Roof Repairs

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Hidden Hazards: How What’s Inside That Leaky Roof May Hurt You

Roof maintenance now prevents health and safety hazards later.

Many people avoid going into the attic for fear of encountering spiders or rodents, but something far scarier could be lurking up there if you have a roof leak. Even the smallest hole in the roof can cause widespread damage to your home and put the health and safety of your family at risk, and you may not even realize how much damage has occurred until something devastating happens.

Fire and Electric Shock

In most cases, water douses fires rather than causing them, but all bets are off when water from a leaky roof touches electrical wiring. If there are breaks in the wiring’s insulation, water can create an open circuit, which can spark a fire. The water around the wiring can also become electrically charged, causing a shock to those who touch it. If you suspect a leak, it’s imperative that you shut off the breakers to the affected area and move your loved ones to a safe place until an electrician and a roofing expert can address the issue.

Structural Damage From a Leaky Roof

Combine one small area of roof damage with the relentless Portland rain, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. For starters, the attic floor will flood. Next, you’ll notice buckled spots on the ceilings, and if the water seeps down a wall, the wood of the framing can become saturated quickly. If allowed to continue, the moisture will make its way to the foundation and cause problems there. You may not notice these issues for months or even years, and by that time, you’re looking at a very expensive repair bill to correct extensive structural damage. If you ignore these issues for long enough, a roof collapse is a real possibility.

Other Health and Safety Risks

Water trapped in dark, enclosed areas breeds mold. These spores grow rapidly and not only contribute to costly structural damage to your home, but also pose a health risk. Mold can grow on any part of the framing, drywall or insulation and make its way to the rest of the house through the heating system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, inhaling mold spores can lead to severe allergic reactions, asthma, rhinitis and a host of respiratory ailments.

Quality Roof Maintenance in Portland, OR

The time to repair your roof is before you notice water stains on the ceiling or wet spots on the floor. To keep your loved ones healthy and safe, and to protect your most important investment, contact the roof maintenance experts at Interstate Roofing in Portland, OR, today for a free estimate.

Can Keeping Up Appearances Keep Homeowners out of the Poorhouse?

Save money with these roof maintenance and cleaning tips.

Like any homeowner, you’d probably like your roof to last as long as possible. In addition to lasting for years, it needs to be kept in good shape to ensure that the underlying structures are fully protected at all times. The best way to make sure of this is by regularly inspecting, maintaining and cleaning your roof. By taking these steps every six months or so, you’ll not just be maintaining the appearance of your roof and home, you’ll be protecting your investment.

Top Roof Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

Every spring and fall, perform the following steps to ward off costly damages and to extend the longevity of your roofing system:

  • Seal Mortar and Caulking — Check mortar and caulking around joints and chimneys. If there are cracks or other signs of degradation, apply new mortar or caulking as needed.
  • Remove Debris — Debris on the roof can cause serious damage, and it can create the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew and algae. Sweep it away or blow it off promptly.
  • Replace Shingles — Be on the lookout for missing, damaged or curling shingles and replace them as necessary. This is much cheaper than waiting until serious damage occurs.
  • Look for Rust — As you run across metal components on your roof, look for rust. Use a wire brush to remove the rust, and then prime and paint the spot to inhibit future growth.
  • Check for Algae and Other Growths — If your shingles are tinged green, algae, fungus or other growths may be occurring. Zinc and lead control strips are designed to help treat such growths, so invest in some to nip this problem in the bud.
  • Trim Close Tree Branches — Overhanging tree branches can easily damage a roof. Don’t wait until yours are too close for comfort. Trim them back early to avoid serious issues down the road.
  • Repair Flashing — Take a close look at the flashing on and around your roof. It should be securely affixed. If it’s not, remove the existing caulk, scrub the area thoroughly and reseal the flashing.
  • Remove Snow — If excessive amounts of snow have accumulated on your roof, its structural integrity may be in jeopardy. Invest in a snow rake and use it to safely remove the snow.

Hire the Professionals to Inspect and Maintain Your Roof

Do-it-yourself roof maintenance is smart, but it’s even smarter to have your roof professionally inspected and maintained at least once a year. Interstate Roofing provides affordable, high-quality roof maintenance services in and around Portland, OR. Visit our Maintenance & Cleaning page to learn more, or give us a call today at 503-684-5611!

Confessions of a Weathered Roofer

Re-roof, replace or ignore: a roofing contractor tells it all.

Homeowners pour a lot of money into painting walls and updating flooring without giving much attention to the roof over their heads. It’s only when the roof fails that residents remember that crucial part of their house that keeps out the sun, rain and vermin. Roofing contractors are often appalled at the roof conditions they encounter on houses that are otherwise picture-perfect.

What You Don’t See Won’t Hurt You

When it comes to your home, this is a dangerous attitude. Many homeowners go through life blissfully unaware of the potential problems threatening their homes. This is especially true for the parts of the house that are out of sight. To the trained eye of roof experts in Portland, OR, however, even small things could be a source of major problems down the road.

  • Ponding occurs when a hollow in the roofing material collects and retains some of the precipitation. Accumulated debris can trap rainwater and snow, allowing moisture to sit in one place and promote deterioration of the roof. This is especially problematic for houses in rainy Vancouver, WA.
  • Curling, lifting, cracked and missing roof shingles can lead to leaks. Left unrepaired, damaged or missing shingles will stress nearby shingles and cause more problems.
  • Blistering and peeling shingles need to be replaced immediately to prevent more deterioration. Puncturing the blisters or nailing down loose shingles will only worsen the problem.
  • Stains on the roof shingles from overhanging branches, algae growth and pet waste (bird droppings are the worst – and can void manufacturer’s warranties) should be addressed quickly to make sure that the roof material doesn’t deteriorate even more.
  • Loose fasteners, flashings and deteriorated seals, missing granules on bituminous material, and rotting underlayment can lead to moisture intrusion into your attic space.

Causes of Roof Problems

Wind, hot temperatures and heavy precipitation can damage roofs slowly so that the condition is hidden until the attic leaks or until wind or water pressure strip away parts of the roof.

Incorrect installation and repair of roof layers can lead to numerous problems that may not be obvious right away. If the issues have to do with poor design, consider a thorough inspection and professional repairs to correct the problem immediately.

Roofs that aren’t cleared of debris and algae growth regularly will deteriorate quickly, since water tends to pool in low spots. Leaves and twigs will break down and affect the underlying material.

The Final Fix

Roofing problems are not to be messed with by untrained persons. Roof work is a hazardous job, and installation and repair are complicated processes. If you need the services of a roofing contractor, contact us online or call the experts at Interstate Roofing for a consultation: 503-684-5611.

Gutter Styles to Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal

If you’re looking to inject a bit of zest into your home, you’ll want to give a fair amount of attention to some of the smaller details. After you’ve added some lovely hedges and replaced the bad shingles on your roof, you’ll want to also upgrade your gutters. With a tremendous array of colors and styles to choose from, you can ensure that your home stands out brilliantly on the block. Your neighbors will find themselves scrambling to keep up with your handiwork.

Colors

If you’re primarily concerned with increasing your curb appeal, you should choose a color that dovetails nicely with the rest of the house. Aluminum gutters, for instance, can generally be purchased in many different tones. Though white, and brown are popular, black gutters will work well on homes that have dark roofs and siding panels.

Styles

A number of workable styles are available. It’s usually best to choose gutters that slope gently toward the sides of the house. This ensures that rainwater flows quickly toward the downspout. Clean-outs can be placed near the bottom of the downspout so that leaves and other debris do not flow into the ground drain. In situations where ground drains are not available, a stylish option is to place ornate splash blocks at the end of each downspout.

Materials

Aluminum, steel and copper are all great options. The most popular styles are 5K, 6K and 6” fascia gutters. They are all run as a continuous gutter on site. Copper is generally used on houses that are being classically restored. There are a number of reputable sealants that will keep copper radiant and shiny for several years.

Roof Repairs

If you’re intent on making your house the jewel of the neighborhood, you should strongly consider overhauling your roof before you install your fancy new gutters. A roof with partially peeling shingles will quickly become an eyesore. It will also have you dealing with leaks in the interior of the house during the next rain. With a new composition or cedar roof, you can increase the value of your house. With shiny new aluminum or steel gutters along for the ride, your residence will pop with sophistication.

If you’re looking for a roofing contractor in Vancouver, WA, or Portland, OR, contact us online or give us a call at 503-684-5611. We can guide you through the installation process so you get exactly what you want.

There’s a Zoo in Your Gutters

Improperly maintained gutters can be inadvertent homes for crittersWhen was the last time you took a hard look at your home’s gutters? Don’t look now: You might not be happy with what you find. Poorly constructed or improperly maintained gutters and roofs can serve as safe havens for all manner of creepy critters, including ravenous squirrels and messy birds. Fortunately, you don’t have to take this in stride. Learn more about protecting your gutters from pesky critters.

Which Animals Like Gutters?

Many different types of animals can be found in poorly constructed or loosely maintained gutters. Some of the most common include:

  • Nesting birds like cardinals and blue jays
  • Squirrels
  • Chipmunks
  • Snakes, lizards and other reptiles
  • Feral cats
  • Possums and raccoons

What Damage Do They Cause?

Nesting animals like squirrels and birds can cause devastating clogs that lead to flooding and permanent gutter damage. When leaves and other organic material build up in these spaces, water must find another way to the ground. This can lead to deluges that cause water to pool near your home’s foundation. Over time, such pools can lead to cracks or erosion that compromise the integrity of your foundation and may necessitate expensive repairs.

Moving Towards a Sustainable Fix

Getting rid of animals that lurk in your gutters is no easy feat. Although it’s not a sure fix, it may help to wait until a nest is empty and quickly trim the tree branches by which the unwelcome intruders access their “homes.” For a more permanent fix, consider installing a gutter guard or netting to prevent creatures of any size from making their way into your gutters. Certain types of siding may be more difficult to climb than traditional siding materials as well. Additionally, fixing your roof to ensure a tight seal between your gutters and shingles or tiles may help.

Roofing Contractor in Portland, OR: Getting It Right the First Time

You don’t have to accept the fact that critters will damage your gutters or set up shop along your home’s roofline. By following the advice that we outline above, you can go a long way towards preventing the sort of damage that may reduce your home’s resale value and render the property unattractive to prospective buyers. To ensure that you get the job done right on the first try, give one of the experts at Interstate Roofing a call at 503-684-5611, or learn more about our roof installation services.