The Party’s Over: Getting Rid of Dry Rot in Your Roof

mushroomsThere’s a little wood, a little moisture, a little warmth… and the next thing you know, there’s a fungus party being thrown right above your head in your roof!

This party is what we call dry rot: invasive fungi that destroy wood, making it weak and brittle. The wood doesn’t decay because it’s wet, but rather because moisture allows fungi to grow in the tissue of the wood.

Fungal Frolicks in your Roof

So what harm can a little fungus revelry cause? Well, quite a lot, if you let it thrive – especially as much of it can be unseen.

Unlike the obvious decay of dry rot in neglected wooden windows and doors, dry rot is far sneakier. It finds its way in concealed parts of your roof, wherever moisture is present, and reproduces at a rate of more than five million spores per minute in a few days. It even lies in wait for years until it’s in contact with water again to become active.

Moisture provides all that fungi need for rapid growth into the wood, which will weaken and destroy the timbers of a roof. Many of us now have weatherized or energy efficient materials in our attics and structural elements of our home, making it even harder for moisture to evaporate. To fungi, even a tiny water leak from a roof is the equivalent of an all-you-can-drink party: it’s just a question of time before something gets damaged.

Stopping Dry Rot in your Roof

There’s no such thing as a small dry rot problem. If you don’t treat dry rot, the strength of your structural roof timbers could be compromised, and the rot can even spread to bricks and plastering in the building. Load-bearing beams, rafters, ceilings, floor joists and other important structural elements can quickly weaken if you let dry rot attack the wood in your roof.

You may not realize you have a dry rot problem until it becomes apparent, at which stage you may smell or see the fungus. A professional roofer will be able to tell you if it is indeed dry rot caused by water leaks or moisture rather than an insect invasion that mimics the signs of dry rot.

The good news is that you can call it a day and send the fungi packing. Once the water supply is cut off, this removes one of the most important conditions in which dry rot can thrive. Repair the leak in your roof or water pipe, and the fungi will stop spreading. The affected wood won’t heal, but you’ll stop it from getting worse.

If you have a dry rot problem, or if you’ve had a water leak in the past or notice molds or moisture in your attic or house, contact a professional roofer right away. You’ll have to have any affected wood removed and replaced, and neighboring wooden structures may be treated with a biocide.

Prevention is Better than Cure: Maintaining your Roof

The best way to prevent dry rot is to find any source of moisture and repair water leaks as quickly as possible. Some of the wooden structures can be pressure-treated with preservatives that will slow fungal growth; these need to be reapplied every few years.

Have a professional roof inspection of your roof regularly. Trust the professionals: they know how to kill a party (of fungi)!

24 Things to Do in Hillsboro, Oregon

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Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives
Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

Whether you call Hillsboro home, or you are just here for a visit, you may be looking for some fun ways to spend your leisure time. We’re here to help!

Here are 24 of our favorite things to do in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Be sure to visit our interactive map below. You can click on the list icon at the top left of the map to see a list of all activities, then click on each one to visit the location on the map.


Looking for a little more information on these activities? Click on the links below to visit their websites or Google Plus pages.

  1. Magnolia Park
  2. Color Me Mine Hillsboro
  3. The Streets of Tanasbourne
  4. Pacific Personal Training
  5. CrossFit Hillsboro
  6. McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse
  7. Gordon Faber Recreation Complex
  8. Hondo Dog Park
  9. Out of This World Pizza and Play
  10. Orenco Station
  11. Park Lanes Family Entertainment Center
  12. Noble Woods Park
  1. Hillsboro Public Library
  2. Oregon International Air Show
  3. Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals
  4. Rood Bridge Park
  5. Aircraft Aviation Museum
  6. Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center
  7. The Venetian Theatre & Bistro
  8. HART Theatre
  9. Washington County Museum
  10. Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve
  11. McKay Creek Golf Course & Driving Range
  12. Bald Peak State Park


Getting Out of Hot Water: Finding and Fixing Leaks in your Roof

You may have heard the famous Benjamin Franklin quote, “A small leak will sink a great ship”, and it’s the same for your house. Leaking roofs can cause havoc in your home and destroy your furniture.

If you’re lucky, you’ll have spotted damaged or missing shingles or tiles, or noticed water marks on the ceiling long before water makes its way through your roof and into your home.

Regardless of the type of roof you have, flat or pitched, at some stage during your roof’s lifetime you’re likely to experience a leak if you don’t annually inspect it.

Fixing the leak isn’t actually the hardest part, but finding it can be! The reason leaks are so hard to find on a roof is because water can seep in from damaged areas on the roof, such as worn or broken shingles or loose nails, and trickle down to another point before it drips down to your ceiling.

If water is seeping into your home, check for roof leaks as soon as you can to prevent further damage. Need an urgent roof repair? Call emergency roof repair professionals available 24/7.

Roof Leaks: the Usual Suspects

Water leaks may not come from the roof itself. Water can seep in from air condition or plumbing leaks, drains or scuppers, or even from pest infestation. Blocked gutters can make it look like the roof is damaged. Before you try taking your roof apart, make sure that’s where the water is actually seeping in from.

Some parts of the roof are more prone to leaks, so start your search there. Flashings at chimneys, air conditions on the roof, skylights, dormer vents and roof protrusions often turn out to be the source of the problem.

If you want to avoid making an emergency call to roofing specialists, safeguard your roof with regular roof maintenance and inspections.

Finding the Leak

Step 1: A Visual Inspection of the Roof

Standing on the ground, start by looking for the obvious roof leak. Look for:

• exposed roofing tacks
• cracked asphalt or shakes
• ice dams
• broken or damaged shingles
• water stains or discolorations
• holes
• popped nails
• fallen branches

Many of these can be easily fixed, like replacing a shingle, but if you see uneven ridge lines or sagging rafters, this could be a more serious structural problem, and you’ll need to call in the professionals.

Step 2: Checking the Attic for Roof Leaks

If you had no luck with the visual inspection, examine the attic, if you have access to it. Look for wet frames, soft spots or water marks, and examine the ridge, sheathing and rafters. Water flows downhill, so work your way up if you see a drip.

If nothing turns up, switch off the lights and look for holes that let the daylight through.

Lastly, examine the underside of the roof nails that are badly placed in the framing member, causing condensation and frost in cold weather.

If you find a hole, gently run a bit of wire through so you can find it easily from the roof.

Step 3: Getting the Ladder Out: Up on the Roof

The attic didn’t yield any results? You may have to check the roof itself.

Walking on the roof or standing on the eaves can cause damage and can be very dangerous. If you’re not comfortable going up on the roof, or if you don’t have the right equipment, call the roofing contractors – it’s no small task, and sometimes it takes professionals to do it right – and do it safely!

First, look for corrosion or broken seals on the flashings of anything that protrudes through the roof, such as vents, chimneys or skylights. Next, check the whole surface of the roof with binoculars for holes, rusted areas, worn or loose shingles or dry rot.

If you fail to uncover the leak, there is one more thing you can try before you call in the professionals: a water test with a garden hose.

Slowly, isolate and soak one small area of the roof at a time while a friend looks for the leak in the attic. Start at the bottom of the roof (never go straight up-roof), one small area at a time. If you find the leak, push a wire or nail through so you can identify the area on the roof.

Step 4: Fixing the Leak in your Roof

Now that you’ve found the leak, you’re halfway to staying dry! How you fix the leak will depend on the material and construction of your roof.

Single roofs can often be easier to fix, by replacing or securing curled or missing/damaged shingles. Flat roofs that have a large area of water under the roof will require a professional to fix the problem. If you’re not sure how to proceed, call a professional roofing company who can fix emergency roof repairs and ensure your roof – and your whole home – stay dry!

A Word about Safety

You should never climb onto a roof during a storm, and never on a steeply pitched roof. Ladders can be dangerous and need to be set up properly. You should always wear a safety line and harness if you’re climbing onto a roof or up a ladder. Never work from the ladder – set up a scaffold that will provide a safer platform. Gloves and goggles are recommended for the attic. Avoid stepping on ceiling joins or other delicate surfaces and be careful of any wet plastic. Attics can contain badly insulated electric wires –stay away from these and call an electrician or professional roofer if any are exposed.

Annual Inspections of your Roof

Roofs are the first level of protection for your home, and they need some TLC, too. Did you know that you can have your roof inspected and maintained annually? Before winter, consider hiring experts to examine your roof and provide improvements to add years to your roof!

Home Improvement Made Easy With Mobile Apps

Summer has arrived … and with it the perfect time to do some home renovations! Are you looking to add a new sink to your kitchen remodel or bathroom remodel? What about finally painting that spare bedroom, or replacing the carpet with tile? The following applications, available on all mobile platforms, can help you get the job right … the first time!

homespot-logoHomeSpot HQ

This website is one of the more comprehensive tools available out there. It not only includes organizational and calendar sections, but how to maintain and protect your house, as well as planning your next project. One of the bigger frustrations in do-it-yourself home renovations is figuring out what to do next – this app is ideal for those hard-to-complete projects.
Mobile rating: n/a, website only

home-improvement-calcHome Improvement Calcs

This application is entirely focused around calculators. It helps you calculate how much mulch or fertilizer you need for your lawn, what amount of attic insulation is required and much more. This app costs $1.99 for iOs, but the couple of dollars is well worth getting the number of calculators for all matter of projects.

iOs rating: 4+ stars
Android rating: n/a

DIY Tip GeniusFamily Handyman DIY Tip Genius

From the makers of the Family Handyman Magazine, this “genius” provides tips and ideas to getting your next project done right – it highlights what needs to be done for the project to work, and be safe, all while saving money and stress.

iOS rating: 4+ stars
Android rating: 3 stars

home-depotHome Depot

The Home Depot’s app includes a store locator, advertisements and specials. If you’re looking for somewhere to purchase supplies for your next project, this app is ideal, as not only can you search for products you need, but you can also order them on-line.

iOS rating: 2 stars
Android rating: 3-1/2 stars


Like the Home Depot app, the Lowe’s app also includes a product search and store locator. This app also has something called MyLowe’s, which allows you to access your purchase history, home profile and MyLowe’s card wherever you are.

iOS rating: 4+ stars
Android rating: 4 stars

Portland Interior Designers: Aronel Design Studio

LS Photo

This installment of our Portland Interior Designers segment showcases the work and talents of Lenora Smith, founder of Aronel Design Studio, Inc.

Lenora is the brain behind three collections of environmentally conscious furnishing products:

  • the Dare to Dream collection of textured wall coverings
  • the Break Some Rules collection of light upholstery fabrics made of 100% recycled content
  • the Labor of Love collection of wall coverings printed on pre-pasted pater with a water activated adhesive

Here is what Lenora had to say in response to our questions.

KGC-logo-smallWhat makes you different from other designers?

Although I studied interior design, I am most passionate about pattern/surface design and I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to turn that passion into three collections of sustainable interior furnishing products.”


What is your idea of what a beautiful home should feel like?

I think a beautiful home should feel like wearing a well-worn glove that fits you perfectly and always feels like a warm embrace.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

The instant gratification of someone falling in love with a product that was once just an idea.”


What was one of your favorite projects to date, and what made it so special?

I was able to be a co-sponsor of Eco-Bungalow LA.  It was an opportunity for me to give me to a family that had lost everything in a fire.  I was able to work with the homeowner (wife/mother) directly to create a custom wallcovering and she it was particularly rewarding when she called me to say how much she loved it when it was installed.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat’s your approach to interacting with clients?

Because my products are sold through design showrooms, I rarely have the opportunity to interact with the end-customer directly but, when I do, I love the process of finding out who they are and what will make them happy.  The process mostly involves  listening to their likes/dislikes and figuring out how to deliver what they want in a way that is beyond what they could have imagined.”


How can a homeowner discover their signature style?

Review design magazines and visit new and different interior spaces.  Make a note of colors, textures and products that captivate you and start to develop a sense of the common thread that ties these things together.”

KGC-logo-smallWhen you are not designing, what are you doing?

I have developed a passion for cooking over the past few years so I am usually researching new foods and experimenting with new recipes.”

We invite you to browse some of Lenora’s work below, and to consider Keith Green Construction for your Portland roofing and construction needs.

Portland Interior Designers: Kimberlee Jaynes


In today’s installment of our Portland Interior Designer segment, we interview Kimberlee Jaynes, the talented owner of Kimberlee Jaynes Interior Designs, Inc.

Although Kimberlee may well have inherited her artistic flair — her mother is fine arts painter Jeanne Graham and her grandfather was renowned photographer, Julian P. Graham —  her natural abilities  are backed by a strong foundation in fashion, art and design.

Kimberlee’s designs are bold in their simplicity, and marry modern and traditional styles in a beautiful and unique way.

KGC-logo-smallWhat makes you different from other designers?

I use an extensive interview system that I have developed over many years. It gives me the insights I need to bring my client what they desire without wasting time and money.”


What has been your key to success?

Tending to my client.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat is the highest compliment you’ve been paid for your work?

This feels like us.”

KGC-logo-smallHow would you describe your design style?

Bold simplicity.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat inspires your creativity?


KGC-logo-smallWhat excites you about design these days?

New paint, wall coverings and fabrics!”

KGC-logo-smallWhat is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

At the big reveal when the client is thrilled with the outcome.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat are your favorite ways to add color and texture to a space?

Art work and throw pillows are great ways to add color and texture to a space.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat’s your approach to interacting with clients?

I like the process to be a collaboration and welcome my clients input.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat are the most common decorating mistakes made by homeowners?

They paint first instead of last. Purchase artwork and area rugs then furnishings and window coverings then choose a paint color.”

KGC-logo-smallHow can a homeowner discover their signature style?

I wrote an e book called “Design it Yourself a step-by-step work book for interior design” available on Amazon.  It has a whole chapter on discovering your style.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat improvements can a person make to their home without spending a lot of money? You pick the room.

Living room redesign: New lamps, end tables, area rug and throw pillows all add an uplift to a dated living room.”

KGC-logo-smallWhen you are not designing, what are you doing?

I love to cook, read and exercise! And of course travel!!!”

KGC-logo-smallShare something you would like the world to know about you or your ideas?

I love my interior design career because I change peoples lives. When you have a comfortable and inviting home …connecting with others and yourself becomes an everyday occurrence. You have a place that feels just right to you and your relationships change for the better. I hear it time and again from my clients.”

We invite you to browse some of Kimberlee’s work below, and to consider Keith Green Construction for your Portland roofing and construction needs.

6 Apps to Kick Start your Remodeling Project

home-improvement-app-montageHome renovations can be nerve-wracking. There are so many decisions to make, and it isn’t always easy to picture what the end result will look like.

Fortunately, you now have access to a wide assortment of top-notch apps that will inspire you, help you collect and organize your ideas, and take the stress out of remodeling. Here are 6 of our favorites.




You can download Pinterest as an app, or simply use it through the Web at Pinterest helps you explore and plan things you want to do in a fun, visual, way. It is perfectly suited for collecting home renovation ideas.

All you have to do is surf the Web for ideas. When you find one you like, just Pin it to your online board, the way you would to a cork bulletin board.




Branded “the Wikipedia of interior and exterior design” by CNN, Houzz is a huge online database of home design ideas.

Houzz includes over two million high resolution photos for your viewing pleasure. Browse photos by style or room, and save them to one of your idea books, which you can refer to offline.

Join the conversation and turn to the Houzz community for help with your renovation dilemmas.





DesignMine lets you browse other people’s design boards and thousands of photos to get inspired. Then, crop and rearrange your photos to create your very own personalized design boards that you can share with friends and family.



Ready to get started turning your home renovation plans into reality?
Call Keith Green Construction Inc. today.




Zillow Digs

Zillow Digs is a central hub for home improvement and design ideas, which also gives you project cost estimates. The interface is simple, making it easy to get inspired for your next remodel. And the Zillow Digs app is now available on the iPhone.



Interior Design!

A truly beautiful app, Interior Design! features photos of stunning examples of interior design from renowned international photographer, to turbo boost your renovation inspiration. Save any of the photos as wallpaper for around-the-clock inspiration.





Gwyneth Paltrow calls Remodelista magazine “her obsession”, and it’s easy to understand why. The New York Times says, “Remodelista is earning a reputation as a sourcebook for interior design at a time when many shelter magazines, including Domino, House & Garden, and O at Home, have fallen by the wayside.”

Now, Remodelista’s new Home Design app makes it easy to browse daily content from Remodelista, including DIY projects, stunning examples of architecture, and fun segments to help you find the best home decoration products.



With these apps in your arsenal, you should have an abundance of beautiful and practical ideas at your fingertips. All you’ll need is a reputable construction company you can trust, and you’ll be on your way to a more beautiful home.

Portland Interior Designers: Introspecs


In today’s Portland Interior Designer profile, we introduce you to Allisen Larsen, the principal designer of Introspecs Interior Architectural & Design Services.

Allisen has worked in interior design for 11 years, and has had a passion for the field since she was only 10 years old.

Allisen prides herself on working collaboratively with clients to create unique spaces that meet their needs.

We asked Allisen to take a little time away from her work (and her wedding planning — she’s getting married in Spain!) to answer a few questions for us. Fortunately for us, she obliged.

KGC-logo-smallHow did your interest in design develop?

I was drawing floor plans of my dream home when I was 10 years old, after looking through a Metropolitan Home magazine. I will never forget the delicious smell of those pages.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat makes you different from other designers??

Skillset-wise, I’m legit with a degree from the University of Oregon in Interior Architecture, Minor in Architecture. Personality-wise, I’m pretty easy-going yet super organized and responsive, I’m a great listener and very open communicator, and I’m highly intuitive which allows me to design intelligently for each client in a unique way.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat has been your key to success?

Slow and steady growth, aligning myself with both clients and strategic partners that share my same business ethics, great team dynamics, open team communication, stability in business organization and continued refining of target projects.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat is the highest compliment you’ve been paid for your work?

This is a tough one, but I think I feel most humbled and appreciated when my clients can feel how much I care for them and our design results being driven by their personal family wants and needs.”

KGC-logo-smallHow would you describe your design style?

Soft modern, buttery, custom cozy, crisp and fresh, warm and welcoming.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat is your idea of what a beautiful home should feel like?

I think a beautiful home has a soul that has been slowly and carefully curated through time, with special pieces that carry meaning and memory for people, and whose design elements communicate fluidly through all spaces but tell slightly different stories.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat inspires your creativity?

An open-minded client, but one with some idea of likes and dislikes as well. I also get super creative when I have chunks of time to get really into the design flow process.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat excites you about design these days?

Custom, locally hand-crafted products that fit within an interior and a client’s environment perfectly.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Happy clients, no doubt. Of course, it’s always fabulous when my designs are followed to the end, and the creative, fun ideas are realized!”

KGC-logo-smallWhat are some of your favorite finishing touches when designing a room?


KGC-logo-smallHow involved in the day-to-day details of a project do you like a client to be??

Very responsive, but also trusting in the team process.”

KGC-logo-smallWhat advice do you have for homeowners reading this interview who are looking to remodel their home?

When in doubt about paint, a piece of furniture, it’s worth an hour or two of a designer’s time to direct or verify you’re heading in the right direction. And if you’re doing a kitchen, bathroom or larger-scale remodel project, (and you’re not an architect or designer yourself) ABSOLUTELY, without a doubt, hire a designer. The amount of money you’ll be investing in your home (and increasing it’s value) will more than cover those costs and save a lot of heartache in the long run.”

KGC-logo-smallWhen you are not designing, what are you doing?

These days, I’m planning my wedding in Northern Spain! :)”

We invite you to browse some of Allisen’s work below, and to consider Keith Green Construction for your Portland roofing and construction needs.

When is it time to replace or repair your roof? What every homeowner needs to know

ou may have heard the saying, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” This is a sound decision if you’re a homeowner and you want to minimize home improvement costs, especially when it comes to replacing or repairing your roof.

Throughout the year, your roof protects you against the elements and is constantly expanding and contracting, drying up and cracking. With time, it’s normal that your roof deteriorates. If the roof is in need of repair, the line of defense of your home is broken. A faulty roof could lead to damage to your ceiling, walls, insulation, electrical wiring, floors, furniture and more.

[Need emergency roof repairs? Click to hire a pro roofing contractor.]So on the next sunny day, and twice a year after that, inspect your roof to prevent the worst from happening and incurring greater emergency repair costs down the line.

10 things to look for during your roof inspection

So how do you know if it’s time to have your roof repaired or replaced?

First, walk around your home and closely examine the roof for obvious signs of damage, leaks, or aging. You can use binoculars to examine it more carefully. Some people climb onto their roofs for the annual inspection, but it’s best to leave climbing to professionals, who can access your roof safely.

[Not sure how to inspect your roof? Get a pro to do it for you]

Inspect the roof for:

  1. Torn, loose, damaged (or missing!) shingles, shakes or tiles
  2. Shingles that curl up or are cracked
  3. Granules from shingles or pieces of roofing materials in the gutters
  4. Dark areas or signs of water damage visible on the roof surface
  5. Gutters that droop or are blocked
  6. Water leaking from the gutter or the pipe
  7. Signs of mold or moisture
  8. Bird nests or signs of vermin infestation
  9. Plant shoots on the roof or in the gutters
  10. Dark spots or water stains on ceilings inside the house*

Deciding on whether to repair or replace your roof

Now that you’ve taken note of the condition of your roof, you’ll have to decide if you need to repair your roof or replace it entirely. There are costs to consider with either decision.

Many homeowners choose to repair individual damaged shingles, slates or tiles to extend the life of the roof. The downside is that new shingles may not match the color of your current shingles, and you could lose some curb appeal. Ask your contractor to match the shingles as closely as possible if you are choosing to patch up your roof. If parts of the roof need repair, there’s a good chance that it won’t be long until you’ll have to repair (or replace) the rest, too.

It may work out cheaper in the long term to reroof with durable and sustainable roofing  products that will last you a dozen years or more than to patch up bits and pieces over the years. Your roofing contractor will be able to help you to make that decision.

Investing in your roof is certainly an expense, but consider the peace of mind you’ll have from knowing that your roof is strong enough to protect your home and family from harshness of the elements.

When to call in the pros

If you have never inspected your roof for damage, or you see signs of impending leaks, cracks, or wear-and-tear, contact a professional roofing contractor. That single phone call or email could save you thousands before the next big storm hits!