A well-maintained roof is crucial for the protection and longevity of your home. When it comes time for a new roof installation, homeowners often have questions about the process and what to expect. In this article, we will provide you with comprehensive information to guide you through the journey of getting a new roof. From identifying signs that indicate a new roof is needed to find a reputable roofing contractor, we’ll cover it all. Let’s dive in!
It’s been a heck of a winter so far with tropical force winds, atmospheric rivers, ice storms, and record-breaking cold. All of this may have taken a toll on our good moods, but it also may have caused some serious damage to your roof. If your roof is showing signs of losing the battle to Jack Frost, it might be time to consider having a new roof installed.
Asphalt shingles have become far and away the most popular roofing material because they’re relatively inexpensive, durable, and easy to install. In fact, more than 15 billion square feet of asphalt roofing shingles are made and installed every year.
ASPHALT SHINGLES ARE:
- extremely low-maintenance
- easy to repair
- stylistically diverse
- easy to recycle
- highly fire resistant
If you’re planning for a roof replacement and considering this material, you may be surprised at the number of options you have within the category. Below are the various types and aspects of asphalt shingles you have to choose from.
This is the basis of any shingle. A piece of material (called a mat) coated with asphalt and embedded with ceramic granules. The mat gives it strength against tearing or breaking. These shingles used to come in two varieties: organic and fiberglass. But, due to a high rate of failure and asbestos contents, organic shingles aren’t used anymore. Fiberglass mats are bonded with formaldehyde resin and coated with an asphalt mixture before the ceramic granules are embedded.
Those ceramic granules are among the most important components of any asphalt shingle. They provide that familiar grainy look and can be used to create a variety of colors and styles. More importantly, the granules protect shingles from intense UV exposure.
Some granules also contain zinc or copper to help protect your roof from algae growth, which can cause those curious black stains and streaks. The resistance provided by these specialized granules typically lasts for about 10 years. If parts or all of your roof is in constant shade throughout the day, this would be a smart option to take advantage of.
Three-tab shingles are composed of one flat layer and come in just one size and shape. They are thinner than other types, making them less expensive, but this also means they will be less resistant to wind and wear. In regions that are particularly warm, windy, or subject to significant temperature changes, the three-tab shingle won’t last as long as other varieties. For these reasons, three-tab shingles are declining in popularity but still remain favorable for budget-conscious projects.
ARCHITECTURAL OR LAMINATED
Architectural (sometimes called laminated or dimensional) shingles are the same as others with regards to composition, but different in many other ways. Each architectural shingle actually have two or more shingles fused together, giving them a three-dimensional appearance. This manufacturing method can make an asphalt shingle look a lot like wood shakes or slate tiles, which has made them popular among homeowners who love the look of those higher-end materials— just not the cost or maintenance issues.
Architectural shingles are also a lot more durable than the average three-tab. All those layers make them heavier and harder, helping them resist damaging weather elements and last much longer. In fact, most architectural shingles come with a lifetime warranty.
While the lifespan of any asphalt-shingled roof will vary based on the material’s type and manufacturer, proper installation is the key to your roof’s longevity. When having your roof repaired or replaced it is imperative to hire a roofer with experience, integrity, and a long list of happy customers.
Pacific West Roofing’s team of skilled craftsmen have the experience and certifications you can trust! Contact us about your roof repair and replacement needs today. Call 503-635-8706 or send us an email.
Pacific Northwest winters don’t usually consist of heavy snow, but instead, heavy rain. This means that the gutters of your home are on active duty for days and months at a time. Many inches of rain and occasional ice storms can be hard on your gutters, especially if they are old or need repair. Gutters protect your home from water damage, which can translate to issues with insulation, temperature regulation, or mold growth. Check your gutters on a regular basis, and if you aren’t sure if you have bad gutters, keep an eye out for some of the signs listed here.
HOW OLD ARE YOUR GUTTERS?
The average lifespan of gutters is between 15 and 20 years. If they haven’t been replaced in that time, then they should be checked by a professional to see if they are working at their peak. Even if they look fine, they might not be. Making sure that you have quality gutters will save you money in the long run.
CRACKS OR RUSTING
If you see noticeable cracks or the beginning of rust on the gutters, it is time to consider replacing them. Rust and cracks lead to leaks, which can lead to damage and costly repairs later down the road.
Do your gutters look uneven or look like they’re sagging? This can be a sign that the system needs to be repaired or replaced professionally. Gutters that sag or slouch mean that they won’t work efficiently and could clog or leak.
If you see a lot of standing water near the downspouts, this could lead to a serious problem. When water pools near the bottom of your home’s exterior it can easily work its way down to your foundation. Having water underneath your home can lead to mold, rot, and expensive structural problems. If you see pooled water anywhere within a few feet of your home, call a professional to have your foundation, crawl space, and gutter system checked out. All you may need is an extension to your downspout that leads water further away from your home.
CLOGS AND MORE CLOGS
Northwest rain and wind storms can blow twigs, leaves, and other debris into the gutters. Clogs can be prevented by installing gutter guards, but if you are dealing with clogged gutters all the time, there may be an issue with the actual gutter that is causing the clog. If left to persist, overflowing gutters can lead to the pooling water problems mentioned above.
This is pretty common sense, but if a part of your gutter system is hanging off the side of your home, it’s likely broken and needs repair or replacement. Make sure that your gutters are installed well so they don’t fall off during the next rain, wind, or snow storm.
LEAKS INSIDE THE HOME
If you see any water damage where exterior walls meet your ceiling, you may have a gutter leak instead of a roof leak. Check your gutters in that spot for a crack, clog, detachment, or poorly sealed seam.
Have you noticed changes in your home’s siding? Is the paint peeling, chipping or rotting? This could be the result of ineffective gutters. Water could be leaking through or overflowing and splashing up against the house, and without the sealing power of paint, wood siding is quick to rot. Have your gutter system repaired or replaced now to prevent the need for bigger exterior projects.
If it’s time to do something about bad gutters, contact Pacific West Roofing for a free estimate. Call us at 503-635-8706 today.
Ah, summer. Balmy weather, picnics, and vacations. It’s no surprise that we’ve already felt the temperatures rising, and had brief snippets of our fantastic summer weather already.
As the heat continues to rise, there are a few things we can do to prepare our homes for the season, specifically overhead. These tips will help you keep your cool, as the temperature rises.
Prep Your Attic
You attic is largely overlooked, but is a focal point for keeping your home cool during these summer months. Did you know your attic can reach up to 150 degrees during the summer? Yep. And, that heat above you can rob your of your cool air conditioning if it’s not properly insulated and maintained up there. It’s a must to inspect things like moisture in the plywood in your attic. As we know in the northwest; moisture can lead to mold. How about those exhaust fans from your kitchen and bathrooms? These, if improperly installed, can be a big contributor to the moisture buildup in your attic, ultimately causing costly repairs.
Correcting improperly-installed vent pipes can not only reduce moisture, it can also reduce heat build-up in your attic. Rerouting pipes or ductwork are fairly easy fixes for this issue. However, improper ventilation isn’t the only issue. Here are some tips to help make sure your attic and roof are ready for the summer season:
- Check to make sure those exhaust fans are working well and are vented properly.
- Make sure those drains and gutters on the roof are clean and clear of debris. This will help prevent an overflow and damage during a storm.
- Make sure you check the attic and the roof for small signs of damage, and note them. These small spots can turn into large repairs if not attended to and monitored. Schedule a free roof inspection to catch anything before it gets out of hand.
- Make sure there are no missing, damaged, or loose tiles or shingles.
- Check your attic for any signs of pests. This (as we know) can turn into a major problem quickly. If you spot any signs, make sure to schedule an appointment with a pest elimination company as soon as you can.
As a note, make sure you have someone with you during your attic and roof check for safety. Feel free to schedule your inspection with us to identify and repair problems before they become major concerns. Small issues we find today don’t just go away, but become larger and more problematic if left unattended.
We are happy to schedule a free roof inspection to make sure your summer is a great one! Contact us today!
Your roof protects your most important investment– your home. And yet, many homeowners aren’t sure what roof repairs or a full roof replacement should cost. Below we’ll go over the main factors most roofing contractors consider when estimating the cost of a new project. When going over these items with your roofer, it can speed up the process and save you money if you know your roof and what you want.
REPAIR OR REPLACE?
It can be tough to know whether your roof can stick it out for a few more years or if it needs to be replaced. Most homeowners hope to make do with a few repairs, but depending on your roof’s condition, a roofer may tell you that’s not such a wise idea. If your roof is more than 15 years old, is leaking in multiple places, or has been repaired many times in recent years, it’s probably time to tear it off and start new. It can also be difficult to match new material with the old stuff, and those efforts can add to your estimate.
In cases like these it’s smart to invest in a new roof, and it’s an investment that will have some valuable returns. Aside from adding value to your home, today’s roofing materials will also make your home more energy efficient, helping you control indoor air temperatures and save money on your heating and cooling bills. If you’re still not sure whether to repair or replace your roof, ask your roofer for estimates on both projects.
You might also consider simply adding a second layer of shingles to your roof, which is less expensive than a full replacement but can be more problematic. Read our blog post on layering shingles for more on that topic.
STYLE AND HEALTH
The potential price of your roofing project will also be based on factors like the style of your roof and its current “health.” Your roofer will need to know whether your roof is flat or sloped, hipped or gabled, the number of levels it has, and if there are dormers or valleys. The roof’s accessories and underlying structure may also be a factor, especially if you see any signs of moisture damage in your attic. Mold remediation and/or replacing rotten framework will definitely change the scope of your project.
TYPE OF MATERIAL
As you probably guessed, your roofing estimate will also be based on the type of material used in the repair or replacement. The most common and generally the least expensive material is asphalt shingles, which come in all kinds of compositions and colors. Next are cedar shingles and shakes, which are often chosen for their beautiful Northwest aesthetic, but come with more maintenance needs and a higher price tag. A metal roof will also be more expensive to install, but the benefits easily outweigh the cost. Not only will a metal roof last upwards of 50 years, it’s also the most energy efficient, moisture resistant, low-maintenance, lightweight and fire-proof choice out there. Slate, clay and concrete tiles are also among your options for roofing material, but they are seldom used in the Pacific Northwest. While they are durable and beautiful, tile roofs are particularly heavy (which requires additional structural support) and even more expensive.
THE ROOFING PROFESSIONAL
Any reputable roofing professional will offer you a free roofing estimate (as long as no diagnosis is necessary) and you’re likely to get a wide range of bids. Make sure the estimates you receive include everything from the materials and labor to taxes and permits. It’s also wise to ask about the time your project will take.
When making comparisons and choosing your contractor it is crucial to consider more than just costs. Give special consideration to roofers who come recommended by a friend or family member, and use the resources at your disposal to feel them out. Are they in good standing with the Better Business Bureau? Are they licensed, insured, and manufacturer certified? Ask prospective roofers for a few customer references so you can see for yourself whether you’ll be satisfied with their work.
And if you’re interested, ask about solar panel installation!
Contact Pacific West Roofing for a free estimate on your repair or replacement project! Call 503-635-8706 or click here to send us an email.