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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
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!

Maintenance

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.

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 Since 1980!

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