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

Three Big Mistakes People Make When Buying a New Roof

Buying a new roof is a major investment. Find out what you can do to avoid making pricey mistakes along the way.

Between choosing the right materials, finding reliable contractors and keeping your budget in check, buying a new roof is a big deal. With so much on your plate, it’s easy to miss a few things. While many can be fixed along the way, some seemingly small oversights can turn into enormous problems, putting the brakes on your roofing project and blowing your end budget out of the water.

You might think that buying quality materials is the single most significant thing in ensuring that your new roof replacement goes smoothly, but a solid installation is just as – if not more – important. In fact, some of the worst roofing disasters, like leaks, abnormally high energy costs and roof collapse, happen because of bad contractors or missed checks. Making sure you don’t make the three common mistakes below can help you avoid the same fate.

1. Underestimating the Importance of Thoroughly Screening Contractors

You probably already know that you should be hiring a professional company with up-to-date licensing, but that’s not the only requirement for protecting yourself against fraud or sub-par work. To dig a little deeper, ask potential contractors for references from previous clients, get a feel for their experience level and talk contract terms. Getting a second bid on a project can also be extremely helpful, even if it is higher than the original, you at least have an idea of the market.

2. Skipping the Inspection

You can get a price quote over the phone, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be accurate. Without a full inspection of your home, contractors can only give you a general idea of how much you can expect to spend based on the size of your roof and attic, the kind of features you want to install and the materials you want to use. If you’re on a tight budget, scheduling an at-home consultation is the best way to avoid unexpected expenses down the road.

3. Assuming Your Contractor Has Good Insurance

Because so much can go wrong during a roofing project, from moisture damage to personal injuries, hiring a company with a stellar insurance plan can make all the difference in case of a serious emergency. Unfortunately, not all roofing contractors invest in high-level coverage. For example, roofing insurance is typically more expensive and extensive than general policies that cover roofing under an umbrella of other services.

Are you in the market for a new roof in Portland? Contact us at Interstate Roofing to learn how we can help you get the job done right.

Elements of Green Roofing

Creating an environmentally friendly roof for your home

Green roofing can take many forms. Some homes and businesses take the term literally and use roof space to grow plants. If you can’t manage the time and maintenance involved in that particular brand of “green,” try one of these simpler choices to make the roof of your Portland home more sustainable.

Recycled Materials

Building construction, demolition and upgrades generate millions of tons of debris each year, and most of it winds up in landfills. Much of this material could be recovered and recycled, and more companies are lowering their ecological footprints by doing just that. Take the environmentally friendly route by investing in roofing materials that are both recycled and recyclable.

Green Production

Another thing to look at when upgrading your roof is the manufacturing practices of the company providing the roofing materials. It’s no good to opt for something that seems green only to discover that harmful chemicals were used, and resources were wasted during manufacturing. Doing some research beforehand to find companies that use the most responsible production methods can not only help the environment, but can send the right message to manufacturers. Additionally it is important to verify that there are no harmful compounds on the shingles you buy that may leach off in the rain or contaminate the environment around your home.

Energy Smart

Choose roof shingles in light colors to reflect the heat of the sun and keep your home cool during the hottest months of the year. Adding overhangs around the edge of the roof provides extra shade that further reduces heat gains. By choosing “cool” roofing materials, you cut down on the amount of time that you need to run a fan or the air conditioner to moderate the indoor temperature.

Solar Power

If your budget allows, consider adding solar panels to your green roof. This helps to offset energy use within your home, which in turn cuts down on the resources you consume every day. Rather than relying on the main grid for your power, you have your own renewable energy source right above your head. It is possible to install enough solar paneling to have self-sufficient energy production right in your own home!


The longer your roof lasts, the less waste is generated from repairs and upgrades. Look for durable materials with extended warranties to find the best options for a roof that stands the test of time.

At Interstate Roofing, we’re committed to being as green as possible. Contact us to find out more about our environmentally friendly options including Energy Star rated shingles, solar tubes and solar powered vents. When we replace your roof with a sustainable one, we won’t just haul the old roof away. We’ll take the materials to a recycling center where they can be re-purposed and used again for other roofing jobs, a practice that helps to sustain the environment by cutting down on waste.

Why a Quality Roof is Worth Saving For

Whether you’re dealing with a storm-related emergency or just your garden-variety wear and tear, roof damage is never good news. Unfortunately, it’s bound to happen to all homeowners at one point or another. After all, even perfectly maintained roofs ultimately have a limited lifespan.

In the long run, how you handle these repairs is what matters most. While you don’t want to blow your budget, sacrificing quality is a sure recipe for a financial disaster down the road. To understand how spending more money on roofing right now can help you save more later; let’s get back to basics: materials and labor.

Not All Roofing Materials Are Created Equal

Your roof works around the clock to protect your home from bad weather, wind, animals and other outdoor threats, so shouldn’t it be armed with the best materials around? Think of your roof as a seal between your attic and the outside world. Without a strong barrier, you can end up with ongoing problems that run the gamut from water damage to raccoon nests and roof rat infestations.

Water damage alone can wreak havoc on your bank account. Besides obvious issues, like stubborn water stains and warped wood, excessive moisture creates a breeding ground for mold. Over time, fixing water damage from recurring leaks can add up to a lot more money than you’d save by choosing a cheaper roofing material.

Professional Installation is Worth the Extra Investment

In roofing, installation carries much more weight than the materials used. Without expert oversight, even the best materials can fall seriously short on function and durability. What separates the top contractors from the rest? Experience, licensing and a proven track record of customer satisfaction are good starting points in narrowing your search down to a reliable company. Because all three take time and money to develop, rock-bottom pricing is usually a warning sign that you aren’t getting the standard of service you deserve.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get your roofing project done right from start to finish. The key to getting the best bang for your buck is to find the perfect middle ground between an affordable price tag and a fair quality. Instead of taking the cheapest bid, let your overall budget guide you to the best option available in your price range.

Are you looking for quality roof repair services in Portland? Contact Interstate Roofing directly to learn more about our trusted roofing team and get started with your free estimate.

Is There a Roof Disaster Lurking Under Your Shingles?

Looking up for hidden trouble
When was the last time you were on the roof? The view of Mt. Hood might be better, but still: That expanse crowning your home needs regular inspection, so it deserves your attention at least twice a year. Before you climb the ladder, stand back and scan the roofline. Hidden trouble is easier to see when you know what to look for.

Is Your Flashing Flush?

Whether it’s metal, plastic, or rubber, flashing is your roof’s best friend because it deflects water from joints and seams. You can see it around vertical vents and chimneys where it protects structural framing. Flashing forms a water-proof barrier with its snug fit, but age and weather compromise its integrity. Because the material defends vulnerable areas of the roof, its failure can lead to serious structural damage. Even small flashing leaks allow moisture under surrounding shingles, which sets the stage for algae growth and wood rot.

Are the Shingles Out of Shape?

Missing shingles shout out loud that you’ve got trouble on the roof, but what do they communicate when they buckle and curl? This odd appearance is common on older roofs and indicates underlying moisture problems, but the shingles aren’t always to blame. A poorly ventilated attic forces damp air upward through the roof’s structure causing shingle material to buckle and curl. The uneven warping traps debris and rain water, and it sets up a natural breeding ground for mold and moss. When healthy shingles lose their shape, your roof loses its protection.

How Bad Is the Weather?

It’s tempting to blame Portland’s generous rainfall for our roof problems, but summer sunshine and winter cold take their toll too. The temperatures don’t have to sizzle for UV rays to dry and crack shingles. When melting snow runs off the roof, moisture collects around seams and joints, where it re-freezes and warps flashing. Once roofing materials are damaged, a strong gust of wind on a beautiful spring day can give sudden flight to shingles and flashing. It doesn’t take a Pacific storm to inflict weather damage on your roof.

Don’t wait until the kids’ soccer ball gets stuck behind the chimney to find out you have trouble on the roof. A visual checkup from the ground reveals a lot, but a professional roof inspection is the best way to make sure everything overhead stays in good shape. Just contact us at Interstate Roofing. We don’t retrieve cats or soccer balls, but we know how to take care of your roof.

The Benefits of Eco-Friendly Roofing

As concern about climate change and environmental conservation grows, many building owners are choosing eco-friendly roofing to help the planet. A green roof is a roofing system that uses vegetation as a roof covering. Green roof systems can reduce the “heat-island” effect, improve air quality, neutralize acid rain, benefit biodiversity, create sound insulation, and conserve energy.

In addition to environmental benefits, eco-friendly roofing also offers important benefits to building owners. These green roofing benefits include an expanded roof life, reduced air conditioning costs, LEED credits, storm water management, and reduced heating costs.

More Green Roofing Benefits

Eco-friendly roofing improves air quality. Plants produce oxygen and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the environment. In addition, green roofing can remove airborne particles, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds from the air and prevent these pollutants from entering the water system.

Green roofing benefits biodiversity. Research suggests that eco-friendly roofing can be designed to meet local biodiversity objectives. Portland, OR, residents who choose green roofing can have an important impact by providing an increased habitat for wildlife.

Green roof systems improve thermal performance. Green roofing benefits include increased roof insulation and improved thermal performance. Rooftop vegetation acts as an insulation barrier. Additionally, the plants reduce the amount of solar energy absorbed by the roof, leading to cooler temperatures below. As a result, building owners enjoy reduced air conditioning and heating costs.

Eco-friendly roofing benefits the community. Natural green space provides important benefits to people who live and work in cities. In many cities, preserving green space seems to be an endless challenge. Green roofing helps offset the problems associated with growth because green roofs provide accessible green space within a dense urban setting. Further, studies show that exposure to natural greenery provides an important benefit to humans. These benefits include physical benefits such as exposure to cleaner air and mental benefits such as a reduced stress level.

Green Roofing in Portland, OR

Luckily for us, Portland is one of the top cities to embrace the benefits of green building. A growing number of business owners are choosing eco-friendly roofs and rooftop gardens to reduce the negative impact to the environment.

If you’re ready to learn more about green roofing in our beautiful city, Interstate Roofing is here for you.

A Clean Roof Is a Happy Roof

Why your roof will thank you for performing regular maintenance

Nobody is thrilled at the thought of hauling out the ladder to climb up and clean the roof. However, as much of a headache as this chore can be, you’ll have a much bigger headache later on if you neglect to do it. These are just five of the many benefits of regular roof cleaning.

Improves Home Appearance

The way your home looks on the outside gives an impression of how well you treat the rest of it. You don’t let dirt and debris build up inside your home, so why would you let it happen on the roof? Keeping the roof clean maintains an attractive outward appearance that shows you take pride in your home.

Banishes Bacteria

A type of algae known as cyanobacteria is often responsible for the black and green streaks you see developing on your roof over time. Other types of growth include lichen and fungus, all of which feed on roofing materials. Regular cleaning gets rid of existing colonies and prevents new invaders from settling in to eat your roof.

Increases Efficiency

Anything growing on your roof will darken the color of the material, causing it to absorb more light and making the inside of the house hotter. In some cases, temperatures may rise as much as 25 degrees. Instead of wasting money combatting the problem with air conditioning, get rid of the growth and debris and bring your energy bills back down to where they should be.

Keeps the Home Safe

Algae and fungal growth can spread from the surface of the roof to the roof deck, allowing moisture to get in and providing prime real estate for mold. Excess roof debris clogs gutters, causing overflow that may encourage mold growth in other areas. Mold can range from mildly allergenic to toxic, so keeping it from appearing should be a top priority.

Lengthens Roof Life

Allowing debris and growth to accumulate speeds the natural degradation of roof shingles. Since roof replacement is one of the most expensive home improvements you can undertake, it makes more sense to invest in a regular cleaning plan. Practicing preventative maintenance takes less time and money than a complete roof replacement and gives you peace of mind.

Professional roof maintenance and cleaning services offer these same benefits, and you don’t have to look far to find them. Interstate Roofing provides homes in the Portland, OR, area with reliable maintenance that preserves the longevity and integrity of roof materials. Give us a call today for a free estimate on roof services for your home and start treating your roof right.

Replacing a Roof in the Winter

What to do when you need roof replacement during the year’s coldest months.

Roof repair in the winter is problematic in the winter, but it can be done. Though you might not see the kind of snow in Portland that other areas of the country get in the winter, there are still plenty of ways for your roof to wind up damaged. Minor problems may be able to wait until spring, but sometimes roof repair is suddenly and unavoidably necessary. If you find yourself in such a predicament, keep these tips in mind when deciding whether to undertake wintertime roof replacement.

Know Your Roof Material

Certain materials stand up to cold temperatures better than others. An asphalt roof can be installed during the winter without much risk of damage from the chill. If your roof isn’t currently made of asphalt or another sturdy material, consider upgrading to prevent future winter roofing problems.

Wait for the Right Weather

Roof replacement is possible in cold weather, but it can’t be too cold. Rain or snow also rules out roof work. Wet conditions make it hard for roofers to do their jobs and may result in an inferior roof. Frigid temperatures can create problems such as brittle underlayment and shingles, frozen adhesives, and an inability to properly seal the roof. Manufacturers of roofing products set temperature limits as guidelines, and your roofing company will be able to tell you whether current conditions meet the requirements.

Provide a “Bare Deck”

A wet or frozen roof is slippery and dangerous for anyone to work on. Therefore, the entire roof will need a thorough cleaning before any winter work can be done. It’s also necessary to have a clear space for installation to ensure proper adherence of materials and prevent problems with wet shingles.

Understand the Limitations

Roofing isn’t really a winter job, so if you don’t absolutely need a new roof right away, you might be better off waiting. Have a roofing company assess the damage to see if you can get by until spring with minor repairs. Repairs cost less than all-out replacement and don’t take nearly as long most of the time, so they can be done on days when the weather is agreeable. This bypasses potential problems such as brittle materials, uncooperative tools, and people not wanting to work out in the cold. Putting off roof replacement until the spring may also save you headaches in the long term since the final installation is likely to be more reliable.

If you find that your roof needs attention this winter, call Interstate Roofing. We’ll give you a free estimate and stick with you through every phase of roof replacement to ensure a job well done. Contact us for more information about our services or to request your free estimate today.

Toeboard Damage: A Common Mistake Made During Roof Installations

When a little roofing aid causes big problems.

Toe board damage is a common roof installation oversight. Unless you’re in the roofing business, we’re betting that you’ve never heard of a toe board. That’s okay: most Americans have no idea what these roofing aids are. Although they’re integral to the roof installation and repair processes, they’re typically removed after the completion of a project. If a careless roofer fails to remove a toe board properly, however, it can cause substantial damage that negates the work done during the project itself.

What Is a Toe board?

Non-experts might benefit from a fuller explanation of the toe board concept. Basically, toe boards are rudimentary safety devices that allow roofers to move quickly and safely around a steep roof. In one form or another, toe boards are required by OSHA and are regular fixtures in the roofing industry. They’re typically comprised of two-by-four wooden blocks that have been nailed to the shingles or structural supports of a pitched roof. Workers step on them to avoid contact with smooth, possibly slippery shingle, tile, or metal surfaces.

Although a number of alternatives exist, traditional toe boards remain ubiquitous at roofing job sites due to their low cost, sturdiness, functionality, and proven track record.

Common Toe board Mistakes

Roofing professionals make a number of common mistakes with toe boards:

  • Using large-gauge nails whose holes can’t be filled to satisfaction
  • Placing them in a manner that peels back or rips up newly installed shingles
  • Removing nails quickly or carelessly, widening the size of the nail hole
  • Failing to fill in the nail holes with high-grade roof cement
  • Leaving toe boards in place altogether

These mistakes are much more common among novice roofers and those rushing from one job to the next. As such, it’s critical to work with a roofing company that gives customers its undivided attention and conducts business in detail-oriented fashion.

Potential Damage From Improperly Removed Toe boards

Improperly removed toe boards can result in a host of problems for newly installed roofs. Over time, unsealed holes can widen, allowing water to drip into the interior of the home. Although holes sealed with low-grade caulk may hold up for a few seasons, they tend to deteriorate over time as well. In the worst cases, holes may become big enough for animals to enter.

Learn More About Roof Installation and Roof Replacement in Portland, OR

As you can see, toe boards are no laughing matter. Fortunately, highly trained roofers rarely make the mistake of removing toe boards in a manner that can cause significant damage. If you’re looking to have your roof repaired or replaced by a group of consummate professionals who know how to do the job right, give us a call at503-684-5611 or fill out our free estimate request form to learn more.

Dealing With Disputed Roof Damage Claims

Don’t give up hope if your insurance claim for roof damages is denied. With a strong appeal, you still have a chance to win.

If you’ve recently received the news that your insurance company won’t be covering your roof damages, don’t panic just yet. While most policies will honor repairs that go beyond normal wear and tear – think major damages from storms or vandalism – getting the compensation you deserve isn’t always as simple as filing your claim on time. Fortunately, you do have the right to appeal. If it’s clear to you that your roof repair bill should be covered, don’t be afraid to fight back.

Why Good Claims Go Bad

While they have a reputation for being tough, most insurance adjusters go into their field because they want to help people rebuild their lives when disaster strikes. Denying claims isn’t something they enjoy, but just like you, they’re held to strict standards by their employers. From negligence to insufficient evidence to contract exclusions, there are many reasons why first claims get denied. Some denials may be final, but many others can be corrected with a little extra work on your part.

The good news is that you’re entitled to a detailed explanation why your claim isn’t being accepted. If you find the language confusing, call your provider for more information. Remember that when you know exactly what went wrong, you have a much higher chance of winning your appeal.

Tips for Getting Your Denial Overturned

1. Learn the terms of your contract inside and out. The more you understand about your policy, the more leverage you’ll have when communicating with your insurance company. You can get a head start on understanding insurance law in Oregon here.

2. Keep in contact with your agent. Most insurance agents are more than happy to help their clients get through the appeals process. Just remember to always be polite and open to new ideas. If you feel like your agent is concealing information or just not being helpful, consider hiring an outside consultant. Attorneys can be helpful, but because they often break up the direct link between you and your insurance company, their services should generally be seen as your last line of defense.

3. Pay for a professional report. When your roof repairs fit the profile of what should be covered under your insurance plan, including a professional damage assessment in your claim file is a great way to strengthen your case.

Looking for a professional roofer? Contact us online or give us a call directly at 503-684-5611to learn more about our roofing services in Portland, OR.

Boosting Business With Quality Roof Design

How professional roof installation can benefit your company.

Did you know that the roof on your commercial property can have a direct impact on business? Your roof represents a large part of the external area of your business and is one of the first things that customers are going to see when they pull up. Choosing quality roof design and professional installation results in a finished product with a host of benefits.

Makes Better First Impressions

Example of our commercial roof installationA roof that’s sagging, cracking, or just plain falling down doesn’t belong on a building that houses a vibrant, growing business. While you can’t stop customers from judging the quality of your products and services by the appearance of your establishment, you can invest in a roof that makes a good impression. A sturdy material with an appealing design serves to attract customers as they’re driving or walking by.

Improves Value

Just like houses, business locations have “curb appeal.” The same clean, new appearance that brings customers in can work in your favor to improve the value of your business property. If you plan on staying in the same location for the long haul, a new or updated roof will help pay for itself because of the value increase to your property.

Keeps Inventory Safe

Whether you’re running a store, repair shop, or restaurant, you’ve put a significant amount of money into your equipment and inventory. The last thing you need is an unreliable roof causing problems. Strong commercial roofing materials protect your assets from the pitfalls of roof damage such as leaks and pest infestations.

Prevents Future Problems

An aging roof could be hiding all sorts of potential issues, such as detached shingles, a rotting deck, leaks, and mold. Professional repair or replacement takes care of all these problems with a single investment that prevents the need for a series of costly repairs in the future.

Saves Time and Lasts for Years

Running a business doesn’t leave you time to deal with a bunch of DIY roof repairs. Choosing professional roof installation for your company puts the job in the hands of contractors who know exactly how to handle the job so it’s done right the first time and will last long into the future.

Enjoy better business performance today with the commercial roofing services from Interstate Roofing. We serve the Portland area with highly qualified sales and production staff members who are equipped to handle all manner of roofing jobs. Contact us today for a free estimate to get the ball rolling on this beneficial business makeover.