Roofing Tips Fridays

What are the different types of roofing material do we use the most in Portland, Oregon? We have a pretty wet, mild climate here in the The main types of roofing material we use are:

– Architectural Shingles – These are your Lifetime shingles that are most common. They come from many manufacturers like GAF, Malarkey and Certainteed.

– Presidential Shingles -These are a higher end shingle that are cut in a Z type pattern.

– Metal Roofing – This is a heavy gauge metal that they can attach with fasteners or special tools to attach the metal together.

– Wood Shake Roofing – This is a traditional wood shingle.

– Tile Roofing – These are usually a clay type material that come in several shapes and styles

– Rubber Roofing by Euroshield Please let us know how we can show you samples of these shingles and get a free estimate!

Roofing Tips Fridays

Did you know that a white roof can be as much as 30% cooler during the hottest days of the summer? They are even designing solar shingles! Some of these are only available in certain parts of the country. Not only does this keep your home cooler, it can also effect the overall community as well! The more people that install “cool” roofs can have a direct impact on the environment. We are excited to see what the future holds for “cool” roofs! (Photo by David McBee from Pexels)

Roofing Tips Fridays

Woodpeckers and Rapping! We don’t mean open mic night, we mean when a Woodpecker is moving in to claim his territory, Sometimes they are looking for food, or a place to nest. We have had to respond to this nuisance and we recommend getting them under control right away. They can damage wood, overhangs. They can even nest in gutters.

(Photo by Tina Nord from Pexels)

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.

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.

Find Your Local Oregon Roofing Company

Use this 5-point checklist!

One of the biggest sources of concern homeowners often have is choosing the right roofing company to look after their roof’s construction or repairs.

With so much at stake, we understand why it can seem like a difficult task, but we’re here to help.

Follow this handy checklist to find a roofing company you can trust and depend on.

1. Find recommendations

You should never discount word-of-mouth, especially if the source is friends or family—people you trust. A good roofing company will be proud of the work they do and will happy to show you a portfolio of their work.

Some customers won’t want the company to give out personal information, but you may be able to find reviews on Yelp or Google Maps.

Follow up with references and check out the work they do and how happy previous customers are.

2. Check credentials

Always check that the company has full credentials.

Make sure the roofing company is local in Oregon and an established part of the community: Is there a full company name, location (if it’s a P.O. Box, ask for the physical address), and respectable website? Are they also active on social media?

Ask when the business was founded, and how many years of experience they have. A company established many years ago is more likely to still be around if this goes wrong with your roof in a few years’ time.

A roofing company in Oregon has to be licensed so you know they’re qualified: you can check the license of the company on the Construction Contractors’ Board. (Our license number for Keith Green Construction in Portland, Oregon, is 109148). Make sure the name of the company matches the address on the quote they give you.

3. Ask to see their insurance

Every roofing company should have workers’ compensation and liability insurance. Workers’ compensation protects you in case there’s an accident on your property when the contractors are working, while liability insurance protects your home in case there’s damage to your property during the construction or repairs.

Some homeowners already have insurance, but it probably won’t cover these types of accidents, so you want to make sure the company has these two types of insurances.

4. Confirm there’s a warranty

A good roofing company won’t hesitate to guarantee their work: they stand by their workmanship and materials, so always ask what kind of warranty they provide for their roofing work.

Included in the written warranty should be details of how long the company guarantees their work, and whether materials and labor are both covered. Check to see whether one or both are included, and for how long.

Typically, the materials will be covered by the manufacturer, and the roofing company will cover the labor, for up to a year.

5. Review the estimate in detail

To do their job properly, a roofing company needs to know all the details of the project before giving you an estimate. When you first contact a roofing company, beware of any that give you quick quotes without asking for details.

You can prepare in advance some of this information by letting them know, for example, the condition and materials of your roof (tile? shingle? wood?): give them an idea of the shape and type of damage or construction needed.

It’s normal for a roofing company to give you an estimate rather than a quote, as they won’t really know what kind of condition your roof’s substructure might be in until they really get in there. But they’ll have a good idea of how much it’ll cost to replace or construct a roof with the right details.

It’s common also for big jobs for a roofing company to come and do a site inspection before they give you an estimate or quote. Site inspections can often be free, but others may charge you and deduct the amount from the final payment.

When you’re reviewing the estimate, make sure you understand what the payment terms, dates, and methods are. Everything should be broken down in detail, and you should know everything that is and—more importantly—everything that isn’t included. Beware of any company that asks to be paid in full before they’ve completed the job.

You should have a good understanding of how long the project will take and how many people will be working on it, and on what days/times. The roofing company should be able to speak your language and explain everything clearly.

Lastly, the company should give you an idea of what happens in case of unforeseen damage or other charges that could crop up. You should also know what happens if there’s really bad weather (like there can be in Oregon in winter), and

  • how discarded materials will be disposed of and whether that is included in the overall cost
  • whether or not scaffolding will be needed and if it is included in the overall cost
  • what will happen in the event of any work not meeting a satisfactory standard.

We hope these tips will help you feel more comfortable making those first steps of contacting roofing companies and avoid the pitfalls of choosing an unprofessional roofing contractor.

At Keith Green Construction, we’ll never pressure you into anything and we’re here to guide you through your roofing and home renovation projects. We believe in good communication with clients, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone: we’ll be delighted to go through everything in detail with you.

Your roof is leaking: is it an emergency?

We’re no strangers to storms and rainfall in Portland and the rest of Oregon, especially between the months of November and March.

Much of the time, soft rain showers are welcomed and feed our lush vegetation, but it’s not so nice when you start to find puddles indoors!

Stormy weather is often when roof leaks get noticed. Often by then, it’s too late to for prevention—there’s no more time to plan, you need help immediately.

You may not need to completely replace your roof: it could be a simple problem with a simple solution. Condensation from an improperly ventilated roof, for example, can make it look like your roof is leaking, even it’s just a few droplets of water leaking through your ceiling.

So what do you do if you see a leak?

Is it an emergency?

A small leak can let in a little water during rainfall, but this could evaporate quickly and the leak can go undetected for years.

But weeklong showers or a heavy storm can suddenly turn a small leak into a big emergency.

When you get a leak, water will pool and eventually start seeping out through whatever single point of exit it finds, like a light fixture or ceiling joint. And then it will find more escape routes, sometimes making it seem like it’s a far bigger problem than it really is.

Find out why your roof leaking

A lot of the time, leaks are caused by common roofing issues, like holes, gaps, damaged shingles, split flashings, or poor workmanship.

Even with a really solid roof, roofing materials can get overwhelmed with large volumes of water. Cracked, worn or missing shingles or other roofing materials may not be completely waterproof and can let water in.

Over time, a damaged underlay under tiles and slates can fail and also start letting in water. The same can happen for gutters and valleys.

Another weak point are flashing junctions of the roof: when these get damaged or are poorly installed, water can pool and result in a leak.

Or—a more serious issue—the pitch installation of your roof may not be optimal for our wet and snowy Oregon winters.

The roof is leaking NOW—what do I do?

1. Minimize damage inside your house

You’ve seen the leak, and water is seeping in. What do you do?

  • Quickly remove anything that can get damaged, like computers, curtains, lights, and decorative items.
  • Unplug anything electric near the leak and turn off the power to the area.
  • Move furniture away from the leak, or if the items are too heavy to move, cover them with a plastic tarp or trash bags.

2. Find the source of the leak

Warning: Don’t go outside or on your roof during a storm to find the source of a leak. You won’t be able to fix anything until the end of the storm anyway, and you may only be exposing yourself to danger.

  • It can be tricky to find the source of the leak yourself: water will travel and find the easiest escape route, and the source of the leak might not line up with the pool of water.
  • If you can’t find it, don’t panic, call a roofing professional.
  • Start with the inside: Go up to your attic and look for the pool of water. If you find it, sponge off any pooled water.
  • If there’s no water leak coming in from the attic, look for the bulge in the ceiling or the wettest spot of the wall where you first spotted the leak.

3. Drain and protect

  • Go to the bulge in the drywall and use a screwdriver to poke a hole in it to relieve pressure on the roof and ceiling.
  • The water will drain out.
  • Place a bucket directly under the hole to catch the draining water.

4. Stay calm and call your roofing contractor

  • Call a reputable local roofing company. Remember that the repairs they make will have to last, so call a roofing company with experience.
  • Repairs have to wait until the storm has stopped—but your roofing company will be able to place emergency tarping to cover the surface of the damaged area.
  • When the weather has calmed, they’ll inspect your roof from the interior and exterior to trace the source of the leak and start repairs.

Prevention is half the cure

  • Remember that the best way to avoid an emergency is to catch the issue as soon as you have warning signals.
  • If you see a stain on your ceiling, don’t ignore it: get it fixed. By the time you notice real damage, it might be too late.
  • We recommend you inspect your roof once or twice a year, in spring and fall.
  • Use our checklist for guidance. And if you’re not sure where to start, give us a call and we’ll conduct a thorough inspection and help prevent water leaks and damages.

Keith Green Construction knows how stressful it can be to have a leak in your roof. We’ll come out to you as soon as possible to repair your roof.

A Roof Deck – Turn a Flat Roof Into a Garden Retreat

Your Own Chill-Out Space on a Flat Roof Deck or Extension

Picture this: at the end of a long day, you change into your most comfortable clothes, put on your slippers, make yourself your favorite drink, and head to your garden to lounge in a comfortable chair to watch the sunset. But it’s not just any old garden: it’s your roof deck.

Flat roof systems are making a big comeback, and there’s a hot new trend that’s turning heads when it comes to houses with flat roofs. It’s all down to the slick new design trend of creating a low-maintenance, beautiful and useful deck area on your flat roof.

Gone are the days when flat roofs were thought of as boring and utilitarian. Instead, people are transforming their homes with flat roof decks that look stunning (and add some serious curb appeal).

There are some great advantages to creating a deck on your flat roof:

  • Gives you a ‘me-time’ space all your own
  • Adds character and individuality to your house
  • Refreshes an older house with a modern and contemporary look
  • Extends your garden space
  • Offers simplicity and elegance
  • Lets you build up instead of out, in confined city areas
  • Will look good in the city as well as in a countryside setting
  • Adds value to your home

Step 1: Design your flat roof deck

So how do you go about creating your little haven on your roof?

Well, with a flat roof, you’re nearly there. With a sloped roof, no worries – add a flat roof extension!

Creating an outdoor roof terrace is easier than you may think, but you may need planning permission for the transformation.

Start with a conversation with your roofing company about the design of your flat roof deck. Will it be as a roof garden? A chill-out patio deck? Your roofing company can check for structural feasibility and will evaluate your roof to find the best options.

Step 2: Waterproof your flat roof deck

Your roof needs to be walkable and waterproof (a flat roof will be more exposed to water than a pitched one).

Many people are opting for PVC vinyl decking, because it’s walkable, waterproof, and durable. It has to be installed correctly, so it’s incorporated into the structure of the roof and house, rather than just sitting on the surface.

Vinyl decking is a good option because it can withstand pooling water, which often happens when flat roofs don’t have a positive slope. It’s heat-welded, even around flashings and joints, to provide a permanent seal. Options like asphalt tar, gravel, or silicone may not look great and won’t be comfortable to walk on.

Step 3: Add finishing touches for a luxurious roof deck

To make your roof look like a chic leisure roof deck, your roofing company can build a platform top of your deck, and add a deck surface.

This will create a completely new look to your roof, so it won’t look like a roof at all! The deck surface will also protect your roof from foot traffic, maintaining the integrity of your structure.

You can add a railing, choose floor surfaces, and style the roof as you would any other outdoor space. Add chairs, tables, rows of potted flowers, or whatever your heart desires.

Ready to bring some pizazz to your house? How do you see yourself enjoying your roof terrace? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Letting your Gutters Get Out of Control

In this last installment of our series on roofing problems, we’ll talk about the risks of letting your gutters get out of control.

Gutters are there to direct rain away from your house and protect your windows, doors, siding, and foundations from water damage.

Moss, leaves, and dirt in your gutters can attract pests and mold and cause clogs which will, in turn, cause damage your roof.

Neglecting your gutters can cause more serious problems and cost you big money.

It’s not a glamorous job to clean gutters, but it’s an important job that needs to be done at least once or twice a year.

The Fix

Inspect your roof from solid ground at least twice a year and check your gutters performance.

Professional roofing companies have safe cleaning methods and tools for cleaning roofs and gutters. They’ll also clean the downspouts and ensure that there are no obstructions. They’ll get the job done quickly and safely.

Cleaning the gutters yourself can be risky and is better left to the professionals. Never attempt DIY gutter cleaning if your house has more than one level.

This concludes our series on roof problems. We hope you’ve found it helpful!

Other posts in the Roofing Problems series: