Roofing

Roofing Archives for the Interstate Roofing blog, we serve the Portland & Vancouver areas. We do residential, commercial, new and repair: call 503 684-5611

What Should I Consider Before Choosing Roofing Contractors in Portland OR?

Who Do You Call to Take Care of the Roof Over Your Head in Portland?

Your roof has seen more than its fair share of use. It has sheltered you and your family for years and weathered against storms time and again. But that also means damage can build up over time, even if it is only a few shingles that are missing. That’s why it’s important to have a roofing contractor that can inspect your roof and fix any damage.
So, when the time comes for repairs, how do you know which contractor to pick? And what should you look for to get what you pay for? Read on for some tips to help you find the right roofing contractor in Portland, OR. With a great contractor, taking care of your roof can be less work on your part and be less stressful.

1. Research, Research

As you do before any big decisions, take your time to investigate and find out about potential roofing contractors in Portland, Oregon. How long has your contractor been in business? Look for locally known and dependable companies in your area. Are most of the customers happy with the work they have done? Look for a contractor that specializes in residential roofing projects. After all, you want a professional who is experienced in the service you need.
Most companies will be more than happy to provide references from their customers. In addition to testimonials, read online reviews. Take a look at their website. Are there any pictures posted of recent work they’ve done? A good company will be up front about the jobs they have completed in the past.
Are they an accredited business or have they won awards for their services? Knowing they’ve been recognized for their work can give you confidence in letting them handle your project. You have one roof; you can take the time to find the right contractor for the job.

2. Does the Contractor Have THE RIGHT Insurance?

Insurance is tricky. Many roofing contractors have insurance, but do they have the right insurance? Ask not only for a certificate of insurance but also for endorsements and exclusions. As the roofing industry has some of the highest workman’s comp and general liability rates of any industry … many contractors aren’t insured well. This leaves you, the homeowner, holding the liability for injuries that occur at your home and potentially bigger risks like roof failure or organic growth.

3. Weigh Your Pricing Options

The old adage “you get what you pay for” should come into mind when picking your roofing contractors in Portland, OR. If a company is offering you a quote that seems too good to be true, take a look at what exactly they are offering to work on—and what they’re possibly leaving out. In construction, cheaper usually is not better. Quality contractors may cost slightly more money, but in the end, it’s worth the peace of mind knowing the job is done right the first time.
Luckily, most companies are more than happy to give you a free estimate of what you need done. And it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion from two different companies to compare their rates. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. The quality of the products and accessories is just as important as the installation practices.

4. Ask If They Offer a Warranty

Even experienced contractors can make mistakes. If a mistake is made and it isn’t noticed until it’s too late, homeowner’s insurance may not cover it. Not all roofing contractors offer a warranty or even a limited one, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. If they do, see what damages it potentially covers and for how long.

5. Have an Estimate and Agreement Written Out

Before signing any paperwork, make sure to have read over the agreement of the work that needs to be done for your roof. Double-check that the work you need done is listed and the exact amount that will be charged for the completed project. This prevents a contractor from taking advantage of you and can be referenced if you discover a problem much later.

6. Do They Have a License for Contracting Work?

This is a big one. While most roofing contractors will have a valid license, not all do. Some businesses will try to hire the cheapest companies available for work, and these contractors aren’t always the best choice. Doing your research on your potential contractor will help prevent this problem.
You can also see if they are registered with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB is a list of reputable and licensed companies that you can trust to do the job at hand. These companies are reviewed and graded based on different criteria, such as the quality of the service they provide.

7. Do They Have Their Own In-House Team of Contractors?

With the aftereffects of the pandemic, many companies have turned to outsourcing to find available workers. However, this doesn’t mean companies hire the best or most reliable contractors. Contracting companies may also outsource to save money and cut out the need to have insurance for employees working on jobsites (i.e., your home). Doing a little research or even just asking your contracting company outright is an easy way to be confident about the crew working on your roof.

8. And Last, But Not Least, Is the Contractor Bonded?

If a contractor is bonded, they will have money available in case a client files charges in court. This is helpful if there is a problem with a contracting job and it needs to be settled. A good contractor will be listed as bonded on their website.
Never Fear, Interstate Roofing Is Here for Portland Residents.
Want a company to start looking into? Interstate Roofing has been serving Oregon residents since 1988. We are a locally owned, family-operated business as well as a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association. Interstate is also licensed and insured for your contracting needs.
Contact Interstate for more information and to schedule a free estimate.

Why Should I Hire a Professional for Flat Roof Repairs?

Roofing looks easy—when you’re standing on the ground and calculating the costs. However, it’s important to understand that commercial roof repair isn’t something you take on on a whim.
Hiring a professional for flat roof repairs can save you a lot of headaches, costs, tools, and problems. When you work with a professional at Interstate Roofing, you’ll enjoy a job well done, without all the stress, hard work, and potential injuries that can come from attempting to do it yourself.
Let’s look at the top 12 reasons to hire a professional for your flat roof repairs.

1. Work Is Under Warranty

If you work with a professional, the roof repair comes with a warranty. This means you not only get a professional and efficient job, but you also have a guarantee for the work. If you encounter problems like leaks or other issues within the specified time frame, you can call your roofer—and get it fixed for free.
Many roofing manufacturers only offer warranties on their products if the work is done by a certified contractor.

2. Less Stress, More Safety

While working on a flat roof might seem pretty straightforward, there are many safety issues that you might not be aware of. Skylights, for example, are extremely dangerous. Should you trip and fall into one, you risk falling through the opening. Skylight glass is not strong enough to support a person.
By working with a professional, you can have the peace of mind of knowing that all the workers are safe, following safety procedures during your roof repair. You’ll have the added security of knowing that people won’t fall through the roof in the future.

3. Expertise and Experience

Hiring a professional roofer is a wise move because they have the professional experience needed to do the job right. Professionals have certifications, licenses, and tools to work efficiently and correctly.
In addition, as experts in the business, experienced companies like Interstate are fully aware of the steps needed to do flat roof repairs. And because of our history, it’s likely we have worked on buildings in your area before and are very familiar with building construction and codes in your area.

4. Comprehensive Assessment

A professional knows exactly what to look for to make a comprehensive assessment of your roof. While you may have noticed some damage, weak spots, or leaks, it’s easy to miss other issues that could be contributing to the problem.
A professional is well-versed in identifying construction issues and may help you prevent expensive damage down the road. A complete assessment can give you peace of mind.

5. Quick and Efficient Work

When a professional does a flat roof repair, they have experience with the process, products, and results. They are also getting paid by the job so they have full incentive to complete the work in the most efficient and time-effective manner.
If you’re trying to fix a problem on your own, you probably don’t have the same level of experience, training, or familiarity with the procedure. This can translate into a long process with a poor-quality outcome.

6. Proven Team Performance

A professional team is organized for quality performance on a roof repair job. The team members have done this many times before, and each person knows their role, responsibilities, and regulations.
If you’re attempting the same thing with a few friends, you have to figure all this out from scratch. You might have fun at the beginning, but by the middle or end, you may be genuinely feeling the stress.

7. All Tools Are On Hand

A professional roofer has all the tools for the job. They come prepared to start, do the work, and finish efficiently. It’s highly unlikely that you have all the tools necessary for fixing your roof. Besides the time you’ll waste running around town to get the tools, you’ll also waste money on tools that you’ll likely only use once.

8. Save With Cash Incentives

You might not be aware of cash incentives that can help you cut costs on your next roofing project. The experts at Interstate Roofing are a trade ally of the Energy Trust of Oregon. We can help you understand how you can earn cash incentives, for example, by including insulation in your next roofing project.

9. Fixed Contract

When you’re working with a professional for flat roof repairs, you’ll get an estimate, a quoted price, and a contract to sign. You won’t have to run the numbers on your own or worry about going over budget. If a professional finds that items have been installed incorrectly, they’ll let you know. With a fixed contract, you’ll have zero surprises.

10. Full Confidence in Certification

With a professional roofer, you can have confidence that they are certified to work with the best materials. GAF is the largest manufacturer in North America, and Interstate Roofing has earned the highest certification level from GAF. We’re very proud to have the GAF Master Select Contractor status as well as a Triple Excellence Award for quality, education, and training.

11. Easy Cleanup and Inspection

With commercial properties, your professional roofer will take care of the job from start to finish. This means you can rely on having a great clean-up job, with all the debris and materials removed from the site. You can also count on having an inspector make sure that the job is completed correctly.
If you’ve done DIY roofing jobs in the past, you know from experience that the end can take a lot more time than you expected. Why not let the professionals handle the heavy lifting?

12. Ease of Free Estimates

At Interstate Roofing, we would love to help you with your re-roofing needs. You can get our professional opinion, estimates, and insights. If you want a free estimate, start by helping us understand what is going on with your roof.
Interstate Roofing has over 30 years of experience providing commercial flat roofing services for Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver. We are here to assist you.

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

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

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

1. Remove Debris From Your Gutters

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

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

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

2. Check the Downspouts of Your Gutters

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

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

3. Keep Your Trees in Tip-Top Shape

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

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

4. Be Proactive About the Portland Winters

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

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

5. Catch Leaks Before They Happen

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

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

6. Check Your Insulation and Inner Roof

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

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

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

7. Don’t be fooled by a gutter guard

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

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

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

How to Determine the Best Roofing Angle for a House

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

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

How Roofing Angles Are Measured

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping Your Roof in the Best Shape Possible

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

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

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

 

Do Steep Roofs Last Longer?

When homeowners are in the market for a new roof, cost is often at the forefront of their minds. Many people assume that a steep roof will cost more, both in materials and installation. However, there are many advantages to steep-pitch roofs that can save you time and money in the long run. At Interstate Roofing, we want to share our experience with you to help you decide if a steep roof might be the right choice for your home.

What Is a Steep-Pitch Roof?

Contractors will typically refer to your roof’s pitch, or slope, with a set of numbers. The first number represents the vertical rise in inches, and the second refers to horizontal progression in inches. The most common slope is 6/12, which means that, for every foot, the roof rises 6 inches. An 8/12 roof is considered a steep roof, while something like a 4/12 roof is considered a low-pitch roof.

A roof with a steep pitch can make a home look elegant, but of course, as the pitch of the roof increases, material costs also increase. That’s why it’s important to consider the advantages of a steep-pitch roof beyond the initial outlay for extra material, such as whether it is likely to last longer.

Outdoor Grandeur and Indoor Options

From the outside, steep roofs are more visible. They can make a house stand out and look a bit grander and more singular. From the outside, too, there are more options for ornamentation on a steep roof. Roof caps, gables, and other artistic designs are available options on steep roofs but not typically low-pitch roofs. On the inside, the increased height of the roof will provide more attic space. Adding a closed storage area beneath the roof is an easy task for a contractor since the space is already available. The installation costs for this space are relatively inexpensive. If you’ve added enough space to the attic area with a steep roof, you could even convert that space into an office or an extra bedroom.

Energy Costs

You may be wondering, if the attic has more space—won’t the house cost more to heat? Surprisingly, the answer is no. Having a steep roof oftentimes allows for the installation of ventilation within the roofing system, which allows for easy airflow into the eaves and out of the ridge. By creating a constant flow of cooler air above the insulation but below the roofing material, air is allowed to circulate. The circulating air helps prevent ice from forming on the roof in the winter and keeps cooling costs lower in the warm months. Steeper-sloped roofs allow for more effective ventilation than a lower slope roof, due to the additional space.

Less Wear and Tear

Steep roofs offer a lot in terms of longevity. One of the worst roofing hazards is the pooling of water. On lower-slung roofs, water can sometimes collect instead of running directly into the gutters. This is simply the result of gravity. However, it can have devastating consequences over time. Standing water can erode roofing materials and cause decay. Those weak spots then turn into leaks. A leak in your roof is a no-nonsense emergency. A steep roof keeps any moisture moving quickly into the gutter and away from the foundation walls and roofing material.

This is true for snow as well. The well-ventilated roof system mentioned above prevents snow from melting and refreezing on your roofing tiles. Extreme cold and extreme heat are the two major causes of roofing wear and tear, and a well-ventilated roof system helps mitigate those extremes. The pitch of the roof also prevents snow from piling up too high. Have you ever wondered why so many mountain cabins use an A-frame design? The answer is that it’s better overall to have accumulated snow slide off your roof rather than collecting there until the weather changes.

As the increased slope of the steep roof uses gravity and increased airflow to keep your roof from experiencing temperature extremes, that same basic function can keep your roof looking tidy all year. Have you ever looked at your neighborhoods’ roofs after a fall or spring storm? It’s more likely than not that there are piles of debris caught on most of the medium- and low-pitch roofs. Wet leaves, sticks, and anything else caught in the wind can pile up for months if not attended to, making a home look unkempt. Steep-pitch roofs tend to stay cleaner and freer of debris. This is all to say that the increased pitch of a roof helps keep it cleaner, better looking, safer, and less likely to fail over time.

Cost and Maintenance

It’s true that steep-pitch roofs can cost more up front. The steeper the roof, the more material you’ll need. Steep roofs can also limit what material you may use due to weight considerations. Typically, tile and shingles work better than other materials on steep roofs. It’s important to consider, too, that steeper roofs are more difficult to maneuver around. Your contractors will have to work carefully, and the installation may take slightly longer.

Crucially, though, a large part of avoiding catastrophic failures in your roof—things like leaks, missing or torn shingles, cracks, and other dangers—is merely keeping an eye on your roof’s state of health. A steep roof provides a benefit here as well because it’s easier to frequently assess the state of your roof simply because you can see more of it from the ground. Noticing worn and weathered areas and addressing those minor repairs before they get worse can save you money and stress over time.

A steep-slope roof, once installed, provides a lot of self-regulating maintenance. For this reason alone, they tend to last longer than lower-pitch roofs. If you’d like to discuss the benefits of a steep roof, please contact us at any time or you can take a look through our portfolio of steep residential roofs. Interstate Roofing is here to answer any questions you may have.

5 Common Roofing Questions Contractors Get Asked – And Their Answers

At Interstate Roofing, it is our job to help homeowners make the best decisions possible when they hire a roofing contractor. We’ve been in business since 1988, so we’ve been asked nearly every roofing question under the sun about repairs, materials, costs, and anything else you can imagine. Below are five of the most common roofing questions we’re asked and their answers!

1. How Can I Tell if I Need a New Roof or Roof Repair?

The first thing people want to know is whether they need a new roof in the first place. The answer is—it depends. The most obvious sign of trouble is a leak. If you’re experiencing a leak, you can be positive that you’ll need a repair at the very least. The longer you wait to repair a leak, the more likely your roof is to experience some kind of catastrophic damage, like rot, a partial cave-in, or collapse.

Another unmistakable sign that your roof may need to be repaired or replaced is any obvious sagging or damaged flashing. Flashing is the material, usually metal, that’s used to shore up the transitions of your roof, such as your chimney. Damaged flashing can cause leaks and other serious issues but is often relatively easy to repair. A sagging roof, however, is a serious sign of aged materials or previous leaks. If you notice a slight “u” shape where there was once a straight line, you should call an expert straight away.

There are more subtle signs that you may need to contact a roofing contractor. One of these signs could be the appearance of the shingles themselves. Are any shingles loose or missing? Are they curled, cracked, or blistered—or do they have strange dark spots? Are there exposed nails or other areas of extreme wear? If so, you may want to have a professional check out your roof to make sure everything looks safe.

Lastly, you may simply be up against time. Most roofs last about 20 years. When the materials begin to fail, you may experience discolored or missing shingles as described above.

2. If My Roof Is Leaking, Will I need to Purchase an Entirely New Roof?

It’s no secret that leaks are inconvenient and need to be addressed immediately. If they aren’t explained by a non-roof element such as damaged plumbing or a leaky HVAC system, then a leaky roof is a pretty good bet. A leak in your roof doesn’t always mean that you’ll need a new roof. Most leaks can be repaired by a competent roofer fairly quickly and at standard repair rates. Even if your roof does need to be replaced, a roofer can provide a temporary fix, sealing the leak to prevent further damage. That way, you’ll have some time to make the right decision for your home.

3. How Long Does It Take to Have a New Roof Installed?

No one likes having their routine interrupted with home construction and the noise and mess it can come with. The good news is that most roofing companies can install an asphalt shingle roof on a single-family home in one to three days. The larger the roof, of course, the longer it may take. A competent roofing company will do its best to perform the work quickly. It is smart, though, to get a time estimate along with any cost estimates you obtain from your roofer.

4. What’s the Best Roofing Material?

This question is not so easy to answer. The good news is that there are a variety of options when it comes to roofing materials, and many are great. The bad news is that you’ll need to decide what your priorities are for your new roof before you decide which material is best. For instance, if cost is the most important element of your decision, you may want to go with standard asphalt—which is also quite durable. If you’re more interested in going green, there are solar shingles available that can generate up to 1 kilowatt of energy for your home per 100 square feet.

If you’re dealing with extreme weather conditions, you may be interested in UV-reflecting materials, algae-resistant shingles, or another material that can withstand the elements. There are also designer options like aged-copper shingles that not only last a long time but will add a lot of beauty to your home, making it sure to stand out. Once you decide what’s most important, you can look for a contractor that has experience installing the materials you’ve chosen.

5. How Do I Find a Contractor I Can Trust?

If you’ve noticed some of the wear and tear mentioned above, it may be time to contact a professional roofer for an inspection and estimate. There are a lot of different companies and contractors out there, but you’ll want to be sure to ask the following questions:

Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?

Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but any legitimate roofing contractor should be able to provide you with their current insurance information.

Do you provide references from past clients?

While your roofer can give you all of the technical details, it’s extremely helpful to talk to past customers who can tell you how the company worked with them and whether there were any difficulties along the way and how they were handled. It will also help to look up reviews online to make sure your contractor has a good reputation.

Do you offer warranty and workmanship coverage?

A good contractor will understand that a new roof is a large investment that any reasonable person would want to protect. A solid, transferable warranty is the sign of a good company that is eager to back up its work.

We’re also asked, of course, how much a new roof might cost. As you can see from the variables above, it depends on the materials, the size of the roof, and many other factors. If you think you’re in the market for a new roof, or even a few simple repairs, feel free to contact Interstate Roofing for a free estimate.

 

How Long Do Roofs Last in Oregon

Few other parts of a home have to endure as much as an Oregon roof does. From a constant onslaught of solar radiation to relentless winds and gallon after gallon of rain and snow, your roof is designed to deal with it all so that you can remain safe from the elements inside. Despite this, most homeowners don’t spare an extra thought for their roofs and often even neglect their much-needed maintenance and care.

How long do roofs last in Oregon, anyway? Is there any way to extend their life span? What can you do when your trusty roof starts to reach the end of its useful life? Read on to find out.

The Parts of Your Roof

Your roof is made up of many different components, each of which serves a different purpose and affects its life span. The truss serves as the skeleton of the roof, made up of a series of beams including struts and rafters. Together, these serve as a support system that holds the rest of the structure together. Set on top of this structure is the decking, which is the section of the roof that holds everything else together. It’s a solid layer that can be made from any one of a variety of materials, as long as they are strong and sturdy. In the Pacific Northwest, it is almost always plywood or OSB.

Attached to the decking is the underlayment, which serves as another layer of protection from the elements. It’s often made from felt and helps to keep rain from seeping through the decking. Above this are the shingles, overlapping pieces of any number of a variety of materials that serve as the roof’s first line of defense from ultraviolet radiation and damaging rainwater. Also attached to the outer layers of the roof is the flashing, usually made from strips of metal and designed to keep water out of any seams in the entire system.

Where Problems Can Occur

Since the shingles are the top layer of your roof, they are usually where the first signs of wear and tear begin to occur. Heavy winds and other inclement weather conditions can rip shingles off of the underlayment, leaving bare patches that are then more vulnerable to the elements.

The next vulnerable area is the flashing, which can also be damaged by heavy storms. It can also corrode over time since it’s usually made from simple strips of metal such as aluminum. Small holes in flashing can be easily patched, but as the holes grow larger, the entire element may need to be replaced.

Where more serious problems can occur is in the wooden elements, such as the truss or decking. If the elements can get through these, it can mean the roof has been compromised in its entirety. There are many reasons why the truss and decking can become compromised. If the shingles and underlayment are damaged, they won’t be able to do their job of protecting the parts that lay underneath. Mold growth can also render entire parts of the wooden support structure unusable.

Of course, even without storms, damage, and mold growth, simple age will eventually take its toll on a roof as well. While other states have larger storms, Oregon has one of the most quietly demanding environments for your roof. Over time, every roof will need to be replaced, but there are certain things you can do to extend their life spans.

Getting the Most Out of Your Roof

While no roof lasts forever, proper maintenance and care can add years to the normal life span. As the shingles and flashing are your roof’s first line of defense, you should always make sure these are in good shape. If you notice a few shingles are missing, you should see to it that they are replaced quickly. If they aren’t, the underlayment, and eventually, the decking and truss will become vulnerable to water and sunlight.

It’s a good idea to periodically inspect your roof for signs of damage. You may also notice that something is amiss if your energy bill starts to creep upward. This could indicate a leak in the roof somewhere. Roof leaks are not always obvious, but if you suspect you have one, you can spray the rooftop with your garden hose and then head into the attic. If you notice water dripping in, you will have located the source of your leak.

If you need to have an inspection or repairs performed, make sure you have a great roofing contractor like Interstate Roofing on call. It’s important to do so because they are available 24/7, should you have a roofing emergency and need to get someone on site quickly.

What To Do When It’s Time to Replace the Roof

So how long do roofs last in Oregon? Well, it varies, depending upon the construction of the roof and how well it’s been cared for. If the roof utilizes composition shingles—one of the most common types—it will usually last about 20 years. If it’s not properly cared for, it will probably last about three to five years less than that, while if it’s well taken care of, you can often add three to five more. Eventually, however, the roof will need to be replaced.

As you might expect, this can be a costly process. When a roof is installed, it usually comes with a warranty on the shingles and a warranty on the installation, but these warranties will only go for so many years. A manufacturer’s standard warranty may be for “a lifetime,” but they prorate after a very short amount of time. Choose a roofing contractor that can offer extended warranties.

Purchasing the manufacturer’s upgraded warranty is often a great choice if you are planning to stay in your home for over 10 years. If you’re planning to move, it may not be necessary. However, keep in mind that some parts of a roofing warranty may be transferable to the next homeowner. Talk to your roofing company to see what your options are. If you intend to live under that roof for a long time, it is well worth the time and effort to get your warranty extended, which will greatly ease the financial burden if there are any issues.

4 Common Roofing Questions Contractors Get Asked – And Their Answers

If you’re about to undertake building a home or even having your current roof replaced, there are some vitally important roofing questions to ask roofing contractors in Portland, OR, or anywhere else for that matter. It’s been said that the main thing that differentiates a positive and negative experience of getting a new roof put on your home or business is asking the right questions. While one could probably have a long, drawn-out conversation with a roofer about myriad things, these are five common roofing questions to ask your contractor before signing a contract.

A good contractor will be happy to take the time to answer your questions and address your concerns or hesitations. Any contractor that does not take you and your questions seriously should be avoided. Don’t work with someone who won’t take the time to hear you out, and watch out for posers who come off as “professionals” who, “know better than you.” A good contractor knows that taking the time to explain the answers to your questions is in everyone’s best interest.

The answers to these questions will give you insight into which Portland, OR, roofing contractors are skilled, ethical, and honest, as opposed to those that are focused solely on their bottom line. There are contractors out there that would gladly take your money, leave behind a poorly completed job, and avoid answering their phone again. As a starting point, finding a roofing contractor by word of mouth or through the recommendations of friends or colleagues is a good start, but you should absolutely still ask some questions of your own.

1. How Long Has the Company Been in Business?

This question allows you to learn about the company’s history and the caliber of work they do. If they’ve been in business a while, they’ll likely have some of the same employees over long periods of time with very little turnaround. You’ll be able to separate the true craftsmen from those who are still trying to figure out what they’re doing. This isn’t to say that every new contractor isn’t good or qualified, but when you’re having someone repair or redo the roof of your home, it makes sense to have a qualified and experienced company do so.

The answer will vary depending on whom you ask, but working with a company that has 20 or 30 years of experience, as opposed to 2 or 3 years, should settle things for your conscience.

2. Do They Have References? Can You Talk to Them?

A competent contractor will have more than just online references and should be happy to connect you with previous customers. Ask for a few references and also a few details about the projects that were completed.

They should also be willing to put you in touch with their former clients. It’s understandable in this day and age that some people don’t want their information being passed around to strangers, and that’s completely reasonable. If this is the case, ask the contractor to act as a middle man and to reach out to the former client for you so that you can ask questions about the work that was done and the experience of working with this particular contractor.

Any contractor that isn’t willing to let you get in touch with previous customers isn’t worth your time. It’s a huge red flag if they’re seemingly hiding something. It’s not enough to just say, “Yes, I have references.” In order to gain your business and trust, they should be able to put you in touch with a few of their previous customers so that you can ask the questions you want to ask.

3. What Jobs Have You Taken That Are Similar to This One?

The answer to this question is pretty important, and the contractor should be able to explain the sort of jobs that qualify them for your business. Ask about previous installations similar to your project, and be sure to ask for specifics. The answers will show you that your contractor has the experience necessary to follow through on your job.

Ideally, they will be able to show you examples of their work. Although many contractors have reviews, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and can give you some deeper insight to the contractor’s capabilities. Generally, contractors that are proud of their work and have photos available to share. And if you’re put in touch with previous clients, perhaps you can get permission to drive past their home and see the contractor’s work in person.

Find someone who has fulfilled similar jobs to the one that you’re looking to have done. That way, you’ll work with someone who has had previous success on similar projects.

4. Which Licenses and Certifications Do You Have?

It’s imperative that your roofing contractor in Portland, OR, is insured, licensed, and bonded. It’s also good if they’re a member of any renowned associations, such as the Better Business Bureau. Ask about their insurance provider and to show you proof that the policy is current. They should also be able to discuss all of their certifications and licenses. If there is any hesitation, it’s time to find a new contractor.

Any good contractor will be bonded, licensed, and insured. They will not have any problems clarifying this or providing specifics. And you and your roof will be better off for choosing a contractor you know you can trust.

If you’re looking to renovate your roof and you’re looking for a company that is certified, licensed, and bonded, look no further. Interstate Roofing has decades of combined experience, has numerous high-quality examples, and many satisfied customers. Call us today for an estimate and feel free to ask us any roofing questions; we’re happy to answer them.

5 Need-To-Know Facts About Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles remain the most popular method of roofing on the North American continent, despite the preponderance of other choices. While there are plenty of varieties of roofing materials, each of which brings its own benefits, the majority of homeowners still opt for asphalt.

When choosing asphalt, however, there are a few facts you need to know. Read on for our top five most important considerations with regard to asphalt roofing shingles:

1. Asphalt Shingles Can Last for Decades If Properly Maintained

When it comes to longevity, asphalt shingles can far outlast many of their competitors. There are several factors that can have an effect on the longevity of a roof. Assuming that the shingles have been installed properly and are regularly maintained over time, an asphalt roof can often last 20 to 30 years. Indeed, most manufacturers include a warranty for their shingles that lasts about that long.

There are several different types of roofing warranties, which you should discuss with your contractor. Some cover only the materials, while others cover the installation as well. Some extend for a fixed period, while others are lifetime warranties. Which one you receive will depend upon which company you choose to work with for your roofing installation.

It’s important to note that these warranties require the initial installation to be performed correctly. If the installation is defective, the warranty is likely to be void, which is why it’s important that you have a trusted professional contractor such as Interstate Roofing perform the initial task. They will ensure that your roof is installed correctly so that it can last for many years to come.

2. Asphalt Shingles Can Be Extremely Energy Efficient

People don’t necessarily associate asphalt shingles with energy efficiency, but they certainly can be, if you make the right choices with regard to the climate in your area. As you may be aware, the color of a roof has a significant impact on its energy efficiency. A darker roof can absorb heat from the sun, which is perfect for warming the home during colder climates. A lighter roof, on the other hand, reflects sunlight away and helps keep the home cooler during the hottest days of the year.

Asphalt shingles can be equipped with a reflective coating that helps to keep your home cool during the summer. This can save you a small fortune on air conditioning costs over the years. Look for roofing materials with the ENERGY STAR label to find the most effective ones. Your roofing contractor can also install an energy-efficient underlayment to maximize your roof’s ability to protect you from the elements. They can also improve the insulation in your attic, helping to keep warm or cool air inside the home, leading to increased energy efficiency and reduced energy bills.

3. Asphalt Shingles Are Extremely Versatile

There are as many different kinds of roofs as there are roofing materials. Some roofs on residential buildings are almost flat, with the minimum pitch for asphalt shingles being impressively narrow. Others, such as the iconic gable roof, have steep slopes, known as pitch. The type of roof is chosen based not only on aesthetic considerations, but on the weather and climate of the area. Some roofs are better adapted to heavy winds, while others have a steep slope to ensure that rain and snow will roll off easily.

Asphalt shingles are capable of being adapted to nearly any roofing type. They can be utilized on essentially any shape or style of rooftop. They can be made to imitate other types of roofing materials and fitted to any shape or angle. They can be made almost entirely flat. Note, however, that the minimum pitch for asphalt shingles is about 2/12, or 2 inches of rise for every 12 inches of run.

4. Asphalt Shingles Can Reduce Noise Pollution

Sound travels differently throughout different mediums. This is why some buildings seem to be extremely loud—indeed, concert venues are built in such a way as to maximize acoustic performance—while others are quieter. Your roof has a major effect on how sound enters your home, which means it can also have a major effect on your comfort level, especially at night. This is particularly true during a heavy rain or hail storm. Hail pounding on your rooftop throughout the night can rob you of your much-needed rest—not to mention damage the rooftop itself—but asphalt shingles can afford you a measure of protection.

Not only are asphalt shingles impact-resistant, that is, able to endure a lot of the damage caused by nature, they are also somewhat sound-resistant, helping to keep your home quieter during the night.

5. Asphalt Shingles Are Among the Most Cost-Effective Types of Roofing Materials

There are many different types of roofing materials, of course, and they tend to vary wildly in price. Wood, slate, and metal are all common, but asphalt remains the most cost-effective. This is partially because of its impressive longevity—you can’t get 30 years out of most roofing materials—and its ease of repair. It’s also resistant to many of the most common types of damage that can befall roofs: wind, rain, ultraviolet radiation, and fire.

Their ability to resist damage also extends to the growth of algae, another common factor in the eventual decay of roofs, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. Conditions such as heat and moisture help to promote the growth of algae, which can rot through many other types of roofing materials, shortening the life of a rooftop. Fortunately, asphalt shingles are not as conducive to the growth of algae, helping save you a great deal of money on your roof repairs over time.

In order to ensure you can get the maximum cost-effectiveness out of your asphalt shingles, you will need a roofing contractor who can perform repairs for you whenever the need arises. Contact a company like Interstate Roofing, which can perform routine maintenance as well as emergency repairs after heavy winds or other inclement weather conditions damage your roofing materials.

 

5 Reasons You Should Hire a Roofing Contractor Instead of DIY

The roof is a vital component of your house. It affects the air quality inside the house and also plays a role in ventilation. Since a roof adds to the aesthetics of your home, it plays an important role in determining the property value. That’s why timely repair of any damages is critical. But fixing a roof isn’t child’s play. For most cases, you need the experienced eyes of a professional. Yet, some homeowners choose to go down the DIY path after watching online videos. Many end up putting themselves at risk of suffering severe physical injury. Moreover, most don’t understand what needs to be done before deciding to head up to the roof and start the work.

Despite having the best tools in your shed and other safety equipment, roofs are dangerous places, and you may end up with undesirable results that may cause serious structural flaws. So if you need to tackle shingles, gutters, or any other damage to your roof, here are five reasons why you should skip the DIY and recruit the services of a roofing contractor in Vancouver, WA.

1. You Can’t Beat the Experience of a Skilled Professional

No matter how many online videos you watch or manuals you read, you can never gather the practical experience of repairing a roof or the skills of a technician. Moreover, you may find it incredibly difficult to decide the best repair techniques, even if you’ve repaired your roof before.

Remember that roofing professionals have years of experience repairing roofs and working with other professionals. Experienced roofers also have an eye for design and ensure that your roof looks stellar. They work with the latest technologies and tools to prevent further damage from occurring.

Roof experts, such as Interstate Roofing, have decades of experience under their belts, allowing them to provide the ideal solutions to all your roofing issues. The contractors can advise you about the extent of repair needed and use the best materials to fix your roof. Whether you’re looking for regular maintenance and cleaning or more extensive repairs, the professionals at Interstate Roofing can do it all. Plus, in case anything goes wrong, you can benefit from the workmanship warranties.

2. You Will Save on Time

A roof has several components that need to be considered before undertaking any work. That’s why repairing your roof is a time-consuming process. Unfortunately, most DIY enthusiasts underestimate the time needed for projects of this nature. Unlike painting your walls—where a couple of days’ delay doesn’t matter—a delay in getting your roof fixed can pose several issues.

If you straightaway jump into the deep end of the pool, you’ll likely end up wasting a lot of time—and money. Even the tiniest mistake could force you to go back to square one. As a result, you may end up achieving nothing despite spending an outrageously long time and amount of money before you’re finally forced to call a professional to complete the task.

Appointing a contractor helps you avoid these issues easily. Since they’re experts at their jobs, they can complete projects within a fixed timeline.

3. You Will Be Safe

According to the CDC, over 97.3 percent of roofing accidents happen at home. This indicates that an increasingly high number of people who aren’t qualified to carry out repairs to the roof try to do it themselves. When you’re inexperienced or don’t have adequate training to repair roofs, chances are you won’t be aware of all the necessary safety measures required. For instance, failure to provide for fall protection or not using guardrails can result in serious injuries and even death.

If you set out to repair the roof on your own, you could also end up using faulty techniques, compromising the safety of yourself and your loved ones living inside the house. Your house shouldn’t become a playground to carry out experiments when you aren’t entirely confident about what needs to be done—that’s why hiring a roofing contractor is the best way to take it forward.

4. It Is Cost-Effective

If you’re keen to go down the DIY route in a bid to save a few bucks, think again.

Roofing requires an arsenal of tools, such as nail guns, a compressor, a roofing hammer, an air gun, a shovel, a drill, and ladders. If you plan to DIY, you will need to purchase or rent all the tools. As you start the project, you may need other materials as well. Plus, you will also need to invest a lot of time, which cannot be quantified. Moreover, if you use substandard material, the quality of repair will suffer, making it necessary to call a professional who may charge extra to take care of the damages.

Compared to this, opting to use a roofing professional right from the beginning is far more pocket-friendly, as they come with the necessary tools and quality materials. The charges are based on the extent of work needed and the timeline for completing the project.

5. You Don’t Need to Worry About Liability or Insurance

Imagine you’re carrying out the DIY repair, and a piece of equipment or the roof accidentally falls on the head of a friend who is helping you out. If your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover specific accidents such as these, you may find yourself in a sticky spot.

In contrast, reputable roofing professionals always obtain insurance policies. If there’s any accidental damage to your property during the repairs, you can get a payout under their liability insurance. In case a worker is injured on your property, you will have no liability, thanks to the worker’s compensation insurance policy that contractors obtain.

Roofing professionals are your best bet if you want a top-notch roof without losing your peace of mind. They’re familiar with the right techniques and tools needed for building a strong roof that will keep your family safe. So if you’re keen on preserving the structural integrity of your house for years to come, we recommend working with roofing contractors in Vancouver, WA.