Roof Repairs

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Is There a Roof Disaster Lurking Under Your Shingles?

Looking up for hidden trouble
When was the last time you were on the roof? The view of Mt. Hood might be better, but still: That expanse crowning your home needs regular inspection, so it deserves your attention at least twice a year. Before you climb the ladder, stand back and scan the roofline. Hidden trouble is easier to see when you know what to look for.

Is Your Flashing Flush?

Whether it’s metal, plastic, or rubber, flashing is your roof’s best friend because it deflects water from joints and seams. You can see it around vertical vents and chimneys where it protects structural framing. Flashing forms a water-proof barrier with its snug fit, but age and weather compromise its integrity. Because the material defends vulnerable areas of the roof, its failure can lead to serious structural damage. Even small flashing leaks allow moisture under surrounding shingles, which sets the stage for algae growth and wood rot.

Are the Shingles Out of Shape?

Missing shingles shout out loud that you’ve got trouble on the roof, but what do they communicate when they buckle and curl? This odd appearance is common on older roofs and indicates underlying moisture problems, but the shingles aren’t always to blame. A poorly ventilated attic forces damp air upward through the roof’s structure causing shingle material to buckle and curl. The uneven warping traps debris and rain water, and it sets up a natural breeding ground for mold and moss. When healthy shingles lose their shape, your roof loses its protection.

How Bad Is the Weather?

It’s tempting to blame Portland’s generous rainfall for our roof problems, but summer sunshine and winter cold take their toll too. The temperatures don’t have to sizzle for UV rays to dry and crack shingles. When melting snow runs off the roof, moisture collects around seams and joints, where it re-freezes and warps flashing. Once roofing materials are damaged, a strong gust of wind on a beautiful spring day can give sudden flight to shingles and flashing. It doesn’t take a Pacific storm to inflict weather damage on your roof.

Don’t wait until the kids’ soccer ball gets stuck behind the chimney to find out you have trouble on the roof. A visual checkup from the ground reveals a lot, but a professional roof inspection is the best way to make sure everything overhead stays in good shape. Just contact us at Interstate Roofing. We don’t retrieve cats or soccer balls, but we know how to take care of your roof.

Dealing With Disputed Roof Damage Claims

Don’t give up hope if your insurance claim for roof damages is denied. With a strong appeal, you still have a chance to win.

If you’ve recently received the news that your insurance company won’t be covering your roof damages, don’t panic just yet. While most policies will honor repairs that go beyond normal wear and tear – think major damages from storms or vandalism – getting the compensation you deserve isn’t always as simple as filing your claim on time. Fortunately, you do have the right to appeal. If it’s clear to you that your roof repair bill should be covered, don’t be afraid to fight back.

Why Good Claims Go Bad

While they have a reputation for being tough, most insurance adjusters go into their field because they want to help people rebuild their lives when disaster strikes. Denying claims isn’t something they enjoy, but just like you, they’re held to strict standards by their employers. From negligence to insufficient evidence to contract exclusions, there are many reasons why first claims get denied. Some denials may be final, but many others can be corrected with a little extra work on your part.

The good news is that you’re entitled to a detailed explanation why your claim isn’t being accepted. If you find the language confusing, call your provider for more information. Remember that when you know exactly what went wrong, you have a much higher chance of winning your appeal.

Tips for Getting Your Denial Overturned

1. Learn the terms of your contract inside and out. The more you understand about your policy, the more leverage you’ll have when communicating with your insurance company. You can get a head start on understanding insurance law in Oregon here.

2. Keep in contact with your agent. Most insurance agents are more than happy to help their clients get through the appeals process. Just remember to always be polite and open to new ideas. If you feel like your agent is concealing information or just not being helpful, consider hiring an outside consultant. Attorneys can be helpful, but because they often break up the direct link between you and your insurance company, their services should generally be seen as your last line of defense.

3. Pay for a professional report. When your roof repairs fit the profile of what should be covered under your insurance plan, including a professional damage assessment in your claim file is a great way to strengthen your case.

Looking for a professional roofer? Contact us online or give us a call directly at 503-684-5611to learn more about our roofing services in Portland, OR.

5 Simple Roof Repairs That Boost Home Value

Roof repair will make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Imagine walking around a home you want to buy and discovering it’s the house of your dreams, except for one thing: the roof leaks. Potential buyers don’t want to deal with roof problems, which is why roof repairs and replacement rank high on the list of home improvements that are worth the time and effort.

Replace Damaged Shingles

High winds, low-hanging tree branches, sun exposure, and age can all damage roof shingles or cause them to detach completely. The unsightly results detract from the appearance of your home and are an invitation for leaks to develop. Some types of damage can be repaired while others require the replacement of one or more shingles.

Eliminate Leaks

Unless you can look at the roof and see obvious signs of damage, the source or cause of a roof leak can be hard to find. Wet spots in the attic, ceilings, or walls could all indicate the presence of a roof leak. The best way to find exactly where the water is getting in is to hire a professional to do a roof inspection.

Clean Up Stains

Dark streaks and stained areas on the roof look terrible, and they’re not so good for the health of your shingles, either. Many stains are caused by colonies of algae that take up residence in damp areas and happily eat away at the roof’s surface. These colonies require treatment with specialized chemicals to get rid of them and keep them from growing back.

Fix the Flashing

The strips of metal that cover roof joints and the spaces between shingles and protrusions such as chimneys are prime areas for damage. Usually made from galvanized steel or aluminum, these strips can rust or come loose, allowing water to pour in and compromise the underlying structure. Replacements are available in pre-measured lengths or can be made to specifications by a pro.

Check the Fascia

Made from wood or metal, fascia is the trim right under the roof edge that keeps water and other elements from getting down into your walls. Various factors including overflowing gutters can cause fascia to rot or rust, necessitating replacement to avoid potentially serious damage.

Interstate Roofing can handle all of your roof repairs from the smallest detail to complete roof replacement. Give us a call today at503-684-5611 to discuss cleaning and maintenance services or get a free estimate for repairs. Our team of trained specialists is ready to deliver the best possible results in the Portland, OR, area to ensure a strong roof that adds value and appeal to your home.

3 Reasons Why Roof Supports Give Out

The signs and causes of roof failure and what you can do to prevent it.

How often do you think about your roof? It’s always overhead, keeping your home or commercial building safe from the weather, but it’s also taking a lot of abuse as you go about your daily life. Damage that results from the following three problems builds up over time and can lead to all-out roof failure if not addressed.

Blistering

Roof “blisters” generally start as leaks. Water gets into the roof through damaged shingles, cracks, or holes in the roof membrane, and when the heat of the sun hits the roof, the moisture expands. A continual cycle of this puts a great deal of pressure on the roof piles, causing them to push apart and create a raised bubble that can clearly be seen. Insulation beneath the roof that stays wet perpetuates the problem by keeping moisture in constant contact with the piles.

Splitting

Poor installation or improper pairing of materials can cause your roof to split. Connecting materials that expand and contract at different rates strains whichever one has less give, and the only way it can deal with the force is to crack. Expansion joints that aren’t put in correctly experience similar stress and have a tendency to give out at the seams. Splitting may also be a consequence of age as years of wind, rain, sun, and snow catch up with your roof and the supports become less able to handle the constant barrage.

Lack of Maintenance

A roof isn’t something you can forget about after it gets installed. Constant exposure to the elements wears down all kinds of materials, some faster than others. If you’re not having your roof maintained on a regular basis, you could be missing small signs of trouble that can add up to big problems later on.

In some cases, maintenance in and of itself can cause the roof to degrade. Mistakes or poor workmanship can leave behind holes that allow moisture to get in. If you want your roof to last, you have to choose a roofer you can trust.

At Interstate Roofing, we offer reliable roofing maintenance in the Portland area. Don’t wait until your roof is on the verge of collapse to address these common roofing problems. Get in touch with us today and our qualified roofers will assess what your roof needs to stay secure. Contact us through our website or give us a call to cover all your roofing needs.

Is Your Roof Green or Just Plain Overgrown?

When your roof is green for the wrong reasons, the results can be damaging.

Algae on your roof doesn’t make it a green roof. With the current “green roof” trend, it’s not uncommon to see plants sprouting on top of homes and businesses. Unwanted roof growth, on the other hand, is damaging rather than environmentally conscious. This kind of green can threaten the integrity of your roof, resulting in damage to the surface and the underlying structure.

What’s Growing on the Roof?

Several common types of growth can cause roof problems. Moss is the most recognizable, popping up between shingles as small tufts of green. These tufts hold moisture, keeping the roof damp and encouraging the growth of mold.

Mold comes from a wide variety of fungal spores that can spread quickly. This not only weakens the roof but also has a tendency to cause health problems, especially for people with allergies. Some types of mold lead to serious infections that require medical treatment.

Lichen is a mixture of algae and mold that grows in green “splotches” on shingles. Collections of powdery spots mean that you’re dealing with mildew, a common problem in damp climates. Plain old algae is also commonly found growing on roofs in streaks or spots of green, blue-green, or black.

All types of growth can cause wooden roof shingles to rot and asphalt shingles to erode. This opens up gaps between shingles that let in water every time rain falls or snow melts. The end result is the same: a compromised roof structure that will need to be repaired long before it reaches the end of its intended lifespan.

Damage Prevention Through Roof Maintenance

Routine cleaning and maintenance of your roof is essential to preserving the materials and prolonging the life of your home. There are a few simple steps you can take to remove existing greenery and prevent its recurrence, including:

• Choosing roof materials that resist growth
• Trimming trees and other plants away from the roof to prevent moisture buildup
• Using commercial roof cleaners and growth inhibitors to combat mold and mildew
• Hiring a professional service to remove severe growth and perform regular cleaning

When cleaning the roof yourself, avoid products containing chlorine bleach because they may strip the color from the shingles and create runoff that can damage your lawn.

If you look up to find that your roof has bloomed into a mess of greenery, call Interstate Roofing. We offer extensive roof cleaning services that can get your Portland home back into top shape before serious damage is done. Contact us when you’re ready to give your roof a brand-new start.

After the Storm: Assessing a Weather-Damaged Roof

An immediate assessment of roof damage is crucial after a severe stormRegular roof maintenance can prevent most damage, but unexpected problems may arise when the weather turns nasty. Severe weather can create conditions that threaten the structure of the roof and your home as a whole.

Watch Out for Weather

Storms bring different hazards, depending on the season. Rain storms may include high winds that carry debris, break tree limbs, or uproot entire trees. Thunderstorms are notorious for dropping hail. In the winter, ice and snow accumulate on just about every surface and create runoff when the temperature warms up. Any of these conditions can wind up damaging your roof.

What to Look For

It’s a good idea to assess your roof for potential damage after any kind of storm. Start with an inspection from the ground and look for:

• Lifted or missing shingles
• Noticeable gaps between shingles
• Dented areas created by hailstones
• Broken, bent, or hanging gutters
• Any obvious debris or fallen trees

If it’s safe, you can climb up on a ladder and look for cracked shingles or collections of granules in the gutter that suggest shingle damage.

Inside, you want to make sure that there are no leaks evident in the ceilings or the attic. Check air vents and the junctions between the roof and the house for damage as well. Keep a record of anything you find to help you evaluate the extent of the damage and determine your next step.

Roof Repair – What’s Next?

Since it’s not always possible to see the extent of roof damage yourself, it’s a good idea to call in the pros. Trained specialists can spot potential problems that you may have missed. Contact your insurance company with your complete list and find out if they’ll cover the estimated repair costs.

If you’re comfortable working on a roof, you can fix minor damage yourself. Missing or loose shingles can be replaced and small cracks re-sealed. Some repairs may only hold for a little while and are meant to keep your home safe until more extensive work can be done. However, you shouldn’t make any repairs on your own if the roof is unsafe to work on or if you’re unfamiliar with the process.

Whatever you find after the storm, Interstate Roofing in Portland, OR, can provide the roof repair services you need. Contact us to assess your home and determine the extent of the damage. Our technicians will get to work quickly on repairing and replacing all the compromised parts of your roof so that you can get back to living your life without worry.

Tips for Choosing a Roofing Material After Storm Damage

The right materials will help your home withstand storm damage.

If you’ve recently been through a violent storm that has ripped shingles off the roof, sent a large tree trunk crashing through its underlying infrastructure, or caused some other kind of catastrophe, it goes without saying that you’ll need to make repairs immediately. Although having to deal with this kind of unexpected damage can be stressful, try thinking of it as an opportunity to fortify your roof against future storms by selecting some rigorously durable materials. We’ve outlined a few of these options below.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are used on the majority of residential houses. They’re usually crafted from a fiberglass matrix that has been infused with a synthetic asphalt mixture. Single layers and double layers are both available. While the latter will typically cost more, it will provide an extra layer of protection during intense storms. Asphalt shingles are both easy to install and inexpensive. Professional contractors can usually complete an entire residential project within just a few days.

Flashing

Flashing will be a critical part of the installation work. If you wish to avoid repeat repairs in the future, you’ll want to add thin strips of metal where two different materials come together. Near the area where the asphalt shingles and the bricks of the chimney meet, for example, flashing will typically be needed. The metal will prevent water from working its way into porous areas.

Proper Installation

Proper installation is essential to any roofing job. Shingles should overlap so there are no gaps between each row. Professionals will generally install starter strips that will protect your new roof against high winds. Ridge vents, ridge-cap shingles and proper nailing techniques are crucial to the success of the project, which is why you should always hire a professional. The goal, of course, is to make the entire roof waterproof so that the interior of your house doesn’t become a swimming pool.

Color and Style

Unexpected roofing catastrophes are an opportunity to improve curb appeal as well as function. You’ll want to make sure that the shingle color you choose will fit nicely with the rest of the house. Brightly colored homes, for example, will give you a bit more leeway. White houses, on the other hand, will usually work best with dark gray or black shingles. Take a drive around the neighborhood or peruse your favorite home-improvement magazine for ideas.

If you’re in need of roofing help in the Portland area, give Interstate Roofing a call. Our staff is experienced in evaluating roofing damage and devising cost-effective repair plans that improve curb appeal and protect homes from storms. Visit our website for more information on our services and for examples of our top-notch work. You can also request a free estimate by filling out our online form.

Hidden Hazards: How What’s Inside That Leaky Roof May Hurt You

Roof maintenance now prevents health and safety hazards later.

Many people avoid going into the attic for fear of encountering spiders or rodents, but something far scarier could be lurking up there if you have a roof leak. Even the smallest hole in the roof can cause widespread damage to your home and put the health and safety of your family at risk, and you may not even realize how much damage has occurred until something devastating happens.

Fire and Electric Shock

In most cases, water douses fires rather than causing them, but all bets are off when water from a leaky roof touches electrical wiring. If there are breaks in the wiring’s insulation, water can create an open circuit, which can spark a fire. The water around the wiring can also become electrically charged, causing a shock to those who touch it. If you suspect a leak, it’s imperative that you shut off the breakers to the affected area and move your loved ones to a safe place until an electrician and a roofing expert can address the issue.

Structural Damage From a Leaky Roof

Combine one small area of roof damage with the relentless Portland rain, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. For starters, the attic floor will flood. Next, you’ll notice buckled spots on the ceilings, and if the water seeps down a wall, the wood of the framing can become saturated quickly. If allowed to continue, the moisture will make its way to the foundation and cause problems there. You may not notice these issues for months or even years, and by that time, you’re looking at a very expensive repair bill to correct extensive structural damage. If you ignore these issues for long enough, a roof collapse is a real possibility.

Other Health and Safety Risks

Water trapped in dark, enclosed areas breeds mold. These spores grow rapidly and not only contribute to costly structural damage to your home, but also pose a health risk. Mold can grow on any part of the framing, drywall or insulation and make its way to the rest of the house through the heating system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, inhaling mold spores can lead to severe allergic reactions, asthma, rhinitis and a host of respiratory ailments.

Quality Roof Maintenance in Portland, OR

The time to repair your roof is before you notice water stains on the ceiling or wet spots on the floor. To keep your loved ones healthy and safe, and to protect your most important investment, contact the roof maintenance experts at Interstate Roofing in Portland, OR, today for a free estimate.

Can Keeping Up Appearances Keep Homeowners out of the Poorhouse?

Save money with these roof maintenance and cleaning tips.

Like any homeowner, you’d probably like your roof to last as long as possible. In addition to lasting for years, it needs to be kept in good shape to ensure that the underlying structures are fully protected at all times. The best way to make sure of this is by regularly inspecting, maintaining and cleaning your roof. By taking these steps every six months or so, you’ll not just be maintaining the appearance of your roof and home, you’ll be protecting your investment.

Top Roof Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

Every spring and fall, perform the following steps to ward off costly damages and to extend the longevity of your roofing system:

  • Seal Mortar and Caulking — Check mortar and caulking around joints and chimneys. If there are cracks or other signs of degradation, apply new mortar or caulking as needed.
  • Remove Debris — Debris on the roof can cause serious damage, and it can create the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew and algae. Sweep it away or blow it off promptly.
  • Replace Shingles — Be on the lookout for missing, damaged or curling shingles and replace them as necessary. This is much cheaper than waiting until serious damage occurs.
  • Look for Rust — As you run across metal components on your roof, look for rust. Use a wire brush to remove the rust, and then prime and paint the spot to inhibit future growth.
  • Check for Algae and Other Growths — If your shingles are tinged green, algae, fungus or other growths may be occurring. Zinc and lead control strips are designed to help treat such growths, so invest in some to nip this problem in the bud.
  • Trim Close Tree Branches — Overhanging tree branches can easily damage a roof. Don’t wait until yours are too close for comfort. Trim them back early to avoid serious issues down the road.
  • Repair Flashing — Take a close look at the flashing on and around your roof. It should be securely affixed. If it’s not, remove the existing caulk, scrub the area thoroughly and reseal the flashing.
  • Remove Snow — If excessive amounts of snow have accumulated on your roof, its structural integrity may be in jeopardy. Invest in a snow rake and use it to safely remove the snow.

Hire the Professionals to Inspect and Maintain Your Roof

Do-it-yourself roof maintenance is smart, but it’s even smarter to have your roof professionally inspected and maintained at least once a year. Interstate Roofing provides affordable, high-quality roof maintenance services in and around Portland, OR. Visit our Maintenance & Cleaning page to learn more, or give us a call today at 503-684-5611!

Confessions of a Weathered Roofer

Re-roof, replace or ignore: a roofing contractor tells it all.

Homeowners pour a lot of money into painting walls and updating flooring without giving much attention to the roof over their heads. It’s only when the roof fails that residents remember that crucial part of their house that keeps out the sun, rain and vermin. Roofing contractors are often appalled at the roof conditions they encounter on houses that are otherwise picture-perfect.

What You Don’t See Won’t Hurt You

When it comes to your home, this is a dangerous attitude. Many homeowners go through life blissfully unaware of the potential problems threatening their homes. This is especially true for the parts of the house that are out of sight. To the trained eye of roof experts in Portland, OR, however, even small things could be a source of major problems down the road.

  • Ponding occurs when a hollow in the roofing material collects and retains some of the precipitation. Accumulated debris can trap rainwater and snow, allowing moisture to sit in one place and promote deterioration of the roof. This is especially problematic for houses in rainy Vancouver, WA.
  • Curling, lifting, cracked and missing roof shingles can lead to leaks. Left unrepaired, damaged or missing shingles will stress nearby shingles and cause more problems.
  • Blistering and peeling shingles need to be replaced immediately to prevent more deterioration. Puncturing the blisters or nailing down loose shingles will only worsen the problem.
  • Stains on the roof shingles from overhanging branches, algae growth and pet waste (bird droppings are the worst – and can void manufacturer’s warranties) should be addressed quickly to make sure that the roof material doesn’t deteriorate even more.
  • Loose fasteners, flashings and deteriorated seals, missing granules on bituminous material, and rotting underlayment can lead to moisture intrusion into your attic space.

Causes of Roof Problems

Wind, hot temperatures and heavy precipitation can damage roofs slowly so that the condition is hidden until the attic leaks or until wind or water pressure strip away parts of the roof.

Incorrect installation and repair of roof layers can lead to numerous problems that may not be obvious right away. If the issues have to do with poor design, consider a thorough inspection and professional repairs to correct the problem immediately.

Roofs that aren’t cleared of debris and algae growth regularly will deteriorate quickly, since water tends to pool in low spots. Leaves and twigs will break down and affect the underlying material.

The Final Fix

Roofing problems are not to be messed with by untrained persons. Roof work is a hazardous job, and installation and repair are complicated processes. If you need the services of a roofing contractor, contact us online or call the experts at Interstate Roofing for a consultation: 503-684-5611.