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

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.

What Is a Soffit: 10 Roofing Words to Help You Understand Your Contractor

When you’re unfamiliar with an industry, hearing the jargon thrown around may make your head spin. What is a soffit? What’s a cricket? Maybe you’ve heard of gables, but how do they figure into roofing work? As your local roofing experts, we get it. Sometimes it’s all you can do to wrap your mind around what work you need done, and picking up the industry terminology just adds another layer of complication.

That’s why we’re here to arm you with the information you need to fill in the gaps. Whether it’s having a professional assess a damaged roof or just answering what a soffit is, we’re here to help. Here are 10 words you might find helpful in understanding your contractor.

1. Soffit

A soffit is an easily overlooked part of the roof, but one you’re likely to notice from here on out. If your home has eaves, you can go look at one right now. Just walk underneath the overhang and look up. The soffit is the underside of your eaves, sometimes sealed with additional panes and sometimes left exposed. Some soffit areas even incorporate open ventilation elements to work in tandem with a ridge vent, giving your attic airflow for ideal ventilation. While it may not be the first part of a roof that draws your attention, it’s just as important as everything else.

2. Cricket

No, it’s not a noisy insect! At least, not in terms of roofing. On top of your house, a cricket is a small ridge structure that’s put in place in order to redirect water around the sides of chimneys, walls, or anything else that might rise upward out of your roof. The cricket helps ensure that falling water keeps moving around the obstruction, preventing it from pooling in one area on top of the roof. Pooling water is never good for roofs, making crickets important structures to have.

3. Flashing

Flashing, while not very flashy, serves yet another important purpose on your roof. It is typically a flexible sheet of metal that is used to better seal the roof, preventing leaks around projections or intersections by offering a little extra protection where materials meet.

4. Gable

You may be familiar with the term gable, whether just from hearing it in conversation or in relation to Anne and her green ones, but what exactly is it? The fact of the matter is that you may have gables and not even know it. In short, a gable is the triangle or A-shaped part of your wall that forms the peak of your roof. You’ll usually hear the term gable in relation to gable roofs in general, the simple style of a roof with two sloping planes of the same pitch on either side of a ridge. Gabled roofs are quite common, not only in America but also in other parts of the world.

5. Hip

The hip of a roof is an inclined external angle formed by the intersection of two roof panes, both sloping down toward the eaves. A hipped roof has no gables. Instead, it has additional panes that gently slope downward from the highest point of the house. A hipped roof can have an almost tent-like appearance, with all the panes leading up to one central peak. Like a gabled roof, they are popular throughout the world and can be found in many different countries and architectural styles.

6. Eaves

An eave is simply the lowest part of the roof’s edge. They may end at the wall of the house, or they may extend out beyond it. They feature prominently in architecture throughout the world, although they all serve the same uniform purpose of dropping running water clear of the walls.

7. Fascia

Sometimes referred to as gutter boards, fascia is roof trim that runs along the lowest edge of the roof. The fascia helps connect the lower ends of the rafters or roof trusses as well as supporting the gutters on its top and the front edge of the soffit on its bottom.

8. Rafters

Without rafters, you can’t have a roof. They are the angled timbers that form the basic framework of the roof, providing a structure on which it can be built. Your rafters extend out from the ridge, or hip, all the way to the eaves. They’re the bones of your roof, and keeping them in good condition is vital to its long-term health. That’s why using all your available options to keep them warm and dry, especially in our rainy climate, goes without question.

9. Rake

For some homeowners, a rake is just a gardening tool you break out in the fall. In roofing, though, it has another meaning. There, it refers to the sloped sides on either end of a gabled roof, just above the gable itself. There is some variance in rake structure—some are flush with the gable while some hang over it similar to eaves.

10. Ridge

Much like how a mountain ridge rises up from the lowlands around it, your roof’s ridge rises up above the rest of the structure. It’s the highest horizontal external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof panes. It’s also the highest point on your roof, from where the rest of the panes slope downward.

On the inside of your roof, the ridge is also where your rafters meet to form a kind of spine for the roof. Some ridges are raised even higher through the use of ridge vents, which raise the top of the ridge to open up the attic to air and allow for ventilation.

Interested in using your new vocabulary and see how it all works together? Give us a call! We’re more than happy to talk you through any questions you might have and help you with any roofing work that needs doing. We promise the next time you hear someone asking what soffit is, you’ll be the one with the answers.


Avoid These Common Residential Roofing Mistakes

It’s easy to take the roof over our heads for granted—that is, until the roof over our heads needs to be replaced. It’s a big job and can be a good investment, but it can turn into a stress-inducing disaster if the job isn’t done well. You may be able to do the work yourself, but most people will need to seek help from residential roofing experts.

Finding someone who has decades of experience and pride in craftsmanship will help you avoid many of the potential problems that can occur while replacing a roof yourself or with a company that hasn’t had enough experience or training.

Starter Shingles Installed Incorrectly

Starter shingles go under the first row of shingles, and many people doing the job themselves might install these incorrectly or sometimes not at all. The starter shingles act as a barrier since the first row doesn’t have a shingle below it. The starter shingles are vital and protect from water that could invade the sheathing under the bottom shingles, and they’ll provide a straight line to cut shingles on.

Improper Material for the Slope

With a big variance in roof slopes and sometimes having multiple different slopes on one home, choosing a material that will protect the house properly is important. Differently angled slopes have different levels of water run-off. Choosing a material that doesn’t match the slope can leave that part of your roof a weak point and in danger of water damage.

Improper Use of Nails

Repairing a roof takes finesse. If too much pressure is applied, nails will be driven too far in and puncture the shingle mat. This could lead to weaker shingles that are susceptible to being torn off by the wind. If shingles aren’t nailed properly or have too few nails, shingles can slide out of position. There are many different ways to create problems when securing shingles with nails, and poor workmanship could potentially void your roofing warranty.

Insufficient or Improperly Installed Valley Metal

The roof valley is the part of the roof that is most likely to have a leak. This is where the water runoff flows, so the roof valley is hit the hardest with any water from rain or melting snow or ice. Therefore, a roof valley should have an ice and water shield installed, and/or a metal valley. If the metal flashing is either missing or not secured properly, the shield will have to be reinstalled and the roof re-shingled. Not securing material or using enough sealant can cause buckling and water leaks.

Sometimes the valley flashing can be installed incorrectly by amateur contractors or roofers. The flashing needs to be layered under the shingles, not on top of them. The U-shape of the metal should be facing the valley. Otherwise, water runoff might flow in a direction it shouldn’t and cause premature deterioration of the flashing or shingles.

Not Planning for Ice Dams

Not all homeowners need to plan ahead for this, but if you live in a cold climate, you know how much damage ice dams can cause. Without proper insulation, ice forms at the roofline and forces water under the shingles, creating a dam. By putting down an underlayer in the roof starting at the roofline and continuing for at least three feet, you will help add another layer of protection to avoid the damaging effects of melting ice water.

Not Allowing Ceilings or Attics to Vent

Not having adequate venting can cause major damage to your roof and roofing materials. Heat rises and hot air is full of moisture. That moisture causes condensation to build up and, over time, weaken the shingle material prematurely. When laying down shingles for your roof, it’s imperative that they are laid down to allow proper ventilation from your attic or ceilings.

Not Aligning Shingles Correctly

Laying the shingles improperly makes a poor roofing job easy to spot. If the shingles are misaligned, it just looks bad. If the butted joints aren’t on the same horizontal plane or if the cutout on three-tab shingles isn’t vertical, your roof won’t look aesthetically pleasing, and if the shingles have been improperly nailed, there’s potential for roof blow-off.

Incorrect Shingle Overhang

The shingles should overhang the eaves and the rakes by a minimum of an inch to an inch and a half. If drip edge flashing has been installed, then the edge of the shingle should hang over the roof between a half-inch and three-quarters of an inch. Too little overhang can allow water to seep into the fascia boards or into the rake boards. Too much overhang and there is potential for the shingles to blow off in high winds. An experienced roofer will ensure the correct placement of the shingles.

Incorrect Shingle Exposure

Shingle exposure is the uncovered part or exposed part of the shingle from the shingle placed above it. Not only will proper shingle exposure create a beautiful roof, but it will also provide optimal roof protection. There are many problems that can occur when laying shingles. If the shingles are layered too far apart, the exposure will be too wide, and there will be areas of the shingles that are now exposed to the elements that shouldn’t be. If the shingles are laid too close together, it can create an undesirable look and will waste materials. Moisture may also start collecting from water run-off if the shingle exposure is shortened and can also lead to them being blown off in high-speed winds.

It takes a lot of knowledge, training, and experience to complete a quality roof job that will last decades. Our residential roofing experts here at Interstate Roofing provide the highest quality roofing to homeowners. Interstate Roofing is proud to have earned the highest certification level and have more than 30 years of experience in roofing in the Portland and Vancouver areas. If you need help with roofing your home, we are happy to give you a free estimate. We look forward to working with you.

5 Tips for Extending the Life of Your Roof in Oregon

When you buy a home, ideally, the initial inspection will give you insight as to the well-being of the property and how soon something, if anything, will need to be fixed or refurbished. Sometimes real estate agents are more concerned with the technology inside the home—such as the water heater and the HVAC system—and something as important as the state of the roof isn’t as deeply reviewed.

A general inspection, whether you’re buying a property or doing a review of your current business or residence can give you some insight into the stability, longevity, and reliability of the roof above your head. Much like a property owner would take regular care and do maintenance of their HVAC system to optimize for functionality, rooftops should be inspected at regular intervals to make sure they’re safe for you, your family, your business team, and the longevity of the property.

Be sure to take the time to inspect the roof and verify that it’s in good condition and will last you a long time. A home’s roof life in the Oregon climate is an important thing. It keeps you dry and protects you from the elements. A roof that leaks or is damaged can make for uncomfortable or impossible living conditions. Any failures or issues with the roof need to be addressed immediately.

There are even things you can do to protect your rooftop and extend the roof life of your Oregon home or business. Here are five things you can do to protect the rooftop protecting you and extend its life.

1. Clear and Clean Your Gutters Regularly

Leaves aren’t heavy, right? Well, when they’re bogged down and clogging the gutters with the help of rainwater, you’re looking at some potentially messy weight on your roof. Keep an eye on the gutters and clear them out regularly so rainwater can flow down the gutters as it’s designed to.

Don’t try to clean the gutters from the roof. Instead, get a ladder and two buckets. One bucket is where you put the leaves and debris, and the other bucket will hold the tools you’ll use. If the ladder doesn’t have built-in hooks for the buckets, you can fashion wire hooks. You’ll also want a pair of work or gardening gloves to protect your hands from any sharp debris, such as pine needles and twigs.

Garden tools, like a trowel or small shovel, will be essential for removing the larger debris. For the smaller and finer sediment components, a hose should be able to flush them down.

2. Clear the Roof of Moss

Moss can give a roof a certain provincial aesthetic, but it can also depreciate the value and lifetime of a rooftop. Moss is a living thing and, as such, will find nooks and crannies in which to grow. This is especially true as it affects wood and asphalt. It can start to grow in-between the shingles and, over time, allow a porous space for water to leak in. This can be visible with the naked eye: a telltale sign is rotting wood.

Get a ladder in order to clean the moss. This is best done on a cloudy day so as not to give the moss the opportunity to feed off the sunlight. Also, it’s important you don’t use a power washer on the roof, as it can cause damage to the shingles. If the moss is so bad that it must be pressure washed, leave that to a professional roofing contractor. After scrubbing the roof, if it still looks like it needs further treatment, you’ll need to get a moss cleaner. It will prevent the moss from growing back. However, moss treatment is a chemical designed to kill vegetation. Be cautious not to get it on yourself or on any vegetation you don’t want to kill … like your lawn.

3. Manicure the Surround Trees to Prevent Overhanging Branches

Prolonging the lifetime of your roof is easily done when you protect it from overhanging branches. They act as a transport for little critters that might like to explore your roof and home, causing both internal and external damage. Plus, branches can threaten the roof structure should they break off and fall onto the rooftop. While smaller branches are less of a worry, the big, heavy branches will need immediate attention.

4. Remove and Replace Damaged Shingles

It’s important to get damaged shingles replaced soon. The shingles will be further damaged with UV rays hitting them, so the best thing to do is to find a day with moderate weather to replace them. If it’s too cold out, they could crack; too hot, and there could be issues with the sealant. A professional roofing contractor can evaluate if you have a manufacturer’s defect or damage from an event, like a tree branch rubbing on the surface of the roof.

5. Hire Trained and Licensed Contractors

This may sound obvious, but when it comes to investing in the protective feature going over your head and helping to insulate and ventilate your home, professionals are really the only way to go. They’ll be subject to following standards and guidelines and will have to abide by the law. Even if your neighbor’s uncle has done many roofing jobs, it makes sense to hire someone who has insurance, who is reliable, and who will have to follow legal protocols. Investing in a roof can be anywhere from approximately $20,000 for shingles up through $35,000 or more for sourced luxury materials, so it’s worth it to make sure that the people installing your roof have the knowledge and tools to do the best job.

For a job done well that meets all building standards in the Portland area, look no further than Interstate Roofing. We have the experience, knowledge, and training to keep your roof in its best condition so you won’t have to worry about its life span and instead will be enjoying your lifestyle.

5 Reasons to Use a Local Roofing Company in Portland

Finding a Portland roofing company to replace or fix your roof can be quite a chore. Any major changes are bound to be very expensive, so you need to make sure you hire a Portland roofing company like Interstate Roofing that can get the job done the way you want it. Hiring a Portland roofing company is always preferable because by bringing in a local contractor, you’re ensuring yourself of multiple unique advantages in the process. And, of course, by finding the very best Portland roofing company for your needs, you’re not only doing what you must to protect multiple essential functions of your home, but you are also taking the proper precautions that will keep your home in tip-top shape.

So why hire locally?

1. Knowledge of the Area

If you hire a Portland roofing company, they’re already experts on local rules and regulations, which saves time, money, and energy that an outside contractor would need to use to find these things out. They are aware of exactly how to comply with city, state, and town codes and have the proper permits to do the job without being delayed by red tape a non-local contractor may not know about.

They also understand local weather conditions and how they can affect the type of roofing work you need done. For example, somebody in the northeast would be best served by a strong asphalt roof that can help protect against snow, rain, and brutally cold weather. The asphalt is powerful enough to keep the snow from caving in the roof, which is something you would want in a place like New York but would be an unnecessary expense somewhere like Florida or Arizona.

2. Quick Response and Availability

When you’re choosing a Portland roofing company, it’s only natural that you’re going to have plenty of questions. A local roofing company can more quickly respond to your inquiries and even send somebody directly to your home to answer them if necessary.
Also, if an emergency occurs, a local roofing contractor is in a position to serve your needs right away. As an example, if you live in California and an earthquake destroys your roof, a company located nearby can be on the scene to help rebuild that roof much faster than one that’s not located nearby. And they’ll have previous experience working with homes with earthquake damage, better preparing them for your job. Having your roofing company be local can give you enormous peace of mind, especially during seasons that produce horrible weather conditions.

3. Greater Accountability

By hiring a local roofing company, there’s a much greater chance your warranty will be backed up and your problem fixed because the company cannot run and hide the way they might be able to if they were out-of-towners. Additionally, most roofing companies offer a full warranty that covers labor and material issues. This means that should an issue occur with the original installation, you always have an easy solution nearby.

4. Local Experience

A local roofing company that has existed in your community for many years will have built an extensive network of resources, including material suppliers as well as other tradesmen, such as electricians and plumbers. This can help the company get favorable rates on needed goods and services, which would lower their overhead and create savings that can be passed on to you. Not to mention the fact that they could help with rates if you need separate work done by these tradesmen, and the roofing company could provide a network of valuable referrals to you that would provide you with trustworthy companies to handle other necessary work within your home.

Plus, a local roofing company will prioritize your business heavily because they know they can’t afford to get negative word of mouth from customers in the area. Word of mouth is one of the most important business generators for a local company, and having negative words spread about a company all around the local area is something any local contractor would desperately want to avoid so as to not develop a bad reputation. A non-local company may have more flexibility in this area since word from out of town doesn’t travel as well.

In addition, many of the owners and workers live in the local area because the owners and workers live and operate in the local area, they’ll have extra incentive to do an outstanding job because they want their city to be as high caliber as possible. It reflects well on them and their families, who share the community. An out-of-town company won’t have this concern and might see making money as its primary goal.

5. Being Neighborly

Sure, you want to get the best deal and the best company possible when you’re shopping for a contractor to fix or replace your roof, but when you can do that within the local community, there are added benefits. For starters, by giving business to a local contractor, you’re ensuring that your money stays within the local community and continues to help its growth and prosperity.

Second, when you help a local business out, it can mean they’ll help your community in a way that helps you out in return, in addition to simply doing a great job for you. For example, if you own a business in the local community yourself, by hiring a fellow local business, you can develop a relationship that could result in that roofing company hiring your business down the line. And when word gets around about you doing business locally, it could help you generate business from other local merchants or help you develop a positive reputation that could get you favorable rates from other businesses in the area.

5 Facts About Quality Roofing in Portland

Roofing is perhaps one of the least discussed yet most important topics in Portland and Vancouver area. Even with an annual average of 37 inches (or more) of rain, roofs normally don’t get much thought. That is, until there is a leak, a problem, or something that needs to get fixed.

This is where your local experts at Interstate Roofing warrant a call. Their vast expertise spans from the installation of new roofs to fixes and upgrades for current roofs to services like power washing and gutter cleaning. From the small-scale matters to the largest roofing issues, their interest is in supporting you with your roofing and maintenance needs.

In this type of climatic region, roof care can often stay under the radar. It’s true that there are usually four seasons in the region. That means there are multiple factors to take into consideration with the regard to the upkeep of rooftops, both in residential and commercial buildings.

Whether a flat roof or a steep roof, there are a few things to know about quality roofing in Portland.

1. Steep slope roofs come in a handful of materials.

These materials include asphalt-fiberglass composition shingles, wood shakes and shingles, slate, tile, or even metal roofing. Materials for a “steep slope” must work on roofs that have a slope of 3:12 or greater. With that said, one of the most common materials for slope roofing would be asphalt shingles. They offer a cost-effective and weather-resistant option for new or old residences or businesses.

Concrete and clay tiles and wood shakes are typically considered residential, but they can also be used on business and commercial roofing projects. Sometimes, a transition to the unconventional or unexpected can bring a new warmth to a commercial building. Whatever material you opt to use, keep in mind that you have multiple choices in how you style your rooftop.

2. Specially prepared materials benefit the residence or business.

Materials like cedar or wooden shingles can be prepared with a fire retardant so that the building stands more of a chance in a fire. They also can be treated to withstand some of the elements so that they’re rot resistant. Clay and concrete can also be installed “shingle-style” with a combination of nails and mortar so they’re cemented in.

Lastly, metal panels are starting to be used more on steep roofs. This is partially because of the look but also the fact that they’re naturally resistant to fires.

With these extra precautions built in, your home or business will be covered with materials that not only keep the rain out but withstand the elements it’s exposed to.

3. Do not underrate annual maintenance.

Don’t forego some of the basics of maintenance, as they can extend the life of your roofing. While some finishes will last longer than other materials, the quality will survive longer with thorough and routine cleaning. This will keep appearances and prevent the need for early repairs.

By maintaining the materials you have on your roof, you’re taking steps to know what’s going on above your head before any problems arise. A good power wash can clear the roof of any unwanted moss or plant growth that may not be in-line with the aesthetic. Annual inspections can help you keep tabs on what, if anything, is happening “up there,” so as to prevent issues, including leaks that might create issues with water damage.

With the amount of rain that the Pacific Northwest receives, there’s no reason to not take heed and keep annual maintenance at the top of the list of things to do to protect you, your roof, your home, and your investment.

4. You may have never known it, but quality roofs should “breathe.”

There should be sufficient ventilation so that there’s enough airflow beneath the roof itself. This is important in maintaining the infrastructure of your roof. Without enough airflow, warm, moist air could get trapped under it and condensate. When this happens, the buildup can threaten to damage the wood components, the insulation, and the walls. With any sort of water damage, there’s the potential for decay and mold over time.

All roofs need to be designed and equipped with a ventilation system that enables air transport and breathability for the home or business.

5. Your roof can be environmentally friendly.

There are “cool roofs” and they benefit the environment by reflecting UV rays and infrared radiation. In doing so, the building stays cooler and the need for the traditional amount of energy consumption is altered. The reduction will save you money in your energy bills. It will also reduce the greenhouse gases and air pollution released into the environment .

Sometimes, you will even see “green roofs,” where people opt to have a small, varied water- and pollution-absorbing plant layer. These nontraditional ideas can be discussed with professionals. As if they’re a feasible option with the roof specifications for your home or commercial building .

5 Advantages of Financing Your Home-Improvement Project with Interstate Roofing

Now may be a great time to begin working on that home-improvement project you’ve been dreaming about for years. Maybe you’re looking to boost your home’s energy efficiency and start saving money on your utility bills. Perhaps you’re seeking improved curb appeal in the hopes of increasing the resale value of your home. Maybe your home is simply overdue for some much-needed repairs. Whatever your goals are, it’s time to start making them happen.

Of course, that may prove to be easier said than done. You’ll need a trusted professional to assist with your home-improvement project, as well as a way to pay for it without going bankrupt in the process. This is especially true now during these difficult financial times. You need to be as careful with your finances as you possibly can. Nevertheless, home improvement should be seen as an investment, one that will pay off greatly in the future.

This is where Interstate Roofing comes in. Offering a variety of services including repairs, maintenance, cleaning, and upgrades, Interstate Roofing also has a financing program to put your mind at ease. Below are five advantages of financing your home-improvement project with Interstate Roofing.

You Can Start Right Away

If you have a project you’ve been wanting to start for a long time, the cost may be the only factor holding you back. That’s one of the great benefits of financing your home-improvement project: you won’t need to wait until you save up the cash to pay for the work. Some projects are time sensitive as well. If you have a leaky or damaged roof, for example, you can’t very well wait another year to begin the repairs.

Especially now, during a time when many people have lost their jobs or otherwise seen a reduction in their incomes, saving up the money to pay for the project all at once may prove to be quite a challenge.
On the other hand, if you choose to finance the project, you can get started immediately and reap the benefits much sooner than if you choose to wait.

You’ll Save Money in the Long Run

Many people worry about financing their roofing projects because of the costs involved. It’s true that a large home-improvement project can often be very costly, but as long as you’re responsible in how you pay for it, it can end up saving you a great deal of money over time. Indeed, you may even end up making money since home improvement can actually increase the resale value of your home.

Let’s consider another example of how financing a home-improvement project can save you money. If the insulation in your attic is upgraded, it can dramatically improve the efficiency of your heater and air conditioner. This will, of course, improve the comfort level of your home, but it will also save you a good deal of money on your energy bill, as you won’t need to run your HVAC system for nearly as long to get your home to the desired temperature. Interstate Roofing offers insulation at an excellent price as an addition to any other project.

There May Be Tax Benefits

When financing a home-improvement project, there may be some tax benefits, depending on the laws in your area. Often, you may be able to deduct money that you invest in your home from your taxes. You may need to meet certain criteria to do this, including how the loan you take out is secured, and you’ll need to keep meticulous records to send to the IRS. Nevertheless, it’s possible you’ll be able to save on your taxes every year, as long as you continue to pay the loan off.

There are also tax credits available for home sustainability. A home-improvement project can improve the environmental friendliness of your house by reducing its energy needs. In this way, you may be able to save even more on your taxes by reducing your home’s environmental impact. To discover if you qualify, do some research on tax credits offered for “green” homes in your area.

Best Warranties in the Business

There’s no point in taking out a huge loan to finance a project if that project doesn’t last for a long time. That’s why having a warranty in place is so important. A roof is a part of your home that should last for years, so Interstate Roofing has warranties that will last for years as well. We have 5-, 10-, and 15-year warranties available, as well as Extended Factory Warranties that offer up to 20 years of labor coverage. Warranties are also transferable should you sell your home or purchase one that has been worked on by Interstate.

No Payments for a Year and No Interest

The fact is that these are difficult, uncertain economic times, and that’s serving as a deterrent to homeowners thinking about starting their home-improvement projects. But a time of economic uncertainty can also be an opportunity in many ways: you just need to know how to grab the chances when they arise.

Because so many people have lost income during this period of economic trouble, Interstate Roofing now offers no payments for a year on projects you finance with them. This, of course, will afford you plenty of time to get back on your feet financially, without any further delays to your home-improvement project.

Of course, payments aren’t the only concern when financing a home-improvement project. Interest is another major concern. That’s why people hesitate to take out loans from their banks or from other roofing companies. They’re worried the interest will drive them into the ground, financially speaking. With the right roofing company, however, this needn’t be the case. Finance your project with Interstate roofing, and they’ll give you several options that range from low monthly to even deferred payment.