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

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.

Hold Onto Your Shingles: Protecting Your Roof From Storm Damage

Don’t let nature make a big mess of your roof.

Storms are one of the biggest threats to the integrity of your roof. To avoid the need for roof repairs or replacement, consider these tips to protect your home during all kinds of severe weather.

Roof Inspection

Before storm season rolls around, get a professional to inspect your roof. Specialists can identify areas of weakness and suggest what, if any, repairs should be done to reinforce the roof against damage. Doing preventative maintenance in advance of inclement weather helps to protect your home and reduces the likelihood that you’ll need more costly repairs later on.

Use Strong Materials

If repairs do need to be made, choose a strong material that can stand up to the stress of high winds, collisions with debris, and heavy precipitation such as hail. Homes with roofs that are old or have sustained damage in the past may benefit from a roof replacement. In either case, investing in high-quality roofing ensures that you’ll have a sturdy roof for a long time to come.

Keep the Gutters Clean

Maintain your gutters so you won’t need roof repairsA gutter full of debris will inevitably back up and overflow, either causing damage to the space beneath your roof or creating an ice jam that strains the whole system. Overloaded gutters can pull away from the house, damaging the edges of the roof as they go.

Trim the Trees

Break out the clippers, not the Christmas lights, and take care of any tree branches that are hanging over your roof. They may look picturesque now, but high winds can bring them down, resulting in serious damage to your home. Branches that touch the roof can ruin shingles by stripping their surfaces or pulling them off entirely. Dead branches should be removed whether or not they’re near the house.

Get Rid of Snow

Although the Portland, OR, area isn’t known for getting loads of snow, a white Christmas can still be a problem for your roof. Accumulating snowfall exerts an amazing amount of force that can cause damage or total collapse. If snow fails to slide off your roof, invest in a roof rake and get it down yourself. Never climb up on the roof and use a shovel; the added weight could be all it takes to go from danger to disaster.

Sometimes even the best efforts to prevent roof damage can’t stand up against a storm. Call Interstate Roofing at 503-684-5611 when you need fast service to fix whatever nature has thrown at your home. We’ll send out a crew to assess the damage and return your roof to its original state as quickly as possible.

5 Simple Roof Repairs That Boost Home Value

Roof repair will make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Imagine walking around a home you want to buy and discovering it’s the house of your dreams, except for one thing: the roof leaks. Potential buyers don’t want to deal with roof problems, which is why roof repairs and replacement rank high on the list of home improvements that are worth the time and effort.

Replace Damaged Shingles

High winds, low-hanging tree branches, sun exposure, and age can all damage roof shingles or cause them to detach completely. The unsightly results detract from the appearance of your home and are an invitation for leaks to develop. Some types of damage can be repaired while others require the replacement of one or more shingles.

Eliminate Leaks

Unless you can look at the roof and see obvious signs of damage, the source or cause of a roof leak can be hard to find. Wet spots in the attic, ceilings, or walls could all indicate the presence of a roof leak. The best way to find exactly where the water is getting in is to hire a professional to do a roof inspection.

Clean Up Stains

Dark streaks and stained areas on the roof look terrible, and they’re not so good for the health of your shingles, either. Many stains are caused by colonies of algae that take up residence in damp areas and happily eat away at the roof’s surface. These colonies require treatment with specialized chemicals to get rid of them and keep them from growing back.

Fix the Flashing

The strips of metal that cover roof joints and the spaces between shingles and protrusions such as chimneys are prime areas for damage. Usually made from galvanized steel or aluminum, these strips can rust or come loose, allowing water to pour in and compromise the underlying structure. Replacements are available in pre-measured lengths or can be made to specifications by a pro.

Check the Fascia

Made from wood or metal, fascia is the trim right under the roof edge that keeps water and other elements from getting down into your walls. Various factors including overflowing gutters can cause fascia to rot or rust, necessitating replacement to avoid potentially serious damage.

Interstate Roofing can handle all of your roof repairs from the smallest detail to complete roof replacement. Give us a call today at503-684-5611 to discuss cleaning and maintenance services or get a free estimate for repairs. Our team of trained specialists is ready to deliver the best possible results in the Portland, OR, area to ensure a strong roof that adds value and appeal to your home.

Is Your Old Roof Costing You Money?

Improving roof efficiency with help from a residential roofer.

Your old, damaged roof could be sucking your bank account dry as it lets heat out in the winter and absorbs sun in the summer. If you’ve noticed an increase in your energy bills, consider these improvements to boost home efficiency and keep your money in the bank where it belongs.

Insulate the Attic

Try attic insulation to boost home efficiency. The attic is one of the biggest sources of heat loss in your home. If the insulation is old or falling down, heat will escape into the attic and out through the roof. Check your attic insulation for damage and look into replacements such as foam or fiberglass batts to ensure that heat stays indoors where it belongs.

Cool It Down

In the summer, dark-colored roofs absorb sunlight and drive up cooling costs. Fortunately, there are such things as “cool roofs” and coatings that can make your roof more efficient. Going for a lighter color with roof paint or installing a reflective material that reflects the sun’s rays means a cooler home and less money spent running the air conditioner.

Know Your Material

Understanding which materials are best for your climate can help you make a smart decision when switching to an energy-efficient roof. Certain materials such as metal, asphalt, and concrete last longer than others and can stand up to more serious weather conditions. Choosing a material that lasts prevents damage and cuts down on long-term maintenance costs.

Repair or Replace?

These methods only work for roofs that aren’t beyond repair. How can you tell if it’s time for a full roof replacement? Visible damage is one surefire way to know that your roof needs more than maintenance. Shingles that are curling, buckling, splitting, blistering, or missing altogether are all signs that a roof replacement is in order. Moss that’s growing out of control will eventually cause shingle damage as well.

Indoor signals of a bad roof include the appearance of ceiling spots, rot, or mold, all of which indicate leaks. Check for gaps around the chimney and make sure none of the supports are sagging.

If you find any signs that indicate you need roof repair or a complete replacement, contact Interstate Roofing. Our services range from installing attic insulation to putting in brand-new roofs, depending on your needs. We bring quality roof repair and replacement to homes in and around Portland, and you can count on our specialists to work with you every step of the way to ensure that your roof lasts. Contact us to get started with a free estimate.

3 Reasons Why Roof Supports Give Out

The signs and causes of roof failure and what you can do to prevent it.

How often do you think about your roof? It’s always overhead, keeping your home or commercial building safe from the weather, but it’s also taking a lot of abuse as you go about your daily life. Damage that results from the following three problems builds up over time and can lead to all-out roof failure if not addressed.


Roof “blisters” generally start as leaks. Water gets into the roof through damaged shingles, cracks, or holes in the roof membrane, and when the heat of the sun hits the roof, the moisture expands. A continual cycle of this puts a great deal of pressure on the roof piles, causing them to push apart and create a raised bubble that can clearly be seen. Insulation beneath the roof that stays wet perpetuates the problem by keeping moisture in constant contact with the piles.


Poor installation or improper pairing of materials can cause your roof to split. Connecting materials that expand and contract at different rates strains whichever one has less give, and the only way it can deal with the force is to crack. Expansion joints that aren’t put in correctly experience similar stress and have a tendency to give out at the seams. Splitting may also be a consequence of age as years of wind, rain, sun, and snow catch up with your roof and the supports become less able to handle the constant barrage.

Lack of Maintenance

A roof isn’t something you can forget about after it gets installed. Constant exposure to the elements wears down all kinds of materials, some faster than others. If you’re not having your roof maintained on a regular basis, you could be missing small signs of trouble that can add up to big problems later on.

In some cases, maintenance in and of itself can cause the roof to degrade. Mistakes or poor workmanship can leave behind holes that allow moisture to get in. If you want your roof to last, you have to choose a roofer you can trust.

At Interstate Roofing, we offer reliable roofing maintenance in the Portland area. Don’t wait until your roof is on the verge of collapse to address these common roofing problems. Get in touch with us today and our qualified roofers will assess what your roof needs to stay secure. Contact us through our website or give us a call to cover all your roofing needs.

When Buying a Home, Don’t Forget to Look Up

Why looking at the roof is essential before buying a home.

A roof inspection is an important part of home-buying. If you’re in the market for a new home, you’ve likely considered many factors, including location, price, and the home’s condition. When it comes to condition, though, many home buyers fail to take the time to look up and inspect the roof. Unless you’re planning on buying a fix-and-flip home to rehab and sell, taking time to look at the roof can save you money, stress, and inspection woes.

Do You Really Need to Look at the Roof?

Home buyers know that an inspection is an essential step in the purchasing process. However, you might not realize that a roof inspection is also key to making a wise buying decision. After all, the average cost for roof replacement on a moderately sized home is about $20,000. Buying a home only to find out weeks or months later that the roof needs to be replaced can put a serious dent in your budget.

Understand the Basics of Roof Inspection

If a thorough roof inspection won’t be included in the inspection report for a prospective home, you may wish to hire a professional roofing company to conduct one for you. The roofing contractor will assess the state of the roof and list any roof repairs that will need to be made in the coming years. Of course, you can also get up on the roof and take a look around yourself.

When it comes to inspecting a roof, one of the most important features you’ll need to take into account is roofing material. For most buyers, materials and the overall quality of the roofing job are the key factors that indicate the health of a roof. Before inspecting, familiarize yourself with the following roofing materials and concerns:

• Asphalt shingle roofing is incredibly popular and can last up to 20 years. When inspecting an asphalt roof, look for signs of curling shingles, split shingles, and a decrease in the roof’s granulation, or texture.

• Clay tile roofing is widely used in Ranch and Southwestern homes and can be incredibly durable. When it comes to clay roofs, you’ll need to pay particular attention to the underlayment beneath the tiles. You should look at overall water flow and be aware of any cracked tiles.

• Metal roofing tends to last the longest of all roofing types. Be wary of rust, loose fasteners, and roofing that can be moved by hand with ease.

• Foam roofing only lasts for 10 to 15 years but is inexpensive. Look for holes, discoloration, and signs that water is ponding, or collecting.

If you’re concerned about the roof on a home you’re about to buy, consider calling in a professional roofing contractor. At Interstate Roofing, we’re proud to help buyers throughout the Portland, OR, area. Give us a call today at 503-684-5611 to talk about your roofing inspection, repair, or replacement needs.

Is Your Roof Green or Just Plain Overgrown?

When your roof is green for the wrong reasons, the results can be damaging.

Algae on your roof doesn’t make it a green roof. With the current “green roof” trend, it’s not uncommon to see plants sprouting on top of homes and businesses. Unwanted roof growth, on the other hand, is damaging rather than environmentally conscious. This kind of green can threaten the integrity of your roof, resulting in damage to the surface and the underlying structure.

What’s Growing on the Roof?

Several common types of growth can cause roof problems. Moss is the most recognizable, popping up between shingles as small tufts of green. These tufts hold moisture, keeping the roof damp and encouraging the growth of mold.

Mold comes from a wide variety of fungal spores that can spread quickly. This not only weakens the roof but also has a tendency to cause health problems, especially for people with allergies. Some types of mold lead to serious infections that require medical treatment.

Lichen is a mixture of algae and mold that grows in green “splotches” on shingles. Collections of powdery spots mean that you’re dealing with mildew, a common problem in damp climates. Plain old algae is also commonly found growing on roofs in streaks or spots of green, blue-green, or black.

All types of growth can cause wooden roof shingles to rot and asphalt shingles to erode. This opens up gaps between shingles that let in water every time rain falls or snow melts. The end result is the same: a compromised roof structure that will need to be repaired long before it reaches the end of its intended lifespan.

Damage Prevention Through Roof Maintenance

Routine cleaning and maintenance of your roof is essential to preserving the materials and prolonging the life of your home. There are a few simple steps you can take to remove existing greenery and prevent its recurrence, including:

• Choosing roof materials that resist growth
• Trimming trees and other plants away from the roof to prevent moisture buildup
• Using commercial roof cleaners and growth inhibitors to combat mold and mildew
• Hiring a professional service to remove severe growth and perform regular cleaning

When cleaning the roof yourself, avoid products containing chlorine bleach because they may strip the color from the shingles and create runoff that can damage your lawn.

If you look up to find that your roof has bloomed into a mess of greenery, call Interstate Roofing. We offer extensive roof cleaning services that can get your Portland home back into top shape before serious damage is done. Contact us when you’re ready to give your roof a brand-new start.