Roof Repairs

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5 Great Reasons to Skip DIY Roof Repair and Hire an Expert

Although a broken tile or shingle or small leak might seem like an easy fix for someone with basic carpentry skills, there are myriad things that can go wrong with a DIY roof repair job. There are simple factors like materials that can shape the way a fix might go, or there can be more impact-heavy events like weather, including both heavy winds and rain. And while it might start as just a small leak or a missing or broken shingle, even attempting to work on the roof can end negatively for both the worker and the roof.

As soon as you notice a problem with your roof, it might seem like a good idea to find a ladder and assess the situation yourself, but there are some very serious potential issues with attempting a DIY roof repair. Like your home’s foundation, the roof is also a crucial part of your home, as it keeps you dry and safe from the elements. It has a vital role in the structural integrity of your home and plays an active part in protecting the people who live under it.

When you notice that your roof needs some repairs or updates, your best option is to call a professional roofing company, such as Interstate Roofing, so they can make sure your roof is in tip-top shape and you avoid some of the negatives that can come along with a DIY roof repair. Read on for a few examples of great reasons to skip such projects.

1. Safety Concerns and the Risk of Injury

The first concern is regarding the height at which the repair would take place. Working at a great height is always dangerous and carries the risk of severe injury or even death. Professionals are required to wear and use practical safety equipment throughout the duration of their time off the ground. In addition to the risk of hurting yourself, if the roof isn’t repaired correctly, there is a chance part of what was “fixed” falls off and either hurts someone or causes damages to property below.

2. Invalidation of Warranty

Even if a DIY roof repair isn’t your preference, you may lean toward sorting issues yourself because it seems logical and practical to do so. But it might shock you to learn that if your roof is under warranty, and if you decide to attempt a repair yourself, it’s possible that the simple act of trying to fix something will invalidate and nullify the warranty. This would make it impossible to use the warranty on a future—potentially bigger—repair.

3. Exacerbate the Damages to the Roof Top

Not everyone is meant to be a carpenter or roofer. And that’s okay. When you’re tempted to do the job yourself, consider the fact that some attempts at fixing the roof might actually lead to a more disastrous issue, thereby requiring a bigger fix. It’s imperative to take into account the opinions and input from a professional, as there might be something unseen by you that they discover or simply can recognize from experience. If your fix attempt fails, it could very well cost you more to get a secondary fix by professionals.

4. Time

People who work in roofing for roofing companies spend a lot of time on a roof and have spent a lot of time developing and perfecting their craft. The amount of time that it takes a professional to complete a job versus someone intent on going the DIY route is very significant. It is much easier for someone with years or decades of experience to complete a fix atop a residential or commercial building. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it can take you a lot longer to do it, even learning as you go. Then, there are additional costs beyond the time of the physical effort.

5. Material Costs

There are material costs, too. While the actual cost for materials is about even, if you’re not trained to fix a problem with the roof, there is a chance that you will create further damage and that these issues will also need to be repaired, creating yet more expenses to cover. The cycle has the potential to continue, so it makes a lot of sense to get a professional to do the job correctly and timely on the first go. Their work is also usually covered by a work guarantee, so if there are any issues that spring up later, the work will be attended to quickly and without any extra unplanned expenses.

Beyond the sheer amount of experience that a professional roofer has compared to a novice, the fact of the matter is that roofers know how to “read” the roof. That is, while they’re up there, it will be possible for them to inspect the roof to see if anything else is not up to standard. It can be that this simple practice can pinpoint current minor issues in order to prevent future problems. Again, a benefit to this is to save time and money and to have a safe space above your head. A roof that does its job well and protects those inside.

In the Portland Area

For any of your future roofing needs, whether it’s a general inspection, installation, a quick repair, or even something a bit more complicated, it’s always best to call your local expert. In the Portland, Oregon, area, Interstate Roofing would like to be the place you turn to for any and all your roof-related issues. We serve the community with well-trained and certified roofers who will work with you to make sure you are taken care of at your home or place of business.

Reach out to us today and set up an appointment for an inspection to winter-proof your space. Let us make sure your roof is ready to carry its weight as we go into the rainy and snowy seasons ahead.


Help! My Skylight Leaks When It Rains

A skylight can be one of the most important features a home has since it can turn a room that might otherwise seem dark and dreary into a bright and cheerful space. It’s also one of the more vulnerable areas in the home, as it has several weak spots that rain can slip through if they happen to become compromised.

Skylights are also sometimes installed incorrectly, which can also lead to leakage. If your skylight leaks when it rains, this can lead to catastrophic damage inside the home. It can create unsightly dark spots on the ceiling, cause the wood floor to warp, and destroy property that it drips onto. If your home is experiencing a leaky skylight, here’s what you can do.

Figure Out What’s Leaking

While the individual parts that make up your skylight are probably all made from very strong, sturdy materials, they can still be vulnerable where these parts connect. That said, if you notice a leak, there are several parts of the skylight that are likely to be the culprits.

The Lens

The frame of the skylight holds the lenses together. A silicone sealant is usually used to connect these parts together and to form a watertight seal. Over time, however, the relentless assault of wind, rain, and other inclement weather can damage this seal. Even a small crack in the sealant between the lenses and the frame can allow water to make its way inside your home.

The Skylight Flashing

The flashing on your roof is thin and lightweight but serves a critical function: it redirects rain away from more vulnerable areas of your roof. Made from thin metal, you’ll notice flashing protecting areas of the roof such as the chimney and any valleys from the rain. This flashing is also installed around the skylight, and as long as it’s properly installed and remains in good condition, it will do an excellent job to keep water out of your home. However, if it becomes damaged by the weather, or if the metal begins to rust, it may begin to let the water in.
Other areas can develop leaks as well, and you’ll have to work to discover exactly where those leaks are coming from.

Locating the Source of the Leak

The easiest way to locate the source of a leaking skylight is to do a hose test. This is a two-person job: one must remain in the home, underneath the skylight, with a bucket. The other must spray the top of the skylight with a garden hose. Eventually, if a leak is present, the person inside the home should be able to see water droplets begin to form. This is the spot where the leak is.

You may also notice that there are several leaky areas. If that’s the case, you’ll need to fix them all before you can guarantee there won’t be any water damage inside your home every time a rainstorm blows through.

On occasion, you may notice water damage, and yet the garden hose will not yield any evidence of leakage. In this case, the leak may actually be caused by condensation. As skylights are in a higher part of the home, the temperature differences between the room, the outside, and the skylight itself can lead to water droplets forming on the glass. These will then drip without any obvious signs of a leak.

Fixing a Leaky Skylight

If your skylight leaks when it rains, the first step toward addressing the problem is to thoroughly clean it. Often, a buildup of dirt and debris can actually become the cause of a leak, for several reasons. Twigs, sticks, and branches can damage both the glass and the seal around it, leading to leaks. They can also become stuck between the frames holding the skylight together, allowing water inside. Sometimes, repairing your skylight is as simple as clearing it of twigs and branches.

The next step is to replace the damaged sealant. Waterproof silicone sealants can be purchased in most hardware stores. Install sealant over damaged areas, ensuring that the leaky area is thoroughly covered. In some cases, you’ll have to peel away some of the original sealant and replace it entirely.

If the cause of the leak is due to damaged flashing, you will have to replace the offending material. This can be a difficult job, not to mention a safety concern if you are not careful. If you need to climb onto the roof to repair some flashing, make sure you have all the proper safety gear for working with the tools. This means gloves, closed-toe boots, and eye protection (as well as fall protection equipment, of course). Carefully use a roofing hammer to pry away the damaged flashing. You can then replace it by nailing down new flashing made from aluminum or another durable material.

As we’ve mentioned, it’s also possible the source of the leak is actually condensation. If this is the case, then adding silicone sealant or replacing the flashing will not help. Your best option in the case of condensation is to improve the ventilation in your home and consider investing in a dehumidifier.

If the Problem Continues

If you can’t seem to solve the problem on your own, or if personally replacing flashing and climbing around on the roof is not something you wish to do, you can also contact a professional from Interstate Roofing. We specialize in the installation and repair of skylights, as well as other roofing features.

When a skylight leaks when it rains, in many cases, the problem is caused by improper installation. That’s why it’s important to avoid the problem entirely by securing the services of experienced professionals to perform the installation for you, and Interstate Roofing certainly fits the bill. We are also able to perform maintenance and repairs, no matter how severe the leak is or how extensive the damage that has already taken place is.

How To Fix Roof Flashing

Water damage is one of the biggest, most insidious threats not only to your roof but to the rest of your home as well. Of course, that’s what your roof is for in the first place: keeping water out while keeping a comfortable temperature inside. To this end, a roof is actually a fairly complex system, with many parts that need to be in good condition in order to guard the home optimally.

The shingles—the top layer—usually get the most attention, but the roof flashing is just as important, and when it becomes damaged, catastrophic problems can follow. Fortunately, we’re here to tell you what you need to know about how to fix roof flashing.

What Is Roof Flashing?

Roof flashing is a thin sheet of metal that connects various parts of the roof, and it’s placed where it is in order to prevent leaks through vulnerable areas. These might be the joints and valleys of the roof or around the chimney or to protect drainage pipes. The metal flashing must extend underneath the shingles and other parts of the roof so that it can prevent water seepage even if damage occurs to the upper layers.

Flashing can be made of several kinds of metals or other materials, although aluminum and stainless steel are the most common due to their ability to resist corrosion as well as their relative inexpensiveness. Occasionally, copper is used because of its ability to provide a decorative element, although it is much more expensive. Roof flashing is very durable, being more resistant to weather and temperature than other elements of the roof. However, heavy winds and other severe conditions can still damage it.

Types of Flashing

There are several types of flashing utilized, depending on which element of the roof needs to be protected. Continuous flashing is one single piece of metal that extends down the entire roof. While base flashing, also known as two-part flashing, is made of multiple pieces that connect to each other, usually in the form of a membrane with metal flashing on top.

If the flashing needs to go in multiple directions, counter flashing or step flashing might be used. In either case, caulk or sealant is used to prevent leaks from forming around the seams of the flashing.

Repairing Small Damage

Often, the damage that occurs to flashing is very small. For example, repeated dripping water may cause a small hole to form as a result of corrosion. This type of damage is relatively easy to fix. In most cases, you can simply use a small amount of roofing cement to plug the hole. If it’s a little larger—up to around three-quarters of an inch—you will first need to sand away the corroded part. You can do this with a wire brush or heavy-duty sandpaper.

You’ll then need to cut a small piece of aluminum (or steel or whatever material the flashing is made from) and then use roofing cement to use that piece as a patch over the damaged area. This patch should then be covered with another layer of roofing cement to seal it against further damage.

If the Damage Is More Extensive

Roof flashing is extremely durable and can last for many years with proper care. However, proper care is the key term here. Your flashing, as well as the rest of your roof, should be checked periodically by a professional roofer. They will catch problems before they become worse.

If, despite your best efforts, a larger area becomes damaged, you will need to replace the flashing entirely. Make sure that you take safety into consideration before you do this. Wear the proper attire, including gloves, closed-toe shoes, and a safety harness. Have a sturdy roofing ladder and don’t stand anywhere if you are not totally sure it is safe. Also, have at least one other person to serve as your spotter, assisting you as an extra set of eyes and hands.

You will need to start by removing the old flashing, which should begin by ripping away the old caulking that lines the flashing. You’ll then need to pry away the old flashing, using a hammer or other tool to remove the roofing nails.

You will then be able to replace the flashing with the new material, which can be a tedious task, especially with continuous flashing. As you go along, seal the flashing with caulking that is designed for use on roofs. You will also want to cover the nail heads with the same roofing cement you’ve been using for patching the smaller holes.

Similar methods can be used for replacing the flashing that surrounds chimneys and vent pipes. Bit by bit, you’ll pry them away and replace them with new flashing. As always, ensure that there’s plenty of sealant because any weak areas can allow water in, which can then shorten the life span of your roof as well as creep into your home and cause water damage.

Don’t Be Afraid to Call a Professional

Learning how to repair roof flashing is a big job and one that’s quite labor-intensive. That’s in addition to it potentially being dangerous if done improperly. So if you are uncertain about your ability to perform the task, contact a professional and ask them to do it instead.

Often, people attempt to DIY jobs to save money on a task, but if the task is done incorrectly, it may end up costing you more money in the long run. The fortunate thing about roof flashing is it likely won’t have to be replaced all that often—especially if it’s well cared for—because it can usually outlive the other elements of your roof.

Contact a reliable contractor who has been in the business for years, such as Interstate Roofing. They will be able to perform regular maintenance as well as larger tasks and even emergency tasks if necessary.

Help! My Ceiling Is Leaking!

It’s a sight no homeowner wants to see: water dripping down from the ceiling and into your home. Water leaks can lead to huge sums of damage, both to your belongings and to the structure of your home itself. When your ceiling is leaking, the cost of figuring out the problem and repairing it can go well beyond any damaged possessions or furniture. That’s why it’s vitally important that you do everything you can to determine the source of the leak, then call in the appropriate specialist. Here’s how to salvage the situation, do some detective work, then plan your steps from there.

Stop Any Further Damage

When you stumble across a leak in your home, the only thought in your head might be a panicked, “My ceiling is leaking!” It’s completely understandable if you’re caught off guard, but you have to maintain your composure. Once you know that your ceiling is leaking, time is of the essence. Move anything out of the way that might be more susceptible to water damage, particularly if it’s lightweight and easily transported far away from the leak.

Afterward, shove any furniture in the surrounding area far away from the dripping water. A coffee table may be able to sustain more drips than that paperback novel you keep meaning to finish, but prolonged exposure to water can cause wooden furniture or flooring to warp. Are there any rugs or upholstered furniture in the disaster zone? Move them out of the way and dry them as best you can. If you have carpeting that’s been soaked, you may even want to pull it up and let it air out. Yes, it’s a major pain to do, but if left alone, you could be putting yourself at risk of mold. Better to rip it up now and figure it out later than put your health at risk.

Stop Things from Getting Any Worse

With your possessions out of immediate peril, you’ll need to get the situation under control. It’ll take some time to find and fix the leak itself, so first, you’ll need to find a way to contain the leak until you can properly seal it. If you don’t, water will only continue to flow uncontrolled into your living space, potentially leading to even further damage to the structure of your home. Grab anything you can find that can catch and collect the dripping water and strategically place it underneath the leak. You’ll want to have multiple options on hand so that when your first container of choice begins to fill up you can seamlessly switch to another.

While not necessary, some people find it useful to place something in the container to help muffle the sound of the dripping. It might not stop your ceiling from leaking, but after a few hours of constant dripping, you’ll be thankful for the silence. Whatever you end up using, don’t forget to check on it regularly. If you leave a bucket unattended and it starts overflowing onto your floor, you might as well have done nothing at all.

Locate the Source of the Leak

Now that you’ve bought yourself some time, you can get to work figuring out just what exactly is going on. Try to pinpoint where the water is coming from, tracing backward from the leak toward the source. If you have access to your attic, climb up and start poking around with a light. Water stains, warping plaster, or other deformations can be helpful clues in tracking down the point of origin. Following the water back to its source will also help you find any other areas that may have suffered water damage.

Investigate the Cause

Once you’ve located the source of the water, it’s time to do some sleuthing to get to the root of the problem. Now, no one expects the average homeowner to be able to diagnose all mysterious leaks that may crop up with unerring accuracy, but understanding the nature of the problem will help you immensely when it comes to fixing it. There are plenty of things that can lead to your ceiling leaking, so work through the process of elimination and come down on a likely suspect.

Is the water coming out of a leaky or cracked pipe? Then the issue comes down to your plumbing. Is condensation gathering in your air conditioner, causing it to drip out of the unit? Then your HVAC system is the culprit to blame. Or is it gathering along the interior of your attic or crawlspace due to poor ventilation? Improperly regulated humidity can also cause water to gather and, eventually, leak down into your home.

What about your gutters, are they clear and directing away from the building? A clogged gutter leaves rainwater nowhere to go, potentially causing it to leak back into your home. Does the leak appear whenever it rains, or do you notice any breaks or protrusions on the inner side of your roof? If so, you may be looking at some roofing repairs. If you feel confident you’ve identified the source of the leak, it’s time to get some help.

Call in the Experts

Now that you know what you’re dealing with, you can call in the right backup. If it looks like your roof is the problem, Interstate Roofing is ready to help. With decades of experience providing roof repairs and maintenance in the region, we have the skills and expertise needed to patch up any damage to your roof.

Most leaks can be repaired quickly at our standard repair rates. If the problem is of a larger nature, we are happy to get your roof watertight temporarily and provide an estimate for a permanent fix. When it comes to leaks, there’s not a second to lose. Give us a call, and we’ll be there to the rescue.

Is a Low-Slope Roof More Likely to Leak?

When you are having a roof installed or repaired, one of the biggest fears is probably having a leak occur soon after. Leaks in roofing can cause serious damage to not only the roof itself but the room and property the roof is covering. Issues like leaks can happen to any type of roof, but if you have a low-slope roof, you may be wondering if yours is more likely to experience this unfortunate situation.

Low-slope roofs have many benefits, but they also have a few potential risks. One of those risks is being more susceptible to leaking. Leaking can be more common in these types of roofs simply due to the way they are built.

Even though there’s a slightly higher risk than a roof with a greater slope, there are many things you can do to ensure that your low-slope roof remains leak-free, like working with the right professionals. People who work with experts like Interstate Roofing to have their roofs installed, repaired, and maintained can attest to the difference it makes when you have knowledgeable and skilled people to assist you.
Read on to learn more about low-slope roofs and how to keep them from experiencing leakage.

What Is a Low-Slope Roof?

After hearing that low-slope roofs may be more susceptible to leaking, you’re probably wondering if your roof is considered low-slope. Not many people know what kind of roof their house or property has, but knowing can help you to take preventative measures against leaks.
When you’re trying to figure out if you have a low-slope roof, you need to know what a roof pitch is. Roof pitch is the angle of your roof, and that angle relates to how much of a slope your roof has. Though it may be tempting to get on the roof and figure this measurement out yourself, you should avoid doing anything you don’t have the skills or equipment to do safely. A professional will be able to tell you what your roof pitch is and determine if it’s a low-slope roof.

A low-slope roof is one that is not steep enough to put shingles on and has below a 3:12 roof pitch. This ratio means that for every horizontal foot that the roof measures, it goes up no more than three inches vertically. If your professional roofing company tells you that your roof is measuring to this size or lower, then you’ll know you have a low-slope roof.

What Causes Leaks in Low-Slope Roofs?

There are a variety of reasons why leaks can occur more often in low-slope roofs. One of the most common causes is poor drainage. Unlike roofs with a high slope ratio, low-slope roofs are more prone to having water or snow sit on their surfaces. The lack of slope makes it easier for liquids to collect on the roof and can cause damage to an area. As the water pools in one spot, that spot of the roof becomes weaker and weaker, breaks down the roof’s compounds, and eventually finds its way into your home.

Another reason why low-slope roofs can be prone to leaking is due to a damaged membrane. When not taken care of properly and as a roof ages, it can form cracks and splits on its surfaces. These cracks are the perfect space for water to seep through to the insulation of the roof. As that liquid builds up in the insulation, leaking will begin to happen indoors.

How Can I Decrease My Risk?

One way to help decrease the risk of leaking for your low-slope roof is to schedule regular maintenance. Professional roofing companies often have maintenance programs available for customers so that their roofs can be thoroughly inspected on a semi-regular basis. At Interstate Roofing, the maintenance agreement program is designed to help customers prolong the life of their roofs through preventative maintenance.

For instance, if there is water pooling on your roof or damaged material, having preventative maintenance can help to catch that problem before any serious damage occurs. Without having those frequent checkups, home and building owners often don’t realize there is an issue until costly damage has been done and the roof is in need of large, expensive repairs.

Joining a maintenance program has other benefits too that can come in handy when it comes to leaking roofs. Many roofs and their materials have the option to be under warranty, which protects you in the case of an emergency. Though those warranties are useful, they often have requirements to remain active, and those requirements usually include maintaining some kind of regular maintenance or having an inspection of the roof completed. These types of programs protect your roof and your warranty, which may help you to avoid costly repairs down the road.

How to Find the Right Professionals

Because one of the reasons low-slope roof leaking occurs is due to poor installation, finding the right professionals to install, repair, and maintain your roof is important. Not everyone with a ladder and some tools is qualified to do work on your roof, so going through a thorough vetting process when searching for a roofing company is in your best interest.

When looking for a professional roofing company to work in your area, you should start by looking into how long they’ve been in business. Local businesses typically don’t last long in an area if they aren’t doing good work, so having a few decades of experience can speak greatly to the reputation and quality of a company.

Another thing you can look into is what type of credentials they have. A good roofing company will often have certificates, awards, and certifications that they readily boast about on their website. Lastly, you can rely on the reviews of others to help you make a decision. Ask your friends and neighbors who they use for their roofing needs and if they have been satisfied with their work. You can also check online for reviews from customers and testimonials on the business’s website.

What To Do If Your New Roof Is Leaking

It’s a homeowner’s nightmare: you’ve just finished a project to replace your home’s roof with brand-new roofing. The roof looks fantastic, and even though it was a little expensive, that money was money well spent. But when the first storm comes, you hear it: drip, drip, drip. Somewhere in your home, your new roof is leaking, even though you spent all that money on it. You start to panic. What can you do? If you want to know what you should do about your new roof leaking, read on.

Your New Roof is Leaking: Dos and Don’ts

When you need to deal with a leaky new roof, there are things you should do, and there are things you absolutely shouldn’t do. Let’s look at both the good things that make sense to do and the bad things you should avoid.

Don’t Panic

This is a key thing to keep in mind when your new roof is leaking. Right now, you’re probably envisioning your no-doubt crooked roofer halfway to Casablanca with suitcases full of your hard-earned money. Stay calm, take a breath. Don’t panic.

The odds that you’ve been the victim of a terrible roofing scam are very slim. More likely, there was an error in the installation (often around complex features like skylights) or the flashing has failed. Less commonly, but still far more likely than a con job, is that some of the materials were of faulty manufacturer.

Either way, your new roof is likely under warranty (if your roofer is worth their license at any rate) and will be professionally obligated to inspect and fix what went wrong.

Calling your roofing company up and accusing them of being crooks might make you feel better in the moment, but it’s not going to get your roof fixed any faster.

Do Hire a Licensed Roofing Contractor

This is one of those things where if you’ve made this mistake, it may already be too late, but it still bears repeating. The one potential exception to worries about being scammed is if you decided to cut corners and hire a “roofing contractor” who didn’t have the proper licenses or training.

Sure, getting your friend’s uncle and his buddies to install your roof for the cost of a couple of pizzas and cases of beer might sound appealing, but the odds of a shoddy job go way up. Plus, if the leak does turn out to be a problem with the material, the manufacturer might decline to provide replacement parts on the grounds that the installation was not done by licensed roofers.

To save yourself this problem, always hire a licensed roofer for initial installation as well as any follow-up fixes.

Don’t Exaggerate the Problem

You want this new roof leak to be fixed ASAP, understandably. But telling tall tales about how bad the leaking problem is in the hopes that it’ll get the roofers to your place on the double won’t help. Not only will they get to your place and see that there obviously aren’t buckets of water pouring onto the floor, but inaccurate information will make it harder to identify and fix the problem.

On that note:

Do Accurately Describe Everything About the Leak

How did you find the leak? Is it an obvious drip-drip-drip from the ceiling? Did you discover water discoloration or puffy wallpaper? The more you can tell your roofers, the more likely it is that they’ll be able to identify the problem and fix it rapidly.

In fact, with accurate information, your roofers might be able to identify that the leak doesn’t come from the roof at all and can direct you to call someone who can help instead. Imagine that the leak was actually the result of a ruptured water pipe in the walls and you didn’t discover this until the roofers came to check it out.

Don’t Put Off Repairing the Leak

While some homeowners may be frantic to get their leak repaired, others may have the opposite problem. “It’s just in the attic,” they say, “we’ll put some buckets down and save ourselves the money and worry.”

This is a terrible idea. If you are thinking about putting off repairing a roof leak, that’s a huge mistake. Water is very persistent, and the constant flow of water can erode flashing, warp wood and shingles, and even wear holes in stone or concrete. To put it simply: if not fixed ASAP, a little leak can turn into a big leak and serious damage before you know it.

Leaks also have other dangers too. They can cause things like algae and mold to grow within the walls, where they won’t be easily spotted. Water can also cause electric shocks, which in turn, can be a fire hazard. Even on the low end of the risk scale, water where it shouldn’t be can cause issues such as affecting your insulation and reducing the effectiveness of your heating and cooling.

Do Set a Fair Timetable

While you shouldn’t let a leak sit and get worse for weeks and weeks, it’s important to set a realistic timetable for the repair. Worthwhile roofing contractors will make time to fix the issue ASAP, but they may also have prior commitments they are obligated to handle first.
As a general rule of thumb, you should expect a veteran roofing contractor to be on your property to assess the issue within a week of being contacted. If your contractor can’t commit to being there within that time, you should start making calls and finding a different contractor who can.

A new roof is something that you’re understandably proud of, and as a result, you can be understandably frustrated when it doesn’t work how it’s supposed to. If you’re looking for a roofing contractor who will do the job of installing your new roof right the first time—and will commit to making it right if anything goes wrong—then you need a high-quality company such as Interstate Roofing. Contact our professional staff for a consultation.


5 Minor Roof Repair Jobs You Can DIY and When to Ask for Help

If your roof is in need of major repairs, then you’ll need to be on the phone with a professional contractor ASAP. The last thing you want is for your roof to be compromised or for an already precarious situation to become worse. Often, however, you can actually undertake minor roof repair jobs on your own. Telling the difference between a job you can DIY and one you should leave to the professionals, however, can be challenging.

Below, we’ll illustrate five minor roof repair jobs you can perform on your own, provided you have the right tools and the motivation to get it done. We’ll also explain when it’s time to call a professional and how to find the right people for the job.

1. Fix a Leak from the Inside

Part of the reason you hire a professional roofer is that they’re highly experienced moving around on rooftops. Trying to perform roof work yourself comes with an obvious safety hazard, especially if you’re not used to working high up. The first step, of course, is to locate the leak inside your attic. Finding the source of the leak isn’t always easy; you may need to hose your roof down with water first. Then head into the attic and see if you can see where the water is dripping from. Tell-tale indicators that may help you to do this include nearby water damage and spots of black mold in the wood.

Once you have located the source of the leak, you can put a tarp on it. Smearing tar on your roof may stop the water for a bit, but think twice, as it’s not compatible with many slow slope membranes and will ruin roofing shingles, not to mention void any sort of warranty you may have. Note, however, that these fixes are most likely temporary. If you notice the leak returning, contact your professional roofing contractor.

2. Fill in Insulation

Insulation is a critical part of your home, having a direct effect on your energy bill, as it helps to keep cold air out during winter and hot air out during the summer. Poor insulation is a major part of excessive energy costs, but you can often DIY a solution yourself with a little spray foam insulation. This can be purchased at any hardware store and used to fill in cracks and small holes. Do so, and after a while, your home will become noticeably more comfortable. Just be sure not to fill in any intake vents. Filling holes that are meant to bring fresh air into the attic can cause condensation and mold.

3. Repair Damaged Shingles

The shingles on your roof serve to keep the rain and snow from getting into your house. The weather, however, can also do a number on those shingles. Often, you’ll discover they have been damaged or even carried off completely after a storm with heavy winds. Fortunately, repairing damaged shingles is one of those minor roof repair jobs that you can undertake yourself, assuming that the damage hasn’t become too severe.

Since repairing shingles involves actually climbing onto the roof, you will need to ensure that safety is your primary concern. This means rubber-soled shoes with excellent tread, a good, sturdy ladder, a roofing harness, and at least one other person to serve as your spotter/assistant during the job.

Shingles that have been partially ripped off can be repaired with a little roofing cement, temporarily. Those that are completely missing will need to be replaced. If you do have to replace any shingles, make sure that the new ones you purchase are the correct color and material.

4. Roof Flashing Repair

The thin metal that is used to divert water away from sensitive areas of your roof is known as flashing. Over time, flashing can become damaged or corroded, which can lead to water getting into places where it isn’t supposed to. This, of course, can eventually lead to more serious problems with your roof. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to make minor repairs to your roof flashing.

Once again, of course, make sure that safety is your primary consideration when repairing roof flashing. If you notice that there are damaged or rusted patches in your roof flashing, they can be patched fairly easily with the same roofing cement that you use for your shingles. First, sand away the rusted parts, and then cover the resulting hole with a small amount of cement. If the hole is too large to simply be filled in with cement, you can also utilize a patch made from the same material as the flashing itself. The patch can be glued over the damaged area using the roofing cement. Again, this is a temporary solution, not to mention unattractive.

5. Quick Temporary Repairs

Sometimes, you will need to perform an emergency roofing repair yourself, just as a temporary fix until your roofer arrives. For example, if a storm tears through your area, it might end up shredding a number of the roofs in your neighborhood, leaving the local contractors busy. It may also leave your roof damaged and leaking in multiple areas. If this is the case, you can usually DIY a quick fix, although you’ll still need to get a professional in there as soon as possible.

Note that you should never climb onto your roof while conditions are unsafe. The weather should be good, and the roof should be completely dry. If there is any rain or wind, or if it’s a particularly hot day, you will have to wait; otherwise, the situation may be unsafe. When it is safe, however, you can create a quick and temporary fix by spreading a waterproof tarp across the damaged area of your roof and quickly nailing it down with a few roofing nails and lath.

It’s also possible to purchase roofing tape to quickly plug holes in the roof if you have a low-slope roof. This can be found at most hardware stores, although, of course, it is also a very temporary fix.

When To Ask For Help

Anytime the damage has become more severe than a simple patch job can fix, or when the job seems like it may be unsafe for you to perform on your own, you should contact a professional roofer. Remember that doing the job incorrectly can lead to extremely costly repairs down the road, so it’s critical that it’s done right. If you’re uncertain about whether you can DIY the job, it’s better not to take the chance. Contact a professional.

Finding the right professional is a matter of shopping around. Look for someone who is properly insured and certified and who has many years of experience. Interstate Roofing is a great example of such a company. Having been in business since 1988, you can be confident that we will keep your roof in tip-top condition for many years to come.

5 Steps to Take After Storm Damage to Your Roof

Your roof is the first line of defense for your home or business. A sound roof gives peace of mind throughout the seasonal extremes of midsummer heat to the occasional winter storms in Portland, Oregon. A well-maintained roof also adds to your home’s curb appeal and benefits your property value. If your home doesn’t weather a storm as well as you hope, you may have storm damage that needs to be addressed to ensure your home is both safe to occupy and to prevent long-term effects like leaks and mold.

Homeowners in Portland, Oregon, need a knowledgeable, reliable service provider who can deliver high-quality roof repairs, especially in an emergency such as storm damage. Interstate Roofing is a locally owned Portland, Oregon, roofing specialist on-call 24/7 with technicians who are specially trained to find and repair leaks. Knowing what to do immediately after a storm can help you restore your building and peace of mind so you return to normal life as soon as possible. Here are five steps to take after storm damage to your roof.

1. Assess the Damage

When the storm ends and it’s physically safe to venture out of your house or building, take time to look over your roof and check for obvious signs of damage. This might be as subtle as divots left by hail to something more significant, such as missing shingles or a hole left by falling debris. You may also see bent flashing or exposed underlayment.

You’ll also want to take a look inside your house for signs of potential roof damage. Look for wet walls or water spots on the ceiling. All of these are signs of storm damage and need to be addressed immediately to prevent a larger issue from developing, such as water leaks into your house or mold from trapped moisture.

2. Document the Damage

As safely as possible, take pictures or video (or both) of the storm damage to your roof and any other areas of your house affected, both interior and exterior. Documenting the damage as close to the time of the storm as possible will be important for filing an insurance claim. It can be helpful to get different angles and even different distances as well. You really can’t over document, so take a lot of pictures.

You can also make a log of the storm by saving relevant news reports. While you will want to ensure your property is safe after a storm, it’s important to not make major changes or do major clean-up before you document everything. Preserving the damage means the claims adjuster will have the best opportunity to assess the situation with the clearest picture of what happened.

3. Secure the Damaged Area

For major damage that you cannot clean up right away, call your insurance company immediately to start the claims process. Then work with a professional to safely mitigate the damage. Even if the damage is minor, you will need to make sure that you take steps to secure the damage and protect your home from larger issues that might occur when damage is left unrepaired or unseen. This could mean tarping a hole and cleaning up debris from your yard or cleaning up interior damage to your house caused by the storm.

Take extra caution as you secure the damage and call emergency services or your utility company if you come across downed powerlines or other hazards.

4. Check Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

After you’ve assessed the situation and documented the storm damage, take a moment to review your homeowner’s insurance policy. Every policy is different and reviewing it will ensure you understand what is and isn’t covered, on what timeline you need to file your claim, who to contact to start the claims process, how they handle the damage inspection, and how the repair could be handled. Some insurance companies will have established relationships and will schedule everything for you. Others may put more on you the policyholder. Knowing what to expect can be helpful as you navigate the claims process. This is also a good time to verify any warranties that you may have for your roof.

Once you start the claims process, be sure to document your conversations (a simple note on your smartphone could work), photos, receipts you’ve incurred along the way, and dates of everything you file for future reference. Keeping everything organized and in one central location will make your communication with the insurance company and claims adjuster easier to manage. Ask questions along the way and don’t move forward until you ensure you understand everything.

5. Work with Professionals

When you’re ready to make repairs after storm damage, you will want to ensure you work with a professional roofing contractor. Some insurance companies will have an established relationship with a contractor they will direct you to, which can streamline the repair process and timeline. Other insurance companies may allow you to choose a contractor that meets their standards and can do the work within the amount covered by the policy. In this case, if the budget exceeds the policy, you would be responsible for covering the difference.

When you have the freedom to choose, research professional contractors who specialize in roof repairs, have an established history of quality work and are fully licensed and insured. Ask about certifications, inspections, and local building codes. A professional will not only know this information but gladly walk you through the pieces necessary so you can understand what is happening and why. Since 1988 Interstate Roofing has focused on customer service, quality, and safety, growing from a one-man operation to an award-winning full-service company with strong relationships throughout the Portland-Vancouver metro area. Our in-house transportation operations give us the flexibility needed to accommodate emergencies when they happen. We’d love to work with you when storm damage affects your roof. Give us a call anytime.


5 Signs You Need Roof Repair in Vancouver WA

The roof is one of the most important parts of your entire home. However, even with how essential the roof is, it can be commonplace to miss key signs that roof repair in Vancouver, WA, is necessary. No matter how strong your roof is, it’s still going to have a limited shelf life. Even a strong roof built out of asphalt shingles is going to need to be replaced after around 20 years or so. So regardless of what your roof is made of, it’s crucial that you keep a close eye on its condition because if that roof is badly damaged, that could easily result in major damage to your home.

It’s not always 100 percent clear when you need roof repair, but there are some definite tell-tale signs you can look for so you’re aware as early as possible that action needs to be taken. When you spot these signs, you should hire roofing professionals such as Interstate Roofing to take care of your roofing needs.

Whichever company you select, you should make sure beforehand they fit the bill for what you require in terms of experience, reputation, location, and pricing. Don’t be afraid to be picky, as this is an extremely important job, so it must be done correctly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Picking the wrong roofing company isn’t an option because if the job is done by somebody who can’t adequately complete it, you could be looking at damage to the home that’s not only gravely serious but completely irreversible as well.

Here are five signs you should be able to spot without much problem that would indicate a need for quick roof repair in Vancouver, WA.

1. Too Much Moisture or Too Many Leaks

Moisture doesn’t generally just appear out of nowhere. Rather, it tends to be a condition that permeates as the result of a damaged roof. In addition to obvious leaks, the presence of water stains can be a way of determining whether serious damage has either already occurred or is on the verge of occurring soon.

If this is what you’re facing, you need to deal with it immediately because it can not only lead to expensive long-term property damage, but it can also result in widespread mold in your home, which could be a detriment to the health of your family.

2. Sagging Roof Deck

A sagging roof deck isn’t usually an event that happens overnight but, instead, is something that develops over a significant period. The easiest way to detect this is to see if the natural lines on your roof look warped or are simply sagging.

Most roofs have a natural angle, but they should also have a consistently straight line. If you see that your roof doesn’t have this, you should replace your roof as quickly as possible because it almost certainly means your current roof has reached the end of its life span. You cannot afford to ignore this issue under any circumstances because, if you do, it could potentially lead to your entire roof collapsing.

3. Major Damage to the Shingles

Shingle damage is generally the most obvious sign of roof damage, and as a result, it should be easy to spot. If you see missing shingles, shingles with curled edges, or cracked shingles, you know your roof is in trouble, and you need to call roofing professionals. You may also see asphalt shingles that have shed granules. An easy way to see if granules have been shed is to look for black sand—which is what granules look like—in your gutters or around the outside of the house. This is a surefire sign that your shingles are in desperate need of replacement.

If it’s only a few shingles that must be replaced, you may be able to patch or repair them. However, if multiple shingles need replacement, you should replace the entire roof. Either way, these repairs should be taken care of immediately because the longer you wait, the more the damage can spread.

4. Algae Growth

Algae may be something you sometimes would like to see in the ocean, but it’s not something you ever want to see on your roof, unless you have invested in green technology on your roof. So if you haven’t taken the initiative of creating a green roof, then you don’t want to see the shingles on your roof covered in algae. That’s a clear indication your roof needs repair in Vancouver, WA.

Algae/moss growth on your roof may be the result of moisture building up within certain sections of the roof. It can be the byproduct of a sagging roof, damaged shingles, or tree cover and Pacific Northwest weather. So if you spot algae or moss growth of this nature, it’s a good reason to call roofing professionals as soon as possible.

5. Clogged Gutters

If your gutters are clogged almost routinely, there’s a high probability that you’re dealing with serious shingle damage. Frequently clogged gutters are considered one of the most obvious warning signs that your roof needs major repair if not a complete replacement.

So, if you see a clogged gutter, go in for a closer look to see what may be causing the issue. If you see numerous pieces of shingles or granules, then your roof is rapidly deteriorating and needs to be replaced immediately. You cannot afford to wait very long to replace the roof because until your roof is fixed, your home is highly susceptible to adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain, which could cause costly and painful long-term damage to the house.

If you need a second opinion, call in professionals. A quality roofing company like Interstate Roofing will be able to look over the issue and give their honest opinion and a free estimate for any work that needs to be completed.

How Do I Make a Temporary Fix for a Leaking Roof? Then What?

If you’ve ever been caught off guard by a leaky roof, you know just how quickly it can ruin your day. Not only does it give you a whole new home repair project to contend with, but if left alone long enough, that one roofing project can spiral into replacing furniture, carpet, or even the bones of your house.

Should you wake up to that telltale dripping, the most important thing to do is launch into damage control. A temporary fix for a leaking roof isn’t going to get you very far, but it will certainly help you avoid more costly damage. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry! With our years of experience, we have your back. These steps will help you make a temporary fix for a leaking roof, and tell you what to do after.

Evacuate the Damaged Area

With an active leak, you need to move fast. Before you do anything else, it’s imperative that you clear out the area the water is leaking into. Move anything that could be easily damaged by water, such as books or electronics, out of the room and into a safe place until the leak is sealed.

In addition to your smaller possessions, you’ll need to clear away any furniture under the drip to prevent water damage. That constant flow can easily warp wood or soak through a sofa, so act quickly. If you have carpeting, it may even be wise to pull it up and expose the underside to the open air. As with any water damage, mold is a serious concern. By moving your furniture and pulling up the carpet, you’ll be able to more effectively dry out anything that might be susceptible to mold spores.

Contain Any Flowing Water

Once the area is secure, you can get to work containing the water itself. This isn’t exactly a temporary fix for a leaking roof, but it’s still an important step in mitigating the damage. Find any kind of waterproof container you can—bucket, pot, washtub, anything—and position it under the dripping water. It’s not pretty, and you’ll need to watch it like a hawk to make sure it doesn’t overflow, but it’s the quickest and easiest way to manage the excess water.

If you’re lucky, the weather will let up and you won’t have to worry about it too much. But realistically? If you’ve found a leak, you’re probably dealing with a bout of serious rain. If it’s something you think you’ll be living with for a little while, you may want to leave a small board or a loose rag in whatever you’re using to catch the water. It doesn’t make it any more effective at containing it, but it will help muffle the repetitive dripping sound.

Find the Leak Itself

With your triage done, you can shift your focus to making an actual temporary fix for the leaky roof. You might think that tracking down the source of the water would be as easy as following the flow, but it can be surprisingly hard to determine where the problem is. Sure, you could just throw a tarp over the entirety of your roof and call it a day, but it’s not exactly the most elegant solution. Instead, we recommend doing a little investigative work to find exactly where the water is seeping into your home.

If you have access to your attic, you’ll want to start there. Look for any protrusions, black marks, water stains, or mold. Leaks tend to form around penetrations in the roof, such as chimneys and vents, as opposed to uninterrupted shingles, so pay close attention there. If it’s still raining, you may be able to see where the water is flowing from. If not, you may need to get a little creative and enlist some help.

Have someone use a hose to douse sections of your roof with water one by one while you observe from inside. This will allow you to determine where exactly the water is getting in from the outside. Once you know that, you can get to work sealing it up.

Lock Down the Leak

Since most people aren’t professional roofers, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to make an effective long-term seal. That’s totally fine! Until you can get someone else to help, all you need to do is put together something functional. It doesn’t need to be pretty; it just needs to work.

There are a few options you have for sealing up your roof, but it’s all going to depend on what you have on hand. If you have tar paper and roofing cement, you can use that to quickly spread a few layers over the leak and seal it up. For smaller leaks, you can even use caulk or cement to plug the hole.

The most common solution, however, is using plastic sheeting or tarps to cover the leak until it can be repaired professionally. It’s a simple, if unattractive, fix. Just spread out your sheeting or tarp over the affected area, then secure it in place. Roofing nails would be ideal if you have them, but you can also weigh it down with any heavy objects you don’t mind leaving on your roof. As long as you have a heavy enough seal around the sheet, it should be an effective temporary fix for your leaking roof. That being said, until you get a more permanent repair, we recommend you keep that bucket close at hand.

Seek Professional Help

With the leak contained for now, it’s time to call in the roofing experts. Roofing can be a difficult and dangerous job, and it’s best left to people who know what they’re doing. A professional roofer will be able to assess the damage and determine the best course of action. Here at Interstate Roofing, our team is dedicated to serving our community for all their roofing needs. Should you find yourself in need of some emergency roof repairs, give us a call. Our trained professionals are ready and able to help.