Roof Repair

Can be due to a costly mistake that some simple maintenance and attention to detail can avoid. See our post archives to learn more!

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What Is a Toe Board & How Else Do Roofers Stay Safe?

Safety is key in any construction job and few workers in the residential housing business understand this better than roofers. Since they’re working high atop a part of the home not really designed for people to stand on, they must find creative ways to protect themselves from injury without damaging the home.

One of the ways this is done is through the use of a toe board, a simple but effective method to ensure a roofer’s safety. There are a number of other methods roofers can use to stay safe as well. These will vary depending on the type of roof and the materials and tools that the roofer will be using.

Here are some of the precautions we take to ensure our team remains safe no matter how small or large the roof we are working to repair or replace:

Toe Board

If your home has a standard gable roof shape—the inverted “V” that most people picture when they imagine a house—then it’s designed to allow rain to roll off and protect you from the elements.

It’s not, however, designed to be stood upon.

When working, however, roofers must have the freedom to move around on your roof, whether it’s to nail on shingles, repair damage, or perform diagnostic work. One of the ways we move around on this type of roof without fear of falling is through use of a toe board.

The roofer simply nails a long wooden board—usually a standard 2×4—and uses it to create a walkway. The toe board method is commonly used by most roofing contractors for safety and staging purposes.

Although toe boards involve driving nails into the roof of your home, they will not do any damage unless they are not properly removed. When researching a roofing company, ensure that if they use a toe board, they have an appropriate removal technique so that you are not surprised by leaks down the road.

Roof Brackets

Similar to a toe board, roof brackets allow the roofer to create a scaffold of whatever size is needed on the roof. Also known as “roof jacks”, roof brackets are metal devices across which wooden boards are placed to create safe areas for workers to stand.

Like a toe board, its use involves driving nails or screws into the roof itself, and so it’s important that it’s properly installed so that it does not become loose. It’s also necessary to remove it correctly to prevent any damage to the roof.

Safety Harnesses

The safety harness is another tool in the roofer’s arsenal designed to prevent injuries. As you might expect, slips and falls are the most common cause of injuries and deaths during roofing. Usually, these happen to amateurs attempting a DIY project or contractors who do not furnish the proper safety equipment for their employees.

Especially on very steep roofs, a toe board may not be enough to keep the roofer safe. With a harness that is clipped into a sturdy fixed point, roofers will have an added level of security should they lose their footing. In many states, safety harnesses are required by law if the roof is more than 10 feet high.

Roofing Ladders

Ladders are another essential tool for roofing jobs, but it’s critical that your roofer arrives at the job site with the right one. If a ladder is too short, it will be at risk of slipping off when it’s leaned against the roof.

The ladder should also be fastened to the roof; this will add a layer of security to prevent it from toppling over. Roofing ladders are designed specifically for working on your roof. They are essentially the same as any other extension ladder, but they can be securely attached to the slope of your roof to allow roofers to climb up and down with ease. A roofing ladder should never be attached at an angle of more than 75 degrees.

Proper Training

Of course, safety is much more than just equipment. When you’re researching a roofing company and asking about its safety policies you’ll want to ensure their employees are properly trained to handle any roof environment.

They’ll need to be constantly working to familiarize themselves with every tool they might use on the job; they should also have regular safety meetings and inspections.

It’s important that every employee receives safety training as soon as they are hired and that everyone is trained to handle any number of injuries or emergencies that could occur. CPR and First Aid training are a must, as is a process to investigate any accidents or incidents.

You’ll want to research the experience level of your roofing company as well. Ideally, you’ll find a roofing company, like Interstate Roofing, that has been in the business for years and employs only roofers who confidently know what they’re doing.

Working on Your Roof

A structurally sound roof might just be the most important part of your home. It protects you from the rain, as well as sleet, hail, and snow. During the summer it keeps you protected from the sweltering heat. If your roof begins to show signs of damage or decay, it must be fixed immediately. If not, water can leak in and cause devastating damage to your home and belongings.

In worst case scenarios, roofs can even collapse and cause catastrophic damage to the home and threaten the safety of the people inside it. That’s why it is absolutely critical to keep your roof in good shape; you can’t cut corners when your family, home, and property are at stake. You will need to invest in the services of a good roofing company like Interstate Roofing.

A reputable business won’t just do an amazing job fixing up your roof, it’ll also commit to the safety of its workers. Before you sign a contract with any company, you should research whether they make use of a toe board and what other safety practices they employ.

Is There a Roof Disaster Lurking Under Your Shingles?

Looking up for hidden trouble
When was the last time you were on the roof? The view of Mt. Hood might be better, but still: That expanse crowning your home needs regular inspection, so it deserves your attention at least twice a year. Before you climb the ladder, stand back and scan the roofline. Hidden trouble is easier to see when you know what to look for.

Is Your Flashing Flush?

Whether it’s metal, plastic, or rubber, flashing is your roof’s best friend because it deflects water from joints and seams. You can see it around vertical vents and chimneys where it protects structural framing. Flashing forms a water-proof barrier with its snug fit, but age and weather compromise its integrity. Because the material defends vulnerable areas of the roof, its failure can lead to serious structural damage. Even small flashing leaks allow moisture under surrounding shingles, which sets the stage for algae growth and wood rot.

Are the Shingles Out of Shape?

Missing shingles shout out loud that you’ve got trouble on the roof, but what do they communicate when they buckle and curl? This odd appearance is common on older roofs and indicates underlying moisture problems, but the shingles aren’t always to blame. A poorly ventilated attic forces damp air upward through the roof’s structure causing shingle material to buckle and curl. The uneven warping traps debris and rain water, and it sets up a natural breeding ground for mold and moss. When healthy shingles lose their shape, your roof loses its protection.

How Bad Is the Weather?

It’s tempting to blame Portland’s generous rainfall for our roof problems, but summer sunshine and winter cold take their toll too. The temperatures don’t have to sizzle for UV rays to dry and crack shingles. When melting snow runs off the roof, moisture collects around seams and joints, where it re-freezes and warps flashing. Once roofing materials are damaged, a strong gust of wind on a beautiful spring day can give sudden flight to shingles and flashing. It doesn’t take a Pacific storm to inflict weather damage on your roof.

Don’t wait until the kids’ soccer ball gets stuck behind the chimney to find out you have trouble on the roof. A visual checkup from the ground reveals a lot, but a professional roof inspection is the best way to make sure everything overhead stays in good shape. Just contact us at Interstate Roofing. We don’t retrieve cats or soccer balls, but we know how to take care of your roof.

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.

Are Those Patchy Spots on Your Roof Hiding Danger Zones?

Common problems that may be causing your roof to deteriorate.

Your home’s roof is constantly exposed to changing weather conditions and other hazards that can threaten its integrity. Weather, installation problems and general exposure are all potential culprits when it comes to a damaged roof.

Weather Woes

  • Every type of weather has an impact on your roof. A few common issues include:
  • High winds that lift up shingles
  • Rainwater seeping under shingles, causing mildew and rot
  • Snow and ice accumulation, melting and refreezing, leading to ice dams that impair drainage
  • Condensation during humid weather that encourages decay in the attic below
  • Overhanging tree branches that rub on shingles and cause abrasion
  • Damage from fallen tree limbs
  • Growth of unsightly moss or algae, resulting in further moisture damage
  • Damage to shingles from any extreme weather condition

Finally, there’s regular old wear and tear from exposure to all of these elements over the years. The roof faces more direct contact with the elements than other parts of your home, making it important to check for damage on a regular basis.

Structural Defects

Problems with the roof structure may result from harsh weather, age, lack of adequate ventilation or improper installation. If the roof wasn’t designed to accommodate natural expansion and contraction or has a weak underlying structure, it could result in problems with drainage or bowing under heavy loads such as snowfall.

Anything that causes poor drainage can spell disaster for overall roof structure. Standing water leads to dampness which, over time, can cause roof materials to deteriorate. An uneven roof is often the culprit when it comes to accumulation of water and debris, though weather-related factors could be to blame as well.

Sometimes your roof just plain wears out from age. Old shingles are susceptible to splitting, tearing, cracking, peeling and curling while membrane roofs may blister or rip.

Maintaining Roof Integrity

The most important part of roof care—and the thing that will help prevent small problems from becoming big headaches—is regular roof maintenance. Neglecting your roof means that you won’t see damage until it rears its head in the form of costly repair bills. Other steps to take include installing proper ventilation in your attic to prevent dampness and condensation, and using the right kind of supports and flashing when installing antennas and other rooftop structures.

When your roof needs more care than you can give it, visit Interstate Roofing’s website here for a free estimate on the help you need. We’ll tackle any job from repairs to replacement in order to get your roof back in top shape and minimize future damage.

Confessions of a Weathered Roofer

Re-roof, replace or ignore: a roofing contractor tells it all.

Homeowners pour a lot of money into painting walls and updating flooring without giving much attention to the roof over their heads. It’s only when the roof fails that residents remember that crucial part of their house that keeps out the sun, rain and vermin. Roofing contractors are often appalled at the roof conditions they encounter on houses that are otherwise picture-perfect.

What You Don’t See Won’t Hurt You

When it comes to your home, this is a dangerous attitude. Many homeowners go through life blissfully unaware of the potential problems threatening their homes. This is especially true for the parts of the house that are out of sight. To the trained eye of roof experts in Portland, OR, however, even small things could be a source of major problems down the road.

  • Ponding occurs when a hollow in the roofing material collects and retains some of the precipitation. Accumulated debris can trap rainwater and snow, allowing moisture to sit in one place and promote deterioration of the roof. This is especially problematic for houses in rainy Vancouver, WA.
  • Curling, lifting, cracked and missing roof shingles can lead to leaks. Left unrepaired, damaged or missing shingles will stress nearby shingles and cause more problems.
  • Blistering and peeling shingles need to be replaced immediately to prevent more deterioration. Puncturing the blisters or nailing down loose shingles will only worsen the problem.
  • Stains on the roof shingles from overhanging branches, algae growth and pet waste (bird droppings are the worst – and can void manufacturer’s warranties) should be addressed quickly to make sure that the roof material doesn’t deteriorate even more.
  • Loose fasteners, flashings and deteriorated seals, missing granules on bituminous material, and rotting underlayment can lead to moisture intrusion into your attic space.

Causes of Roof Problems

Wind, hot temperatures and heavy precipitation can damage roofs slowly so that the condition is hidden until the attic leaks or until wind or water pressure strip away parts of the roof.

Incorrect installation and repair of roof layers can lead to numerous problems that may not be obvious right away. If the issues have to do with poor design, consider a thorough inspection and professional repairs to correct the problem immediately.

Roofs that aren’t cleared of debris and algae growth regularly will deteriorate quickly, since water tends to pool in low spots. Leaves and twigs will break down and affect the underlying material.

The Final Fix

Roofing problems are not to be messed with by untrained persons. Roof work is a hazardous job, and installation and repair are complicated processes. If you need the services of a roofing contractor, contact us online or call the experts at Interstate Roofing for a consultation: 503-684-5611.

There’s a Zoo in Your Gutters

Improperly maintained gutters can be inadvertent homes for crittersWhen was the last time you took a hard look at your home’s gutters? Don’t look now: You might not be happy with what you find. Poorly constructed or improperly maintained gutters and roofs can serve as safe havens for all manner of creepy critters, including ravenous squirrels and messy birds. Fortunately, you don’t have to take this in stride. Learn more about protecting your gutters from pesky critters.

Which Animals Like Gutters?

Many different types of animals can be found in poorly constructed or loosely maintained gutters. Some of the most common include:

  • Nesting birds like cardinals and blue jays
  • Squirrels
  • Chipmunks
  • Snakes, lizards and other reptiles
  • Feral cats
  • Possums and raccoons

What Damage Do They Cause?

Nesting animals like squirrels and birds can cause devastating clogs that lead to flooding and permanent gutter damage. When leaves and other organic material build up in these spaces, water must find another way to the ground. This can lead to deluges that cause water to pool near your home’s foundation. Over time, such pools can lead to cracks or erosion that compromise the integrity of your foundation and may necessitate expensive repairs.

Moving Towards a Sustainable Fix

Getting rid of animals that lurk in your gutters is no easy feat. Although it’s not a sure fix, it may help to wait until a nest is empty and quickly trim the tree branches by which the unwelcome intruders access their “homes.” For a more permanent fix, consider installing a gutter guard or netting to prevent creatures of any size from making their way into your gutters. Certain types of siding may be more difficult to climb than traditional siding materials as well. Additionally, fixing your roof to ensure a tight seal between your gutters and shingles or tiles may help.

Roofing Contractor in Portland, OR: Getting It Right the First Time

You don’t have to accept the fact that critters will damage your gutters or set up shop along your home’s roofline. By following the advice that we outline above, you can go a long way towards preventing the sort of damage that may reduce your home’s resale value and render the property unattractive to prospective buyers. To ensure that you get the job done right on the first try, give one of the experts at Interstate Roofing a call at 503-684-5611, or learn more about our roof installation services.

The Leak Detective Is In

We’re ready to solve your Portland, OR leaking roof mystery

In the Pacific Northwest, dealing with rain is a way of life. You may choose to ignore the constant downpour during your daily commute, and that’s okay. When the rain seeps into your home and you discover annoying drips or unsightly water stains, however, that’s when it’s time to take action. Ignoring the rain outdoors may only result in wet ankles and frizzy hair; neglecting to address the rain indoors could result in mold, the destruction of insulation, and rotting woodwork.

You may be tempted to tackle the job yourself, but what you may not realize is that discovering the source of a roof leak can be difficult. Contrary to common belief, the site of a water stain or drip may not be where the water is getting in from, so it’s best to consult the experts. An experienced roofing contractor will look for clues and perform some nifty tricks to find the source of the infiltration.

We Investigate Every Nook and Cranny

We may begin by examining your roof’s shingles or tiles as well any chimney seams to look for signs of mold or water damage. We’ll even crawl into your dusty attic if necessary to find telltale leak indicators. One of the easiest ways to tell, though, is often by using the water itself. By investigating where the water is flowing to and looking for paths that may lead to the stain, we may be able to find the suspect.

Common Leak Culprits

Common leak culprits include roof vents or vent boots. What are vent boots? Well, all homes have vents on their roof in order for sewer gases to release into the atmosphere rather than building up in your home. Installed over the vent pipe is a boot designed to keep water from leaking into the vent hole. Damage to the vent or boot may give the rain easy access to your home.

Nails and leftover mounting holes may also be the source of a water intrusion. These suspects are sometimes left behind after a roof repair or satellite dish installation. These leak sources are significantly smaller than faulty vents, so they are sneakier. You may discover that mounting holes have been letting small amounts of water into your home for months or even years. Fortunately, these tiny holes are simple to repair with a patch or new shingles.

Are you ready to stay dry indoors by interpreting the evidence and solving the puzzle? If so, contact us today for tips and additional help, or check out our homepage.