Saturday Outdoor Days

Oregon Museum Of Science and Industry O.M.S.I. Is an awesome place to go and check out. It is right in the heart of Downtown Portland.

From the website ,”Founded in 1944, OMSI is one of the nation’s leading science museums with an international reputation in science education. Our mission is to inspire curiosity by creating engaging science learning experiences for students of all ages and backgrounds. We foster experimentation and the exchange of ideas, and we help our community make smart, informed choices. We are dedicated to helping people build the confidence and skills they need for whatever the future holds through hands-on, high-quality learning experiences in the museum, at our world-class resident camps, and as part of the largest statewide science education program in the country. OMSI is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that receives no state or local tax support and relies on admissions, memberships and donations to continue our educational mission, programs and exhibit development.”

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI, /ˈɒmziː/ OM-zee) is a science and technology museum in Portland, Oregon, United States. It contains three auditoriums, including a large-screen theatre, planetarium, and exhibition halls with a variety of hands-on permanent exhibits focused on natural sciences, industry, and technology. Transient exhibits span a wider range of disciplines.

Roofing Tips Fridays

Many Home Owners do not realize that you must keep your roof clean to maintain the manufacturers shingle warranty. Depending on the tree cover you should look at getting it cleaned at least every year and maybe more with heavy tree cover. A simple treatment should be enough to get through the year.

Thursdays Home Repairs Tips

Did you know that you can unclog a toilet with dish soap? Try this simple tip next time you have a clog! Do you have a squeaky floor under carpet? You can use a stud finder to locate the floor joist and just drive a trim screw in there. repeat as needed for a simple way to fix a squeaky floor.

Bathroom Tip Wednesdays

Today we discuss great ways to do very simple updates to your bathroom on a budget. One way to make a very simple change to the bathroom is to upgrade your current tiles. If painting the tiles or grout repair does not work, you can replace tile in small sections. maybe around the sink or bathtub. Even smaller changes can be a new toothbrush holder that matches the storage basket. Also some matching towels can make a drastic difference. Another big change is a fresh coat of paint to add some color to the bathroom.

Windows Siding Tip Tuesdays

Today we are going to talk about the different types of Hardie siding. This is from the website, “Re-siding with fiber cement is a smart investment in your home. Even smarter: Choosing fiber cement siding and trim from the industry leader, James Hardie.” They really have a large selection of styles and colors and these include:

HardiePlank® Lap Siding – Traditional and timeless. Sleek and strong.

HardiePlank® lap siding is not just our best-selling product—it’s the most popular brand of siding in North America, protecting and beautifying more homes from coast to coast.

HardieShingle® Siding – While they are most often associated with Cape Cod-style homes, shingles siding (also referred to as shake siding) can add instant character to any style home, anywhere. For the distinct look of cedar shake with less maintenance, choose

HardieShingle® siding.

HardiePanel® Vertical Siding- Re-siding your house with

HardiePanel vertical siding—or combining it with

HardiePlank® lap siding—is sure to add visual punch to your design. Ask us about any of these products from James Hardie today!

The Sky’s the Limit: Rooftop Living Ideas

You love your house, your garden, and your neighbourhood. But isn’t it time to see it all from a different perspective?

Summer in Oregon is here and the warm weather is made for entertaining and relaxing outdoors, but why not consider building a terrace for your barbecues and evening get-togethers that will really stand out: a rooftop deck.

Rooftop living spaces, no matter their design, offer great advantages. More space, more value for your home, and great views: there’s no feeling quite like standing on top of the world, on your own roof.

A rooftop terrace can add considerable curb appeal to your home, and it’s the perfect way to add a bit more square footage to your home, especially if space is tight. Adding a rooftop deck with elegant furniture, discreet screening, and potted plants maximizes your outdoor space and can offer a secluded space hidden away from prying eyes.

Rooftop decks are perfect for entertaining, for everything from Friday night cocktails to full-on garden parties with a twist. But they can also be a great way to create a rooftop garden without having to create a green roof entirely. They can be made to look as beautiful and useful as your backyard.

You can transform a flat roof into a rooftop deck or add a terrace extension to your existing roof structure.

Rooftop decks can be outdoor lounge areas, dining areas , or gardens. With rooftop lounges, the key to getting the look right is making the area comfortable, private, and relaxing. Rooftop dining areas need to be easily accessible from the kitchen if possible, with enough space to host family and friends for meals. Rooftop gardens, or even living green roofs, need to be carefully thought out to protect your roof from water leaks and wear-and-tear.

With smaller spaces, you can simply create a rooftop bar or small garden with simple furniture, a lovely little oasis that you’ll never want to leave.

When you’re ready, contact us at Keith Green Construction to make these dreams a reality.

The hidden danger of mold: what it is, where to find it, and what to do about it

Winter in Oregon can be a tough time for many living species, but for mold, wet winter months are the perfect conditions for the growth of dangerous mold spores.

Mold loves damp, wet places, and thrives in these humid conditions, quickly infecting your home.

Mold isn’t just unsightly (and smelly!): mold can grow undetected for years and slowly eat away at your home’s internal structures, affecting their integrity and destroying your home bit by bit.

More dangerously, some types of mold can produce mycotoxins that are toxic and can trigger several health issues, such as asthma, allergies, sinus infections, and headaches, warns the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Preventing mold from growing is the best way to keep your health and homes strong and healthy. Keep reading to find out what you can do to prevent mold infestation in your home.

What is mold?

Mold is a generic name for all sorts of fungi that grow and multiply: it only needs moisture and a food source like wood to grow.

In nature, mold serves a useful purpose: decomposition. However, in the home, mold can be dangerous for humans and damage your home structurally and aesthetically.

Many homes in Oregon have water damage from our wet seasons, and this provides ideal conditions for mold to grow. The small spores of mold quickly reproduce and drift through the air and around your home, and potentially into your lungs.

You may see ugly patches of black, brown, pink, or green growths on shower doors, walls, or other visible areas—or you may not be aware at all that mold is growing in your attic, behind the walls, or under your carpets.

Finding mold: 5 signs to look for

1. Uneven or poor attic insulation

Uneven, bulgy insulation in your attic can indicate the presence of water damage from roof leaks, and this can create perfect conditions for mold.

If your attic air circulation and insulation is poor, you won’t have proper ventilation and mold is likely to grow.

Mold spores can travel through very small openings, and can make their way from the attic down to the rest of the house. If you spot water leaks in your attic, it’s important to get them fixed before mold takes over.

2. Soft, spongy floorboards

You know that feeling in old houses when the wooden floorboards seem to give way under your feet?

It’s likely that a soft, spongy area on hardwood floors indicated rotten wood, which will need to be replaced. If you don’t replace spongy, wet floorboards, mold can continue to grow and spread.

3. Bubbling paint on walls

Have you ever noticed how paint seems to ‘bubble’ sometimes on a wall? This usually indicates water damage and internal moisture in the wall.

Painting over the bubbles won’t solve the problem: you need to find the source of the leak and fix it, and then remove the mold.

4. Visible signs of mold

Look carefully at walls, windows, and floorboards. Mold is commonly found in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other areas where moisture is likely to become trapped.

Mold and mildew are often confused: the type of mold you have will determine how you get rid of it.

Mold can grow in patches that penetrate the surface of the material it’s growing on. Mold can be black, green, pink or other colors and tends to grow on walls and inside permanent structures. It’s fuzzy and slimy, with irregular shaped spots.

Mildew, on the other hand, is powdery, white or grey, smells strongly, and tends to grow on organic surfaces and materials. Mildew (a type of mold) typically remains flat on the surface of the material.

5. Unexplained physical symptoms

Have a persistent sinus infection, coughing, or itchy throat or eyes, and it just doesn’t seem to go away? If you’ve consulted a doctor and your condition isn’t improving, consider the possibility that your health issues are being caused by mold.

Make an inspection of your house, call in a professional if you need to, and mention the possible presence of mold in your home to your doctor.

How to get rid of mold

Mold is everywhere, but you can make your home inhospitable to it.

  • Fix water leaks as soon as you spot them and remove sources of excess moisture
  • Install a strong vent or fan in the bathroom (and remember to use it when showering)
  • Open windows when cooking and for 10-15 minutes every day if possible
  • Immediately dry and remove wet carpets, fabrics, furniture, and curtains
  • Make sure you have adequate ventilation in all rooms of your home
  • Clean out your gutters regularly to prevent leaks
  • Inspect your walls, attic, crawl spaces, and roof regularly for signs of moisture
  • Keep a little space between your furniture and the wall so air can pass between them
  • Use your air conditioning in humid weather and your heating in cold seasons

Call in the professionals

You can remove small amounts of mold and mildew with bleach and water (wear protective gear), but larger areas will have to be removed by professionals.

Check out the Oregon government factsheet or the Oregon Mold in Your Home FAQ to find out more or contact us at Keith Green Construction to find out how we can help prevent mold growth in your home.

Dry Rot Versus Wet Rot: Silent Infestations that Destroy Timber

Do you know the one mistake that so many homeowners make? Ignoring the first signs of water damage on wood and timber in their homes.

Left untreated, water damage can end up costing you far more than simply fixing a leak or faulty gutter. What looks like minor damage that you’d be tempted to ignore can quickly become a large-scale wet or dry rot issue and end up costing you thousands.

When too much water infiltrates timber, this provides a fertile ground for fungus to germinate and grow. Most homeowners will at some stage likely encounter dry rot or wet rot: it could be small-scale damage to a garden fence, or it could be more significant damage to windows, doors, or structural timbers in roof or walls.

Dry rot and wet rot are both forms of fungal decay that attacks wood. The dampness and conditions determine which kind of fungus develops, and how they grow and spread.

Excess moisture can come from rising damp from the ground, external penetration through leaks or cracks in the wall or roof, or internal moisture from trapped condensation.

Once established, they spread quickly to destroy even more timber nearby and cause even more damage, so taking action early is important.

Dry rot and wet rot are different fungi, so they require different kinds of treatment.

Dry Rot

Dry rot can cause very serious problems to homes. Dry rot comes from a fungus called Serpula lacrymann, also called brown rot.

It often grows in dark, humid areas and you might not notice it for a long time. Conditions in Oregon are ideal for dry rot to develop.

Dry rot attacks the cellulose in the wood, drawing moisture from the wood, which turns dark brown and becomes brittle.

As it grows, it searches out more wood that it can infect, even if the wood is dry and doesn’t have excess moisture. At this stage, it can simply colonize healthy wood and grow more than a meter every few months.

It’s not as common at wet rot, but it is more serious. Dry rot can grow on wood that has become wet, usually with more than 20% moisture content.

What to look for

Keep an eye out for:

  • Shrinking or cracked wood that’s dark or with cube-like cracks
  • White or grey fluffy cotton-like growth (mycelium) with ‘teardrops’ (where the fungus gets its name from) on it
  • Orange or deep red fruiting bodies with big rust-red pores around them
  • Wood strands that are brittle and dry, and crumple in your hands
  • A moldy, damp, musty smell

Wet rot

Wet rot is more common and less serious than dry rot. Wet rot can be caused by several different types of fungus such as Coniophora puteana or Poria vaillantii, unlike dry rot which only comes from Serpula lacrymann.

Wet rot doesn’t spread to healthy dry wood and only affects wood or timber that has been wet for a long time and has 30-60% moisture content levels. Typically, this will happen when there are plumbing, guttering, roof, pipe leaks or even a leaking washing machine that keep the timber wet consistently.

Any damp and humid condition with poor ventilation increases the chances of getting wood rot. The excess water is the perfect breeding ground for the fungus to grow, feeding on the wood and destroying it bit by bit.

What to look for

Keep an eye out for:

  • Localized fungus on wet timber or wood
  • Spongy and soft timber (rather than crumbly like dry rot)
  • Wood that looks darker than other wood nearby
  • A bleached appearance to wood
  • Flaky or damaged paint with soft wood behind it
  • A musty, damp, moldy smell
  • Wood surrounding an obvious leak

What to do about dry rot and wet rot

If you have wet rot, the easiest thing is to find and eliminate the source of moisture, and then remove and replace the water damaged timber. That should take care of the wet rot issue. If you’re replacing timber, make sure it’s treated to protect from future infestation in case of moisture.

Dry rot may require a more intense chemical treatment to remove the infestation, because it may have spread beyond the damaged wet timber and attacked the dry, healthy one. A professional will try to expose all the infested wood and find out the extent of the infestation.

The source of the moisture still needs to be found and dried out, the area cleaned, and all timber surrounding the dry rot area treated.

Call a pro

It can be hard to spot wet rot or dry rot before the infestation is well established, because frequently the initial growth is hidden behind wall paneling or deep in lintel cracks or joist ends.

It’s not an exact science identifying the type of rot you have, as it can affect timber in different ways: best to deal with leaks and excess moisture immediately, and call in a trained pro if you think you have wet rot or dry rot issue.

If you have a leak or suspect water damage, give us a call—we’re here to help.

How to choose the best types of roofing material for your home

Every homeowner knows the value of a durable, beautiful roof. Above and beyond protecting your home, its inhabitants, and contents, your roof can contribute enormously to the look of your home.

The roof is a big portion of the investment you make in your home but choose well and you’ll not only have durable protection over your head, you’ll also be enhancing the beauty and style of your house.

There are plenty of roof options, but with so many materials, how do you choose?

There’s a lot to consider: budget, longevity, strength, and style. Here in Oregon, with our warm summers and cold winter, durability is really important: your roof will have to withstand the wind, hail, and snow. Increasingly, people are also becoming interested in the eco-friendliness of the materials.

In this article, we break down the various types of materials in detail, their longevity, and their eco-friendliness.

Roofing materials


Metal might not be foremost on people’s minds when it comes to roofing materials, or you may immediately think of barns, but metal is increasingly becoming popular, especially for rustic-style homes.

Metal roofs have a long lifespan, and the fact that it’s lightweight and durable (you won’t need to reinforce the roof structure) makes it an interesting choice for homeowners. It’s also fire-resistant and easy to install, but you’ll need a roofer who’s comfortable working with metal roofs.

Metal roofing typically means copper, steel, or aluminum. Aluminum is very popular because it can be made to look like slate and comes in many different colors. Of the metals, copper is the most costly but its beauty and durability may offset the costs (copper turns green over time, giving the roof a very distinct look).

Metal roofs don’t typically need a lot of maintenance and can be very energy efficient. They’re also great for water catchment for keen gardeners!

In the summer, a metal roof will reflect the sun’s rays, keeping the house cool; in winter, unfortunately, metal roofs can be a bit noisy when it rains or hails (insulation can help). In Oregon, if you’re considering this roofing style, it’s wise to invest in a heated metal roof, so snow will quickly melt and just run off the roof, without piling up.

Longevity: 50-100 years

Eco-friendliness: Metal can be quite eco-friendly: metal roofs can be made entirely of recycled metal and can then, in turn, be recycled at the end of their life.

Concrete/cement tiles

Concrete or cement tiles are artificially created from sand, cement, and pigments, and can look very attractive on a house. They come in a large selection of patterns, colors, and shapes that emulate clay or slate tiles or wood shakes, making them very popular with homeowners who are keen to get a particular style.

They offer excellent protection during our long Oregon winters, as they’re naturally insulating and water resistant.

Concrete tiles can be very heavy, so you may have to reinforce your roof deck if you choose this material. This weight also plays in your favor, however, because they’re less likely to fly away during a storm or develop cracks or leaks.

Less expensive than clay tiles, concrete roof tiles can last a long time and are very fire resistant.

Longevity: around 50 years

Eco-friendliness: Natural materials, but manufacture can be taxing on the environment.


Slate comes from natural fine-grained rocks and is one of the oldest roofing materials. Unlike asphalt, the shingles won’t be as likely to crack or curl after several beatings of our Oregon winters.

Slate is a great choice for homeowners investing in a new roof. It’s one of the toughest materials that will withstand winter after winter (as long as it’s properly installed initially). Slate roofs are also fire-retarding, and extremely durable.

They can, however, be quite heavy, so your roofing company will have to reinforce the roofing support structure.

This material is one of the most expensive roofing materials, even before you add up the labor costs to upgrade the roof deck. However, with its beautiful appearance, durability, and performance (it’s extremely energy efficient), it remains one of the most popular roofing materials throughout time, and you’ll see plenty of them around Portland and Oregon.

Longevity: 100+ years

Eco-friendliness: Completely natural, sustainable.


Along with slate, clay tiles are very energy efficient and durable, and are one of the oldest roofing materials.

Clay roofing tiles are popular in the south and coastal areas of the US, and sometimes here in Oregon because they’re very durable in inclement weather. They also regulate the internal temperature of your house quite well. People also love the Spanish-style look they give their houses.

Clay tiles also include ceramic and terra cotta: clays is a natural material that’s fired in a kiln, and looks fantastic on most homes. They come in various colors, but their natural color has a beauty all its own and won’t easily fade or discolor.

As well as being quite resistant to snow and rain, clay is very fire resistant. Clay roofs will need to be reinforced to carry the weight of the tiles.

Longevity: 70+ years

Eco-friendliness: Completely natural and recyclable but requires significant energy to manufacture.


Polymer and composite roofing shingles are made of plastics, polymers, rubber, or asphalt mixtures, and look like real slate or wood. They look quite attractive on roofs and aren’t as costly as some of the other options.

These types of shingles are very durable and can withstand extreme temperatures, and they also perform very well on energy efficiency. Composites will keep your house warm in winter but also cool in summer.

You’ll see quite a few of them in Portland and Oregon. They’re easy to look after and are super durable—but while the plastic is long-lasting, it also means it’s not very sustainable or eco-friendly.

On the upside, they’re not as heavy as slate or concrete, so your roof structure likely won’t need any extra support.

Longevity: around 50 years

Eco-friendliness: Plastics, some can be recycled, but not a sustainable material. You may be able to find recycled plastic polymer shingles.


Asphalt shingles are made of fiberglass, ceramic, and asphalt grains. They’re a popular roofing option because of their affordability and style: they come in many different colors, including wood and slate lookalikes, and aren’t as expensive as other options.

Asphalt shingles aren’t very heavy, so there’s no need to reinforce the roof deck, and they’re relatively easy to install.

They’re not as durable as other roofing options: in heavy snow like what we get in Oregon, they’ll have to be inspected and maintained regularly, or you may see the odd shingle fly away during a storm or find yourself holding up a bucket to your roof (if properly maintained, you should be fine! See how to conduct a roofing inspection to keep on top of things.)

You can put chances on your side by choosing better quality (and therefore more expensive) asphalt shingles that have a good durability and impact resistance.

Longevity: around 20-30 years

Eco-friendliness: Petroleum-based product: can be but aren’t often recycled, and has to be replaced frequently.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

Wood shingles look amazing and give a special natural, “warm” look to houses, regardless of their setting. Wood shingles are really durable and made to withstand tough conditions like snow and ice. They’re very energy efficient.

Most often, they’re made of cedar wood, which offers great resistance to weather but they’re not as fireproof as other materials (but you can have them treated).

Wood shingles also require more maintenance than some other options. They’re not as heavy as slate or concrete, but not as light as asphalt or composites.

In addition, cedar wood shingles are durable alternatives that can survive countless winters and low temperatures without deteriorating in quality. They last longer than asphalt, but aren’t as durable as slate, for example. They’re prone to cracking, so you should invest in shingles with a good hail rating and keep an eye on them over the seasons.

Longevity: 30-50 years

Eco-friendliness: 100% natural product, highly sustainable.

Green or ‘living’ roofs

Green roofing isn’t just for hippies and hobbits anymore: green roofs are gaining popularity in both urban as well as rural contexts.

A green roof is a way to cover asphalt or other flat roofs with vegetation: heat radiates from the roof, and rain falls directly on it, so it’s an ideal place to grow vegetation in a neglected area. A waterproof membrane has to be installed on the roof, followed by a root barrier, drainage, and filtration layers, and then finally the soil so you can grow your plants.

If well designed, installed, and maintained, a green roof can save you money in the long term. Green roofs are great at insulating your home and reduce energy costs (they act as a built-in thermal insulator). They also absorb stormwater so you may not need complex draining systems for heavy rainfalls.

Extensive green roofs are designed to be self-sustaining, while intensive green roofs are more like a garden and will need regular maintenance. Either way, you’ll need reinforcements to your roof structure to carry the weight of your rooftop garden. They’re not for everyone (or for every roof), but you can do something very positive for your immediate environment with a green roof.

Longevity: about 40 years

Eco-friendliness: Sustainable and great for the environment, reduce air pollution, replace greenery, promote habitats.

A word about longevity and durability

Roof material longevity can vary greatly depending on quality, weather, foot traffic, installation, and maintenance. These are guidelines only.

At Keith Green Construction, we’re happy to help walk you through the options if you’re selecting a new roof. Contact us and we’ll discuss the things that matter to you and help guide you so we can find a solution that meets your needs, together.