Roof Maintenance

Sometimes looking up for signs of trouble can save us a bundle, most of us tend to forget the importance of maintaining this critical part of our home.

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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.

A Clean Roof Is a Happy Roof

Why your roof will thank you for performing regular maintenance

Nobody is thrilled at the thought of hauling out the ladder to climb up and clean the roof. However, as much of a headache as this chore can be, you’ll have a much bigger headache later on if you neglect to do it. These are just five of the many benefits of regular roof cleaning.

Improves Home Appearance

The way your home looks on the outside gives an impression of how well you treat the rest of it. You don’t let dirt and debris build up inside your home, so why would you let it happen on the roof? Keeping the roof clean maintains an attractive outward appearance that shows you take pride in your home.

Banishes Bacteria

A type of algae known as cyanobacteria is often responsible for the black and green streaks you see developing on your roof over time. Other types of growth include lichen and fungus, all of which feed on roofing materials. Regular cleaning gets rid of existing colonies and prevents new invaders from settling in to eat your roof.

Increases Efficiency

Anything growing on your roof will darken the color of the material, causing it to absorb more light and making the inside of the house hotter. In some cases, temperatures may rise as much as 25 degrees. Instead of wasting money combatting the problem with air conditioning, get rid of the growth and debris and bring your energy bills back down to where they should be.

Keeps the Home Safe

Algae and fungal growth can spread from the surface of the roof to the roof deck, allowing moisture to get in and providing prime real estate for mold. Excess roof debris clogs gutters, causing overflow that may encourage mold growth in other areas. Mold can range from mildly allergenic to toxic, so keeping it from appearing should be a top priority.

Lengthens Roof Life

Allowing debris and growth to accumulate speeds the natural degradation of roof shingles. Since roof replacement is one of the most expensive home improvements you can undertake, it makes more sense to invest in a regular cleaning plan. Practicing preventative maintenance takes less time and money than a complete roof replacement and gives you peace of mind.

Professional roof maintenance and cleaning services offer these same benefits, and you don’t have to look far to find them. Interstate Roofing provides homes in the Portland, OR, area with reliable maintenance that preserves the longevity and integrity of roof materials. Give us a call today for a free estimate on roof services for your home and start treating your roof right.

Hold Onto Your Shingles: Protecting Your Roof From Storm Damage

Don’t let nature make a big mess of your roof.

Storms are one of the biggest threats to the integrity of your roof. To avoid the need for roof repairs or replacement, consider these tips to protect your home during all kinds of severe weather.

Roof Inspection

Before storm season rolls around, get a professional to inspect your roof. Specialists can identify areas of weakness and suggest what, if any, repairs should be done to reinforce the roof against damage. Doing preventative maintenance in advance of inclement weather helps to protect your home and reduces the likelihood that you’ll need more costly repairs later on.

Use Strong Materials

If repairs do need to be made, choose a strong material that can stand up to the stress of high winds, collisions with debris, and heavy precipitation such as hail. Homes with roofs that are old or have sustained damage in the past may benefit from a roof replacement. In either case, investing in high-quality roofing ensures that you’ll have a sturdy roof for a long time to come.

Keep the Gutters Clean

Maintain your gutters so you won’t need roof repairsA gutter full of debris will inevitably back up and overflow, either causing damage to the space beneath your roof or creating an ice jam that strains the whole system. Overloaded gutters can pull away from the house, damaging the edges of the roof as they go.

Trim the Trees

Break out the clippers, not the Christmas lights, and take care of any tree branches that are hanging over your roof. They may look picturesque now, but high winds can bring them down, resulting in serious damage to your home. Branches that touch the roof can ruin shingles by stripping their surfaces or pulling them off entirely. Dead branches should be removed whether or not they’re near the house.

Get Rid of Snow

Although the Portland, OR, area isn’t known for getting loads of snow, a white Christmas can still be a problem for your roof. Accumulating snowfall exerts an amazing amount of force that can cause damage or total collapse. If snow fails to slide off your roof, invest in a roof rake and get it down yourself. Never climb up on the roof and use a shovel; the added weight could be all it takes to go from danger to disaster.

Sometimes even the best efforts to prevent roof damage can’t stand up against a storm. Call Interstate Roofing at 503-684-5611 when you need fast service to fix whatever nature has thrown at your home. We’ll send out a crew to assess the damage and return your roof to its original state as quickly as possible.

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.

7 Common Roof Care Mistakes That Homeowners Make

Check out these roof care mistakes to make sure you’re doing things right. Does your ladder call your name when it’s time for roofing maintenance? You may get a great feeling when you take care of household projects by yourself, but if you don’t have experience and knowledge, it’s easy to make mistakes. When it comes to your home’s primary means of protection against the elements, errors can be costly. If your efforts to repair or maintain your roof do more harm than good, you may eventually face more extensive roof repairs. Even worse, you could end up with interior damage and mold caused by faulty work. Here are seven of the most common mistakes homeowners make when caring for their shingles.

1. Procrastination

No drip is harmless. If your roof is leaking, you have to act fast. A hidden leak can present itself with discolored walls and ceilings, warped wood, and mold growth. If you don’t repair it in a timely manner, you may experience the unique excitement of having your roof collapse.

2. Neglecting to Wash Your Roof

Accumulations of moss, mildew, dirt, and debris can hold water and create pressure that results in damage over time. Remove roof debris regularly. After several years, a pressure washing may be needed, but be very careful to avoid damaging the roof. The best practice is to use low pressure.

3. Not Installing a Moisture Barrier

If you decide to try to replace your roof, don’t forget to include a layer of moisture protection underneath. This defends your home against rain and accumulated snow and ice.

4. Trudging Across Delicate Materials

When conducting inspections, repairs, and maintenance, it’s important to distribute your weight as evenly as possible to avoid damaging your roof. Avoid walking near edges or areas that are hard to repair.

5. Improper Nailing Techniques

Hammering in nails at an angle can cause the fiberglass matting between a shingle’s asphalt layers to tear or weaken. Nails should be perpendicular to the shingle. It’s also important to avoid using too much force. An over-pressurized nail gun can cause as much damage as driving in nails sideways.

6. Installing the Wrong Type of Shingles

Not every house is designed to withstand heavier roofing materials. Be sure you know exactly what types of roofing options are appropriate for your home before you install.

7. Trying to Be a Superhero

If you’ve never installed or repaired a roof before, play it safe: contact a professional to handle your roofing needs.

Forget the Ladder—Call Interstate Roofing and Get It Done Right

When you need roof installation, maintenance, or repair, call the roofing contractors Vancouver and Portland trust. Interstate Roofing is a family owned business that started in 1988. More than 20 years of dependable service and exceptional workmanship has helped us establish our great reputation in our service area and beyond. For all your roofing, siding, window, and gutter needs, contact us to request a free estimate, and let us spare you the headaches associated with costly amateur mistakes.

Are Your Gutters a Fire Hazard?

An unexpected source of dry fuel.

Rain gutters doesn’t seem like something that would catch fire. After all, it’s made of plastic or metal and designed to collect water. The problem is that many open gutters hold pine needles, leaves, and other tree remnants. During droughts, such materials can become very dry; a single spark could ignite this debris and set the entire trough ablaze.

How It Starts

Did you know your gutters might hold a fire hazard?

It’s possible that a small fire in a nearby building or vehicle could produce sparks that reach your home. However, wildfires have a greater potential to put gutters at risk. Strong winds can carry embers more than 5,000 feet and deposit them at random. Despite the moist climate of the Pacific Northwest, wildfires have become a serious problem in Oregon and Washington.

Over 750,000 people reside in Oregon’s wildfire-prone areas. A recent blaze near the Columbia River Gorge spread across the state border, according to Oregon Live. Three houses in Washington suffered damage as gusty winds scattered embers throughout the area and carried smoke over an interstate highway. Such fires have also been known to occur in major cities like Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA.

What Can Happen

When the debris in a gutter ignites, it could result in serious structural damage. The fire could easily spread to your home’s roof or siding, and it could also set adjacent trees and bushes ablaze, especially if the trough falls down. Unlike metal units, plastic gutters can melt or burn under these conditions. This increases the risk that your home or nearby vegetation will catch fire.

Safety Measures

You can take a number of steps to prevent your gutters from becoming a fire hazard in dry weather. One way to minimize the danger is to replace plastic or vinyl parts with metal components. Regardless of the trough material, keep in mind that regular maintenance is crucial. Portland Fire & Rescue urges residents to remove all flammable debris that accumulates on roofs and gutters.

If collecting rotten leaves isn’t your idea of fun, think about purchasing a low-maintenance aluminum or steel gutter system. Interstate Roofing offers professional rain gutter installation in Washington and Oregon. We have provided local homeowners with top-notch products for over 25 years. Our covered troughs feature built-in screens that keep debris out. For more information on our products and services, visit us online or contact us today.

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!