• Welcome to Pacific West Roofing!

    All your roofing questions answered here

    We have 40 years of experience providing quality solutions for businesses and homeowners in the area, and the capability to efficiently

  • WELCOME TO PACIFIC WEST ROOFING!

    Expert roofing

    We have more than 40 years of experience providing quality solutions for businesses and homeowners in the area, and the capability to efficiently

January 1, 2022
Commercial Roof Maintenance

How to Prolong the Life of Your Commercial Roof

No doubt you’ve heard the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Benjamin Franklin was speaking about fire prevention when he originally uttered these famous words, but his sage advice is universal. And when it comes to commercial roofing, Ben Franklin couldn’t have been more right.

Commercial roofing is to business owners and facilities managers what residential roofing is to homeowners: the single most important thing that protects the building and everything inside. A properly constructed roof in good condition is your best defense against the elements and whatever mother nature throws your way. A failing roof, on the other hand, can lead to all sorts of costly problems, disrupt your day-to-day operations, and put your business and assets at risk.

Regular roof inspections, maintenance, and immediate repair are your best assurances that your building’s roof is in good working order. Commercial roofs are unique from residential roofs in their design and the materials used, but just like residential roofs, they can experience a variety of problems over time that often go undetected until leaks and other tell-tale signs of trouble begin to appear. Regular inspections by an experienced commercial roofing professional can expose potential problems before they occur, prevent costly damage, and extend the life of the roof.

The most common commercial roof problems include:

  • roof problemsUnprimed or poorly installed flashing separation, which causes 95% of flat roof leaks
  • Failing or debris-filled pitch pans due to recessed filler
  • Punctured or impacted roof membrane and broken seams due to poor installation
  • Too few fasteners in the base sheet and perimeter flashings
  • Missing vent and chimney caps
  • Standing water due to blocked drains and poor roof slope design
  • Damaged underlying substrate
  • debrisAged and failing caulking which should be inspected
  • Blisters, buckles, and cracks in asphalt-based roofing products

The most obvious signs of trouble are the visible water stains from a leak. Pin-pointing a leak in a flat roof is problematic as water run-off is much less predictable than on a pitched roof. To further compound the matter, by the time a leak is visible, other damage to the building has likely occurred from the accumulating moisture. In this case, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure—or more!

At Pacific West Roofing we have more than forty-one years of roofing experience and our crews are commercial roofing experts. If it’s been a while since your commercial roof was inspected, or if you are seeing any problems, contact us today. We can inspect your commercial roof, make any of the necessary repairs, and advise you on a regular inspection and maintenance schedule to prolong the life of your roof and protect your assets.

Roof ventilation
Homeowners

Why Roof Ventilation Matters

The roof of your home covers the attic space, which is an area we like to think of as the lungs of your house. Your attic is constantly “breathing” in and out as fresh air enters, circulates, and exits to maintain a proper balance of temperature and humidity. This airflow is critical to the health of your home and the lifespan of your roof so proper roof ventilation is key.

Ensure Good Airflow

A properly vented roof will serve to regulate and maintain optimum air temperatures and humidity levels in your attic. Without proper ventilation, stagnant attics become ideal spaces for moisture to collect and mold to form, both of which are unhealthy conditions for your roof, your home, and you! An attic with sufficient ventilation will have equal levels of incoming and outgoing air, or air movement, and will be able to maintain ideal temperature and humidity levels year-round.

In the winter, a properly vented roof allows outside cold air to enter and replace warmer air, which rises with convection. This serves to keep your attic cold, and a cold attic is exactly what you want, especially in the event of an ice or snowstorm. When snow and ice melt too quickly, ice dams can form and cause damage to your roof and gutters. A slower melt-off helps prevent this from happening. A warm attic in winter is also more likely to become too humid and is at risk for moisture buildup and mold. Keeping air on the move prevents condensation on the cold plywood roof deck, which can lead to mold growth. 

During summer a well-vented roof helps regulate temperature by allowing hot air to flow out of the attic. As hot air rises, it escapes through the upper vents at the top. This continual flow of air is critical to preventing moisture build-up and condensation within your attic. Moisture in your attic will lead to other problems like mold and can shorten the lifespan of your roof, as well as damage your home’s main structure. 

Saves Energy and Money

Proper roof ventilation will also help you save energy and money. Improperly vented attics will result in excessive heat build-up during the hotter summer months, causing your air conditioner to work harder to keep your home cool. Excessive attic heat can also cause roof shingles to age at a faster rate. It can also cause the plywood decking of your roof to delaminate because the glue can’t keep up with the expansion 

Wasted energy, condensation, mold, ice dams, rotting roof decks, aging shingles, and a shortened roof-life all add up to expensive problems that proper roof and attic ventilation can help prevent.

types of ventsTypes of Vents and Their Purpose

Both upper roof vents and lower vents along the soffits are necessary to create the right balance and exchange of incoming and outgoing airflow. 

Roof vents allow rising hot air and moisture to escape from the attic, preventing heat build-up and condensation, 

roof vents

depending on the season. There are two types of roof vents: ridge vents and box vents. A ridge vent is an air exhaust vent installed on the peak of a roof. A box vent is a hole cut into the roof with a box cover, and while positioned high on the roof, box vents are typically placed near the ridge or peak.

Soffit venting allows cooler, fresh air, to flow into the attic at the lowest points. The soffit is the part of your roof overhang that meets your siding. Together with roof vents, soffit vents 

soffit venting

create a passive system that effectively enables air to flow into, up, and out of the attic.

There are two types of soffit vents: rectangular and continuous. Rectangular vents are cut into the blocking between the rafters of your home. With continuous venting, the soffit is vented all the way around the attic area. This type of venting is for closed soffits where the rafters are not visible. 

Pro tip: Always keep all of your roof and attic vents open and un-impeded by debris to maintain proper airflow. 

How do I know if my roof is properly vented?

Every roof needs both roof and soffit vents. Simply walking around your house and looking at your roof and eaves will tell you if you have vents, but this alone does not mean you have sufficient ventilation. Inspecting your attic for signs of moisture is a more reliable way to determine if you have adequate venting. Any moisture on the tips of nails is the first sign. You can also touch your ceiling just below your attic on a warm sunny day. If it feels hot, your attic may be overheating. If it is winter, you might grab a flashlight and inspect your attic for condensation. Excessive heat and moisture are signs your roof and attic are not properly vented.

Of course, the best way to tell if your roof’s ventilation system is adequate is to have a professional inspection. This is a service we offer at Pacific West Roofing. Our experienced inspectors will give you an honest assessment of your roof, attic, and vents, so you can have peace of mind knowing your roof is in good shape and sufficiently ventilated, or be alerted to any problems that should be addressed before they become costly repairs. Contact us today to schedule an inspection.

Roofing Tips

Winterize Your Roof With A 5-Point Inspection

Fall has settled in, along with the wind and rain. This means your roof has already had a taste of what’s to come in the winter months. For many here in the Willamette Valley, where we are blessed with an abundance of trees, it also means your gutters and roof valleys are already collecting debris. As autumn is the precursor to winter, now is the time to winterize your roof.

Why Winterizing Your Roof Matters

No matter the age of your roof, it is a good idea to do a routine inspection each fall, before the heavy wind, rain, and ice storms come. Regular roof review and maintenance will ensure your roof is free of debris, shingles are intact, and all penetrations (chimneys, vents, etc.) are leak-free. This will help prolong the life of your roof and could save you thousands of dollars in repairs down the road.

How to Winterize Your Roof in 5 Easy Steps

  1. repair missing shingleRepair missing shinglesThe only way to really know if you have missing shingles is to get up on your roof and take a look. Even if you have never seen evidence in your yard of roof debris after a storm, that doesn’t mean damage didn’t occur. It is a good idea to inspect your roof in the fall for any tears, or punctures and make any repairs before the heavy winds and rain of winter set in.
  2. Remove leaves and debris. Fir needles, leaves, and other debris collect in roof valleys, around skylights, chimneys, and vents, as well as gutters. If left unattended, these collection points become moisture traps and havens for pests that can also cause roof damage. Further, as debris piles up, it can create dams, diverting water under shingles and causing unnecessary leaks. The debris will also eventually find its way into your gutters. Besides overflowing during heavy rains, gutters that become too heavy with soaked leaves and other debris are at risk of pulling away from the roof.

    If any large branches are growing over your roof, it is a good idea to cut them back. This will help prevent larger branches and debris from falling onto your roof.

  3. ventInspect all roof penetrations. Skylights, chimneys, vents, and flashings are all potential leak points on a roof and should be inspected once a year to ensure all are properly sealed. Look for missing shingles around each area. Check pipe flashing boots for splits. Make sure there is adequate caulking around penetration points like chimney corners, as well as exposed nail heads along ridges, and the front edges of flashings and vents.
  4. mossTreat for moss. Moss holds water and if left to grow unchecked can become a heavy blanket on your roof. Moss is also a prime breeding ground for bacteria and mold and can lead to rot which will shorten the lifespan of your roof.
  5. Check for damage from pests. Nesting birds, rodents, and insects can all cause damage to a roof. Even minor damage can lead to major problems and expensive repairs. Addressing the issue through a method of pest control, even if it’s simply removing a nest, will help protect and extend the life of your roof.

Bonus tip!

6. Insulate your attic. This is an often overlooked area when it comes to inspecting and winterizing a roof. Attic insulation does more than regulate the temperature in your home. Proper insulation can also stop leaks by preventing heat transfer and slowing or stopping snow and ice from melting on your roof.

We know getting up on the roof is not something most homeowners relish, but an annual roof inspection is a necessary step to extending the life of your roof and protecting your home. Our experienced roof technicians offer complete roof inspection, maintenance, and repair services so you can remain safely on the ground. Give us a call today, before you discover a leak later in the season!

 If you are determined to do your own inspection and repairs, here’s a pro-tip that could save your life: install permanent roof anchors! This is a service we offer and we would be happy to do this for you.

Warranty

Roofing Warranties Explained; Part 1– Workmanship | Pacific West Roofing

Roofing Warranties ExplainedRoofing Warranties Explained: Part 1– Workmanship

Your 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 you 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? call 503-635-8706 today!

Uncategorized

Do Roofers Work in the Winter?

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 a whole. For example, if your roof has a leak, the expansion and contraction of roofing materials that occur due to freezing and thawing can worsen it, and even more, leaks may appear.

DO ROOFERS WORK IN THE WINTER?

So, 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 summertime 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 let’s 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:

FLAT ROOFS
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. 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.

Flat RoofsSLOPED 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. This requires heat from the sun to bond, these materials often do not seal properly until warm weather rolls around. It can cause them to blow off or leak.

Our winter temperatures are generally mild in the Pacific Northwest. Asphalt shingles are also susceptible to ice dams. These are 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. It also requires the sun’s heat to properly adhere to the roof deck, so some of the same shortcomings may apply.

sloped roofsMETAL 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. Also make sure to 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.

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

Roofing Warranties Explained; Part 1– Workmanship | 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 Roofing Contractor Since 1980!

CCB# 169414