5 Signs It’s Time for Flat Roof Replacement

A flat roof is exactly what it sounds like: a roof that has very little slope to it. Usually, this style of roofing is used primarily in commercial applications, especially in the Pacific Northwest. You’ll find more residential flat roofs in parts of the country that are arid because one of the drawbacks to having a flat roof is that it can be difficult to find and repair leaks. With our consistent precipitation, no one wants to deal with that in their home.

The benefit of having a flat roof is that you can also use it for additional space. For instance, green roofs or eco-roofs are popular places to have small gardens where a roof is visible to inhabitants of the building or those around it. In urban places, such as downtown Portland, apartment buildings, colleges, and medical complexes are creating green spaces on the roofs visible to their students, patients, and occupants. This way, architects are also creating spaces for stormwater management, reducing the urban heat island effect—where cities have a higher ambient temperature due to so much concrete—and also creating spaces for pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds to live.

So, if you have a flat roof, how do you know when it’s time to perform some maintenance or replace it? Here are five signs it’s time for flat roof replacement:

1. Cracks in the Flashing

Anywhere there is a sharp bend on your roof—any 90-degree angle—there will be flashing, which seals water away from the interior of your building. Think of flashing as the seams of your roof. If your flashing is cracked and old, water has a natural pathway into your building. Needless to say, it can cause a lot of damage to the wooden joists under your roof, the support beams, and any insulation that might be there. You can bet that if you can find old and worn-out-looking flashing, other parts that you can’t see will need to be replaced too.

2. Blisters Forming

You’ll see this more commonly in a flat roof that has membrane roofing. Blisters or bubbles form when pockets of air or moisture are trapped between the layers of the membranes and can be exacerbated by regular foot traffic. Sometimes, they are a result of a crack in the seam, which then collects moisture or cold air from below.

If you catch a blister before it cracks, you can sometimes repair the roof instead of replacing it. However, if it’s a consistent problem, or the blisters or bubbles show up all at once all across the roof, it’s probably time to consider replacing it. Even if you’re able to repair one blister, there’s a good chance it will come back again and again.

3. Water Is Pooling

This is actually the biggest and most common problem with flat roofs, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. Since we live in a wet climate, you want to be sure that there are no places on your roof where water will “pond” or pool and have appropriate drainage. If you have a space where there is a consistent pool (and if your roof is fairly new), you can install additional roof drains or a tapered system. Of course, if you are maintaining an old roof rather than fixing a new one, you may have bigger problems. The faster you get the water off the roof, the better the chance you won’t spring a leak.

4. Building Materials That Hide Damage

You may think this is a good thing at first, but if the damage is hidden, it may not occur to you to repair or replace the roof until it’s too late. If you have a tar and gravel roof—which is becoming less and less popular for this reason—it may be difficult to actually find the damage, and even an experienced contractor may only have a 50-50 chance of finding the leak. If it’s time to replace the roof anyway, make sure the flat roof replacement material is something that is easy to work with and shows damage instead of hiding it.

There are many types of flat roof coverings, including asphalt, synthetic rubbers, liquid membranes, and glass-reinforced plastic. They all have advantages and disadvantages, so make sure you ask your highly experienced technicians at Interstate Roofing which one is right for your building and your budget.

5. Alligatoring

Have you ever seen the pattern in an alligator’s skin? You’ll see similar patterns in the cracks that can form in your roofing material. As the sun’s UV rays dry out the top layer of your roof, you’ll be able to see this kind of damage. Remember, while it’s frequently cloudy in our climate, some UV rays will still get through and slowly degrade your roofing material. Clouds only block some rays—not all of them. If you don’t handle this problem, these cracks can let in ice and water, and the heating and cooling cycles will make these cracks wider and lead to more and more problems.

But if you replace your roof, or if you apply a new coat to the roof when you first notice these patterns, you can say, “See you later, alligator!” to this particular problem. If you have noticed alligatoring in the past, or if you’ve recently replaced your flat roof, it’s good practice to inspect your roof every six months or so and after major storms, including ice and wind storms.

Flat roofing is one of our specialties at Interstate Roofing. We’ve worked on many large commercial buildings in Oregon and Washington, such as churches, office buildings, medical complexes, restaurants, warehouses, and multi-family structures. We were also awarded the Versico Gold Medal Quality Award for our work on the Timberline Wy-East Day Lodge. Having been in this business for over 30 years, it’s no wonder Interstate Roofing is the obvious choice for your roofing needs, whether it’s commercial or residential.

What Is TPO Roofing for Commercial Roofs?

At first glance, the roof of a commercial building may seem like a very simple thing. After all, unlike residential roofing, commercial roofing is usually flat, and as opposed to being made of many parts like shingles, it’s made from one layer of some other material. And while it’s true that the basic design may not be complex, there’s a lot of science that goes into the rooftops of commercial buildings.

There are several reasons for this, but primarily, it boils down to two things:

  1. Protection from the elements
  2. Energy efficiency

One common material that can check both boxes is thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO. In the city of Portland, TPO roofing can be found adorning the tops of thousands of buildings. Read on to find out why it’s so popular.

What Is TPO Roofing?

TPO is a single-ply synthetic material that’s sold commercially in large rolls. While the term “single-ply” usually means it’s made of a single layer of material, it’s actually made from three layers. The first is a synthetic polymer base, essentially a type of plastic. Layered on top of that is an extremely strong reinforced fabric center, strengthened with another synthetic material: polyester. Finally, the top, protective layer serves to hold the whole thing together. It’s this top layer that’s made from the thermoplastic polyolefin that gives this particular roofing material its name.

The word “thermoplastic” implies that the material has something to do with heat, and indeed, that’s the most important feature of TPO roofing. This material can be easily heat-welded to itself, allowing individual sheets to be joined to one another across the whole of a roof with ease. This means that, even with a very large roof, the material can be joined together seamlessly.

What Are Its Benefits?

As we’ve mentioned, the ability of TPO to be heat-welded means that it can be turned into one huge layer across a rooftop of any size. Because of this, it serves as an excellent layer of protection against the elements, with no weak spots where leaks can develop. Even if they do develop, the material can be repaired fairly easily through the same heat-welding properties.

TPO also has a great beneficial effect on the energy efficiency of a building. If you own a commercial building, you know that saving money on energy costs is a must, and TPO can do this effectively by reflecting away a great deal of sunlight that strikes the top of the building. This is the result of both its advanced design and its stark white color, which reflects solar radiation and keeps the cost of air conditioning down, saving money for businesses that opt to use this unique type of material.

Its ability to resist solar radiation makes TPO both energy efficient as well as environmentally friendly. Actually, it’s made entirely of recyclable materials. This means that once this durable roofing material has finally reached the end of its useful life, it can simply be recycled back into new TPO roofing.

Finally, TPO roofing isn’t just resistant to sunlight. It’s created to resist rain, mold, fungus, oil, heat, cold, and even earthquakes. The material’s flexibility means it’s unlikely to give way even if the building itself moves a great deal.

Is TPO Roofing Right for My Building?

TPO, of course, isn’t the only synthetic material that can be used to layer on top of commercial roofs. In Portland, TPO roofing is popular due to the relatively warm summers. Many business owners expect that it will save them a good deal of money over the years. Other climates, however, may benefit more from roofing materials that are designed for cold weather. This includes roofing materials such as EPDM, which is black in order to absorb heat rather than reflect it away.

Business owners should also consider what types of materials are best for their specific building. For example, because TPO is designed to resist a large number of chemicals and other harsh materials, it can be perfect for the roofs of factories and restaurants, which may vent materials that are otherwise damaging to rooftops.

Ultimately, when choosing a roofing material, you’ll have to weigh your needs with regard to energy, durability, and the climate where you are located. Weather has a major effect on the best type of materials for constructing buildings. That’s why it’s a good idea to research the average weather for a given year in your area before making any commitment to specific roofing materials.

Is It Expensive to Install?

TPO roofing is usually fairly inexpensive to install. The cost is usually around the same as other, similar roofing materials. However, business owners should be wary of having their roofing work performed by the lowest bidder. While it’s true that the job shouldn’t be expensive, if a deal seems too good to be true, it most likely is.

A good roofing contractor will be highly trained and certified to do the type of work that they do, as well as properly insured. If they aren’t, then the possibility exists that they may do more harm than good to a commercial rooftop, ultimately costing business owners more money than they save.

For these reasons, it’s a good idea to do some comparison shopping when seeking a contractor to do roofing work on a commercial building. Check references, read reviews, and compare prices to get a good idea of what you can expect to pay for this type of job.

In the Portland area, a company like Interstate Roofing is your best bet. Experienced roofers also offer emergency services, should any problems arise—even at inconvenient times. Contact us with any questions have about your commercial roof.

How to Choose a Contractor for Commercial Roof Repair

If installed and maintained properly, a commercial roof should last you decades. But to ensure that it does, you must select your roofing contractor carefully. Given that a commercial roof is a relatively large investment, it’s best to spend your time and energy researching which contractors are right for the job. We promise it will save you from a costly headache later on.

Interstate Roofing has been helping clients with their roof repair needs for more than three decades. We know what it takes to get and keep a satisfied customer. We also know what to look for in a qualified contractor. Here are a few of our top tips for selecting a contractor for your commercial roof repair needs.

Get Feedback

A good place to start when looking to hire someone for just about anything is with your friends and family. Do you have any relatives or know any fellow business owners who recently had roof repair work done? If so, ask them who they used and how satisfied they were with the contractor’s work.

Can’t think of anyone who has hired someone for commercial roof repair recently? You can always turn to social media and post the question there. If you’re unable to find someone you personally know to make a recommendation, you can still solicit feedback about contractors in your area through online reviews.

Some of Interstate Roofing’s reviews and testimonials are posted directly on our site. These testimonials come from customers and companies we have worked with in the past and provide good insight into how our client base feels about our work. You can also go to sites like Facebook, Google, and Yelp to see what others have to say about us and any other contractors you are considering.

Verify Credentials

Once you find some roofing contractors with solid reviews, you should check each company’s credentials to make sure that it is properly licensed. There are many people who pose as experienced contractors when they don’t actually have valid credentials. So always be cautious when someone approaches you offering to perform work you haven’t requested. Instead, do your own research and make sure you are selecting the best person for the job.

Any legitimate roofing contractor in the Portland area will be properly licensed because Oregon law requires it. Anyone can say a company is licensed so never simply take someone’s word for it. Instead, be sure to look into it for yourself.

The Oregon Construction Contractors Board (Oregon CCB) and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries provide online resources for you to verify licensing information. Most states do, so if you reside outside the Pacific Northwest, find an equivalent resource in your state to check for this information.

You can find Interstate Roofing’s license number at the bottom of our webpage, but any licensed contractor should be able to provide this for you upon request. Using the search option on the Oregon CCB website, we can plug in a license number and hit search to confirm the company’s license is active. Once you get to the result page, you can hit Choose Option on the left-hand side to pull up more detailed information about the company. You can also confirm this information using the verify tool on the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries webpage.

Check for Consumer Complaints

Once you have verified that the contractor is properly licensed, you should look into the company’s background to find out if there has been a history of consumer complaints. To do this, start with the resource used to verify the contractor’s licensing information. Once you pull up a more detailed company history on the Oregon CCB website, you can check for the company’s complaint and disciplinary history for the last 10 years. If a company does have consumer complaints, you want to see that the contractor has taken action to address them appropriately.

In addition to checking with the board that maintains licensing information, you can also check resources like your State Attorney General Office, State Department of Justice, or the Better Business Bureau to find out whether the company is in good standing. A search of Interstate Roofing on the Better Business Bureau webpage, for example, shows that we have an A+ rating with the BBB, a five-star customer rating, and zero consumer complaints.

Compare Costs

Although it can be tempting to go with the contractor who offers you the lowest bid, you should compare costs in other respects as well. For instance, if a contractor is coming in with a bid much lower than other contractors you have spoken with, ask yourself why. It could be a red flag that something isn’t quite right.

You want to look for a company that’s offering a competitive price while also having the know-how and experience to deliver quality work. So compare prices and be wary about anyone who offers a bid that’s way under what other contractors are offering. To request a free estimate from Interstate Roofing, follow the link here.

Once you have checked credentials, researched customer reviews and complaints, and compared prices, prepare a list of your top contractor choices. Meet them in person to discuss your commercial roof repair project. First impressions and your gut feeling can also go a long way in helping you make the right decision.

If you’re based in the Pacific Northwest and have a commercial roof repair need that you would like us to help you out with, give us a call. Interstate Roofing has been in business for more than 30 years because we know how to deliver quality work and customer service. Allow us to show you exactly how we’ve built our name and reputation.


What Services to Expect from Commercial Roofers Near You

Roofs are something that many people may not pay close enough attention to until it’s too late. Don’t let that happen with your commercial property. Whether you own one property or multiple, and no matter if they’re large or small, it’s necessary to have a commercial roofer on hand. You will, of course, want to find a trusted, licensed contractor who performs a number of different services. You may be wondering, what exactly are the types of services I would get from a commercial roofer near me? Read on below to find out.

Commercial roofing requires particular skills and knowledge. The roofs of these buildings are different than those of residential properties. At Interstate Roofing, we have plenty of experience and expertise specific to the flat or low-slope roofs found on most commercial properties. We also have a portfolio of some past work examples on our website.

Commercial roofers are experienced with different types of commercial properties as well, from warehouses to offices to factories. No matter how large or small your property is, the roofing technicians will be equipped to handle it. This also extends to knowledge of different types of roofing materials and which suits an individual property best. When choosing a commercial roofer near you, also make sure they employ skilled, experienced technicians. That will pay off with all of the following services.


To start, contact a commercial roofer near you to do a regular inspection. The inspections will be thorough and let you know if there are warning signs of water damage or other problems. Don’t put an inspection off because you assume there’s nothing wrong. Your roof may have a small leak that has gone undetected but has already cost you money and will only get worse.

Contractors and technicians are specifically trained to notice the kind of issues that could lead to big, costly problems down the line. By taking care of them now, you can avoid more complex repairs that might require the business to be temporarily shut down. An inspection is also helpful if you suspect there may be an issue but are not sure what it is or how to handle it.

Even if all appears to be well, regular observation should still be kept up over time. And if there is something, the commercial roofer will then discuss options with you. Due to their own experience and expertise, they’ll be able to recommend the best solution and break it down for you to fully understand.


Interstate Roofing’s well-trained technicians come to you with plenty of experience. This means they’re able to quickly and easily spot problems in the commercial roof that need to be repaired. And they will usually know exactly how to fix it. And how to do so as efficiently, quickly, and affordable as possible. This is true no matter the size of the issue, from small leaks to more extensive damage.

Preventative Maintenance and Cleaning

Regular maintenance is key to keeping the roof in good condition for as long as possible. Technicians will provide maintenance according to the requirements of industry standards, manufacturer warranties, and their own workmanship warranties. Depending on the materials, roofs should be able to last for years. The more you can extend the life of your roof the better, in order to put off needing a new one for as long as possible.

Maintenance also helps the roof look its best. This is also a benefit of regular cleaning. Cleaning services available include pressure washing and gutter cleaning.

Installation and Replacement

Sometimes, unfortunately, commercial roofs have such extensive damage that they’re beyond any repairs. Thankfully, a commercial roofer near you will also be able to provide roof replacement and installation services.

If you’re unhappy with the current roof, you don’t necessarily need to wait for extensive damage to occur before you get rid of it. You can also ask about installing a roof for aesthetic value or for a better and more efficient option.

Interstate Roofing technicians know the best ways to install different types of roofs and how styles and sizes of buildings affect matters. And they’re experts in roofing materials. You’ll have thorough discussions concerning the different options, their benefits, and their downsides. And we’ll answer whatever questions or concerns you have. We’re here to guide you through the process so you can be well-informed enough to make the best choice.

For commercial roofs, popular choices include metal roofing, PVC, and TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin). No matter which you ultimately choose, you can trust that the technicians will only use trusted, quality, durable materials.

Energy Efficient Solutions and Services

Interstate Roofing is a Trade Ally of the Energy Trust of Oregon. If you’re interested in more energy-saving options for your commercial properties, this is something you can discuss with us. This includes certain money-saving initiatives like insulation.

Emergency Services

You never know when a problem will occur that needs to be addressed immediately. That’s why Interstate Roofing is able to be reached 24 hours a day, any day of the year. You can find the number to contact in case of an emergency on our website.

At Interstate Roofing, we take pride in our notable certifications. We have earned the GAF Master Elite and Master Select designations, the highest status from the largest roofing manufacturer in the country. We have also earned the Triple Excellence Award for three years in a row. This award recognizes the high quality of our work as well as the training and education our technicians receive. These aren’t the only awards we have won either. You can find more information about that on our website. With these honors, you can be confident that we’ll provide the best possible services for your commercial roof.

You can find out more information on Interstate Roofing on our website. You’ll find more about our services, contact information, collections of photos of past work, and customer testimonials. We look forward to becoming the go-to commercial roofer near you.

5 Benefits of Working with a Commercial Roofing Expert

Have you ever thought you could complete a roofing task on your own? You have a ladder and a few tools, so maybe you could head up there yourself and get the job done. But be warned: experts don’t recommend it. There are plenty of reasons why you should hire a commercial roofing expert instead of risking it yourself. And we want to tell you about them.

Not only will a commercial roofing expert do a great job for you, but you’ll love to hear that they can make the whole process much easier for you. Whether it’s dry rot repair, gutter needs, or residential and commercial roofing, Interstate Roofing has the professional staff and experience to get you the results you’re looking for. Here are five benefits to working with a commercial roofing expert.

It’s Safer

Roofing can be a dangerous task, even if you have some experience doing it. According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of fatalities in construction, accounting for about one-third of industry fatalities. And those statistics are only counting the professionals attempting the task, meaning, if you’re untrained, your likelihood of sustaining an injury is even greater.

The last thing you’d want is to sustain an injury while attempting to fix a roof on your own. Aside from becoming injured by falling, you could also injure yourself with tools you’re not experienced in using. But those aren’t the only ways you can sustain an injury while fixing your roof; electrocution and burns are also possibilities. Want to know a great way to avoid any risk of potential injury? Leave all the roofing activities to the professionals.

Experts are trained to know how to best avoid these safety risks. They’re taught how to use the tools and materials properly, on the ground and on the roof. And when these experts are working for a professional commercial roofing company, like Interstate Roofing, they’re insured in case any injuries do occur. Along with being trained to use the right tools, they also have the proper safety gear required by OSHA to do that kind of construction work.

It Can Save You Money and Time

One way a commercial roofing expert is able to save you money while completing a roofing job is that they can be cost-effective is by the quality of their work. More often than not, if you fix something on your own, you could lose peace of mind by wondering if you did it correctly. Having to fix a problem a second time on your own or having to call in a professional after you’ve spent your time and money on materials and tools yourself will end up costing you much more down the line, as well as taking up more time. Experts get the job done right the first time, are faster, and are in possession of the necessary tools.

They Offer Warranty Options

When you work with a commercial roofing expert, you don’t have to question if the work will hold up. Aside from being trustworthy workers with years of experience, commercial roofing companies also have warranties to back up their work. Experts will provide you with manufacturer warranties for the materials they’re using, but they also have a warranty on the labor being completed.

Because of these warranties, you don’t have to worry about something happening to your roof right after they leave. Warranties remove the risk of having to spend extra money on a bad product or incorrect job. If you’re looking for peace of mind for your roofing job, you should probably get yourself a roofing expert.

They Can Fix Problems You Don’t Know You Have

Some roof fixes aren’t as simple as just patching up a hole. And doing it yourself could end up causing more harm than good. Commercial roofing experts are both licensed and trained to complete the difficult tasks associated with roofing. Aside from that, they have completed these tasks many times. Plus, they’re familiar with the tools, materials, services, and things you won’t be able to catch on your own.

When you hire a professional, you know that they’re going to fix the problem accurately, and in a way, they can also prevent a future problem from happening any time soon. An expert can repair your roof and catch issues even before there are apparent signs of it. For over 30 years, Interstate Roofing has been servicing the Portland, Oregon, area. You can’t gain roofing expertise without the hands-on experience our team has. Knowing the ins and outs of roofing from experience is what sets commercial roofing experts apart.

You Can Set Up Regular Maintenance Programs

If you want to protect your roof and gutters for a long time, you’ll benefit from the maintenance programs that commercial roofing experts offer. Keeping up with regular maintenance for your roof can help prevent bigger issues from happening at inconvenient times. This type of preventative maintenance can prolong the life of your roof, as well as maintain the requirements of the manufacturer’s warranty. Instead of fixing preexisting issues, you’ll be taking concrete action to prevent issues in the future with programs like this.

When you have a maintenance agreement with Interstate Roofing, you ensure your roof will continue looking its best. Youll also have access to priority services if there is ever a leak and maintain Interstate’s workmanship warranty. While keeping up with industry standards, a professional roofing contractor will check your roof regularly when you’re a maintenance agreement customer.

The benefits of working with a commercial roofing expert are substantial. If you take advantage of them, your roof can live up to its full potential. With a variety of services available, Interstate Roofing has the experts to perform all of your roofing needs.

5 Things to Know About Commercial Flat Roof Repair

Whether or not you have experience with roofing projects, you’re probably aware that the flat roof of a commercial building must be handled differently than other types of roofs. It’s precisely because the roofs of most commercial buildings are flat that they have different needs, in maintenance, care, and of course, repair. While in some cases, it can be easier to deal with a commercial roof, in others, it can be significantly more challenging. Here are five of the most important things you should know before beginning any commercial flat roof repair:

Understand Why Your Roof Is Flat

Many people don’t give any consideration to why commercial buildings usually have flat roofs, but have you ever thought about it? What benefits does a flat roof provide to the owner of a building? Why do almost all commercial buildings make use of them, from grocery stores to factories to hospitals? While the majority of residential buildings have sloped roofing.

As you may suspect, the primary reason is cost-effectiveness, however, there is a lot more to it. Building a sloped roof requires a lot more materials, which can be an unnecessary expenditure when your building is required to be practical but not flashy. There’s also another practical reason for commercial buildings to have flat roofs: in many municipalities, there are height restrictions on buildings. You can maximize the space available to you if you simply keep your roof flat. There’s an aesthetic element to all of this as well: try to picture your local grocery store trying to pull off a sloped roof!

It should be noted that a flat roof is never completely flat. There always has to be at least a slight slant to it to allow for proper water drainage.

Know the Different Types of Commercial Flat Roofs

When you’re constructing a commercial building, it’s not as simple as just ordering a “commercial flat roof.” Actually, there are several types of flat roofs that you can consider. Which one you choose depends on your budget and requirements, but no matter which, you’ll have to consider things like drainage and UV protection. Here are a few of the options available to you:

Built-Up Roof System (BUR)

Also known as the “tar and gravel” roof by some, the built-up roof system was one of the most common types of commercial flat roofs for decades. This particular style of roof is one of the oldest types of roofing still in common use, and its continued popularity speaks to its effectiveness and durability. The name “built-up roof” comes from the fact that this type of roof is literally “built up” out of layers of tar and asphalt paper. The layers of roofing material are then reinforced with fiberglass matting. Finally, another thin layer of tar is added to the top of the roof, which is then covered by a layer of aggregate stone.

Advantages of this particular roofing system include durability—these types of roof can last for up to 50 years with proper maintenance—but the chief disadvantage is cost and fumes. Because it requires many hours of labor, this is one of the most expensive flat commercial roofing systems to install.

Metal Panel Roof System

If you’re looking to save on costs, a metal panel roof system may be the choice you should make. It is very simple in its design: metal panels with a special sealant between the joints and a neoprene seal anywhere there are washers in place. These roofs are cheap and have a relatively short lifespan, and so they are usually only used for warehouses and factories.

Single Ply

A relatively new product to the industry, single ply has quickly become one of the most popular choices. The synthetic membrane is applied in a single layer, is flexible and lightweight, and is UV resistant. Single-ply roofing is fairly economical to install, depending on the type of membrane used and preparation needed. It has a comparable lifespan, depending on millimeter thickness used.

Understand Your Warranty

Most commercial roofs are under some type of warranty after they’re constructed. Your warranty can last anywhere from 5 years all the way up to 20 years. If your roof is still under warranty, you won’t have to worry about repair for most minor issues: it will be covered. Other, larger issues, and certain unusual circumstances, may not be covered. If you are in an older building, it may also not be covered. Do some research on, and try to understand, the warranty that covers your roof (if you have one).

Fixing Minor Issues

Now that you have some awareness of different types—and the purpose—of commercial flat roofs, let’s discuss some of the more common minor issues. Both residential and commercial roofs are prone to leaks, and even the most sophisticated roofing technology occasionally requires repair. In some cases, you’ll be able to fix problems yourself. Under most circumstances, however, you’ll want to seek out the services of a qualified professional.

One common example of a problem with a commercial flat roof is a leak. If you have noticed a leak in the roof of your building, the first thing you must do is locate it. Doing so can be relatively easy, or difficult, depending on where the leak is located. Try to tape off an area about two feet around in either direction from where the dripping is coming from. Once you have done that, you can search the roof for any signs of damage. Occasionally, you’ll easily find an obvious hole. However, more commonly, you’ll need to call a professional to help locate the leak for you. Contact a professional at Interstate Roofing if you are having trouble finding the source of your leak.

Finding a Qualified Professional Roofer

With most elements of commercial flat roof repair, you’ll need to find a competent professional to do the job for you. Finding one involves a fair amount of research. While there are many roof service professionals out there, choosing the right one involves a little homework. Read online reviews, check references, and talk to other satisfied customers. You will also want to check what, if any, certifications your prospective roofer has.

If you are in the Portland area, Interstate Roofing is your best option. They have earned the highest possible certification level from GAF, which is the largest roofing manufacturer in North America. This status, combined with their other awards and years of experience, make them a top choice for commercial flat roof repair in and around Portland, Oregon.

5 Questions to Ask When Looking for Commercial Roofing in Vancouver, WA

When it comes to commercial roofing, you don’t want to skimp. A sturdy roof is one of the most important aspects of any building, and especially of one that is being used by a wide array of people. Because of this, it’s important to hire a roofing company that knows what it is doing.

Commercial roofing takes a specialized skill set, and you must ensure the company you’re hiring encompasses all of these skills. Additionally, if you’re looking for commercial roofing in Vancouver, WA, particularly, you want to make sure that the company you choose knows the area and has experience working in it.

It is important to be assured of certain things before you commit to a particular company. Here are five questions to ask when looking for commercial roofing in Vancouver, WA.

Are you licensed and insured?

This may seem like common sense, but it’s important to ask. In Washington State, all general and specialty contractors must register with the Department of Labor & Industries. You don’t want to commit to a roofing company only to find out that they aren’t registered, as this could get you into trouble with the state. For further confirmation, ask for proof of the license.

In terms of being insured, this is also something you need to ask for proof of. Be sure to ask what type of insurance the contractor has. You want a company that has both workers’ comp and general liability insurance. If an employee is injured on your property, you don’t want to be liable for the medical bills.

Furthermore, if any damage happens to your property while the work is being done, you don’t want to be liable for that either. So it’s important to be sure the company has general liability insurance. Accidents happen, and it’s important to confirm that the roofing company you are in talks with has the proper protection.

What types of commercial roofs have you worked on previously?

Not all roofs are the same. For instance, the roof on an office building is not the same as the roof found on a church. Working on a roof that is low-sloped can involve a different skill set than working on a roof that is steep. Because of this, it’s important to choose a contractor who has experience working on the type of roof that is found on your property. This will help ensure you’re getting the best quality work possible on your roof, in turn, giving you better, longer lasting results.

At Interstate Roofing, we know how important this is. We have been replacing the roofs on churches, office buildings, medical complexes, restaurants, warehouses, and multi-family structures since 1988. We are the commercial roofing experts in Vancouver, WA, and we have the skills and expertise to protect your commercial property.

What is your projected timeline?

In terms of logistics and your budget (assuming there is one), it’s important to know how long repairs or installation of a new roof will take. Work being done on the roof will have at least some disruptive effect on your everyday business practices. If you can’t operate your normal business because of the roof repair, you will obviously need to know how many days you’ll be closed so you can alert employees, customers, clients, or residents accordingly.

It’s also important to make sure you aren’t liable for any extra costs if the timeline goes beyond the expected end date. Furthermore, ask about potential weather delays and how that might impact the timeline. A roofing company with experience will account for weather delays when providing you with their timeline.

In case of bad weather, what do you do?

It’s no secret that it rains in Washington, which is why asking how a roofing company handles this is critical. You don’t want a company that doesn’t properly shield its work from the rain, resulting in even more damage to your business.

Ask the contractor if they use plastic sheeting or tarpaulin to protect the roof in bad weather. If the answer is no, ask what other weather-proof materials they plan to use to keep your property safe while they’re working on the roof.

Additionally, be sure to ask about the contractor’s plan if there’s rain for consecutive days and/or if there are high winds. Will the contractor regularly check your property to ensure the protective covering is working and that everything is dry? Make sure you know from the get-go whether this is something you’ll be responsible for.

What is the warranty on the new roof?

We understand that you’re doing roof work now in hopes of not having to do further work for a while. If you hire a professional, experienced roofing company that does high-quality work, this should be the case, barring damage caused by an extreme storm or natural disaster.

However, as we all know, accidents happen, and nothing is perfect. Because of this, obtaining a warranty on the work done is important. If something does happen and repair is necessary, you don’t want to have to pay another large amount to get it fixed.

It’s important to choose a commercial roofing company that you can trust. Finding one with both experience with the type of roof on your commercial property and experience working in the Vancouver, WA, area helps ensure you’re getting the best possible service done.

At Interstate Roofing, we’re proud to have the skill sets needed for many diverse roofs, as well as knowledge of the Vancouver area. We’re happy to chat more about your specific roof and provide you with a free estimate. Please reach out to us so we can make sure the roof on your commercial property is top notch!

Will My Business Be Interrupted During Commercial Flat Roof Repair?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What advice do you trust?

And how will it impact your business during the process?

Do You Need a Repair or Replacement?

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

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

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

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

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

Fixing Leaks is Best for Business

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

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

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

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

What are the Biggest Risks?

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

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

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

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

The Commercial Flat Roof Repair Process

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What to Expect During the Process

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Should You Reach Out to a Commercial Roofing Specialist

Let’s admit it; there are times when we all feel like the roof is caving in around us. Sometimes it’s because we’re a little stressed. But other times it’s because the roof is literally about to fall! Don’t let it get to that point, though. There are things you can look out for and signals that your roof is sending you to help you know when it’s time to call a commercial roofing specialist.

Here are some common examples of when it’s time to call in the experts.


You should certainly call a commercial roofing specialist when you need a commercial roof installed. This isn’t something you should tackle as a do-it-yourself project. Instead, hire a trusted contractor to do the work. A lot of commercial roof problems are caused by improper installation. A sealant problem, for instance, could cause water to seep into your building. But just as some issues are caused by improper installation, many problems can also be prevented when a skilled contractor performs the installation work.

How do you know which contractor to hire when looking for a commercial roofing specialist? Look for companies that are experienced in the field and have built themselves a solid reputation. Interstate Roofing has been in business for three decades. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and our customers rave about us. You’ll want your commercial roofing specialist to be able to say the same.

Roof Replacement

Just as you should call a commercial roofing specialist to properly install your roof, you’ll also want to contact a commercial roofing specialist when your roof reaches the end of its lifespan. It’s incredibly important that as a roof ages you have your roofing specialist perform regular maintenance.

Getting an expert opinion is also imperative as a roof ages because a professional will be able to assess when a roof is beyond repair and it’s time for a replacement. Seemingly minor issues that go unaddressed can lead to bigger problems down the line, potentially wreaking havoc on your entire commercial building. Keep reading to learn more about common commercial roofing problems that are signs it’s time to call in an expert.

Poor Drainage

Without proper drainage, moisture from rain and snow will have nowhere to go and will eventually accumulate on the surface of your roof. Anytime you have standing water on your roof, you’re almost guaranteed to have a problem.

Water weighs about five pounds per inch, per square foot. That means the extra weight of the water will cause undue stress to your roof, causing it to sag or even collapse. But there’s no reason it should get to that point.

Make sure you have a proper drainage system in place. If you don’t, contact your commercial roofing specialist immediately to have it fixed. And always be on the lookout for any water that’s pooling on the surface. This a clear sign that you need to contact your commercial roofing specialist.

Puncture Holes

Weather and environmental factors can cause significant harm to a roof, which is why it’s important that your roof is regularly inspected for any visible signs of damage. Puncture holes can be caused by severe weather, such as hail or high winds, but can also be caused by foot traffic. A careless technician working on your roof, for example, or wild animals can also cause puncture holes.

Flat roofs are more prone to puncture holes than sloping roofs, but there are certain things you can do to prevent this. For instance, since debris, such as branches, may cause puncture holes, be sure to trim back any tree limbs. Also, make sure to thoroughly vet anyone who will need to access your roof to perform work. You can also install walkway pads to protect your roof from foot traffic.

If you notice any puncture holes, contact a commercial roofing specialist to address the problem since these holes can cause leaks and decrease the overall efficiency of your roof.

Flashing Issues

Flashing is the material, typically steel or another type of metal, that’s used in certain areas of your roof, such as the valleys and base of chimneys, to keep water from seeping in. When your flashing is faulty, it can cause leaks and lead to other types of issues. Extreme weather is a common cause of deterioration. Scorching temperatures, for instance, can cause your roof to expand and contract, altering the shape of your flashing.

It’s important then to inspect your flashing from time to time to make sure there are no signs of wear and tear. If you do notice something amiss, contact your commercial roofing specialist. Flashing issues are relatively common and can often be easily fixed.


Like many other commercial roof problems, blow-offs are caused by extreme weather, specifically high winds which can cause the roof to uplift. The corners and edges of the roof are particularly susceptible to the pressure of high winds. Though the damage may initially be minor, over time, high winds will cause the roof to continue to rise and even potentially blow-off. That’s why it’s important to inspect your roof after extreme weather conditions and contact a commercial roofing specialist if you notice any issues.

A commercial roof requires special expertise. Attempting to perform the work yourself or hiring an inexperienced contractor could lead to much bigger problems. That’s why you should only allow trusted commercial roofing specialists to perform maintenance and repair work.

At Interstate Roofing, we have been working on the roofs of all types of commercial buildings for the past three decades. We have the requisite skill and expertise to address any commercial roofing issues you have and want to make sure you keep a roof over your head. Contact us as we know exactly how to do that.