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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!

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!

Seasonal Uncategorized

6 Common Winter Roofing Issues

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.

Seasonal Uncategorized

4 Steps To Preparing Your Roof For Fall And Winter

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 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 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.

Flat Roofs Uncategorized

10 Things To Consider Before Replacing Your Flat Roof , Part One

When the time comes to replace your flat roofing system there are several things to think about that can improve the performance of your next roof. There are plenty of factors that can contribute to the failure of a flat roof, including improper slope, poor drainage, and structural problems. The location and use of the building will bring up other considerations such as R-Value, wind uplift, and fire resistance.

The guidelines in part one and part two of this post will help ensure that your next roofing system lasts longer than the one you’re replacing.

SLOPE

The slope of your roof system is the key player in how well your roof sheds water. Ponding water, the biggest problem among commercial or flat roofing systems, is caused by insufficient roof slope. When a poorly sloped roof starts to leak, the leaks will be much more severe for the fact that the water has nowhere else to go. There are older flat roofs out there that are performing satisfactorily with slopes of just 1/8″ per foot, however, it is generally recommended that the slope be a minimum of 1/4″ per foot in order to minimize ponding water on the roof surface and prevent subsequent leaks.

Roof Drainage

As your roof’s slope sheds water, your roof’s drainage system disposes of it. And, an inadequate drainage system will cause many of the same problems that improper slope will. Whether you’re using internal drains, scuppers or gutters and downspouts, the roof drainage system needs to be matched to the size and slope of your roof. As the slope of your roof increases, the volume of water that is routed to the drainage system will increase. Stop and ask yourself if there are enough drains, if the scupper openings are large enough, or if your gutter system is large enough handle the volume of water expected to hit your roof.

R-VALUE

Your insulation’s ability to resist heat transfer is determined by its R value. The higher the R value, the better. Consider your roof’s existing R-value and how it affects your heating & cooling costs. Not only will adding insulation improve your R value, but if your roof’s slope is inadequate, using tapered insulation can be a more cost-effective solution than structurally altering the roof. It is the best way to insulate a flat roof and by adding thickness to the taper, it increases your R-value.

STRUCTURAL LOADS

Another important thing to think about is the weight your roofing system can support, which is typically expressed in pounds per square foot (PSF). Roofs are generally engineered to handle projected wind and snow loads based on regional, historical data.

Let’s say your original built-up roof system was installed with a structural load of 2 PSF. This value would have also dictated the framing that was required to accomplish the desired structural strength. Now, let’s say you’re considering a modern single-ply EPDM membrane roof system as a replacement, and your prefer a ballasted system since it’s typically the least expensive. Ballasted systems usually have a structural load of around 10-12 PSF. The additional weight load placed on the roof structure (even if the old roofing system was removed) could easily cause the roof to collapse. Therefore, it is crucial to compare the weight of the new roof system to the limits of the original roof system that the building was designed around. Consult with an engineer if you aren’t sure about how much weight your roof structure can safely handle.

ROOF DECK DEFICIENCIES

If your roof deck has structural problems this is another important element to contemplate when replacing your roof system. Wood-framed roofs often have joists that have bowed from years of constant load. This can cause water to pond in the middle of the roof. Maybe your roof decking has weird elevation changes from previous instances of construction and remodeling. Whatever decking issue you may be facing, it’s critical that these aspects are factored into your roof replacement project. If your roof structure has deficiencies and you decide to install a new roof system over the existing one, the new roof will have the same problems. You will have the best opportunity to address structural issues is the existing roof system(s) are removed down to the decking.

Find the last 5 flat roofing considerations in Part 2 of this post!

If it’s time to repair or replace your flat roof, check out our commercial roofing page and contact us today.

Flat Roofs Uncategorized

10 Things To Consider Before Replacing Your Flat Roof, Part 2

In a conclusion to our previous post, here are five more things to think about if your flat roof needs some TLC.

WIND UPLIFT

Your roofing system experiences positive air pressure as wind passes across your roof. This suction effect pulls the roof system away from the structure. If your roofing system is insufficiently anchored when this happens, it could fail. And, if the decking underneath is inadequate; enough uplift can cause substantial structural damage. In the Portland area, typical wind speeds vary from 0 mph to 17 mph, and rarely exceed 26 mph. However, historically, the area has experienced winds in excess of 100 mph.

A flat roof membrane can be attached to the roof deck in two ways; either with mechanical fasteners or be being adhered directly to the insulation or DensDeck cement board, which is then attached to the decking. Each method has its pros and cons. In the case of a mechanically fastened system, the fasteners take the brunt of the pressure and the insulation is largely protected. In the case of a fully adhered membrane, the insulation is put under more pressure.

To minimize the chance of roofing system failures, consider the quality of material being used, the type of fasteners used as well as fastener spacing, and consider modifications that will improve wind uplift resistance like ½ sheets of membrane due to distance between the fasteners in the corners and edges of the building.

UL FIRE CLASSIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent testing agency, sets standards for fire resistance for all kinds of different products. They give ratings specifically for roofing systems based on their resistance to flame spread. There are three classifications of UL ratings: UL Class A, UL Class B and UL Class C; Class A being the most resistant to flame spread. As a general rule of thumb, and part of many building codes, any publicly occupied building, commercial structure or apartment building must have a UL Class A rated roofing system.

ROOF REPAIR VS. REPLACEMENT

When deciding on a roof system replacement versus just a roof repair, cost is always an important factor. If you think about these expenses in terms of cost-per-year, it can help you make a smart financial decision, but you’ll need to know how long something will last. For example, let’s say a new roof system will cost $50,000 and is expected to last for 30 years. A repair for the same roof will cost $14,000 and the expected life of the repair is 5 years. Not factoring for inflation, the replacement would cost you about $1,700 per year, and the repair would cost you $2,800 per year. While the option requiring the least amount of capital is usually the favored option, cost per year can also influence this kind of decision.

TEAR-OFF VS. ROOF-OVER

Deciding whether or not to tear off an existing roofing system before installing another can be tricky. But, considering the topics discussed above can help you find peace of mind. Some situations can make the decision to tear-off for you, such as water damage, multiple existing roof systems, and extreme structural problems. Others may yield options which do not require the removal of the existing roof system. Just keep in mind that the new roof you install will only be as good as the roof system and structure that it is installed over.

Pacific West Roofing can help you determine whether a tear-off or roof-over is best. We’ll walk you through a thoughtful consideration of all options and conditions that will impact your flat roof‘s performance, and find the method that is right for you.

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What is roof pitch and how does it impact the roofing process?

Roof pitch is the name of the angle of a roof. If you’re thinking about a roofing project—such as skylights, an addition, or cutting in new rake boards—then it’s important to know what the number is. Builders may ask this to get started on a home remodel project.

How you calculate the roof pitch of your home is fairly simple, and it can be done from inside your attic or on top of your roof. You’ll need an 18- or 24-inch level, a tape measure, and a pencil.

In the attic, place the corner end of the level against the bottom of a roof rafter. Make sure it’s perfectly level
From that corner end, label the level at the 12-inch mark with a pencil.
3. Measure vertically from the 12-inch mark on the level straight up to the underside of the rafter just above it. Record that measurement.

Slope is the ratio of the vertical distance you recorded in step 3 with the horizontal distance you began with (12in). So, if there was a vertical distance between your level and the next rafter of 6in, your slope is 6:12, or “6 in 12”. And that’s it.

WHY IT MATTERS
The primary reason that roof pitch exists in the first place is to redirect water and snow. If you live in an area known for heavy rain and snowfall, it might be best to consider a steeper slope to account for the cold weather.

As far as deciding on a roof design, there are a number of crucial, yet basic reasons why the pitch factors into your decision process. The following are just some examples:

The type of materials to be used (such as composition, shakes, or tile, for instance)
Walkability on the roof
Proportions to the building

SOME OF THE MORE BASIC PITCH TYPES ARE:

Low slopes. They can be constructed easily at a more expensive cost, but then you can’t use asphalt shingles for low-pitched roof design. These types of roofs are expensive, demand high-end materials, and require a regular maintenance visit.

Conventional. These are still fairly easy to walk on, and is a good option for those looking to add a shed, a garage, or a general room area.

Steep slope. These pitch types deters more of the harshest climates, as the angle deters rain and snow from damaging your house. They are efficient and stable, lasting you years of quality roofs.

Determining your roof slope can change the look of your home dramatically, whether your project is big or small. It’s also important to know your roof slope, so you can get started nailing down the specifics of the project with your builder.

Any questions? Please let us know by contacting us, or commenting. We are experts in the home roofing business, and we hope that we can add our experience and expertise to your project.

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What is a Cool Roof?

What Is A Cool Roof — And How Do I Get One?

There’s a term going around that you may have heard: heat island effect. The phrase refers to the disparity between temperatures in cities and those of the surrounding rural areas.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), cities with 1 million or more people can be up to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than their surroundings. At night, the difference is even more star: up to 22 degrees Fahrenheit warmer!

“Heat islands can affect communities,” the EPA writes, “by increasing summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, heat-related illness and mortality, and water pollution.”

So what can we city dwellers do to deal with the heat island effect?

The answer is a term you may not have heard too much about: cool roofs.

Cool Roofs Defined
Cool roofs aren’t necessarily your hipster neighbor’s turquoise adobe tiles that catch your eye as you drive by. (However, it is true that a chic roof can also be very cool.)

No, what we’re talking about here are roofs — including turquoise adobe tiles! — that control the temperature of buildings and entire neighborhoods.

How? With innovative technology that reflects the sun’s heat and prevents heat absorption within the building itself.

Ultimately, this combination of heat reflection and heat-absorption prevention creates a more comfortable indoor environment. This in turn leads naturally to lower energy bills and a chilling effect on heat islands overall.

There are other proven benefits of cool roofs, including:

* Reduced maintenance costs
* Reduced air pollutant emissions
* Improved air quality
* Reduced energy use
* Increased utility rebates, if and where available

How Do Cool Roofs Work?
When it comes to calculating just how cool a roof is, there are two major factors that we must consider: solar reflectance and thermal emittance.

Solar reflectivity is measured on a scale from 0% to 100%. The difference between a cool roof and conventional roofing materials is overwhelming. Many cool roofs reflect more than 65% of solar energy away from the building. Conventional materials, on the other hand, only reflect about 5% to 15% away.

Thermal emittance is a roof’s capability to release absorbed heat. The higher a roof’s thermal emittance, the less heat is retained within the roof itself and the building below. Like solar reflectivity, thermal emittance is also rated on a scale from 0% to 100%. Cool roofs have been found to emit a drastically larger amount of heat than conventional roofing materials.

When combined, these two values provide an overall Solar Reflectance Index (SRI). This number provides a representation of how cool your roof is. SRI is an extremely important statistic. It helps determine how well a particular roofing material and that material’s color work on rooftops.

Types of Cool Roofs
Just like the buildings they top, cool roofs come in all different shapes and sizes. Deciphering which techniques and materials are most efficient depends on the type of building and, more importantly, the slope of the building’s roof. Techniques used in low-sloped roofs (roofs with slight inclines) are typically associated with commercial and industrial buildings.

Here are three common techniques for cool roofs:

1. A common technique for low-sloped roofs is creating a coated roof, which is when you coat just about any roof in a paint-like finish. This not only increases SRI but also improves the roof’s durability. Coating can be done to just about any properly prepared conventional roofing surface, and it’s not just white paint; it’s pigmented in a variety of materials and colors in order to perform unique cooling technologies, including ceramic nano technology.

2. Foam roofs have been very popular for decades, and they work great for insulating a building’s interior while also having a very high thermal emittance. The foam is usually made from two different liquid chemicals that combine to form a very lightweight, flexible roofing material that can go on most rooftops while reducing environmental externalities. This foam must have a coating on it in order to perform as a waterproof system. It isn’t a popular system for Oregon, though, due to our short window of summer.

3. Built-up roofing systems (BUR Systems) are a more complex type of low-sloped cool roofing material, and that’s because these roofs require multiple layers. These include a base sheet, a varying form of fiberglass reinforcement layer, and also a granulated protective top surface layer. This type of roof can be made from a variety of materials. One method is to put reflective materials into hot tar to increase solar reflectivity, such as reflective ceramic granulated cap sheets. Built-up roofs are sometimes referred to as tar and gravel roofs. They are converted to cool roofs by using reflective marble chips or gray slag rather than dark gravel. A modified bitumen (mod-bit) is a roofing system that is similar to a BUR system in that it uses asphalt to contain both cold and warm temperatures. These roofs also tend to be more elastic than the typical BUR systems due to the blend of rubber and asphalt.

If your low-sloped roof seems to need an extensive amount of repairs, then a single-ply membrane may be a good cool roof option. These are flexible, plastic polymer sheets, like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material, and they make for a very high-quality cool roof. For the most part, these roofs are white, but several color options are available to accommodate aesthetic preferences.

Steep-sloped roofs are more common for residential homes, and the main materials used for steep-sloped cool roofs include metal roofing, tiles, asphalt shingles, and shakes. However, there are over 3,000 Energy Star-rated cool roofing materials that can be used for roofs with steep slopes.

Asphalt shingles are probably the most common form of rooftop. We’re all probably accustomed to seeing them everywhere. However, the problem with asphalt shingles is that their SRI is very low. Even white shingles only have a 30% solar reflectivity. (Other colors are much worse.) The reason why we see so many roofs with asphalt shingles: They’re cheap and easy to install.

In recent years, more and more people have been making the shift to metal roofs. These are extremely efficient — with a solar reflectivity of over 70%! Metal roofs are also very durable, lightweight, and can withstand even the toughest weather.

Other Examples of Reflective Coatings
There are many different kinds of reflective coatings, including white roof coatings, which have a solar reflectivity of 70% to 80%. One is silicon coating, which can also withstand ponding water, unlike latex coatings.

Aluminum roof coatings are also very efficient and can exceed a 70% solar reflectivity with some of the more premium brands. (Even better, indoor temperatures can also be reduced as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit!)

Tiles, such as your chic neighbor’s flashy turquoise adobe tiles, can also be extremely efficient. They have an SRI of over 50% and a thermal emittance of around 86%. Tiles are predominantly made of clay, but concrete tiles have also become popular in recent years given that they are a little more durable in more extreme climates.

Pacific West Roofing
There is no denying that heat islands are a tangible part of urban living. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about this complex environmental externality. Cool roofs may just be the answer.

A traditional dark roof can reach temperatures of 150 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when exposed to the summer sun. However, a cool roof under similar weather conditions can stay more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit cooler.

Cool roofs can extend the life of your roof and reduce thermal shock. It also helps un-air-conditioned rooms, such as garages, stay cooler. Finally, communities that make a concerted effort to convert to cool roofs can improve their town’s air quality.

Cool roofs are ideal for warm or hot climates. For those of us in the Pacific Northwest, we also have to consider our cold and damp climate. The moisture from condensation may result in eventual material degradation. It’s possible that cool roofs are more susceptible to accumulating moisture than similarly designed dark roofs. Portland is much more successful with darker roofs due to our location on the planet’s 45th parallel because we heat more months than we cool.

If you live in the Portland, Oregon, area, Pacific West Roofing can help guide you on your path to your own cool roof.

Questions? Pacific West Roofing has the answer. Get in touch today!

Uncategorized

Falling trees: Know the danger signs of an unstable tree

Trees are excellent additions to any home, but they can cause major damage to your roof and property as a whole if they fall. With the rainy season well on its way in the Pacific Northwest, now is the time to take a look at the danger signs of potentially falling trees and what to do if you think your tree is unstable. The best defense to falling trees is prevention.

DANGER SIGNS OF A FALLING TREE
Construction stress: From digging up utility lines to adding paved paths on your property, construction can place deadly stress on trees. Common signs of construction stress are wilted leaves, premature autumn colors, drooping branches and flowering out of season. To avoid harming your trees, set up a perimeter around the tree so that its root system will not be damaged by equipment and construction materials.
Leaning to one side: Most trees don’t grow as straight as an arrow, so a little lean is perfectly normal. However, if your tree is leaning uncomfortably one way and shows danger of falling onto your roof, look for these common signs of toppling over: Exposed roots at the tree’s base and cracked soil on the side opposite the lean are serious signs that the tree may fall over sooner rather than later. If this is a weight distribution problem, prune the branches to even out the weight of the tree to balance it out.
Multiple trunks: If you have a tree with U-shaped multiple trunks, be sure to inspect for deep cracks and other signs of weakness. Mature trees are most at risk for splitting down the middle during heavy rains and stormy weather. To prevent the tree’s splitting, consider hiring a certified arborist who can attach cables between trunks and braces to strengthen their bonds.
The best offense is a good defense when it comes to protecting your roof from falling trees. Take the time to inspect trees on your property and mark ones that match some of the above warning signs. Don’t be afraid to remove unstable trees, though you should call an arborist before attempting to fell the tree yourself.

HIRE A PORTLAND-AREA ROOFER
The roof is a protector of your home. So, make sure your trees are ready to withstand the stormy weather. Pacific West Roofing has been installing and maintaining quality roofing products throughout Portland, Oregon and the surrounding areas since 1980. If you’re looking for a Portland roofing contractor, let us show you what we can do to keep you and your loved ones protected at home.

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The Best Roof Types for the Pacific Northwest

Here in the Pacific Northwest we get quite a bit of rain and wind, so it’s important to have a roof that drains well and can handle the excessive moisture.

While the style of your roof (gable or hipped) also plays a part in how it will stand up to the Portland climate, the material you choose to build your roof with is the biggest factor. Below we’ll go over the roofing materials that work best for homes in Portland and other areas in the Northwest.

COMPOSITION SHINGLES
Also known as asphalt shingles, composition shingles are the most popular choice in just about every region because of their low cost and longevity. They are particularly suited for the Pacific Northwest because of their resistance to harsh weather— like wind, snow, rain, and hail. But, they are still porous, which makes them susceptible to mold and mildew growth. Since composition shingles are so popular, it is easy to find materials for maintenance and repairs. Ask us about special treatments to make your asphalt shingles less absorbent and more resistant to mold growth.

CEDAR SHAKES
Cedar has been used on roofs for decades in the Pacific Northwest, mainly because the region has such an abundant supply (mainly from Canada). Cedar has been thought to improve the overall aesthetic value of a house, which also increases its property value. However, cedar is also more expensive and needs more maintenance than other types of roofing materials. The main threats to cedar roofs are parasitic growth, such as lichen, moss, and mold that will undermine its strength. Over the years, a great deal of research has gone into finding a solution to this problem, and products have been developed to protect against these invaders. This makes cedar much more viable and less of a hassle to maintain.

METAL
Metal roofing materials are extremely water-resistant and have recently made remarkable advancements in the style department. Metal panels and shingles are now available in attractive styles and colors, and even come designed to mimic other materials, such as cedar shake or slate. While the lifespan of a metal roof will vary by the manufacturer and specialized coating, a properly installed metal roof can last up to 50 years. Ask any other roofing company in the area and they’ll tell you that if you are willing to consider it, a metal roof is an excellent choice for our rainy and windy climate.

CLAY AND CONCRETE TILES
You don’t see too many tile roofs around here, but they’ve been catching on over the past few decades. The main advantage of clay tiles is their extreme durability, but they are much heavier and more expensive than other materials. They are not a great choice for a roof in the Pacific Northwest because they are extremely vulnerable to problems that arise from a damp climate. When made correctly, clay tiles have the potential to last for more than a century. Concrete tiles are slightly less expensive, although just as heavy and won’t last as long. However, both clay and concrete tiles will increase the curb appeal and property value of a home as they are available in quite a few designs like flat, ribbed, or even scalloped.

SLATE
This material looks very unique and is lovely, coming in colors like gray, red, black, green, and purple. It’s durable, fire resistant, and can be recycled. It is expensive and very heavy, which requires extra framing. It can last 50 years at least and has been known to last as long as long as 100 years with the proper underlayment. Colonial or European-style homes commonly have slate roofs.

Have questions about a roof installation of replacement? Call Pacific West Roofing at (503) 635-8706 today! We’d be more than happy to discuss your project and provide a free estimate.*

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Pros and Cons of a Flat Roof

Flat roofs are becoming a popular choice for homeowners and developers building new homes because of their unique look and more modern aesthetics. Flat roofs, as the name suggests, is laid horizontally on the top of a building, but may have a slight slope. Asphalt and torch on flat roofs are usually the most common types of materials used in flat roofing projects and there are several pros and cons to take into consideration before you make the decision that this is the right type of roof for you.

#1: Maintenance

Flat roofs require more maintenance than traditional pitched roofs because water will collect over time. Pitched roofs will drain the water away, but flat roofs do not have this ability, so standing water and debris will generally accumulate, especially when the weather is rainy or windy.

#2: Cost

Flat roofs are generally more expensive than traditional roofs because they are more components to install such as vapor retarders, insulation and a cover board to make it class A fire-rated. Installers can access the roof better, which makes the job go a little faster, and they do not need the engineered trusses that other pitched roofs will need.

#3: Space

Flat roofs make room for more space inside the home. Homes with drastic or extreme angles can reduce the amount of livable space. With flat roofs, you can instantly add more space, including a fun entertaining space such as a rooftop deck or patio that will wow your guests time and time again.

#4: Lifespan

Flat asphalt roofs generally have a lower lifespan because of the water exposure they have. Usually flat roofs can last up to 15 years, whereas asphalt, traditional shingled roofs, or metal roofs can last decades.

Not sure if a flat roof is right for your home and its specific layout? Contact our team of professionals at Pacific West Roofing to get information on what roof will work for you!

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How Long Does a Shingle Roof Last?

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!

Portland Roofing Contractor Since 1980!

CCB# 169414