Will Insurance Cover My Leaking Roof?

Choosing a Policy That Won’t Leave You High and Dry

Few things can ruin your outlook more easily than experiencing a sudden feeling of moisture and looking upwards to see water rushing down. No, we’re not talking about rainy days that put a stop to picnics. For most modern Americans, roof leaks are far more catastrophic.

Luckily, insurance can actually cover some forms of roof repair. It may not stop your park outing from getting soaked, but at least you’ll have somewhere dry to retreat when the clouds show up.

How Your Coverage Reflects Your Homeowner Habits

The first thing you should know about insurance is that it only covers certain types of damage. Depending on where you live and the options you pay for, your policy will include reimbursement for specific forms of roof problems.

For instance, a policy may exclude damage discovered in worn roofing that you’ve neglected to take care of. Even though the same policy might include protection for severe storms, the fact that you haven’t had your roof inspected or checked out in decades could place the blame squarely on your shoulders.

Determining Whether Specific Situations Are Covered

Whenever you experience a roof leak, you need to act fast. Just as many insurers wash their hands of neglected roofs, they may establish coverage limits for relatively recent damage that goes unfixed for too long.

In most cases, you should start by determining what caused the leak and isolating it at the source. Your insurer may ask for documentation of the problem’s origins before they’ll even consider a claim.

In some cases, your policy won’t cover certain causes. Issues like lightning strikes, hail, wind and winter ice buildup may be excluded unless you opt for them as extras. It’s vital to examine your terms closely so that you know what you’re actually paying for.

The Importance of Documented Inspections

Your insurer will most likely appoint an inspector to assess and document the damage to your roof. This doesn’t mean you can rely entirely on their judgment, and there might be some delay before these assessors get to you.

Hire an established local inspector to take photos and appraise the damage right away. The sooner you contact a licensed, insured roofing expert, the faster you can get your claim processed.

It’s also worth noting that you may not agree with the official insurance assessor’s opinion. If they decide certain material defects are unworthy of coverage or don’t require repairs, having a written, third-party assessment on hand can help you contest their decision. Extra documentation may also speed your claim, especially if it proves that your roof was inspected properly prior to sustaining the damage you want to repair.

Dealing with insurance companies after roof damage is easier when you have experienced professionals on your side. To learn more about getting started, visit Interstate Roofing today.

Can A New Roof Help You Save on Energy Costs?

These days, most people are looking for ways to make their homes more energy efficient. After all, energy efficiency is better for the environment as well as your budget. Every year, homeowners spend thousands of dollars adding energy efficient windows and making other improvements to reduce the amount of energy it takes to maintain a home. One thing that’s easy to overlook, however, is the impact of your home’s roof on home energy efficiency.

Leaky Roofs: It’s All about the Holes over Your Head

When it comes to your home, you should be especially careful about holes over your head. Even small fractures in your roof can greatly reduce your home’s energy efficiency. That’s because water can enter the attic through holes in the roof and get your home insulation wet. Wet insulation reduces the heat resistance of your insulation by almost half. In other words, wet insulation lets more heat into your home in the summer and lets more heat out during the winter. This means your HVAC has to run longer and harder to maintain comfortable temperatures in your home, and that drives up your utility bills.

You can have roof leaks for a while without even noticing them, particularly if you don’t go up into your attic very often. Your insulation could be wet from last rainy season, and you may not even know it. If you find that you have wetness, your roof probably has a leak. If so, Interstate Roofing can provide quality, affordable repairs that will help solve the problem and keep your home energy efficient.

The Three Most Important Words for Roof Energy Efficiency: Insulation, Insulation, Insulation

Because your roof receives the most direct sunlight, the attic space directly under it heats up the fastest and stays hot the longest of any area in your home. Keeping that heat from seeping into your home is key to home energy efficiency, and you can block the heat by installing quality home insulation. Insulation with a high R-value will keep heat out during the summer and in during the winter—and your HVAC system will love you for it! When you’re adding a room, making a repair to your roof, or installing a new roof altogether, you should also consider adding more insulation. We’re experts at adding insulation and have helped many homeowners achieve greater home energy efficiency by insulating their homes.

Energy Efficient Shingles Repel Heat

In addition to fixing roof leaks and adding insulation, you should also consider using energy efficient shingles on your home to improve summer energy efficiency. These shingles reflect solar energy away from your home, lowering the temperature of your attic and reducing heat transfer into your home. There are many energy efficient shingle options available today, and we can help you find the best ones for your home. Just contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Improve Your Portland Roof’s Efficiency Today

Whether you need to fix a leaky roof, add insulation, or replace your shingles in order to make your home more energy efficient, Interstate Roofing can help you. Contact us today for assistance with all your Portland roofing needs.

Act Now to Avoid Rainy Roofing Woes

Keeping Your Roof Dry and Sound

When the sun is bright and summer is in full swing, you’re probably not dreaming about the next rainy season. However, now is the best time to check the roof on your home for any residual water damage. Here are a few potential issues to keep an eye out for – if you notice these problems, you should consider resolving them as soon as possible, before they turn into serious – and costly – damages.  In fact, most installers and manufacturer require that they are notified immediately of a roof leak in order for the area to be repaired immediately, before additional damage can occur.  Inspect your roof, ceiling and attic regularly to keep your warranty intact!

Discoloration – Water discoloration can affect many areas of your home if you have undetected leaks in your roof. When water gets under damaged roofing, it can discolor the roofing underlayment, beams, rafters, ceilings and walls. In addition, water leaks can carry chemicals and tannins that make permanent and unpleasant stains. Even if the water discoloration starts out as a small mark, it can spread over time and become quite unsightly.

Structural Damage – Drywall is very susceptible to water leaks because of its plaster-based construction. When drywall is constantly exposed to water, the plaster material within the drywall absorbs the excess water and begins to deteriorate. Whether the drywall is part of your ceiling or walls, you will notice a slight crumpling or falling dust as pieces break away. In the long run, the drywall can collapse from overall fatigue.

Another structural problem caused by water leaks is rotting wood. From beams, joists and studs, residual water damage can weaken the wood that frames your home. Unfortunately, structural damage is a major repair issue and quite costly as you attempt to salvage your home.

Mildew and Mold Issues – Mold and mildew love growing in dark and humid areas. If water has seeped under the floorboards or behind your walls, the potential for mildew and mold growth has increased significantly. Not only is mold and mildew potentially bad for your family’s health, it can also weaken the drywall in your home. If you notice any dark or black areas on your walls or ceiling, you may have mold or mildew forming from a water leak.

Electrical Problems – Water and electricity definitely don’t mix well. Undetected water leaks can cause electrical problems if the water has seeped onto wiring within the walls or has reached the electrical circuit box. Whether the electrical wires have broken or shorted out due to constant water leaks, electrical problems need to be handled by a professional for obvious safety reasons. If you do notice issues with any of the electricity in your home, it may be due to residual water damage.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, homeowners should have their roof inspected every three years for any signs of potential water damage. Contact us to set up an appointment today.

Sustainability in Roofing

Interstate Roofing Holds Its Own When it Comes to Green and Sustainable Practices

Almost every aspect of building construction and repair can now be handled in a sustainable, environmentally friendly fashion. There’s no exception when it comes to roofing, which offers plenty of green potential. At Interstate Roofing, we’ve prioritized becoming a green roofing company. Our construction and repair practices as well as our material selection reflects our desire to protect our environment while creating beautiful, durable roofs.

Getting the Most from Green Roofing Practices

Many roofing and construction contractors rely on dumps when it comes to handling demolition and construction debris. At Interstate Roofing, we’ve pledged to do it differently by recycling all of the waste materials that we possibly can from each of our jobs. Our recycling program is the cornerstone of our sustainability commitment, and we’re proud to partner with local recycling centers to get the job done.

The in-house transportation division here at Interstate Roofing allows us to efficiently ship all construction debris to recycling centers. Because we handle the job ourselves, we don’t have to deal with the frustrations and hassles of working with outside vendors to take care of recycling. Over the past few years, we’ve created a strong record for sustainability by

  • making a commitment to recycle all of the shingle roofing that we remove from client work sites
  • recycling more than 10,000,000 pounds of construction debris per year
  • earning certification as a GAF Green Roofing Contractor
  • signing the Owens Corning Shingling Recycling Pledge

Of course, we’re also proud to support our community by working with local recyclers.

Prioritizing Green Roofing Materials

Of course, green construction management practices are just one part of the sustainability puzzle. It’s also essential to adopt green building materials whenever possible. At Interstate Roofing, we’re proud to offer an array of green roofing options. When you choose environmentally friendly roofing, you choose products that have been made with sustainability in mind. Best of all, many of these products provide aesthetics and durability that traditional roofing choices just can’t match.

In addition to offering green materials, we also offer green systems to complement your home’s overall environmental profile. Our green roofing solutions include

  • insulation
  • sky lights
  • solar tubes
  • ventilation systems
  • rain barrels

Are you ready to explore your green roofing options? Contact Interstate Roofing today. We love helping local home and business owners turn old roofs into modern, environmentally friendly masterpieces.

Enhance Your Exterior With Siding

Could a Fresh Look Also Make Your Home More Habitable?

Installing siding isn’t just a step towards becoming the most talked-about household on your block. As much as you may love exterior design, siding also fulfills vital functional roles. Here are just a few of the benefits your home could potentially enjoy with a new exoskeleton.

Improved Protection

The primary function of siding is to stop your house from disintegrating in the local environment. Rain, sun, wind, insects and even plant growth all have the ability to degrade building materials like wood and mortar, but siding acts as a barrier that prevents such harmful exposure.

Siding installation professionals can close the gaps in your home’s current exterior. They may even be able to pinpoint or troubleshoot ongoing leaks before they become really serious. Of course, it’s great that you get to give your property an updated appearance, but it’s even better to know that it will last because your siding is keeping the building safe.

Quieter Neighbors

No, your neighbors won’t be so awed by your new siding that they walk around in reverent silence. They will, however, be much harder to hear from the comfort of your castle.

Siding is commonly used to cut down on the noise that passes through your walls and disturbs your peace. As cities grow increasingly dense, the sounds of traffic, passerby and birds kept up all night by streetlamps can make it hard to enjoy your digs.

Coating your house with a composite siding material may limit the transmission of these noises. Some research suggests that certain forms of siding are quieter than others, with materials like cementitious wood fiber ranking above vinyl, aluminum and wood.

Higher Energy Savings

Siding involves more than the aluminum, vinyl, wood or cement panels you see from the outside of your house. Most installations feature a complete system of components that work together to produce unique effects.

Stopping heat transfer is one of the most common reasons for installing siding. Whether you’re worried about winter drafts or sweltering summer heat, to get the most out of your HVAC system, you’ll need a barrier that keeps the outside and inside separate.

The same kind of material customization and combination tricks installers employ to create noise-reducing siding are applicable to heat transfer. In addition to choosing siding with high R-values, or insulation efficiency, homeowners can pick underlying barriers and insulation layers that keep heat energy in or out as necessary. Instead of constantly leaving the AC or heater on, they get to reduce the amount of money they spend year round.

New siding looks great, and it has the potential to save people money, help homes last longer and make it easier to get along with the neighborhood. To learn more about what an install might do for your property, request a free estimate today.

Our Commitment to Sustainability

Old Shingles Needn’t Pollute Our Air, Water or Soil

Here at Interstate Roofing, we don’t treat sustainability as an afterthought. We understand that people can’t enjoy safe, healthy lives without a sound environment. This isn’t something anyone should sacrifice to save time or money, so our company has made environmental protection one of our top goals. We prioritize sustainability when handling construction waste, deciding what products to carry and giving you advice about home improvements. The benefits of these actions add up to make a real difference.

Recycling Efforts

When homeowners need to replace their shingles, many roofing companies remove the old materials and take them to municipal dumps. Most construction debris ends up in nearby landfills. In addition to polluting the soil, it has the potential to contaminate drinking water if the underground protective layer begins to leak. Incineration produces considerable amounts of air pollution, so it doesn’t offer a safer alternative.

Interstate Roofing has found a much more eco-friendly solution. We recycle nearly all of our construction debris. Rather than contaminating the environment and going to waste, recycled shingles get turned into pavement. By doing this, we prevent almost 10 million pounds of rubbish from entering landfills each year. The Oregonian mentioned us in an article and noted that we rank among the few contractors that recycle shingles in northwest Oregon. We’ve also been certified by GAF as an eco-friendly roofing firm.

Green Products

Our business helps protect the environment by offering a range of sustainable building components. We sell attic insulation, Energy Star shingles and energy-efficient windows from three different brands. All of these items reduce heating and/or cooling needs. Our company promotes solar power as well. Interstate Roofing’s founder has appeared at the Solar Expo in Portland, and we carry ventilation products that run on energy supplied by the sun. You can also maximize natural lighting with our skylights and solar tubes.

Interstate Roofing is a local contractor that has served southwestern Washington and Portland, Oregon for more than 25 years. We only use high-quality building supplies, and our experienced staff always strives to perform top-notch work. When you want sustainable roofing, windows or siding, contact us today to get started.

Spring Roof Care and Inspection Tips

How to Keep Up With Mother Nature

Owning a home is a constant annual battle. Each year, you have to compete with the forces of wind, rain, sun and plants to keep your property’s exteriors from degrading. Given that most people prefer to simply enjoy the seasons instead of fighting them, it’s easy to see why so many homeowners overlook spring roof maintenance.

Fortunately, you can stay ahead of the battle by adopting a proactive maintenance routine. Each season comes with its own unique roof care requirements. Follow these basic tips to survive spring without April showers turning your attic into a leaky disaster.

Check Things Out Firsthand

Spring is a prime opportunity for roof inspections. If you shoveled your driveway at all during the winter, you know those picturesque snowfalls were actually quite heavy. This weight places extra stress on your roof, so experts say spring is a good time to look for cracks, bent flashing, crooked gutters and other mechanical damage.

All that sitting water may have also transformed your shingles or roofing layers into an ideal home for undesirable growth. If you observe discolored spots, streaks, stains, moss or debris buildup, it’s a sure sign that you’re overdo for a thorough cleaning.

Explore Your Attic

Don’t forget to attend to the underside of your roof. Your warm attic may have seemed like an ideal new home for a chilly raccoon, squirrel, insect colony or other creature seeking to escape the wintry weather, so look for signs of infestation.

Things like strange odors, scratch marks, chewed wood or nest-like structures generally mean you should invest in evicting your stowaway tenants. Of course, coming face to face with a startled creature when you pop your head into the attic is also a pretty good indicator.

Animals aren’t the only troublesome things that get into attics. Depending on how well ventilated your attic is, the changing weather might have caused overabundant humidity to accumulate. It’s important to stop moisture from settling in the beams and boards that support your roof, so air out your attic as part of your spring cleaning. This is also a great chance to patch any missing or damaged insulation.

Keep Your Roof in Good Condition

Finally, know that not every springtime roofing problem can be solved with a simple homeowner inspection or cleaning. Your issues may be more severe and require professional intervention.

While this often seems like a worst-case scenario, many problems are easy to fix with the right expertise. Having a pro take a look can also pinpoint other potential issues. To discover more about making your roof spring-ready, talk with an Interstate Roofing expert.

Five Tips For Choosing a Commercial Roofer

Get the Best Value and Keep Your Commercial Roof Covered 

Has your commercial building been crying for a new roof? It’s time to listen up. You’ll need to find someone who will do the job and do it well. Asking friends, family and business associates for recommendations is all well and good. But in the end, it’s you who must choose. Here are five tried and true tips to help you choose wisely.

Hire A Contractor Who Is Licensed, Bonded And Insured

It goes without saying that you want a commercial roofing contractor with full insurance coverage and impeccable professional credentials. Replacing a roof is a costly venture. You don’t need the stress of someone getting injured on your property or of getting stuck with a second-rate roof. A roofing company that doesn’t provide these protections will almost always do the job for less. The only problem is that if something goes wrong, your business could lose a substantial amount of money in the aftermath.

Never Choose A Contractor Based On Price

Making a decision based on cost and hiring the roofing contractor who offers you the lowest bid is a bad idea. Cheaper is not always better, especially if it involves poor workmanship, shoddy materials and the inability to cover a warranty or guarantee if something goes wrong.

Get Everything In Writing

Before work starts, you should have a signed contract that includes a full description of the job, how long it will take, what is covered under warranty, whether there’s a satisfaction guarantee, the materials to be used and any other information relevant to the work. The terms of payment should be spelled out in advance.

Work With A Local, Established And Reputable Contractor

Check out any roofing contractor you’re considering for the job. Make sure they have a good reputation in the community and have been around for a while. Just because they have a local business address doesn’t mean they’ll be there when you need them. More than a few consumers have returned to a contractor with warranty issues only to find that the company was no longer in business. The cost of the warranty is factored into the total cost of your roof. You owe it to yourself to hire a contractor who will be there for the duration.

What You Can Learn From Awards, Memberships, Reviews And Affiliations

Check to see what others are saying about a contractor before you commit. You might think a certain contractor looks promising, but online reviews may suggest otherwise. Another way to learn more is to check a contractor’s website to see if the company has received professional rewards or outstanding recognition for their work.

Ready to find a commercial roofing contractor who will give you the professionalism you want at a price you can afford? Interstate Roofing has been installing roofs on commercial buildings in Portland, OR, Vancouver, WA, and the surrounding area for almost 30 years. Contact us to get started today.

Save on Both Heating and Cooling With Blown-In Insulation

Fill the Gaps in Your Attic and Your Budget 

Blown-in insulation protects your home in a way that other types of insulation do not. It installs quickly and easily, fills in smaller areas than traditional insulation, reduces excess noise and improves energy efficiency.

The Small-Space Alternative

Batts and blankets come in wide widths, which means that they can’t fill in small areas, cracks and gaps. Loose-fill blown-in insulation is loose and fluffy. The smaller pieces can be layered in tight spaces, insulating almost every inch of your attic. The airtight seal created by blown-in insulation also makes your home more fire resistant. Since fire needs oxygen to grow, if it is restricted from getting additional air flow, it will die out more quickly than if your attic has batt insulation.

The Quieter Solution

If you live in the flight path of the local airport or if your neighbors like to party through the night, installing blown in insulation in the attic will reduce the amount of exterior noise you hear from inside the house. Because no gaps are introduced when installing this type of insulation, it provides an effective sound barrier compared to other types of insulation.

The Money-Saving Method

According to Energy Star, installing insulation in attics, over crawl spaces and along the exterior joists in a basement can lower energy bills by up to 11 percent. Focusing on gaps in the attic space can contribute to an air leak reduction of up to 25 percent. This means that less cold air can infiltrate your house in the winter, keeping you cozier inside.

Blown-In Insulation for Summer Savings

Although you may envision loose-fill insulation as a blanket that helps keep you warm, unlike most blankets, it will also help you stay cooler in the summer. When your attic is sealed against air leakage, your refreshing, cooled air will stay inside your home. This is where you need it most. You’ll run your air conditioner less often, reducing your energy usage and saving money on your power bill.

The best time to install attic insulation is as soon as possible. Because adding loose-fill insulation to your attic can benefit you in every season, the sooner you install it, the sooner you’ll start to see cost savings on your energy bill. Do you need a professional to add blown in insulation to your attic? Contact Interstate Roofing today to get started.

Why Rain Gutters Are Essential For Your Roof

Don’t Let The Rain Get You Down. Schedule a Rain Gutter Inspection Today.

Rain gutters play a vital role in the structural integrity of your home’s roofing system. If you don’t take care of your gutters, you could be looking at expensive roof repairs and other problems down the road such as basement or crawlspace flooding.

What Makes Rain Gutters Such A Big Deal?

Gutters direct the flow of rainwater away from your home. This prevents damage to windows, doors, siding, patios, outside walls, decks, driveways and walkways. When gutters are leaky, damaged, rusted through or pulling away from the roof, rainwater rolls directly off the roof and settles into large puddles around the foundation of your home.

What Happens If My Gutters Are Leaky, Damaged, Clogged Or Cracked?

When your rain gutters aren’t working properly, pools of standing water will appear around your home whenever it rains. In time, these puddles can erode your topsoil and cause the foundation of your home to crack. Ailing gutters can cause flooding in your home or basement, damage your home’s exterior paint job and rot or rust the trim. Standing water can attract water-breeding insects like mosquitoes, and if your gutters get clogged with leaves, mud, twigs or other debris, they can cause leaks inside the home and irreversible damage to your roofing system.

How Can I Avoid Roof Repair and Keep My Rain Gutters Healthy?

To keep your Portland, OR, roofing system in good health, rain gutter maintenance should be performed every spring and every fall. Maintenance should include a thorough inspection of the gutter system to ensure that there are no leaks, cracks, rust or other damages. The downspouts should be checked for blockages that could prevent the free flow of rainwater. Having your gutters cleaned and inspected by a professional is a minor investment compared to what you would pay for roof repair caused by damaged or clogged gutters.

Features And Benefits of New Residential Gutters

If your gutters need replacement, consider seamless gutters. They’re made from copper, steel or aluminum, last longer than regular gutters and can increase the curbside appeal of your property. Seamless gutters are made from one continuous piece of metal. Because seamless gutters have no joints, the potential for leaks and cracks is greatly reduced. If you’re considering rain gutter replacement, it’s best to hire a professional. Gutters must be properly installed or they won’t get the job done.

How Do I Know If I Need Gutter Replacement?

As a rule of thumb, gutters should be cleaned and inspected every six months, depending on tree cover. If yours are sagging, pulling away from your home, leaking, rusting or just not doing what they should, it’s time to get new ones. To learn more about seamless gutter installation or to schedule a gutter cleaning in Greater Portland or Vancouver, WA, contact the rain gutter specialists at Interstate Roofing.