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

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.

After the Storm: Assessing a Weather-Damaged Roof

An immediate assessment of roof damage is crucial after a severe stormRegular roof maintenance can prevent most damage, but unexpected problems may arise when the weather turns nasty. Severe weather can create conditions that threaten the structure of the roof and your home as a whole.

Watch Out for Weather

Storms bring different hazards, depending on the season. Rain storms may include high winds that carry debris, break tree limbs, or uproot entire trees. Thunderstorms are notorious for dropping hail. In the winter, ice and snow accumulate on just about every surface and create runoff when the temperature warms up. Any of these conditions can wind up damaging your roof.

What to Look For

It’s a good idea to assess your roof for potential damage after any kind of storm. Start with an inspection from the ground and look for:

• Lifted or missing shingles
• Noticeable gaps between shingles
• Dented areas created by hailstones
• Broken, bent, or hanging gutters
• Any obvious debris or fallen trees

If it’s safe, you can climb up on a ladder and look for cracked shingles or collections of granules in the gutter that suggest shingle damage.

Inside, you want to make sure that there are no leaks evident in the ceilings or the attic. Check air vents and the junctions between the roof and the house for damage as well. Keep a record of anything you find to help you evaluate the extent of the damage and determine your next step.

Roof Repair – What’s Next?

Since it’s not always possible to see the extent of roof damage yourself, it’s a good idea to call in the pros. Trained specialists can spot potential problems that you may have missed. Contact your insurance company with your complete list and find out if they’ll cover the estimated repair costs.

If you’re comfortable working on a roof, you can fix minor damage yourself. Missing or loose shingles can be replaced and small cracks re-sealed. Some repairs may only hold for a little while and are meant to keep your home safe until more extensive work can be done. However, you shouldn’t make any repairs on your own if the roof is unsafe to work on or if you’re unfamiliar with the process.

Whatever you find after the storm, Interstate Roofing in Portland, OR, can provide the roof repair services you need. Contact us to assess your home and determine the extent of the damage. Our technicians will get to work quickly on repairing and replacing all the compromised parts of your roof so that you can get back to living your life without worry.

7 Common Roof Care Mistakes That Homeowners Make

Check out these roof care mistakes to make sure you’re doing things right. Does your ladder call your name when it’s time for roofing maintenance? You may get a great feeling when you take care of household projects by yourself, but if you don’t have experience and knowledge, it’s easy to make mistakes. When it comes to your home’s primary means of protection against the elements, errors can be costly. If your efforts to repair or maintain your roof do more harm than good, you may eventually face more extensive roof repairs. Even worse, you could end up with interior damage and mold caused by faulty work. Here are seven of the most common mistakes homeowners make when caring for their shingles.

1. Procrastination

No drip is harmless. If your roof is leaking, you have to act fast. A hidden leak can present itself with discolored walls and ceilings, warped wood, and mold growth. If you don’t repair it in a timely manner, you may experience the unique excitement of having your roof collapse.

2. Neglecting to Wash Your Roof

Accumulations of moss, mildew, dirt, and debris can hold water and create pressure that results in damage over time. Remove roof debris regularly. After several years, a pressure washing may be needed, but be very careful to avoid damaging the roof. The best practice is to use low pressure.

3. Not Installing a Moisture Barrier

If you decide to try to replace your roof, don’t forget to include a layer of moisture protection underneath. This defends your home against rain and accumulated snow and ice.

4. Trudging Across Delicate Materials

When conducting inspections, repairs, and maintenance, it’s important to distribute your weight as evenly as possible to avoid damaging your roof. Avoid walking near edges or areas that are hard to repair.

5. Improper Nailing Techniques

Hammering in nails at an angle can cause the fiberglass matting between a shingle’s asphalt layers to tear or weaken. Nails should be perpendicular to the shingle. It’s also important to avoid using too much force. An over-pressurized nail gun can cause as much damage as driving in nails sideways.

6. Installing the Wrong Type of Shingles

Not every house is designed to withstand heavier roofing materials. Be sure you know exactly what types of roofing options are appropriate for your home before you install.

7. Trying to Be a Superhero

If you’ve never installed or repaired a roof before, play it safe: contact a professional to handle your roofing needs.

Forget the Ladder—Call Interstate Roofing and Get It Done Right

When you need roof installation, maintenance, or repair, call the roofing contractors Vancouver and Portland trust. Interstate Roofing is a family owned business that started in 1988. More than 20 years of dependable service and exceptional workmanship has helped us establish our great reputation in our service area and beyond. For all your roofing, siding, window, and gutter needs, contact us to request a free estimate, and let us spare you the headaches associated with costly amateur mistakes.

Do You Have to Redo Your Roof Before Listing Your Property?

Make sure your roof is in great shape before you list your home for sale.

Before you re-roof, consider roofing repairs. Having a home means having a roof over your head, but that roof can also cause you problems if it’s damaged or old. It’s especially important to pay attention to the condition of your roof if you plan to list your home for sale. Thankfully, re-roofing isn’t the only option when it comes to bringing your roof up to par for a sale. Roofing repairs can be an effective, affordable alternative to an expensive re-roofing job.

Assessing Your Home’s Roof

Before you list your home for sale, you’ll need to evaluate the condition of your roof. The only way to make a thorough assessment is to get out a ladder and take a close-up look at your roof. If you’re not comfortable climbing a ladder or crawling on your roof, call a professional who can conduct an inspection for you.

When inspecting your roof, you should look for signs of overall damage such as torn or missing shingles and holes in the roof. If you’ve experienced any leaks inside your home, try to trace their origin on your roof. It’s a good idea to take photos so that you can show them to your contractor later. Remember that high winds and frequent rain in Portland, Vancouver, and surrounding areas can lead to serious wear on your roof.

Once you’ve assessed the overall condition of your roof, you can decide if it’s time to re-roof or to make repairs. If your roof is badly damaged and could cause structural problems for your home, it’s time to choose re-roofing. However, it’s often the case that roofing repairs are more than adequate to address roofing issues. In some cases, repairs to a shingle roof can keep the roof in good condition for another 15 years.

Choosing a Roofing Repair Option

If you’ve decided that roofing maintenance is a good alternative to a full re-roofing job, you have several repair options from which to choose. While you may be able to complete some repairs by yourself, you’ll likely need help from a professional roofing contractor for most. The most popular repairs include:

• Shingle replacement
• Replacement of roofing materials
• Patching
• Leak repairs
• Chimney flashing

Many homeowners wonder if gutter replacement is also a viable option. While replacing your gutters may improve the aesthetic appearance of your home, such repairs won’t make a long-term difference in the stability or quality of your roof. It’s better to opt for repairs that deal directly with the roof’s core structure and covering material.

Roofing repairs can add to your home’s value and help you prepare for sale. The professionals at Interstate Roofing are here to help you evaluate and repair your roof. For more information on how we can give your roof the work it needs to help seal the deal with your house sale, contact us today at 503-684-5611.

Are Portland Neighborhoods Too Cloudy for Solar Power?

Knowing when to put solar power to use for your home.

Installing solar panels on your PNW home just takes a little planning. The weather in Portland isn’t nearly as bad as outsiders believe. Although it does get cloudy and cold for much of the fall and winter, sun and warmth never fail to return during the late spring and summer. Of course, our “cloudy season” is apt to worry local homeowners who wonder whether installing a rooftop solar array makes financial sense here. As it turns out, clouds are overrated. You just need to keep a few things in mind to get the most out of your home’s solar panels.

Orientation: South or West?

Several factors contribute to optimal rooftop electricity generation. Directional orientation is one of the most important. Although it might seem logical to point your solar panels south, studies have shown that west-facing panels are actually the most efficient. This is because the sun’s rays tend to be strongest during the afternoon. Other studies have cast doubt on the idea of purely west-facing panels and suggested that a southwest or west-southwest orientation is better.


Portland is close to the 45th parallel, so it’s farther north than most American cities. This means that the sun’s rays are a bit weaker here. It also means that the sun tends to sit lower in the sky. Accordingly, the angle at which your rooftop panels sit is very important. A seminal study of solar panels in London located above the 50th parallel found that angles of at least 35 degrees allow for optimal generation in northern cities. Shallower angles may not capture the sun’s rays as effectively.


Of course, every roof is different. Depending on the directional orientation of your house and the presence of obstacles, you may need to adjust the placement of your roof’s panels. Watch out for obstructions like:

• Telephone poles and wires
• Tall trees
• Other buildings
• Cliff faces or retaining walls
• Hills or mountains that may block the sun at certain times of day

Interstate Roofing: Your Source for Roof Installation in Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA

You don’t have to install rooftop solar panels to put your home’s roof to work in the service of saving money. At Interstate Roofing, we’re proud to offer a wide range of roof installation and repair services that can improve your home’s energy efficiency, sustainability, and physical appearance. Of course, we’re happy to provide advice about solar arrays as well. To learn more about what we can do for your property, give us a call at 503-684-5611 or fill out our online contact form.