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Archive for the ‘leak repair’ 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).

What you need to know about leak repair and rain

December 18, 2015

Leak 1It’s the moment every homeowner dreads, hearing that faint drip, drip, drip indicating a leak somewhere in your home. Or maybe it’s spotting a wet splotch on your ceiling that wasn’t there before. Whether it’s a drip in the attic the inspector caught, or the obvious Niagara Falls in your living room, no one is excited about a leak. We get it, no one has damaged sheet rock or wet floors on their Christmas list! However what homeowners want even less is unnecessary damage to the plywood and roofing materials. Therefore, we don’t recommend repairing most leaks while it’s heavy or steady rain. This view may leave you wondering why not in the rain, when can your repair be done, what can you do?

Firstly, the “why” we won’t do many repairs in the rain. The fact is that repairs on the roof, especially leak repairs, generally involve opening up a larger portion of the roof than just where the leak is. Whether it’s replacing the surrounding shingles or extending a patch of the protective underlayment, it exposes the framework and at times the attic. When there is steady water coming down while this exposure is happening it allows that water to freely access the otherwise protected areas and can cause way more damage in a short period of time than would be caused by the leak if left for a few days. Think of it like a leaky pipe. You recognize your pipe is leaking, and you know you need to replace a portion of the pipe to fix it. You don’t want to replace that portion of the pipe while the water is running though, this would cause water to get everywhere, and would cause the repair to be harder to complete because you would be battling an extra force. While it’s not an exact analogy, it’s an easy way to see the trouble of repairing leaks in the rain.

Which takes us to “when” can it be done. Rain doesn’t necessarily mean all repairs are stopped. If it’s on and off light showers, many field, skylight, and flashing repairs can still be done. Some repairs that are more surface repairs and are small can even be done in heavier rain. But for more complicated repairs or repairs in water vulnerable spots like troughs and valleys, or repairs in which you are replacing everything down to the plywood, it’s best to go with a completely rain free day to complete the work! Don’t stress about trying to figure it out on your own though. Listen to and trust your roofer to know when it’s safe to do the repair.

Lastly we come to “what” can you do. My first advice is DON’T panic! Being able to explain your situation calmly to a roofer, and being able to listen to any advice they have for you is going to be one of the most valuable things for you. Another thing you can do is take precautionary measures. Placing buckets to catch the drip can be helpful, especially if you are able to place them in the attic and catch the leak at the highest point, minimizing internal damage. Tarping can also help minimize the water getting in, however don’t tarp your roof if you have to nail or staple the tarp, as this can make holes in the roof and create even more leaks!

Hopefully some of those questions have been answered for you, leaving you more confident as a homeowner and ready to face any leak that comes your way!

Satellite dishes – How to deal with those holes in your roof

July 21, 2014

We live in a day and age where our lives may revolve around television and satellite TV has become very reasonably priced. As a result, the new, smaller dishes are mounted on roofs everywhere.

About half the roofs I see have a dish mounted somewhere on the surface. The downside to this practice is that this adds more weak points to your roof.  The fewer holes and exposed fasteners on a roof, the lesser the chance of damage from a leak developing in the future. If you are having a satellite dish installed, request that the dish be mounted on another surface, if possible. If that is not possible, make sure the technician installs the dish using gaskets and sealers, in order to reduce the chance of future leakage.

Another thing we often find are brackets and dish mounts that are left behind when a dish is removed. In these cases, we recommend removing the mount and replacing the shingles where the holes were left. Sealing the holes is a temporary fix, because the sealant dries out and cracks; it remains watertight only for a few years.

If you need us to remove a dish mount, repair damage left by an improperly installed mount, or seal up an existing mount, give us a call!

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The difficulty with low-slope roofs

March 27, 2014

Low slope roofs add a different challenge to the roofing profession. Many homes feature additions, dormers, or sections with low-slope roofs. In practical fact, a low-slope roof is any pitch lower than a 3/12 (3 inches vertical for every 12 inches horizontal). These roofs cannot be covered by the usual materials (composition shingle, tile, cedar shake, etc.) because water can get underneath the material easily greatly increasing the potential for leaks. We performed a repair on a poorly installed low slope dormer roof recently that had not been secured down properly.  There were ripples and small ponds forming and the wind pulled about half of the roof away from the plywood decking beneath, we removed the old material, built up one side slightly, installed new flashing and closely matched shingles. The roof has been restored to a leak free condition for a long time to come!

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Chimney sidewall overlay (second-layer roof)

January 28, 2014

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Most folks do their best to be efficient and frugal with their finances. One way they try to save some money is by hiring an economy roofer to install a second-layer roof (also called an overlay.) While this is an acceptable practice in most circles, be forewarned that it can lead to headaches in the long run. At Northwest Roof Maintenance, we’ve learned that the new top layer of roofing ages differently, because it is not designed to be installed over the top of another roof.

We inspected an overlay roof this week and found another problem that is fairly common with economy overlay installation. When the roofers installed the shingles around the chimney, they did not properly flash the new layer. If the new layer is not flashed under the existing counter flashing that’s set into the chimney, water that runs down the side of the chimney can funnel under the new layer and find all kinds of pathways on top of the old layer. In this case, the water was funneled under the new layer and found a path through the old layer onto an enclosed eave and down the siding.

While we don’t recommend second-layer roofs, if you do decide to go that route, make sure your contractor isn’t cutting any more corners to save a few dollars, or you will likely pay for it by needing interior and exterior repairs in the near future.

The new year–and a renewed mission

January 2, 2014

logoIMG_20130926_102622It’s the new year already! We wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014.

In 2013, Northwest Roof Maintenance served more customers than in any other year in our history. We realized dramatic growth by dutifully living up to our mission statement: “To provide the most outstanding roof maintenance service every day.” Our friendly and knowledgeable technicians are ready to serve you–for emergency leak repair, concrete tile power washing, gutter cleaning, skylight replacement, and much more. Regular care and maintenance adds years to the life of your roof, so be sure to call us for a free, no-obligation roof inspection.

We offer excellent value. Our warranty, service, and knowledge are second to none and add up to long-term savings. You’ll experience true peace of mind knowing that your roof is in the experienced hands of professionals who stand behind their work and do it right the first time.