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Homeowners Residential - Leaking Roofing Tips

Find and Fix Roof Leaks for a Drier Winter

It may have taken some time to arrive this year, but we are now officially in the Pacific Northwest rainy season. We appreciate the rain falling outside since it returns our natural world to green and healthy. What we don’t appreciate is that same rain falling inside! If the rainy season has introduced leaks into your home or business, it’s time to call in the professionals at Pacific West Roofing to repair those roof leaks

Roof Leak Risks

No matter how small a leak is, allowing moisture into your home where it should not be can lead to mold and mildew buildup that can penetrate your home’s structure and even get into the HVAC system. Once the mold spores enter an HVAC system they can be distributed throughout a home through the air vents potentially leading to health problems — especially for those with allergies or asthma. 

While movies and television often poke fun at roof leaks with homeowners scrambling to put buckets and pots and pans under persistent leaks, having water dripping from a ceiling is no laughing matter. A small leak can cause a puddle to form over time making the area slippery to walk on. A large leak can damage furniture, carpets, appliances, and really anything the water hits. 

A roof leak can allow water to reach the rafters, ceiling joists, and even wall frames of a home leading to wood rot and decay. That water can deteriorate and weaken the framing posing a danger of collapse at worst, but also leading to an expensive repair at the least.  

Signs of a Roof Leak

The key to avoiding major damage from roof leaks is to catch the leaks before they have time to grow too big. Ideally, professional roofing contractors should be hired to conduct a complete roof inspection annually, but there are also signs of roof leaks that homeowners can look for. 

#1 Brown discoloration in the attic or on ceilings could be a sign of a roof leak. Because rainwater travels along lumber and roof panels before it hits your ceiling, the site of the discoloration may not be exactly where the roof leak is. 

#2 After heavy rain, you may notice water spots on exterior walls. The flashing where the roof meets the wall may be in need of repair and more than likely, the home’s siding will also be impacted. 

#3 Skylights are notorious for sprouting roof leaks. Look for water stains at the header of the skylight or the side toward the peak of your roof. Those stains can be from faulty flashing that allows rainwater to seep in between the window frame and roof structure. 

#4 Mold and mildew buildup around heating and air vents. If a roof leak has been persistently allowing water to seep into an attic, mold and mildew may have built up and penetrated a home’s HVAC system. 

#5 Unexplained puddles or drips from the ceiling are no-brainer signs that there is a leak somewhere in your home. Depending on where the water is found, the problem may or may not be from a roof leak, but the problem is certainly worth another look!

What Causes A Roof Leak

There are several causes of roof leaks, some that can be easily addressed and others that may require more challenging repairs. 

Skylight Leaks

  • Rain that seeps through the flashing around a vent can work its way through a roofing system and ‘escape’ through a skylight. Leaks surrounding roof penetrations such as skylights, vents, or chimneys, can be explained by poor installation of flashing or faulty/deteriorated materials.
  • Moisture around the bottom of a skylight glass could be caused by condensation. Condensation is caused when warm air hits the cold glass. Because of this, skylights are made with condensation channels around the edges to capture and drain water, but the weepholes that drain the water can become clogged and overflow the channels. 

Roof Leaks from Trees and Branches

  • Trees can be a big culprit to roof damage. Branches that are too close to a roof can scrape away shingles, damage gutters, and even damage framing. 
  • Those twigs, leaves, pinecones, and other assorted tree parts can cover a roof and clog gutters allowing for water to build up and seep into the roof structure. 
  • An easy way to prevent these roof leaks is to take the time to trim branches and clear the debris each season. 

Roof Leaks from Pest Damage

  • Pests can also cause roof leaks. There are birds that like to peck at shingles making holes that destroy the shingles. Birds sometimes choose to nest in gutters causing rain to back up in gutters and overflow to areas where it shouldn’t be. 
  • Wasps and bees also like to nest on roofs, often in the corners.. These pests can work their way behind shingles and flashing which disrupts the materials from laying as they should causing damage.
  • Finally, rodents can cause roof leaks because they like to chew and those teeth can work their way through roof vents, shingles, and right through to the wooden framing. All of the activity from pests can lead to cracks, holes, and structural damage that weakens the roof and increases the likelihood of leaks. 

Inadequate insulation

  • Inadequate insulation in the attic can also cause a roof to leak. If insulation is lacking, the heat from a home penetrates the roof causing built-up snow and ice to melt leading to a build-up of moisture and water. 
  • The same can happen if a roof is not properly ventilated. Over time this excess moisture can weaken the roof structure leading to roof leaks. 

Inspecting a Roof for Leaks

There are lots of places on a roof that can spring leaks, especially if the roof was not properly installed or if it’s showing signs of age. Over time flashing may become cracked or warped, shingles may go missing or be damaged, or years of wear and tear may finally be taking a toll. While homeowners can do a visual inspection from the ground for missing shingles, identifying damage or signs of a pest invasion is best done by a close-up look at the roof. 

We recommend regular roof inspections. Pacific West Roofing’s expert roof inspectors will walk every inch of your roof, closely examining all potential entryways for water from the areas around chimneys and vents to skylights to shingles that just don’t look right. Once they are done they will provide you with a checklist of their findings and discuss your options as well as roof maintenance tips like keeping gutters and the roof clear and clean. We understand the need to replace a roof is something no one wants to hear so we’ll offer cost-effective repair alternatives to replacement if we can, but also assure you a quality replacement that will last for decades if you need it. Contact us to see how we can help. 


The Ins and Outs of Roof Exhaust Vents

Winter rains have arrived and the summer’s warm, dry air has been soundly replaced by cold moisture. This can prevent a problem in your home if your roof isn’t properly ventilated. When you turn on the heat in your house in the winter that now warmed, moist air accumulates at the highest point in your home, and without an escape route through a roof exhaust vent or attic exhaust fan, that trapped air encourages mold and mildew growth and creates a stale odor. 

To avoid these problems, it pays to ensure your roof exhaust vent is properly installed and maintained. 

Types of Roof Exhaust Vents

There are different types of roof exhaust vents:

  • A box vent is a hole that is cut through the roof that has a box cover over the opening. Box vents are positioned near the roof peak for maximum exhaust ventilation. 
  • The ridge vent is a continuous strip of plastic material covering a strip of removed roof deck about one inch on both sides that allows continuous airflow due to convection. There must be an equal intake to output ratio in order for air to convect upwards and out of the building. 
  • A stem vent is used to connect your bathroom, kitchen, or dryer fans to allow the moisture to escape properly and reduce moisture in the attic and in your home

All of these roof exhaust vents are non-powered or passive, working in tandem with soffit vents that sit at the lowest point of the roof to draw in outside air. The two types of vents together circulate the air keeping the heat and moisture to a minimum and your attic properly ventilated.

Power Fan Exhaust

In addition to roof exhaust vents, there are also attic exhaust fans. They work under the principle that hot air rises, but here instead of the hot air simply escaping through vents, it triggers an electric-powered fan to switch on to push the hot air outside. This creates a powerful suction drawing up the warm air and blowing it out through the roof. Removing heat in the attic stops the heat from radiating down into the house which then keeps the air conditioning unit from turning on, making it more efficient. While a very efficient solution for keeping a house comfortable, the fans are installed below the roof and can be quite heavy, so they cannot be installed on every type of roof. 

Attic roof vents are similar to bathroom and kitchen roof vents in that they all suck “bad” air up and out of the house. However, bathroom and kitchen exhaust vents are smaller and powered by exhaust fans that you turn on when needed. Kitchen and bathroom vents can also be directed to release air through the home’s siding, not just the roof. Those metal protrusions you see on the sides or tops of houses are usually exhaust vents that have a type of protective covering to keep moisture and pests from getting inside.

Inspecting Roof Exhaust Vents

Having roof vents is a critical part of keeping your roof in good shape and your home comfortable, but having them is just part of the solution. Regular inspections and maintenance of roof exhaust vents, and ensuring they were installed correctly, are also part of the effort. 

Contrary to popular belief, warm weather doesn’t produce moisture on nail heads, but cool weather outside and warm attics will. This is because the cold transfers through the steel nail, putting a cold rod into a warmer attic, creating a dew point where the warmer air carrying moisture meets the cold steel and condensation begins. This is the same as when you put a glass of ice water on the counter and it collects dew on the outside of the glass. The moisture in the room gravitates to the colder surface. This is exactly the same process on the nail in the attic.

The best way to ensure proper roof exhaust venting is to hire a professional roof contractor to conduct an inspection. Pacific West Roofing offers roof exhaust vent service starting with having our expert inspectors assess your roof, attic, and vents for signs of damage or blockage. Then repairs and replacements can be made to ensure your roof is sound and sufficiently ventilated. Hiring the best and most experienced  professionals to install your roof exhaust vents in the first place can go a long way in keeping your roof, your home, and the very air you breathe inside your home in tip-top shape. Contact Pacific West Roofing to find out how we can serve your roofing needs. 

General Homeowners Replacement - Residential Roofing Tips

How to Find a Residential Roofing Contractor

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

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

Research Residential Roofing Contractors Online

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

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

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

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

Questions to Ask a Residential Roofing Contractor

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

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

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

Gathering Estimates from Roofing Contractors

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

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


The Importance of Attic Ventilation

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

Why Balanced Attic Ventilation Matters

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

The benefits of properly balanced attic ventilation:

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

Attic Intake and Exhaust Vents

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

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

Intake Vents

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

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

Exhaust Vents

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

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

Attic Fans

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

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

Attic Thermostats and Humidistats

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

Attic Ventilation Installation and Maintenance

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

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

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

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


Roof Maintenance Essentials

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

Why does roof maintenance matter?

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

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

Roof Maintenance Checklist

  1. Annual Roof Inspection

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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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

  1. Timely Roof Repairs

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

  1. Roof Cleaning and Debris Removal

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

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

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

Professional Roof Inspection and Roof Maintenance Services

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

Pacific West Roofing Cleaning & Maintenance Services:

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

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

Homeowners Roofing Tips

Best Types of Residential Roofing for the Pacific Northwest

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

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

Asphalt Composition Roof

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

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

Metal Roof

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

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

Cedar Shake Roof

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

Concrete Tile Roof

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

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

Synthetic Plastic Shake, Slate, and Tile

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

Low Slope and Flat Roofs

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

Choosing the Right Roof for Your Home

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

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

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

General Roofing Tips

Nine Steps to Hiring a Quality Roofing Contractor

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

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

  1. Licensed, Bonded & Insured

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

  1. Number of Years in Business

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

  1. Product Certifications

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

  1. Warranties

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

  1. Professional Associations

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

  1. Supplier References

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

  1. Online Reviews.

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

  1. Detailed Cost Estimate and Bid

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pacific West Roofing is:

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

4 Signs You Need a New Roof

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

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

Sign #1: Missing Shingles

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

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

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

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

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

Sign #3: Signs of Leaks

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

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

Sign #4: Signs of Mold in the Attic Space

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

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

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

Commercial Flat Roofs Flat Roofs

The Best Flat Roofs for the Pacific Northwest

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

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

Common Types of Flat Roof Materials

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

Our Top Flat and Low-Pitch Roof Recommendations

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

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

  • 3-Ply, Cold Process Modified Bitumen Roofing

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

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

  • Single-Ply, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Roofing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring Roof Maintenance

Spring Roof Maintenance Checklist

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

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

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

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

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

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


How to Extend the Life of Your Roof

One of the most common questions we hear as a professional roofing company is “how long will my roof last?” The answer depends on a number of factors such as the type of roof and how well it was installed, weather and climate conditions, and how well the roof is maintained. Obviously, some things are out of your control, but there are steps you can take to extend the life of your roof.

Before we dive into how to prolong the lifespan of your roof, we should discuss and compare the average lifespan of the different roofing materials, as well as how roofs age and the factors that cause a roof to age prematurely.

Average Roof Lifespan

Not all roofing materials age the same and each type will have different life expectancies which can range from 20 to 50 years or more. For example, composite asphalt shingles have an average lifespan of 20 years, while fiber cement shingles typically last about 25 years. Wood shake roofs tend to last about 30 years, with proper care and maintenance. Metal roofs have a longer lifespan averaging 40-80 years, whereas slate, concrete, and clay roofing tiles can last   100 years or longer.

installing a roofHow a roof is installed can impact how long it will last. An improperly installed roof will have a shortened lifespan no matter what materials are used. An expertly installed roof, which will have the requisite bracing and ventilation, will perform better over a longer period. That’s why it’s important to only hire an experienced professional roofing contractor that is knowledgeable in proper roof construction and ventilation, as well as the materials you have selected for your roof. At Pacific West Roofing, we have more than 40 years of experience installing composite, shake and metal residential roofs, which is a solid benchmark to look for when selecting a contractor.

How Roofs Age

Weather and climate are two key factors to how your roof ages, but roof orientation, slope, and even elevation can also affect the life of your roof.

Roofing materials expand and contract as temperatures rise and fall. Here in the Pacific Northwest, weather extremes are common–from freezing temperatures, high winds, and torrential downpours in the winter to simmering heat and even drought conditions in the summer. Weather like this will naturally take its toll over time and extreme weather events can increase the rate of deterioration.

The direction a roof is facing and the slope of the roof will also affect how quickly it ages. For example, flat roofs and roofs with a more southerly exposure will receive more sunlight and UV radiation than roofs with a steeper slope or less southern exposure. Flatter or lower sloped roofs also will not shed moisture as rapidly as steeper sloped roofs. This can also affect how a roof ages, as moisture retention can lead to moss growth.

Tips To Keep Your Roof In Top Shape And Extend The Life

You can’t stop time, nor can you control the weather or change the direction or slope of your existing roof. But with proper installation, adequate ventilation, regular care, and roof maintenance, you can prevent your roof from aging prematurely.

Here is our best advice to get the most out of your roof, no matter the type:

  1. Hire a professional roofing contractor with a proven track record in roof installation, ventilation, roof maintenance, and repair.
  2. Check your roof’s ventilation to be certain your roof and attic have been properly vented for efficient air circulation.
  3. Maintain adequate insulation to better regulate temperatures in your attic.
  4. Keep your roof and gutters clean and free of leaves and other debris.
  5. Trim large overhanging branches.
  6. Inspect your roof once a year and after every extreme weather event. This includes checking your attic space for signs of moisture or mold.
  7. Have your roof inspected professionally–this is your best assurance all is well and the best way to catch any necessary repairs. This may also be a requirement to maintain roof warranties, so be sure to at least follow the minimum inspection mandates.
  8. Clean your roof regularly, or have it professionally cleaned. Be sure to remove any moss that may be growing.
  9. Hire a qualified roofer to do any necessary repairs and prevent issues from getting worse.
  10. Be proactive! Don’t wait for leaks or mold to happen. Don’t wait for your roof to fail. Regular inspections and maintenance are the best way to protect and extend the life of your roof.

Pacific West Roofing has been installing new and replacement roofs, as well as inspecting and maintaining roofs in the Willamette Valley for more than 40 years. Our crews are experienced pros who are familiar with all types of roofs. If it’s been a while since your roof was last inspected, or you see signs of damage, contact us today to schedule a free roof inspection.

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.

Portland Roofing Contractor Since 1980

CCB# 169414