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Archive for the ‘Composition Maintenance’ Category

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.

Take the pressure of off your composition roof!

May 27, 2016

cropped-Custom-Roof-Repair

In America the most common type of roofing material is composition. With three main composition roof types – 3-tab, architectural, and presidential – composition roofs offer a variety of options in price, quality, and looks for the homeowner. In being the most common roofing material, it makes sense that many roof maintenance questions we receive have to do with how to properly maintain a composition roof. One of the most common questions we are asked, and what I want to address in the post, is “should I pressure wash my composition roof?”

 

In short, no, you should never pressure wash your composition roof.

 

Now I’ll give you some detail. Composition shingles are made of a fiberglass reinforcing mat in the center, with asphalt and fiberglass granules coating it. Any sort of exposure to the elements can cause wear and tear to this material. Wind can loosen granules from the shingles and loosen shingles from the roof. Rain can wash away granules, causing thinning of the roofing material. Extreme sun can melt and wear the asphalt and fiberglass materials. This is why roofs only last so long, because they are inevitably exposed to things every single day that wear them out. It’s the purpose of a roof, to take that wear so that the decking material underneath, the attic, and the interior of our homes don’t have to take that wear.

Low_Pressure_Roof_Washing

This being said, it begs the question of “if my roof is already exposed to the elements, why would pressure washing be any worse?” Well, it’s like a child, just because you can’t keep them from being exposed to every
germ it doesn’t mean you will intentionally take them to visit the infectious disease ward at the hospital. Rather you wouldn’t expose your child to unnecessary illness. Just because your roof is exposed to the elements doesn’t mean you should intentionally cause additional wear and tear to the roof. Pressure washing inflicts a higher volume of water to the roof at a proximity that guarantees it is harder impact than normal rain water. This high impact of water can loosen and wear out granules, it can force little pieces of moss up under shingles keeping them from working properly and allowing rainwater to penetrate underneath and leak into the home. It can also loosen the shingles themselves making them more vulnerable to wind. All of this can shorten the life of the roof significantly.

 

Not only can it shorten the life of your roof, but when you do find yourself needing repair or replacement, you will find that having pressure washed your roof makes many warranties void and is an out for many insurance companies. Where as a hand brush off, while still not “natural” wear and tear, if done right, does not put unneeded stress on the shingles. It also loosens the moss without loosening the granules. It removes the surface moss, not the dirt.

 

So, if this is true, why do some companies still offer pressure washing of composition roofs? That is a good question. The most common answer I found was “If the homeowner wants it and will pay for it, why wouldn’t we offer it.” Unfortunately this careless, even selfish, attitude is a common one found out there. Other reasons for pressure washing compositions roofs varied. Some companies approached it from a “it will look cleaner” angle, operating under the idea that a pressure wash will remove more grime and dirt from the roof leaving it looking better than just a brush off. There is some validity to this, a brush off isn’t going to remove every layer of built up dirt on the roof, but it’s also not going to remove layers of shingle granules. So the choice is yours, a “cleaner” roof or a roof that does it’s job and lasts long enough to be worth your investment?


removing-moss-on-roofs

The last issue I want to address is why clean your roof at all, if brush offs won’t make it squeaky clean and a pressure wash will damage the roof, why even bother spending money on cleaning the roof? I mean you can learn to like the look of moss right? Well, you might learn to like the look, but I can tell you that your roof won’t like it! Moss can be extremely damaging to the roof if left unaddressed. For more detail check out our blog about spring cleaning your roof. To summarize for you though, moss can deteriorate shingles and cause leaks. It’s not something to be ignored. Removing the moss from your roof is a key part to keeping it effective. The great thing is that once you get the moss cleaned off, if you stay on top of less invasive upkeep, like treatment as soon as there are traces of moss, you can maintain your roof in a way that’s truly best for your roof!