams watertight.  Although it has its limitations, like ponding water issues and almost certain repairs after 7-10 years, it is still the most commonly used flat roofing material nationally but not in the West. Its popularity is mainly due to it’s reasonable costs and the fact that no special equipment is needed to install it.

In contrast, PVC and TPO roofs are usually white, reinforced membranes with seams that are hot-air welded for water tightness. This means that installation of either of these materials will require the use of special hot-air welding equipment to seal the seams and all the flashings. The hand welder equipment is relatively inexpensive unless the company uses a walk behind welder which can cost as much as $7-8K plus the generator to run it. This is still far less than hot tar equipment.

PVC roofing has been around 3 times longer than TPO, giving PVC a more reliable track record. TPO is considerably less expensive than PVC; however, you get what you pay for. TPO roofs have many issues that have yet to be resolved, making them a gamble for the consumer. Most track records show TPO life to fall short of warranty

ROOF COATINGS

If you are unsure about installing a new roof, you might also consider roof coatings, which are made for preserving existing roofs. They can be used to extend the service life of a roof by as many as 15 years, acting as an additional waterproofing layer. Although, not all coatings are sufficiently waterproof despite some manufacturer’s claims.

Roof coatings are most effective on roofs with smooth surfaces such as EPDM rubber roofs, low slope standing seam metal roofs, and some modified bitumen roofs. Coatings are not suggested for roofs prone to dirt and debris, such as tar and gravel roofs. These types of roofs are nearly impossible to clean thoroughly, which is a must before applying any coating. Also they’re not for roofs with ponding conditions because they peel underwater.

For more information or a free flat roofing estimate, contact us at 503-635-8706

 

 

Portland Roofing Services - Pacific West Roofing
Homeowners Maintenance Residential Roof Repair

8 Symptoms of Bad Gutters | Pacific West Roofing

Pacific Northwest winters don’t usually consist of heavy snow, but instead, heavy rain. This means that the gutters of your home are on active duty for days and months at a time. Many inches of rain and occasional ice storms can be hard on your gutters, especially if they are old or need repair. Gutters protect your home from water damage, which can translate to issues with insulation, temperature regulation, or mold growth. Check your gutters on a regular basis, and if you aren’t sure if you have bad gutters, keep an eye out for some of the signs listed here.

HOW OLD ARE YOUR GUTTERS?

The average lifespan of gutters is between 15 and 20 years. If they haven’t been replaced in that time, then they should be checked by a professional to see if they are working at their peak. Even if they look fine, they might not be. Making sure that you have quality gutters will save you money in the long run.

CRACKS OR RUSTING

If you see noticeable cracks or the beginning of rust on the gutters, it is time to consider replacing them. Rust and cracks lead to leaks, which can lead to damage and costly repairs later down the road.

SAGGING

Do your gutters look uneven or look like they’re sagging? This can be a sign that the system needs to be repaired or replaced professionally. Gutters that sag or slouch mean that they won’t work efficiently and could clog or leak.

POOLED WATER

If you see a lot of standing water near the downspouts, this could lead to a serious problem. When water pools near the bottom of your home’s exterior it can easily work its way down to your foundation. Having water underneath your home can lead to mold, rot, and expensive structural problems. If you see pooled water anywhere within a few feet of your home, call a professional to have your foundation, crawl space, and gutter system checked out. All you may need is an extension to your downspout that leads water further away from your home.

CLOGS AND MORE CLOGS

Northwest rain and wind storms can blow twigs, leaves, and other debris into the gutters. Clogs can be prevented by installing gutter guards, but if you are dealing with clogged gutters all the time, there may be an issue with the actual gutter that is causing the clog. If left to persist, overflowing gutters can lead to the pooling water problems mentioned above.

DETACHED GUTTERS

This is pretty common sense, but if a part of your gutter system is hanging off the side of your home, it’s likely broken and needs repair or replacement. Make sure that your gutters are installed well so they don’t fall off during the next rain, wind, or snow storm.

LEAKS INSIDE THE HOME

If you see any water damage where exterior walls meet your ceiling, you may have a gutter leak instead of a roof leak. Check your gutters in that spot for a crack, clog, detachment, or poorly sealed seam.

EXTERIOR DAMAGE

Have you noticed changes in your home’s siding? Is the paint peeling, chipping or rotting? This could be the result of ineffective gutters. Water could be leaking through or overflowing and splashing up against the house, and without the sealing power of paint, wood siding is quick to rot. Have your gutter system repaired or replaced now to prevent the need for bigger exterior projects.

If it’s time to do something about bad gutters, contact Pacific West Roofing for a free estimate. Call us at 503-635-8706 today.

 

 

Replacement - Residential Roofing Tips

7 of Your Burning Roofing Questions, Answered!

Your roof is an incredibly important part of your home – it keeps you safe from the elements throughout every month of the year. When your roof needs replacement or just simple maintenance, how do you know what to do? Here are some of the most important roofing questions, answered so you can know how to properly care for your home’s roof.

Question #1: Is it time to replace my roof?
Water damage in your attic, pools of water, or brown and discolored portions of your ceiling can all indicate there is an issue with your roof. These often indicate that your roof has a leak. In addition, if you have significant areas of cracked or missing shingles, you should consider either replacing them or replacing the roof right away. Shingles are the only thing to keep water out, so any damage to them is not something to ignore.

Question #2: Does a leaky roof mean it needs to be replaced?
Not necessarily, it could be an isolated incident of a branch puncture, a pipe flashing failure, or a clogged valley full of tree debris diverting water. There is a myriad of possibilities for a single roof problem.

Question #3: What does water damage look like on my home?
Brown and discolored parts of your ceiling or attic could indicate water damage. In addition, if you have mold in your ceiling or attic, this could also indicate that there is moisture coming from your roof or your roof needs to have an inspection for a ventilation upgrade.

Question #4: If my roof is old, do I need to replace it?
If your existing shingle roof is between 20 and 25 years old, it should probably be replaced, especially if there are leaks or shingles missing. If the roof has several layers of shingles on it and it’s over 20 years old, you will probably need a new roof right away.

Question #5: Can I repair or replace the roof myself?
Most roofing work should not be done by the homeowner, but instead by a roofing professional. These contractors are familiar with what to look for in roofing systems and have been trained on proper roofing repair and replacement techniques. Re-roofing projects need to be completed with quality, accuracy, and efficiency.

Question #6: How much does a new roof cost?
The price of a new roof can vary greatly, depending on materials you select, how steep and how many stories, labor rates, and depending on if it’s a complete tear-off job with new plywood or if they can just add a new layer of roof to your existing roof.

Question #7: How long will my roof system last?
Usually, a quality roof will last about 22-30 years. Sometimes, they can last longer, depending on the material.
If you have roofing questions, Pacific West Roofing is here and happy to help! Contact us today with any concerns you may have.

Replacement - Residential Uncategorized

6 Reasons Your Roof May Need To Be Replaced

There are plenty of reasons why you should not put off replacing an old roof. The case of the Metrodome roof collapse in Minnesota is an extreme one, but nonetheless it could have been prevented.

Two years ago the Viking’s football stadium’s roof collapsed after a big storm subjected it to high winds and the weight of two feet of snow. This video that was recorded as it collapsed.

You might think this would be enough to cause severe damage to any roof, and you’re right. But, this roof was particularly vulnerable to serious damage because it was nearly 30 years old. According to reports, eight months prior to the collapse, the roof was inspected by the company who constructed it. The manufacturer urged stadium management to replace it, stating that it had exceeded its service life by 8 years, pointing out holes in the lining, and citing it’s condition as “fair to poor.” Furthermore, it appears the facilities commission had been aware of it’s condition for five years.

Now, it’s unlikely that you’re home or business has a roof anything like the Metrodome’s, but that doesn’t mean the need to replace it when it’s too old is any less dire. If you put off repairing or replacing your roof when it’s exceeded its expected service life, the roof could begin to deteriorate, putting you and your family in danger – especially when big storms come through. So, let’s go over some things to watch out for if your roof is reaching the end of its service life:

  • If you are seeing frequent leaks in more than 1 or 2 areas
  • If many of the shingles are wavy or fraying at the edges, covered in moss, or missing granules on the face of the shingle
  • If the shakes are crumbling  or just crunchy and you start to find them on the ground around your house
  • If, when you’re in the attic, you can see light showing through the shake roof, dark spots of mold, water staining or the roof sheeting is warped or sagging
  • If the siding on your home is decayed or the paint is blistering and peeling
  • If your heating/cooling energy bills are excessive, which could be due to poor or lack of ventilation or air flow restriction

Leaks and missing shingles can usually be repaired without having to replace the roof completely. But, if your roof is more than 15 years old and you see one or more of these problems cropping up, it is critical to have a professional inspect it and possibly replace it to ensure your safety and comfort.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you think your roof might need to be replaced!

Portland Roofing Contractor - Pacific West Roofing
Seasonal Uncategorized

6 Common Winter Roofing Issues

Winter weather is especially hard on your roof. The snow and ice and the freezing and thawing can create several problems that may lead to costly roofing repairs if not adequately addressed.

Here are six common problems your roof may face over the winter season.

PROBLEM #1 – CONDENSATION

When warm air meets a cold surface, condensation will occur. Unfortunately, an improperly insulated attic is a prime candidate for the formation of condensation, which can lead to mold and mildew, damaging the interior structure of your home. To prevent condensation, ensure your attic is properly ventilated. Inadequate ventilation can damage your roof, the decking and encourage ice dams and shorten your roof’s overall lifespan by half.

PROBLEM #2 – FLASHING LEAKS

If you have a sloped roof like most of us do, you may be no stranger to leaky flashings. Flashings are the strips of metal that are placed along the front edge, corners and ridges of your roof and around your chimney and skylights. If not installed properly, or during a violent storm, they can start to pull away from your roofing material and lead to water leaks. Inspect your flashings about every six months to help prevent this from becoming a problem.

PROBLEM #3 – STRONG WINDS

Wind storms aren’t super common in our region, but they do happen and we’ve had one this year already. When wind speeds pick up enough they can start to loosen up shake and asphalt shingles. If you notice shingles or other parts of your roof on the ground, contact us as soon as possible to have those shingles replaced before more damage occurs.

PROBLEM #4 – TREE LIMBS

If you have lots of trees in your yard you’ve been blessed with beautiful, year-round scenery. But, this means you’re also privy to some of the dangers large trees can impose. Sometimes overhanging tree limbs can scrape the surface of your roof and damage its protective top layer. And, if branches end up falling into your roof that can cause problems too. So, to protect your home and family, make sure to trim any branches that come within six feet of your roof. It will also keep the critters from scampering across the roof and trying to enter the roof for Spring nesting.

PROBLEM #5 – ICE DAMS

Ice dams are uncommon in the Willamette Valley, but they’ve been known to occur every 15 to 30 years or so. They result when the upper areas of an icy roof begin to thaw, and the lower perimeter areas are still frozen. Melting ice and snow from the warmer sections of the roof flows down and re-freezes on the lower sections and gutters, creating an ice dam. As water pools behind the dam, it’s likely to leak into your home through cracks and joints in the roofing material, causing damage.

There isn’t any way to eliminate the possibility of ice dams completely. Although, with proper insulation and a good attic ventilation system they can be minimized. There are some modified rubber underlayments like Ice and Watershield that are also recommended for areas with this possible scenario.

PROBLEM #6 – ICICLES

Icicles are also typically formed by sunny days and sub-freezing temperatures. They may look neat, but they can pose a real danger to people and pets.  Often the result of clogged gutters and downspouts, their excessive weight can cause roofing and gutter damage. To discourage icicles from forming, keep your gutters clear of leaves, needles, and other debris. When the warmer weather arrives, attend to gutter maintenance swiftly to avoid leaking and other problems during spring rains.

Not sure how your roof is handling the Winter weather? Contact the professionals at Pacific West Roofing today. Our dedicated team of roofing experts will be happy to talk you through your roof’s potential problems and suggest the appropriate preventative repairs.

 

 

 

Residential Roof Repair Seasonal

5 Roofing Tips For Summer

Ah, summer. Balmy weather, picnics, and vacations. It’s no surprise that we’ve already felt the temperatures rising, and had brief snippets of our fantastic summer weather already.

As the heat continues to rise, there are a few things we can do to prepare our homes for the season, specifically overhead. These tips will help you keep your cool, as the temperature rises.

Prep Your Attic

You attic is largely overlooked, but is a focal point for keeping your home cool during these summer months. Did you know your attic can reach up to 150 degrees during the summer? Yep. And, that heat above you can rob your of your cool air conditioning if it’s not properly insulated and maintained up there. It’s a must to inspect things like moisture in the plywood in your attic. As we know in the northwest; moisture can lead to mold. How about those exhaust fans from your kitchen and bathrooms? These, if improperly installed, can be a big contributor to the moisture buildup in your attic, ultimately causing costly repairs.

Correcting improperly-installed vent pipes can not only reduce moisture, it can also reduce heat build-up in your attic. Rerouting pipes or ductwork are fairly easy fixes for this issue. However, improper ventilation isn’t the only issue. Here are some tips to help make sure your attic and roof are ready for the summer season:

  1. Check to make sure those exhaust fans are working well and are vented properly.
  2. Make sure those drains and gutters on the roof are clean and clear of debris. This will help prevent an overflow and damage during a storm.
  3. Make sure you check the attic and the roof for small signs of damage, and note them. These small spots can turn into large repairs if not attended to and monitored. Schedule a free roof inspection to catch anything before it gets out of hand.
  4. Make sure there are no missing, damaged, or loose tiles or shingles.
  5. Check your attic for any signs of pests. This (as we know) can turn into a major problem quickly. If you spot any signs, make sure to schedule an appointment with a pest elimination company as soon as you can.

As a note, make sure you have someone with you during your attic and roof check for safety. Feel free to schedule your inspection with us to identify and repair problems before they become major concerns. Small issues we find today don’t just go away, but become larger and more problematic if left unattended.

We are happy to schedule a free roof inspection to make sure your summer is a great one! Contact us today!

Estimate Roofing Tips

5 Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractor

When it’s time to find someone to replace your roof, there are specific questions that you should ask. A new roof is a big investment and you should definitely do some research before you spend your money. Asking questions is never a negative thing – instead, it shows that you care about your home and want the best job done. As established, widely-recognized experts in the industry, our team at Pacific West Roofing is always happy to address any concerns you may have. Here are some helpful questions to ask a potential roofing contractor.

Question #1: Name and physical address.
This may seem obvious, but if your roofing company only has a post office box, not a physical address, or does not have a licensed company name, this should be a cause for concern. Check reviews online for the company name and see if there are positives or negatives online. When it comes to hiring a roofer to replace your existing roof, you should find one that is reliable and has a good reputation for quality and efficiency in the area.

Question #2: Ask about insurance.
Workman’s Compensation, as well as liability insurance, will help protect a homeowner in the event of an unfortunate accident. Without workmans compensation, the homeowner may be at risk of paying medical bills or other costs in the event that the person is injured on site at your house. Liability insurance will protect you from damage that could be caused by the company during the roof’s repair process. Your homeowner’s insurance will not always cover these types of issues, so be sure you ask the roofer for verification of this coverage.

Question #3: Know if the company uses subcontractors.
Ask the contractor if there will be any subcontracting of the work. If there is, you should ask that person the same questions – are they insured and what is their reputation like?

Question #4: Reputation and references.
A positive reputation is key and if the company or contractor you’re considering does not have a good reputation in the roofing industry, you should think again about hiring them to do work on your home. Ask for local job sites that have been completed and if it would be okay for you to drive by and check the work that was completed. In addition, do your research online and see what people are saying about the company or contractor. If possible, ask for past homeowner references and talk to them directly to ask if they were happy with the work that was done.

Looking for a roofing company that’s not afraid to answer these questions, and more! Contact Pacific West Roofing! With years of industry experience, we’re dedicated to completing the best possible work on your roof, work that will serve you and your family for decades.

STEPS TO PREPARING YOUR ROOF FOR FALL AND WINTER
Seasonal Uncategorized

4 Steps To Preparing Your Roof For Fall And Winter

The summer days are cooling off, the kids are starting a new school year and we are reminded that the long rainy season is about to return. Fall is a magical season, and it’s the time of year when we should button up our homes as well as our jackets. Between now and the first freeze of winter, there are four things you can do to prepare your roof for bad weather.

CLEAN THE GUTTERS

When leaves and debris collect in your gutter system, eventually, it will create a clog in the downspouts. Rain water will overflow the gutters, damaging your roof, trim and siding. The added weight of the wet leaves and water could also cause your gutters to pull loose from the anchor point or collapse.

To prevent these problems and unforeseen repair costs, make sure to keep your gutters relatively clear through the fall. And, once the trees around your home are bare, do a thorough cleaning. You can also get out ahead of the fall season and have gutter screens or guards installed to prevent the collection of debris in the first place. We recommend Master Shield gutter protection system.

Clear Off Debris

It’s important to remove leaves, pine needles, and other debris from the surface of your roof as well as your gutters. Even small bits of debris will hold moisture and possibly rot or mold, which will break down your roofing material.

If you’re confident and experienced in walking on your roof, get up there and broom or blow off the debris that has collected on your roof, paying special attention to the valleys, which are most vulnerable to water damage. Make sure they are free and clear of debris so as to allow water to flow.

As part of our roof evaluation and maintenance services, we also treat roofs for moss, which is certainly not a bad idea in our moist climate.

CHECK FOR DAMAGES AND DETERIORATION

With a clean roof, scan the surface for missing shingles or ones that have cracked curled or frayed edges. You can use binoculars to inspect from the ground or climb up to the roof to have a look.

Also check for damaged flashing around vent stacks, chimneys, and skylights. These areas are the usual suspects when you have a leak. Repairing flashing yourself may not always provide the results you expect, so give us a call and we’ll make sure everything is sealed properly before the rain hits.

ATTIC INSULATION AND VENTILATION

Without adequate airflow in your attic, you could be looking at higher-that-necessary energy bills and roof leaks emerging in a snowstorm. During the day, sunlight hits your roof and heats up the air in your attic. Without vents located at the soffits, ridges, and/or gables of your roof, the hot air condensates, causing moisture damage and possible mold or rot in your roof’s supports.

This heat can also cause ice dams in higher elevations, inviting leaks when snow accumulates on your roof.

Additionally, when that hot air has nowhere else to go, it will seep into and overheat your living space, asking you to use your AC more than you have to. This is one of the reasons why insulation is so critical to an energy efficient home.

To evaluate your attic insulation and ventilation, you can hire an energy auditor or weatherization contractor to do an inspection and make modifications. And, if you make these changes before the end of 2013, you could be eligible for an energy efficiency tax credit.

Need a roofing evaluation or repair? Contact Pacific West Roofing today for a free* estimate! Call us at 503-635-8706

*Commercial and Residential properties on the Real Estate market are charged a $250 estimate fee. This fee will be credited to your invoice when work is complete.

 

 

Portland Roofing Contractor - Pacific West Roofing
Estimate Residential Roof Repair Residential Roof Replacement

4 Factors of a Roofing Estimate

Your roof protects your most important investment– your home. And yet, many homeowners aren’t sure what roof repairs or a full roof replacement should cost. Below we’ll go over the main factors most roofing contractors consider when estimating the cost of a new project. When going over these items with your roofer, it can speed up the process and save you money if you know your roof and what you want.

REPAIR OR REPLACE?

It can be tough to know whether your roof can stick it out for a few more years or if it needs to be replaced. Most homeowners hope to make do with a few repairs, but depending on your roof’s condition, a roofer may tell you that’s not such a wise idea. If your roof is more than 15 years old, is leaking in multiple places, or has been repaired many times in recent years, it’s probably time to tear it off and start new. It can also be difficult to match new material with the old stuff, and those efforts can add to your estimate.

In cases like these it’s smart to invest in a new roof, and it’s an investment that will have some valuable returns. Aside from adding value to your home, today’s roofing materials will also make your home more energy efficient, helping you control indoor air temperatures and save money on your heating and cooling bills. If you’re still not sure whether to repair or replace your roof, ask your roofer for estimates on both projects.

You might also consider simply adding a second layer of shingles to your roof, which is less expensive than a full replacement but can be more problematic. Read our blog post on layering shingles for more on that topic.

STYLE AND HEALTH

The potential price of your roofing project will also be based on factors like the style of your roof and its current “health.” Your roofer will need to know whether your roof is flat or sloped, hipped or gabled, the number of levels it has, and if there are dormers or valleys. The roof’s accessories and underlying structure may also be a factor, especially if you see any signs of moisture damage in your attic. Mold remediation and/or replacing rotten framework will definitely change the scope of your project.

TYPE OF MATERIAL

As you probably guessed, your roofing estimate will also be based on the type of material used in the repair or replacement. The most common and generally the least expensive material is asphalt shingles, which come in all kinds of compositions and colors. Next are cedar shingles and shakes, which are often chosen for their beautiful Northwest aesthetic, but come with more maintenance needs and a higher price tag. A metal roof will also be more expensive to install, but the benefits easily outweigh the cost. Not only will a metal roof last upwards of 50 years, it’s also the most energy efficient, moisture resistant, low-maintenance, lightweight and fire-proof choice out there. Slate, clay and concrete tiles are also among your options for roofing material, but they are seldom used in the Pacific Northwest. While they are durable and beautiful, tile roofs are particularly heavy (which requires additional structural support) and even more expensive.

THE ROOFING PROFESSIONAL

Any reputable roofing professional will offer you a free roofing estimate (as long as no diagnosis is necessary) and you’re likely to get a wide range of bids. Make sure the estimates you receive include everything from the materials and labor to taxes and permits. It’s also wise to ask about the time your project will take.

When making comparisons and choosing your contractor it is crucial to consider more than just costs. Give special consideration to roofers who come recommended by a friend or family member, and use the resources at your disposal to feel them out. Are they in good standing with the Better Business Bureau? Are they licensed, insured, and manufacturer certified? Ask prospective roofers for a few customer references so you can see for yourself whether you’ll be satisfied with their work.

And if you’re interested, ask about solar panel installation!

Contact Pacific West Roofing for a free estimate on your repair or replacement project! Call 503-635-8706 or click here to send us an email.

 

 

 

 

Portland Roofing Services - Pacific West Roofing
Commercial - Flat

4 Common Commercial Roof Problems

Commercial roofs can experience a number of problems over time. It’s important for business owners and facility managers to know what to look for and when to contact a roofing company. The most common problems seen by commercial roofers include:

1. Faulty Flashing and Pitch Pans
Flashing is installed on walls, curbs and around objects protruding from the roof, like pipes and chimneys, to deflect water from seams or joints. Ninety-five percent of roof leaks occur due to faulty flashing. It most oftenfails because of the expansion and contraction that occurs, causing the flashing to tear of break. Also,the top of the flashing is often not terminated properly and this can break loose allowing water to get in.Pitch pans are also used as a seal around pipes coming through a roof. If pitch pans are not properly maintained or are filled with materials that did not seal adequately, water will run down the pipe and into the roof. These are the most common problem for flat roofs today.

 

2: Blow-offs and Reduced Wind Uplift Resistance

Leaks are not the only issue that can arise from improperly installed flashing. As wind flows over the roof, the pressure directly above the roof’s surface decreases. Simultaneously, internal air pressure increasesdue to air infiltration through cracks and openings. This results in an upward force on the roofing system,which is referred to as wind uplift. Wind uplift resistance can be reduced significantly if seams are not adequately cured on cold-applied modified bitumen roof systems. If the seams are exposed to wind before they are cured, wind uplift can damage the roof membrane. Improper gravel embedment and too few fasteners in the base sheet during application of hot bituminous and torch-applied modified bitumen systems can also have similar consequences. High winds can also blow off the caps on chimneys and vents allowing water to get into the pipe.

3. Standing Water
Standing water is sometimes due to a clogged or blocked drains, but most often it is due to poor roo fdesign or installation. Allowing water to stand on the roof can deteriorate the roof and ultimately cause leaks. During the design of a dead-level roof, slope should be included with tapered insulation or crickets.While installing hot bituminous systems, poor mopping can produce voids in the membrane, block drains, and result in standing water as well as void the warranty. Before repairs are made, it’s important to investigate the source of the water. Sometimes an HVAC unit without a condensate drain line can be the culprit and sometimes they just get clogged if no one is maintaining them. We will always do a thorough inspection before making a repair and check drains to be sure they are free of dirt and debris.

4: Punctures and Additional Penetrations Post-Installation
Every roof system’s performance is compromised when new penetrations and equipment are added,unless proper precautions are taken. Damage from foot traffic can also be detrimental, especially for single-ply or spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roof systems. Construction traffic can cause cuts andscrapes in the membrane and damage the underlying substrate. In addition to causing leaks, this may also void the guarantee. When penetrations are added or removed from a metal roof, there can be catastrophic results. The caulking and sealants used to seal the whole can be ineffective because metal roofs incur a lot of expansion and contraction, and this will result in a number of persistent problems. Ceramic coatings will reduce the solar heat load and reduce expansion and contraction.

We fix these issues regularly and have the experience and expertise to do the job right. If you witness any of these issues on your commercial roof, give us a call at 503-635-8706

 

 

Portland Eco-Friendly Roofing Ideas - Pacific West Roofing
Safety

35 Roofing Safety Tips

If you’re planning some DIY work on your home roof, roofing safety must always be your first priority. If you skip these necessary considerations because you’re eager to get to work, there’s a greater likelihood that an accident will happen— so why push your luck? Remember to take these roofing safety precautions to avoid serious injury or even death.

GENERAL ROOFING SAFETY TIPS

Following proper roofing safety procedures begins before you head up to the roof. Take notice of each potentially dangerous area in your site, like power lines and unsafe roof access areas. Once on the roof, be sure to do the following:

  • Make sure your work area is clean, organized and blocked off from pets and children.

  • Never work when the roof is wet or slippery.

  • Avoid working on your roof during extremely hot or cold weather. Extreme temperatures can cause shingles to become damaged and prevent them from sealing or lying properly.

  • Wear soft-soled footwear for optimum traction.

Take advantage of the fall-related safety equipment available to you, such as a harness and ropes with a roof anchor into the framing of the roof structure. Also, toe boards and brackets that you can walk along on are great roofing safety precautions to take.

LADDER SAFETY

In addition to roofing safety, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has important safety guidelines for portable ladders. They are as follows:

  • Read and follow all the warning labels on the ladder, and never use a ladder that is damaged.

  • Avoid electrical hazards by looking for power lines overhead before handling a ladder. Never use a metal ladder near power lines.

  • Always maintain 3 points of contact on the ladder while climbing (two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand). Keep your weight near the center of the rungs and always face the ladder while climbing.

  • Only use ladders and their accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their intended purposes.Man Cleaning Gutters with Roofing Safety in Mind

  • Make sure your ladder is free of any slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet.

  • Do not use a step ladder as a single ladder or in a partially closed position.

  • Do not use the top rung of a ladder as a step unless it was designed for that purpose.

  • Only use a ladder on stable and level surfaces unless it has been secured at the top or bottom to prevent displacement.

  • Do not place a ladder on any unstable base to obtain additional height.

  • Do not move or reposition a ladder while a person or equipment is on it.

  • A ladder used to access an elevated surface (your roof) must extend at least 3 feet above the point of support (gutters or eaves). Do not stand on any part of the ladder that extends beyond its support.

  • For the safest angle, place the base of the ladder a quarter of the working length of the ladder away from the wall or other vertical surface. For example, if your eaves are 10 feet from the ground, your ladder base should be placed 2.5 feet out from your gutters.

  • When working in a location where your ladder might be displaced by other work activities you must secure the ladder to prevent displacement, or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder.

  • Make sure that any locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.

  • Do not exceed the ladder’s maximum load rating.

  • Make sure you don’t have to stretch or reach more than your arm’s length while standing on the ladder.

  • Never leave a ladder unattended.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY

We cannot stress enough how vital it is to be careful around power lines. Proper roof safety goes beyond the roof itself.  If you cannot avoid power lines, call your utility company before you start working.

  • Make sure you are using a wooden or fiberglass ladder instead of metal, and be extra careful when using metal flashing. Remember that electricity can jump or “arc” to a metal object several feet away.

  • Never touch hot wires with your hands or tools.

NAIL GUN SAFETY

Roofing contractor installs new composite shinglesA pneumatic nail gun is a dangerous tool and can easily become a weapon. So, it should always be handled with extreme care when exercising roofing safety procedures.

  • Never point a nail gun at another person.
  • Make sure the safety mechanism is working properly, and never tamper with it.

  • Only pull the trigger when the “business end” of the nail gun is pressed firmly against the material you intend to fasten. Do not “shoot” nails from a nail gun.

  • Make sure your nail gun is properly cleaned, inspected and well-lubricated before use.

  • Do not rest a nail gun against your body to prevent misfires.

  • Always disconnect the air supply as soon as you are finished using a nail gun, and never work on the tool while it is connected to the power supply.

ROOFING SAFETY WHEN HANDLING MATERIALS

  • You will be surprised at how much material goes into most roofing jobs. You might be inclined to carry more than one bundle at a time, but this is a dangerous move, especially when climbing up ladders and walking across steep rooftops.

  • Store material close to the roof in order to save time and energy when retrieving material.

  • Remember to always lift with your legs rather than your back, and take a break when you’re tired to avoid injury.

  • Always follow the shingle manufacturer’s instructions and use the preferred installation and repair materials for your specific roof type.

NOT FEELING UP TO IT? PORTLAND ROOFING CONTRACTORS CAN HANDLE IT

Don’t trust your roof to just any contractor. Choosing Pacific West Roofing, LLC assures that you’ll be working with a quality, dependable roofing contractor with a proven reputation for customer satisfaction and a history of following roofing safety to the letter. We are licensed, bonded, and insured in Oregon and Washington, and our work is backed by a 10-year workmanship warranty. If you need help with your roofing project, contact Pacific West Roofing today!

10 Things To Consider Before Replacing Your Flat Roof
Flat Roofs Uncategorized

10 Things To Consider Before Replacing Your Flat Roof , Part One

When the time comes to replace your flat roofing system there are several things to think about that can improve the performance of your next roof. There are plenty of factors that can contribute to the failure of a flat roof, including improper slope, poor drainage, and structural problems. The location and use of the building will bring up other considerations such as R-Value, wind uplift, and fire resistance.

The guidelines in part one and part two of this post will help ensure that your next roofing system lasts longer than the one you’re replacing.

SLOPE

The slope of your roof system is the key player in how well your roof sheds water. Ponding water, the biggest problem among commercial or flat roofing systems, is caused by insufficient roof slope. When a poorly sloped roof starts to leak, the leaks will be much more severe for the fact that the water has nowhere else to go. There are older flat roofs out there that are performing satisfactorily with slopes of just 1/8″ per foot, however, it is generally recommended that the slope be a minimum of 1/4″ per foot in order to minimize ponding water on the roof surface and prevent subsequent leaks.

Roof Drainage

As your roof’s slope sheds water, your roof’s drainage system disposes of it. And, an inadequate drainage system will cause many of the same problems that improper slope will. Whether you’re using internal drains, scuppers or gutters and downspouts, the roof drainage system needs to be matched to the size and slope of your roof. As the slope of your roof increases, the volume of water that is routed to the drainage system will increase. Stop and ask yourself if there are enough drains, if the scupper openings are large enough, or if your gutter system is large enough handle the volume of water expected to hit your roof.

R-VALUE

Your insulation’s ability to resist heat transfer is determined by its R value. The higher the R value, the better. Consider your roof’s existing R-value and how it affects your heating & cooling costs. Not only will adding insulation improve your R value, but if your roof’s slope is inadequate, using tapered insulation can be a more cost-effective solution than structurally altering the roof. It is the best way to insulate a flat roof and by adding thickness to the taper, it increases your R-value.

STRUCTURAL LOADS

Another important thing to think about is the weight your roofing system can support, which is typically expressed in pounds per square foot (PSF). Roofs are generally engineered to handle projected wind and snow loads based on regional, historical data.

Let’s say your original built-up roof system was installed with a structural load of 2 PSF. This value would have also dictated the framing that was required to accomplish the desired structural strength. Now, let’s say you’re considering a modern single-ply EPDM membrane roof system as a replacement, and your prefer a ballasted system since it’s typically the least expensive. Ballasted systems usually have a structural load of around 10-12 PSF. The additional weight load placed on the roof structure (even if the old roofing system was removed) could easily cause the roof to collapse. Therefore, it is crucial to compare the weight of the new roof system to the limits of the original roof system that the building was designed around. Consult with an engineer if you aren’t sure about how much weight your roof structure can safely handle.

ROOF DECK DEFICIENCIES

If your roof deck has structural problems this is another important element to contemplate when replacing your roof system. Wood-framed roofs often have joists that have bowed from years of constant load. This can cause water to pond in the middle of the roof. Maybe your roof decking has weird elevation changes from previous instances of construction and remodeling. Whatever decking issue you may be facing, it’s critical that these aspects are factored into your roof replacement project. If your roof structure has deficiencies and you decide to install a new roof system over the existing one, the new roof will have the same problems. You will have the best opportunity to address structural issues is the existing roof system(s) are removed down to the decking.

Find the last 5 flat roofing considerations in Part 2 of this post!

If it’s time to repair or replace your flat roof, check out our commercial roofing page and contact us today.

 

 

 

Portland Roofing Contractor Since 1980!

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