Articles

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

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.

5 Questions to Ask When Looking for Portland Roofers

Deciding to replace the roof of your home is one of the most important things a homeowner will ever do. It’s something most homeowners will only do once, and it’s a major expense. So with that being the case, you need to make sure you hire a contractor who will serve your needs well. However, you may be somebody who’s in unfamiliar territory when it comes to choosing a roofer.

If that’s the case, you need to know how to go about hiring the right Portland roofers. Interstate Roofing can help. As a professional and experienced contractor, we can tell you there are a variety of questions to ask before you hire Portland roofers. The answers you receive will be crucial in helping you make the right choice.

What Does Past Work Look Like?

Reputation and word of mouth are two incredibly important components of vetting potential contractors. If you need Portland roofers to come in and replace your roof, you’re likely going to do what you do when you’re thinking of trying a restaurant for the first time or looking for a family doctor. That is, ask friends, family members, and acquaintances for recommendations. After all, if people you trust give a product or service a thumbs up, you know it’s on the level.

That said, we live in a time when thousands of people review everything from libraries to hospitals on the internet. When choosing Portland roofers, you should absolutely look to those close to you first for recommendations. You should also surf the web for reviews by unbiased, third-party customers. This will give you a strong general idea of whether a contractor has a history of doing good work.

How Long Has the Contractor Been in Business?

If you’re looking for a new family doctor, you probably wouldn’t want to pick somebody who just graduated from medical school. This is nothing personal against that doctor. It’s just that whoever you trust to be your doctor is going to be crucial to your family’s health. You want somebody with a proven track record of being successful with numerous patients.

While choosing Portland roofers may not be quite as important as choosing a family physician, it’s still critical to hire contractors who have proven over time that they can produce high-quality roofing work. So selecting contractors who have been in business for a long time is generally a smart move. It’s rare that a company would be operational for many years if it wasn’t good at what it does.

This isn’t to say that just because a company has been around for a significant period of time it’s the right one for the job. No matter what, you still need to investigate the company’s reputation and reviews. However, knowing they’re not new and unproven is often one of the first steps in determining whether to look into the company further as a potential candidate to replace the roof of your home.

Should You Base Your Decision On Price?

It’s not that price isn’t important, because it is, especially if you’re on a tight budget. However, you would be wise to remember the adage, “You get what you pay for,” when selecting a contractor.

Sometimes, a company’s price is the lowest around for a reason, and it isn’t always because it’s just a great deal. It could be because that company does subpar work or uses cheap materials and inexperienced workers.

The best course of action is to get estimates from multiple roofing contractors and compare those prices. Then weigh those price estimates against each company’s reputation and past work history. You may ultimately decide to go with the cheapest estimate, but you should keep in mind that sometimes it’s worth paying a little more if you know you’ll get more in the way of quality. It’s all about doing your research.

Is the Contractor Licensed and Insured?

Replacing the roof of your home is a job that’s often too complex to be done by yourself, unless you have a background in roofing. That is precisely why most homeowners hire a roofing company to do the job. However, even after you make the decision to hire a specific contractor, it’s essential that you make sure they have the proper insurance. You also want to ensure they up-to-date licensing and permits before you sign on the dotted line.

It doesnt matter how good a contractor’s work is. If they don’t have the proper licensing and permits, it could result in the work on your house being shut down or delayed for a significant length of time if the violation is discovered and the local government acts accordingly. Also, not having the proper insurance could be highly damaging to your wallet if anything bad happensduring the work. If a worker gets injured on the job and the contractor doesn’t have the proper insurance, there might be issues. It’s possible the worker could sue both their employer and you, the homeowner, in order to try to get restitution.

Similarly, if there’s damage to your property while the work is being completed, the proper insurance will ensure you’re not left financially responsible once the workers move on. Whatever you do, never put yourself in a position where there’s any chance whatsoever that you could be held personally liable for damage or a roofing worker’s injury.

Will They Give You Everything in Writing?

No matter who you select to replace your roofing, get the details of the work to be done in writing. The agreed-upon price should be in writing too. This is critical to protecting you against dishonest contractors that promise things they cannot deliver or try to ask for additional money even after having agreed to do the job for a specific price. Having everything that has been agreed upon explained clearly and concisely in writing gives you the means to take legal action against that contractor if the need arises.

5 Roofing Facts to Remember in Winter

The winter brings harsh weather to most of the country. Along with that harsh weather, the cold season also often brings problems to your roofing. While the blistering cold isn’t the most ideal time for any activity, it’s especially difficult for providing essential maintenance to your roof. But sometimes problems arise that just can’t wait until spring to be fixed.

If you’re anticipating that your roof could be in trouble this winter, you’re going to want to know these five winter roofing facts. For over 30 years, Interstate Roofing has helped prevent problems with roofs in the Portland, Oregon, area, and we want to share what you can be doing to prepare your roof when the winter comes.

Fact #1: It’s important to prepare beforehand

If you want to make sure your roof is safe this winter, you’re going to want to get started on maintenance before the season even begins. As you might imagine, it’s more difficult for roofers to work in the winter months for more than a few reasons.

Not only is it more dangerous for them to work up there, but the work can also produce less than favorable results during that time. Roofers could be wasting shingles while installing or repairing asphalt roofs because they aren’t meant to be applied during that season. That means services often come at a higher cost too, and even when the job is completed in the winter, the shingles may not stick the way they’re supposed to.

You’ll want to conduct maintenance checks (or have a professional do it for you) to identify places on your roof that could be in trouble when the cold weather rolls around. This preventative maintenance could include tasks like cutting branches off trees near your roof and cleaning your gutters and roof flashing before the winter. When snow and ice get involved, these tasks become less safe and efficient to complete.

Fact #2: Don’t go on the roof in the winter

This could be the most important of all the roofing facts to understand. It might feel like you need to take action to care for your roof during these colder months, but your safety and the safety of the roof are more important. Maybe you’ve noticed that tree branches and debris are lying on top of the roof or that your gutters and flashing are covered with ice and leaves. But you should not complete debris removal in the winter; it’s simply unsafe.

Roofing companies may come out during the colder months for emergencies and other essential projects, but they know that there are more risks than rewards when it comes to getting up there. If you fear that a section of your roof is in trouble, you should step away from your home and walk around it from a distance, checking for any sagging. Don’t go up there on your own. Even if the weather is nice one day, you don’t know if there will still be ice.

Fact #3: Ice dams are one of your roof’s biggest enemies in the winter

After snowstorms, your roof could be at risk of creating an ice dam. An ice dam is a block of ice that often forms along the edge of your roof. When this happens, it doesn’t allow melting snow to drain from the roof. Refreezing rainwater can also cause ice dams.

When an ice dam occurs, parts of your roof could begin to leak or sag, especially if your attic isn’t properly insulated. In order to prevent ice dams, maintenance checks should be conducted during the warmer months, as well as on the warmer days of winter. So make sure you’re conscious of this particular issue.

Fact #4: If you’re forced to have a roof installed in the winter, make sure to hire a roofing contractor with experience (and good insurance)

If you’re faced with the decision to replace your roof during the colder months, make sure you hire someone you trust. Asphalt roofing tends to have a much higher chance of not being installed properly because of the weather and cold temperatures—and improper installation can lead to more issues down the road.

The adhesive strip on the back of asphalt shingles is activated by sunlight, and when the heat from that sunlight isn’t available, the asphalt doesn’t bond together strongly enough. So when it gets too windy, the asphalt shingles are more likely to fly off, exposing your roof and causing damage. If you’re making the decision to install a roof this winter, ask your roofer about how they will prevent these issues.

Fact #5: Professionals can do maintenance checks for you

Having proper maintenance done throughout the year is the best way to avoid having to go through repairs or installation in the winter. Aside from unforeseen damage, most problems can be addressed before the winter comes, especially when you have a professional inspect your roof. A roofing contractor will be able to spot damage and leaks before they turn into bigger problems during the wrong months.

Preventative maintenance can keep your roof looking its best while also keeping up with the maintenance requirements of your manufacturers’ warranty. But most importantly, preventative maintenance in the warmer months prolongs the life of your roof—and that’s what we are all after.

5 Services Offered by Portland Roofing Contractors

There are many important questions you should ask and things you should research before choosing your Portland roofing contractors. Some contractors have their specialties, but there are some services that tend to be standard. These services are important to the health, maintenance, and durability of your roof, which will help ensure the protection of your building and everything inside, and curb appeal.

Here are five services that are typically offered by Portland roofing contractors. At Interstate Roofing, we offer all of them.

Residential Roofing

You spend a lot of time in your home, and that’s why roofing contractors understand the importance of being certified in residential roofing. You want someone who knows the ins and outs of the style of your home and the area and climate you are dealing with, and someone with experience working on homes, rather than just commercial roofing. There’s a definite difference.

By offering services in residential roofing, contractors like Interstate Roofing tend to have experience working on a variety of home styles: single-family residences, multifamily complexes, and family estates, for example.

There are a variety of services included in high-quality residential roofing. These might include roof warranties, quality materials, professional customer service, and daily supervision by a superintendent on all job sites while work is in progress.

Commercial Roofing

Just like you wouldn’t want a contractor who specializes only in commercial roofing to work on your home, you don’t want a contractor who specializes solely in residential roofing to do your place of business. That’s why many professional contractors have staff trained in both and offer both services. Like Interstate Roofing, they understand the significance of the difference.

Commercial roofing takes a specialized set of skills. Commercial roofing contractors will be prepared to work on a wide array of buildings, such as warehouses, restaurants, schools, office buildings, churches, retail centers, and medical complexes.

When it comes to roofing on your place of business, it’s also important your contractors understand that the less your business is interrupted during roof repair or installation, the better. The professional ones will.

Roof Repair

Leaks happen. Mother nature happens. A lot of problems can be prevented but not all of them. Because of this, roof repair is important, and it’s an important service that Portland roofing contractors offer. Businesses like Interstate Roofing also offer 24/7 emergency service options that you can request if a problem arises. We understand that these issues don’t always occur at convenient times, which is why we’re here for you.

Whether your need is an emergency or caused by the elements over a long period of time, do your research and make sure you’re choosing a Portland roofing contractor you can trust. Damaged shingles, a persistent leak, or structural damage due to mold, large or small, you want to be confident your problem will be fixed properly.

Roof Maintenance and Cleaning

What’s better than needing roof repairs? Preventing them! One of the best ways you can ensure the need for minimal roof repairs is to have regularly scheduled roof maintenance and cleaning, including clearing out your gutters. These are services offered by many professional roofing businesses.

By having regular maintenance and cleaning, you can be sure problems are spotted right away, rather than not knowing they exist until they escalate into something catastrophic. This will also keep your roof looking it’s best, which adds to the value of your property. And it will save you money in the long run.

Maintenance is vital for every roof, whether residential or commercial and regardless of the material that’s used. You don’t want dirt to build up or mold to grow. You also don’t want a small hole to turn into a big one. Don’t give leaks a chance to happen.

Gutters

Gutters are important to every building, home or commercial. They add beauty (which, as we’ve mentioned, can increase the value) and protect your house or business. Gutters direct water away from the building and foundation and keep it from pooling and potentially causing damage.

It’s important for your gutters to have a slight downhill slope. This ensures they drain properly. Even a slope as little as 1/16 of an inch is sufficient—barely noticeable at all—so don’t worry about aesthetics.

It’s also important to note that gutters don’t come in one-size-fits-all. The type of gutters on your building will depend on a variety of things. Do you prefer aluminum or steel? What size will work best with your roof and building? Which gutters will provide the drainage your building needs?

A professional Portland roofing contractor is going to be able to install gutters that meet all standards and fit your needs and curb appeal.

Additional Services

It’s important to choose a company that offers high-quality residential and commercial roofing services when selecting Portland roofing contractors. Select a contractor that offers the above five services, at the very least. However, many will offer more services.

For instance, Interstate Roofing can add attic insulation to any residential roofing project. Attic insulation will help you save on heating and cooling costs. Your home will also feel more comfortable year-round. If you’re interested in learning more, here are some things you should know about attic insulation in Portland, Oregon.

Something unique to Interstate Roofing is that we have a team of carpenters on hand to deal with any unforeseen structural or dry rot issues that arise during a roofing project. This helps speed up the process of getting your project finished and further ensures the structural integrity of your property.

If you’re looking for Portland roofing contractors, check out Interstate Roofing. You’ll be in very good hands. Give us a call today, and we’ll take care of all of your roofing needs, from the five services mentioned above to the additional services we offer.

Summer Is the Perfect Time for Roof Repair in Portland: Do You Need It?

What does it mean when the weather turns beautiful, the kids are out of school, and the smell of barbeque is wafting down the street? It must be summertime in the Pacific Northwest—and that means it’s also the perfect time to consider repairing your roof. In fact, you may have already Googled “roof repair Portland, Oregon,” recently because you’ve started thinking about whether or not your roof might need some TLC.

The warm-weather months are the ideal time to get serious about these types of improvement projects, so let’s look at some of the factors that might determine whether you need to repair your roof.

The Importance of Roof Inspections

Your roof protects your home and everything inside of it from rain, sun, snow, and wind, so it’s especially important to maintain and keep it in good working condition. Because your roof is a complex structure that’s exposed to nature’s elements every single day of the year, there are numerous issues that can come up. And when it comes to your home, an ounce of prevention is most definitely worth a pound of cure. Or, in other words, regular maintenance is good for both the appearance of your home and your wallet. Dealing with any needed repairs sooner rather than later will end up saving you money in the long run.

Roof damage can be obvious, like the quintessential drip-drip of water into a bucket due to a leaky roof, or noticing damaged or peeling shingles. It can also be subtle, so you’ll need to be on the lookout to be able to recognize the signs of damage. This could mean doing an inspection of the roof anytime there’s extreme weather or if your roof is getting old. Even if your roof is on the newer side and the weather has been fair, it’s still a good idea to pay attention and prevent any minor problems from becoming bigger. When inspecting the roof, remember to look at the exterior and the interior. Roof damage can happen anywhere.

Specific Signs to Look For

When checking the outside of the roof, there are a few warning signs that indicate a need for repairs. The first is the visible presence of discoloration and water spots, which are small areas of water damage that will eventually warp shingles and the exterior finish. It’s especially important to pay attention to where the roof and the exterior walls meet. Damage can certainly create visible distortion in this transition area, so you should be able to detect any signs of a problem.

Similarly, make sure to check around the chimney, vent pipes, skylights, and other objects that are in contact with your roof, as these areas are subject to wear first. Visible signs of wear to shingles or damaged flashing should be taken care of immediately, and usually minor roof repairs will fix the situation. Either way, it’s best to have these areas looked at by a professional as soon as possible to avoid leaks.

While inspecting your roof, make sure to also look at the gutters. One sign of a damaged roof is the presence of small granules resembling black sand clogging up the gutters. These granules likely come from shingles that are either damaged or have been exposed to the elements for too long, and it’s a good indication that you should also look at the shingles themselves. They might be breaking down due to weather or the lack of proper ventilation from the inside. Are the shingles curled at the ends? If they are cracked or curling, it means they’re nearing the end of their lifespan. Missing shingles also mean you need roof repairs, because they should be replaced as soon as possible.

To monitor roof damage that’s happening on the inside, make sure to pay attention to the attic space and rooms closest to the top of the house. If there is significant water damage, it will begin to warp the ceiling and walls of the rooms below. You might notice small—or large—spots of brown staining on the ceiling or on the insulation in the attic. Homes with hardwood floors may also start to see drops or puddles of water in the middle of the room. If you notice the decking or rafters in your attic are sagging downward instead of remaining straight, they may be wet from leaking moisture; this can usually be managed with repairs if the issue is localized.

Another thing to look for while checking the interior is outdoor debris inside of your home, as this can mean there’s a hole somewhere in the roof. Speaking of holes, if you can see any streams of light coming into the attic or any other room underneath the roof, it’s an opening that could also let water in. This is usually a sign that your roof needs immediate repair so as to avoid additional damage to both the interior and exterior of your home.

I Need Roof Repair! Now What?

If you’ve discovered that roof repair in Portland is something you’ll be searching for due to coming across any of the above warning signs, pause for a moment and congratulate yourself for being a responsible homeowner who is staying on top of their roof repairs (no pun intended).

Next, consult with a seasoned professional such as Interstate Roofing that can help you take care of the issue, sooner rather than later. Remember that summer is the perfect time for roof repairs in Portland, so you’ve picked the right time to do it. You can ensure your home will be protected from the elements once the autumn and winter weather returns.

5 Facts About Professional Roof Maintenance in Vancouver WA

There’s no doubt about it: the roof is one of the most important parts of any building. It keeps out rain and snow and protects people and property from the sun on hot days. All too many people, however, neglect the maintenance of their roofs and allow them to fall into disrepair.

Other people attempt to DIY roofing projects, and while there are certain tasks you can undertake yourself, ultimately, roof maintenance is something that should be undertaken by a professional. While home and business owners tend to worry about the costs involved in hiring a professional roofer, the reality is that the cost to you will likely be far more if you neglect professional maintenance. Here are five facts about professional roof maintenance in Vancouver, Washington.

The Best Roofs Are Built with the Vancouver Climate in Mind

Does it sometimes seem like your roof needs more maintenance than those of other nearby homes? There might be several reasons for this, but one of them is critical: climate.

Have you ever wondered why the buildings you see in the deserts of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and other arid climates have such a distinct look to them? The famous pink adobe buildings and flat rooftops; compare that to the equally iconic pointed gables snowy places like Switzerland are known for. The fact is, those picturesque roofs were designed with the climate in mind.

If your building is being constructed in a hot, dry area with minimal rain, a flat roof will often be your best option. It will save on materials costs and you usually won’t have to worry about water pooling up there. On the other hand, if you live in an area known for getting lots of rain and snow, your roof will likely need a steep incline so that puddles of standing water don’t form and damage it.

The Pacific Northwest, and specifically coastal areas like Vancouver, tend to get a lot of rain throughout the course of the year. Because of this, if your roof is too flat, you’ll notice your roof repair bills go way up. Talk to your professional roofer about ensuring your roof is optimized for the Vancouver climate.

Roofs Don’t Last Forever

Plenty of people spend a great deal of time and money fussing about their porches, bedrooms, or other parts of their homes without stopping to consider their roofs. But depending on when you moved in and how long your house existed before you showed up, it’s possible that the roof is the oldest part of your home. Even if it isn’t, you have to consider that the roof, just like every other part of the home, won’t last forever. Indeed, your roof is one of the parts of your home that receives the most wear and tear, as it’s constantly subjected to the elements. Even so, a well-cared-for roof can last for decades. With proper care, your roof can last for 25 to 30 years or more.

The key to the longevity of your roof is, no surprise, maintenance. You’ll need to have your roof checked out and repaired on a semi-regular basis, with a trusted professional roofer who will look for leaks and other problems and repair them. If your roof is nearing the end of its useful life, the same roofing professional can start the process of replacing it.

Your Roof Is a Huge Part of Your Home’s Value

People often hesitate to have their roofs repaired when they should because they’re worried about the upfront costs. While it’s true a major roofing project can set you back a decent amount of money, ultimately, keeping your roof in good shape will save you a lot more in the long run. And should you ever sell your house, an immaculately cared for roof can actually earn you money. This is because the roof is such a major part of your home’s value. When a house hits the market, prospective buyers will want to know that, should they choose to live in the house, that it’s protected from the elements and they won’t have to undertake any major repair projects for a good, long time.

The appearance of the roof also contributes in no small way to a home’s curb appeal; in other words, the better your roof looks, the more valuable your home is. Regular roof maintenance will go a long way toward boosting the resale value of any house.

Your Roof Can Save You Money in Other Ways

With today’s green movement in full swing, homeowners are always looking for ways to conserve energy, while also saving money on their energy bills. Talk to your professional roofer about possibly constructing a “green” roof: one that’s designed to keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Modern technology has given us roofing shingles that are lightweight, durable, and can reflect a good deal of the sun’s rays away from your home.

Your home, especially if it’s older, might be equipped with an obsolete roof. Talk to your roofing professional about beginning the installation process for a green roof, and you’ll save money on energy, increase your home’s value, and possibly even earn Vancouver tax credits.

A Good Professional Roofer Is the Key to All of This

Roof maintenance offers in Vancouver, WA, can be a bit confusing, to say the least. Meaning simply that there are many roofers out there and choosing the right one can offer a challenge. But it’s absolutely crucial to your home—and your financial future—that you have a competent roofer you can trust.

That’s why you’ll need to look for a company like Interstate Roofing—one with highly experienced professionals who can get the job done in a safe and cost-effective manner. The roofers from Interstate can handle everything from basic checkup to major projects—and they’re on call 24/7 should you have a roofing emergency.