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Archive for the ‘Roof repair’ Category

How to Choose a Reputable Portland Roof Cleaner

January 15, 2018

Is your roof looking a little worse for wear? Don’t immediately assume you need a complete roof replacement. It’s likely that your roof just needs a good cleaning.

If it’s time to clean your roof, avoid trying to do the job yourself. Falls are one of the leading cases of injury and death every year. Not to mention you could unknowingly damage your roof if you’re not careful. Instead, it’s better to partner with a trusted and professional Portland roof cleaner.

There are 8 qualities every Portland roof maintenance company should have. As you’re considering your options, reference the list below to make sure you pick the best company for the job.

 

1. The company should have proven local experience

Not only should a roof maintenance company have years of experience, they also need strong knowledge of the local community and the specific roof issues affecting homeowners in the area.

Although large chains will likely have a lot of experience, steer clear of these franchises and instead look for privately-owned local businesses. These types of companies have a vested interest in their community reputation and always want to perform top-quality work.

When you talk to a roof maintenance company, ask them how long they’ve been in business in the area and how many projects they’ve worked on to get an idea of their history.

How Does Northwest Roof Maintenance Measure Up?

  • Locally owned and operated
  • Cleaning and maintaining roofs for over 10 years
  • Experience maintaining and cleaning roofs in Portland, Vancouver, Camas, Battle Ground, Ridgefield, and more!

 

 

2. Make sure the company offers a warranty and has insurance

If a company cannot or will not guarantee their work, steer clear. Cleaning treatments or services should always be covered by a warranty. Choose a roof cleaner who stands behind their work and won’t be satisfied until you’re happy.

Additionally, the company you work with must have liability insurance to cover their employees. Roof work is dangerous, and you don’t want to be held liable if any injuries occur while working on your home.

How Does Northwest Roof Maintenance Measure Up?

  • Committed to customer satisfaction
  • Stands behind all our work and will do whatever it takes to make sure you’re happy
  • All manufacturer’s warranties are honored
  • All roof cleaners are covered under workers compensation and liability insurance

 

 

3. Choose a company specializing in various roof materials

Different types of roofs require different approaches to cleaning, so choosing the correct cleaning method for your roof is very important.

Your roof maintenance company should have extensive knowledge and experience working on a wide variety of roof styles and materials. Ask the company about their experience level working on your specific type of roof.

Additionally, if the company’s only method for cleaning your roof is using a pressure washer, beware. Gentle pressure washing may be necessary for some roofs (for example, those with heavy moss coverage), however it won’t take care of the root of the problem.

How Does Northwest Roof Maintenance Measure Up?

  • Specialize in various roof styles and materials, including cedar shakes, composition roofs, and tile roofs
  • Never use dangerous chemicals to clean your roof

 

 

4. Never hire a company without proper state licensure

When considering a roof maintenance company, ask to see a copy of their license. If the company cannot or will not show you this information, stay away!

If you live in Oregon, your roof cleaner should have passed an Oregon Construction Contractors Board test to become a license roofer. You can check whether or not a company is licensed in Oregon by clicking here.

If you’re over the border in Washington, the company will need to be registered as a contractor with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

How Does Northwest Roof Maintenance Measure Up?

  • Fully licensed to work on roofs in both Oregon and Washington

 

 

5. Choose a roof cleaner that offers free inspections & estimates

You shouldn’t have to pay for a roof maintenance company to tell you how much they are going to charge you for a service. If a company tells you they charge to come look at your roof, we suggest looking elsewhere.

How Does Northwest Roof Maintenance Measure Up?

  • Preliminary roof inspections are provided at no cost to you.

 

 

6. Ask if the company provides a full clean up after every job

There’s nothing worse than hiring a company to clean your roof and then coming home to a yard full of debris, leaves, branches, and moss. Yet this is how some roofing companies operate!

Always ask the company whether or not they provide a full clean up after the job is complete. This means picking up all the materials cleared from your roof and taking it off your property.

How Does Northwest Roof Maintenance Measure Up?

  • All cleaning services include clean up after the project is complete
  • Committed to leaving your yard better than we found it

 

 

7. Find out how the company chooses and trains their roof cleaners

It’s important to know who will be at your house working on your property. You want a team who complies with OSHA safety procedures and has the knowledge to take great care of your roof.

Take a look at the company’s website to find information about their team. What qualities and experience do they look for in the people they hire?

How Does Northwest Roof Maintenance Measure Up?

  • Friendly and professional workers
  • Best roof technicians in the business
  • Trained in OSHA standard safety procedures
  • Experts in efficient and effective roof cleaning processes

 

 

8. Look at company reviews

Lastly, take a look at online reviews to find out what other customers are saying about their experience with the company. There are many places you can look for reviews but here are some of the most common:

Look for reviews that highlight the company’s customer service skills and ability to do the job perfectly.

How Does Northwest Roof Maintenance Measure Up?

  • Great customer reviews!
  • 100+ 5-star reviews on HomeAdvisor
  • A+ Rating on BBB

 

 

Ready to Hire a Reputable Roof Cleaner?

roof maintenance

At Northwest Roof Maintenance, we love helping homeowners throughout Portland and Vancouver take care of their roof. Not only will regular roof cleanings give your home a fresh and polished look, it will also help protect your roof and add years to its life (saving you thousands of dollars).

Give us a call today at (360) 910-8938 for your free roof inspection or to schedule your roof cleaning.

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!

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.

The Low Down on Pressure Washing

November 11, 2015

 
 

Everyone wants to live somewhere that looks nice. Of course, some aspects of maintaining a home aren’t just about keeping up appearances, but extending the life of your home. Enter roof cleanings, one of the most important maintenance items on any homeowners checklist.

Leaving moss and other debris on your roof will eventually cause leaks, rot, and deterioration. Homeowners often try to prevent these problems by pressure washing their roof. But did you know this isn’t always the best option and can actually damage your roof if not done correctly?

Here at Northwest Roof Maintenance, we want to help you prevent that from happening. Read on to learn 8 things you need to know before pressure washing your roof.

 


 

Questions about pressure washing your roof or roof cleaning in general?
Contact us online or give us a call at 360-910-8938 (in Vancouver) OR 503-740-4808 (in Portland).

 


 

 

1. Don’t pressure wash composition shingle roofs

If you have a composition shingle roof, don’t ever pressure wash it. The high pressure on the shingles can loosen the granules and cause unnecessary wear and tear. Instead, opt for a brush-off solution, a gentler option for removing the moss build up.

 

2. Tile roofs are generally okay to pressure wash

In general, pressure washing won’t hurt your tile roof. In fact, pressure washing may be your only option to get it looking clean again. The one exceptions is if your tile is old and brittle, as it could damage the roof. You can always ask an experienced Vancouver roofing professional to look at your roof and determine if pressure washing is recommended, and if not, what your options are.

 

3. You can pressure wash in the rain

It’s completely fine to pressure wash in the rain. While rain can affect some repairs and roof maintenance projects, it won’t affect a pressure washing project. You are already putting large amounts of pressurized water on your roof, just view the rain as a little extra rinse.

 

4. Leave pressure washing to a professional

Pressure washing isn’t as simple as it seems. For best results, you should always have a professional pressure wash your roof. Not contracting an experienced professional can leave uneven strokes causing highlights on your roof or zebra stripes on your home. Your best bet is to always go with a professional to get an even, clean look.

 


 

Roof Maintenance and Cleaning From Northwest Roof Maintenance

 


 

 

5. Pressure washing can get messy

Pressure washing is messy. While the end result may be a beautifully clean roof, the process is not so beautiful. All of the moss and dirt that’s on your roof has to go somewhere when it’s mixed with water and coming off your roof.

Our crews will put tarps down below the roof line to catch as much of the dirty water as we can, but it will never catch it all. Some mud and water will still get on anything below the roof line, such as plants, furniture, or walkways.

 

6. Pressure washing prep tips

Just because it’s messy doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. There are things you can do to help minimize the mess made.

  • Move vehicles out of the driveway and out of the way of the mess
  • Make sure all windows are closed so the mess stays outside
  • Move any potted plants or patio furniture away from the roof line

 

7. Skylights need extra prep

If you have a skylight and are pressure washing your home, there’s a chance water will leak if you don’t prepare your skylight window properly.

Due to the high pressure and direction of the water flow, sometimes water will leak in through the seams of a skylight during a pressure washing. This does not necessarily mean that there’s a problem with your skylight or that your skylight will leak when it rains. However, since there’s a possibility of water leaking through during the pressure wash, we recommend laying plastic over the area beneath any skylights.

 

8. Ask questions prior to pressure washing

Communicate any concerns prior to pressure washing your roof. If you have fears or concerns, get answers before any problems become reality. Most companies, including Northwest Roof Maintenance, would rather alleviate fears and set expectations before completing a job than have an upset customer afterwards.

Questions about pressure washing roofs or interested in a professional opinion of what would be best for your roof (along with a free estimate)? Give Northwest Roof Maintenance a call today at 360-910-8938 (for Vancouver residents) or 503-740-4808 (for Portland residents). You can also always contact us online.

Category Roof repair

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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