Replacement - Residential

Why Do I Need Roofing Felt? | Pacific West Roofing

Why do I need roofing felt?There is a lot of confusion with home and building owners alike when it comes to the felt layer of a sloped roof. Also known as tar paper or a felt underlayment, this material offers some benefits for roof protection. But once the roof is complete, felt fails to make your home more waterproof.  This is especially important for those of us living in rainy climates, such as Portland, OR, and the greater Pacific Northwest. So, why exactly does your roof need felt?

WHY IS ROOFING FELT USED?

Variations of roofing felt have been around for more than a century. Before roofing contractors were so common, this blanket of sorts was designed to protect a roof’s inner structure during lengthy DIY roofing projects. Replacing a roof back then would

easily take more than a few days, so working homeowners would remove existing shingles one weekend, and install new ones the next. In the meantime, the felt was used to temporarily protect their home from rain. This is important in rainy climates, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. Eventually, shingle manufacturers began producing their own felt underlayments, making improvements in the design, and marketing them as a necessary roofing component. Since then, additional benefits of using felt have emerged.

BENEFITS OF ROOFING FELTroofer

  • Protects the roof deck while shingles are removed and the inner structure is exposed.
  • Gives workers better traction, helping to keep them from slipping and providing a safer working environment.
  • Has been shown to increase the fire rating of some roofing systems.

No one can argue the advantages of using a felt underlayment. But, in an attempt to upsell the customer on a “felt upgrade,” some contractors have been making claims that simply don’t hold water. Be wary of salesman-type tactics that suggest felt can protect your home from leaks and water damage. It certainly cannot repel the amount of rain and moisture that Oregon and Washington experience every year.

Every home and building owner should understand that once the shingles are nailed in place, the underlayment is essentially ruined as a waterproofing agent. No matter how thick it is, those nail holes just defeated any waterproofing benefits the paper offered during construction. If the roof should develop a leak or lose a shingle, the underlayment will not prevent water from reaching the decking and framing. Yet, most roofing contractors use it and many area building codes require it. When using felt or tar paper as the product was intended, installing it does make sense.

DIFFERENT ROOFING FELT TYPES, THICKNESS

First, while the terms “felt” and “tar paper” are often used synonymously, they are different. Tar paper is less commonly used by far. It is made of tear-resistant paper or fiberglass matting and soaked in tar. Roofing felt is generally made of recycled paper products and then impregnated with asphalt. Some felt paper is only coated with asphalt on the exterior layers while others are saturated all the way through. Historically, these underlayment products came in two different weights. Fifteen-pound felt was referred to as such because it weighed fifteen pounds per square (100 square feet). Thirty-pound felt also weighed as much per square. But, as the products were improved upon, they became lighter. Fifteen-pound felt now generally weighs between 7 and 12 lbs, and 30lb. felt weighs between 16 and 27 lbs. Because of this, these options are now referred to as #15 and #30.

cedar shake roofThere are circumstances that justify the thicker #30  felt, the most common being a steep pitch. On a more dangerous roof, the heavier felt will resist tearing a bit better, making conditions safer for our workers. The most advantageous improvement made to underlayment materials has been the introduction of synthetic products. These are made of polyethylene or polypropylene polymers rather than paper or fiberglass. It is far more tear-resistant and provides a tight seal around fasteners, which does improve its waterproofing abilities after the roof is installed, but still it isn’t waterproof. A synthetic underlayment will actually allow your roof to “breathe,” unlike standard materials which can sometimes create a vapor barrier and actually trap moisture between the shingles and sheathing.

FIND ROOFER IN PORTLAND, OR

Have more questions about your roof and what kind of underlayment you need? Contact Pacific West Roofing and speak to a qualified Oregon roofer about your needs, or click here to visit our contact page.

Replacement - Residential

Key Factors in The Cost of a New Roof | Pacific West Roofing

A new roof generally isn’t going to be a minor investment. But, there are few other components of your home that are more important. If you decide to do it yourself or cut corners in other ways, you could wind up spending more on repairs that you would have if you’d hired an experienced contractor to do the job right the first time.

There will be several factors that influence the final cost of a full roof replacement, and these factors vary by location and circumstance. Knowing exactly what influences this price can help you avoid spending too much.

MATERIAL COSTS

There isn’t much room for negotiation when it comes to the price of materials. Each type of roofing material has its own standard cost per unit, and the pitch of your roof may dictate your material options.

For example, asphalt shingles are ideally suited for medium-pitched roofs, which most homes have. Asphalt is also the most cost-effective and widely available roofing material, so there’s no surprise why it’s the most popular composition going.

On the other hand, cedar shakes and shingles are designed for a steeper pitch and can cost two or three times as much. Higher end materials like metal are generally more expensive than composition and may even call for additional accessories. Also, many materials are available in special colors, textures, and quality levels, which can increase prices as well.

OTHER IMPORTANT FACTORS

One of the biggest questions to answer is whether you’ll need to have your existing roof torn off before installing the new one. In some circumstances, and with the right combination of materials, it may be ok to install your new roof right on top of your old one. However, this can reduce the service life of your new roof by as much as 20 to 40 percent.

Another significant factor is the size of the building to be roofed– the bigger the building, the more expensive the roof installation. A particularly steep roof will also yield higher costs because there is more surface to cover and the labor slows down due to mobility.

Complex cut up roofs with special features like skylights, bays, or cones generally require a bigger budget, and don’t forget to factor in gutters and downspouts, flashing, zinc treatments, and vents for mitigating algae, mold, leaks, and extreme attic temperatures.

When it comes to the installer you choose, it may seem like a splurge to pay extra for the labor of an experienced, reputable contractor. But, choosing the right roofer can mean a difference of decades in the life of your roof.

Whatever your circumstances are, remember that you get what you pay for. Don’t make the mistake of choosing bargain materials or going with the lowest bidder to cut costs, or you may wind up paying more in the end. The quality of your roofing system is key to your home’s value, so you won’t regret making this investment.

Call Pacific West Roofing about your new roof today at 503-635-8706, or fill out our contact form.

Replacement - Residential

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

Most typical shingles today last about 17 to 19 years. Of course, this depends on how well you keep it clean and if you have full Southern exposure unblocked by trees on a low pitch such as 4/12 which is a typical ranch house roof pitch. Leaving moss and debris on the roof can prematurely age the roof by pulling the granules off allowing moisture to attack surfaces on the shingle that have never been exposed to moisture before. Moss also allows one or two wick under the tabs up to the nails where they can potentially leak. Tree debris should be blown off at least once a year if not more depending on the level of trees surrounding your house. Rinsing roofs with the pressure washer is fine as long as you know what you’re doing and do not put the tip to close to the roof which will wash many of the granules off. If you use a wide tip sprayer and use it as a water broom which is how we do it, all you’re doing is rinsing debris off the shingle then you can treat it with a Moss killer and Moss proofing product on an annual basis to keep the moss from growing.

Ventilation is the second concern that we have with keeping the life of the roof at its optimum point. Without proper ventilation, the plywood in the attic can tend to grow mold due to stagnant air in the winter months and then followed by summer months of heat that cannot escape the attic which the laminates the plywood causing the glue to fail. Moisture and heat are the two biggest plywood roof killers in the Northwest. If we minimize them both, we will extend the life of the roof plywood and the roofing material to its maximum potential.

The “lifetime” roof is really a misnomer because lifetime has been determined in the courts as 10 years. The term lifetime has been abused by certain manufacturers who decided to drag every manufacturer to the bottom of the barrel androof-algae-stains every shingle to have a lifetime warranty which again, doesn’t mean much. So if you have the lightest architectural weighted shingle and it has a lifetime warranty you can bank on 17 to 19 years depending on your maintenance schedule. The best shingle on the market today are SBS modified rubber shingles which are very competitive with standard asphalt shingles but they will last 50% longer because they will hardly ever lose the granule because of the sticky SBS rubber that is in the asphalt. The SBS also allows the shingle to move over time and has a much higher UV resistance than standard asphalt.

This is what we promote and this is what we do on our own homes. Ready to get your project started? Contact our team at Pacific West Roofing today!

Replacement - Residential

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

Do I Need A New Roof?

To replace, or not to replace … ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pacific West Roofing

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

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

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

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

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

Remember: We work with both residential and commercial customers!

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

Replacement - Residential

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

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

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

A garden shed with tools leaning against it

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

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

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

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

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

Portland Roofing Services - Pacific West Roofing
Replacement - Residential

Buying an Old House? Roofing Issues to Watch For | Pacific West Roofing

One of the things people love about house hunting in Portland are the charming older homes. In some of our historical neighborhoods you can find homes that were built more than a century ago. It’s true— they just don’t build ‘em like they used to. But, while these older homes were built with more strength and character, they typically need important updates to comply with today’s building codes.

When you fall in love with one old abode in particular, you’ll need to have it inspected to initiate the purchase process. Some of the essential system checks of a home inspection include the foundation, plumbing and electrical. But, let’s say you meet the seller and he mentions that he’s had the roof patched a few times in recent years. If that’s the case, you’ll definitely want to call for an individual inspection by a roofing specialist. The roof is a critical element of the home, and its needs can make a significant impact on your budget.

Here are some things you, as a prospective buyer, can keep an eye out for on your own:

ROOFING INSPECTION WITH THE UNTRAINED EYE

Even while you’re standing on the curb you may be able to spot some concerns. For example, complex roof lines with lots of valleys tend to leak over the years. However, intricate roof lines are more typically of newer homes. Here are some of the other things to watch out for when inspecting the roof of an older home.

  • Missing, curled, or deteriorated shingles are signs that the roof needs help. Also look for clumpy moss and algae that is visible, which are signs of possible moisture trouble.
  • As you wander through the kitchen and bathrooms, try out the exhaust fans. Fully functioning exhaust fans are a must for the health of your roof (and home overall), but that will also depend on what you find in the attic.
  • When inspecting the attic, look for signs of water damage or insufficient insulation. You also want to check for adequate intake ventilation and exhaust ventilation. Let’s say, for example, a bathroom exhaust fan is emptying into the attic without being sealed and connected to a vent to escape. Or maybe the attic isn’t ventilated at all. All that hot, moist air is going to collect in the attic and condensate on the roof decking, leading to mold and rot (if it hasn’t already). This is guaranteed to shorten life expectancy for your roof.
  • 1900-1940: Homes built during this time are known to have inadequate insulation. Many of them also have bad gutters and unlined chimneys.
  • 1960-1980: Look for insufficient or non-existent attic ventilation. You may need to add continuous vents and the ridge and soffits.
  • 1980-present: During this time, asphalt shingle manufacturers shifted from an organic mat to that of fiberglass. These are lighter and more fire resistant, but they crack, rip and tear just like the old stuff. If it’s more than 15 years old, you may need to consider replacing it.

Our experienced inspectors will go over the roof with a fine-tooth comb!
Call us for an inspection at 503-635-8706

Just remember, not every sign of disrepair is a deal breaker. If you truly love a home and are committed to taking care of it, then put on your patience cap and try to stay positive. Negotiate the cost of any estimated work in to the price of the home, if you can. It’s a good possibility that an older home has already had some recent work done, so get the documentation on what was done when and by whom. Check to see if the contractors were reputable and work on transferring over any applicable warranties.

Replacement - Residential Roofing Tips

7 of Your Burning Roofing Questions, Answered!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Replacement - Residential Uncategorized

6 Reasons Your Roof May Need To Be Replaced

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Portland Roofing Contractor Since 1980!

CCB# 169414