Help! My Ceiling Is Leaking!

It’s a sight no homeowner wants to see: water dripping down from the ceiling and into your home. Water leaks can lead to huge sums of damage, both to your belongings and to the structure of your home itself. When your ceiling is leaking, the cost of figuring out the problem and repairing it can go well beyond any damaged possessions or furniture. That’s why it’s vitally important that you do everything you can to determine the source of the leak, then call in the appropriate specialist. Here’s how to salvage the situation, do some detective work, then plan your steps from there.

Stop Any Further Damage

When you stumble across a leak in your home, the only thought in your head might be a panicked, “My ceiling is leaking!” It’s completely understandable if you’re caught off guard, but you have to maintain your composure. Once you know that your ceiling is leaking, time is of the essence. Move anything out of the way that might be more susceptible to water damage, particularly if it’s lightweight and easily transported far away from the leak.

Afterward, shove any furniture in the surrounding area far away from the dripping water. A coffee table may be able to sustain more drips than that paperback novel you keep meaning to finish, but prolonged exposure to water can cause wooden furniture or flooring to warp. Are there any rugs or upholstered furniture in the disaster zone? Move them out of the way and dry them as best you can. If you have carpeting that’s been soaked, you may even want to pull it up and let it air out. Yes, it’s a major pain to do, but if left alone, you could be putting yourself at risk of mold. Better to rip it up now and figure it out later than put your health at risk.

Stop Things from Getting Any Worse

With your possessions out of immediate peril, you’ll need to get the situation under control. It’ll take some time to find and fix the leak itself, so first, you’ll need to find a way to contain the leak until you can properly seal it. If you don’t, water will only continue to flow uncontrolled into your living space, potentially leading to even further damage to the structure of your home. Grab anything you can find that can catch and collect the dripping water and strategically place it underneath the leak. You’ll want to have multiple options on hand so that when your first container of choice begins to fill up you can seamlessly switch to another.

While not necessary, some people find it useful to place something in the container to help muffle the sound of the dripping. It might not stop your ceiling from leaking, but after a few hours of constant dripping, you’ll be thankful for the silence. Whatever you end up using, don’t forget to check on it regularly. If you leave a bucket unattended and it starts overflowing onto your floor, you might as well have done nothing at all.

Locate the Source of the Leak

Now that you’ve bought yourself some time, you can get to work figuring out just what exactly is going on. Try to pinpoint where the water is coming from, tracing backward from the leak toward the source. If you have access to your attic, climb up and start poking around with a light. Water stains, warping plaster, or other deformations can be helpful clues in tracking down the point of origin. Following the water back to its source will also help you find any other areas that may have suffered water damage.

Investigate the Cause

Once you’ve located the source of the water, it’s time to do some sleuthing to get to the root of the problem. Now, no one expects the average homeowner to be able to diagnose all mysterious leaks that may crop up with unerring accuracy, but understanding the nature of the problem will help you immensely when it comes to fixing it. There are plenty of things that can lead to your ceiling leaking, so work through the process of elimination and come down on a likely suspect.

Is the water coming out of a leaky or cracked pipe? Then the issue comes down to your plumbing. Is condensation gathering in your air conditioner, causing it to drip out of the unit? Then your HVAC system is the culprit to blame. Or is it gathering along the interior of your attic or crawlspace due to poor ventilation? Improperly regulated humidity can also cause water to gather and, eventually, leak down into your home.

What about your gutters, are they clear and directing away from the building? A clogged gutter leaves rainwater nowhere to go, potentially causing it to leak back into your home. Does the leak appear whenever it rains, or do you notice any breaks or protrusions on the inner side of your roof? If so, you may be looking at some roofing repairs. If you feel confident you’ve identified the source of the leak, it’s time to get some help.

Call in the Experts

Now that you know what you’re dealing with, you can call in the right backup. If it looks like your roof is the problem, Interstate Roofing is ready to help. With decades of experience providing roof repairs and maintenance in the region, we have the skills and expertise needed to patch up any damage to your roof.

Most leaks can be repaired quickly at our standard repair rates. If the problem is of a larger nature, we are happy to get your roof watertight temporarily and provide an estimate for a permanent fix. When it comes to leaks, there’s not a second to lose. Give us a call, and we’ll be there to the rescue.

5 Services Offered by Portland Roofing Contractors

There are many important questions you should ask and things you should research before choosing your Portland roofing contractors. Some contractors have their specialties, but there are some services that tend to be standard. These services are important to the health, maintenance, and durability of your roof, which will help ensure the protection of your building and everything inside, and curb appeal.

Here are five services that are typically offered by Portland roofing contractors. At Interstate Roofing, we offer all of them.

Residential Roofing

You spend a lot of time in your home, and that’s why roofing contractors understand the importance of being certified in residential roofing. You want someone who knows the ins and outs of the style of your home and the area and climate you are dealing with, and someone with experience working on homes, rather than just commercial roofing. There’s a definite difference.

By offering services in residential roofing, contractors like Interstate Roofing tend to have experience working on a variety of home styles: single-family residences, multifamily complexes, and family estates, for example.

There are a variety of services included in high-quality residential roofing. These might include roof warranties, quality materials, professional customer service, and daily supervision by a superintendent on all job sites while work is in progress.

Commercial Roofing

Just like you wouldn’t want a contractor who specializes only in commercial roofing to work on your home, you don’t want a contractor who specializes solely in residential roofing to do your place of business. That’s why many professional contractors have staff trained in both and offer both services. Like Interstate Roofing, they understand the significance of the difference.

Commercial roofing takes a specialized set of skills. Commercial roofing contractors will be prepared to work on a wide array of buildings, such as warehouses, restaurants, schools, office buildings, churches, retail centers, and medical complexes.

When it comes to roofing on your place of business, it’s also important your contractors understand that the less your business is interrupted during roof repair or installation, the better. The professional ones will.

Roof Repair

Leaks happen. Mother nature happens. A lot of problems can be prevented but not all of them. Because of this, roof repair is important, and it’s an important service that Portland roofing contractors offer. Businesses like Interstate Roofing also offer 24/7 emergency service options that you can request if a problem arises. We understand that these issues don’t always occur at convenient times, which is why we’re here for you.

Whether your need is an emergency or caused by the elements over a long period of time, do your research and make sure you’re choosing a Portland roofing contractor you can trust. Damaged shingles, a persistent leak, or structural damage due to mold, large or small, you want to be confident your problem will be fixed properly.

Roof Maintenance and Cleaning

What’s better than needing roof repairs? Preventing them! One of the best ways you can ensure the need for minimal roof repairs is to have regularly scheduled roof maintenance and cleaning, including clearing out your gutters. These are services offered by many professional roofing businesses.

By having regular maintenance and cleaning, you can be sure problems are spotted right away, rather than not knowing they exist until they escalate into something catastrophic. This will also keep your roof looking it’s best, which adds to the value of your property. And it will save you money in the long run.

Maintenance is vital for every roof, whether residential or commercial and regardless of the material that’s used. You don’t want dirt to build up or mold to grow. You also don’t want a small hole to turn into a big one. Don’t give leaks a chance to happen.


Gutters are important to every building, home or commercial. They add beauty (which, as we’ve mentioned, can increase the value) and protect your house or business. Gutters direct water away from the building and foundation and keep it from pooling and potentially causing damage.

It’s important for your gutters to have a slight downhill slope. This ensures they drain properly. Even a slope as little as 1/16 of an inch is sufficient—barely noticeable at all—so don’t worry about aesthetics.

It’s also important to note that gutters don’t come in one-size-fits-all. The type of gutters on your building will depend on a variety of things. Do you prefer aluminum or steel? What size will work best with your roof and building? Which gutters will provide the drainage your building needs?

A professional Portland roofing contractor is going to be able to install gutters that meet all standards and fit your needs and curb appeal.

Additional Services

It’s important to choose a company that offers high-quality residential and commercial roofing services when selecting Portland roofing contractors. Select a contractor that offers the above five services, at the very least. However, many will offer more services.

For instance, Interstate Roofing can add attic insulation to any residential roofing project. Attic insulation will help you save on heating and cooling costs. Your home will also feel more comfortable year-round. If you’re interested in learning more, here are some things you should know about attic insulation in Portland, Oregon.

Something unique to Interstate Roofing is that we have a team of carpenters on hand to deal with any unforeseen structural or dry rot issues that arise during a roofing project. This helps speed up the process of getting your project finished and further ensures the structural integrity of your property.

If you’re looking for Portland roofing contractors, check out Interstate Roofing. You’ll be in very good hands. Give us a call today, and we’ll take care of all of your roofing needs, from the five services mentioned above to the additional services we offer.

When Should You Reach Out to a Commercial Roofing Specialist

Let’s admit it; there are times when we all feel like the roof is caving in around us. Sometimes it’s because we’re a little stressed. But other times it’s because the roof is literally about to fall! Don’t let it get to that point, though. There are things you can look out for and signals that your roof is sending you to help you know when it’s time to call a commercial roofing specialist.

Here are some common examples of when it’s time to call in the experts.


You should certainly call a commercial roofing specialist when you need a commercial roof installed. This isn’t something you should tackle as a do-it-yourself project. Instead, hire a trusted contractor to do the work. A lot of commercial roof problems are caused by improper installation. A sealant problem, for instance, could cause water to seep into your building. But just as some issues are caused by improper installation, many problems can also be prevented when a skilled contractor performs the installation work.

How do you know which contractor to hire when looking for a commercial roofing specialist? Look for companies that are experienced in the field and have built themselves a solid reputation. Interstate Roofing has been in business for three decades. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and our customers rave about us. You’ll want your commercial roofing specialist to be able to say the same.

Roof Replacement

Just as you should call a commercial roofing specialist to properly install your roof, you’ll also want to contact a commercial roofing specialist when your roof reaches the end of its lifespan. It’s incredibly important that as a roof ages you have your roofing specialist perform regular maintenance.

Getting an expert opinion is also imperative as a roof ages because a professional will be able to assess when a roof is beyond repair and it’s time for a replacement. Seemingly minor issues that go unaddressed can lead to bigger problems down the line, potentially wreaking havoc on your entire commercial building. Keep reading to learn more about common commercial roofing problems that are signs it’s time to call in an expert.

Poor Drainage

Without proper drainage, moisture from rain and snow will have nowhere to go and will eventually accumulate on the surface of your roof. Anytime you have standing water on your roof, you’re almost guaranteed to have a problem.

Water weighs about five pounds per inch, per square foot. That means the extra weight of the water will cause undue stress to your roof, causing it to sag or even collapse. But there’s no reason it should get to that point.

Make sure you have a proper drainage system in place. If you don’t, contact your commercial roofing specialist immediately to have it fixed. And always be on the lookout for any water that’s pooling on the surface. This a clear sign that you need to contact your commercial roofing specialist.

Puncture Holes

Weather and environmental factors can cause significant harm to a roof, which is why it’s important that your roof is regularly inspected for any visible signs of damage. Puncture holes can be caused by severe weather, such as hail or high winds, but can also be caused by foot traffic. A careless technician working on your roof, for example, or wild animals can also cause puncture holes.

Flat roofs are more prone to puncture holes than sloping roofs, but there are certain things you can do to prevent this. For instance, since debris, such as branches, may cause puncture holes, be sure to trim back any tree limbs. Also, make sure to thoroughly vet anyone who will need to access your roof to perform work. You can also install walkway pads to protect your roof from foot traffic.

If you notice any puncture holes, contact a commercial roofing specialist to address the problem since these holes can cause leaks and decrease the overall efficiency of your roof.

Flashing Issues

Flashing is the material, typically steel or another type of metal, that’s used in certain areas of your roof, such as the valleys and base of chimneys, to keep water from seeping in. When your flashing is faulty, it can cause leaks and lead to other types of issues. Extreme weather is a common cause of deterioration. Scorching temperatures, for instance, can cause your roof to expand and contract, altering the shape of your flashing.

It’s important then to inspect your flashing from time to time to make sure there are no signs of wear and tear. If you do notice something amiss, contact your commercial roofing specialist. Flashing issues are relatively common and can often be easily fixed.


Like many other commercial roof problems, blow-offs are caused by extreme weather, specifically high winds which can cause the roof to uplift. The corners and edges of the roof are particularly susceptible to the pressure of high winds. Though the damage may initially be minor, over time, high winds will cause the roof to continue to rise and even potentially blow-off. That’s why it’s important to inspect your roof after extreme weather conditions and contact a commercial roofing specialist if you notice any issues.

A commercial roof requires special expertise. Attempting to perform the work yourself or hiring an inexperienced contractor could lead to much bigger problems. That’s why you should only allow trusted commercial roofing specialists to perform maintenance and repair work.

At Interstate Roofing, we have been working on the roofs of all types of commercial buildings for the past three decades. We have the requisite skill and expertise to address any commercial roofing issues you have and want to make sure you keep a roof over your head. Contact us as we know exactly how to do that.