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Archive for the ‘FAQS’ Category

Is moss bad for my roof?

May 8, 2018

 

Is moss bad for my roof?

 

Moss is a four-letter word for homeowners in the Portland and Vancouver areas. Fighting it on your own can be a constant headache and who needs the hassle? What’s the worst that can happen, anyway?

Here at Northwest Roof Maintenance, the question we hear more than any other, “is moss bad for my roof?” You might be hopeful to hear that moss isn’t that bad but the truth is about what you’d expect.

The answer is simple: Moss is bad for your roof.

 

Why is moss bad for your roof?

Moss thrives in dark, cool, wet climates. Sound familiar?

There’s probably not a single roof in the Pacific Northwest that’s immune from moss growth. And sure, sometimes moss can give a steeply pitched roof a charming fairy tale look like something straight out of the Enchanted Forest.

But there’s a darker side to moss growth. No matter whether you have cedar shakes, tiles, or composite shingles, moss is bad for your roof!

Here’s why:

  • Moisture – By its nature, moss is wet and constant moisture on your roof can cause devastating amounts of rot.
  • Growth – Moss is insidious and grows steadily. As it grows it can push under shingles, tiles, and shakes, pushing them up and creating damage to your roof.
  • Leaks – The damage to your roof caused by moss growth can lead to holes, thin spots, and eventually leaks.
  • Pests – Bugs and rodents may be attracted to moss on your roof. The result is frustrating and hard to eliminate pest infestations.
  • Weight – You’d be surprised at how heavy a big mat of moss can be. Moss is spongy and holds a lot of water. There may be hundreds of pounds of added weight on your roof. That’s weight your roof wasn’t designed to support.
  • Curb Appeal – Are you thinking about selling your home? Moss can be a red flag to picky home buyers and home inspectors, potentially costing you thousands of dollars.
  • HOA Fines – If your HOA is particularly picky, you may face a fine for allowing moss to grow on your roof.
  • Danger – Moss is slick and slippery. You’re much more likely to fall and get seriously hurt if you’re walking on a moss-covered roof!

 

Moss prevention & removal

An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure. It’s a cliche for a reason!

Our roof cleaning and maintenance team rely on preventive treatments. These treatments kill moss and stop moss from growing. On composition and tile roofs, we apply a water-based zinc treatment that kills any moss. Once the moss is dead, a liquid spray soaks into your shingles, ensuring that new moss doesn’t take root. If you have a cedar shake roof, we have a specially-formulated copper treatment. Copper prevents moss from growing on your cedar roof.

Copper treatments have extra benefits, including:

  • Repelling insects – Copper doubles as a pesticide, keeping damaging powderpost beetles and termites at bay
  • Protecting roof structure – The copper moss prevention treatments we use also reduce warping, splitting, and other issues caused by moisture

DID YOU KNOW: Zinc-based moss treatments may leave a white residue on your roof. This is natural and completely harmless.

 

How we remove moss without damaging shingles

Of course, if you already have moss on your roof, the best place to start is with a thorough roof cleaning and moss removal. We’ve developed a 3-step process designed to remove moss without damaging your roof! Here’s how:

  1. We start by gently brushing away moss by hand, freeing it from your shingles.
  2. Using compressed air, we blow the loosened moss and debris off of your roof. We get every nook and cranny, even the hard-to-reach-spaces between shingles.
  3. Finally, we clean up the debris and make sure you’re happy with how your roof looks.

Do you want to maximize the life of your roof? A moss prevention treatment applied to a clean roof is a great way to protect your home!

 

Can’t I just pressure wash the moss off of my roof?

Pressure washing can remove moss from the surface of your roof but there are drawbacks:

  1. Pressure washing is NOT recommended for roofs with composition shingles. You’ll damage the shingles and reduce the life of your roof.
  2. Pressure washing can drive moisture deeper into your roof. The result is even more rot and long-term damage.
  3. Pressure washing doesn’t always remove the moss that’s between shingles. That’s why we use compressed air to remove moss from most roofs.

 

What about using bleach on my roof? Won’t that kill the moss?

Bleach and other household cleaners will kill moss. However, many cleaners are corrosive, causing structural damage and unsightly discolorations.

Remember, you don’t want to just kill the moss, it needs to be removed, too.

 

More moss prevention tips

  1. Have you trees pruned. Branches overhanging the roof can drop moss and encourage additional moss growth.
  2. Keep your gutters clean and unclogged. Moisture leads to moss which leads to more moisture which leads to roof damage!
  3. Get your roof inspected regularly. Stop moss growth before it starts.

 

Worried about moss on your roof? We can help!

Do you see moss on your roof? Or are you noticing bits of moss or lichen on the ground around your home after a big storm? Moss might be damaging your roof!

Contact us online or call (360) 910-8938. Schedule your free no-obligation inspection from our moss removal and prevention team. We’ll answer your questions and help you understand the best way to protect your roof from damage caused by moss.

We’ll never try to sell you a new roof. We’ll only recommend the services you need to keep your roof in great shape for as long as possible. Read reviews from our satisfied customers and see for yourself!

Category FAQS, Moss Removal

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.

6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Clean Your Own Roof

March 23, 2017

Roof Cleaning

Many homeowners love DIY projects around the house. From painting to yard work, it can be fun and rewarding to do home maintenance projects. There is certainly plenty of home maintenance work that can be handled without calling a professional. However, roof cleaning is not one of them.

Especially in Portland, Vancouver, and the Pacific Northwest, regular roof cleaning is critical to remove moss and other weather-related issues. Roof cleaning prevents decay and other costly damages to your property. It also extends the lifespan of your roof, protecting an important asset to your home.

While technically you can clean your own roof, it’s not recommended. From personal injury to property damage, there are plenty of compelling reasons to leave roof cleaning to the professionals. Before you go grab your ladder and head out on the roof, consider why cleaning your own roof might not be a great idea.

Why You Should Not Clean Your Own Roof

Falls

Let’s get real. Roof cleaning is dangerous. You may not think your roof is too high or too slanted, but you may change your tune once you’re up there. Falls from roofs account for more than one-third of fall-related construction fatalities, and these are experienced professionals.

Falls happen for all kinds of reasons. One second of lost balance can lead to a whole world of trouble. All kinds of unforeseen events can cause a fall including early morning dew, brief summer showers, a sudden gust of winds, faulty equipment, or even a pesky insect. No matter how confident you are in your abilities, anyone can be a fall victim.

Plus, even if you don’t fall, there are all kinds of way you can hurt yourself cleaning your roof. It’s pretty easy to twist your ankle, strain your back, or suffer all sorts of cuts and bruises.

Insects

Despite what you may think, you might not be alone on your roof. Insects like wasps, hornets, and bees may have built nests in the area, especially in places that are difficult to see. Insect nests can be located on your roof, in your chimney, or in nearby trees.

If you clean your roof yourself, you risk running into these tiny creatures when you’re already in a vulnerable position. A swarm of wasps or hornets is the last thing you want to deal with while you’re trying to keep your balance. Not only are you susceptible to painful stings (hope you’re not allergic!), but you’re also more likely to fall.

ladder-upload-get-achievement-support-aluminum

 

Experience & Expertise

How many times have you cleaned a roof in your life? For the average homeowner, the answer is not many. For the experienced roofing professional, the answer is a ton! With that much experience and hands-on training comes a level of expertise that only professionals can reach.

Here are a few things a roofing professional can spot in a second, but the average homeowner might miss:

  • A potential weak spot
  • A leak or potential leak
  • Areas in need of repair
  • Signs the roof needs replacement

Not all roof damage is visible to the untrained eye. By attempting to clean your roof yourself, you risk missing key signs of damage that could escalate into larger problems. Plus, if you do find an issue, how will you know if you’ve fixed it or made it worse?

Improper handling of roof issues can lead to more serious problems down the road. It takes experience and expertise to even know what to look for, let alone how to treat problems. Simply put, roof cleaning is just not a recommended DIY project.

Cost Effective

DIY enthusiasts will argue that hiring roof cleaning professionals is a “waste of money.” However, cleaning your own roof is not necessarily a way to save money. If you clean your roof yourself, you will still have to purchase tools and supplies. Plus, actually doing the work will take you longer because you are not a trained and experienced professional. And in the end, despite your best efforts, your roof still may not be adequately cleaned.

Consider the costs of not getting a proper roof cleaning. The cost to repair roof damage or even replace your roof is considerably higher than a routine cleaning. You’re simply making a small investment in your property that will pay off over time. Especially if your roof cleaning provider, like Northwest Roof Maintenance, offers preventative treatments to keep your roof in good shape for longer.

Time Is Valuable

Cleaning a roof is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process. Do you really want to spend your summer weekends up on your roof? Probably not. Your time is valuable. That’s just another reason why you should leave roof cleaning to the professionals, so you can spend your time doing things you love.

Also, cleaning a roof isn’t really that fun. The staff at Northwest Roof Maintenance loves it, but we don’t expect the average homeowner to share our passion. So go out and enjoy your weekend with your friends and family. Come back to a clean roof!

roof maintenance

 

Ready To Call In The Professionals?

Owning a home is a big responsibility. Some home maintenance tasks you can easily do yourself, while others are best left to professionals. Take roof cleaning off your to-do list by contacting a professional roof cleaning company.

Of course, you shouldn’t just hire anybody to clean your roof. Make sure you work with experienced, well-trained professionals like the staff at Northwest Roof Maintenance. We help homeowners in the Portland-Vancouver area with roof cleaning, repair, moss cleaning, and preventative treatments.

Our friendly, expert 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 360-558-3274 (Vancouver).