Articles

Articles Archive for the Interstate Roofing blog. We serve the Portland & Vancouver metro areas with residential, commercial and repair, call 503 684-5611

5 Reasons Interstate is the Best Portland Roofing Company

Roofing repair and replacement is serious work. After all, your roof is literally your shelter from the storm. It’s what protects you from inclement weather and environmental elements. Not only should you never perform roofing work yourself, but you should also never hire an inexperienced roofing contractor. Doing so could wind up costing you thousands of dollars more in repair work.

Why not get it right the first time? That’s why we’re going to show you why you should hire Interstate for your roofing repair and replacement needs. Here are our top five reasons we’re the best Portland roofing company around.

Experience

One of the most important things you can look for in a roofing company is experience. Interstate Roofing has more than three decades of experience in the industry. We’re a multimillion dollar corporation, but it wasn’t always that way. We started from humble beginnings as a one-man show and have worked our way up to the top. Our success stems from our quality work and exceptional customer service. We’re certain those are the primary reasons we’ve been in business for so long.

Experience matters because the more experienced the more likely a company is to understand and adhere to safety standards. Not only do you want to hire a company that is skilled in performing your roof repair services, but you also want to hire a company that’s going to take safety seriously-both their employees’ and your own.

Roof repair and replacement can be dangerous work, so it’s important to place your trust in people who know what they’re doing. You should also make sure that whoever you hire is licensed, bonded, and insured.

Some companies try to cut corners and save costs. But Interstate is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. We make safety a priority by creating pre-job safety plans of action. This is important not only for our workers but also for you. When roofing work is performed on your home or business, your property is essentially turned into a construction site. Don’t you want a company that will put safety first? When you hire Interstate Roofing, you can be confident that proper precautions will be followed to a tee.

Reputation

Roofing contractors can make all the promises in the world when they’re trying to convince you to hire them for the job, so it’s important to do your research. One of the main reasons Interstate Roofing is the best Portland roofing company is that we can back up our word with our client reviews and testimonials.

Not only have we received rave online reviews, but we also have handwritten letters from customers thanking us for the quality service we provided.

In addition to testimonials, our clients also complete report cards. This allows you to see how our clients rate us on a variety of factors, such as professionalism and quality of work. We truly believe the mark of a good company is what its customers have to say about it. And we’re delighted to share that customers have glowing reviews for us.

Versatility

If you’re a business owner in addition to a homeowner then it’s likely that at some point you’re going to need to hire a roofing contractor to perform commercial work as well. Why not find a contractor that’s skilled in both areas? We offer a full-service company that specializes in both residential and commercial roofing. Instead of looking for two contractors, save yourself time by hiring a company that is experienced in both residential and commercial repair work.

Even if you’re not a business owner, you could still benefit from our versatile skill set. We not only work on roofs, but we also perform the dry rot repair and gutter work that often comes along with a roofing job. You can also save on heating and cooling costs with our attic insulation services. Add it to your roof project for special pricing.

Environmentally-Friendly

Interstate Roofing is eco-friendly. In fact, we’re a GAF certified green roofing contractor. We’ll help you go green by providing green roofing and home improvement products. We understand that there are a lot of options on the market, so we’ve developed a green solutions guide to help you find the best eco-friendly options for you. We offer a range of energy solutions to fit every budget, including Energy Star-rated shingles, skylights, solar tubes, and more.

Not only is going green good for the environment, but it’s also good for your wallet by saving you some green. We’ll help you determine which upgrades will help you qualify for rebates, for instance. Many of our green home improvement products will also help you save on your energy and water bills. That means you can get money back upfront and also save money in the long run.

Charitable

Charitable may not necessarily be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a roofing company, but that’s exactly what we are. After all, our community has put us in the position we are today. Our customers support us and, in turn, we want to support them. That’s why we make it a priority to contribute to charitable organizations on a regular basis.

We have a long-standing relationship with Habitat for Humanity and have recently begun an active involvement with other charities, such as ALS Association of Oregon and SW Washington. Giving back is an important part of what we do. Interstate Roofing believes in adopting a generous spirit and we’re happy to do our part to keep the community thriving.

We could continue explaining why we’re the best Portland roofing company, but we’d rather show you. Give us a call for a free estimate or just fill out our online form here. We can answer your questions, address any concerns you may have, and give you the opportunity to meet with us personally. We know that we’re the best Portland roofing company. Now it’s your turn to find out why.

Will My Business Be Interrupted During Commercial Flat Roof Repair?

There’s only one thing that matters most to your business: customers. Without them, your business would fail.

That means your business has to be open during your scheduled hours.

It also means having a safe place for your customers and employees.

What happens when you’re in need of commercial flat roof repair?

As a business owner, you probably spend a lot of time fixated on the bottom line. It’s a natural part of doing business. Budgets are everything. And when an emergency happens that threatens to throw that budget out of whack, what’s a property manager to do?

Thanks to technology, the internet is only a click away. In just a few seconds, you can have a world of advice right at your fingertips. You can find millions of results telling you how to do the project yourself. You can find just as many results offering helpful solutions from supposedly reputable companies.

What advice do you trust?

And how will it impact your business during the process?

Do You Need a Repair or Replacement?

When you first discover you are in need of commercial flat roof repair, it’s usually something big. Maybe a leak is dripping through your ceiling and into an office. Or there’s an overflow from the roof down below and the damage is starting to build up.

Once the initial shock wears off, the next question that runs through your mind is the one we hear the most: repair or replace? And honestly, it’s impossible to answer that question without an evaluation of the current condition. Anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t giving you the best advice.

An experienced low slope roof contractor will tell you that the decision can only be made after a thorough inspection of all aspects of your flat roof. The following needs to be assessed:

  • Roofing Materials – Roofing Seams – Are they all sealed properly to not let moisture move down underneath
  • Roofing Flashings – Are they still connected to the membrane?

An investigation will show where the weaknesses are, what condition the materials are in, and your best options.

Fixing Leaks is Best for Business

The sooner you identify leaks and problem areas, the quicker commercial flat roof repair will have you back up and running to normal capacity. Typically we find that flat roofs have problems due to:

  • Damage caused by storms, and people/contractors accessing the roof
  • Failed flashing around the perimeter of your commercial building
  • Poor drainage
  • Bad workmanship in the original installation or in past repairs
  • A roof that has reached the end of its life

At the first sign of a leak, if you fix it the right way, it won’t cause problems in the short term. Those promises of “spraying” something on for a quick fix? Anytime you hear the term “quick fix” you should think twice.

The most cost-effective way to maintain a commercial flat roof is to handle each situation as quickly as it appears. That means never taking the current condition for granted. Regularly maintaining it will ensure the biggest of problems don’t happen unannounced.

What are the Biggest Risks?

The three biggest threats to commercial flat roofs here in the Pacific Northwest are moisture, biological growth, and wind.

Moisture
There’s no denying your roof has to be designed to drain away water. Just when you think the rains have moved on, it starts raining a little bit more. If your roof isn’t designed to carry away the moisture as it comes down and settles, problems will quickly arise.

Biological growth
There’s also the potential of biological growth when cold moisture from the winter months meets the warmth of a well-insulated building. This is the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, and other damage to the roof structure or building materials. Proper installation and a regular maintenance cycle are key to ensuring a long life.

Wind
High winds can cause damage in a variety of ways. One good burst of energy can send loose fasteners flying, destroy weak flashing, or rip apart imperfect seals in seconds. And depending on where your commercial property is located, tree damage can increase the likelihood of further damage.

The Commercial Flat Roof Repair Process

Sometimes a simple repair is enough. If flashing is missing, securing new flashing in place may be all it takes.

In other cases, an entirely new roof is needed to protect your investment.

Once you know your options, together with your trusted commercial flat roof technician you can decide the right option for you.

Restoring your roof involves making whatever repairs necessary to bring it back to working condition. Sometimes that involves a protective flat roof coating applied directly to all roofing materials. This is an extremely effective way to give your roof its full-service life.

Other times it involves replacing a roof; tearing off the old one and installing a new. Consider this your last resort.

If you work with a commercial flat roof specialist, they can create a maintenance plan that works for you to keep your roof in good condition, to give your flat roof as full of a life as possible. Restorations are the best choice whenever possible because they are:

  • More cost effective – they cost much less than full roof replacement
  • Easier to complete – sometimes work can be finished in just a day or two
  • Energy efficient – if you haven’t had work done in a while, the newest coating may increase your energy efficiency, saving you money over time

What to Expect During the Process

With a reputable commercial flat roof repair company, you can expect:

An honest quote with no hidden charges. Be sure to ask about extra charges that aren’t in a quote, and how they are applied. If you don’t feel comfortable before you sign a contract, you’ll never be comfortable during the process.

A professional company from beginning to end. A reputable company cares about the business and works hard to keep customers happy. It’s licensed and insured to protect both you and the crew. The owners care about safety and work hard for your approval.

Full disclosure of the process. You’ll have an estimated timeline before the work starts. You’ll understand how it will impact your business from beginning to end.

Bottom line: if damage to your roof is a threat to anyone at your commercial location – employees, tenants, customers – your best course is to take action immediately.

A reputable commercial flat roof repair specialist will always think safety first and provide you with a job well done.

Do Roof Pitch Styles Affect Material Options or Installation?

Upgrading your roof isn’t something you do every day. Depending on the roof materials you select, you might only invest in a new roof once in a lifetime.

That makes your roof selection an important process.

For many homeowners, the process starts by looking at materials or color. And while both of those are important to create curb appeal, the final selection also depends on your home’s style.

You have many choices when it comes to roofing material selection: asphalt, composite, wood shake, rubber, tile, metal, and more. But it’s more than an economic or color decision; it also depends on roof pitch styles or the slope of the roof of your home.

What is pitch?

Pitch is the term used in the roofing industry to describe the angle or slope of your roof. Roof pitch is comprised of two numbers in the form of a ratio. You’ll see it expressed either with a slash – 5/12 or 8/12 – or with a colon – 5:12 or 8:12. Either way, the numerator and denominator work together to tell you the pitch of the roof.

The numerator refers to the height of the roof.

The denominator refers to the length measurement of the roof.

To keep everything relatable, the industry will always rank with a denominator of 12. Therefore a roof pitch will always be referred to as how much rise there is in the roof over a 12 unit horizontal distance.

For the roof pitch styles from above, for example, the 5/12 means that for every 12 horizontal feet of change, the roof rises 5 feet vertically. For the 8/12, it moves 8 feet in vertical rise for every 12 feet of horizontal space.

With most homes, roof pitch styles range from 4/12 to 8/12, with the lower being a moderate rise and 8/12 being a fairly steep ratio. But roof pitch can have a lot more variation.

A 1/2/12 roof would be almost flat. You might find a low pitched roof on a modern home where the slope is barely there; just enough to allow water to flow. A 12/12 roof would slope at a 45-degree angle. Old Victorian homes often have sharply angled roofs with a steep pitch and, in some cases, they can even move beyond the 12/12 ratio.

Why roof pitch is important?

The roof pitch is important for two reasons.

One, in order to estimate correctly for the amount of material needed for the job, you must have an accurate measurement of the pitch of the roof.

Two, not all materials are suited for the roof. By knowing the pitch, you’ll have a better understanding of the roofing materials that will work best on your home over time.

When a roof is perfectly flat, the calculation for materials is simple: width times length.

As a roof rises, the different pitches require more material to compensate for the slope. The industry has tables for slope factor based on the angles of your home to help determine the extra materials needed. In our examples above, a 5/12 pitch would have a slope factor of 1.085. Use this to multiply with your answer from width times length and you’ll have an accurate measurement of how much material you’ll need.

Roof shapes have evolved over time. Head back hundreds or even thousands of years and you’ll find roofs were made from very simple materials. Straw, mud, grass, wood – only gradually did they start learning the benefits of using different materials and to gently slope the roof for protection.

Flat roofs make sense on some structures. But if you make it perfectly flat, water has nowhere to go. Even a gentle slope is needed for proper drainage. Angles help control the elements and give a building style. But no matter how much you like a particular material, some homes simply aren’t meant for some types of roofs.

Roof Pitch Styles

Low Pitch – these are the safest roofs. They are easy to walk around on and easy to perform maintenance. But they are also more prone to leaks and require more frequent inspections. That’s why you won’t find a lot of low pitched roofs where weather is extreme – both water and snow buildup can be detrimental and put a building at risk. Low pitch is usually the design of choice on modern, sleek, contemporary homes.

Flat roofs cannot be covered with traditional materials such as shakes or asphalt shingles since there isn’t enough pitch to combat damage from wind. Flat roofs are limited to more commercial-grade roofing applications, such as tar and gravel, rubber, or roll roofing.

Medium Pitch – this is where most home roofing systems lie. A medium-pitch gives you ample choices in materials while providing enough slope to keep rain and snow from accumulating on the roof. While it still needs periodic inspections, this is where most roofing choices exist.

If you prefer clay or cement tiles, they can be installed on roof pitches from 2.5/12 up to 20/12. However, for flatter roofs 2.5/12 to 4/12, it is recommended that they are installed with an underlayment to handle the extra weight.

A vast amount of the choices fall into the 4/12 to 20/12 range. This is where asphalt or composite shingles are, which are the most popular types of roofing options on the market today.

If you like the look of wood or slate shingles, they need a more gentle sloping roof, with roof pitches in the 5/12 to 12/12 angles working best.

High Pitch – these are the most expensive roofs to install, but also give dramatic architectural elements. A contractor cannot work on a high pitch slope without safety gear, so more cost will go into it for both repairs and renovation.

Other Considerations

Your final selection will also determine which warranties are in place and how long your roofing materials will last. Be sure to ask about both material and workmanship warranties as the two are often separate.

If green building is important, roof pitch can impact your final selection. Consider both the shingle material and any underlayment necessary to complete the job.

Also investigate fire ratings for the different types of roof pitch styles, especially if you are in an at-risk area.

So what type of house do you currently own? What type of roofing are you interested in? Knowing the roof pitch plays an important part in the selection process; what questions can we answer to help you make your final selection?

What to Expect After Scheduling an Appointment for Roof Repair in Portland

Is your roof a mess and in need of a repair? If so, you’ve likely scheduled an appointment with a roofing contractor. So what comes next? With three decades of experience providing roof repair in Portland, Interstate Roofing has developed a refined process for answering a call for service. We’ll tell you what to expect after you’ve scheduled an appointment with us. We’re an upfront company that will leave you with no hidden surprises.

Emergency Service

The first thing you can expect is quick service. Interstate Roofing is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days out of the year. Emergency rates may apply, but we will be there for you whenever you need assistance.

If you’re sleeping soundly in bed and awake to a leaky roof that’s dripping on you in the middle of the night, we’ll be there in no time. We’ll provide a quick and thorough solution to the problem so that you can sleep soundly with the peace of mind that you won’t experience a repeat episode anytime soon.

Consistent Pricing

In addition to prompt attention and quick repair service, you can also expect consistent pricing. Interstate Roofing understands how frustrating it can be when you place a call for service and have no idea how much the total bill will be. We’ve been in business for a while so we’ve developed consistent pricing so that our customers have a better idea of how much they’ll pay.

Here’s a quick overview. The first thing to know is that we do not offer free estimates for minor repairs. The good news is that we can guarantee the cost of minor repairs will be under $725. Our minimum service call charge is $275, which covers the first hour of labor. So for minor repairs, you can expect to pay between $275 to $725. If we go beyond the first hour of labor, we will charge $150 for our standard two-man crew. Materials are an additional charge.

Interstate Roofing will provide a quote for larger repairs or roof replacement. However, it’s important to note that Interstate Roofing cannot guarantee repair on a roof that was not initially installed by us. However, if our initial repair work doesn’t fix the issue, we’ll reassess the situation and each additional hour of work will be billed at the $150 rate (the minimum service call charge of $275 will be waived).

Quality Work & Professional Service

In addition to full disclosure of our pricing, we can guarantee quality work and professional service. There’s a reason we’ve been in business for three decades. It’s because of the exceptional level of service and repair work that we provide. With Interstate Roofing, you can expect honest, professional advice and quality repairs that stand the test of time. Just take a look at some of our reviews here. We also have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau so you can be confident in hiring us to perform your roof repair.

So what if your leaky roof isn’t a quick fix? Wondering what you’ll do in the meantime? Not to worry. We’ll find a temporary fix while we work on a more permanent solution. For instance, we may tarp the area to prevent further water damage while we assess the issue to determine the best way to proceed. We’ll talk you through your available options.

If a more costly repair is necessary, such as a roof replacement, we’ll provide you with a thorough estimate. We’ll also provide you with a time frame for the project completion. We’ll communicate with you every step of the way so you know exactly what the project will entail.

Set Expectations

Once you’ve selected us for your roof repair in Portland, there are a few things to keep in mind as we begin work on your roof. The first thing to know is that there’s likely to be some noise. You’ll want to arrange for us to do the work at a time that’s least disruptive to you and your family.

If you’re sensitive to noise or vibrations, you may even want to consider spending some time in another location while we work to repair your roof. You should also remove any valuable artwork or photos from the walls so that they are not damaged or disturbed by any vibrations or movement during the repair work.

In addition to protecting items on the walls, you’ll also want to protect any patio furniture or belongings that you keep outdoors. We will take precautions to protect your valuables by covering items with tarps and other protective materials. However, you should take extra care with valuable items like cars, boats, lawn mowers, and anything else you want to ensure is kept free from harm’s way. The same goes for any valuables you have in your attic. You can expect that there will be some debris during the project so it’s best to protect your belongings before the repairs get started.

In general, during the project, you should be extra cautious when moving around your house. While we take every safety precaution, you should be aware of your surroundings since your property will essentially be a construction zone during the duration of the project. If you have any concerns, address them with your roofing contractor before the project begins or as soon as your concerns arise.

Roof repair work is a major undertaking and one that’s best left to the professionals. Working on a roof can be dangerous and isn’t worth risking your safety. Instead, hire a trusted company to do the repair work.

Given our extensive experience in roof repair in Portland, we’re sure we’re the right contractor for the job. If you have additional questions, give us a call. We’re here for you every step of the way, even before your roof repair work begins.