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

Are You Taking Proper Care of Your Portland Roof and Gutters?

Maintaining your roof and gutters is an important part of home maintenance. Properly cared for, your roof and gutters will last for years longer and cost less to repair. Some homeowners wait until it’s too late to prevent an expensive repair bill. So what are ways you can properly take care of your roof and gutters?

Here are seven tips to help you keep up with your outdoor home maintenance:

1. Remove Debris From Your Gutters

With the changing of seasons in Portland, trees shed hundreds of leaves that end up in or on your roof and gutters. Trees lose decaying and lifeless leaves to make way for new, more vibrant ones. Over time, leaves build up in your gutters and will clog them if left unchecked.

You may also find nuts and seeds in addition to leaves, depending on which trees you have. If a bad rainstorm hits, this can lead to water building up with nowhere to drain. An easy fix is to grab a ladder and some gloves and pull out the offending debris safely.

If you have a hose with a long enough extension, a well-aimed blast of water can dislodge stubborn blocks of leaves, dirt, and other material to clear up your gutter. Be careful of the water pressure you use, as it can damage the roof.

2. Check the Downspouts of Your Gutters

Downspouts are where water drains out of your gutters. Downspouts can’t generally be inspected or cleared without removing them. Take a look out the window though during the next rain storm. If you see water overflowing, you may have a clogged downspout.

Make sure the downspout is clear of debris and directed away from the foundation of your home so that your gutters can drain properly. Be careful of any nests of insects or other animals that may have decided to make a home, however. Your gutters will thank you for doing this.

3. Keep Your Trees in Tip-Top Shape

Trees are a big source of debris that can fill up your gutters as well as your roof. Branches can be knocked off your trees from storms or fall as your trees get older. Some may even drop from high enough to damage shingles or dent your gutters.

If you have tree limbs covering your roof, it can do more than just clutter your roof. Varied species of birds and squirrels can see it as a means to make a home for themselves as pests. This can be an annoyance and lead to potential damage to your home. Keep an eye on your trees, and if any branches or limbs are encroaching near your roof, trim them up to remove potential problems.

4. Be Proactive About the Portland Winters

Every season has its ups and downs. Unfortunately, winter isn’t the easiest time for roofs and gutters. Portland winters are known for their continuous rain. This wet weather can put a lot of wear on your shingles and flashing. If either weakens or becomes loose, it may be enough to cause damage or even leaks.

Inspecting your roof before the rainy season and fixing any trouble spots can save you heavier damage during the winter. You should also inspect your roof in the spring to catch any damage and repair it before it becomes a larger problem. It’s also a good idea to check for damage after the rare snow or ice storm.

5. Catch Leaks Before They Happen

Has it been some time since you looked at your roof? Over time, the weather will wear away even the best-made shingles. Watch for any damage done: water and other weather can infiltrate through cracks and missing shingles.

If water has managed to get through this outer roof protection, it can lead to mold and harmful bacteria building up and causing problems inside your home. Mold and bacteria can spread out far and wide if left unchecked.

6. Check Your Insulation and Inner Roof

With the diverse types of weather in Portland, your roof and gutters will be thrown a barrage of shifting temperatures. If you haven’t checked your attic in a while, take a moment to take a look. Insulation in an attic keeps the temperature inside your house stable.

You may need to replace it with new material as it gets worn. You can use this as an opportunity to see if there is any water leaking into your home. Check the ceilings of your other rooms as well for any signs of leaking.

The earlier you detect leaks, the better chance you have to minimize damage and save money on more invasive repairs. Rotted wood is a perfect environment for mold and bacteria and is unsafe for keeping your attic and roof stable.

7. Don’t be fooled by a gutter guard

Leaf guards or gutter guards are put over the top of your gutters in an attempt to catch debris that would fall inside. They are meant to make cleaning your gutters easier to do. Talk to your roofing contractor about whether this is a viable option for your home. Most roofers will steer you clear, as debris can build up on top, which can allow water to seep into your home.

Are Your Gutters and Roof in Portland Ready for a Tune-Up?

Interstate Roofing has been helping Portland residents for years to keep their roofs and gutters in great shape for decades. We can inspect for damage and give you a fair quote for any repairs that need to be done. We can also perform regular maintenance and keep your roof looking and working its best all year. Let professionals help you care for your home. Visit our residential services page for more information.

How to Determine the Best Roofing Angle for a House

Roofing angles are one of the trickiest elements in the design of any building. Many factors play a role in what angle, or pitch, a roof will have. A roof must be strong and sturdy, both structurally and in terms of weather resistance. It also has to be steep enough to allow water to run off it easily. But if a roof is too steep, it takes up more square footage and will have significantly higher materials costs. Of course, there are aesthetic considerations too. The angle of a roof helps determine the overall look of a house.

So how exactly do architects determine the best roofing angle for a house?

How Roofing Angles Are Measured

Angle, steepness, and pitch are words usually used interchangeably in the roofing business. Each essentially refers to the roof’s vertical rise over horizontal run: the ratio of how many inches the roof rises for every 12 inches of depth. For example, a roof with a pitch of 3:12 would rise 3 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run toward the peak of the home.

If you’re curious, or if you have a project that requires it, you can determine the pitch of your own roof. A tape measure, a bubble level, and a pencil should be enough to get the job done. Just head into the attic and place one end of the level against a rafter. Check the bubble to make sure the level is, well, level. Next, make a mark on the level exactly 12 inches from the point where it’s touching the rafter, then use the tape measure to measure the distance from that 12-inch mark on the level to the underside of the roof. You’ll then have the numbers you need. The rise (the vertical distance from the level to the roof) over the run (12 inches) is the roof’s pitch, or angle.

Why Do Rooftops Need To Be At an Angle, Anyway?

The primary reason rooftops must be angled is obvious: they need to allow water to roll off them. Water is one of the most powerful solvents in the world. You need only to look at the vast canyons and deep valleys carved out by water to understand that, over time, water will eat its way through everything. Even the most well-made roof is no match for the relentless onslaught of rain, snow, or ice. If puddles are allowed to sit on top of a roof and don’t have a way to drain, the roof will inevitably develop leaks. If water leaks into a home through a compromised roof, it will cause even more damage, which may result in the need for tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs.

Of course, not all roofs are at an extreme angle. Some might seem to be completely flat, but in reality, very few roofs are totally flat. The rise should be at least ¼ inch and could be as high as 2:12. Even the seemingly flat rooftops of apartment buildings are constructed to have a slight angle and built-in scuppers to drain away pooled water. This allows these roofs to drain properly, even when they lack the more dramatic pitch of a traditional house.

Roofing angles exist for more than just the drainage of water. A steeper roof also helps protect the home from heavy winds by distributing the pressure of the wind during inclement weather.

How Do You Know What Angle Is Best for Your Roof?

We’ve established that weather is the single most important factor in determining why a roof has the pitch it does. But how do you actually go about figuring out what the angle should be? The first step is to consider the climate where you live. You’ll notice that many houses look dramatically different depending on where they’re located. New England is famous for its steep, gabled rooftops, designed especially for the region’s frequent wind, rain, and snow. By contrast, homes in Arizona, where rainfall is rare, are typically much flatter.

Of course, weather shouldn’t be the only factor that determines the angle of a rooftop. It’s also a matter of personal preference. Steeply angled roofs are considered aesthetically pleasing, and if you want a home that has one, it doesn’t really matter if you live in an area where rainfall is scarce. Just remember that a roof should be constructed to resist the elements in your area.

Keeping Your Roof in the Best Shape Possible

A roof is built to withstand heavy wind, rain, and of course, the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. A well-made and well-maintained roof can last for decades; although eventually, all roofs need to be replaced. Roof replacement is a huge, expensive job that requires a great deal of time, effort, and materials. You can, however, stave it off as long as possible with proper maintenance.

A steeply angled roof is built to resist heavy winds, but you could still lose a few shingles if a gale sweeps through your neighborhood. Replacing those shingles quickly is of critical importance, as bare spots on the roof are weaknesses where water can easily seep through.

It’s a good idea to have a professional roofer inspect your roof at least once a year and make any necessary repairs. It’s even better if that roofer has emergency services available. If your roof starts leaking, you won’t want to wait to have repairs done. You’ll know who to call and that the repairs will be made promptly. For the best roofers in the business, contact Interstate Roofing in the Portland and Vancouver area for all of your roofing maintenance and repair needs.

 

5 Advantages of Financing Your Home-Improvement Project with Interstate Roofing

Now may be a great time to begin working on that home-improvement project you’ve been dreaming about for years. Maybe you’re looking to boost your home’s energy efficiency and start saving money on your utility bills. Perhaps you’re seeking improved curb appeal in the hopes of increasing the resale value of your home. Maybe your home is simply overdue for some much-needed repairs. Whatever your goals are, it’s time to start making them happen.

Of course, that may prove to be easier said than done. You’ll need a trusted professional to assist with your home-improvement project, as well as a way to pay for it without going bankrupt in the process. This is especially true now during these difficult financial times. You need to be as careful with your finances as you possibly can. Nevertheless, home improvement should be seen as an investment, one that will pay off greatly in the future.

This is where Interstate Roofing comes in. Offering a variety of services including repairs, maintenance, cleaning, and upgrades, Interstate Roofing also has a financing program to put your mind at ease. Below are five advantages of financing your home-improvement project with Interstate Roofing.

You Can Start Right Away

If you have a project you’ve been wanting to start for a long time, the cost may be the only factor holding you back. That’s one of the great benefits of financing your home-improvement project: you won’t need to wait until you save up the cash to pay for the work. Some projects are time sensitive as well. If you have a leaky or damaged roof, for example, you can’t very well wait another year to begin the repairs.

Especially now, during a time when many people have lost their jobs or otherwise seen a reduction in their incomes, saving up the money to pay for the project all at once may prove to be quite a challenge.
On the other hand, if you choose to finance the project, you can get started immediately and reap the benefits much sooner than if you choose to wait.

You’ll Save Money in the Long Run

Many people worry about financing their roofing projects because of the costs involved. It’s true that a large home-improvement project can often be very costly, but as long as you’re responsible in how you pay for it, it can end up saving you a great deal of money over time. Indeed, you may even end up making money since home improvement can actually increase the resale value of your home.

Let’s consider another example of how financing a home-improvement project can save you money. If the insulation in your attic is upgraded, it can dramatically improve the efficiency of your heater and air conditioner. This will, of course, improve the comfort level of your home, but it will also save you a good deal of money on your energy bill, as you won’t need to run your HVAC system for nearly as long to get your home to the desired temperature. Interstate Roofing offers insulation at an excellent price as an addition to any other project.

There May Be Tax Benefits

When financing a home-improvement project, there may be some tax benefits, depending on the laws in your area. Often, you may be able to deduct money that you invest in your home from your taxes. You may need to meet certain criteria to do this, including how the loan you take out is secured, and you’ll need to keep meticulous records to send to the IRS. Nevertheless, it’s possible you’ll be able to save on your taxes every year, as long as you continue to pay the loan off.

There are also tax credits available for home sustainability. A home-improvement project can improve the environmental friendliness of your house by reducing its energy needs. In this way, you may be able to save even more on your taxes by reducing your home’s environmental impact. To discover if you qualify, do some research on tax credits offered for “green” homes in your area.

Best Warranties in the Business

There’s no point in taking out a huge loan to finance a project if that project doesn’t last for a long time. That’s why having a warranty in place is so important. A roof is a part of your home that should last for years, so Interstate Roofing has warranties that will last for years as well. We have 5-, 10-, and 15-year warranties available, as well as Extended Factory Warranties that offer up to 20 years of labor coverage. Warranties are also transferable should you sell your home or purchase one that has been worked on by Interstate.

No Payments for a Year and No Interest

The fact is that these are difficult, uncertain economic times, and that’s serving as a deterrent to homeowners thinking about starting their home-improvement projects. But a time of economic uncertainty can also be an opportunity in many ways: you just need to know how to grab the chances when they arise.

Because so many people have lost income during this period of economic trouble, Interstate Roofing now offers no payments for a year on projects you finance with them. This, of course, will afford you plenty of time to get back on your feet financially, without any further delays to your home-improvement project.

Of course, payments aren’t the only concern when financing a home-improvement project. Interest is another major concern. That’s why people hesitate to take out loans from their banks or from other roofing companies. They’re worried the interest will drive them into the ground, financially speaking. With the right roofing company, however, this needn’t be the case. Finance your project with Interstate roofing, and they’ll give you several options that range from low monthly to even deferred payment.

What Is the Best Roofing Material for Your House?

A roof is one of the most important features of any home. While you may be able to make compromises on other home features, you certainly can’t compromise when it comes to your roof. That’s because shoddy roofing material can lead to cracks, leaks, and other issues. So save yourself the headache down the road by choosing the best roofing material for your home today.

Interstate Roofing specializes in residential roofing installation, maintenance, and repair services. We know the trademarks of quality roofing material. So if you’re looking for the best roofing for your house, we can help you find it. Here are our top picks for residential roofing material.

Composition Shingles

There’s a reason composition shingles are one of the most commonly used types of residential roofing material in the US. For starters, they’re among the most widely available, making them a popular and affordable option.
In addition to being budget-friendly, composition shingles have many other benefits that make them a favorite among homeowners. For example, composition shingles are incredibly durable, which means you’ll often get a good return on your investment.

In fact, in some instances, composition shingles can have a life expectancy of 50 years or more. Because they’re so long-lasting, composition shingles can add to your home’s resale value as well.

One of the reasons composition shingles are so durable is that they’re waterproof, oftentimes fireproof, and weather resistant. They can frequently withstand the weight of snow, as well as hold up during mild to moderate hailstorms.

Composition shingles are also extremely low-maintenance and easy to repair. It’s quite simple to replace individual shingles that become loose or damaged. This means you can avoid the costly expense of a roof replacement if an issue arises. They also require minimal upkeep to maintain their shape and color, another reason they’re loved by so many homeowners.

Speaking of shape and color, another advantage of composition shingles is that they come in a variety of colors and styles. From three-tab shingles to classic timberline shingles, there are a number of options to satisfy even the most discerning homeowner.

One of the few downsides of composition shingles is that they can sometimes come loose in high winds or in climates with abrupt temperature fluctuations. However, these typically aren’t issues in the Pacific Northwest, making our region an ideal climate for installing composition shingles.

Affordability, durability, and versatility make composition shingles one of the best roofing materials you can choose.

Single-Ply

Another roofing material we highly recommend is single ply. Single-ply roofing offers many of the same great benefits as composition shingles, such as low cost and minimal maintenance. However, this budget-friendly option will save you money in more ways than one.

Single-ply roofing systems provide long-lasting performance because of their resistance to ultraviolet radiation. However, this benefit has an added advantage. Because of its reflective qualities, single-ply roofing systems also absorb less sunlight than other roofing systems.

This means they can keep your home cooler, thereby reducing your energy costs. Because of their high efficiency and eco-friendliness, installing a single-ply roofing system often translates to increased utility savings.

Single-ply roofing systems are also lightweight, making them an ideal choice for many roof designs. They are an especially good option for flat or low-pitched roofs. The lightweight material also makes installation quick and easy.

As with composition shingles, single-ply roofing systems have the ability to withstand extreme weather conditions.

Making Your Decision

There are many types of roofing materials to choose from, and there are many factors you should consider when making your selection. Some things to keep in mind are your budget, the architectural design of your home, and the climate in which you live.

If you need a roof replacement and aren’t entirely certain which roofing material will work well, call your roofing contractor. A professional will have the experience and knowledge necessary to know what kind of roof will suit you and your home best.

Beyond the Best Roofing Material

One thing to keep in mind is that, regardless of what type of roofing material you ultimately choose, it’s incredibly important to maintain your roof. A well-maintained roof will not only help you avoid costly repairs, but it’s more likely to last longer as well.

Generally speaking, you should have your roof inspected twice a year—once after the warm weather season and again after the cold weather season. This way, you can ensure there’s no damage following any heavy snowstorms or other types of inclement weather. It’s also a good idea to have your roof inspected after a major weather event or if you notice any issues arise, such as loose shingles or signs of sagging.

Interstate Roofing is a one-stop shop for all your roofing needs, from installation to maintenance to cleaning. We guarantee our quality of work by offering workmanship warranties ranging from 5 to 15 years. We also offer lifetime material coverage and transferable warranties if you ever decide to sell your home. To get a sense of the type of work we can deliver, check out our gallery. You can also request a free estimate for your upcoming project.

When things go wrong, the world can sometimes feel like it’s caving in on you. That’s why Interstate Roofing takes great pride in helping people feel secure in their own homes. We want you to use a trusted roofing material that will withstand the test of time and the unpredictability of Mother Nature. So let Interstate Roofing help you find the best roofing material for your needs. With the right roof for your home, you’ll be able to weather any storm.

5 Facts About Adding Solar Panels to Your Vancouver WA Roof

As energy bills rise in Vancouver, WA, many people are considering getting solar panels installed on their roofs. With solar panels, your energy bill can decrease substantially, while the overall value of your home increases. So why hasn’t everyone had solar panels installed?

The cost of purchasing and installing solar panels can be overwhelming, but the money you save with them will balance out the initial cost, and then some. It’s an investment that many people see the benefits in. And when you decide to make such a large investment in your home, you’ll want to make sure you’ve thought everything through.

Your roof plays a larger part in the process than you might initially think, and local roofing experts like Interstate Roofingwant to make sure you have the perfect foundation for your new investment to be installed on. Knowing some details about putting solar panels on roofs and the benefits that come along with it may help you make the choice to move forward with them. Here are five facts about adding solar panels to your roof in Vancouver, WA.

They Can Be Installed on Just About Any Roof

If you have an older home or an oddly shaped house, you may be wondering if solar panels will work well with your roof. The good news is that solar panels can be installed on nearly any roof. Most standard roofs are compatible or can become compatible with the help of the right local roofing professional. But still, some are more compatible than others, and this has to do with the size, shape, and location of the roof.

Large and mostly square roofs are the ideal surface to put solar panels on, as they make for an easier installation process. Having a roofing professional assess your roof for compatibility is a good first step to take when considering solar panels. Another aspect that makes some roofs better than others is the amount of sunlight they receive. Though they don’t necessarily need sunlight to function, the more sunlight they receive, the better. And if your roof is shaded by other buildings or trees that you’re not willing to prune back—or can’t if they’re in a neighbor’s yard—then you may not get as much out of solar panels as other people do.

Solar Panels Need a Sturdy Foundation

Your roof and your solar panels go hand in hand, as your roof will provide the foundation for your solar panels. A cracked or leaking foundation can be worsened by putting solar panels on top of it, can cause many problems for your solar panels in the future, and can even create issues within your home. When you’re thinking about having solar panels installed on your roof, you need to make sure that your roof is sturdy enough and in good condition to support them. It will also ensure the people installing the solar panels aren’t at risk.

Solar Panels Can Increase Home Value

Having solar panels on your roof is a great selling point should you ever need to sell your home. Buyers are more interested in homes with solar panels already installed, as it eliminates the need for them to do it later. Sure, you’ll want to get your use out of them to make the investment worth it, but if you plan to sell in the next few years, you could benefit from having solar panels installed.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, each $1 in energy savings from solar panels adds $20 to your home’s total value. And the more solar panels you have, the more you’ll save on your energy bill. Some states yield higher solar premiums than others, and Washington is one of the top five states to do so. With a 4.1 percent solar premium, your solar energy system can create a $15,916 profit. So aside from being a cost- and energy-effective option, adding solar panels to your roof in Vancouver, WA, can be a great way to increase the value of your home.

They Last a Long Time

Solar panels are known for their ability to last for quite a while, which is why so many people choose to invest in them. On average, solar panels can last for around 25 years before they begin to lose efficiency. And even after those initial 25 years, your solar panels will continue to work, just slightly less effectively. In addition, the warranty for your solar panels can last up to 30 years. If you’re considering making an investment in solar panels, keep this in mind. The price of the solar panels spread out over 25 years along with the lower energy bill may provide big savings in the long run.

Replacing or Repairing Your Roof Beforehand Can Yield Better Results

The fact that solar panels can have a warranty of up to 30 years can make you feel secure in your decision. But it doesn’t bring much comfort if you know you’ll have to replace your roof in just a year or two. The best time to make repairs or replacements to your roof is before solar panels are installed, not after.

A roofing specialist can assess your roof for you before your solar panels are installed. This inspection, when done by a professional, can save you money down the road that you’d have to spend on taking the solar panels off to repair the roof. In Vancouver, WA, Interstate Roofing can take care of all your roofing needs before solar panels are installed. Whether it’s a large repair, preventative maintenance, or a complete roof replacement, the professionals at Interstate Roofing can do the job.

When your roof is well taken care of, your solar panels are in a better position to do well. If you’re wondering if your roof is ready to have solar panels installed on them, we can provide the inspection to get you started. We can also give your roof a good cleaning in preparation for solar panel installation.

What Should You Look for in a Roofing Contractor?

A leaky roof is more than just an inconvenience: it can be a disaster, as water damage is capable of doing great harm to your home, valuables, and health. Even without water getting in, if your roof isn’t secure, heat can leak out and greatly drive up your energy bill. That’s why keeping your roof in great condition through regular care and maintenance is an absolute must, and why it’s important you have a great roofing contractor.

The right roofing contractor will get the job done quickly and effectively, without overcharging you for the work they do. Of course, finding the right contractor may prove to be a bit of a challenge in its own right. While there are plenty of roofers around, how do you choose the best one to work on your home?

As with many things in life, it’s all about doing your homework and knowing what to look for. Below are a few things you should look for in a roofing contractor in the Vancouver, WA, area:

The Cheapest Option Isn’t Always the Best

Of course, saving money should be near the top of your list when looking for a roofing contractor. However, that shouldn’t always mean going for the cheapest option; as with many things in life, you get what you pay for. You’re paying for the experience, skill, and talent of your roofers, not to mention the quality of the materials they use. All of these things have an inherent cost.

If the work is offered too cheaply, it may be because it’s simply not good quality. While you may be able to get a repair job performed extremely cheaply by a less-than-reputable roofer, it may not hold up. In the long run, this will end up costing you a good deal more money when your roof needs to be repaired again after a short time.

That isn’t to say you should overpay, however: there are also less-than-reputable roofers who may artificially gouge their prices. To make an educated decision, look for a roofer like Interstate Roofing, which offers transparency with regards to their prices. They charge a minimum service call charge that covers the first hour of labor. Every hour after is billed at a lower rate, with an additional cost for materials. Larger, more extensive repairs will cost more.

Do They Offer Emergency Services?

A great roofing contractor will be available 24/7. That’s because major roofing problems can occur at any time. If you discover your roof is leaking during a rainstorm in the middle of the night, you may need to have a roofer come in right away to avoid catastrophic damage to your home and property.

Before deciding on a roofing contractor, you should find out if they offer on-call emergency services. A roofing emergency will not wait for the most convenient time to occur. That means you need a roofer who’s always available, no matter the day or time.

Do They Take Safety Seriously?

It may sound obvious, but safety needs to be a top priority for all roofers. It’s a risky job, after all: climbing around on a high rooftop, possibly under wet or icy conditions. Doing this safely requires proper training, equipment, and care. So how can you ascertain whether your roofer has the appropriate commitment to safety?

Start by heading to their company website and researching what steps they’ve taken to keep their workers safe. Do their employees undergo a safety orientation? Have they been trained in CPR and first aid? What is the company’s safety policy? Does it meet the bare minimum state requirements, or has the company gone above and beyond what’s required of them?

All of these are important to take note of when looking for great roofing contractors. Vancouver, WA has strict safety standards, but a good roofer will do even more than what’s required.

Is Their Paperwork in Order?

Another important quality to look for in a roofing contractor is the proper licensing and insurance paperwork. If you’re considering any particular roofing company, make sure to ask what type of insurance they hold. Are they covered in case of damage or injury?

You’ll also want to ask what certifications your roofing contractors hold. You should look for a company that’s certified by various roofing material manufacturers. This helps to ensure your contractor is fully committed to safety, as well as to customer satisfaction.

It’s also worth doing a little research on what organizations your prospective roofing contractors are allied with. For example, a great roofing company in Vancouver, WA, will probably be a member of the Pacific Northwest division of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

Look for Satisfied Customers

Of course, all the licenses and paperwork in the world won’t matter if the customers aren’t happy. When looking for a roofing contractor, you should always look for testimonials from satisfied customers. Check online and read reviews on sites such as Google or Angie’s List. Read referrals that the company has online as well. If possible, talk to your neighbors about their experiences; do they have a roofing contractor they’re especially happy with?

You’ll also want to make sure the company has a reputation for working to keep their customers happy. A good rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) can be a clue that your prospective roofer makes customer satisfaction a priority.

When you’re checking these references, make sure you go back a few years. A great roofing company will have many years of satisfied customers. Interstate Roofing, for example, has been in business since 1988 and can furnish “Report Cards” filled out by satisfied customers.

Are Composition Shingles Energy-Efficient?

Everyone wants to cut down on their energy consumption. If you make a habit of turning off lights when you’re not in a room, run your air conditioning sparingly, and resist the urge to just soak in the shower, you’re likely already making some progress. When you’re a homeowner, you know that every choice you make has an impact on the energy efficiency of your household. If you’re looking for more areas to save, we can suggest something you may have forgotten: your roofing. While it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re looking for ways to cut back on household energy consumption, your roofing actually has a major impact on how much you spend.

We get plenty of people asking us about what kinds of materials might fit their energy needs. Due to the wide usage of composition shingles, many people are curious if they are in fact efficient. The short answer is: yes! There are plenty of composition shingles designed with energy efficiency in mind, and many of them even meet the specifications to earn an ENERGY STAR® rating. If you’re thinking about installing composition shingles on your roof, or already have them and want to learn more, we have your back. As your local roofing experts, we’re happy to help bridge the informational gap. Here are some of the factors that make composition shingles energy-efficient, along with the benefits that come after.

Heat and Cold Resistance

The most important thing your roof can do to be more energy-efficient is to better insulate your house. The better the insulation on your house, the less energy you’ll need to spend in order to keep it within your ideal temperature range. At the end of the day, it’s a battle on many fronts. If you want to keep your home operating at maximum efficiency, you’ll need to ensure your walls have modern insulation material and your windows and doors are properly sealed to prevent air from leaking in or out of the house. It’s not just up to the roof to keep the elements out of your home, but it makes a significant impact on how much you spend on your energy bill.

In order to best insulate your house, your roof needs to prevent heat exchange from the interior of the house to the exterior. Preventing heat exchange is a problem year-round, as you’ll need to worry about the cold getting in during the winter just as much as the heat getting in during the summer. Many modern composition shingles are manufactured with this in mind, giving them the properties needed to be effectively heat-resistant. Particularly, those that have earned an ENERGY STAR® rating are a great option.

The Color Makes a Difference

The physical material your roofing is made from is a factor when it comes to energy efficiency, but did you know that the color can make a difference as well? Part of the reason that composition shingles are so popular is that there’s a huge variety of colors and styles, allowing homeowners to emulate other kinds of roofing without having to deal with the hassle or cost that they might entail. Some styles are more energy-efficient than others, however, and it’s worthwhile to consider how your aesthetic choice might have an effect on your energy consumption.

The long and short of it is that darker colors make for less energy-efficient shingles, while lighter ones are more efficient. The reason for this is simple, it ties back to the principle of sunlight refraction. Darker colors absorb most of the sunlight that hits them, converting the solar energy into heat. If you’ve ever walked down the street on a summer day and suddenly understood the phrase, “It’s so hot, you could cook an egg on the sidewalk,” you’re already familiar with the concept.

Unfortunately, not everyone considers this when deciding what they want for their roofing. If you go with a lighter color design, you’ll be able to increase your energy efficiency by increasing the reflectivity of your roof. Keeping the worst of the summer sun out of your home will allow your home air conditioner to work a little easier, meaning you won’t need as much energy to maintain your indoor climate.

Government Rebates

A more energy-efficient home has a direct impact on your wallet, in more ways than one. The first place you’ll feel it is, not surprisingly, in your energy bill. If you’re using less energy, you’re drawing less power from the grid. If you’re drawing less power from the grid, there’s less to be billed for. In addition to the savings on your future bills, the federal government offers tax credits to individuals who invest in making their homes more energy-efficient. If you’re worried about any additional sticker price on more energy-efficient composition shingles, don’t be. The tax credits offered can cover up to 10 percent of the cost of new roofing materials.

The goal of these credits is to incentivize more homeowners to update and utilize housing materials and appliances that meet energy requirements to drive down energy usage nationwide. This goes hand in hand with the ENERGY STAR® ratings, as a rating is aimed at helping people earn these tax credits. Many of the composition shingles on the market can meet the standards needed to qualify for both the rating and the tax credit.

So, are composition shingles energy efficient? Yes, they can be. Like so many other things, it comes down to your choice. If you want to use composition shingles for your roof, but also want to cut back on your energy usage, you just need to shop around for the right kind. Still curious about how to make your roofing more energy-efficient? Give us a call. Our expert roofers will be able to answer any questions you might have.

What Are the Features of a Quality Oregon Roofing Company?

When it comes to roof repair, you want someone that you can trust. You want someone that you can depend on. You want someone that you know will not scam you. Because of this, it’s important to choose an Oregon roofing company that has good qualities.

What are these good qualities? That’s the question that we’re here to help you answer. As an award-winning corporation that has been serving roofing replacement, repair, and maintenance needs in Oregon since the late ’80s, we know a thing or two about providing quality services. That’s why we want to guide you and ensure that you choose the best roofing company, one that will not only give you the best value but treat you well too. Here are some of the features you should look for when choosing a quality Oregon roofing company.

They’re Insured

Accidents happen. That’s a fact when it comes to all aspects of life and includes while making home repairs. An accident can happen on the job, while roof repair is being done on your home. You don’t want to be responsible for this accident. You’re already paying for work on your roof. The last thing you want to do is spend even more money due to an accident occurring on your property. Because of this, you want to ensure that the company you select to work on your roof is insured.

Sure, a company that’s not insured may offer you a cheaper rate. However, if there’s any loss that happens due to accident, damage, or injury, you’ll be liable and have to pay for any costs. If a worker is hurt on the job, as the homeowner, that becomes your responsibility, not necessarily the responsibility of the company you hired. If an outside party is hurt due to something involved with the roof repair, that also falls under your responsibility and not the workers’ or company’s.

Be sure to take a look at and verify the company’s insurance. Make sure it’s up-to-date and valid. The two most common and most important pieces of insurance to look into are workers’ compensation and liability insurance.

They Have the Proper Credentials

You need a license to do work on your Oregon home. Make sure the company you’re looking to hire has the proper credentials, such as a CCB number, to do the work you need done. Make sure they’re not expired and that it will be valid during the entire time it will take to do work on your home. Be sure to look into the proper registrations and permits needed to do work in your specific neighborhood and ask the company if they have them. Ask if they have any additional certifications as well, as it will further emphasize their professionalism and trustworthiness.

Getting the proper licenses and permits can be expensive, which is why some non-quality roofing companies may choose not to get them. If you get an estimate that’s quite a bit below all the rest, be sure to look specifically into the company’s credentials. The offer could be lower because it hasn’t met all the requirements for the area.

You want to ensure that the best work possible is being done on your roof, so it’s important to choose an Oregon roofing company with the proper permits and licenses.

Be Sure They Have Warranties

You want to be sure you’re getting the best possible service, right? Quality roofing companies know this. Don’t be afraid to ask what their warrantees are. The manufacturer warranties most products and materials that contractors use when working on your roof. At least a one-year guarantee for roof installation is common. For instance, at Interstate Roofing, we offer various warranties based on the work that you’re getting done, up to 20 years of workmanship coverage.

A quality Oregon roofing company will understand that roofs are an expensive investment and that you want to be safe from needing to pay more money for a while. That’s why you’re doing repair work on your roof now, right? To get rid of all the problems at once. A warranty gives you peace of mind that if something goes wrong after all of this hard work and money spent, it will be taken care of smoothly.

They Have Great References

Word-of-mouth remains one of the best ways to find out about contractors. However, it’s not uncommon to ask around and discover no one has had work done on their roof recently. This is where technology comes in—you can read real reviews and references online.

Look into a company before choosing it. A quality Oregon roofing company will have reviews or testimonials online for you to read or will have references available to send you, all written by real people who have used their services. It shouldn’t be a problem to get at least 10 different references if the company has been around for a bit and is of good quality. Additionally, by reading their reviews and references, you can get an idea of how happy customers were with the work the company did on their home. That is an extra layer of assurance that you are choosing a quality roofing company.

When it comes to choosing a quality Oregon roofing company, it all comes down to trust. You want to choose a contractor who will do hard work, make sure that your roof is in tip-top shape, and won’t charge you obscene prices. How do you go about doing this? By verifying all of the above. Make sure the company has the proper licenses, insurance, permits, certifications, and warranties. By checking all of this, you know you’re getting the real deal.

If you have more questions about choosing a quality roofing company, give us a call at Interstate Roofing. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and even come out for an estimate.

5 Signs of Heat Loss Through Your Roof

Your roof does a lot more than just keep the elements out: it’s also responsible for keeping the heat in, which is a job a well-built and well-maintained roof will do very well. However, if you notice that your home feels colder than it should, or if you’ve been receiving unusually high energy bills, it could indicate that your roof isn’t being the effective insulator it should be.

Below are five signs of heat loss through your roof insulation that you should be aware of.

There’s No Snow on the Roof

You’ve seen it on a hundred different Christmas cards: an image of a quaint cottage with smoke curling out of the chimney and snow piled up on the roof. It makes you feel cozy just thinking about it because you can just imagine how warm and toasty the house must be inside. But if everything in that picture was the same except there wasn’t any snow on the roof, guess what? That house wouldn’t feel warm and cozy at all.

After a heavy snowfall or even a chilly Pacific Northwest morning, frost on the roof is a good sign: it means that the roof is ice cold. This is what it should be. If, on the other hand, the ice melts when it comes in contact with your roof, it means that the roof itself is warm. This is a sure sign that heat is escaping from your home and not being kept in by the insulation. Look at your neighbor’s roofs. Are they frosty? If yours isn’t, it may be time to call your roofing contractor.

You’re Noticing Leaks—Or Condensation

Regardless of the time of year, a leaky roof is a serious problem and one you should get fixed as quickly as possible. If your roof isn’t sufficiently keeping the elements out, it can lead to some serious problems inside your home. Dripping water can damage and destroy everything it touches, from paint to carpets to your home decor and other valuable property. It can also promote the growth of mold and mildew, which can be toxic and ultimately lead to health problems for the inhabitants of the home.

You See Damaged or Missing Shingles

Your roof is one of the sturdiest and longest-lasting, parts of your home. But, eventually, even it will begin to wear out and require maintenance. As with any other part of your home, it’s a good idea to have Interstate Roofing periodically send a professional to inspect the different elements of your roof and ensure that it’s still in good working order.

If your roof hasn’t been cared for in a while, or if you’ve recently had some extremely harsh weather, you might notice signs of damage. Usually, roof shingles are the first and most obvious sign that a roof isn’t in great shape. Your shingles also provide a barrier, preventing dirt, water, and ice from sneaking its way into your home. If you see cracked, damaged, or missing shingles, your roof may be in bad shape and unable to do its job properly. This includes keeping the heat in. Warm air will seep out through any cracks or holes where roofing material has been worn away.

There Are Gaps Between Your Ceiling and Roof

Of course, even a well-made, strong roof that has been properly maintained can’t do the job alone. If there are any gaps or cracks between your ceiling and roof, warm air will make its way up there, and eventually, the heat will diffuse out of your home and into the surrounding environment. You’ll periodically want to inspect your entire home for gaps in insulation. The most vulnerable areas are usually the sealing surrounding can lights, pipes, and wiring.

Depending upon the severity of the problem, it’s often possible to fix minor damage to your insulation on your own. You can purchase silicone sealants for pipes at any hardware store. Expanding foam insulation is also available for creating airtight seals around windows and doors, but be warned: it’s nasty stuff and will absolutely stick to everything it touches. Of course, if you’re unsure if you want to tackle this job on your own, don’t be afraid to contact a professional.

You Have Insufficient Insulation in Your Attic

The efficiency of your roof, as far as keeping warm air in (or cool air during the summer), depends largely on your attic. Even if you’ve carefully sealed every crack you could find and had your shingles repaired and maintained, your roof will never reach its full potential if you don’t have great insulation in the attic itself. Over time, insulation can lose its effectiveness, as holes develop, mold grows, and materials fall from where they’re attached. Occasionally, having a professional roofer inspect and, if necessary, replace the insulation in your attic will keep your energy costs lower and your home warmer.

There are several materials roofers use to ensure an attic is well insulated, each with its own particular benefits. Loose-fill insulation, made from fiberglass or cellulose, is sprayed into place using a type of hose. It’s great for insulating nooks, crannies, and other areas that are difficult to access. It can also be layered over other types of insulation, creating an extra layer of protection from the cold.

You’ve probably also seen insulation rolls. These are long lengths of thick fiberglass that can be ideal for large areas (such as attics). Foam board insulation is also popular. Usually made from polystyrene or polyurethane, this insulation medium comes in the form of large, rigid panels that can be attached over pipes, wood, and studs.

You’ve probably also seen insulation rolls. These are long lengths of thick fiberglass that can be ideal for large areas (such as attics). Foam board insulation is also popular. Usually made from polystyrene or polyurethane, this insulation medium comes in the form of large, rigid panels that can be attached over pipes, wood, and studs.

What Does Roof Cleaning and Maintenance in Tigard Involve?

Maintaining a clean, well-cared-for roof is an important part of your home’s curb appeal, and one that an unfortunately high number of homeowners neglect. It’s not just about the visuals either. A poorly maintained roof will have a shorter life span, and a lack of maintenance can increase the likelihood of a catastrophic failure, which can end up costing you a great deal of money.

If you’re on this page, though, you probably already know all that. And you already know that regular cleaning and maintenance of your roof is one of the wisest choices you, as a homeowner, can make. Exactly what this involves and how often you need to have your roof cleaned and cared for depends on the type of roof you have. It also depends on the climate you live in. For example, if you live in a place like Tigard, Oregon, your roof will receive around 41 inches of rain every year—well above the national average. It will also have to weather snow, hail, sleet, and the blazing sun of the summer. In a climate like that, roof cleaning for Tigard, Oregon, homes might need to be more regular than in other places.

Read on to learn more about what roof cleaning and maintenance involves.

Cleaning Your Roof

The first step in keeping your roof clean is an obvious one. You’ll need to make sure your roof is free of debris, such as leaves, sticks, and branches. This is especially true if a buildup of material has begun to clog your rain gutters. If water can’t properly flow off your roof, it will eventually back up and begin to leak into your home. This can ultimately cause thousands of dollars in property damage as rainwater drips into your home, ruining everything in its path.

Regularly clearing your roof of debris is something you can do on your own, without the help of a roofing professional, provided you have the right equipment. As with any big job in the home, always think of safety first. Don’t attempt to climb onto your roof without the right ladder. You should have one that can be secured to your roof so that you can move safely. Make sure you have a pair of gloves as well, and be aware of where all power cables and other hazards are located. You should never climb onto your roof alone either. Always have a spotter to help keep an eye on your safety.

When it comes to keeping your roof clean, you can take preventative steps as well. For example, you can help to avoid getting a lot of leaves and branches on your roof by keeping nearby trees regularly trimmed and cared for. Unhealthy branches should be removed, and dead trees should be cut down before they pose a hazard to your property.

Moss and Algae

Especially if you live in an unusually wet area, your roof may be vulnerable to the growth of moss, mildew, and algae. Roof cleaning for Tigard, Oregon, homes, for example, involves a good deal of moss killing and/or removal because of the extra moisture in the climate. At first, moss and algae are simply unsightly, but over time, they can cause catastrophic damage to your roof. That’s why it’s important to nip the problem in the bud.

Moss spores are carried to your roof by the wind. If your roof happens to be wet and dirty (as most roofs are at some point in time), they’ll find ideal conditions for their growth and begin to spread. Over time, this moss will degrade shingles and allow water to track in unusual ways it wouldn’t ordinarily.

Cleaning moss off your roof is simple enough, even if it is a lot of work. Industrial products that kill moss are only available to those that are trained, tested, and certified by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. In most cases, you’re better off asking a professional roofer, such as the ones at Interstate Roofing, to do this maintenance for you. If you hire a professional, make sure they’re licensed to apply the product they’re selling. There are only a small handful of contractors in the state that are.

Roof Maintenance

Of course, there’s more to maintaining a roof than simply cleaning. As with any part of your home, you’ll want to have regular inspections performed in order to discover if there are any repairs needed. A well-cared-for roof can last for many, many years, but only if problem parts are replaced before they cause further damage. In addition, all manufacturers’ material warranties require roof maintenance.

First, you’ll want to contact a trustworthy roofer, like the ones from Interstate Roofing. Your roofer will look for any signs of moss, leaks, exposed sealant, or damaged shingles. They can clean any moss growth, remove any debris that has accumulated, and check vents, gutters, and other openings to make sure there’s no blockage.

Damaged nails, screws, flashing, and bolts will be removed and replaced by your roofing contractor. They may also make upgrade recommendations. For example, you may have the opportunity to switch your flashing to a higher quality material. If your roofer discovers any damaged shingles, they may replace them. In some cases—depending on how well your roof was maintained before—this may be a huge project. If it’s been a while since your roof was last serviced, your roofer may find that many of the shingles need to be replaced. They’ll also check the wooden parts of your roof to discover any signs of rot or other major damage.

In extreme cases, the entire roof may need to be replaced. While this isn’t common, it shouldn’t be put off, because if a roof becomes too far gone, it may collapse completely. It goes without saying that this will be a financial disaster.