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Archive for the ‘Composition Maintenance’ Category

New Year – New Roof

January 3, 2018

We’ve all heard the mantra “new year, new you!” It’s a good thought, while different people would argue how to achieve that or what exactly it means, not many people would disagree with the idea. Now, what if you changed it to “new year, new roof!” I’m not talking about a total roof redo (most people probably don’t need that), but rather, a mindset shift of how you view your roof.

When someone talks about a “new you”, they are very rarely talking about undergoing an intensive plastic surgery to get a whole new face. More commonly, they are talking about getting rid of bad habits, spending more time taking care of themselves, learning new skills, etc… While it’s not exactly the same, these ideas are good ones when it comes to your roof. Too often people don’t think about their roofs until their roofs fail, be it leaking, not passing a home inspection, or something as drastic as caving in! If instead they a) got rid of bad roof “habits”, b) spent more time taking care of their roofs, and c) learned new roof “skills”, they could prevent those roof failures and prolong the life of their roof!

 

Don’t worry, I’ll explain what I mean!

 

  1. Get rid of bad roof “habits”.

    One of the most common bad habits people develop regarding their roof is assuming that if it’s not failing it’s thriving. I’ve heard more people than I can count say “If it’s not leaking, don’t fix it” or something along those lines. The problem with this bad thinking habit is that often times those major issues like leaking are the result of a smaller, more easily fixed problem that hasn’t been addressed. Wind damage, exposed nails, or rusted out flashings are just some of the smaller items that if unrepaired can lead to a larger issue. In order to prevent it though, you have to change your thinking from “it’s fine until it’s not” to “ensure it’s fine so that it stays that way.”

    Another common bad roofing habit is letting moss thrive. Whether it’s because you don’t realize how damaging moss can be or because you are too busy to schedule a cleaning, letting moss make its home on your roof can cut years off the life of your roof, cause leaks, and diminish your curb appeal drastically.

    The third roofing habit (though there are many more we don’t have time to address) is the habit of skimping. This is most often seen in the form of hiring someone purely because they are the cheapest option, instead of because they are the best option. Unfortunately there are many handyman’s and roofing companies that cut corners or provide temporary fixes while telling the homeowner owner it is a long term fix. They charge less, making the homeowner think they are getting a good deal, when in reality they are not truly fixing the roof and the homeowner will only find themselves with a much worse problem down the road. So while you think you are saving money you are really just setting yourself up for a bigger expense. Change this bad habit by being willing to invest in your roof (arguably one of the most important parts of your home) with both time and moneye. Research a company before you choose them, be willing to pay more for a company that is above board and knows what they are doing, and be willing to pay for preventative care and repairs now even if it’s not “a problem” yet. Believe me, your wallet and your roof will thank you!

  2. Spend more time taking care of your roof!

    You don’t have to get up on your roof with the loofah and lotion to take care of it. It can go a long way to take a few minutes every few months to visually inspect your roof. Look for moss growth, missing/lifting shingles, signs of moisture in the attic, or anything else that seems off. Doing this regularly will help you catch potential problems before they become major issues!

  3. “Learn new roof skills”!

    What I mean by this is don’t be stuck in what you know. Be willing to ask questions and listen to professionals about the best options for you roof. Just because you’ve heard something or always assumed something about your roof, doesn’t mean it’s right. Be willing to learn and change your thinking to best take care of your roof. For example, many older tile roofs have nothing in place to prevent ponding (a water build up issue that cause rotted eaves and leaking). Sometimes this is discovered because of leaking and sometimes a consultant looking at your roof will recommend installing anti-ponding before leaking happens. Just because it’s never been on your roof before doesn’t mean it’s not an essential and helpful addition to your roof.

 

Make one of your resolutions “a new year, a new roof”! You don’t have to do it alone, Northwest Roof Maintenance is here to help! Trying to drop bad roof habits? We can have a consultant out to tell you what your roof needs and how you can best care for it! Don’t have time to inspect your roof yourself or can’t safely see all of your roof from the ground? We provide free roof inspection of your home, one of our professional and trained consultants will take a look for you! Unless there’s leaking, you don’t even have to be home! Plus we are always happy to answer any questions you may have and help you better understand the how and why of upkeeping your roof!

 

Happy 2018 and enjoy your “new” roof!

Fall & Winter Home Maintenance Guide

October 20, 2017

Come fall, making sure your home is ready for winter should be on the top of every Vancouver area homeowners to-do list. It’s not enough to simply use band-aid solutions as issues pop up.

We’ve created this fall & winter home maintenance guide so you can get ahead of the rain and cold weather and make sure your home stays warm and dry.

 

Yard and Outdoor Space Maintenance

While many people think their yard doesn’t need preparation before winter, it still needs to be prepared like anywhere else. Below, we’ve outlined steps to take before the first frost comes.

Trim Dead Branches

Trimming dead branches can stop serious damage to your home!

Dead branches are not as strong as ones that are alive. With enough rainfall (or in some cases, snow and ice), branches will become weighed down and fall. Make sure to trim any branches that look dead to avoid damage to your property.

Rake Leaves

Raking leaves will do more than just make your lawn look great. It will keep your lawn healthy!

Not only can a leafy lawn lead to pests and dead grass, it can keep new grass from growing back the next year. Just like us, your lawn needs to breathe in order to stay healthy!

Make sure to rake up any leaves on your lawn before it gets too wet or snowy.

Prune Plants

Pruning will help keep your plants healthy! By helping your plants grow the way they should, you’ll prevent problems from popping up and help them look great

Pruning plants later in the fall once they have stopped growing for the year will give them a burst of energy and growth come spring!

 

Home Interior

While a properly functioning home exterior is the best protection for your home’s interior, you must also prepare the inside of your home for the coming winter.

Service Your Heater

For a safe and warm home, get your heater tuned-up and inspected before any serious cooler weather sets in. It doesn’t cost much and will ensure that you aren’t put in a situation where your heater is broken during sub-freezing temperatures. It’ll also lengthen the life of your furnace and heat pump.

Make sure to schedule an appointment early. The later you wait, the further back in line you’ll be to have any technicians come out to your home.

Replace Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detector Batteries

Not checking your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors regularly could have life-threatening effects. Given that heaters could give out carbon monoxide, autumn is a great time to check your detectors. This is a great opportunity to check on the smoke detectors as well.

Unlike smoke, you can’t smell carbon monoxide. Without the detector, you will have no idea until it is too late.

Walk around your home and check all of your detectors to make sure they have batteries in them. All will have a test button that will let you know if they are operating properly.

Check Attic Ventilation

Make sure your attic ventilation is operating properly. Proper ventilation helps control temperatures and limit moisture, helping to prevent damage and lengthen the life of your roof.

Make sure to call a trusted attic ventilation repair specialist to make sure you are getting maximum ventilation for your attic. Doing so will keep your home and roof safe!

 

Home Exterior

Your home’s exterior will be bearing the brunt of the harsh winter weather and will be acting as your shield to any harsh weather. Make sure it’s ready by taking care of these tasks.

Turn Off Outdoor Water and Store Hoses

Water left in exterior pipes and faucets can freeze and burst. Make sure to detach all hoses from outdoor faucets and store the hoses in your basement or garage.

Shut off the water source to the outside of your home and turn on the faucet to let the pipe drain completely.

Seal Cracks Around Doors and Windows

Sealing any cracks around doors and windows will keep cold air from getting into your home. It will also keep out moisture, which could lead to damage to mold or other damage to the inside of your home. Sealing up cracks will also help keep small critters and bugs out of your home!!

Clean Your Gutters

Besides pumpkins, flannel shirts, and football, almost nothing is as synonymous with fall as cleaning your gutters. And for good reason! Not cleaning your gutters can lead to damaged siding and roofs, and will destroy the gutters themselves. It could also cause an ice dam once temperatures dip below freezing.

While you’re cleaning them, look for any damage and replace or repair them before the winter rains come.

 

Winterizing Your Roof

Given the Portland area’s rainy and wet winters, making sure everything is okay with your roof should be a huge priority. Not doing so could leave your home wet and compound any existing damage.

Inspect Your Roof

Contact an experienced roof maintenance and cleaning specialist to come out and take a look at your roof. While some think giving your roof a once over by yourself will do, the average person simply does not have the ability to recognize every roof issue. For instance, there is no way to know if your roof truly needs new roof flashings without a certified roof maintenance expert taking a look.

Fortunately, a reputable roof cleaning company will offer a free inspection, so there is no risk in calling a roofing specialist for their expert opinion. It will be absolutely free!

Clean Your Roof

Whether you have a composite, tile, or cedar roof, making sure your roof is clean before heading into the winter will give you peace of mind.

Mossy roofs are particularly important to clean, as moss can…

  • Damage your shingles
  • Cause mold and bacteria growth
  • Create new leaks in your roof

A trusted roof cleaner will not only clear your roof of any existing moss, it will also treat your roof so the issue does not come back anytime soon.

Make Sure to Fix Any Leaks

A leak that seems small in summer or early fall will only get worse once the weather turns. Portland and Vancouver winters include rain, snow, and cold weather (and who knows what else!). The last thing you want is water rushing into your home late at night because you did not fix a leak early on.

Call a trusted roof maintenance company and see what they recommend for your leaky roof. Companies that specialize in cleaning and maintenance are the best to work with, as they will never try to sell you on a roof replacement you don’t need.

Don’t forget about taking care of any skylight issues as well. Poorly installed skylights are hotspots for leaks, and it’s imperative you get any issues with them taken care of before rain starts falling.

 

roof maintenance

Get Your Roof Ready for Winter

As with anything to do with your home, hiring only a trusted and experienced roof cleaner will help ensure the longevity and integrity of your roof.

When you work with Northwest Roof Maintenance, you’ll know that you are only working with experienced and well-trained technicians that know how to treat your roof. We’ll come out and after giving your home a free inspection, only offer the services you actually need.

Give yourself a piece of mind heading into winter. Contact us online or call us today at 503-740-4808 (Portland) or (360) 910-8938 (Vancouver) for your free inspection.

8 Questions to Ask a Roof Cleaner

July 21, 2017

Homeowners know it’s important to clean and maintain their roof; they just don’t know what they should be doing or who to hire. Picking the wrong roof cleaner can lead to leaky, damaged roofs. You could also end up on the hook for injured employees, or even a voided roof warranty.

Don’t let this happen to you. Ask these 8 questions when talking to potential roof cleaners to make sure you are hiring someone you want to work with.

 

Are You Licensed?

Roofs provide a shield against the weather for your home. It’s important anyone working on your roof be licensed professionals to ensure the work is up to a high standard. Different states have different requirements, but most have some form of certification.

  • Washington – In Washington state, anyone who performs construction work (including any roofing activities) must register as a contractor with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.
  • Oregon – In Oregon, you must pass a test to become a licensed roofer with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.

Not working with a licensed roofer can leave you with few options if they perform faulty or damaging work. Even if nothing is damaged, you’re at risk for having a lower quality of work done, as the roofers cleaning your roof are not well trained.

 

Are You Insured?

Let’s face it; roof maintenance is dangerous! Experienced roofers like Northwest Roof Maintenance take every precaution to ensure our employees are safe, but anything can happen when you are on a roof.

All reputable roof cleaners will carry workers compensation and liability insurance to cover their employees on the job. If they do not have insurance, you could be held liable for any injuries incurred while work is done on your home.

 

How Long Have You Been in Business?

Good businesses tend to stick around. While there are plenty of good new businesses as well, if a roofer has been in operation for 10 or more years you know they are doing something right. Generally, these businesses are entrenched in the community and have built themselves a great reputation around hard work and friendly service.

 

How Can I Be Assured You’ll Do a Good Job?

Knowing if a roofer will do a good job is a hard thing to figure out. It’s hard to take any service provider at their word. That said, there are ways to figure out if a roofer does a good job.

  • Do they offer references?
  • Do they have good online reviews?
  • Do they value education and training?
  • Do they clean up after themselves?

If they don’t say yes to all four of those questions, it is probably a good idea to look elsewhere for a roof cleaner.

 

What Do You Use to Clean Roofs?

Different roofs require different approaches to cleaning. Using the right method to clean your specific roof is essential. Below, we’ve put some red flags to look out for when potential roof cleaners are telling you their methods.

Pressure Washing

If a roof cleaner’s first instinct is to just pressure wash your roof, you probably want to move on to the next roof cleaner. Not only can power washing damage your asphalt roof, it can also void its warranty. Just because your roof may look good after a power wash, it is only a band aid fix. The only way to truly attack the root of a problem like moss is to fix it with a targeted solution.

Dangerous Chemicals

Make sure your roof cleaner is not using dangerous chemicals to clean your roof. Many cleaners will not openly admit to doing it, for obvious reasons. Chemicals can damage and void the warranty on your roof. They will also wreak havoc on your yard and landscaping below and might be dangerous to use around children and pets.

 

Do You Also Perform More Serious Roof Maintenance?

Why hire multiple companies to complete all the work on your roof? It makes a lot more sense to form a lasting relationship with a roofer who will know the history of your roof every time they are cleaning and maintaining it. Since a roof cleaner will be on your roof, you will want one who will notice, and then be able to fix larger issues.

 

Do You Perform Free Inspections?

You should not pay for inspections. Reputable and trustworthy roof cleaners know they are offering a fair price, and do not mind quoting jobs for free. Look for a roof cleaner who will listen to your concerns and problems, and give you a free estimate. More than likely their estimate will be more reasonable than a roofer charging for a quote.

 

Do You Guarantee Your Work?

Never work with a roof cleaner that does not guarantee their work. Roof maintenance and care take a lot of skill, and good roof cleaners are hard to come by. All of the best roof cleaners out there guarantee their work and will come out to fix any work you believe is not up to par.

A reputable and trusted cleaner knows how important cared for roofs are to well-maintained homes. They will make you feel comfortable with the services being performed. They are looking for long-term customers who know good roof maintenance is not a one time job.

 

The NW Roof Team

Do you need your roof cleaned in the Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR area?

Work with Northwest Roof Maintenance to ensure you are working with experienced, well-trained professionals who know what they are doing. We help homeowners in the Portland and Vancouver area with roof cleaning, repair, moss cleaning, and preventative treatments.

Our friendly, knowledgeable consultants will take a look at your roof and recommend only the services we know will benefit you and your property. Contact us online or give us a call today at 503-740-4808 (Portland) or 360-910-8938 (Vancouver).

The Pros & Cons Of Different Roofing Materials

June 5, 2017

nw roof maintenance

When it comes to roofs, your experience with maintenance and repairs will depend on what type of roofing material you have. Some roofing materials require very little maintenance, while others require a lot and are more vulnerable to damage.

Tile, Cedar, and composition are three popular roofing options, each with unique qualities. Whether you’re choosing a material for your new roof or learning more about maintaining the roof you have, it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of these common roofing materials.

 

Tile Roofs

Tile roofs are a classic, distinctive style of roofing popular in the South and Southwest. No wonder! Tile roofs resist damage from scorching heat and sunlight, making them a great choice for these areas. Roofing tiles can be made of clay, concrete, or a sand-cast material, but they all function in the same way.

Pros

  • Unique curb appeal – Tile roofs create an attractive look for adobo and other Southwestern-style homes.
  • Built to last – Generally, a tile roof will last for years and years. Some claim to last 50 years, but you can find homes with tiles that are older.
  • Fireproof – Unlike untreated wood roofs, tile roofs are fireproof. They also naturally resist mildew, algae, and insects.

Pro Tip: Concrete tiles can be styled to mimic the look of cedar. This means you can enjoy a cedar roof appearance without the high maintenance!

Cons

  • Heavyweight – Tiles are heavy. So heavy, in fact, that your roof will need enforcement to support the weight!
  • High cost – It should be no surprise that heavy roofing materials — and roof reinforcements — come at a high cost financially.
  • Fragile – Walking on a tile roof can cause cracks, breaks, and other damage. Any work that needs to be done on or around the roof should be performed by a skilled professional to avoid damage.
  • Maintenance – While the tiles themselves require very little maintenance, the underlayment beneath them needs to be replaced every 8 to 20 years. This involves removing the tiles from the roof and repositioning them atop the new underlayment.

Learn more about maintenance for tile roofs.

Cedar Roofs

Cedar roofs are simply gorgeous. Cedar is a renewable resource that is locally sourced in the Pacific Northwest. Many homeowners are drawn to cedar roofing for its aesthetic appeal, but unfortunately, it can fall into disrepair without the proper maintenance.

Pros

  • Exceptional beauty – It’s hard to beat the appearance of a cedar wood roof. Cedar has a natural beauty which ages well too.
  • Durability – Cedar roofs are long-lasting, resistant to insects, and generally good with storms.
  • Energy efficient – Cedar provides a natural insulation, which helps to keep home heating and cooling costs low.
  • Eco-friendly – As mentioned, cedar is a renewable resource. It’s common for Cedar harvesters to replace every tree used with another.

Cons

  • High cost – A cedar roof is a significant investment. Cedar shingles are more expensive to purchase and install compared to other roofing materials. The longevity of cedar, provided it’s properly maintained, can often provide a high return on investment.
  • High maintenance – Cedar requires diligent maintenance. In addition to annual inspections and cleanings, cedar roofs need regular moss, mold, and mildew removal and prevention treatments.
  • Can be flammable – Some building codes prohibit the use of cedar roofing materials due to their flammability. However, cedar shingles can be treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives.

Learn more about maintenance for cedar roofs.

Roof Cleaning and Maintenance Portland OR

Composition Roofs

We see a lot of composition roofs in the Vancouver, Washington area. In fact, they are found on more than 75 percent of homes!

Composition roofs are built with shingles made from composite materials like asphalt. There are three main types of composite shingles:

  • 3-Tab – The most basic, inexpensive, and least durable option. They get their name from the shingle having three tabs. Basically, 3-tab shingles are a low-cost alternative to more decorative and traditional materials.
  • Presidential – A more luxurious type of shingle with the look of cedar but the performance of composition roofing. Many homeowners enjoy the look of a hand-split wood shake roof without sacrificing durability.
  • Architectural – Also known as laminated or dimensional shingles, architectural shingles are high-quality, durable, and stylish. Made from a heavy fiberglass mat base and ceramic-coated mineral granules, they give the roof dimension and protection.

Pros

  • Low upfront cost – Composition shingles are the most affordable roofing material in the short term (average lifespan is 12 to 17 years).
  • Variety of styles – Choose from 3-tab, presidential, and architectural shingles with a range of colors and features.
  • Relatively easy installation – Compared to other roofing materials, composition shingles are easy to install for any knowledgeable roofing contractor.

Cons

  • Vulnerable to bad weather – Composition shingles can be dislodged during storms by strong winds. They can also crack or break from any strong impact such as hail stones or fallen tree branches.
  • Vulnerable to heat – Asphalt shingles are not resistant to extreme heat, which may result in cracks and color loss. Also, extreme fluctuations in temperature can lead to expansion and contraction damages.
  • Shorter lifespan – If you are planning on staying in your home for more than 20 years, a composition roof may not be the best investment.
  • Not environmentally sustainable – Asphalt shingles are a petroleum-based product. The manufacturing process is not environmentally friendly, and the shingles often end up in landfills.

Learn more about maintenance for composition roofs.

 

Keep Your Roof In Top Shape No Matter The Material

No matter what material your roof is made from, it’s your responsibility to keep it well-maintained. Northwest Roof Maintenance can help!

We offer inspections, cleanings, coatings, moss removals, repairs, and more for homeowners in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington areas. Contact us for a free estimate and for all the answers to your roofing material questions.