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What Materials Make the Best Shingles for the Pacific Northwest?

The Pacific Northwest is famous for its cool and temperate climate, with clouds, wind, and rain regularly doing a number on every rooftop in the area. During the winter, ice and snow can give these same rooftops a further beating, not to mention wear and tear from leaves, falling branches, and other debris carried by all of this inclement weather.

Of course, even a pleasant sunny day without a cloud in the sky can take its toll: the sun’s ultraviolet radiation beats down on rooftops and causes them to deteriorate over time.

Because weather is so hard on rooftops, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, you need to make sure you have the right materials making up the shingles of your rooftop. In this article, we’ll look at why composition shingles are the best shingles for Pacific Northwest homes.

The Parts of Your Roof

A roof is made up of several different elements. It begins with a wooden frame called fascia, with a wooden decking built on top of that. These parts give the roof structure. The rest of the materials used to make up the roof are used to protect the home from the elements.

Attached to the wooden decking is a thick layer of felt called the underlayment. Attached to the underlayment are the flashing, which helps direct water off the roof, and the shingles.

What Are Roofing Shingles?

The shingles on your roof are its first line of defense against the elements. They protect from sunlight, rainwater, and other debris. Shingles are flat, rectangular pieces that fit over each other in an overlapping pattern. They are attached starting at the base of the roof and toward the top of it.

Shingles can be made from many different materials. Stone such as slate is also popular as is wood. As you may imagine, these materials can be expensive which is why most homeowners opt for less expensive options.

Finding the Right Roofing Materials for Your Home

Fortunately, there are options for shingles that marry cost savings with the added aesthetic appeal of slate shingles. Composition shingles, which are also known as asphalt shingles, are one of the most popular choices available. They are usually made from a fiberglass mat that is covered with a layer of tar and a mixture of granules to ensure a lightweight, inexpensive, waterproof protective layer for the roof of your home. Certain composite shingles are created to have the appearance of slate shingles while still costing a fraction of the price of the more expensive material.

If your building happens to have a flat roof, rather than a sloped one, the best material is probably an artificial membrane called TPO, which stands for thermoplastic olefin. This material is made of a polymer base created from the aforementioned thermoplastic. On top of that is a reinforced fabric center, and on top of that, a top ply made from thermoplastic polyolefin. This roofing material works well for flat roofs because it’s highly UV resistant: flat roofs deal with the sun’s rays even more than sloped ones do. They are also likely to have less effective water drainage. TPO materials help prevent leaks.

What Happens When the Shingles Are Lost or Damaged?

Shingles are durable, but inclement weather can still damage them. Heavy winds will pull shingles off of the roof and blow them away; ultraviolet solar radiation will wear them out; and ice will form underneath them, eventually leading to leaks.

If the shingles on a rooftop are lost or damaged, air and water will eventually leak through the holes in the roof. If air gets in, it can dramatically drive up energy costs in a home by reducing the efficiency of the heating and cooling systems. If water gets through one of the holes in the roof, it can encourage the growth of mold and dry rot. Water can also cause catastrophic property damage, possibly costing thousands of dollars to repair, and all because the roof was missing a few hundred dollars’ worth of shingles.

As you may expect, the problem of lost and damaged shingles is of particular concern in climates like the Pacific Northwest. The alternating wind, rain, and sunlight of this climate can put a lot of extra stress on rooftops, perhaps more so than in other climates in the United States. This is why the best shingles for Pacific Northwest homes are composite ones, or TPO for flat roofs. They are resistant to all of these weather conditions and are relatively inexpensive to replace.

Who Can Repair and Replace Lost and Damaged Shingles?

Properly cared for, roofing shingles, generally last about 20 years. However, they’re still susceptible to damage. Heavy winds and constantly falling leaves and branches are a risk to shingles, no matter how well-maintained they are. When you do lose a few, you don’t want to leave bare patches on your rooftop. Not only does it look unappealing, but it also puts the home at risk of further damage from the weather.

Because of this, it’s a good idea to have a great roofing contractor you can contact in case of a roofing emergency. It’s also a good idea to know who your contractor is before the emergency actually occurs. Do a little research into who is available in your area and how they have been reviewed by other customers.

Your best option is to look for a company like Interstate Roofing. We have years of experience in the industry. We’ll be able to address emergencies, as well as routine roof repairs and maintenance. If you’re interested in any aesthetic work or in roofing for a business, we’ll be able to do the job for you quickly and effectively, ensuring you get the most out of your roofing materials for years to come.

 

5 Signs of Heat Loss Through Your Roof

Your roof does a lot more than just keep the elements out: it’s also responsible for keeping the heat in, which is a job a well-built and well-maintained roof will do very well. However, if you notice that your home feels colder than it should, or if you’ve been receiving unusually high energy bills, it could indicate that your roof isn’t being the effective insulator it should be.

Below are five signs of heat loss through your roof insulation that you should be aware of.

There’s No Snow on the Roof

You’ve seen it on a hundred different Christmas cards: an image of a quaint cottage with smoke curling out of the chimney and snow piled up on the roof. It makes you feel cozy just thinking about it because you can just imagine how warm and toasty the house must be inside. But if everything in that picture was the same except there wasn’t any snow on the roof, guess what? That house wouldn’t feel warm and cozy at all.

After a heavy snowfall or even a chilly Pacific Northwest morning, frost on the roof is a good sign: it means that the roof is ice cold. This is what it should be. If, on the other hand, the ice melts when it comes in contact with your roof, it means that the roof itself is warm. This is a sure sign that heat is escaping from your home and not being kept in by the insulation. Look at your neighbor’s roofs. Are they frosty? If yours isn’t, it may be time to call your roofing contractor.

You’re Noticing Leaks—Or Condensation

Regardless of the time of year, a leaky roof is a serious problem and one you should get fixed as quickly as possible. If your roof isn’t sufficiently keeping the elements out, it can lead to some serious problems inside your home. Dripping water can damage and destroy everything it touches, from paint to carpets to your home decor and other valuable property. It can also promote the growth of mold and mildew, which can be toxic and ultimately lead to health problems for the inhabitants of the home.

You See Damaged or Missing Shingles

Your roof is one of the sturdiest and longest-lasting, parts of your home. But, eventually, even it will begin to wear out and require maintenance. As with any other part of your home, it’s a good idea to have Interstate Roofing periodically send a professional to inspect the different elements of your roof and ensure that it’s still in good working order.

If your roof hasn’t been cared for in a while, or if you’ve recently had some extremely harsh weather, you might notice signs of damage. Usually, roof shingles are the first and most obvious sign that a roof isn’t in great shape. Your shingles also provide a barrier, preventing dirt, water, and ice from sneaking its way into your home. If you see cracked, damaged, or missing shingles, your roof may be in bad shape and unable to do its job properly. This includes keeping the heat in. Warm air will seep out through any cracks or holes where roofing material has been worn away.

There Are Gaps Between Your Ceiling and Roof

Of course, even a well-made, strong roof that has been properly maintained can’t do the job alone. If there are any gaps or cracks between your ceiling and roof, warm air will make its way up there, and eventually, the heat will diffuse out of your home and into the surrounding environment. You’ll periodically want to inspect your entire home for gaps in insulation. The most vulnerable areas are usually the sealing surrounding can lights, pipes, and wiring.

Depending upon the severity of the problem, it’s often possible to fix minor damage to your insulation on your own. You can purchase silicone sealants for pipes at any hardware store. Expanding foam insulation is also available for creating airtight seals around windows and doors, but be warned: it’s nasty stuff and will absolutely stick to everything it touches. Of course, if you’re unsure if you want to tackle this job on your own, don’t be afraid to contact a professional.

You Have Insufficient Insulation in Your Attic

The efficiency of your roof, as far as keeping warm air in (or cool air during the summer), depends largely on your attic. Even if you’ve carefully sealed every crack you could find and had your shingles repaired and maintained, your roof will never reach its full potential if you don’t have great insulation in the attic itself. Over time, insulation can lose its effectiveness, as holes develop, mold grows, and materials fall from where they’re attached. Occasionally, having a professional roofer inspect and, if necessary, replace the insulation in your attic will keep your energy costs lower and your home warmer.

There are several materials roofers use to ensure an attic is well insulated, each with its own particular benefits. Loose-fill insulation, made from fiberglass or cellulose, is sprayed into place using a type of hose. It’s great for insulating nooks, crannies, and other areas that are difficult to access. It can also be layered over other types of insulation, creating an extra layer of protection from the cold.

You’ve probably also seen insulation rolls. These are long lengths of thick fiberglass that can be ideal for large areas (such as attics). Foam board insulation is also popular. Usually made from polystyrene or polyurethane, this insulation medium comes in the form of large, rigid panels that can be attached over pipes, wood, and studs.

You’ve probably also seen insulation rolls. These are long lengths of thick fiberglass that can be ideal for large areas (such as attics). Foam board insulation is also popular. Usually made from polystyrene or polyurethane, this insulation medium comes in the form of large, rigid panels that can be attached over pipes, wood, and studs.