Honest Answers To Your Most Common Roofing Questions

We get it. Nobody likes to think about their roofs. That’s why we’re here! We know when you have a leaky roof, see a missing shingle, or just have questions about your roof, it’s hard to find the answers you need. Today we’ll answer the roofing questions we’ve heard the most over our 45+ years that we’ve been doing roofing work.


How can I tell if I need a new roof?

There’s no hard and fast rule to determine if a roof has reached the end of its useful life. Generally speaking, you can expect a Portland-area roof to last 15-25 years depending on a number of factors:

  • Materials – Higher quality shingles and underlayments tend to mean a roof will last longer
  • Maintenance schedule – When you don’t give your roof regular TLC, it won’t last as long
  • Quality of work – A poorly installed roof is more likely to leak and fail before its time

The best way to know for sure if you need a new roof is to get it inspected. Here at Fivecoat Roofing, we offer free and no-obligation roof inspections and quotes. Our inspections include a detailed report that includes:

  • Information about the condition of your roof
  • Clear next steps for repairing or replacing your roof — if needed
  • Our recommended preventive maintenance schedule 

Contact us to learn more.


I’m buying a new home. What do I need to know about its roof?

It’s a competitive real estate market in Portland and Beaverton. You might feel like you have to take what you can get. But when it comes to the state of a property’s roof, making the wrong decision could cost you thousands of dollars. When having a property inspected, find out:

  • When the roof was installed and what maintenance work has been done since then
  • What materials were used on the roof and what type of gutters are installed
  • If it’s a newer roof, are the warranties on the roofing work and materials transferrable
  • Is there a history of leaks? Compare the answer you receive with any signs of water damage in the attic or on the ceiling


Can you put a new roof over my existing roof?

A new replacement roof is one of the bigger investments you’re likely to make as a homeowner. Because of this, you’re likely to research different options to lower your out-of-pocket cost. You may have heard about “re-roofing” or a “re-cover” and become intrigued.

Re-roofing, also known as roofing over your roof, is when you put a new layer of shingles down on top of the existing roof. It’s faster and tends to be a little less expensive. It may sound tempting, but the process has lots of downsides:

  1. You can only do this once. You can’t put a 3rd roof down on top of a roof that’s already been re-roofed. At some point, you’re going to need a whole new roof and removing the 2 layers of shingles can add to the cost of that project.
  2. Structural damage and mold can get trapped in between the layers, leading to leaks, pest infestation, and other damage that could be avoided by investing in a new roof.
  3. You’ll be saving now but paying later. When the time comes to sell your home, an interested buyer may reduce their offer because of the condition of your roof.
  4. Reroofing doesn’t solve the problem. The underlying issue — what’s under the shingles — is still there and will need to be fixed in the future.


Does a leaky roof mean I need a new roof?

Not always! Roof leaks are frustrating and often happen at the most inopportune times (the day before vacation, anyone?!). But that doesn’t mean that a whole new roof is in your immediate future. Oftentimes a leaky spot in your roof can be fixed quickly and easily without the need for a full roof replacement project.

The biggest mistake you can make is ignoring a leak. It’ll never go away on its own and it will only get worse. If you spot a leak, get a roofer out to take a look ASAP. Even if it can’t be fully fixed right away, there are emergency quick-fixes that can be put in place to stop the leak and prevent further damage.


How do I take good care of my roof?

So you’ve invested in a new roof or maybe you’ve bought a home with a roof that’s a few years old. What comes next? When it comes to your roof, be on the lookout for:

  • Warped or buckled shingles
  • Shingles or shakes that have fallen off or blown off during a storm
  • Moss or mold growing on your roof

Many homeowners here in the Portland and Beaverton area overlook the fact that their gutters directly impact the condition of their roof. Here’s how:

  1. Clogged gutters filled with water and debris are HEAVY and their weight can cause damage to your roof.
  2. Pooled and stagnant water in gutters is like a magnet for pests.


Will my new roof include a guarantee or warranty?

Because a new roof is such a big investment, it’s understandable that you’d want to feel confident that you can count on the quality of workmanship and materials. Here at Fivecoat Roofing, we stand behind our work with one of the best warranties around:

  • We offer a 10 Year Workmanship Warranty on all of our roofs and roof repair projects
  • Our GAF shingles have a Limited Lifetime Warranty


How will I pay for my new roof?

A new roof is a significant investment for any homeowner. But that’s just what it is — an investment in your home’s value. If you’re wondering about how to pay for a new roof or how to finance a new roof, let’s talk. We offer a variety of flexible roof financing options and can help you fit your new roof into your budget.


Need help with your roof? Call Fivecoat Roofing today!

We’re happy to come out to your home and take a look and answer more of your roofing questions. Call (503) 481-3699 for your no-obligation estimate and roof inspection.