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Do Steep Roofs Last Longer?

When homeowners are in the market for a new roof, cost is often at the forefront of their minds. Many people assume that a steep roof will cost more, both in materials and installation. However, there are many advantages to steep-pitch roofs that can save you time and money in the long run. At Interstate Roofing, we want to share our experience with you to help you decide if a steep roof might be the right choice for your home.

What Is a Steep-Pitch Roof?

Contractors will typically refer to your roof’s pitch, or slope, with a set of numbers. The first number represents the vertical rise in inches, and the second refers to horizontal progression in inches. The most common slope is 6/12, which means that, for every foot, the roof rises 6 inches. An 8/12 roof is considered a steep roof, while something like a 4/12 roof is considered a low-pitch roof.

A roof with a steep pitch can make a home look elegant, but of course, as the pitch of the roof increases, material costs also increase. That’s why it’s important to consider the advantages of a steep-pitch roof beyond the initial outlay for extra material, such as whether it is likely to last longer.

Outdoor Grandeur and Indoor Options

From the outside, steep roofs are more visible. They can make a house stand out and look a bit grander and more singular. From the outside, too, there are more options for ornamentation on a steep roof. Roof caps, gables, and other artistic designs are available options on steep roofs but not typically low-pitch roofs. On the inside, the increased height of the roof will provide more attic space. Adding a closed storage area beneath the roof is an easy task for a contractor since the space is already available. The installation costs for this space are relatively inexpensive. If you’ve added enough space to the attic area with a steep roof, you could even convert that space into an office or an extra bedroom.

Energy Costs

You may be wondering, if the attic has more space—won’t the house cost more to heat? Surprisingly, the answer is no. Having a steep roof oftentimes allows for the installation of ventilation within the roofing system, which allows for easy airflow into the eaves and out of the ridge. By creating a constant flow of cooler air above the insulation but below the roofing material, air is allowed to circulate. The circulating air helps prevent ice from forming on the roof in the winter and keeps cooling costs lower in the warm months. Steeper-sloped roofs allow for more effective ventilation than a lower slope roof, due to the additional space.

Less Wear and Tear

Steep roofs offer a lot in terms of longevity. One of the worst roofing hazards is the pooling of water. On lower-slung roofs, water can sometimes collect instead of running directly into the gutters. This is simply the result of gravity. However, it can have devastating consequences over time. Standing water can erode roofing materials and cause decay. Those weak spots then turn into leaks. A leak in your roof is a no-nonsense emergency. A steep roof keeps any moisture moving quickly into the gutter and away from the foundation walls and roofing material.

This is true for snow as well. The well-ventilated roof system mentioned above prevents snow from melting and refreezing on your roofing tiles. Extreme cold and extreme heat are the two major causes of roofing wear and tear, and a well-ventilated roof system helps mitigate those extremes. The pitch of the roof also prevents snow from piling up too high. Have you ever wondered why so many mountain cabins use an A-frame design? The answer is that it’s better overall to have accumulated snow slide off your roof rather than collecting there until the weather changes.

As the increased slope of the steep roof uses gravity and increased airflow to keep your roof from experiencing temperature extremes, that same basic function can keep your roof looking tidy all year. Have you ever looked at your neighborhoods’ roofs after a fall or spring storm? It’s more likely than not that there are piles of debris caught on most of the medium- and low-pitch roofs. Wet leaves, sticks, and anything else caught in the wind can pile up for months if not attended to, making a home look unkempt. Steep-pitch roofs tend to stay cleaner and freer of debris. This is all to say that the increased pitch of a roof helps keep it cleaner, better looking, safer, and less likely to fail over time.

Cost and Maintenance

It’s true that steep-pitch roofs can cost more up front. The steeper the roof, the more material you’ll need. Steep roofs can also limit what material you may use due to weight considerations. Typically, tile and shingles work better than other materials on steep roofs. It’s important to consider, too, that steeper roofs are more difficult to maneuver around. Your contractors will have to work carefully, and the installation may take slightly longer.

Crucially, though, a large part of avoiding catastrophic failures in your roof—things like leaks, missing or torn shingles, cracks, and other dangers—is merely keeping an eye on your roof’s state of health. A steep roof provides a benefit here as well because it’s easier to frequently assess the state of your roof simply because you can see more of it from the ground. Noticing worn and weathered areas and addressing those minor repairs before they get worse can save you money and stress over time.

A steep-slope roof, once installed, provides a lot of self-regulating maintenance. For this reason alone, they tend to last longer than lower-pitch roofs. If you’d like to discuss the benefits of a steep roof, please contact us at any time or you can take a look through our portfolio of steep residential roofs. Interstate Roofing is here to answer any questions you may have.

5 Facts About Quality Roofing in Portland

Roofing is perhaps one of the least discussed yet most important topics in Portland and Vancouver area. Even with an annual average of 37 inches (or more) of rain, roofs normally don’t get much thought. That is, until there is a leak, a problem, or something that needs to get fixed.

This is where your local experts at Interstate Roofing warrant a call. Their vast expertise spans from the installation of new roofs to fixes and upgrades for current roofs to services like power washing and gutter cleaning. From the small-scale matters to the largest roofing issues, their interest is in supporting you with your roofing and maintenance needs.

In this type of climatic region, roof care can often stay under the radar. It’s true that there are usually four seasons in the region. That means there are multiple factors to take into consideration with the regard to the upkeep of rooftops, both in residential and commercial buildings.

Whether a flat roof or a steep roof, there are a few things to know about quality roofing in Portland.

1. Steep slope roofs come in a handful of materials.

These materials include asphalt-fiberglass composition shingles, wood shakes and shingles, slate, tile, or even metal roofing. Materials for a “steep slope” must work on roofs that have a slope of 3:12 or greater. With that said, one of the most common materials for slope roofing would be asphalt shingles. They offer a cost-effective and weather-resistant option for new or old residences or businesses.

Concrete and clay tiles and wood shakes are typically considered residential, but they can also be used on business and commercial roofing projects. Sometimes, a transition to the unconventional or unexpected can bring a new warmth to a commercial building. Whatever material you opt to use, keep in mind that you have multiple choices in how you style your rooftop.

2. Specially prepared materials benefit the residence or business.

Materials like cedar or wooden shingles can be prepared with a fire retardant so that the building stands more of a chance in a fire. They also can be treated to withstand some of the elements so that they’re rot resistant. Clay and concrete can also be installed “shingle-style” with a combination of nails and mortar so they’re cemented in.

Lastly, metal panels are starting to be used more on steep roofs. This is partially because of the look but also the fact that they’re naturally resistant to fires.

With these extra precautions built in, your home or business will be covered with materials that not only keep the rain out but withstand the elements it’s exposed to.

3. Do not underrate annual maintenance.

Don’t forego some of the basics of maintenance, as they can extend the life of your roofing. While some finishes will last longer than other materials, the quality will survive longer with thorough and routine cleaning. This will keep appearances and prevent the need for early repairs.

By maintaining the materials you have on your roof, you’re taking steps to know what’s going on above your head before any problems arise. A good power wash can clear the roof of any unwanted moss or plant growth that may not be in-line with the aesthetic. Annual inspections can help you keep tabs on what, if anything, is happening “up there,” so as to prevent issues, including leaks that might create issues with water damage.

With the amount of rain that the Pacific Northwest receives, there’s no reason to not take heed and keep annual maintenance at the top of the list of things to do to protect you, your roof, your home, and your investment.

4. You may have never known it, but quality roofs should “breathe.”

There should be sufficient ventilation so that there’s enough airflow beneath the roof itself. This is important in maintaining the infrastructure of your roof. Without enough airflow, warm, moist air could get trapped under it and condensate. When this happens, the buildup can threaten to damage the wood components, the insulation, and the walls. With any sort of water damage, there’s the potential for decay and mold over time.

All roofs need to be designed and equipped with a ventilation system that enables air transport and breathability for the home or business.

5. Your roof can be environmentally friendly.

There are “cool roofs” and they benefit the environment by reflecting UV rays and infrared radiation. In doing so, the building stays cooler and the need for the traditional amount of energy consumption is altered. The reduction will save you money in your energy bills. It will also reduce the greenhouse gases and air pollution released into the environment .

Sometimes, you will even see “green roofs,” where people opt to have a small, varied water- and pollution-absorbing plant layer. These nontraditional ideas can be discussed with professionals. As if they’re a feasible option with the roof specifications for your home or commercial building .

The Best Portland Roofing Contractors Will Recommend Roof Maintenance to Ensure its Longevity

A home should be your shelter from the storm, both literally and figuratively. Your roof is one of your best line of defenses, so it’s important to maintain it properly. Roof repairs can be costly and a major inconvenience. That’s why the best Portland roofing contractors will recommend roof maintenance on a regular basis.

Interstate Roofing has three decades of experience in the roofing industry. Not only do we provide quality roof installations, we also help our clients maintain them so that they’re long-lasting and durable over time. We’ll show you some important ways you can care for your roof to ensure that it holds up well, saving you the expense of costly repairs.

The first thing to remember is to be proactive.

At Interstate Roofing, we help our clients do that by offering maintenance agreements. Not only do our maintenance agreements include regular inspections, they also come with the added benefit of priority service. After all, it’s best to avoid waiting until you have a leaky rook to call for help. By that time, your home could be severely damaged and require extensive repair. Instead, make regular service appointments with a trusted Portland roofing contractor who will help you identify the potential for damage and address it before it becomes a major issue.

What should these appointments include and how often should they be performed?

If possible, you should have a quality roofing professional perform roof maintenance twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. There are also some occasions throughout the year when you’ll want to schedule additional appointments, as needed. For example, it’s best to have your roof inspected following a major storm event, such as an earthquake or hailstorm. If any issues are detected, you’ll want to take care of them immediately to prevent further damage from arising.

During your preventative maintenance appointment, you’ll want to have your roof professionally cleaned.

Our roof cleaning services include removing any debris or build-up that may have formed on your roof, including algae, moss, mold, and mildew. Not only will this keep your roof looking good, it will also ensure that it stays well maintained. Allowing debris to accumulate can reduce your roof’s lifespan. Therefore, it’s important to have your Portland roofing contractor thoroughly wash your roof in accordance with industry standards.

In addition to cleaning your roof, your roofing contractor should also perform a thorough inspection.

This includes checking the roof surface for any damage or signs of weathering. Your inspector should also check the roof for any cracks, tears, or scratches in the surface.

Additionally, loose, damaged, or missing panels or shingles should be identified and replaced immediately. If you’ve had any prior roof repairs, those should be inspected as well to confirm they were performed correctly and that the issue has been adequately addressed. It’s a good idea to have a list of these ready for your roofing contractor, particularly if another company performed the repairs previously.

It’s also important that you perform a self-inspection of your roof to identify any potential issues or damage in-between visits.

Early detection of problem areas can help you avoid a huge expense later on, and while a professional contractor should perform regular inspections of your roof, there are still things you should be on the lookout for yourself.

For instance, inspect your roof for any signs of mold, moss, algae, or any other growth that may need to be removed. If you have a metal roof, examine it for rust or any other visible signs of wear and tear. Also, look for any loose or missing shingles, as well as any cracked mortar or caulking in the joint and chimney areas.

A common issue with roofs is the potential for leaks, so you should also be on the lookout for signs indicating leakage is present. This may include dark spots on the ceiling, or the presence of mold and dampness in the attic. If you notice any of these issues, it’s best to contact your Portland roofing contractor immediately. Simple maintenance to address the issue can quickly remedy the problem and save you from a costly future repair.

While professional and self-inspections of your roof should be performed in the spring and fall, there are also certain maintenance tasks to be performed during the summer and winter as well. For instance, the weight of heavy snow accumulation poses a serious threat to the stability of your roof. By simply removing the snow from your roof with a snow rake, which can be purchased at most home improvement stores, you could be saving your roof from the threat of collapse.

Likewise, it’s important during the warmer months that you promptly remove any debris that has collected on your roof. The presence of sticks and leaves can cause unwanted growth, like algae, to form over time. Trimming back any branches that hang over your roof will help prevent the accumulation of sticks, leaves, and other debris. Be particularly mindful of this after heavy winds, storms, and other extreme weather conditions.

This may seem like a lot of work and we understand you lead a busy life. Scheduling roof maintenance may not always be at the forefront of your mind. That’s why our maintenance agreements will do most of the work for you. We’ll let you know when it’s time for us to come out to inspect your roof.

Having professional inspections conducted on a regular basis will help mitigate your risk for major repairs, as well as extend your roof’s lifespan. So contact your preferred Portland roofing contractor to schedule biannual maintenance appointments. After all, we don’t want this worry to be hanging over your head. Instead, the only thing that should be hanging over your head is a solid roof.