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What Are the Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks?

When you see unsightly water stains on your ceiling or notice more obvious signs such as water dripping– your roof may be leaking. Leaks happen when the roof is damaged, so you might want to get the leakage to stop and repair it at your earliest convenience. Nobody wants to run for a drip bucket every time it rains. It's impractical and a hassle!

Let's discuss the many root causes of water leakage in your roof to make the repair easier. This will also help you prevent future issues from taking place.

10 Common Causes of Roof Leaks

From old age and gutter issues, here are some of the most common reasons roofs leak.

1. Holes

Having holes in the roof gives water an easy, obvious entry point. It will be quite a challenge to stop the water from flowing into your home and damaging everything in your living spaces. Over time, holes in the roof occur, especially if you don't follow routine roof maintenance activities. It may also happen if something hits the roof so suddenly.

In some cases, you may also have holes in the roof after removing objects such as old antennas and satellite dishes. The spots where they were anchored might leave behind holes. It would be best to have any visible holes on your roof patched correctly to prevent leakage problems.

2. Cracked Flashing

Flashing refers to thin metal pieces that go over the joints and seams to create a water-resistant barrier. Unfortunately, broken flashing may cause leaks, especially with large cracks. This happens because the tar that seals the flashing together may naturally rust over time.

3. Missing or Damaged Shingles

Yes, shingles protect your roof and redirect the water to the gutters… But if they are damaged, they may also allow leaks on the roof. This may be brought upon by an improper installation or the use of faulty roofing materials. Other factors include storm or wind damage– which may puncture the shingles.

The best way to deal with this is to inspect the roof periodically and keep an eye out for visible signs of damage or missing shingles.

4. Gutter Issues

Since water runs down the roof and the gutters, making the gutter prone to leaves, sticks, and other debris build-ups. Homeowners who do not clean their gutters regularly may suffer from build-up, which may only restrict the water from flowing freely. This may lead to water build-up on your roof and pool under the shingles and eventually cause leaks.

The solution? Opt to clean your gutters at least thrice a year. This will help you keep them clean and clear. If your property is located in an area with several trees, you may want to increase the cleaning frequency accordingly.

5. Old Age

Regardless of material and type, all roofs will eventually need replacement due to wear and tear. The life expectancy of roofs will depend on the roofing material you are going for.

Asphalt shingles last for about 20 years, while others last longer or shorter, depending on the quality of the roofing material you've selected. Fiber cement shingles are known to be more long-lasting, up to 25 years of good use. Wooden shakes or shingles last for about 30 years. While slate, tile, and metal roofs are known to have the most extended lifespan– up to 50 years or more.

Once your roof exceeds its average lifespan, it is expected to deteriorate and eventually become brittle. This may place your home in a very vulnerable spot prone to leaks. Damage or neglect may shorten the lifespan of your roof, regardless of its material.

6. Improperly Sealed Valleys

Valleys are where two planes of roof come together. Since these are sloped, rainwater may flow inside your home once it runs down the roof– especially if they aren't sealed properly. Look for wet spots along the roof's seams to detect this problem. Aside from improper sealing, it may also be cracked once stepped on. Other causes include excess rain and ice.

7. Vent Booting is Cracked

Roof vents are small pipes that stick out on top of the roof. They expel excess moisture from inside your home. Any leaks in this area leave dark spots and mustiness. These are often sealed using flashing around the opening and areas where the pipe peeks outside the roof. After a while, the flashing may break, or the roof might decay.

8. Roof Slope Issues

A flat roof or a shallow roof slope may only increase the likelihood of leaks. The slope of your roof helps water to run off relatively efficiently. So, if it doesn't have much of a slope, water may slow down or pool up on your roof. Eventually, this may result in water leaking into your home.

9. Ice Dam Buildup

Ice dam refers to a ridge of ice that forms at the roof edge. This prevents melting snow or water from draining off completely. The weight of the ice in itself may damage your roof and the water pooling on the surface.

The heat from the attic and the rest of your home is above freezing, so it causes the snowfall to melt (despite the cold temperatures outdoors). Once the water runs between the roof's surface– it will refreeze upon hitting the exterior edge.

10. Vents, Skylights and Chimneys

Chimneys, skylights, and vents are essential additions to your home– but they may also increase the risk of leaks on your roof. If these aren't installed correctly, it may leave gaps in between where water may seep inside.

Ensuring a proper installation will give you peace of mind knowing the features are adequately sealed and watertight. However, it's still best to have them re-sealed periodically to keep them protected.

  • Skylights ─ Your skylights may be susceptible to leaks if they do not match the skylight size accurately. The insulation surrounding it may also deteriorate after a few years.
  • Chimneys ─ Like skylights, chimneys may also break over time, allowing water to flow inside your home. Other potential causes include damaged or missing mortar and holes in the chimney.

Once you determine there are leaks in the roof– we recommend investigating the situation as soon as possible and finding a proper fix. This may just decide whether you need a quick repair or a major remodel. (Related: Fixing Up a Rotting and Leaking Roof in Portland)

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a roof leak repair take?

The minimum time required is usually 2 to 3 hours. If you need to replace a whole roof section, the project may be completed in two or three days. Roof repairs take time, depending on the type of roofing solution needed.

How do I know if I have a leak?

Any form of discoloration or stains on walls, ceilings, and floor sections on the floor closest to the roof are common symptoms of a roof leak. However, depending on where the water is entering, indications of roof leaks might also appear on the lower floor. Siding is another common cause of leaks, especially if it is not properly installed.

What should I do when there's a leak in my roof?

First, determine where the water is most likely coming from. Consider where you believe the source is and where the water is entering. Second, attempt to contain the leak temporarily by using buckets, towels, and other items to collect the water inside the house. Lastly, look for a local roofing expert to assist you in adequately repairing the leaking problem.

What does a leaky roof look like from the inside?

Cracked paint, discolored plasterboard, peeling wallpaper, and an odd mildew odor that develops after rain are all signs of water damage from a leaking roof.

Metal Roof Types: Choosing the Best Type for Your Roofing Project

The term "metal roof" usually covers a broad term– comprising different materials, styles, and sizes. Since there are various metal roofing options today, it can be challenging to determine the best metal roofing type for your home needs. (Related: The Pros & Cons of A Metal Roof In Portland)

We've rounded up the different metal roofs in this article so you know exactly which one would be best for your next roof replacement project.

4 Types of Metal Roofs: By Material

It's natural for many of us to picture a steel roof whenever we hear "metal roof." But in reality– there are a variety of materials this could refer to.

Depending on your property's location, you need to choose the best type of metal roof material that can handle its unique environmental conditions.

Copper Roof

This long-lasting metal roof material can last you over 200 years (and more). And the best part? Copper roofs can be fully recycled, so they're an excellent green roofing choice. But, it can be rather expensive with a similar price point to zinc roofs. You'll get what you pay for, though. Installing a copper roof will give you a fire-resistant roof, resistant to hail damage, mildew, and pest infestation.

The material is also incredibly lightweight. It won't add too much stress to your roof's structure. Due to its soft nature, copper may be easily damaged in hail-prone regions. Hailstones may easily dent this soft metal.

Aluminum Roofs

Long-lasting and saltwater corrosion-resistant, aluminum roofs are another durable metal roofing option. It offers a quick and easy installation with several advantages:

  • Longevity
  • Energy-efficient
  • Resistant to fire
  • And prevents pest activity

This relatively lightweight metal naturally resists rust, making it an ideal choice for many homeowners located near coasts. Aluminum is versatile and matches different home aesthetics and designs pretty well.

Zinc Roofs

Known to be highly long-lasting and corrosion-resistant, Zinc roofs are a durable metal roof option. Although, the material is not as popular among many homeowners today.

In the United States, Zinc roofs are still highly uncommon, unlike those in European homes. It is known to be an expensive metal roof material, but for a good reason– you can expect it to last for more than a century. (No kidding!) Additionally, it doesn't need rigorous maintenance after installation and helps you prevent the onset of mold, fungus, and mildew. So if you have the budget to invest in a reliable metal roof material, we recommend checking out zinc for your roofing project.

What's the catch? The chalking affects its aesthetic appeal. And, it will cost you quite a hefty sum as zinc material costs similar to copper.

Steel Roofs

There are three variations of "steel roofs" as we know them today. This includes the likes of galvanized, Galvalume, and weathering steel (Corten).

  • Galvanized Steel ─ This is the most common steel roofing material. It is created using a Zinc layer that protects the inner steel layer from corrosion damage. The coating extends the life expectancy of the steel panel and slows down the corrosion process.
  • Galvalume Steel ─ Like Galvanized steel, Galvalume steel uses a combination of Aluminum and Zinc for its primary coating. Aluminum improves the material's durability against corrosion in specific environments. It also gives a smaller, smoother spangle that looks more uniform. Galvalume has better surface protection than the other steel roof types with its Aluminum qualities, but it can be vulnerable to cut edges or visible scratches.
  • Weathering Steel ─ Lastly, weathering steel was initially designed for heavy steel industries such as bridge construction. It has an external steel layer that intentionally rusts to protect the inner layer of steel. Keep in mind that it is not designed as a structural solution for steel roofing.

Compared to other metal roofing types, steel material is considered the most cost-efficient choice. It is commonly priced at a lower rate than Aluminum, Copper, or Zinc.

5 Types of Metal Roofs: By Systems

Aside from metal roofing material, you may also choose from different metal roof systems such as Standing Seam, Shake-Inspired, Tile-Inspired, Slate-Inspired, and Corrugated. A standing seam metal roof remains the best choice for residential use, but let's look at the other options you may want to consider.

Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Thanks to its sleek appearance, longevity, and weather-proof construction, standing seam metal roofing is a crowd-favorite choice. It is considered a premium roofing option, so you will need to spend more, but it gives you several benefits you can't get with other metal roofing systems. Lastly, it's also customizable to match your unique preferences.

Shake-inspired Metal Roofs

Fortunately, you can now achieve the traditional appeal of wooden shakes with the many benefits of metal roofs with shake-inspired metal roofing panels. It offers a more classic aesthetic than the modern appearance of a standing seam metal roof.

Tile-inspired Metal Roofs

Tile roofs were previously composed only of natural materials such as clay or concrete. But today, you can have metal roofs that are inspired by the look of tile roofing, is considerably more durable, and has easier maintenance. Tile-inspired metal roofing is also notably more cost-effective than other metal roof types.

Slate-inspired Metal Roofs

Slate-inspired metal roofs allow you to achieve natural slate material's high-end, luxurious appearance. The best part? It won't add more weight that may only strain your home's structure.

Corrugated Metal Roofs

Corrugated metal roofs are known to be both aesthetically pleasant and durable. It is made from hot-dipped galvanized steel, cold-rolled afterward to achieve a grooved pattern on the panels. The process makes the material more durable and rust-resistant.

Ultimately, every metal roofing type (either by material or systems) presents its fair share of pros and cons. To ensure you choose the best metal material to use for your roofing needs, consider your situation and conditions, the location of your property, and your budget.

Although, it would still be best to contact local, experienced roofing contractors to ensure your project will be a success!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a metal roof affect my homeowners insurance?

Metal is among the few roofing materials that may be purchased at a discounted price, thanks to its enhanced resistance to fire, termites, and other harmful insects. However, your premium is determined by a variety of variables.

Does the color of a metal roof fade with time?

High-performance polymers with excellent weathering properties are used to paint metal roofs. The settling of airborne contaminants may cause a slight change in color over time, but occasional rain or cleaning the roof with a garden hose (from the ground) should keep it looking new.

How long will my metal shingles last?

Metal roofs are well-known for their durability and longevity. Whether it's zinc, copper, aluminum, or steel, all significant types of metallic roofing materials may easily endure for decades. Most metal shingles come with a lifetime warranty. However, the duration of the coverage varies on the contractor. The overall value you can get out of a home metal roof is remarkable compared to asphalt shingles, which only last roughly two decades. Metallic rooftops can also be easily repaired for just ⅓  of the price of replacing them altogether.

Are metallic roofs environmentally friendly?

When metal roofs are for sale, they are partially recycled material. When you replace your metal roof, all of it is recyclable. Not only that, but metallic roofs retain their quality even after being recycled multiple times. Because of their unique structure, metal roofs are extremely valuable in significantly reducing annual household energy expenses. A four-inch strapping system is installed between the metal and the plywood on metallic roofs, providing excellent insulation against adverse weather conditions.

Should You Replace Your Roof Before Selling Your House?

If you are planning to put your house up for sale, some of the most critical questions you need to consider are: "Do I need to fix/repair anything with my roof?", "Will it be better to replace my roof entirely?", "Should I sell the house as it is?"

Given that the answer varies from one home to another, you must carefully consider relevant factors. Let's discuss everything you need to know to decide on replacing your home's roof.

Deciding Factors for Roof Replacement

Generally, deciding whether (or not) to replace your roof before placing it on the market is a great choice boils down to 4 deciding factors: Condition and status of the roof, total cost, local housing market, and how soon do you want to sell.

Condition and Status of the Roof

Simply put, you need to assess the lifespan left on your roof. A roof's lifespan will depend on its material, the weather conditions in your region, and proper installation. Most roofs less than 20 years old without any persistent major issues will likely last you at least a few years more.

It would be best to have your roof assessed by a professional. They can tell you if any underlying roof-related issues need to be solved, which may otherwise discourage potential buyers from purchasing your listed property.

Total Project Cost

Keep in mind that a total roof replacement can cost you anywhere between $6,800 and $25,000. This will depend on several factors such as the square footage, pitch/slope of the roof, number of penetrations (vents and skylights), tear-off and disposal fees, and ventilation requirements. Many homeowners are adamant about installing a new roof, especially if they want to sell their homes as soon as possible. But, you will need to look at the bigger picture– the investment versus the potential profit.

Important Note: According to the National Association of Realtors, a new roof installation gets you up to 107% of its cost at resale.

So, if a roofing professional advises you to consider a roof replacement, it is likely that you'll regain this investment in the long run.

Nearby Housing Market

Another important thing is to know your housing competition. This is especially crucial if you're not working with a real estate agent to help you sell your property.

Research available homes in your region within the similar price range you're aiming for and observe if they have a new roof. Monitor how quickly the houses with new roofs are selling. But if there's no clear trend with new roof installations, you may be better off doing repairs to extend the lifespan of your roof for at least a few more years.

How Soon do You want to Sell

How quickly you want the sale will primarily depend on the current housing market. Aside from the market conditions, you will also need to ensure your property makes for an appealing purchase and an easy buy for interested buyers.

Homeowners with a brand new roof are likely to be spared from inspection issues. This helps potential buyers from backing out from the sale due to roof-related concerns.

Ask the Professionals to Assess the Roof’s Condition

Once an inspection determines significant roof issues, it would be best to consult a local roofer to give you a rough estimate for repair or a full-on replacement. This allows you to set aside the proper budget and determine if you can afford to embark on such an improvement project.

Note that cost estimates will vary depending on several factors. As such, consult at least three roofing contractors to get a range of estimates.

Advantages of Roof Replacement Before Selling Your Home

One of the first things potential buyers look at in an available property is the roof condition. So if they see visible cracks, sag, missing shingles, or leaks– they may back away from making the purchase official.

Some homeowners offer potential buyers an allowance for roof repairs or a discounted price to cover the cost of roof replacement, but not all buyers may want to deal with such a hassle. They may just let go of your listing and consider others with a roof in excellent condition.

Installing a new roof also improves the home's curb appeal, making it easier to sell. Here are other benefits of a brand new roof:

  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Better protection from extreme elements (hailstones, heavy snow, downpours)
  • It comes with an innovative sealing technology that keeps the roof highly durable and intact for many years
  • More comfortable everyday environment
  • Generous warranty coverage
  • Improved architectural appearance and curb appeal
  • Increases the home's resale value (average ROI between 2/3 to 3/4 of the total roof replacement cost)

Disadvantages of Roof Replacement Before Selling Your Home

Before selling your home, the main downside of a roof replacement project is the total project costs. It's no secret that a new roof installation can be a costly investment, and there's no 100% guarantee you can recoup the prices at the time of sale.

Roof Repair Vs. Roof Replacement

If your roof needs professional attention, you have two options: repair or replacement. A quick roof repair service could be a viable option for you, but it relies on your system's present condition. Keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • Shingles that are curling, buckling or missing
  • Nails or fasteners that are exposed
  • Flashing is torn, dislodged, or absent
  • Vents, skylights, and chimneys condition
  • Attic leaks
  • The roof is already old
  • Shingle particles have accumulated in gutters and drains

A professional repair may be necessary if your roof is not outdated, appears in good condition, and has a localized problem spot. If your roof's expected functional life is nearing the end, a roofing professional may perform maintenance service and certify your roof for another three to five years. Therefore, having a trained roof inspector check your system is the only way to determine the best course of action. (Related: Making Old Roof Look Like New in Portland, Oregon)

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a new roof lower my energy bills?

Roof replacement might help you save money on your energy bills if your roof is old and inefficient. While it's preferable for the attic to be near the outside temperature, excessive heat in the summer indicates a lack of ventilation. This might cause the HVAC system to work excessively. A new roof reduces energy expenses with ventilation and sound materials that prevent unwanted drafts and water leaks.

Is new roofing a good investment?

Quality roofing is one of the most profitable remodeling projects. Installation of a new roof includes the following benefits:

  • Different shingle colors add depth to the property, increasing curb appeal.
  • Increased property value with ROI of 60% or more.
  • Prevention of ice dam during winter.
  • Roof replacement of excellent quality is built to last a lifetime.
  • Professional roof installation and attic ventilation may lead to energy savings.

What do I need to prepare for new roof installation?

If you need to replace your roof, there are a few simple things you can do to make the project go more smoothly. Remove any loose items from your shelves and walls first. When you hammer on your roof, you may create enough vibration to cause unsecured things to fall.

Clear your driveway and the spaces around your house as much as possible. Roofing debris may fall into the driveway. Your contractor will also appreciate the extra room for work vehicles and supplies.

How long will my new roof last?

Even the highest-quality roofing system will reach its lifespan. However, investing in better materials and contractors will ensure that your roof will last a long time. Typically, a new roof should last at least 20 years. Depending on maintenance, weather, and the original design, roofs can last longer or shorter.

Roof Maintenance Tips for Portland Oregon Homeowners

With the heavy rain and snow in Portland, Oregon– your roof will require proper maintenance. Keep in mind that wet conditions can result in mold, moss, and potential water damage, which can shorten the lifespan of your roof.

So if you want to protect your new roofing investment and prolong its life for as long as possible, you will need to follow routine maintenance.

The good news is that maintaining your roof will cost you less than 10% of what you’d typically pay for a total roof replacement.

11 Tips to Take Care of Your Roof in Portland, Oregon

Here are some fool-proof tips to ensure your roof is adequately protected for the next big storm.

1. Inspect your Shingles

Ideally, it’s better to do yearly assessments on your Portland roof shingles after the extreme weather months. This isn’t to say the warm season won’t damage your roof, as the harsh UV rays from the sun may also weaken your roofing material in the long run. Ensure that your roof is regularly assessed from time to time to ensure it is still in its prime.

2. Repair Shingles or Patches

After confirming your roof is suffering from damage, you need to patch or repair it as soon as possible to protect it from further deterioration.

Be mindful of winter storms, as they may easily lift or remove shingles from your property. The same applies to algae and moss growth. The sooner you act on maintenance repair, the better it is for your roof. You’ll also be saving more money from having to replace the roof entirely. (Related: Roof Upgrades for Easier Maintenance in Canby)

3. Trim Branches

Any trees hanging over or near your roof need to be trimmed before winter. Strong winds, heavy snow, and ice may quickly whip the surrounding branches or completely lift them away from the tree. As a result, it may damage the roof and its structures.

Also, tree debris like Evergreen tree needles may pile up on your roof. This may prevent proper damage and lead to mold and potential water damage.

4. Unclog Gutters

Are you familiar with bubbling wall paint and rotting wood? These are just a couple of issues attributed to clogged gutters. Note that clogged gutters may overflow at one point, especially with much debris and leaves on the roof.

After some time, this may damage your roof and the support beams located atop your Oregon property. This will only translate to expensive repairs. So, if you don’t want to end up breaking the bank, you may want to make a habit out of cleaning your gutters before spring and fall.

5. Keep an Eye out for Moss

There’s no denying how moss adds picturesque forest vibes to your roof’s appearance. But, it may also leave behind damage that you’re better off without. Left overlooked, moss will take over your Portland, Oregon roof regardless of its material: from concrete to wood.

Once moss grows in between your roof shingles, it will inevitably bulk up and lift the shingles away from the roof. Thus, it will let water inside (aside from moss already holding water). What follows would be leaks and wood roots.

Always keep a close eye out for visible moss activity on your roof. As a preventative measure, sprinkle zinc sulfate granules seasonally.

6. Insulate/Ventilate Properly

Remember that a properly insulated and ventilated roof is less likely to struggle with excess moisture, leading to rot-related problems. To ensure your attic and roof have the proper insulation and ventilation, you may opt for a professional inspection.

Aside from prolonging the lifespan of your roof, ensuring proper insulation and ventilation may help you save money on your utility bills. Your AC unit won’t need to work around the clock to keep your home cool in the summer.

7. Prevent Ice Dams

Your Portland roof will likely be susceptible to ice dams, especially after heavy snowfall. Before you know it, excess meltwater will seep through your roof, stain the ceiling, and peeling paint. If you want to prevent ice dams, ensure that the attic remains cool enough in the winter by checking your insulation and ventilation. This is crucial once you move into the fall and winter months.

8. Caulk the Flashings

Flashings refer to metal strips that run along most roof edges and joints. It is essential in diverting water or keeping water out of areas shingles can’t cover. That said, it’s also commonly used near chimneys, skylights, valleys, and walls.

These flashings may be prone to cracking, lifting, or rust depending on their installation. This means that crucial roof protection may no longer function properly in the long run. To avoid this, ensure to seal the flash with adequate caulking. Talk to a local roofing professional to choose the best option for your Portland, Oregon home.

9. Schedule Regular Roof Cleaning

Following a regular cleaning schedule for your roof helps you clear away any fallen debris or unwanted moss. Since the Pacific Northwest features wet, dark environments– this makes it inviting for moss to thrive well. If overlooked, moss may lift away shingles, turn to mold, or wood rot.

Hire a professional to clean your roof thoroughly, including low-pressure air systems, soft-washing, and hand brushing.

10. Ensure the Gutters and Downspouts are Free and Clear

You will also need to clean out gutters and downspouts on a similar note. Keep in mind that the Pacific Northwest deals with heavy rainfall and snow annually. You need to ensure water can run off your roof (and away from your home) properly through the gutters and downspouts.

Suppose these are clogged by foreign debris. In that case, water may only pool on or around the roof– resulting in water damage. Improper drainage might compromise the siding and foundation of your property.

11. Protect your Roof with a Preventative Treatment

Lastly, it would be best to protect your roof by applying a preventative treatment. This gives you a barrier that prevents algae, moss, and more unwanted growth.

Though you can permanently remove moss from your Portland, Oregon home, the environment in the Pacific Northwest is ideal for moss regrowth. Regardless of how much you clean your roof, it may only regrow in certain conditions.

Final Verdict

Due to rainy and unstable weather conditions in Portland and other areas of Oregon, homeowners must stay ahead of the climate in terms of roof cleaning and maintenance. This will help keep your roof look beautiful and adequately protected.

Some homeowners need at least two roof cleanings in a year, while others (with extensive properties) need up to three or four thorough annual cleaning sessions. It would be best to talk to a local professional to assess how often you need to have your roof inspected and cleaned in a year.

Following routine maintenance helps you manage several problems, including the notorious mold and algae build-up and clogged gutters and downspouts.

Should I Hire a Professional Roof Cleaning Service in Portland?

Roof cleaning is a must for every household. If you live in Portland or the Pacific Northwest, you will likely have to clean your roof regularly. Roof cleaning may be done if you are up to the task and have the necessary tools. However, there is no risk in hiring the help of a professional service.

If you have never cleaned your roof before, have a particularly angular or steep roof, or are physically unable to clean your roof, immediately contact a professional roof cleaning service. Even if you are confident in your ability to clean your roof yourself, hiring a professional service is essential.

Having a professional roofer check and clean your roof is the best way to discover any issues you may not be aware of. A skilled eye can see algae development, hidden mold build-up, and other problems that you might overlook.

Tile vs Shingles For The Portland Area

We get a fair share of strong winds and heavy rains in the Pacific Northwest area. As such, it's best to know the best roof type that can drain rainwater well and handle excessive moisture levels.

This usually boils down to two crowd-favorite roofing materials– tiles and shingles. Both materials are known for their aesthetic appeal and durability. But, which among tile and shingle roofing is better? Let's discuss which among the two roofing options stands up to the Portland climate better.

Tile Roofing in Portland

Average Lifespan: 35 to 50 years

Tile roofs for Portland homes are known for durability and energy cost savings. This material also comes in different colors, shapes, and sizes when it comes to aesthetics. Concrete and clay roof tiles can complement any architectural style– from contemporary, modern homes to colonial or historic homes.

These tile roofing materials are flat or round, with some designed to mimic the look of roof shakes or old roofs with a rustic appearance. Simply put, you can choose from a wide variety of available styles.

Advantages of Tile Roofs

  • They are known to be durable and long-lasting. It can last over 100 years, given proper installation and maintenance.
  • Both clay and concrete tile roofs can withstand hail, high winds, and fire.
  • Some manufacturers offer generous 50-year warranty coverage.
  • Available in a wide variety of options (colors and styles)
  • Not prone to rotting or insect damage, as tile roofs will never decay, unlike wood
  • Environment-friendly and energy-efficient. The material can be recycled after removal, and its heavy thermal mass helps regulate the temperature indoors.
  • This material requires low maintenance, so you're looking at minimal future repair costs.
  • Leaks on tile roofs are sporadic unless they break from heavy impact.

Disadvantages of Tile Roofs

  • Installation can be rather tricky. You will need to hire an experienced roofer to ensure it is installed correctly. It has an intricate process where you will need to measure the tiles, lay them in a specific pattern, and check thoroughly to avoid moisture seeping through.
  • Since tile roofs are quite heavy, you will need to ensure your roof structure can support and handle its weight. Clay tiles can be as heavy as 850 pounds per square, while concrete tiles may get up to 950 pounds per square.
  • Homeowners planning to replace their shingle roof with tile will need to consult an engineer to follow proper structural reinforcement requirements. This will hike the project costs.
  • Tiles are susceptible to breakage. Though the material is notably durable, it may break from heavy impact (such as falling branches or foot pressure)
  • Repairs can be expensive (although rare)
  • Tile roofs may not be suitable for all roof slopes. They are considerably more fitting for roofs with sharp slopes.

Asphalt Shingles Roofing in Portland

Average Lifespan: 20 to 28 years

Asphalt shingles are known to be one of the country's most common and popular roofing materials. In fact, about 75% of North American houses have installed shingle roofs because the material is aesthetically appealing, reasonably long-lasting, and weather-resistant.

Here are some of the main reasons why you should consider installing asphalt shingle roofing on your Portland home:

Advantages of Asphalt Shingle Roofs

  • The material is affordable. So if you're concerned about the costs of a new roofing installation, this economical option may just be what you need.
  • Asphalt shingle roofs are effective and serve their purpose well. You can count on it to stand up to various elements while keeping you safe.
  • It offers a traditional aesthetic. Homeowners looking for a more formal look with their Portland home will surely love asphalt shingles.
  • Asphalt shingles are available in several different colors and styles. While black and brown are the most popular choices, you can also choose asphalt shingles in blue, green, or red colors. Besides color options, you may also choose a unique shape and style that complements your Portland home best.
  • This material has an easy installation. Asphalt shingle roofing makes for an easy installation for most local roofers with experience. As such, labor costs will be cheaper than using other materials. It is easier to handle than heavy tiles, so they can be installed fast!
  • You can easily replace some individual asphalt shingles. Given proper installation, asphalt shingles can last for many years but may also be damaged due to factors out of your control. Suppose the bad weather damaged a few shingles. You can just easily replace the damaged shingles (which is something you can't do with other roofing types).
  • Asphalt shingles do not rust or corrode, unlike metal roofing. This will serve you well even in coastal area regions frequently exposed to saltwater.

Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Like other roofing materials, asphalt shingles are no exception for their share of drawbacks. Here are some of them for your awareness:

  • Although asphalt shingles are relatively long-lasting (around 20 years), it's not known to be the most durable roofing material. If durability is your main priority, you may want to invest in metal roofing (60 years+) or a tile roof (40 years+).
  • Shingles may be easily damaged or ripped off your roof by strong winds. If you live near the coast, windy days may be a matter of concern to your asphalt roofing.
  • Mildew may be a common issue in your asphalt shingle roof. When overlooked, mildew may grow and spread on your roof, especially in unshaded areas. To avoid this problem, you will need frequent inspections to clean your roof from time to time. Be careful not to do it too often as it will shorten the average lifespan and damage the material instead. You may want to consult a local roofing company for professional advice.
  • The material is not the most energy-efficient roofing choice. If you want your home to be highly energy-efficient, other roofing materials may be better, such as a metal roof. However, replacing an old asphalt shingle roof with a newer one will be slightly more energy-efficient.

With all things considered, asphalt shingle roofing provides a nice balance between affordability and functionality. If that's what you're looking for, this may be the best roofing option for you and your family. (Related: Are Shingles A Good Roofing Material In Portland?)

Comparing Tiles vs. Shingles Roof for Portland Homeowners

Let's take a closer look at tiles and shingles roofing and see how they compare.


Most Portland homeowners are likely more familiar with the asphalt 2 shingle 1 roof, commonly made from flexible shingles 1 installed to overlap each other. Today, thicker shingles are made available, adding more dimension and structure to your roof and mimicking the appearance of slate 3. Asphalt shingle roofs are available in various colors, with unique appearances and textures depending on your style preference.

Meanwhile, tile roofs offer more versatility in terms of design. You'll find classic clay tiles usually installed in an S pattern and overlap each other to create a repeated, round way. Generally, clay, concrete, and metal tiles are available in different colors, shapes, and patterns. You'll also find some roofing tiles in the traditional S-pattern and half-round shapes that take on the appearance of slate 3 shingles, and more.

As such, you have more freedom to create a unique roofing look for your home with tile roofs (instead of choosing a different color or thicker shingle).


Please contact us for a quote, as prices are currently changing quickly due to market conditions. 


The installation process varies depending on whether you have a shingle or tile roof and the type of tile you choose. Asphalt shingles are relatively simple to install. The majority of them have tabs that overlap and are nailed and sealed. As long as the roof deck is in excellent shape, all that is necessary underneath them is a felt underlayment 4.

On the other hand, tiles need some degree of roof reinforcement beforehand. This is due to the added weight involved. They also require an underlayment 4, but the installation process is lengthier and more meticulous. Some tiles and patterns, such as interlocking tiles that neatly snap into place, are significantly faster. Whereas classic S, scallop, and ridge patterns must be cemented into place one at a time. It can take several days to accomplish, depending on the roof size.


Asphalt shingles can be installed almost on any roof because they are relatively lightweight. On the other hand, tile varies depending on the material. Metal and clay tiles weigh more, while composite tiles are the lightest.

Shingle roof is more lightweight than every tile roof available, requiring some degree of reinforcing, resulting in higher costs. The shingle roof is a better choice if your home cannot support a heavy roof or you are not able to strengthen it.


Asphalt roofs are proven and tested to handle every type of climate, making them a prevalent choice throughout the U.S. Meanwhile, traditional clay tiles are most commonly installed in the country's southern area because they cannot handle the freeze/thaw conditions.

A new metal tile and composite roof can be installed just almost anywhere. It is best to ask for materials that can withstand the freeze/thaw cycle if you want to invest in a tile roof while living in a cold part of the country. Additionally, dry and hot weather can lead to the shortened lifespan of your roof tile. Remember to inquire about which is the perfect roofing material for your climate.


A well-maintained tile roof will outlast a shingle roof by decades in terms of durability. Depending on the quality of material used, tile roofs may span anywhere from 25 to 100 years if properly cared for. Typically, composite and metal will last the longest, but some clay tile roofs can go beyond a hundred years old.

Depending on the thickness, type, and design of asphalt shingles, they can endure 15 to 30 years. Architectural shingles are thicker and last longer than regular three-tab shingles.


Maintenance is relatively similar for both roof types. Each must undergo yearly inspection for cracked, missing, or broken shingles or tiles. Gentle cleaning should also be done if visible moss is growing on the roof. Avoid walking on the roof if it is made of clay tiles because it can break. Immediately replace if a broken shingle or tile is found to prevent extensive roof damage.

Environmental Concerns

Shingles are made of various materials, but their primary base is asphalt, which makes them water-resistant. Because asphalt is made from petroleum, these shingles cannot be considered environmentally friendly.

Some asphalt shingles, on the other hand, offer environmental benefits. These include white, heat-reflecting shingles, which help keep a home's temperature low and cut energy expenditures. Tiles may be produced from many materials, including natural clay. They will less likely end up in a landfill because they last longer. Many of the materials used in tiles may be recycled, making them a little more eco-friendly option.

Resale Value

Any new roof will increase the value of your home. A tile roof may appeal to a new owner because of its lifespan, but a metal roof is considered a smart investment in your Portland property.

Overall Verdict

Whether you are having a new Portland home built or planning to re-roof your current home, tiles and shingles are among the best roofing options to consider. After taking a detailed look at both materials, we hope we’ve given you a solid rundown of what to expect with each roofing option, particularly their benefits. Some homeowners will benefit more from tile roofs than shingles, while the other way around is accurate for some.

If you’re still on the fence about choosing between tiles and shingles roof for your home in Portland, you may want to consult a reliable roofing contractor to choose the best option for your needs.

The Pros & Cons of A Metal Roof In Portland

In the past years, the popularity of metal roofing has been steadily increasing in the country. This roofing material boasts low maintenance and a long lifespan, so it’s no wonder why more homeowners are choosing metal for their home roofing needs.

If you’re one of the homeowners planning to invest in installing metal roofs for your Portland home– it would be best to have a solid grasp of all the advantages and disadvantages this entails.

Why Choose Metal Roofing for Your Portland Home?

So, why are more Portland homeowners considering a metal roofing installation? For starters, the material is lightweight and easy to work with. It is also known to reflect daytime heat very well, keeping your home cool during the summer months. A metal roof also creates a beautiful addition to any building style.

If fire protection is essential for you, metal roofing is a great option. It is made from aluminum and steel, making it a modern, energy-efficient roofing material.

Pros of Metal Roofing in Portland

One of the most considerable advantages of a metal roof is its durability, so you can count on it to hold up well against extreme weather conditions. In fact, metal roofs last longer than their asphalt shingle counterparts.

The material is also virtually maintenance-free. If you consider tending to a roof’s regular upkeep a tiring chore, this roofing option is for you.

Here are other benefits to expect when it comes to metal roofing:

  • Long-lasting: Metal roofs are famous for their longevity, with up to 30 years of good use with only minor maintenance. It doesn't need much upkeep and repairs if you compare it to asphalt shingles. Homeowners who have their metal roofs inspected at least twice a year and follow proper maintenance help prolong their lifespan more than the average. You can count on your Portland metal roof to thrive in snow, rainwater, and windstorms. Additionally, it is resistant to fire, mildew, and insect infestation. 
  • Eco-friendly and Recyclable: If you want an excellent roofing material for the environment– steel roofing is a great choice. This material won’t break apart like other options, and it can also be recycled at the end of its lifespan. Not to mention, most metal roofs are already made from recycled, reclaimed metal.
  • Exceptionally Sturdy: You can expect metal roofs to stand up to extreme winds of 140 miles per hour. Because of their innate strength, the metal roofs won’t break, crack, or corrode even with high-speed winds. Since it is highly durable, there’s no need to spend additional cash on professional maintenance or repair services.
  • Highly Efficient: Metal roofing will protect your home from foreign elements, but it will also help trim your utility bills. The material is known to reflect the sun’s heat, so it will effectively cool your home during the summer months. You will most likely use the AC unit less, saving more energy. In fact, metal roofs can reduce your energy costs by up to 25%.
  • Less Build-up: Since metal roofs are highly durable, you can expect less accumulation of rain, snow, and other foreign debris. This will effectively prevent water damage, ice dams, and other roofing issues.
  • Noncombustible: Metal roofs are rated with Class A fire rating, making them the most fire-resistant roofing option to consider. Note that metal roofs installed over wooden shingles are likely to have a lower fire rating.
  • Warranty: Warranties vary from one manufacturer to another, but most metal roofs and paint finishes generally have a 30-year limited warranty. Most metal roofing products are expected to last between 20 and 50 years.
  • Lightweight and Easy to install: Metal roofs are remarkably lightweight, especially if compared to tile roofing and other materials. It weighs from 100 to 150 pounds per square, which is a stark comparison to 750 to 1,000 pounds per square of concrete tile. The material comes in 12 to 13-inch panels in multiple-shingle sections. This makes metal roofing quick and easy to install. Homeowners with an existing roofing material may opt to have their new metal roof installed directly over the existing one without removal or additional structural support. Talk to your roofer if the same can be applied to your home.

Cons of Metal Roofing in Portland

Like other roofing options, installing a metal roof in Portland also has considerable drawbacks. Here are some of them for your reference:

  • Expensive Purchase and Installation: Metal roofing is a considerable investment, with the average cost ranging between $170 and $650 per 100 square feet. While it is more costly than other roofing materials, the durability of this roof will save you on maintenance and additional repair costs in the long run.
  • It can be quite Loud: Considering the Pacific Northwest area gets frequent rainfall, expect the rain to tap on your metal roof quite loudly. This can be a matter of preference, though. Some homeowners may find it calming and soothing. But, others can be somewhat disturbed by the sound. Using structural barriers, you may minimize the noise to reduce the noisy drumming effect. Have your contractor apply them over insulation or solid plywood sheathing.
  • Accessibility Issues (Sliding Snow and Ice): Note that walking on your metal roof is challenging during wet weather. If, after some significant time has passed, organic material (moss or algae) managed to thrive on the metal roof– this makes the surface slipperier to walk on. Cleaning off the debris left by a strong storm or maintaining your metal roof during the winter can be risky. We recommend hiring a roofer to tackle the job for you. Given the slick surface of metal roofs, snow and ice may easily slide down and cause damage to the objects (or even injury to the people below). You may opt to install snow and ice guards to counter this problem.
  • May Dent Easily (Prone to Visible Surface Dents): Metal roofs can be easily dented because of their malleable structure. If something with significant weight and velocity hits your metal roof, it may leave a visible dent on the material. This is common with tree limbs, large pine cones, shrubbery, and hailstones. Unfortunately, the visible damage may become permanent.

The Different Types of Metal Roofing Materials

Now, let’s discuss the different types of metal roofing material you can consider for your Portland home. Each material type we’ll discuss below is a specific type of metal.

This gives you several options to choose from as you proceed with your Portland home metal roof installation. Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of the right metal roofing type for your needs. (Related: Best Roofing Materials For Portland Oregon)

Aluminum Roofing

Aluminum roofs are one metal roofing type that is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and suitable for coastal environments. This means it has some of the best attributes a metal roof is known for!

While it is the most lightweight material on the market today, it doesn’t compromise its durability. In fact, the strength-to-weight ratio of aluminum material is remarkably higher than the other metal types. You can count on the same strength (or even more) even if the material is light and easier to work with.

Copper Roofing

While copper roofing is the most expensive metal roofing material on this list, its aesthetic remains unparalleled. Copper roofs are famous for their durability, natural protective layer (that develops over time), and ability to change color.

So if you’re looking for a unique, striking roof that drastically improves the appearance of your Portland home– copper roofing is the best choice. The copper’s color will change over time, from a shade of copper (like a brand new penny) to a blue-green or brown patina. This patina shade will depend on the climate the roof is exposed to.

Tin Roofing

Tin roofs are no longer used today, but we’ll include them in this article for your reference. Nowadays, “tin roofs” usually pertain to either steel or aluminum roofing in today’s terms. Many years ago, tin became a popular roofing material because it is lightweight and easy to install. Its fame started to decline when aluminum soared in popularity– so aluminum became obsolete. It is pretty rare to find a tin roof nowadays.

Zinc Roofing

Similar to copper roofs, zinc roofs are known to be a long-lasting, premium roofing material choice that will develop a patina and ultimately change its color.

Because of its patina, it is widely regarded to have a stunning appearance. Most zinc roofing panels available today are pre-patinated without developing their protective layer to alter their appearance. Note that zinc roofs aren't trendy in Portland and the rest of the country as they can be rather expensive to install.

Metal or Steel Roof

When one refers to "metal roofing," it typically refers to steel roofing. Every material we've discussed above are metal types, but the most popular of them all would have to be steel roof. Today, a steel roof is considered the most common metal roofing type in Portland, available in different finishes.

Steel is an alloy that is made from iron and several other elements. Though a steel metal roof has been prevalently used for commercial buildings, it has also been used for residential homes in recent years– thanks to its affordability, durability, and low maintenance requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a metal roof cost more than a typical roof?

Because metal roofing is a premium home product, your new roof will likely cost double or triple the price of an asphalt shingle roof. On the other hand, a metal roof is equivalent in price to tile or cedar shake roofing. You can expect your metal roof to cost less if you already have an existing slate roof.

You will never need to worry about your roof again, no matter what type of metal roofing you choose. Almost every metal roofing comes with a genuine 30 to 50-year warranty. Additionally, it will increase the resale value of your home, reduce the cost of energy bills, and assures you that you will likely never have to re-roof again.

What material options do I have with a metal roof?

There are many metal roofing options available and among them are the three most popular being copper, aluminum, and galvalume steel. Copper may cost a premium, but it makes for a beautiful and long-lasting material for your roof. The most economical is aluminum, but it is also the least rugged.

If you want a robust and rugged roofing material that is more affordable than copper, you should opt for galvalume steel.

Does a metal roof make your house hotter?

It is the other way around. A high-quality metal roof cools down your house because it consists of a reflective coating that bounces the heat from the sun away from your home. They may save your energy bills by up to 20% a year and lower the temperature in your attic. On the other hand, asphalt shingles make your home hotter, especially during summer.

How long will a metal roof last?

With a sound paint/protection system, a metal substrate should last you an entire lifetime. Over time, some metals may require refinishing. Most metal roof problems are caused by poor artistry rather than the product itself.

Are metal roofs environmentally friendly?

Definitely! Metal reflects solar radiation better than other roofing materials, allowing your property to stay cooler in the summer. If you're looking for more methods to reduce energy consumption, metal roofs make an excellent foundation for solar panel installation. Additionally, metal roofing uses recycled materials to some extent, and the roof itself is nearly 100 percent recyclable. It is considered one of the "greenest" roofs in the market.

What will happen to a metal roof in a lightning storm?

Despite what you've seen in the movies, aluminum roofs do not draw lightning. You never have to worry about your house, even in the presence of the fiercest electrical storm.

Are Shingles A Good Roofing Material In Portland?

Asphalt shingles are considered the most common roofing material in the country and for a good reason. The material is the safest bet on almost every home. Most roofing companies, if not all, are also familiar with installing these shingles. Asphalt shingles strike a balance between cost-effectiveness, easy installation, and a lifespan of 15 to 20 years.

So if you're considering asphalt shingle roofing for your Portland home– let's discuss everything you need to know to determine if it's the right choice for your home needs.

Why are Asphalt Shingle Roofs the Most Popular Choice?

The popularity of asphalt shingle roofs is partly because of their versatility. Asphalt shingles are created with a fiberglass mat, asphalt layer, and a layer of granules. Typically, it is manufactured by spraying hot asphalt on a fiberglass mat and applying the granules. Once it is pressed, rolled, and cooled– the material bonds together. Asphalt roofs have a decent fire rating and can stand different weather extremes. This roofing material is suitable for different climates, whether in Portland or other parts of the country.

Here's a quick rundown of the most critical considerations to consider, along with the advantages and disadvantages of asphalt shingle roofs for your Portland home.



A versatile material in all climates

Requires high maintenance

Suitable with most homes

May not complement old or rustic homes


Will need replacement after 20 to 25 years

Durable given proper maintenance

Not known as the most eco-friendly

Not the most energy-efficient roofing material


Like every other roofing material, asphalt shingles also have their fair share of drawbacks. The material isn't known to last as long as other shingles in regions with regular temperature fluctuations. Not to mention, the shingles are prone to cracking or warping too. The material is also not recommended on roofs with a steeper slope.

Other Types of Shingles to Consider for Your Portland Home

Asphalt shingles aren't the only option in choosing shingles for your residential roofing needs. Below, we discuss the different shingle types for you to consider.

Fiberglass Shingles

True to its name, fiberglass shingles are created with a fiberglass base. Several layers are then overlain to be bound with an adhesive. Then, the material is coated with asphalt (made with different mineral fillers) to give it a waterproof seal.

What we love about fiberglass shingles:

  • Durable
  • Fire-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • It has a longer warranty
  • More resistant to UV damage
  • Slightly more expensive than traditional asphalt shingles but still cost-effective

Organic Shingles

Another option to consider is organic shingles. These are commonly created from recycled materials such as old cardboard, paper, rags, and wood chips. It is also an inexpensive shingle roofing material, but it's notorious for being saturated and accumulating moisture. As a result, it may lead to different problems, especially in areas with freezing temperatures or high humidity levels.

Saturation and moisture may cause the shingles to degrade and deteriorate even before 20 years of good use, which is their average life expectancy. You'll find that it's common for Portland homeowners to replace organic shingles with fiberglass material instead.

Three-tab Asphalt Shingles

Another roof shingle type to consider is the three-tab shingles. Most contractors in Portland specify some asphalt-based shingle roofing material as "three-tab" since they are composed of three individual tabs measuring a foot wide.

The material is considerably inexpensive yet thin. But, they are surprisingly long-lasting (up to 30 years) given proper maintenance.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles are the most environment-friendly shingle type you can consider. The material is also known to be long-lasting, for up to 50 years. You can purchase either cedar or redwood shingles, which are both durable and energy-efficient.

  • Cedarwood shingles are an attractive option for homes in the Portland area, especially if you want your home to exude a country or cottage aesthetic. The material has a unique look throughout its lifespan– changing from golden brown to a rustic silver/grey when aged.
  • Redwood shingles offer superior weather protection and an inviting, rustic appeal to your Portland home. It is usually made from sawn wood tiles with smooth back and front sides.

The downside? Wood shingles are the most prone to catching fire compared to other shingle types. You will also need to follow necessary precautions so it won't be damaged by mold or termites so soon.

In most cases, wood shingles are repaired when cracked, warped, or missing. Instead, your contractor may opt to replace the wood shingles, as fixing them will only be costly and troublesome.

What we love about wood shingles:

  • Eco-friendly, renewable roofing material
  • Resistant to Portland weather
  • Classic, stunning aesthetic
  • High thermal efficiency

Slate or Tile Shingles

Some historic homes and buildings in the Portland area were made using natural slate or tile roofs for their architectural style. The material is known to be long-lasting, but it is also notably heavy to work with compared to other roof types. It is also more prone to chipping and cracking and may be challenging to repair.

Natural slate and tile shingle roofing materials are readily available if you want period-accurate materials in your Portland home. But, you may also consider alternatives such as manufactured tile or slate. They take on the same appearance but make the installation more accessible and cheaper.

Important Note: Both options are considered the most labor-intensive and expensive shingle materials.

What we love about tile or slate shingles:

  • Long-lasting
  • Period-correct addition to historic homes

What are the Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles?

Now that we've covered the different shingle roofing types, we'll revert to asphalt shingles as the primary shingle material for clarity. As previously mentioned, asphalt roof shingles are increasingly widespread thanks to their cost-effectiveness and reliability.

If you're still on the fence about using asphalt shingles for your residential roofing needs, let's take a detailed look at its pros and cons.

The Good: Pros of Asphalt Shingles for Your Portland Home Roofing Needs

Why do Portland homeowners continue to use asphalt shingles for their roofing needs? Well, here are a few benefits to consider.

  • Affordable: Asphalt roofing in Portland starts from $7 to $9 per square foot, depending on the roof size and material quality. The material is a crowd-favorite choice among many homeowners mainly due to its affordability. Since they can protect your Portland home for 7 to 15 years given proper installation, its cost-effectiveness outweighs the long-term protection offered by more expensive, premium materials.
  • Effective: Asphalt shingles won't be as durable and long-lasting as other roofing materials (cedar shakes, clay tiles, and metal) for your home in Portland. Regardless, you can count on them to provide adequate protection. If you combine its satisfactory performance at a low price point, it's no wonder why more homeowners choose it for their roofing projects.
  • Available in a variety of colors and styles: Generally, you can choose from two asphalt shingles: organic or fiberglass. Both materials are coated with asphalt to make them waterproof. The fiberglass type is made with a thin glass fiber mat, while organic asphalt shingles are made from a specific wood product– such as waste paper.
  • Easy Installation: This isn't to say that asphalt shingles don't need the skill to be properly installed. However, the material only requires less specialized training than other roofing types. Your contractor can quickly finish the installation in as little as 1 to 2 days, depending on the project's scope and if you need old shingles removed.
  • Some are made with unique features: Some asphalt shingles are designed better than others. For instance, the Highlander Nex AR is made to be algae-resistant and highly durable even in extreme weather conditions. The Legacy Scotchguard shingle line also boasts granule embedment and a 110-mile wind warranty. Additionally, all of these options are said to reduce pollution in the air, and it is made from recycled materials. This makes it easier for you to be a green, sustainable homeowner!

The Bad: Cons of Asphalt Shingles for Your Portland Home Roofing Needs

Of course, asphalt shingles also have their drawbacks to consider carefully. Here are the most common ones:

  • Vulnerability to wind uplift: As commonly observed in cheaper asphalt shingles, some materials are more vulnerable to damage brought by strong winds. These shingles may easily detach and may cause leaks in your roof.
  • Prone to cracks: Given the lightweight material, some asphalt shingles may crack easily once exposed to frequent fluctuations in the temperature. Extreme temperatures can cause the shingle to expand and contract, leading to cracks. Also, excessive heat may just push your asphalt shingles to crack.
  • Must be installed in warm temperatures: We strongly advise against installing asphalt shingles during the winter, during below-freezing temperatures. It's best to install the material during warmer months instead to avoid damage.
  • No unique appearance and look: Asphalt shingles may not be your best bet if the aesthetic appeal is your main priority in a new Portland roof. They aren't exactly unique, although they don't affect your property's curb appeal in a negative light. Using asphalt shingles won't help make your home stand out from the rest of the houses in the neighborhood. You may be better off using wood shingles or shakes for that instead.
  • Not as long-lasting as other materials: Asphalt shingles are cheaper, lighter, and slightly more vulnerable to damage– asphalt shingles do not last as long as other roofing options for your Portland home.

There you have it! Since we've discussed the pros and cons of using asphalt shingles for your Portland home, ensure to keep the key points in mind as you decide.

Choosing the Best Asphalt Shingle for Your Portland Roof

When selecting the shingles for your roof, you have three main options. The 3-tab shingles are considered the most basic and affordable option—a lightweight shingle with a fiberglass base and mineral granules that will last for around 20 years. An architectural shingle is a slightly more costly alternative that combines two layers of shingle. Aside from its premium durability, architectural shingles also provide an elevated appearance to the roof.

Because of its 3D effect with varying patterns and tones, architectural shingles are more aesthetically pleasing but a bit more expensive. It can also imitate the looks of other shingles, such as wood or slate. Architectural shingles are also more weatherproof compared to 3-tab shingles.

Lastly, there's the luxury shingle, a shingle style meant to appear like natural slate but at a more affordable price range.

Which Underlayment Is the Best Option?

You'll need to consult with your Portland roofers to determine the best of two underlayment options for your new shingle roof. Usually, this entails deciding whether to use synthetic or felt paper underlayment as the base layer of material on top of the roof deck but underneath your new shingles.

Unfortunately, the felt paper option is much more likely the ones used during art class, which tends to tear apart easily. It is also not the best option against the wet climate of Portland, OR, because it does not stand up well to rain.

The more popular choice for Portland roofers is synthetic underlayment. To reduce wear, fiberglass is woven into the fabric, and it performs considerably better in the weather. Although this improvement comes at a higher cost, the benefits make it worthwhile.

Overall Verdict: Are Shingles Roofs Good for Portland Homes?

Asphalt shingles are an excellent starter choice if you want nothing but the best roofing material for your Portland home. It’s the most commonly used roof material for plenty of good reasons. Compared to other materials, it has a relatively affordable price range. If you’re working on a budget, this is your safest bet! The material also comes in various style options, from granular to colored ones.

Note that asphalt shingles aren’t as durable and long-lasting as their counterparts. However, it serves as a great middle-ground and can still last you long years given proper maintenance and upkeep.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are asphalt shingles so popular?

Some excellent reasons why asphalt shingle roofs continue to soar in popularity are: they are available in a wide range of colors, shapes, sizes, and thickness, they are durable, they can be maintained and repaired and lastly, they can resist fire.

How long will an asphalt roof last?

Generally, asphalt roofs can last up to 20 years, but your property's environment will also determine its lifespan. If there's moss or fungus growth or tree debris left lying around for long, this may just cut the lifespan of your asphalt roof.

Best Roofing Materials For Portland Oregon

Homeowners in Portland, Oregon know what it's like to deal with frequent rains. With that in mind, this can lead to moisture problems which may put your roof in trouble. To help you choose the best roofing material for your Portland, Oregon home, we've compiled the best roof types to consider.

Key Factors to Keep in Mind in Choosing the Best Roofing Material

The weather in Oregon truly puts every roofing material to the test. It is then your responsibility to choose the suitable roofing material to handle the elements in a rainy, windy environment. It all boils down to critical factors such as: durability, pricing, and style.

Nowadays, eco-friendly roofing options are also increasing in popularity. You might want to consider this if you're aiming to make greener choices for the environment. As you pick a roofing material for your Oregon property, consider the importance of the factors listed above and how they rank. Homeowners who want a long-lasting roof with less upkeep may prioritize durable roofing materials on their list. Meanwhile, homes with a distinct aesthetic may emphasize the style.

4 Best Roofing Materials for Homes in Portland, Oregon

Keep in mind that your chosen roofing material will affect the moisture-resistance capability of your roof. For the frequently wet climate in the Pacific Northwest, here are 4 of the best roofing materials to consider.

Asphalt Roofs

Durability: Up to 20 to 30 years
Cost-effective price points
Available in several different colors

First on our list are asphalt roofs, the most cost-effective option for your Portland home. The material is durable (fire-resistant), easy to install, and cost-efficient.

It is no wonder asphalt shingle roofs are standard in almost all neighborhoods in Oregon! The material is also known to hold up well in wet environments like western Oregon. It is made from a fiberglass base before coating with an asphalt layer. Then, it is covered with weather-resistant mineral granules.

Pro Tip: Ensure that each asphalt shingle installed is designed to resist mold. These shingles are somewhat porous, so they can hold moisture.

Asphalt shingles also complement different home styles, from antique Victorian homes to contemporary, modern homes. You may also buy them in various colors and shapes. The downside is that asphalt shingles aren't known to be environmentally friendly. Old shingles are sent directly to landfills. (Related: Are Shingles A Good Roofing Material In Portland?)

Pros of Asphalt Roofs

  • Can withstand extreme weather conditions (suitable for wind, snow, and rain in Oregon)
  • Since asphalt roofs are typical, materials are easily accessible if you need to do repairs

Cons of Asphalt Roofs

  • It requires more maintenance than other roofing types
  • It may not have more extended warranty coverage compared to other roofs (only between 5 and 20 years)

Wood Roofs

Durability: Can last up to 30 to 40 years
Most suitable for bungalow, cottage, contemporary, and ranch style homes

Another popular roofing material in the Pacific Northwest is wood shingles. While the material complements the outdoor aesthetic of Portland homes, you will need to commit to its routine maintenance.

Important Note: Ensure to review local ordinances before choosing a wood roof for your home. Since the material is not fire-resistant, several cities have banned its installation.

Wood Shingles vs. Shakes

  • Wood shingles are trimmed mechanically using a saw
  • Wood shakes, on the other hand, are split by hand to create a rough, more natural look

You can count on your wood roof to last for 30 to 40 years because you follow proper maintenance. It is essential to follow regular upkeep in installing wood roofing for your Oregon home, given that the wet environment makes it susceptible to mold, mildew, and rot.

Metal Roofs

Durability: Can last for an entire lifetime
More expensive than other roofing types
Versatile styles available

The next option, metal roofing, has high upfront costs. But, the material is truly ideal for the climate in Portland. Since metal reflects sunlight, this keeps your home cool in the hot summer months. These roofs are also slick– meaning they shed water more efficiently and discourage algae or moss growth.

If you don't particularly like high-maintenance roofs, metal roofing is the best choice as it may last you for up to 50 years (twice as long as other roofing materials) The material is also recyclable, making them an environmentally-friendly choice. So if your budget can afford it, we recommend choosing a metal roof for your Portland, Oregon home. You're also not limited to a roof with a dull, monotonous look. Today, metal roofs are available in different colors and styles. Some may even mimic the appearance of tike and other stylish roofing materials.

So, what's the catch? Metal roofs are considerably more expensive than other options. It is also heavier, making it difficult and tricky to install. But if you plan to stay in your forever home– investing in a metal roof is worth considering! (Related: The Pros & Cons of A Metal Roof In Portland)

Reclaimed Slate Tile Roofs

Durability: Can last an entire lifetime
Slightly more expensive than standard roofing materials
Considerably an aesthetic choice

If you value style and durability over price, slate tile roofs are a great addition to your Portland, Oregon home. For your reference, slate is a stone type that's commonly quarried in the eastern states of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Slate tile roofs complement chateau, colonial, and French style homes well. It is also available in different colors and shapes. Not to mention, the material is known to be highly durable and fire-resistant. You can count on your slate tile roof to hold up well against heavy rains while keeping your home cool during the summer months.

If you're curious about the downsides– this material can be rather expensive and difficult to install (much like metal roofs). You will need to hire an experienced roofer to ensure proper installation. Nowadays, finding reclaimed and repurposed roofing materials is easier than ever. Consider choosing a reclaimed slate tile roof for your Portland property.

Important Roofing Considerations for Portland, Oregon Homeowners

Here are some essential roofing considerations for Portland, Oregon homeowners:

Moss Growth on Roofs

Besides the issue of leaks, moss growth can stem due to excess moisture on your roof. Note that the Oregon climate may encourage algae and moss to thrive. And while this greenery looks like a pleasing addition, it may only hold excess moisture on the surface of your roof. This may result in cracking, deterioration, or fiber damage.

If you notice visible signs of algae, moss, and fungi on your roof– opt to act on the issue before it gets worse. These may only cause extensive and rather expensive damage to your roof if it gets out of control. You may also want to consult a roofer on proven tips and tricks to minimize the risk of moss growth on your new roof.

Shaded Areas

The shaded areas on your roof are more prone to moss and algae growth than the sunny areas, considering they stay wet for longer.

With that said, you may want to clear all nearby tree branches away from the roof. Doing so also lessens the risk of structural damage due to a fallen limb. Lead litter and other foreign debris from trees may only encourage moss growth, so it's always better to keep trees away from your new roof as much as possible.

Attic Ventilation

If your home comes with an attic, always ensure proper ventilation. In contrast, poorly-ventilated attics may only add moisture to your roof, leading to possible mold activity. You can contact a local roofing company to install a roof vent if you want to improve your attic's ventilation.


Properties in Portland must always follow regular roof maintenance. If not, it may lead to a costly mistake. Your roof needs to be cleaned periodically to get rid of debris on your roof and hinder the growth of moss or algae.

We do not recommend cleaning your roof by yourself. Moss and algae can be slick, so they may put you in harm's way, especially if you're not experienced in dealing with them. It would be best to save your DIY energy on other manageable home improvement projects.

Roof Surface and Slope

Your roof surface determines the number of algae or moss that may thrive on it. Some roofing materials, in particular, are made to resist moisture absorption. However, this doesn't mean moss and algae won't grow on it.

To ensure the best-case scenario, talk to your roofing contractor to select the best roofing material for your home needs. If you have persistent issues with your flat roofs, you may consider installing a steeper-sloped roof for your Portland property.

Eco-Friendly Roof Materials for Oregon Homes

Eco-friendly roofing technology may improve the comfort of your house while also reducing your energy bills and helping the environment. Here are some of the top environmentally friendly roofing options for homes in Oregon:

  • Metal: A metal roof can keep your home cool and reduces energy costs by reflecting sunlight. It is also an excellent sustainable option because it is low-maintenance and recyclable.
  • Recycled Shingles: Shingles produced from recycled materials can help the environment by reducing waste. Tough and long-lasting materials like rubber, plastic, or even old tires can be turned into recycled shingles.
  • Wood: Wood is a natural and biodegradable material that can improve your home's air circulation and is eco-friendly; however, it may require some maintenance.
  • Reclaimed Clay or Slate Tile: Using recycled (and recyclable) materials is an excellent way to reduce your home's environmental impact.

Different Roofing for Different Environments

Ultimately, choosing the best roofing material type will depend on the weather in your region. Ceramic tiles are good at dissipating heat, making them an excellent choice for homes located in warm environments. But, clay tiles can be water-permeable, so they are less suited for wet climate areas like Oregon.

Most of the population in Oregon lives in the western part, known as a temperate rainforest. Those living in the area for a while know it can be very damp at times. Due to its dry climate, homes in eastern Oregon will get by just fine (even without rain-resistant roofing).

Another crucial weather consideration for Oregon properties is the fire risk. Since climate change is making wildfires more dangerous today, you may want to ensure your home isn't located in the path of a possible fire trail.

Should You Get a New Roof for Your Portland Home?

If you're still undecided about re-roofing your house, don't be: there are many great reasons to do it. The following are some of the advantages:

  • Energy efficiency: An old roof may already have small holes, making it more expensive to keep your home cooler and heated in winter due to air leakage. It is terrible for the environment and bad for your budget because your HVAC system will require more energy to achieve the desired room temperature.
  • Improved value: When it comes to increasing the market value of a home, new roofs provide a very high return on investment. Not only will your property look better, making it easier to sell, but a newly repaired roof will give any potential buyers confidence that they're making a wise investment.
  • Eliminating health hazards: Mildew or mold might be growing on an old roof, posing a health risk if left undetected and untreated. Installing a new roof will eliminate that problem.
  • Newer technology: If your home's roof was built in the 1980s, it's made from materials and manufacturing processes that are more than 30 years old. Roofing technology hasn't improved as much as computers, but having the most up-to-date methods is always a plus.
  • Peace of mind: If you've dealt with a roof leak, you know that it might eventually come back after it was repaired. With a new roof, you will see that it will take a long time before you re-encounter such a problem.

Overall Verdict: Best Roofing Material for Portland Oregon Homes

To answer the question "What are the best roofing materials to use in Portland, Oregon?" – we'll go with asphalt shingles and metal roofing. But, always keep in mind there's no definite "the best" roofing material as each home's needs vary from one another.

It would be best to carefully weigh all your options to pick the option that gives you the most advantages. Another important consideration will be the total project costs. If your budget can't accommodate a metal roofing installation's hefty price tag, consider cost-effective alternatives like asphalt shingles instead.

Replacement of a 14-year-old Roof in Gresham

A roof's protection system is crucial in making sure that it'll do its job of protecting your house. For this reason, we recommend homeowners to be on top of upgrading their roof for optimal efficiency.


For this project, we upgraded the roof of this home in Gresham. Just like with any other project that we take on, we would first inspect and diagnose what needs to be done. We would check if the damage goes beyond the surface level. By doing this, we will be informed of the right steps to do.

We also installed the Owen Corning Starter Strip, Duration Shingles, and Owens Corning standard hip and ridge shingles on all of the hip and ridge. Apart from this we added a new 2x4 curb mount skylight. All Owen Corning materials have a 10-year to 50-year Preferred Contractor Warranty.

For a foolproof solution to your current roofing and siding problems, Boss Exteriors has got you covered. Call us now at 503-732-7663, and we will make sure you get the best roofing services you deserve.

New Fascia Gutters and Downspout Installation in Portland

A roof can only last for so long. It is inevitable for a time to come when you’ll be needing to repair, upgrade or just conduct a general maintenance on your roof to ensure that your home is covered and protected. Some of the factors that warrant your roof for an upkeep are the natural wear and tear, low-grade materials installed, and extreme weather.

New Fascia Gutters

The old gutters of the roof have served their time and are now ready to be replaced. That is why we installed new 5 K fascia gutters. To complete a functional gutter system, we also installed corresponding downspouts.

Gutters are crucial as they are responsible for channeling the water on your roof during storms and such. If your gutters are all clogged and are just not functioning properly, you may end up with a bigger leakage problem on your roof, which can even lead to foundational problems. 

We also installed the Owen Corning Starter Strip, Duration Shingles, and Owens Corning standard hip and ridge shingles on all of the hip and ridge. Apart from this we added a new 2x4 curb mount skylight. All Owen Corning materials have a 10-year to 50-year Preferred Contractor Warranty.

For a foolproof solution to your current roofing and siding problems, Boss Exteriors has got you covered. Call us now at 503-732-7663, and we will make sure you get the best roofing services you deserve.

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