• Welcome to Pacific West Roofing!

    All your roofing questions answered here

    We have 40 years of experience providing quality solutions for businesses and homeowners in the area, and the capability to efficiently

  • WELCOME TO PACIFIC WEST ROOFING!

    Expert roofing

    We have more than 40 years of experience providing quality solutions for businesses and homeowners in the area, and the capability to efficiently

Seasonal

Common Rooftop Solar Panel Installation Problems To Avoid | Pacific West Roofing

While most homeowners aim to repair their leaky roofs during the summer, winter roof repair is always available when you need it. Aside from some material limitations, installing a roof in the winter is just as simple as it is in the summer.

And it’s worth it to repairing or replacing a roof work when it’s raining or snowing outside. Even with small leaks, the consistent rainfall and moisture in Oregon can cause major damage to the structural integrity of the roof as whole. For example, if your roof has a leak, the expansion and contraction of roofing materials that occurs due to freezing and thawing can worsen it, and even more leaks may appear.

DO ROOFERS WORK IN THE WINTER?

Here’s the short answer: Yes! While you may be wondering if it’s dangerous for roofers to be toiling away atop your home in icy conditions, rest easy. Roofing contractors need to work in the winter months just like anyone else, and some roofers actually prefer cold conditions to the summer time when they get cooked up there. Most of the time, if it’s 90 degrees outside, its 120 on your roof. Talk about miserable. If your roof is packed with snow, it should only take 30 minutes to an hour to shovel it off, depending on the size of your roof.

PROS AND CONS OF WINTER ROOF REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT

Now lets get to the heart of the issue. Roofing materials all behave differently in conditions below 40 degrees. There are types of materials that should not be installed in these conditions and some that can be installed any time of year, regardless of the weather.

Here’s what to do, depending on your home’s roofing material:

epdm-rubber-flat-roof. Flat roofs in the winter are more difficult to repair usually.FLAT ROOFS

There are pretty much only two flat roof systems that can be properly installed in the winter – PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin). These thermoplastic single ply flat roofing products are mechanically installed and seams are hot air welded instead of using adhesives.

Rubber roofs, the alternative to these systems, should not be installed in temperatures below 40 degrees because the adhesives that seal it will freeze and not bond. Contractors who say they can and will conduct rubber roof projects are ignoring manufacturer suggestions and proceeding with this project can result in roof leaks and voided warranties. So, it’s a good idea to hold off on winter roof replacement if you’re looking at rubber roofs until it gets a bit warmer. The same goes for peel-and-stick materials, as adhesives won’t bond, creating leaks. This material can actually blow off your roof.

Winter roof inspection with some snow on the shingles.SLOPED ROOFS

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used material for sloped roofs and can be installed in the winter, but caution must be taken by roofers installing it. They must be careful not to bend and crack the shingle. Also, because asphalt shingles are dependent on a proper seal between the overlapping shingles, which requires heat from the sun to bond, these materials often do not seal properly until warm weather rolls around. This can cause them to blow off or leak.

Although our winter temperatures are generally mild in the Pacific Northwest, asphalt shingles are also susceptible to ice dams – large ice formations along the eaves of roofs caused by poor ventilation or inadequate insulation in the attic. Ice and water shield membrane is a great method to prevent ice dam leaks, but it also requires the sun’s heat to properly adhere to the roof deck, so some of the same shortcomings may apply.

Metal Roof in the winterMETAL ROOFS

Metal roofs, can be installed in the winter without compromising quality. Cold conditions do not affect metal roofs since they won’t crack due to improper handling. They are designed to allow for expansion and contraction, so the outside temperatures won’t make a difference. Just be sure to use a premium breathable synthetic underlayment to combat moisture caused by poor ventilation and always upgrade intake and output ventilation whenever possible. Whether you need winter roof repair or replacement, mental roofs are safe during any season.

FIND WINTER ROOFING SERVICES IN PORTLAND, OR

With all that said, roofing projects in any season should be discussed at length with a trusted contractor to prevent common issues and the premature failure of your roof. Contact Pacific West Roofing for roof repairs or replacement during the winter months, or for any roofing services you need.

Eco Friendly

Common Rooftop Solar Panel Installation Problems To Avoid | Pacific West Roofing

rooftop solar panel installation problemsA well installed rooftop solar array doesn’t just generate clean energy. It also needs to have a solid, long lasting foundation, which in most cases is a rooftop. In fact, about 80 percent of today’s solar panel installations are done on flat and sloped roofs.  This is because roofs are the ideal setting; they get the most unobstructed sun of any other place on most properties, they’re close to power lines, and on a sloped roof you don’t need any racks to mount the panels on.

But, what is a rooftop solar array truly worth if the roof is leaky or damaged? These installations have been growing in popularity for decades, but we still see situations where the installer did not understand or take the conditions of the roof into account.

Here are some common problems to avoid:

1. INSTALLING NEW PANELS ON AN OLD ROOF

Ideally, the array’s life and the roof life should be about the same. Your solar panels may generate power for 20 years, and your financing or Power Purchase Agreement could last just as long. Having such a system installed on a roof that only has about 10 good years left is asking for trouble. Many roof systems, such as a metal roof or cool roofing membrane, can last 20 years or more and are well suited to support a solar array.

2. INSTALLING AN ARRAY ON A ROOF THAT IS UNSUITABLE FOR SOLAR

A roof has to provide just the right conditions for your solar panels to perform well. For example, panels should be oriented toward the South or the West to get the most sun. They generally work best in cooler environments, making a cool membrane ideal. Most roofs are not designed to support the weight of a solar array or the foot traffic introduced by installation and maintenance. And in most cases, numerous penetrations will be made into the roof to mount the panels, which may be against the recommendations for many roofing systems. Unless you’re lucky, making sure your roof is 100 percent compatible with solar often requires planning years in advance.

3. INTERRUPTING THE FLOW OF WATER

Your roofing system is designed to shed water from the rooftop and away from the building. But, when solar panels are installed without regard for this, racks and wiring often interrupt the flow of water and keep if from draining properly. Water could even be forced upward, which usually results in a leak. Ballast material can also escape and clog drains. Repairing a roof can be much more difficult when there are solar panels installed, so it’s best to make sure these issues are addressed right away.

4. TREATING THE ROOFTOP LIKE A CONSTRUCTION SITE

A good roof system is durable, but they all have their limits. A solar installer might drag racks and panels across the roof or drop tools without respect to the shingles or membrane, which can easily cause penetrations. Debris that doesn’t get cleaned up can clog drains and cause all kinds of problems. To avoid this, make sure to hire an installer who understands the needs and nuances of your roofing system.

5. NOT HAVING A MAINTENANCE PLAN

Even without solar panels, a roof will need maintenance and regular inspections. But with solar installed, that need is heightened. You won’t get the return on your investment if your panels are covered in layers of dust or sitting in a pool of standing water. Regular roof and solar panel maintenance is always recommended to keep small problems from becoming big ones.

Many other roofing problems can arise with solar panel installations, and as installers develop new mounting methods the roofing system must always be a serious consideration.

Together, roofing and solar power make perfect sense, and we expect to see many more solar installations and clean energy integration in the future.  But, we hope that you will do your part to protect your roof by choosing the right solar installer, planning ahead, and committing to regular maintenance.

Pacific West Roofing works with many solar installers in the area to make sure that rooftops remain in good condition and that all penetrations made when mounting racks and panels are properly sealed. Contact us about your rooftop solar project today! Call 503-635-8706 or visit our contact page.

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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!

Warranty

Roofing Warranties Explained: Part 2 — Manufacturers | Pacific West Roofing

While the workmanship warranty and job agreement (outlined in part one) can be negotiated, the manufacturer’s warranty is set in stone. There’s nothing you or your roofing contractor can do to adjust it– it’s fixed and it’s limited. Therefore, it is very important that both you and your roofer understand each term and condition.

A manufacturer’s warranty on asphalt shingles, for example, will typically address:

  • Methods of installation
  • Finished system performance
  • Finished job appearance
  • Warranty transferability

Possibly the biggest factor in a homeowner’s satisfaction with a new roof is its overall finished appearance. System performance is also important, of course, but these days much of that relies on the quality of workmanship rather than the materials themselves. On the other hand, a new roof can sometimes look a bit different that you expected it to when you were looking at samples, and that can lead to claims against the manufacturer’s warranty. The appearance of a finished roof can be affected by a number of variables including color, staining, patterns, decking issues, and damage.

Color

We try to warn homeowners against hanging all their expectations on product samples and color specifications they see in print. Shingle color is not an exact science even though they are computer controlled. It can vary to the eye according to the time of day and the weather, and change as the shingles get older. This is often because the position of granules on the shingles can create tiny shadows, and then those granules tend to wear away with time. Because of this, many manufacturers simply exclude color variations from their warranties.

Staining

New shingles can sometimes become stained while still in the packaging when oils or minerals get transferred from the underside of one shingle to the face of another. In most cases, once the shingles are installed natural weathering will wash away these stains. But, if the stains are still visible after 60 days be sure to contact the manufacturer.

The most common type of stain you’ll see on older roofs is caused by algae, which people often confuse with mold or fungus. Unless algae-resistant shingles were used, algae stains will not be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty as it is a symptom of poor maintenance on the homeowner’s part. Warranty terms regarding algae-resistant shingles vary by manufacturer.

Ugly Patterns

When shingles are not installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, strange color patterns can appear. An inexperienced or unethical roofer might misalign shingle cut outs or ignore dimensional tolerances. Because of this, manufacturer warranties disclaim liability for improper installation.

Deck Movement or Failure

A new roof can also become unsightly if there are problems with the decking. If the surface that the shingles are nailed to begins to shift or fails altogether, which can can be caused by inadequate ventilation, poor nailing of the deck and other oversights, the shingles can curl or develop objectionable ridges. These problems are excluded from warranty coverage by all shingle manufacturers.

Damage

Anytime you add on to your home or do any remodeling like installing a skylight, your roof is susceptible to damage. This is never covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. So, when work is being done on your home, make sure to schedule the roofing work so that it won’t be affected by other projects or workers.

Furthermore, shingle damage caused by a homeowner’s efforts to remove snow and ice is typically excluded, as is damage caused by aftermarket coatings, paints, chemicals, and cleaners.

Have more questions about the warranty on your roof? Click here to ask Stan, or call 503-635-8706.

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Roofing Tips for a Leak-Free Winter | Pacific West Roofing

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.

There are a few things you can do to enjoy a leak-free winter and it’s never too late to get started. First, remember that leaks might be the symptom of a bigger problem (like a generally weak roof that’s ready to be replaced or a pest that’s digging at your shingles). If you want to enjoy this winter in a warm, dry home, make sure you have all your bases covered and don’t procrastinate when it comes to routine inspections.

  1. Get rid of aggressive tree branches

You mean you have to call a roofer and an arborist? Yes, because this dynamic duo often goes hand in hand. It’s very dangerous to trim high tree branches yourself, and arborists are skilled at knowing exactly which limbs to cut (and where) so that your roof doesn’t get damaged and your tree continues to thrive. They’ll also spot any tree rot or diseases before they get out of control.

  1. Get better insulation

Can’t remember the last time your attic was inspected, or did you buy your house new and have no idea what kind of insulation was used? It’s pretty easy for builders to cut corners with subpar insulation, so you may not be getting the benefits you need. An attic with proper insulation can stop leaks by preventing heat transfer and slowing or stopping snow and ice from melting on your roof.

  1. Keep it clean

A clean roof is a healthy roof—and one that’s much less likely to leak. Surprisingly, leaks are most often caused by debris, and that can include leaves, twigs or just about anything else. It’s tough to keep a roof clean and lots of homeowners put it off, but regular inspections and maintenance are key. If you’re not up for the job of climbing a ladder to sweep it clean, let a professional do it for you.

  1. Check your gutters

Ice dams are most often caused by clogged up gutters, which can also seriously damage your attic and the top floor of your house. It’s common to find leaves in gutters, especially at the start of Winter, which is why this time of year is the perfect time to make sure they’re clear. Otherwise the extra weight can cause them to pull away and potentially fall off the house.

Now that the colder months have arrived, the best thing you can do for your roof is to keep it clean and watch out for weather damage.

Contact Pacific West Roofing today about your next roof/gutter inspeection, repair or replacement. Call 503-635-8706 

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4 Roofing Scams to Watch Out For | Pacific West Roofing

We learn early on in life that not everybody plays by the rules, and when we grow up and become property owners, sometimes we learn those lessons again. Unfortunately, there are contractors out there who choose to get ahead by cutting corners and deceiving customers. In the worst cases, you may not even know you’ve been duped until the roofer is long gone or the work falls apart. At Pacific West Roofing, we want to make sure you never have to worry about the integrity of your roofer. Here are four shady schemes to watch for when getting roof work done on your home or commercial building.

1. THE BAIT AND SWITCH

To help property owners make quick and easy decisions, contractors sometimes offer roofing materials in packages based on quality, e.g. high-quality package A, medium-quality package B, and base-quality package C. In this scenario, a dishonest roofer might sell a customer on the top-quality package, but then use lower grade materials without their knowledge. A roofer might also sell the base-quality package, then wait until the point of no return to tell you that those products are discontinued or unavailable, sneakily forcing you into paying for upgrades. Either way, you get cheated and the contractor gets rich.

2. CUTTING CORNERS

By skimping in lots of small ways, contractors can save quite a bit of money in overhead.  They’ll try to reduce labor time and/or material cost as much as possible— at the expense of quality craftsmanship— to increase their profit margins. One of the most common offenses involves using fewer materials. They might use fewer fasteners and install fewer shingles than codes and manufacturers recommend, which would leave your home incredibly vulnerable to wind damage. When the wind comes in and blows off a loose shingle or piece of flashing, damage from leaks and pests are likely as well. Using fewer materials and omitting prep work also allows a contractor to put on a roof in record time. This may benefit your schedule, but no amount of expediency will be worth it if you have to get their shoddy work re-done.

3. OVERCHARGING FOR MATERIALS

When you invest in big-ticket home improvements, like a roof, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with the cost of materials. Check to see which manufacturers or suppliers your roofer works with, and inquire directly about their pricing. Then, ask your roofer if he plans to mark up the materials, and if so, include a cap in your contract. If you’re still feeling suspicious you could even request receipts for purchases and ask for credit on anything he returns. You won’t run the risk of being cheated a single dollar on materials.

4. SKIPPING TOWN

The best, most trustworthy contractors are those who have been working in town for decades. They have brick-and-mortar offices, a good standing with the BBB, and a long list of happy customers. A lot of times, these companies don’t have the “newness” that people are drawn to, like a flashy logo and brand new trucks. That’s not to say those things are signs of a shady contractor. But, if a nice guy comes knocking on your door (especially after a storm) representing a new roofing company with fresh, glossy brochures, you’d be wise to turn him down. This roofer out of Colorado was even offering to pay insurance deductibles and file claims on the homeowner’s behalf, and then skipped town after getting paid upfront by several unsuspecting customer. Their website is no longer active and the registered owner is no where to be found.

This is a clear-cut reason to always research potential contractors, and choose the professionals who’ve built a great reputation on years of local service.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM ROOFING SCAMS

First, be sure to ask your contractor lots of questions, especially if somethings seems “off.” The right contractor won’t be inconvenienced by offering more information.

You can protect yourself from the bait and switch by including a specific agreement in your contract. Suggest to your roofer that if any product included in your package should become unavailable, a comparable product will be used. If not, ask that upgrades be used at no additional cost.

As the project is carried out, make yourself available as often as possible to inspect the work. Look at things like fastener spacing and note whether the construction looks sloppy or neat. If you aren’t confident that you would be able to spot improper practices, ask a savvy friend or family member or even a professional consultant to inspect your roof as it’s completed. A good contractor will be happy to show their work at any stage of the project.

Being scammed on costly home repairs can be devastating. You’re out hard-earned money and your property still needs help. Avoid these scams by choosing Pacific West Roofing for your next roof project. Contact us today for a fee estimate! Call 503-635-8706 or send us an email.

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Risks of a Leaky Roof You Wish Your Mom Told You | Pacific West Roofing

leaky roofYour roof is an integral part of your home, keeping you protected from the variety of weather changes that occur throughout the year in the Pacific Northwest. If your roof has started showing signs of leakage, it likely needs special attention. If you decide to ignore this, you risk major damage to your home.

Risk #1: Attic and Ceiling Water Damage
If you have noticed brown discoloration in certain parts of your attic or ceiling, this could mean that your roof is leaking in a certain area. It may not be clear where the leak is coming from, as water quickly travels along lumber and roof panels in the attic before it gets to your ceiling. If you notice discoloration, it’s important to call a roofing specialist right away to find the problem and fix it.

Risk #2: Mold and Mildew Buildup
Mold and mildew in your home can cause serious health complications. Mold or mildew on the exterior can quickly get into the home’s structure, including the HVAC system, and that means that it will get into the air and vents of your home. Mold and mildew can lead to nasal congestion, asthma, and more if it is not found and treated quickly.

Risk #3: Slipping Hazard
Is your roof leaking onto the floor of your home or garage? This could form a puddle over time and make it dangerous for people walking, especially children or senior citizens who may be more susceptible to tripping.

Risk #4: Water Spots
Have you noticed water spots on your exterior walls, especially after heavy rain? This could mean that the flashing where the roof meets the wall is in need of repair. This can be a difficult fix, because the home’s siding will likely also need attention. Not sure if this is the problem? A roofing specialist can take a look at the issue and provide expertise on how to tackle the job and get it fixed before more damage occurs.

Risk #5: Structural Damage
Over time, leaks can cause serious damage to the rafters, wall frames, and ceiling joists. This type of damage can significantly deteriorate the wood and ultimately weaken the framing of your home. This is not only dangerous for your family because of the likelihood that it could buckle and fall, but it can also be expensive to fix if you let it go for too long.

Is your roof leaking? Contact Pacific West Roofing. Our expert roofers can quickly identify the source of the leak and make seamless repairs.

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Pros and Cons of Metal Roofing | Pacific West Roofing

If it’s time to replace the roof on your home and you’re considering buying metal roofing, it is important to do your research and weigh the pros and cons of metal versus other more conventional roofing materials, such as tile, wood and asphalt. Here, we consider the various benefits and downsides of metal roofing, such as aluminum, steel, and other metals.

It’s extremely durable. If you have your metal roof installed well and take care of it, it should last as long as the house and will easily survive wind storms, snow and rain water. Metal is also resistant to mildew, fire, insect infestation and rot.

Most metal roofs are noncombustible so they are rated with a Class A fire rating, which is the most resistant. However, if the metal roofing is installed over wood shingles, it will likely have a lower fire rating. Warranties will vary, but many companies will guarantee their metal roofing product to last between 20 to 50 years and paint finishes will often have a 30-year limited warranty.

It’s extremely lightweight. Metal roofing is lightweight, especially when compared to tile or other varieties. Most often, metal roofing runs from 100 to 150 pounds per square, compared to 750 to 1000 pounds per square for concrete tile. If you already have existing roof material installed, many times metal roofing can be applied directly on top of the other material without any tear off or additional structural support added.

It’s easy to install and will save energy in the long run. Metal roofing material comes in 12 to 36 inch panels or multiple-shingle sections. Because of this, it is quick and easy to install. Metal also reflects the sun’s heat, so it will often minimize the heat during the hottest part of the day. This means you will likely use your air conditioning less and ultimately, save more energy.

The disadvantages of metal roofing include:

It’s expensive. Metal roofing is pretty costly, with prices ranging from $150 to $600 per 100 square feet. This can be a big initial investment, but if you look at the durability of the material, it could save you on maintenance and roofing replacement.

It’s noisy. The Pacific Northwest gets significant amounts of rain every year, which means water will tap on a metal roof. A lot. For some people, this is a calming and soothing sound, but for others, not so much. Noise can be minimized by using materials that utilize structural barriers that reduce the drumming effect by applying them over insulation or solid plywood sheathing.

Accessibility. It is very difficult to walk or traverse on a roof in the wet weather or if there has been significant time for organic material to breed moss or algae creating an even slipperier surface to walk on. Maintaining a roof in the winter time to clean off storm debris or even to get your cat off the roof is often scary and challenging.

It dents easily. A metal roof can dent pretty easily, especially if something with significant weight and/or velocity hits it, such as a tree limb or large hailstone. Aluminum and copper roofing is more prone to denting than steel, simply because they are softer.

Before you decide on the type of roof to have on your home, be sure you consider your home’s style and the area you live in. For some, metal roofing makes perfect sense, while for other spaces, it may be better to go with other roofing materials.

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Portland Roofing Testimonials | Pacific West Roofing

asphalt shinglesIs it time to update your home and replace your roof? A new roof is a big investment, and requires a little research. There are a lot of different material options and it can be a bit overwhelming at first to know which one is the best choice for you. If you are considering asphalt shingles, here are the most important must-knows about this product.

There are two main types of asphalt shingles: fiberglass and organic. Organic shingles are based on waste paper that is saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof. There are adhesive salt coatings and ceramic granules embedded into the top. Fiberglass shingles are crafted with glass fiber on the base reinforcing mat. They are coated with asphalt and has mineral fillers to make it waterproof. Fiberglass shingles are extremely fireproof, whereas organic shingles are more durable.

Advantages of Asphalt Shingles:

#1: They’re affordable!
Asphalt shingles are usually the best-priced option for roofs and this is why so many homeowners prefer them. If the roof shingles are properly installed, they can protect your home for up to 30 years.

#2: There are a lot of style options.
No matter what your style, you can find a type of asphalt shingle that fits your style preferences. There are laminated, premium, and 3-tab versions and whether you have a contemporary or traditional style home, there will be the right match to fit your home. They are offered in a variety of colors as well, including multiple browns, blue, green, red, gray, tan, and much more. There are also different patterns available that can allow you to make your home stand out and be completely unique from neighboring homes.

#3: They’re easy to install.
Asphalt shingles can be easily installed by a roofing contractor very quickly. They are lightweight enough to be installed without additional structural support and there are no special tools or major prep work that need to be done for installation.

Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingles:
Asphalt shingles can be damaged if they’re installed during freezing temperatures and because they are not as high quality as other roofing materials, they are more susceptible to wind lifting and can crack easily during varying temperatures. In addition, these types of shingles are not environmentally-friendly and when they are manufactured, they produce greenhouse gas emissions.

Overall, asphalt shingles can be a great addition to your home! Have questions? Contact Pacific West Roofing today!

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How To Pinpoint A Skylight Leak | Pacific West Roofing

When you stumble upon a puddle of water below your skylight, it is critical that you find the true cause. Moisture of any kind is a serious problem for the structure of your home– especially your roof. Below, we’ll help you investigate the problem so you can take the necessary steps to prevent more extensive (and expensive) home repairs.

WHERE IS THE WATER COMING FROM?

Is there is a visible water stain at the header of the skylight, or the side toward the peak of your roof? If so, you may have some faulty flashing that’s allowing rainwater to get in. Surrounding each penetration in your roof, whether it’s a skylight, chimney, or vent, roofers install a strip of metal called flashing to create a watertight seal. If your skylight flashing is working properly, the culprit could be bad flashing around fixtures above it. Rain may get through some bad chimney flashing, then make its way down between the layers of your roofing system before it saturates the ceiling at the next opening– your skylight.

If you see signs of water damage at the peak side of your skylight, call a trusted roofing contractor for a leak inspection. Avoid making any repairs yourself if you don’t have the training as this can cause additional problems and cost you more in the long run.

On the other hand, if you’re seeing evidence of moisture at the sill, or the bottom of your skylight you could have more of a condensation problem than a roof leak. Condensation can accumulate more when it’s cold outside or when there’s high humidity inside, like in the bathroom. To keep it from dripping, most skylights are made with a condensation channel around the edges to capture it and drain the water through “weepholes” to the outdoors. When there’s a blockage in the drainage system (or lack of a drainage system), the channel can overflow and drip on the floor. If you discover a water stain at the lower end of your skylight, hire a professional to take a look at it.

Moisture problems, no matter where they originate, can cause significant damage to your roofing system if left to persist. Even if you’re convinced it’s just condensation, do what you must to absolutely sure. Contact Pacific West Roofing about your skylight today. Call 503-635-8706.

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New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Roof | Pacific West Roofing

Happy New Year 2015As 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.

Save Money

With the holidays behind you and the bills beginning to appear in the mail, you may be one of the many Oregon residents who is determined to be more frugal in the upcoming year. Saving money by setting aside spare cash or reducing monthly spending may be difficult if you are already on a tight budget. Rather than focusing on your daily spending, look at where you can save in the long run. This is where making a few home improvements can help. A metal roof may be a considerable upfront investment, but the effect it can have on your home’s energy efficiency, paired with the fact that it will last decades longer, will reduce many of your expenses in the future.

Protect Your Investments

As you reflect on all that you have achieved at this point in your life, it is likely that one of your most prized possessions is your home. Whether you live in the brand new home of your dreams, or an old fixer upper, make it a priority to protect your investment during the new year.  Pacific West Roofing offers full service maintenance for both residential and commercial buildings. By staying on top of the regular maintenance and inspection your roof needs, you can better protect your investment. Regular maintenance may help to:

Spend More Time with Loved Ones

With each passing year, it seems that more and more time is being spent away from home and loved ones. This year, resolve to build your relationships and spend more time with those you love by allowing us to care for your maintenance and repair needs. While it may be tempting to inspect, patch, or repair damaged roofing on your own, we suggest leaving this meticulous work to our team of skilled professionals. We can safely and efficiently inspect, maintain, repair, or replace your roof without taking away from the precious time you have to spend with family and friends.

As you and your loved ones celebrate the end of a great year, Pacific West Roofing invites you to stay safe, set new goals, and resolve to have a healthier roof as you ring in the New Year.

Call us about our roof maintenance, repair, and replacement services today at 503-635-8706. Questions? Just Ask Stan.

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Need To Fix Your Residential Metal Roof? | Pacific West Roofing

The fastest, easiest, and most economical way to solve metal roof problems is to apply a system that involves metal roof coatings. Properly applied coatings will fix leak problems, increase your home’s energy efficiency, and provide you with a roofing system that is easier to maintain.

Restorative coatings are designed to save you time and money and make your roof last longer. And, with a variety of different coatings available, we are able to select an even better long-term solution for your specific type of metal roof. However, applying even the highest quality product on the wrong roof can be disastrous, because not all roofs can be coated.

Before deciding whether to replace or re-coat your residential metal roof, it is crucial to answer a few questions.

THE BASIC ROOF SPECS

First, let’s identify some important factors in your existing metal roofing system. When you talk to a contractor, you’ll need to know these key details:

  • Size of your roof
  • Age of your roof
  • Slope of your roof (½”/12″, 1″/12″, 4″/12″, etc.)
  • What issues you are experiencing (leaks, rust, structural, etc.)
  • The color or appearance of your roof
  • Has your roof been coated before
  • Type of roof (see below)

StructuralArchitectural
R-PanelCorrugated

THE ENVIRONMENT

Before you decide on a restoration system for your roof, it’s going to be necessary to understand your roof’s unique situation as the conditions of your environment can have drastic effects on it.

Airborne chemicals will leave deposits on your roof, requiring a special cleaning and priming process before the restorative coating can be applied. For example, if your home is near an airport, your roof has likely built up layers of jet fuel deposits. Other chemicals in the air that can affect your roof include dirt, fertilizer and pesticides in farming areas, paint mist from exhaust vents in auto body shops, and caustics from concrete mixing processes.

The salty coastal air can quickly rust metal roofing panels to the point where they lose all structural strength. Because of this, coastline roofs should be evaluated by a contractor or engineer to determine the integrity of the roof and find out if its safe to work on.

Your regional climate will also play a role in the restoration and care of your home’s metal roof, especially with color choice and life expectancy. The southwestern desert areas are perfect for a bright white coating which will cool the roof surface and help lower air conditioning bills. Cold northern climates like ours require softer, more elastic materials, especially at panel joints because they allow for the movement introduced by extreme temperature changes.

THE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY

Safety is a major concern whenever we restore metal roofs. Are your panels so badly deteriorated that they might not be able to support a man carrying heavy tools and materials?

If rooftop equipment (vents, hatches, etc.) has been added since the roof was originally installed, it would be smart to have a contractor inspect the structure. There may be safety issues that should be addressed before the restoration work can begin.

Once you find the answers to these questions and determine that a restorative coating is the right solution for your roofing problems, we will be more than happy to assess the state of your roof, fix any leaks, prepare the surface of your roof and apply the most appropriate coating.

Contact us today for more information about residential metal roof coatings or for a free estimate.

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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.

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Mold – the pesky little fungi | Pacific West Roofing

Mold in the Attic! The Pesky Little Fungi

When was the last time you climbed into your attic? Cool summer mornings are perfect time for a check-up, especially if it’s been a few years.

However, since mold problems are so common here in the Pacific Northwest, anytime is a good time to check out how things are going — and hopefully not growing — in your attic spaces.

As we mentioned, mold is a common problem. This is especially true in newer homes due to weatherization home builders are attempting these days.

Why? There are several contributing factors that can have a major impact on making an attic a mold-friendly environment. Let us count the ways!

* Inadequate attic ventilation. (This is the No. 1 cause of mold growth in the attic.)

* Bathroom, kitchen and or dryer vents discharging into the attic.

* Inadequate or missing attic floor insulation.

* Improperly installed insulation cathedral ceilings and skylight chases.

* Furnaces and water heaters installed in an open attic.

* Plumbing vents that open into the attic.

* Lack of a vapor retarder in the ceiling

Those are just a few of the most common reasons why mold might take up residence in your attic. Fortunately, solutions to attic problems can be relatively simple and inexpensive. On the other hand, big and costly problems are usually inevitable if the issues go undetected and/or are ignored for long periods of time.

Why Mold Is A Big Problem
Mold can lead to more than just problems with the structural integrity of your roof. Mold spores can also lead to health problems.

Some of the more common health problems related to mold include coughing, congestion, and ear, nose, and throat congestion. Mold can also pose serious health problems for people suffering from asthma or allergies. Perhaps worst of all, people with already weakened immune systems can develop respiratory infections

Structurally, mold poses a risk to your roof since it attracts moisture for food, which over time can ruin the plywood sheathing and framing materials made out of wood.

Pacific West Roofing in the Pacific Northwest
If you are uncomfortable evaluating the attic on your own, give us a call. Although we are not a home inspector, we can still inspect your home for the possibility of elevated moisture levels, attic moisture issues, white or black molds, mold spores, roof leaks, and more.

And, of course, as the PNW’s premier roofing solutions company, we can do a roof-focused home inspection and take a look at your soffit vents, ridge vents, and other roof vents and roof sheathing to determine the source of air and attic mold removal solutions.

Think you might have mold in the attic? We are experts in identifying the problems, and more importantly — providing the solutions!

Contact Pacific West Roofing today.

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Metal Roofing Options You Should Know | Pacific West Roofing

metal roof installation in portland oregonMetal roofs are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they are incredibly durable and last for decades, sometimes up to 40 to 70 years, if cared for properly. They’re weather resistant, easy to install, and very energy efficient, making them a great choice for a variety of homes. Metal roofs are also able to reflect the heat from the sun well, which means that they can minimize any heat that’s getting through to the inside of your home during the warmest part of the day. This in turn means you’ll likely be using your air conditioning less and be saving more of the earth’s energy. Metal roofs are considered a good investment for homes of all sizes and they’re also available in almost any style and color that you can imagine. Our team at Pacific West Roofing carriers a wide selection of metal roofing options, but which ones are right for you and your home? Here are some metal roofing options you should know about.

Metal Shingles:
This option is incredibly weather resistant and weather tight. This is the perfect option for homeowners that are looking for a classic, yet distinctive look.

Metal Tile:
Do you love the look of traditional tile, but don’t want a heavy roof that’s expensive to maintain? Metal tiles have the same look as classic tile, but they’re light and are strong as stone-coated steel.

Metal Shake:
This will give you the look of authentic wood without the maintenance. Metal shakes are incredibly durable, making them a great investment for the long term. They are available in a variety of color choices, so no matter what your home’s style, you’ll be able to find something that fits perfectly.

Vertical Panel:
With recent advances in technology, manufacturers can now create these economical pieces in pre-painted vertical panels in virtually any color, making them great for residential use.

Natural Metals:
Natural metals create a protective layer as they age, which makes them ideal for use on historic buildings or in urban districts. They blend in well with their surroundings, are environmentally friendly, and are 100% recyclable.

Still unsure of which one to pick for your new home re-roofing project? They are a variety of style and color options that will fit your home and most importantly your budget. Our team is able to get you more information on the products you’re most interested in and give you quotes on the best metal roofing options for our specific home type.

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Metal Roof Maintenance Do’s and Don’ts | Pacific West Roofing

metal roof maintenance dos and don'tsLow maintenance is a major selling point of metal roofs. Under normal conditions, a quality metal roof will outlast almost any other material. But, there are always things you can do to make sure your roofing system stays looking beautiful and performing like it should.

Below are tips for extending the life of your metal roof as well as some of the mistakes to avoid with this material.

DO: Keep an eye out for stains, scratches, abrasions, grease or dirt. Use binoculars to scan the roof surface twice annually (Spring and Fall) and after severe storms. Also look for any obvious seam separation.

DO: If dirt or stains remain after a period of rainfall, gently wash your metal roof with a well-soaked cloth, sponge, soft-bristled brush, or low pressure sprayer and one of the following solutions.

  • One cup of detergent containing less than 0.5% phosphate mixed thoroughly with five gallons of lukewarm water.
  • Cleaners that contain solvents, such as Formula 409, Fantastic, or Star Brite Instant Black Streak Remover
  • If mildew or fungal growth becomes a problem, mix one cup household bleach and one cup mild dish soap with five gallons of water.

DO: Wash the panels starting from the top and working toward the bottom. Thoroughly rinse the surface with clean water to eliminate residue.

DO: Remove any metal chips, shavings, or random particles that you find loose or lightly embedded in the coating. Exposed steel will oxidize quickly and be a source of ugly rust stains.

DO: Promptly cover any scratched or abraded areas with a manufacturer-approved bottle-brush touch up paint.

DO: Keep tree branches clear of the roof by at least six feet to avoid scratches and excess debris.

DO: Keep valleys and gutters clear of leaves and debris. Perform a cleaning twice a year, or more often if there are many trees near your home.

DON’T: Use scouring powders or industrial solvents, which may damage the film or facilitate the accumulation of dirt.

DON’T: Allow different types of metal to come in contact on your roof as chemical reactions between different materials can lead to corrosion.

DON’T: Spend much time walking around on the panels. Even though most metal roofs can be walked on without causing damage, it’s not something you should do regularly.

DON’T: Paint your home using a sprayer. Overspray is likely to be blown onto the metal surface, and almost nothing can be done to remove it.

Looking for professional help with metal roofing inspections, maintenance and repairs? Contact Pacific West Roofing today!

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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.

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Inspecting for Roof Damage After a Storm Portland OR

Inspecting your roof for storm damageFall 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.

After a severe storm hits, it is crucial that you inspect your roof for even the slightest signs of damage, and here’s why: You can…

PREVENT MORE COSTLY REPAIRS

If when inspecting your roof you do find damage, act fast to arrange repairs. A storm-damaged roof is vulnerable to leaks, and with the rainy season now fully upon us you could be dealing with serious moisture issues. So, take care of the small problems you have now before they become big problems later. If you catch it early enough you may prevent a leak altogether– that’s money in your pocket.

MAKE A BETTER CLAIM

If your home suffers damage from a storm, the sooner you inspect the roof, the better chances you have of establishing the evidence you need to file a claim with your insurance company. In fact, most insurers have a time limit on making claims like this, so don’t wait. Once you talk to your claims adjuster, we will work with them to put your roof back together and give you peace of mind.

GET A FREE INSPECTION

thorough roof inspection is the best way to avoid expensive repairs, but we know there’s never a good time for unforeseen costs. In times like these it’s understandable why fixing a seemingly small roof problem may not be a top priority, but it should be. That’s why we’re offering our blog readers a free roof inspection (a $200 value), which includes checking for:

  • Missing shingles or flashing
  • Debris clogged valleys and gutters
  • Flashing around chimneys, skylights and siding
  • Attic ventilation
  • General repair needs

It is good homeowner practice to personally inspect your roof at least once per year, which can easily be done from the ground with binoculars. Getting familiar with your roof, tree locations and wind direction will give you a baseline for evaluating any damage that may occur in the future. So, put an inspection on your calendar as a repeating annual event so you’ll be quick to notice damaged flashing or missing shingles.

Call us today at 503-635-8706 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. Don’t forget to mention you read this blog post!

At Pacific West Roofing, we get the job done right the first time!

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How to Select the Right Roof Hatch for You | Pacific West Roofing

installing a commercial roof hatchIt’s in your best interest to make sure that your commercial property has the right roof hatch installed. Not only will it provide safe and convenient access to areas on your roof, but you will also be able to utilize it to allow for proper venting while protecting the rest of your interior space from Mother Nature.

This is definitely not a component you can afford to get wrong. The wrong roof hatch is going to cause you a world of problems, not to mention cost you potentially thousands of dollars, not only in construction repairs but in the labor and time spent with your commercial venture(s) shut down.

To better help you find the right roof hatch, we’ve put together this quick guide. Use all of the information below to help you make the right decision and you won’t have anything to worry about.

Determine how this roof hatch is going to be most frequently used. If you are investing in a roof hatch that is mainly going to provide access to rooftop areas, you will want to move forward with a rather small, simple, and straightforward piece of equipment.

If, on the other hand, you are also going to want to provide entry/exit space for large pieces of equipment, product, or other components, you will certainly need to make sure that you are investing in a much larger (and oftentimes more complex) roof hatch solution.

Analyze your roof to find the best location. Not all roof hatch solutions can be installed on an incline, and even those that can be installed on a traditionally pitched roof are going to require a little bit of extra work and a considerably larger budget.

Before you go about selecting one of these specialty roof hatch products you will want to be sure that you have combed the whole surface area of your roof to independently verify that there aren’t any other spaces that a more traditional roof hatch could be installed on.

Should go with a new or retrofit solution? There is a world of difference between roof hatch products that are made today and those that were made even just 15 or 20 years ago.

Brand new roof hatch products are going to offer you the very best performance right out of the box, whereas retrofit components are going to cost a whole lot less.

It’s really up to you to determine how to move forward with a particular type of roof hatch. Hopefully this gets the wheels turning. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Pacific West Roofing today!

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How to Remove Algae from Roof Shingles | Pacific West Roofing

Here in Oregon, mostly blue-green algae grows on the outside of the house or on the roof shingles. The only way to take care of it is to use a high-base chemical solution, like zinc sulfate. We’ll explain more of that in a bit.

While some people actually like the look of moss on their roof, they may be unaware that it can damage your roof, even promote rot.

What happens is the algae grows and becomes food for the moss. That moss then collects rainwater, like a sponge. If that top layer of moss gets heavy enough, the moisture seeps under the roof shingles and into the understructure. This brings mold build-up and eventually decay.

That means if you see algae or moss on your roof shingles, it’s time to remove it. Here’s how.

CLEANING YOUR ROOF WITHOUT DAMAGING IT

First we need to say one thing: don’t ever use a high pressure washer on your roof (for some reason it’s the first thing many people think to do). That pressure can strip granules and protective elements from shingles – it’s almost like wearing away the tread on a tire. Doing this means you’ll have to replace your shingles sooner.

Other people broom off the moss, which does work, but stiff bristles could also wear away the granules.

ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE MOSS KILLERS IS ZINC SULFATE

Zinc sulfate most often comes in powder form. To start cleaning, apply it directly and generously to moss areas – it’s recommended to use three pounds of powder for every 600 square feet. Spread it along the ridge of the roof, then let the rain do it’s job of dissolving it.

Generally, this takes care of moss for 1-3 years. The zinc needs to be applied annually though to keep the algae from regrowing, similar to how chlorine gets added regularly to maintain the cool blue color of your pool.

Here’s the downside: zinc sulfate is damaging to plants if it hits them directly. That’s why, before using it, most people will drape their plants to protect them. We also recommend applying it on a calm day, so the wind doesn’t spread it further than where it needs to be.

EARLY REMOVAL IS BEST FOR LONG-TIME PROTECTION

Taking care of algae growth early on is a very important way to ensure longevity for your roof. The more you let it grow, the higher the likelihood of seeing further damage.

Do you have questions, or need help cleaning your roof? Call the experts at Pacific West Roofing for any assistance.

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How To Keep Pests Off Your Roof And Out Of Your Attic | Pacific West Roofing

All kinds of critters and creatures can get to your roof and make it, or your attic, their home. Not only is their scratching and scampering around annoying, but their invasion into the structure of your home can cause damage and more inconveniences. We’ve heard all kinds of stories about birds, squirrels, raccoons, bats, bees and ants, and many homeowners want to know how to keep these pests away from their home. So, we’ll give you some advice on how to keep pests out of your attic and off your roof.

 

First things first, if you have pests that are getting into your attic, you’re going to need to find their access point(s). When inspecting your roof and the exterior of your home, pay particular attention to dormers, damaged flashings and the areas where the siding meets the soffits. If you find any evidence of your little friends, such as holes, claw marks, chew marks or nests, this will be your major point of interest.

 

Next you’ll need to check inside your attic, patch up the holes and reinforce areas that might be susceptible to pest entry. Before you go up there though, consider the possibility that whatever you’re dealing with might currently be up there and may not take kindly to you disturbing them. You might think about setting a trap or two or hiring the help of a pest control company so you can be sure the coast is clear.

 

Once you get up there, cover any vents to the outdoors with a heavy gauge wire screen and make sure you attach it adequately. Squirrels can shimmy through if you only attach a screen at the corners. Patch any holes that the critter used to get in with a non-chewable material. If you choose to use wood to cover the whole, make sure it is decently thick as squirrels have been known to chew through two inches of wood. Reinforce any other area in your attic where there are only two inches between you and the outdoors with additional pieces of wood or wire screens. Then, clean up any droppings that have been left by the pests, which can be like a glowing review of your attic’s hospitality.

 

When you are sure your attic is secure, make any necessary provisions to be sure pests can’t reach your roof. One of the easiest ways for them to get to your roof is from the trees. If you have any branches extending onto or within inches of your roof, cut them back so that there are at least six feet of clearance. Remember, squirrels can jump so a few feet might not be enough. Also be aware of power lines touching your roof. We once saw an army of carpenter ants crawling along a line and onto a customer’s roof, causing all kinds of problems.

 

If carpenter ants or any other pest have managed to make a nest within the layers of your roof, contact Pacific West Roofing today. We’re here to help.

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How To Install A Bathroom Vent Through The Roof | Pacific West Roofing

If you are tired of that steamy bathroom after your shower, or have “install bathroom vent” on your DIY list for your home, we’ve got some tips that will help you do it correctly and avoid some common mistakes that could cost you big in the long run.

install bathroom vent through the roofIf you’re thinking that you can use an existing vent, or even just vent into the attic, you’ll want to stop right there! If you plan to tap into an existing vent pipe, you could block the venting of the original source and create big problems at that location. Now, if you’re thinking about venting into the attic, you’ve got some problems just around the corner. You will be venting warm, humid air into your attic which is not a good idea, as it raises the temperature of your attic. As well, venting that warm, humid air into your attic in the winter causes even more humidity and moisture to collect in the attic, leading to possible damage to your attic, walls, and potentially worse.

Now that we are on the same page with “What Not To Do,” let’s get that vent installed!

  1. Figure out where you will install the vent
    • Pick the spot in your bathroom where you want to install the vent.
    • In the attic, make sure there are no obstructions for the vent pipe from the bathroom ceiling to the roof (make sure you have a truss or stud to mount the vent to in the bathroom from overhead).
    • It’s a good ideA to drill a hole from the attic into the bathroom ceiling to mark your installation location.
  2. Mount the vent into the ceiling
    • Cut the hole overhead in the ceiling (following the manufacturer’s instructions).
    • Install the vent into the ceiling.
  3. Attaching the vent pipe
    • In the attic, attach the vent pipe from the vent up to the roof.
    • Mark the roof where you will cut the opening for the vent pipe and roof hood.
    • Drill a hole in the center of your mark, and leave the drill bit in the hole so you can find it outside on the roof.
  4. Installing the vent hood
    • Using a jig saw, cut a 4” round hole using the center point of the hole from your drill.
    • Measure out a square around the 4” hole slightly larger than the vent pipe.
    • Use a “hook blade” to cut away the asphalt shingles around the 4” hole.
    • Pry up the shingles around the square gently.
    • Using asphalt roof cement, apply a bead around the bottom of the vent.
    • Slide the vent under the shingles, so they cover the vent flange.
    • Nail the corners of the flange, and cover the nail heads with roofing tar.
  5. Install the vent pipe
    • In the attic, install the vent pipe to the vent hood from the underneath.

If you have any questions, or find this is a project that you feel more comfortable hiring a roofing company to complete, feel free to contact us at www.pacificwestroofing.com to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists. Since 1980, Pacific West Roofing has been the choice for roofing service in Portland.

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How To Fix A Metal Roof | Pacific West Roofing

Although metal roofs are the most durable, there come times when some repair is needed. Whether your roof sustained damage by a storm, expansion/contraction or rust, these highly durable roofs do indeed sometimes need some TLC.02i33158

Before you set out to repair your roof, make sure you check your paperwork to see if it’s covered under warranty. The good news is that most metal roofs have a very extensive warranty, and you may not need to climb up there and do the work yourself. However, if your warranty doesn’t cover it, we’ve got some tips to make your time up there well spent.

LOOSE NAILS

First, take a look over your whole roof to locate any loose nails. If you have some, pull them all the way out and re-nail them back in.

RUST DAMAGE

If you find any holes or rust spots, you can fix them easily with these steps

  • Using a wire brush or steel wool, remove the rust completely
  • Use a metal primer on the area to prep for paint
  • Using a spray paint, spray the primed area. The color can be matched by going to any local auto parts store

SEAL UP LEAKS

You can use a urethane roof cement or even metal flashing to seal and leaks you find. However, make sure you smooth it over the leak area to keep from trapping water. Also remember, urethane roof cement and metal flashing will ultimately deteriorate and need to be replaced in the future.

 RESEAL SEAMS AND EDGES

Using urethane-roofing cement, make sure to reseal any areas you find with holes or openings.

 REPLACE FLASHING ON THE ROOF

To replace the metal flashing on a metal roof, call a roofing contractor to complete this effort.

A metal roof is an excellent choice for your pacific northwest home. By keeping it well maintained, you will ensure the roof lasts as long, or longer than expected. Since 1980, Pacific West Roofing has been providing the highest quality service and products to the Portland area. If you need to schedule a visit for repair or replacement, contact us today at www.pacificwestroofing.com and schedule an appointment with one of our roofing specialists.

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How To: Deck The Halls Without Damaging Your Roof | Pacific West Roofing

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.

ROOFTOP FIXTURES:

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.

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How Often Should I Have My Roof Inspected? | Pacific West Roofing

You keep on top of preventative maintenance for your health, your car, and even your kids’ homework—but what about keeping that literal roof over your head in top shape? Sure, Spring cleaning has you sweeping behind the fridge and winter prep might have you checking to see if the water pipes are in good shape, but when’s the last time you had the roof inspected? Roof maintenance is two-fold: One you can do yourself (if only with a pair of binoculars), but this should be complemented with an expert inspection at routine intervals.

When looking at a roof yourself, keep an eye out for uneven surfaces in the decking and cracked caulking. Are any of the shingles curling, buckling or blistering? Are there even some missing shingles? Look at the rubber part of the pipe vents and see if they look worn down or split open. Any damage to chimney caps should be addressed, and if you notice moss or lichen, that can be a sign of decay. Black algae may seem like a cosmetic fix that doesn’t necessarily need immediate attention, but it’s an excellent food source for moss, which can remove granules from the shingle exposing the asphalt to the sun’s rays.

 

When Action is Necessary

For homeowners with colored grit found in places like the gutters, that’s a red flag. It might look like sand, but it means the roof is being exposed to dangerous UV rays. It might be that the roof’s service life is about to expire, and acting quickly may give you a few more years. Any shingles with issues require immediate replacement, and there are some things a handy DIYer can do him or herself, such as nailing back in loose shingles, but for the most part it’s best to leave things to a pro.

In an ideal world, roofs are expertly inspected annually, preferably in the autumn before the wind, rain and snow sets in. Otherwise, it’s recommended to have a new roof inspected after the first five years, then at 10 years, 13, 15, 17, and every year after that. Handymen are truly “handy” for small fixes and can save you a few dollars, but there’s no substitute for a professional, licensed roofer who carries liability insurance and workers compensation on their employees.

WHAT’S THIS GOING TO COST?

Many reputable roofers offer free or low cost inspections, but the actual repairs will certainly have a price. Shingle replacements are usually under $250, common skylight and chimney repairs are under $500, and repairs to flashing are typically under $25 per foot. And if you have moss? That’s best removed in the autumn with a moss killer designed specifically for roofs (don’t use one for lawns, as you’ll suddenly have a green roof).

Dead moss can then be removed in the spring, right in time for your annual spring cleaning activities. You can hire a roofer or do this yourself, but keep in mind that it can take a few hours to sweep and clean a roof, which can be a back-breaking task for a larger home– especially with a steeper roofline.

THE SKY IS LEAKING

By the time a roof is actively leaking, it’s probably been damaged for quite awhile. That’s why it’s paramount to keep up with regular inspections. Telltale signs can include dark spots on the ceiling interior, peeling paint near roof overhangs, damp areas by the fireplace, and water stains on the pipes.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Roof replacement can be extremely expensive, and it’s always better to keep up with maintenance rather than waiting for the worst to happen.

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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!

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How Do I Prep My Roof for Fall? | Pacific West Roofing

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.

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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.

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How Are Your Pipe Flashings? | Pacific West Roofing

When it comes to owning a home, a good maintenance plan is always a worthy investment. In fact, you can avoid some expensive water damage issues by having your roof inspected every 3-5 years. Here in the Northwest, your roof will get hit with more than three feet of rain every year. Combine that with a couple annual wind storms and it makes a lot of sense to have your roof checked once in a while. Inspections are a special part of the quality service we’ve offered in Portland since 1980.

A COMMON PROBLEM

When your home was originally constructed, pipes were installed everywhere for plumbing and ventilation, a few of which protrude through your roof. Some of these pipes let air in so that water flows smoothly through your sinks, tubs and toilets. Others facilitate the exhaust of hot moist air generated in your kitchens and bathrooms. At the point where the pipes come through your roof, a metal base plate and rubber seal are also installed, which is called flashing. These fixtures are made to keep the penetration leak free and they come in a variety of sizes to accommodate whatever pipes are used.

However, the service life of the most common pipe flashing products on roofs in the Portland area is about 8-10 years. You can find higher quality flashing products that will last up to 20 years. As time passes, the flashings will wear out. The rubber will crack and deteriorate, letting water flow into your attic and your home.

If this continues on unnoticed, the rain that comes in through your compromised flashings will travel down the pipes, behind the walls, and eventually rot the wood structure in your kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry room. Wherever there is an elbow in the pipe, the water could drip, causing stains and leaks in your ceiling.

We’ve been working on roofs in the Portland metro area for 35 years now, and we’ve seen and used a variety of flashing materials made by different manufacturers. Not all of them fail in that 8-10-years time frame. There are a number of factors that can affect the lifespan of your flashings, such as the slope and directional exposure of your roof. If your roof has a steep slope but your roofer used a low-slope flashing, it may not last as long. Additionally, the flashings that exist on the sides of your roof that face the South or the West will endure more heat and direct sunlight, causing them to break down more quickly.

THE PROPER SOLUTION

With every problem there are good and bad solutions. The quick fix for a leaky pipe flashing is to seal it with caulking, but this is not intended to be a lasting solution. You’d be lucky if it got you through one season. Depending on the cause of the flashings’ demise, as well as the age of your roof, the best solution is usually to install a new flashing. Cutting corners will only cause a frustrating cycle of unnecessary stress and repairs.

Concerned about roof leaks? Give us a call at 503-635-8706 or visit our contact page to send us an email.

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How Are Solar Panels Installed On My Roof? | Pacific West Roofing

Thinking about going solar? Switching to solar powered panels on your roof can be an incredibly wise investment – one that is great for the environment and your energy bill!

Solar panels generally last for 30 years or more and require very little maintenance. They will not harm your roof if they are properly installed. In fact, these panels can protect the areas directly beneath them from excessive heat and light. It is actually very common to notice that the rooms that have the solar panels installed directly above will remain cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, regardless of what other type of insulation you have.

How does the installation process work?
The company will first insert giant lag bolts into the framing structure of the roof with Fastjack, which is a special metal flashing used in solar panel installations. The panels are bolted to the rafters then they are attached to the infrastructure of the home rather than the roof, so there is no safety concern about the panels weighing too much and pushing through the roof. The panels themselves are not that heavy. The company then uses high grade sealant that will prevent any leaks from occurring. The most time-consuming part of the installation job is finding the exact center of the rafters. However, there are new mounting products that have recently been released that help reduce the amount of time required for this process.

How much does it cost to install a solar paneled roof?
First of all, the type of roof you have will make a big difference in the installation process and price. It will be more expensive to install solar panels on Spanish tile roofs or wood shake than on simple asphalt shingle roofs. Tile or shake roofs are brittle and extra time is needed to ensure that the attachment areas are totally sealed. This extra time can increase the price of the installation job.

Oftentimes, if you install solar panels, you can qualify for a rebate. Contact your utility company and Oregonians can contact Energy Trust of Oregon to see what kinds of incentives are available, as there are often city-specific or federal energy rebates that can help offset the initial cost of the project. Looking for ways to conserve energy? Solar panels are one of the best ways you can do that. Once you decide to install your new solar panel system, you will be on the path toward tangible energy savings.

At Pacific West Roofing, we can answer any roofing and solar-panel-related questions you may have and map out the best strategy for adding solar panels to your roof. Give us a call!

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Got Roof Moss? We Can Help! | Pacific West Roofing

How long has it been since you thought about roof maintenance? If it’s been a long time, do you ever wonder what moss might be doing up there? If you’re a homeowner and none of this registers, it’s time for you to consider an inspection to assess the moss accumulation on your roof.

Every roof must have regular maintenance. The reasons for this are: increased lifespan of your roof shingles, granule retention, leak prevention, and even costlier repairs down the road due to negligence.

How do you lose the moss? Treatment! There are a variety of moss control products including earth friendly solutions. Once the moss has been treated and dies, it can be flushed off of your roof with a gentlepressure washer or broom. The next step is to do your best to prevent moss in the first place. Consider some of these basic preventative measures:

 

  • Keep your roof free from tree branches. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have trees around your home, just keep the branches from growing on or over the roof.
  • Keep your roof clean. Try to keep debris off your roof, particularly in areas that are susceptible to moss growth such as the North side.
  • Consider preventative measures that are administered through a professional roof maintenance company.
  • While it’s not the most comfortable situation in the world, there may be instances where you need to speak to a neighbor about their property. For instance, maybe they have a tree that is growing over your roof. Also, a home that is up wind needs a roof that is well-maintained, otherwise their moss spores may travel to your roof.

If you want to treat your roof for moss, or if you would just like us to consult with you regarding your roof, please contact us online or call us at (503)635-8706.

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Flashing 101 | Pacific West Roofing Portland OR

There are a lot of important details for ensuring your roof’s longevity. For example, there are areas of a roof that do not provide enough protection when it comes to hardware and aesthetics like chimneys, pipes, skylights and vents. Enter — flashing; it’s used to ensure these areas are sealed properly and to help prevent rain and other elements from wreaking havoc.

Flashing can be exposed or concealed and there are different types for different situations. Exposed flashing is usually of a sheet metal, such as copper, painted galvanized steel, and stainless steel. Each area of the roof is also completely different. Where the chimney comes through the roof, the roof is completely different than roof intersections. Skylight areas of the roof are different than ventilation pipes. All of these variables factor into what type of flashing should be used.

Sure it is a bit technical and not always convenient trying to determine the best solution, but by understanding the dynamics, doing the research and consulting with a professional, you can extend the life of your roof by years. It beats cutting corners and having a problem fester undetected for so long that a complete re-roof is imminent.

With over 32 years of experience, Pacific West Roofing has seen it all and we are here to help. For more details about flashing visit www.oatey.com. And if you have any flashing questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call. Pacific West Roofing – we get it done right the first time.

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Exterior Home Maintenance Tips for Fall | Pacific West Roofing

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.

CHECK WINDOWS

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.

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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.

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Eco-Friendly Roofing Ideas | Pacific West Roofing

Eco-friendliness and energy efficiency have been important trends in the construction of office buildings and other urban developments, but finally, the average homeowner is also beginning to incorporate green building elements into the design and construction of their homes. If you’re looking eco-friendly roofing ideas, here are 10 great options.

1. LIVING/VEGETATED ROOFS

One of the most favored and certainly the most attractive green roof option is a living roof. But, it’s harder to pull off than it looks. If you’re looking for an easy way to plant a garden on your roof, Green Paks are a smart way to go. Offered by Green Roof Blocks out of St. Louis, these affordable modules are made of a long-lasting, high density polyethylene knit. They come pre-filled with designer soil and, if you choose, pre-seeded with regionally appropriate plantings. Just cover your roof with Green Paks (with a drainage/root barrier layer in between), plant and/or water as necessary, and watch your living roof garden grow.

2. FINDING THE RIGHT PLANTS

Experts in living roofs have been focusing more and more on plant selection. Until somewhat recently, plants for green roofs were chosen without any real consideration for climate. Now, horticulturalists are working with green roofing contractors to choose plants that are native to the region, thus requiring minimal care. Scientists have also developed grasses that are more drought resistant, making a living roof easier to maintain in drier climates.

3. PREVENTING RUNOFF

A number of eco roofing companies have established drainage and runoff containment systems for vegetated roofs. They use special rubber edging to keep rain from draining out of the soil and plants, thereby preventing the runoff that pollutes our waterways. A living roof with a system like this could retain half of annual rainfall, but you’ll definitely want to make sure the membrane remains in good shape as pooling water has always been the arch nemesis of a roof.

5. INTEGRATED SOLAR TECHNOLOGY

Solar panels have become a popular roof adornment for the eco conscious homeowner, but many problems can arise from improper installation, which is unfortunately pretty common. If you’d rather not go that route, thin film solar technology is emerging as a more appealing method of collecting solar energy. Manufacturers have incorporated photovoltaic solar cells into various roofing products, which are expensive now, but will soon be available to the mainstream.

7. SOLAR TUBES

As an alternative to skylights, solar tubes can also help you harvest natural light and save on your energy bills. They start with a plastic dome on your roof, then a tube funnels sunlight into any room using highly reflective fixtures. Solar tubes can provide enough light that you don’t have to use lamps or overhead lights. And if the sun’s not out (as usual), some models are fitted with LEDs to provide light when the weather is grey.

9. COOL ROOFS

Cool roofs are actually the fastest-growing sector of the roofing industry right now.

Some of the most popular cool roofing systems for flat roofs use a white membrane that reflects sun rays and prevents heat emittance to keep cooling costs and rooftop temperatures down. However, keeping the heat out can be a problem for folks living in colder climates, so researchers at MIT created a roofing tile called Thermeleon that turns white in warm temperatures to reflect heat and then turns black to absorb heat when it’s cold out.

10. METAL ROOFS

Metal roofs are nothing new, but they are still one of the most environmentally friendly roofing systems available. They are finally being marketed more heavily to the average homeowner, and availability has skyrocketed. Metal roofing materials are recyclable, incredibly durable and long-lasting, and they’re the prefered roofing material for harvesting rainwater.

If you’re interested in a metal roof, cool roof, solar tubes, or a dependable foundation for a vegetative roof, we would love to help. Call Pacific West Roofing today at 503-653-8706 or contact us via email.

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Doubling Down On Security? Don’t Forget Your Roof | Pacific West Roofing

These days, there are unending reasons to tighten up security at home and in your place of business. As reports of terrorism and theft increase seemingly by the day, many people are installing alarm and surveillance systems, applying security film to windows and even employing security guards.

 

Roof Hatch SecurityOne vulnerable point of entry that many commercial and apartment building managers forget, however, is the roof. There have been several reports describing instances of theft where burglars have entered through the roof hatch, or just simply cut a hole in the roof and slipped in.

 

In this particular scenario, a California convenience store was robbed after thieves broke into an adjoining clinic through the roof hatch. They then proceeded to break through a wall to get into the market, stealing an undisclosed amount of cash and cigarettes.

Earlier this month, 5 men were arrested in Los Angeles after they nearly pulled off a hollywood-worthy heist. They broke into a bank by cutting a hole in the roof and running away with $6 Million. They were finally caught when they entered and attempted to rob another L.A. bank in the same fashion.

 

Rooftop robberies are unfortunately happening more and more, and now you’re probably wondering what you can do to prevent this from occurring in your building. So, here are a few things you can do to heighten security on your rooftops.

 

THE IMPENETRABLE ROOF ACCESS HATCH

When was the last time you used your roof hatch? If you can barely remember, it’s definitely time for an inspection. Make sure the hinges, gas spring cylinders and handles are all intact. If your hatch is old or damaged, consider replacing it with one made of heavy-gauge materials and tamper-proof hardware. Not only will a secure roof acces hatch protect you from a break in, it will also protect employees and tenants from injury on the roof.

 

If you have a locking handle, that’s a good start. There is likely a hole in the handle mechanism, and all you have to do is put a carabiner clip or padlock through it. Most standard roof access hatches come with lock hasps on the interior and exterior as a security feature.

 

You can go a step further and add locks to the gas cylinders or lift assistance arm as well. This will prevent thieves from entering, even if they get through the first lock. Contact switches can also be applied and wired to your building’s alarm system.

 

OTHER ROOFTOP SECURITY MEASURES

Mounting motion sensing lights and/or security cameras to your roof can prevent break-ins. Of course, with cameras you’ll need to have someone watching what’s being recorded if you want to stop thieves before they attempt to break in.

If you’re curious about how else you can secure your rooftop, contact Pacific West Roofing today for a commercial roof inspection.

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Don’t Get Stuck in an Attic Vent Trap | Pacific West Roofing

attic insulation and ventilationAttics are both very useful and inconvenient at the same time. If you wonder how this could be, consider the pros and cons. Attics can provide indispensable storage space, but the things that can be stored in an attic are often limited to boxes and other small items that are light enough to be hoisted overhead. Another negative– yet entirely avoidable– characteristic of attics is extreme heat in the summer and trapped moisture in the winter. Proper ventilation can alleviate both of these environmental issues, but you need to make sure that your vents are installed properly and working together seamlessly for the best results.

WHEN VENTILATION GOES BAD

Attic vents can prevent a handful of costly home repairs, but not if they are used improperly. It is extremely important to have these vents installed correctly, otherwise they can do more harm than good. There are several common mistakes people make when dealing with vents, but you can avoid them by keeping clear of these four problems:

  1. Unbalanced intake and exhaust installation – There are two types of vents that keep your attic cool and moisture free, they are intake and exhaust. By building a system that is overbalanced with one type of vent or the other, the ventilation system will not function properly.
  2. Concentrating only on summer heat – If you’ve climbed up into your unventilated attic during the summer, odds are high that you began sweating almost instantly. However, temperatures soaring well over 120 degrees are not the only attic issue you should worry about. The winter months can cause moisture buildup which can be damaging. Attic vents are designed to work all year long and should not be neglected during cooler times.
  3. Mixing and matching ventilation strategies – Attic vents are successful because of a delicate balance that keeps air flowing in and out, while also protecting the attic from outside weather. There are a few different combinations of vents you can use to draw air in and let it escape, but they are not interchangeable. For example, installing two or more different kinds of exhaust vents can sometimes cause the system to fail and allow wind and rain to enter into the attic.
  4. Not sealing off attic bypasses – In order for an attic ventilation system to work, the attic must be a contained air system, which means that openings like leaks or cracks that are not intended let in outside air should be sealed or repaired.

CALL A PROFESSIONAL FOR PROPER INSTALLATION

To guarantee that your attic is properly ventilated, call a professional roofer to have your vent system repaired or installed correctly. With the help of an experienced contractor, your attic will become much more efficient at dispelling hot or moist air, effectively lowering your energy bill and preventing water vapor from damaging your home.

Contact Pacific West Roofing about attic ventilation today. Call 503-635-8706 or click here to request an estimate!

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Do You Need A Commercial Roof Consultant? | Pacific West Roofing

Commercial building owners don’t always have experience dealing with roofing projects. They don’t always have established relationships with quality contractors, either. In cases like these, it could be advantageous for a building owner to seek advice from a third party expert.

A roof consultant can determine, without bias, the best roofing system and scope of work for your particular situation based on budget constraints, existing construction, sensitivity of the building’s tenants, and so on. These concrete details often help to give bidding contractors a solid understanding of the roof system and scope of work on which to bid.

Roof consultants are playing an ever-larger role in the construction of commercial buildings; in both new and retrofitting projects. As roofing technology advances, so must roofers, builders, and building owners. The roof consultant plays a valuable role in incorporating all the trade work that goes into creating a watertight building envelope.

5 Situations Where Having A Roofing Consultant Can Be Helpful

  • If you aren’t sure if the estimate or proposal you got from your contractor is the right way to go, bringing in a roof consultant can give you peace of mind and ensure that you get the best quality work for your building and your budget.

  • If you are under the impression that you need a complete tear off and roof replacement, a roof consultant could possibly point out ways to extend the life of the roof and save you from spending unnecessarily.

  • If you’re having trouble choosing a roofing contractor, a consultant can help you find the most qualified roofer for your particular project.

  • If you’re tempted to award your project to the lowest bidder, a roofing consultant may be able to point out concerning issues (such as being uninsured or under-qualified) and save you from making a grave mistake.

  • A consultant can also be your supervisor, ensuring that an appropriate roof system is installed with good workmanship and according to industry standards.

On the other hand, working with an honest, knowledgeable, and qualified contractor can mean avoiding the need for a third party expert.

When you’re considering various roofing contractors in the area, do your homework. One of the best ways to find out if a contractor has the qualities you desire is to get feedback from their previous customers. You can search local directories for reviews or even get a list of references from the roofer. See if anyone who they’ve worked for in the past had a project similar to yours.

It’s also a good idea to get an understanding of the company’s warranty and insurance information, their standing with the Better Business Bureau, what associations they are affiliated with, and their preferred material suppliers.

Looking for a commercial roofing contractor? You’ve come to the right place. Contact Pacific West Roofing today at (503) 635-8706 or click here to request an estimate.

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Different Types of Asphalt Shingles | Pacific West Roofing

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
  • economical
  • 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.

COMPOSITION

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.

CERAMIC GRANULES

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

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.

LIFESPAN

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.

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Considerations for Flat Roof Repair | Pacific West Roofing

Flat roofs aren’t unique when it comes to commercial buildings, but for homes, up until recently they’ve been somewhat rare. Flat roofs are becoming a popular choice for homeowners and developers building new homes with a more modern appeal. But, with flat roofs come different methods of care and repair. Here are some things to take into consideration before you tackle a repair on a flat roof.

REPAIRING A FLAT ROOF IS GENERALLY NOT THE BEST OPTION

When you’ve got a roof leak, anyone’s first instinct would be to patch it. You think about the costs and how you can minimize them. But, once the full scope of the problem is revealed, a simple, inexpensive repair may be out of the question. When you have a flat roof and you discover a water stain in your ceiling, this is a sign that your roof has been leaking for quite a while as it is the last stage of a leak. This means that the water completely soaked the roof deck, rafters, and insulation before it became visible on the ceiling. If you decide to patch the roof to save money, a more serious problem will remain. All that moisture will be trapped under your roof where it will cause the structure to rot.

After a series of ineffective repairs, most homeowners get sick of throwing away money and get a new roof. They’ll likely choose a different type of flat roof, made with different materials from a different manufacturer. But, unless informed decisions are made, the roof’s inherent problems will be the same.

Here’s a hypothetical scenario for you:

A new EPDM rubber roof is installed, but a year later it’s leaking like gangbusters. Several repairs are made, including the removal of a skylight, to stop the leaks but they persist, mainly near a cylindrical air vent.  Due to the shape of the roof, large pools of standing water form quite frequently, and because EPDM is not designed to withstand ponding water, it is slowly leaking through failing seams as well as failing flashing near the vent.

No matter how many times this roof is repaired, the leaks will continue because the material isn’t the right match. In this case, we would install a new roof with materials that are made for the precisely for this situation. It’s been said to always use the right tool for the job, but that also goes for materials.

If you’re considering flat roof repairs, contact Pacific West Roofing today to discuss your options! Call us today at 503-635-8706

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Commercial Roof Repair Portland, OR | Pacific West Roofing

Commercial roof problems can cost your business money if your problem roofing issues begin to interrupt your day-to-day operations. If they are already that much of a problem, it is vital that you have an experienced and trustworthy roofing contractor on your side.

Pacific West Roofing has spent three decades satisfying customers with commercial roof repair that keeps your business running smoothly. In fact, one of our specialties is a unique repair product for flat roofing called Wet Suit. If your facilities’ flat roof is leaking or otherwise needs attention as soon as possible, contact us and we will immediately assess your needs.

Flat roofs pose a particularly big challenge when it comes to repairing leaks. Locating the source of the leak can be difficult. On a flat roof, the way water runs is less predictable than on a pitched roof.

The life expectancy of your flat roof can often be tied to how well it has been maintained. If your facility has roof repair needs or if you just need some sound advice on the best way to optimize the life of your roof, we can help you with tips on maintaining your roof. Call or email us now for a free estimate for your roofing repair needs.

Get a Free Estimate

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CCA Treat Shakes & Shingles | Pacific West Roofing

What Are CCA Treated Shakes and Shingles?

The question can be answered in two parts:

What is CCA?

What does it do for roof shakes and roof shingles?

What is CCA?
CCA is the abbreviation for chromated copper arsenate. It’s a pesticide, and — as its name implies — it’s made of chromium, copper, and arsenic.

CCA on Roofs
CCA is an application that protects wood from fungi, microbes, termites, and other pests that can wreak havoc on wood shakes, shingles, support beams, and more. The copper causes the wood to take on a greenish tint. Over time, the green color will start to fade as the wood dries in the sunlight.

CCA has been used to treat wood products since at least the 1940s. However, there is some concern as to its effects on people and animals that come into contact with it. There are also environmental concerns if the chemicals are leached from the wood into the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not banned chromated arsenicals, nor does it require the removal of pre-existing structures made from wood treated with them or the soil around the structure. In fact, the EPA recommends applying oil- or water-based protectants “on a regular basis” to wood treated with chromated arsenicals.

Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau
Cedar shakes and shingles manufactured by members of the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau (“CSSB”) are labeled with the “Certi” brand name. What does that mean for you? It means that your Certi-label™ cedar shakes and shingles are manufactured by experienced craftspeople only. They take pride in the production and quality of their shakes and shingles. Member mills are bound by rigid local, national, and international quality codes. Compliance is maintained via unannounced, independent inspections conducted by accredited third parties.

Shakes and shingles preserved with a CCA treatment are protected from mildew, fungal decay, and pests. This helps add to the longevity of your treated roof. Material warranties on the preservative treatment are available from the treatment manufacturers.

Please contact CSSB for specific details.

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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.

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Buyer Beware | Pacific West Roofing Portland

Sometimes… some things… are too good to be true. And sometimes, intentions are good, but actions can have a negative impact with a domino effect. The roofing industry is facing one of these situations today.

In early 2011 a national roofing and ventilation manufacturer rolled out an enticing offer, “every GAF laminated shingle, including all Timberline® shingles—the #1-selling shingles in North America—will be covered by a lifetime ltd. Warranty…”. See the full story here.

The problem, this is an unrealistic and unsustainable promise. Why? Because no product (to date) has delivered on such a promise. The technology/product and proof simply doesn’t exist…yet.

Like all products, shingles have a lifecycle, and you get what you pay for. Some people can afford the “good” solution, while others are able to invest in the “better” or “best” option. GAF is essentially offering a LIFETIME warranty on their lowest-end, “good” shingle. Does this make any sense to you?

The problem is causing a hardship on reputable roofing contractors who have been in business for decades, who know better, and would never make such a bold and unrealistic offer to their customers. Buyer’s perceptions are being confused and distorted, and causing unrealistic expectations.

With over 30+ years of experience, Pacific West Roofing knows a “good” shingle has a realistic lifespan of 16-19 years, a ”better” shingle can give you 22-26 years, and “best” can reap you up to 28-32 years. And if anyone tells you otherwise, it will likely result in a warranty default, a roofing contractor bankruptcy, or even worse, costly litigation on YOUR part.

There are myriad ways a warranty can be exploited, and unfortunately the consumer is usually on the wrong end of the stick. Keep in mind (depending on the state in which you live) warranties have a statute of limitations, and contractors can use this to their advantage.

At Pacific West Roofing, we’ve got you covered. Please don’t believe everything you hear. And if you have any questions, or concerns, you know where to find us…503-635-8706.

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The Business Benefits of Green Roofing Systems | Pacific West Roofing

As a way to conserve energy and slow climate change, many flat roofs are now becoming green roofs. Traditional black roofing materials absorb a tremendous amount of heat, especially when we get a lot of sunshine. This increases the need for air conditioning, which creates one of the most harmful emissions polluting the air today.

For the past 30 years or so, architects and roofing material manufacturers have been working to find and produce environmentally conscious (and affordable) solutions for flat roofs.

COOL ROOFS

One of the most effective ways to improve a building’s energy efficiency is to install a roof membrane that will reflect sunlight (Solar Reflectivity) and release absorbed heat (Infrared Emittance). According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), these two properties could cut a building’s annual energy costs by up to 20 cents per square foot on average, depending on the climate and the quality of the new roof .  Check out their Cool Roof Calculator.

When it comes to cool roofs, Pacific West Roofing works with FiberTite® materials. The Cool Roof Rating Council gave FiberTite® roofing membranes one of the highest ratings in the industry for both Solar Reflectivity and Infrared Emittance, and it’s also ENERGY STAR® compliant.

LIVING ROOFS

Why not take it another step further, and cover your roof with plants that clean the air? People have had rooftop gardens for centuries, but just in the last few decades, they’ve become a popular design feature for eco-conscious commercial buildings and retrofits.

What can a living roof do for you?

  • Filter harmful pollutants and re-oxygenate the air.
  • Naturally reduce heat and help lower localized temperatures (Urban Heat Island Effect).
  • Insulate your building and cut energy costs.
  • Reduce the risk of flooding and wastewater overflow by retaining rainwater.
  • Slow water down so as not to overload the sewer and river systems.
  • Extend the life of your roofing membrane by reducing temperature fluctuations.
  • Provide a noise barrier, making a quieter work environment.
  • Give building occupants a private outdoor area for gardening and relaxation.

A vegetative roof requires a very special infrastructure. Without it, rot, mold, and disaster are inevitable. For a truly watertight roofing system, nothing beats a FiberTite membrane, with molecularly welded seams for unprecedented strength. They are designed to resist the damaging effects of chemicals, plant microbes, and rooting. And, with the combined technology of densely packed polyester fabric and a unique DuPont Elvaloy coating, FiberTite membranes are flexible yet unpuncturable.

If you’re interested in making your roof an integral part of your energy efficiency goals, give us a call and let’s discuss your options. We can also talk about mounting solar panels!

Contact Pacific West Roofing today by calling 503-635-8706, or click here to send us an email.

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How to Become a Roofer | Pacific West Roofing

If you’re looking for a new job, becoming a roofer can be a great career with steady work. We are trained to work on a variety of building types, including residential and commercial buildings. Wondering what exactly a roofer does and how you can become one?  The following information covers what it takes to become a roofer.

WHAT DOES A ROOFER DO?

We install and repair roofs that are made of all types of materials, including asphalt and cedar shingles, rubber, metal, and more. Roofers need to be prepared to work in a variety of weather conditions and all kinds of roof-top situations. We might work on a steep-sloped roof in the rain one day, and on a flat roof in the hot sun the next.

When a new roof is installed, the decking, often made of thick plywood, is laid first. After that comes the felt, which can make it a bit easier for us to keep our footing, and then comes the shingles (or metal panels or rubber membrane). Throughout the entire process, roofers need to pay especially close attention to detail. If the work is not performed well or sealed properly, leaks could cause significant damage to the inside of the building. We are also trained to install attic fans or ventilation ducts on the roof.

WHAT TYPE OF TRAINING/CREDENTIALS DOES A ROOFER NEED?

Most roofers learn the trade through on-the-job training. Many times, a person interested in a career in roofing will complete a formal apprenticeship program that provides a blend of classes and paid training. These types of programs allow apprentices to complete real roofing jobs, learn how to use specific roofing tools, and learn the safety precautions. This allows the apprentice to get a variety of experience under their belt before being officially hired on or going out in search of a full time job. You’ll also need to study new materials and techniques throughout your career in order to earn and uphold crucial certifications.

Roofers need to be in good physical shape as the job demands a lot physically. They also need to have a good sense of balance and not be afraid of heights. Being able to maintain attention to detail, even in potentially dangerous or hazardous situations, is very important. Roofing jobs also require teamwork as well as the ability to work well independently without a lot of direct instruction.

ARE ROOFING JOBS READILY AVAILABLE?

Career prospects for roofing professionals are good. Because of the housing boom in past years, repairs and replacements of existing roofs are common. In addition, because of the economic recovery that is slowing turning around, new commercial and residential building projects may pick up, which means that quality roofers will be in demand. This means job growth will be steady and positions will be available!

A career in roofing can be a rewarding job that allows you to put your hands to work! Contact us about job opportunities today!

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Attic Ventilation: Critical to a healthy home | Pacific West Roofing

Houses built back in the day, could breathe both through the window frames, light fixtures, switch plates and not-so-tight siding with building paper that was very porous. Today is a totally different story. The building “wrap” installed under siding today is very tight and permeability is almost non-existent. Moisture that used to exit through the building now travels through the inside of the building, rising with heat and winding up in the attic.If not vented properly, this moist air in the attic will condensate at the lowest points of the roof deck during the colder months of the year.

Now here comes the true purpose for a balanced ventilation system in your attic. Once this moisture rises into the open attic, there needs to be adequate exhaust ventilation at the ridge as well as adequate intake ventilation at the soffit or bird blocks. Bird blocks are the blocks between the rafters where they rest on the plate of the exterior wall of the building. These bird blocks are usually 2×4’s of wood which space the rafters 2 feet apart. These blocks are either blank or have holes with screen covering the holes to keep birds and bugs out but allow air to flow in as heat rises out of the exhaust vents or ridge vent.  The formula is 18 inches of net free air (NFA) per running foot of ridge to exit at the ridge vent, or can vents, and 9 inches of NFA of intake air per side of the house times 2 sides equals 18 inches of intake air to match the 18 inches at the ridge exhaust. This is a balanced system.

The vented wood bird blocks are grossly undersized for intake and most have maybe 10 inches of NFA in the 2 foot block it sits in making it 8 inches short of the needed 18 inches of NFA needed in the 2 foot span it uses. There is a cure for the undersized bird blocks and that is to replace the bird block with a full screen replacement vent which is a corner-to-corner screen giving the vent a 48 inch NFA for that 2 foot span of a 2×4 bird block. That translates to 24 inches per running foot well over the 9 inches per foot needed for adequate intake vent. Now….how often should you space these intake vents? I say no more than two blanks between vents or you will end up with dead air pockets and then the condensation begins again. I recommend every other rafter bay to make the air move some of the air in the “dead” or blank rafter bay. Yes, it can be considered overkill and I love to be over than short of intake, which is exactly what Air Vent Inc. suggests we are to do. Visit www.airvent.com for information on what I have discussed here.

Now that we have addressed the exhausting of heat and moisture in the attic, we need to look for moisture contributors in the same space. Bathroom exhaust fans are usually the culprit for shoving moisture into poorly vented attics causing the mold that eventually decays the roof deck to the point of needing total replacement. These vents are easy to fix by installing a baffled 4 inch vent with a goose neck or nipple sticking down off the bottom of the vent to slide the typical 4 inch ducting from the fan directly over the nipple then taping them together well with HVAC foil tape to stop air leaks…air now exits the building and not into the attic. This is step 1 in stopping the attic moisture source.  Step 2 is the kitchen vent where you will repeat step 1, taking the steam from your stove and putting it directly outside, not into the attic. With this solution, the only vaporized moisture that will get into the attic will be the moisture produced from inside the house from normal heating and living, which will easily be evacuated by the intake and exhaust vents we prescribed earlier in the article.

A happy attic is a moisture free, dry attic!

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Are Metal Roofs Energy Efficient? | Pacific West Roofing

Keep this in mind – your roof is the part of your house that gets the most direct sunlight, if it isn’t shaded. If you want to cut down utility costs, it’s critical to have one that’s energy efficient.

When people are choosing a new roof, the main concern is how it looks. Of course that’s important. But don’t you want one that can save you money, too?

Metal roofs can do that. We’ll explain.

ARE YOU OKAY WITH PAYING A BIT MORE UPFRONT, IF YOU KNEW YOU’D BE SAVING TONS IN THE LONG RUN?

Here’s the truth: metal roofs have a high upfront cost, higher than traditional asphalt. Looking past that though, you are buying something with far lasting value. A metal roof lasts anywhere between 40-70 years. In comparison, an asphalt shingle roof lasts about 20 years. Metal roofs are also low maintenance, which factors into upfront costs.

Now, about those bills. The Metal Roofing Alliance reports a home with a metal roof can save up to 40% on their summer cooling energy costs. See, a metal roof can be coated to make it reflective. What that means is it’ll reflect sunlight, rather than emit it as heat into your attic.

High energy efficiency rating for this home

(note: several metal roofing materials, such as steel, come pre-coated. When buying, you can choose between different coatings, as each one has different reflective properties. Make sure you inquire about the “emissivity” of it – i.e., how it will contribute to energy efficiency).

Metal roofs are also eco-friendly. Not only are they comprised of 30 to 60 percent recycled materials, but they can be recycled once you’re through using them (asphalt shingles are just now becoming more recyclable).

And, since looks are important, they do give you some options. Metal roofing can come in panel or shingle form, as well as different colors. For overall aesthetic, they go well with most styles of modern or rustic architecture.

Remember, though, that when you are choosing a more energy efficient roof, you have to pay attention to the whole assembly. That means the decking, insulation, etc. You will want an experienced roofer to make sure the whole system insulates well.

Pacific West Roofing uses the most eco-friendly and long-lasting materials for installing new roofs. We are backed by CertainTeed’s highest honor contractor warranty program. Start the conversation on how to make your roof, and your home, as energy efficient as possible.

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A Guide To Flat Roofing

When you’re looking to install or replace a flat roof, you have numerous material options and installation requirements to consider. Finding out which material is right for your flat roof can be confusing and difficult. So, we’ll help you choose the right roofing system by discussing the things you value in a roof the most; price, service-life and maintenance requirements.

First, here are two main types of flat roof applications:

  • BUR or Built-Up Roofing
  • Single-Ply

Within these categories, there are many different roofing systems. Finding the appropriate application and then selecting the preferable system usually works best. Let’s take a look at each of these applications.

BUR or Built-Up Roofing

Like it’s name implies, this type of flat roof is built up by applying layers of roofing material, such as tar or asphalt composition, or fiberglass felt. Two to four layers of rolled material are applied in a criss-cross pattern with either a roofing adhesive or hot asphalt, which serves as a waterproofing membrane. A layer of granulated cap sheet or gravel is often added on top to protect the roof from damaging UV rays.

Built-up roofs are economical, but they need specialized equipment such as expensive kettles that spew out VOC’s. They are relatively durable, but difficult to maintain due to the material’s limited expandability over time, which is due to UV breakdown– even in the first 5 years. Flashings are often separating from the asphalt due to this movement.

Bear in mind that rolled asphalt roofing, also called torch down, can also be considered a single ply roof depending on how it’s installed. However, it is such an inefficient and outdated flat roofing material that we cannot recommend using it.

SINGLE PLY

Single ply is the most common commercial roofing material available today. Opposite the built-up roof, it is made of just one all-purpose layer of roofing material. Single ply roofing systems are thinner and lighter than built-up roofs, ranging between 45 and 120 millimeters. Today they are commonly made of EPDM rubber (ethylene propylene diene monomer), PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin), which all have their pros and cons. This type of flat roof is installed either by gluing the layer of material to the board underneath it, hot-air welding the seams and flashings, or mechanically attaching it to the roof deck with fasteners and barbed plates.

EPDM rubber is the original single ply roofing material. It is usually black, both reinforced and unreinforced, and applied with an double sticky tape adhesive to keep the seams watertight.  Although it has its limitations, like ponding water issues and almost certain repairs after 7-10 years, it is still the most commonly used flat roofing material nationally but not in the West. Its popularity is mainly due to it’s reasonable costs and the fact that no special equipment is needed to install it.

In contrast, PVC and TPO roofs are usually white, reinforced membranes with seams that are hot-air welded for water tightness. This means that installation of either of these materials will require the use of special hot-air welding equipment to seal the seams and all the flashings. The hand welder equipment is relatively inexpensive unless the company uses a walk behind welder which can cost as much as $7-8K plus the generator to run it. This is still far less than hot tar equipment.

PVC roofing has been around 3 times longer than TPO, giving PVC a more reliable track record. TPO is considerably less expensive than PVC; however, you get what you pay for. TPO roofs have many issues that have yet to be resolved, making them a gamble for the consumer. Most track records show TPO life to fall short of warranty

ROOF COATINGS

If you are unsure about installing a new roof, you might also consider roof coatings, which are made for preserving existing roofs. They can be used to extend the service life of a roof by as many as 15 years, acting as an additional waterproofing layer. Although, not all coatings are sufficiently waterproof despite some manufacturer’s claims.

Roof coatings are most effective on roofs with smooth surfaces such as EPDM rubber roofs, low slope standing seam metal roofs, and some modified bitumen roofs. Coatings are not suggested for roofs prone to dirt and debris, such as tar and gravel roofs. These types of roofs are nearly impossible to clean thoroughly, which is a must before applying any coating. Also they’re not for roofs with ponding conditions because they peel underwater.

For more information or a free flat roofing estimate, contact us at 503-635-8706

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8 Symptoms of Bad Gutters | Pacific West Roofing

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.

SAGGING

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.

POOLED WATER

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.

DETACHED GUTTERS

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.

EXTERIOR DAMAGE

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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5 Roofing Tips For Summer

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:

  1. Check to make sure those exhaust fans are working well and are vented properly.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Make sure there are no missing, damaged, or loose tiles or shingles.
  5. 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!

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5 Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractor

When it’s time to find someone to replace your roof, there are specific questions that you should ask. A new roof is a big investment and you should definitely do some research before you spend your money. Asking questions is never a negative thing – instead, it shows that you care about your home and want the best job done. As established, widely-recognized experts in the industry, our team at Pacific West Roofing is always happy to address any concerns you may have. Here are some helpful questions to ask a potential roofing contractor.

Question #1: Name and physical address.
This may seem obvious, but if your roofing company only has a post office box, not a physical address, or does not have a licensed company name, this should be a cause for concern. Check reviews online for the company name and see if there are positives or negatives online. When it comes to hiring a roofer to replace your existing roof, you should find one that is reliable and has a good reputation for quality and efficiency in the area.

Question #2: Ask about insurance.
Workman’s Compensation, as well as liability insurance, will help protect a homeowner in the event of an unfortunate accident. Without workmans compensation, the homeowner may be at risk of paying medical bills or other costs in the event that the person is injured on site at your house. Liability insurance will protect you from damage that could be caused by the company during the roof’s repair process. Your homeowner’s insurance will not always cover these types of issues, so be sure you ask the roofer for verification of this coverage.

Question #3: Know if the company uses subcontractors.
Ask the contractor if there will be any subcontracting of the work. If there is, you should ask that person the same questions – are they insured and what is their reputation like?

Question #4: Reputation and references.
A positive reputation is key and if the company or contractor you’re considering does not have a good reputation in the roofing industry, you should think again about hiring them to do work on your home. Ask for local job sites that have been completed and if it would be okay for you to drive by and check the work that was completed. In addition, do your research online and see what people are saying about the company or contractor. If possible, ask for past homeowner references and talk to them directly to ask if they were happy with the work that was done.

Looking for a roofing company that’s not afraid to answer these questions, and more! Contact Pacific West Roofing! With years of industry experience, we’re dedicated to completing the best possible work on your roof, work that will serve you and your family for decades.

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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.

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4 Factors of a Roofing Estimate

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.

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4 Common Commercial Roof Problems

Commercial roofs can experience a number of problems over time. It’s important for business owners and facility managers to know what to look for and when to contact a roofing company. The most common problems seen by commercial roofers include:

1. Faulty Flashing and Pitch Pans
Flashing is installed on walls, curbs and around objects protruding from the roof, like pipes and chimneys, to deflect water from seams or joints. Ninety-five percent of roof leaks occur due to faulty flashing. It most oftenfails because of the expansion and contraction that occurs, causing the flashing to tear of break. Also,the top of the flashing is often not terminated properly and this can break loose allowing water to get in.Pitch pans are also used as a seal around pipes coming through a roof. If pitch pans are not properly maintained or are filled with materials that did not seal adequately, water will run down the pipe and into the roof. These are the most common problem for flat roofs today.

 

2: Blow-offs and Reduced Wind Uplift Resistance

Leaks are not the only issue that can arise from improperly installed flashing. As wind flows over the roof, the pressure directly above the roof’s surface decreases. Simultaneously, internal air pressure increasesdue to air infiltration through cracks and openings. This results in an upward force on the roofing system,which is referred to as wind uplift. Wind uplift resistance can be reduced significantly if seams are not adequately cured on cold-applied modified bitumen roof systems. If the seams are exposed to wind before they are cured, wind uplift can damage the roof membrane. Improper gravel embedment and too few fasteners in the base sheet during application of hot bituminous and torch-applied modified bitumen systems can also have similar consequences. High winds can also blow off the caps on chimneys and vents allowing water to get into the pipe.

3. Standing Water
Standing water is sometimes due to a clogged or blocked drains, but most often it is due to poor roo fdesign or installation. Allowing water to stand on the roof can deteriorate the roof and ultimately cause leaks. During the design of a dead-level roof, slope should be included with tapered insulation or crickets.While installing hot bituminous systems, poor mopping can produce voids in the membrane, block drains, and result in standing water as well as void the warranty. Before repairs are made, it’s important to investigate the source of the water. Sometimes an HVAC unit without a condensate drain line can be the culprit and sometimes they just get clogged if no one is maintaining them. We will always do a thorough inspection before making a repair and check drains to be sure they are free of dirt and debris.

4: Punctures and Additional Penetrations Post-Installation
Every roof system’s performance is compromised when new penetrations and equipment are added,unless proper precautions are taken. Damage from foot traffic can also be detrimental, especially for single-ply or spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roof systems. Construction traffic can cause cuts andscrapes in the membrane and damage the underlying substrate. In addition to causing leaks, this may also void the guarantee. When penetrations are added or removed from a metal roof, there can be catastrophic results. The caulking and sealants used to seal the whole can be ineffective because metal roofs incur a lot of expansion and contraction, and this will result in a number of persistent problems. Ceramic coatings will reduce the solar heat load and reduce expansion and contraction.

We fix these issues regularly and have the experience and expertise to do the job right. If you witness any of these issues on your commercial roof, give us a call at 503-635-8706

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35 Roofing Safety Tips

If you’re planning some DIY work on your home roof, roofing safety must always be your first priority. If you skip these necessary considerations because you’re eager to get to work, there’s a greater likelihood that an accident will happen— so why push your luck? Remember to take these roofing safety precautions to avoid serious injury or even death.

GENERAL ROOFING SAFETY TIPS

Following proper roofing safety procedures begins before you head up to the roof. Take notice of each potentially dangerous area in your site, like power lines and unsafe roof access areas. Once on the roof, be sure to do the following:

  • Make sure your work area is clean, organized and blocked off from pets and children.

  • Never work when the roof is wet or slippery.

  • Avoid working on your roof during extremely hot or cold weather. Extreme temperatures can cause shingles to become damaged and prevent them from sealing or lying properly.

  • Wear soft-soled footwear for optimum traction.

Take advantage of the fall-related safety equipment available to you, such as a harness and ropes with a roof anchor into the framing of the roof structure. Also, toe boards and brackets that you can walk along on are great roofing safety precautions to take.

LADDER SAFETY

In addition to roofing safety, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has important safety guidelines for portable ladders. They are as follows:

  • Read and follow all the warning labels on the ladder, and never use a ladder that is damaged.

  • Avoid electrical hazards by looking for power lines overhead before handling a ladder. Never use a metal ladder near power lines.

  • Always maintain 3 points of contact on the ladder while climbing (two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand). Keep your weight near the center of the rungs and always face the ladder while climbing.

  • Only use ladders and their accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their intended purposes.Man Cleaning Gutters with Roofing Safety in Mind

  • Make sure your ladder is free of any slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet.

  • Do not use a step ladder as a single ladder or in a partially closed position.

  • Do not use the top rung of a ladder as a step unless it was designed for that purpose.

  • Only use a ladder on stable and level surfaces unless it has been secured at the top or bottom to prevent displacement.

  • Do not place a ladder on any unstable base to obtain additional height.

  • Do not move or reposition a ladder while a person or equipment is on it.

  • A ladder used to access an elevated surface (your roof) must extend at least 3 feet above the point of support (gutters or eaves). Do not stand on any part of the ladder that extends beyond its support.

  • For the safest angle, place the base of the ladder a quarter of the working length of the ladder away from the wall or other vertical surface. For example, if your eaves are 10 feet from the ground, your ladder base should be placed 2.5 feet out from your gutters.

  • When working in a location where your ladder might be displaced by other work activities you must secure the ladder to prevent displacement, or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder.

  • Make sure that any locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.

  • Do not exceed the ladder’s maximum load rating.

  • Make sure you don’t have to stretch or reach more than your arm’s length while standing on the ladder.

  • Never leave a ladder unattended.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY

We cannot stress enough how vital it is to be careful around power lines. Proper roof safety goes beyond the roof itself.  If you cannot avoid power lines, call your utility company before you start working.

  • Make sure you are using a wooden or fiberglass ladder instead of metal, and be extra careful when using metal flashing. Remember that electricity can jump or “arc” to a metal object several feet away.

  • Never touch hot wires with your hands or tools.

NAIL GUN SAFETY

Roofing contractor installs new composite shinglesA pneumatic nail gun is a dangerous tool and can easily become a weapon. So, it should always be handled with extreme care when exercising roofing safety procedures.

  • Never point a nail gun at another person.
  • Make sure the safety mechanism is working properly, and never tamper with it.

  • Only pull the trigger when the “business end” of the nail gun is pressed firmly against the material you intend to fasten. Do not “shoot” nails from a nail gun.

  • Make sure your nail gun is properly cleaned, inspected and well-lubricated before use.

  • Do not rest a nail gun against your body to prevent misfires.

  • Always disconnect the air supply as soon as you are finished using a nail gun, and never work on the tool while it is connected to the power supply.

ROOFING SAFETY WHEN HANDLING MATERIALS

  • You will be surprised at how much material goes into most roofing jobs. You might be inclined to carry more than one bundle at a time, but this is a dangerous move, especially when climbing up ladders and walking across steep rooftops.

  • Store material close to the roof in order to save time and energy when retrieving material.

  • Remember to always lift with your legs rather than your back, and take a break when you’re tired to avoid injury.

  • Always follow the shingle manufacturer’s instructions and use the preferred installation and repair materials for your specific roof type.

NOT FEELING UP TO IT? PORTLAND ROOFING CONTRACTORS CAN HANDLE IT

Don’t trust your roof to just any contractor. Choosing Pacific West Roofing, LLC assures that you’ll be working with a quality, dependable roofing contractor with a proven reputation for customer satisfaction and a history of following roofing safety to the letter. We are licensed, bonded, and insured in Oregon and Washington, and our work is backed by a 10-year workmanship warranty. If you need help with your roofing project, contact Pacific West Roofing today!

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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.

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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)
Walk ability 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!

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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!

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7 Tips To Maintain Your Roof

7 Tips To Maintain Your Roof

Proper roof maintenance requires regular inspections. Seasonal or yearly checkups will lengthen the life of your roofing materials, preventing leaks that lead to damage, costly repairs, and — horrors! — the necessity for a complete roof replacement.

We decided to put together a quick list of roof maintenance tips that will alert you to any problems and help extend the life of your roof.

Roofs are designed to weather (literally) all kinds of storms, but there is going to be some wear and tear. So be sure your roof is ready for the next big storm by following these helpful tips on roof protection.

If you have any questions about roofing repair, damaged shingles, roofing home improvements, or your roof system in general, please call Pacific West Roofing. We’re happy to guide you through the best solutions for you and your home.

1. Inspect Your Shingles
Do yearly checks on your roof shingles — especially after the wild weather months. But remember: It’s not just wind and wet that can damage your roof. Ultraviolet light from the sun’s rays can also wreak havoc over time. So be sure to examine your shingles as a regular part of your roof inspections to ensure they’re still installed properly and functioning as they should.

2. Trim Branches
If you have trees with overhanging branches, have them trimmed before the winter sets in. Heavy snow, wind, ice and other natural phenomena can whip branches around or pull them from the tree completely, causing damage to the root and the structures on top of it.

3. Unclog Gutters
Many of us are familiar with the problems associated with clogged gutters, which can include bubbling wall paint and rotting wood. But clogged gutters can overflow with so many leaves, bugs, and debris that the rain washes up instead of down. Over time, the water can damage the roof and the support beams that hold it aloft. You can imagine the kind of problems that will cause: the expensive kind. Clean your gutters and clean outs heading into the spring and fall seasons.

4. Monitor Moss
Although moss adds an element of color and a magical forest look to your roof, the damage it causes is no fairy tale. Left to grow unhindered, moss will damage roofs of all kinds — including asphalt, wood, and concrete. Here’s what happens: Moss grows between shingles. Over time, it will bulk up and actually lift the shingles away from the roof, meaning water can get inside. Plus, the moss itself holds water. Leaks and wood rot usually follow not far behind. You’ll have to scrub the moss away (or hire someone to do it) to prevent damage. So keep a close eye for moss! We recommend that zinc sulphate granules be sprinkled on the roof systematically and seasonally.

5. Insulate/Ventilate
A roof that’s properly and comprehensively insulated and ventilated is less likely to be at the mercy of excess moisture, which can lead to rot. Have your attic inspected to verify that you have the right — and the right amount — of insulation. Ventilation is especially important. This is an area of concern that most homeowners are usually unaware of, and PWR makes it a point to remind our customers just how important it is. A lot of times, they’re surprised to learn that an attic can “sweat.” How? Warm air will rise, contact the cold, inside plywood of the roof and create condensation, which inevitably leads to mold growth and rotting plywood. Make sure vents are allowing for the proper amount of air circulation. Properly insulated roofs can also help prevent ice dams. (See below.) Conversely, an improperly ventilated roof will make your home even hotter in the summer. If your attic doesn’t have enough balanced air flow, that hot air has nowhere to go, and it’s going to get hot in there with the sun beating relentlessly down on the roof during the summer. Properly ventilated roofs will also save you money on your electric bill since your AC unit won’t have to work as hard to keep the house cool.

6. Prevent Ice Dams
Speaking of which, roofs are susceptible to ice dams after heavy snowfall. Warm air in the attic causes the roof itself to warm up, melting the snow. Those trickly rivulets of water then refreeze when they reach colder portions of the roof and — voila! — ice dams. Next thing you know, additional meltwater gets trapped and starts to seep through the roof, staining ceilings and peeling paint. To prevent ice dams, go back and recheck your insulation and ventilation to make sure that your attic stays cool enough in the winter to keep ice dams from forming in the first place. As we move into the cooler fall and winter months, it’s really important to work to prevent ice dams.

7. Caulk the Flashings
Flashings are those strips of metal (usually aluminum, galvanized metal, or lead) that run along roof edges or joints. Flashing is necessary to divert water or to keep water out of tricky areas that shingles can’t cover, such as roof penetrations where bathroom and kitchen pipes/vents extend through the surface of the roof. Flashing is also used near walls, skylights, and chimneys, and valleys. Depending on how they were installed, flashing can rust, crack, lift, or separate, meaning that a vital piece of roof protection is no longer functioning properly. Consider sealing the flashing with caulk at the places where it has become unstuck. At Pacific West Roofing, we prefer lead pipe flashings because it lasts for decades with little to no maintenance, contains no rubber that will deteriorate in the sun over time, and makes it less likely that you’ll have to caulk and recaulk those problem areas of your roof’s flashing.

Pacific West Roofing
Pacific West Roofing has been in business for almost 40 years. That means we’ve seen it all — and fixed it all! Check out our list of roofing services for residential and commercial properties in the Portland metro area. And then request a quote or give us a call!

We look forward to serving you — and becoming your Portland roofing contractor for life!

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Brisket turducken short loin, ball tip capicola chicken kevin tongue burgdoggen ham pork cupim. Turducken ground round strip steak cow tenderloin t-bone ham hock ham filet mignon burgdoggen brisket tail jowl ribeye jerky. Capicola jerky venison flank kielbasa beef ribs. Swine turkey jowl ribeye. More…

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Brisket turducken short loin, ball tip capicola chicken kevin tongue burgdoggen ham pork cupim. Turducken ground round strip steak cow tenderloin t-bone ham hock ham filet mignon burgdoggen brisket tail jowl ribeye jerky. Capicola jerky venison flank kielbasa beef ribs. Swine turkey jowl ribeye. More…

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Brisket turducken short loin, ball tip capicola chicken kevin tongue burgdoggen ham pork cupim. Turducken ground round strip steak cow tenderloin t-bone ham hock ham filet mignon burgdoggen brisket tail jowl ribeye jerky. Capicola jerky venison flank kielbasa beef ribs. Swine turkey jowl ribeye. More…

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T-bone porchetta biltong tail. Picanha chicken pancetta, tri-tip alcatra shankle pastrami pork loin kielbasa short loin bresaola cupim rump. Short loin flank jowl, tri-tip meatball burgdoggen cow.
Mark Twain CEO

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Abbott: Strange as it may seem, they give ball players nowadays very peculiar names.

Costello: Funny names?

Abbott: Nicknames, nicknames. Now, on the St. Louis team we have Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third–

Costello: That’s what I want to find out. I want you to tell me the names of the fellows on the St. Louis team.

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Meatball andouille bresaola chicken, tri-tip cupim cow shankle swine. Cupim short ribs bacon, corned beef ground round tenderloin landjaeger ribeye brisket capicola ham flank pork. Beef andouille alcatra chicken short ribs.

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Common Rooftop Solar Panel Installation Problems To Avoid | Pacific West Roofing

While most homeowners aim to repair their leaky roofs during the summer, winter roof repair is always available when you need it. Aside from some material limitations, installing a roof in the winter is just as simple as it is in the summer.

And it’s worth it to repairing or replacing a roof work when it’s raining or snowing outside. Even with small leaks, the consistent rainfall and moisture in Oregon can cause major damage to the structural integrity of the roof as whole. For example, if your roof has a leak, the expansion and contraction of roofing materials that occurs due to freezing and thawing can worsen it, and even more leaks may appear.

DO ROOFERS WORK IN THE WINTER?

Here’s the short answer: Yes! While you may be wondering if it’s dangerous for roofers to be toiling away atop your home in icy conditions, rest easy. Roofing contractors need to work in the winter months just like anyone else, and some roofers actually prefer cold conditions to the summer time when they get cooked up there. Most of the time, if it’s 90 degrees outside, its 120 on your roof. Talk about miserable. If your roof is packed with snow, it should only take 30 minutes to an hour to shovel it off, depending on the size of your roof.

PROS AND CONS OF WINTER ROOF REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT

Now lets get to the heart of the issue. Roofing materials all behave differently in conditions below 40 degrees. There are types of materials that should not be installed in these conditions and some that can be installed any time of year, regardless of the weather.

Here’s what to do, depending on your home’s roofing material:

epdm-rubber-flat-roof. Flat roofs in the winter are more difficult to repair usually.FLAT ROOFS

There are pretty much only two flat roof systems that can be properly installed in the winter – PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin). These thermoplastic single ply flat roofing products are mechanically installed and seams are hot air welded instead of using adhesives.

Rubber roofs, the alternative to these systems, should not be installed in temperatures below 40 degrees because the adhesives that seal it will freeze and not bond. Contractors who say they can and will conduct rubber roof projects are ignoring manufacturer suggestions and proceeding with this project can result in roof leaks and voided warranties. So, it’s a good idea to hold off on winter roof replacement if you’re looking at rubber roofs until it gets a bit warmer. The same goes for peel-and-stick materials, as adhesives won’t bond, creating leaks. This material can actually blow off your roof.

Winter roof inspection with some snow on the shingles.SLOPED ROOFS

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used material for sloped roofs and can be installed in the winter, but caution must be taken by roofers installing it. They must be careful not to bend and crack the shingle. Also, because asphalt shingles are dependent on a proper seal between the overlapping shingles, which requires heat from the sun to bond, these materials often do not seal properly until warm weather rolls around. This can cause them to blow off or leak.

Although our winter temperatures are generally mild in the Pacific Northwest, asphalt shingles are also susceptible to ice dams – large ice formations along the eaves of roofs caused by poor ventilation or inadequate insulation in the attic. Ice and water shield membrane is a great method to prevent ice dam leaks, but it also requires the sun’s heat to properly adhere to the roof deck, so some of the same shortcomings may apply.

Metal Roof in the winterMETAL ROOFS

Metal roofs, can be installed in the winter without compromising quality. Cold conditions do not affect metal roofs since they won’t crack due to improper handling. They are designed to allow for expansion and contraction, so the outside temperatures won’t make a difference. Just be sure to use a premium breathable synthetic underlayment to combat moisture caused by poor ventilation and always upgrade intake and output ventilation whenever possible. Whether you need winter roof repair or replacement, mental roofs are safe during any season.

FIND WINTER ROOFING SERVICES IN PORTLAND, OR

With all that said, roofing projects in any season should be discussed at length with a trusted contractor to prevent common issues and the premature failure of your roof. Contact Pacific West Roofing for roof repairs or replacement during the winter months, or for any roofing services you need.

Portland Roofing Contractor Since 1980!

CCB# 169414