Bad flashing on a roof that needs replacement

3 Ways Moisture Can Damage Your Roof

Aside from a house fire or other disaster event, moisture is one of the most damaging elements that can affect your roof. Not only can it wear out your shingles, but if it gets inside your house, it can cause even more damage like structural decay and mold growth. The photo above shows flashing that has failed – a sure sign that moisture can enter the home.

Here are the main three ways that moisture can damage your roof.

1. It Can Rot the Interior Roof Structure

Most homes are made of wood. The supports are wood, the floors are wood, and the decking (plywood that holds up your roof) is made of wood. Something you should know about wood is that it absolutely hates moisture. Small amounts of moisture can cause it to warp and bend, while heavy moisture can even lead to rot.

If moisture is allowed inside your home, either from a leaking roof or an improperly installed vent, it could cause serious structural damage to the underside of your roof. Nothing shouts “you need a roof replacement” like a cave in!

2. It Can Cause Mold to Grow

Of course moisture can cause mold to grow, but what does that have to do with my roof? Mold likes to live in locations with three things: darkness, moisture, and food. Well, your attic is dark and if there’s a leak it’s likely damp. So, what about food? Mold eats wood. In fact, mold destroys more wood every year than fires and termites combined! It’s definitely not something you want growing on the underside of your roof. Mold can eat away at the underside of your roof, causing leaks and deterioration.

Mold also likes to spread, so whatever mold is in your attic is likely to make its way into your living area, which can lower your indoor air quality and pose a health risk to you and your family. If possible, it’s just best to keep moisture levels low and avoid mold altogether.

3. It Can Deteriorate the Outside of Your Roof

If you’ve ever seen a picture of the Grand Canyon, you know what water (moisture) is capable of. Excessive moisture from heavy rain—something Pacific Northwesterners know a lot about—can wear away your roof and decrease its lifespan.

Most roofs in the Pacific Northwest are covered with composite shingles. Over time, excessive moisture can wear away the granules and cause them to deteriorate at a faster rate. Have you ever seen sand-like particles in your gutters or downspouts after a heavy rain? That’s the moisture eroding your shingles. If you notice a lot of granules, it could mean it’s time for a new roof.

Tips to Protect Your Roof from Moisture So Don’t Need a Replacement

Moisture is a common problem in the Pacific Northwest. That’s why it’s important to take all possible steps to protect your house and your roof from the harmful effects.

Making sure your attic has proper ventilation will help to remove some of the excess moisture from your attic, keeping mold and rot to a minimum (which is hopefully none). Check your attic regularly for signs of mold or rot, like discoloration or warped boards.

While you’re up in the attic looking for mold and rot, keep an eye out for leaks too. Leaks are the fastest way for moisture to enter your attic and cause damage to your roof. If you find any, make sure they’re repaired right away to avoid any unwanted moisture-related effects.

If you can’t keep up with the moisture in your attic, it could be time to replace your roof. New roofs are more durable and better at keeping out moisture. If you’re tired of endless repairs and gathering pots and pans to catch water, contact the experts at Cloise & Mike Construction for a free roofing estimate.

A roof in need of replacement.

Roof Replacement time? Here Are Six Signs

Your roof isn’t going to warn you before it quits. You won’t get a two-week notice in the mail. One day, it’ll just let wind and rain inside your house. When that point hits, you’ll be scrambling to get a roof replacement while already putting pans under the drips.

The best way to know when it’s time to replace your roof is to look for signs of wear. Luckily, they’re not hard to see. Here are six signs that it might be time for a roof replacement.

1. Your Roof is Over 20 Years Old

Just like you, roofs get old and tired too. Unfortunately for them, they can’t just kick their feet up after a long day and watch terrible reality TV shows to recharge. Instead, they just begin to cause expensive damage to the structure of your home.

The average roof life expectancy is around 20 years. So, if your roof is almost old enough to buy itself a beer, it’s time to throw a retirement party and call your friendly neighborhood roofing company for a replacement.

2. It Looks Terrible

You know that house in your neighborhood with the ugly black streaks all over the roof (and hopefully it’s not yours)? Those black streaks are caused by algae called Gloeocapsa magma. Aside from making your house hard to look at, this algae can cause premature decay of your roof.

Algae feed off moisture—which is quite prevalent in the Seattle area—making it one of the most common roofing issues in the Pacific Northwest. If you catch it soon enough, Gloeocapsa magma can be cleaned off with commercial power washers and solutions. If you wait too long, it could require a full roof replacement. And don’t even start about all the moss…

3. Roof Shingle Granules in the Gutters

After a good rain, do you notice little sandboxes forming under your downspouts? That sand is made of the granules coming off your shingles.
When shingles age, they start to deteriorate and lose their grit. Once all the grit is gone, your shingles won’t be as effective at stopping the elements, letting water right into your house. If you notice granules in your gutters and under your downspouts, it’s a good time to call a roofing contractor for an inspection.

4. Roof Leaks, Leaks, and More Leaks

Obviously, it’s not supposed to rain inside. If rain in the forecast sends you to the pantry to gather all your pots and pans, it’s definitely time for a roof replacement.

Leaks aren’t just an isolated problem. Any moisture that gets into your house through a hole in the roof can cause extensive damage to the structure underneath and could even cause hazardous mold to grow. If you see any signs of leaks including stains, bubbling on interior walls, or discoloration, it’s time to ditch that old roof and replace it with a new one.

5. Beams in the Attic Are Sagging

Just because you don’t see leaks in your living area, doesn’t necessarily mean your roof is doing a good job. Your attic is the buffer between you and outside. Be sure to check it occasionally for signs of water damage.
The most obvious sign is sagging beams, which is a serious structural problem that needs to be addressed right away. Keep an eye out for other signs like discoloration or mold, as these could also be signs of leaks in the roof. If you notice water damage problems in your attic, it could indicate it’s time for a roof replacement.

6. Your Energy Bills Are Out of Control

Your roof doesn’t just keep the elements out; it also keeps the temperature in. Your roof is the last line of defense for your home’s climate control. If your roof is in poor condition, you could see it in your energy bills.

When your roof can’t keep the weather out, your heat or air conditioning units will have to work overtime to keep the temperature steady. That means a big increase in your energy consumption. If you all of a sudden can’t afford your energy bills, the reason might be right above your head. Contact a roofing contractor and get your energy bills back under control.

If you notice any of the signs on this list, it’s time to talk to an expert. The professionals at Cloise & Mike Construction are here to help. We can inspect your roof and suggest the proper course of action. Whether you just need a few repairs or a whole new roof, we can help! Contact us today for a free inspection.

Man clears leaves out of his gutter as part of roof maintenance.

Take Care of Your Roof with These 6 Maintenance Tips

Your house is likely the most expensive purchase of your life, so cover that investment—quite literally. Your roof is your house’s (and your) main line of defense against wind, rain, and sun. The best way to ensure its continued protection is to take care of it. Here are six important roof maintenance tips to help you get the most out of your roof.

1. Inspect Your Shingles after Each Season

Your shingles are like armor for your roof. Without them, your roof wouldn’t stand a chance against a garden hose. Make sure they’re in good repair and give them a thorough inspection after each season.

Why so often, you ask? Because each season brings different challenges to your shingles. Summer heat can melt the asphalt holding the shingles together, rainy spring weather (or really any season in the Pacific Northwest) can remove granules and cause rot, and the winter cold can freeze water and cause leaks.

When you’re swapping out your seasonal wardrobes, hop up onto your roof and look at your shingles. If you see any issues, you might be able to repair them before they turn into major expenses down the road. One little leak could lead to a complete reroofing if you don’t catch it!

2. Remove Any Debris

Leaves, moss, algae, and frisbees can pile up on your roof and retain moisture. That moisture will never dry out and lead to rot and mold—two things you definitely don’t want over your head. While you’re on the roof looking at your shingles, be sure to brush off any debris you find. It’ll help keep your roof healthy and dry.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you brush, you can’t remove the moss or algae. That’s a good sign that it’s time to call a professional. They’ll bring in all kinds of pressure washers and cleaning solutions and blast those pesky substances right off. Once they’re done, your roof will be good as new!

3. Maintain Roof Flashings

Your roof is not a continuous, unbroken slab of shingles. Most houses have chimneys, vents, or walls that interrupt up the shingled monotony and cause breaks in your roof. Flashings are a strip of material that fills those breaks, so you don’t have to gather pots and pans time it rains. But like most things in your house, they can deteriorate over time.

Inspect your roof flashings regularly to make sure there aren’t any gaps. If you do find some, grab a caulk gun and seal them up tight. Even the smallest gap in your flashings can allow water underneath your shingles and ruin the wood structure below.

4. Clean Your Gutters

Climbing on the roof and digging your hands into leaves, mud, and who-knows-what-else isn’t the most glamorous weekend chore, but it’ll certainly help the health of your roof.

When your gutters are clogged, it leaves nowhere for rain and moisture to go. If there’s nowhere for it to go, it’ll pool up on your roof and damage your shingles and the structure underneath. It could also cause mold to grow in your attic, which is something you definitely want to avoid.

Clean your gutters annually—preferably in the fall once the leaves drop. If you have lots of trees around your house, you might need to clean your gutters more frequently.

5. Remove Any Nearby Tree Branches

Trees might look pretty in your yard, but they cause nothing but problems for your roof. Their leaves cover your shingles and clog gutters, while the branches can fall and punch holes in your roof. If you have any trees hanging over your roof, trim them back.

It’s suggested that you trim all tree branches back at least six feet away from your house. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’ll make a difference when it comes time to clean your gutters.

6. Get a New Roof

If your roof is old or in need of extensive repairs, sometimes the best—and cheapest—option is to replace it. New roofs are built with stronger materials and will provide longer-lasting protection than that old roof you got 20 years ago. Plus, they’re more energy efficient, so they’ll save you money on electricity and heating costs!

If you simply can’t keep up with roof repairs, contact the experts at Cloise & Mike Construction. We can help you choose the right option to suit your needs and professionally install your roof to ensure that your family and home are protected from the elements. Contact us for a free estimate today!

A new roof in winter

How to Prepare for a Roof Installation During Winter

New roof installations usually aren’t in the winter months, when inclement weather makes working outdoors more challenging. However, a new roof can go on during this time of year if it must. You just need to prepare for the added challenges that snow, ice, and freezing temperatures bring. If you need a new roof this winter, learn how to approach the installation.

Clarify Your Snow Removal Responsibilities

First, clarify any snow removal responsibilities you have with the roofing installation company that you hire.

The company’s workers will likely clear any snow and ice that are on the roof itself, but you might need to clear certain areas. For example, you may need to clear the driveway so that the company’s truck can bring materials close to the house and park in a safe location. You may also have to clear a perimeter around your home so workers can more easily move about.

Even if you don’t need to clear snow and ice from around your house, you might still want to. Since clearing snow takes time, the roofing company might charge more if their workers have to spend hours clearing snow before they get to work. If you could do this before workers arrive, you may be able to save a little on the total cost of the installation work.

Whatever agreement you come to, ask for the snow removal arrangement to be in your contract. This probably isn’t a standard part of the company’s contract, since most roofing projects are during non-snowy parts of the year. An explanation of how snow and ice will be dealt with is easy to put into a contract, however.

Expect the Roof Installation to Take Longer

Second, expect the roof installation project to take longer than it would if work was done during a more pleasant time of year. Even if you see to all on-ground snow removal obligations, the company’s workers still likely won’t be able to proceed at their regular pace. Several challenges will slow how quickly the project progresses:

  • Workers will need to clear any snow or ice off that accumulates on the roof.
  • Workers will also need to clear snow or ice that accumulates on scaffolding.
  • Workers will need to pause occasionally to warm themselves or their fingers.
  • Workers will have to take additional safety precautions given the more hazardous conditions.
  • Workers won’t have as many daylight hours to work.

Depending on where in the country your home is located and the exact period when the work is done, the difference in daylight alone can have a major impact. In the Northern United States, the difference in daylight hours on the June and December solstices is five hours or more.

Exactly how much additional time putting a new roof on your home will take depends on many factors, such as the size of your home, type of installed roof, and location of your home. The roofing company you hire can provide a customized estimate of how many workdays the project will require.

Be Flexible With When the Company Performs Work

Finally, you have to be flexible with when the roofing company will actually work on your home’s new roof.

If you install an asphalt shingle roof, the ideal working temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. At temperatures below this, the shingles can become brittle, and the adhesive that secures them doesn’t work as well.

Because temperature is so important, your roofing company will probably want to wait until a slightly warmer stretch of winter days, such as when the highs will be above 40. As soon as such a stretch is in the weather forecast, they may get to work.

If your home needs a new roof this winter, contact Cloise & Mike Construction, Inc., to schedule an installation.

4 Reasons to Choose a Roofing Contractor With a Great Warranty

Chose a Roofing contractor with a great warranty

You’ve probably heard that when you choose a roofing contractor, you should look for one with the right qualifications, great reviews, and an excellent warranty. But you may not have heard an in-depth explanation of why each of these is so vital to your roof. Here are four reasons why you need to choose a contractor who offers a great warranty.

1. Protect Your Monetary Investment

One of mistake that reputable contractors commonly warn against is having your roof installed by storm chasers (contractors, or people posing as contractors, who come to town to fix roofs after a storm). If a roof installer simply throws a new roof onto your home and then leaves the state, you can’t rely on them to come back out for maintenance or repairs later on.

Having a local contractor means that someone who knows all about your roof will be nearby to help if anything goes wrong. But even more importantly, hiring a local contractor who guarantees their work means the contractor is personally invested in making sure your roof doesn’t fail early.

Since many roof installation issues (such as too few nails, lack of underlayment, or omitted flashing) can cause problems or even make the entire roof fail prematurely, having a responsible contractor to back up this huge investment is critical.

2. Ensure Your Roof Stays in Great Shape

A manufacturer’s warranty only goes so far. And even a great contractor is still human; even if they have a perfect track record, they’re still capable of making a mistake. But an experienced, honest contractor will realize this and will offer to be responsible for any mistakes by providing a warranty that guarantees great roof performance.

If your roof experiences problems after the installation, this contractor will be willing to come out and take a look to see what’s wrong and if it might be caused by an installation error. Right after a large roof project, you likely don’t have much of a roof repair budget.

On the other hand, neglecting any problems would simply allow them to escalate. So knowing that any potential installation errors are financially covered can be a big load off your shoulders.

3. Know You’re Working With an Honest Contractor

A contractor who’s proud of their skills and work ethic is exactly the sort of person you want to work on your roof. After all, you can’t supervise all the work in person and even if you could, you’re probably not a roof expert, so you can’t necessarily keep workers from taking shortcuts that could cause problems later.

An experienced contractor, on the other hand, knows they’ll have to ensure quality work from all of their employees in order to safeguard their reputation. When they offer a great warranty, the contractor is putting not only their reputation but also their money on the line. This is added assurance that they’ll get the job done right the first time.

4. Reduce Chances of Voiding Manufacturer’s Warranty

If you’ve ever tried to navigate the tricky waters of manufacturer warranties versus contractor guarantees versus insurance claims, you realize that these things can get very complicated very quickly. Even a contractor who stands behind their work isn’t liable for any product defects; that’s the manufacturer’s department.

However, on the flip side, the manufacturer’s products can still be damaged by improper work technique, and in that scenario the manufacturer won’t pay up at all. This makes sense from the manufacturer’s point of view, but it can be nerve-wracking for a homeowner.

A contractor who guarantees their work knows how important the manufacturer’s warranty is. They’ll realize just how many things can void that warranty, and they’ll know just how to install roof products according to manufacturer recommendations so that the warranty will stay intact.

As you can see, a great warranty from your roofing contractor can be just as important as a great warranty from the roofing manufacturer. For more information on Cloise & Mike Construction, Inc. and our twenty-year guarantee, get in touch today.