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.
The weather outside is frightful—so don’t let it get inside. Leaks might seem like a minor inconvenience during the summer months, but come winter they can wreak havoc on your family and property. Even small leaks can lead to damage that’s eventually irreparable and can cause black mold, damage more than just the roof, and let pests inside. Add in the fact that when battling rain, snow and freezing temperatures, winter repair projects can take a bit longer to complete.
As 2014 comes to a close you may find yourself contemplating a few goals for the upcoming year. If you find any of the following three resolutions on this year’s list of personal projects, it may be time you called Pacific West Roofing to get a head start on accomplishing the objectives you have in mind for yourself and your family.
Fall came in with a bang this year, didn’t it? After the storm we just had, homeowners should be concerned about their roofs. Those brutal, 90 mph winds and heavy rains caused a ton of damage to many roofs in the area, from a few missing shingles to gaping holes caused by broken tree branches.
The holidays are fast approaching, which for many of us means it’s time to decorate the exterior of our homes with sparkling lights by the hundreds! If you are planning on adorning your home with festive lights this year, we have some tips to help you prevent mistakes that could seriously damage your roofing system.
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
Protect yourself and your family from injury when decorating the exterior of your home. Make sure your ladders are firmly planted on level ground, leaning at an adequate angle, and secured to your roof to prevent shifting. It’s tempting, but try not to reach more than an arms length away when standing on any ladder. Do not hang lights in any tree that comes into contact with power lines, and make sure your lights, extension cords, and outlets are rated for outdoor use. And, to keep from overloading your circuits, never chain more than three strings of lights together. Read our blog post with 35 safety tips here.
Along The Eaves:
Hanging lights from the eaves of the roof is the easiest and most common way to decorate a home. When affixing lights here, never use nails or staples to hang or secure the strand to the roof or gutter system. This will create holes that will, without question, allow water to penetrate your roof and cause serious problems. There are clips and hangers available at any home improvement or hardware store that you can pick up for a relatively low price. You can use these to safely mount all types of bulbs to gutters, shingles, brick and more.
Some homeowners choose to put lights, inflatables, and other structural decorations on their roof for the holidays. If you are one such homeowner, these fixtures should be secured to your roof in a way that does not penetrate and subsequently jeopardize the roofing system. Properly securing your rooftop decorations will prevent them from coming loose during a storm and potentially landing on a vehicle or holiday guest..
DON’T FORGET TO TEST:
Plug in each strand of lights individually to verify that they are in working order before hanging them. This could save you a lot of time and a major headache if one light or an entire strand doesn’t work. Any strand that isn’t working properly should not be used as an electrical short is generally a fire hazard.
EXAMINE YOUR HOME’S EXTERIOR WHILE YOU’RE AT IT:
While you work your way around your home hanging lights and decorations, it should be rather convenient to take a moment to inspect your roof, gutters, siding and windows. Look for possible air leaks and any signs of moisture, damage, deterioration, and/or pests. Spotting an issue that demands your attention now will save you from having to deal with a bigger problem at a less convenient time down the road.
The holidays are always a time to reflect on your blessings. So, remember to be safe and protect your biggest investment.
If you notice a problem with your roof or gutter system, contact Pacific West Roofing today.
It’s time to start preparing for the upcoming rainy months that will be here before we know it. Fall weatherization for your roof is important, especially when the rain and cooler weather starts. Are you wondering how to prep your roof for fall? Here are some helpful ways to get your roof ready so you’re not left with a leaking roof and an unexpected big repair bill.
Step #1: Inspect the roof.
During the hot days of summer, it’s common for the roof materials to absorb the heat and swell, which means there may be some shifting and/or cracks in certain areas of the roof. This may not be an issue during the summer, but once the cold and wet weather returns, this could cause some significant water damage issues. So, get up on your roof and inspect it to be sure that all the shingles are in place and look good. If you’re not sure what to look for, have a professional roof inspector come out and take a look at it. They will know exactly what to look for an identify any problem spots that could lead to an issue later down the road.
Step #2: Get the gutters clean.
The gutters are connected to the overall function of your roof and before the wind and rain picks up, make sure your gutters are cleaned. If they’re clogged or blocked, they cannot do their job and this could cause serious backup that leads to water damage. And once water damage occurs, you’ve got a potentially expensive problem on your hands that needs to be addressed. Talk with your roofing professional if you believe you need your gutters replaced or rerouted to divert water to the right direction.
In addition, be sure to check any chimneys, skylights, and any other vents on your roof that need to stay secure and tight so water cannot penetrate them.
Keeping your roof maintained means that you’ll have less chance later down the road of having to cover costly repairs or even a full roof replacement. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to prepping your roof for the autumn months, contact our experienced and professional team at Pacific West Roofing for an appointment. We will make sure that your roof and other materials up there are up to code and ready to keep you and your family safe, dry, and warm this autumn.
We’re in the home stretch of summer, and fall will be here in just a few short days. That means you want to make sure the exterior of your home, including your roof, is ready for the cold months ahead. Here are a few things you should get done as soon as possible:
CHECK YOUR GUTTERS
Start your pre-fall roof inspection by checking on the state of your gutters. You already know that fall means more debris (leaves, branches, etc.) will make its way into your gutters. So, make it easier to keep up with by clearing them prior to the season and maybe including some gutter screen systems of fillers that really work.
The repercussions of debris in your gutters can be multifaceted. Water can get dammed up and drip over the gutter’s edge, causing ground erosion below. Pooling water and wet debris can also damage your roof.
Cold weather is coming, and while you want your home to be well insulated in both hot and cold months, you will likely notice the problem more in the winter. If your windows look the least bit compromised, caulking them is a super affordable way to ensure better home insulation.
INSPECT YOUR ROOF
Look for any wear and tear that may exist on your roof. This can include missing or cracked shingles, pipe flashing rubber boots cracked open, skylights and chimney flashings needing a fresh re-sealing at the corners, or uneven roof surface areas. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, consider hiring a professional roofer to conduct a roof inspection. If there are serious problems, it’s much better to deal with them in the fall than in the harsher winter months. Plus, it can save you in utility costs.
CLEAN THE FIREPLACE
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, now’s the time to have it inspected and cleaned before it gets put to heavy use. Excessive soot and other debris built up in the chimney can create a fire hazard.
FIX PAVEMENT CRACKS
Cracks in your driveway or sidewalks can get worse if expanding water (in the form of ice) has its way. Use a filler followed by a coat of sealant to extend the life of your asphalt.
CLEAN YARD EQUIPMENT
Most stuff, like your lawn mower and leaf blower, will be stored away for months. Make sure they are cleaned first to keep them in good working condition when you need them again.
While you’re not exactly hibernating for the winter, there are certain home tasks that need to get done, since much of your home exterior tasks will go into hibernation until spring.
Winter weather is especially hard on your roof. The snow and ice and the freezing and thawing can create several problems that may lead to costly roofing repairs if not adequately addressed.
Here are six common problems your roof may face over the winter season.
PROBLEM #1 – CONDENSATION
When warm air meets a cold surface, condensation will occur. Unfortunately, an improperly insulated attic is a prime candidate for the formation of condensation, which can lead to mold and mildew, damaging the interior structure of your home. To prevent condensation, ensure your attic is properly ventilated. Inadequate ventilation can damage your roof, the decking and encourage ice dams and shorten your roof’s overall lifespan by half.
PROBLEM #2 – FLASHING LEAKS
If you have a sloped roof like most of us do, you may be no stranger to leaky flashings. Flashings are the strips of metal that are placed along the front edge, corners and ridges of your roof and around your chimney and skylights. If not installed properly, or during a violent storm, they can start to pull away from your roofing material and lead to water leaks. Inspect your flashings about every six months to help prevent this from becoming a problem.
PROBLEM #3 – STRONG WINDS
Wind storms aren’t super common in our region, but they do happen and we’ve had one this year already. When wind speeds pick up enough they can start to loosen up shake and asphalt shingles. If you notice shingles or other parts of your roof on the ground, contact us as soon as possible to have those shingles replaced before more damage occurs.
PROBLEM #4 – TREE LIMBS
If you have lots of trees in your yard you’ve been blessed with beautiful, year-round scenery. But, this means you’re also privy to some of the dangers large trees can impose. Sometimes overhanging tree limbs can scrape the surface of your roof and damage its protective top layer. And, if branches end up falling into your roof that can cause problems too. So, to protect your home and family, make sure to trim any branches that come within six feet of your roof. It will also keep the critters from scampering across the roof and trying to enter the roof for Spring nesting.
PROBLEM #5 – ICE DAMS
Ice dams are uncommon in the Willamette Valley, but they’ve been known to occur every 15 to 30 years or so. They result when the upper areas of an icy roof begin to thaw, and the lower perimeter areas are still frozen. Melting ice and snow from the warmer sections of the roof flows down and re-freezes on the lower sections and gutters, creating an ice dam. As water pools behind the dam, it’s likely to leak into your home through cracks and joints in the roofing material, causing damage.
There isn’t any way to eliminate the possibility of ice dams completely. Although, with proper insulation and a good attic ventilation system they can be minimized. There are some modified rubber underlayments like Ice and Watershield that are also recommended for areas with this possible scenario.
PROBLEM #6 – ICICLES
Icicles are also typically formed by sunny days and sub-freezing temperatures. They may look neat, but they can pose a real danger to people and pets. Often the result of clogged gutters and downspouts, their excessive weight can cause roofing and gutter damage. To discourage icicles from forming, keep your gutters clear of leaves, needles, and other debris. When the warmer weather arrives, attend to gutter maintenance swiftly to avoid leaking and other problems during spring rains.
Not sure how your roof is handling the Winter weather? Contact the professionals at Pacific West Roofing today. Our dedicated team of roofing experts will be happy to talk you through your roof’s potential problems and suggest the appropriate preventative repairs.
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!
The summer days are cooling off, the kids are starting a new school year and we are reminded that the long rainy season is about to return. Fall is a magical season, and it’s the time of year when we should button up our homes as well as our jackets. Between now and the first freeze of winter, there are four things you can do to prepare your roof for bad weather.
CLEAN THE GUTTERS
When leaves and debris collect in your gutter system, eventually, it will create a clog in the downspouts. Rain water will overflow the gutters, damaging your roof, trim and siding. The added weight of the wet leaves and water could also cause your gutters to pull loose from the anchor point or collapse.
To prevent these problems and unforeseen roof repair costs, make sure to keep your gutters relatively clear through the fall. And, once the trees around your home are bare, do a thorough cleaning. You can also get out ahead of the fall season and have gutter screens or guards installed to prevent the collection of debris in the first place. We recommend Master Shield gutter protection system.
Clear Off Debris
It’s important to remove leaves, pine needles, and other debris from the surface of your roof as well as your gutters. Even small bits of debris will hold moisture and possibly rot or mold, which will break down your roofing material.
If you’re confident and experienced in walking on your roof, get up there and broom or blow off the debris that has collected on your roof, paying special attention to the valleys, which are most vulnerable to water damage. Make sure they are free and clear of debris so as to allow water to flow.
As part of our roof evaluation and maintenance services, we also treat roofs for moss, which is certainly not a bad idea in our moist climate.
CHECK FOR DAMAGES AND DETERIORATION
With a clean roof, scan the surface for missing shingles or ones that have cracked curled or frayed edges. You can use binoculars to inspect from the ground or climb up to the roof to have a look.
Also check for damaged flashing around vent stacks, chimneys, and skylights. These areas are the usual suspects when you have a leak. Repairing flashing yourself may not always provide the results you expect, so give us a call and we’ll make sure everything is sealed properly before the rain hits.
ATTIC INSULATION AND VENTILATION
Without adequate airflow in your attic, you could be looking at higher-that-necessary energy bills and roof leaks emerging in a snowstorm. During the day, sunlight hits your roof and heats up the air in your attic. Without vents located at the soffits, ridges, and/or gables of your roof, the hot air condensates, causing moisture damage and possible mold or rot in your roof’s supports.
This heat can also cause ice dams in higher elevations, inviting leaks when snow accumulates on your roof.
Additionally, when that hot air has nowhere else to go, it will seep into and overheat your living space, asking you to use your AC more than you have to. This is one of the reasons why insulation is so critical to an energy efficient home.
To evaluate your attic insulation and ventilation, you can hire an energy auditor or weatherization contractor to do an inspection and make modifications. And, if you make these changes before the end of 2013, you could be eligible for an energy efficiency tax credit.
Need a roofing evaluation or repair? Contact Pacific West Roofing today for a free* estimate! Call us at 503-635-8706
*Commercial and Residential properties on the Real Estate market are charged a $250 estimate fee. This fee will be credited to your invoice when work is complete.